Kiko Martinez Knocks Out Kid Galahad to Take IBF Featherweight Title

Kiko Martinez has pulled off a major upset…

The 35-year-old Spanish professional boxer became a two-weight world champion at the age of 35 after a huge knockout of Kid Galahad in the sixth round of their IBF featherweight title fight on Saturday in England.

After serving an 18-month ban for a doping violation, and then winning a world title at the second attempt after losing a split decision to Yorkshire rival Josh Warrington in 2019, Galahad’s career had been gaining momentum.

Martinez, a former world junior featherweight champion in 2013-14, hardly arrived with a formidable record on British soil. He suffered his seventh loss in the United Kingdom earlier this year and was not expected to give Galahad any problems.

Galahad (28-2, 17 KOs), 31, looked like he was going to make it an early night when he shook Martinez with a right hand in the opening round.

Galahad, who won the vacant title against James Dickens in August, cleverly found openings to land more punches. Martinez could not cover up in time as Galahad proved too quick and too smart in the opening rounds.

Martinez (43-10-2, 30 KOs), from Alicante, was caught by a straight left in the third round and was cut above his right eye.

At the start of the fifth round, Martinez came charging off his stool to take the fight to the champion.

Galahad seemed to lose focus and momentum, became complacent, and paid for dropping his hands when Martinez floored him with a huge right hand. Galahad got up at the count of eight and was saved by the bell.

But Galahad’s head did not clear and he was knocked out cold with the first punch of the sixth round when Martinez landed another overhand right.

“For the last three years I have been living like a monk,” Martinez said. “My wife has helped me a lot with my anxiety and it has paid off. I’m in better shape than I was at the age of 20 years old.”

Galahad, who needed two attempts to make weight for the fight, is likely to be offered a rematch against Martinez.

Teofimo Lopez to Fight George Kambosos in October

Teofimo Lopez is officially ready to rumble…

The 24-year-old Honduran American boxer and George Kambosos have signed contracts for an undisputed lightweight title fight that will take place on October 4 at New York’s Hulu Theater at MSG, Triller COO Thorsten Meier tells ESPN.

Teofimo Lopez

The fight was set for October 5, but Triller moved the fight to avoid competing with a potential wild-card playoff game between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox in New York. If the MLB season ended today, that game would take place on October 5.

“We want to make sure the sporting fans can see both amazing events,” Meier said.

Lopez-Kambosos will be the rare Monday evening boxing match in a sport that usually — with rare exception — holds its notable events on Saturday. It’s yet another date change for the seemingly snakebitten event.

Triller won the rights to the fight at a February purse bid with $6.018 million. The fight was planned for June 5 before it was officially set for June 19 in Miami. In the days leading up to the bout, Lopez tested positive for COVID-19.

Triller announced a rescheduled date of August 14 before it looked to stage the fight on October 17 in Sydney, Australia. Lopez balked at the government-mandated 14-day quarantine, leading to a legal battle. The IBF ultimately ruled the fight couldn’t take place in a location that requires quarantine.

The bout between Lopez, a Brooklyn native, and Kambosos, a 28-year-old Australian, was then planned for October 5.

Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is ESPN‘s No. 1 lightweight and No. 5 pound-for-pound fighter. He won the undisputed championship in October with a unanimous-decision victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs), ESPN’s No. 9 lightweight, earned the title shot with a split-decision win over Lee Selby later that month.

Teofimo Lopez’s Championship Fight Against George Kambosos May Take Place in the Middle East

Teofimo Lopez could be throwing punches in the Middle East…

In the never-ending saga to find a new fight date and location for the 24-year-old Honduran American boxer and George Kambosos, Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh says he’s planning to stage the rescheduled undisputed lightweight championship fight in October in the Middle East.

Teofimo Lopez Jr.

“We are currently working with the regulatory bodies to bring this fight to Saudi [Arabia] or UAE [United Arab Emirates] in October,” Kavanaugh said. “We think it’s the perfect place for such a landmark fight.”

Triller hoped to stage the fight on October 17 in Sydney, but Lopez balked at the 14-day quarantine mandated by the Australian government. The disagreement led to an IBF ruling, handed down last week, that Triller must stage the fight in a location that doesn’t require a quarantine.

The New Jersey-based sanctioning body also gave Triller until October 17 to hold the fight; contracts are due by August 24.

“Can’t wait to see the details,” Lopez’s manager, David McWater, told ESPN when informed of Triller’s Middle East plan. “We were always willing to go anywhere we didn’t have to quarantine.”

In the event Triller fails to submit contracts by August 24, the rights to the fight will revert to the next-highest bidder at February’s auction. That would be Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom, which bid $3.506 million. Lopez’s promoter, Top Rank, came in third at $2.315 million. Triller won the rights with a bid of $6.018 million.

The matchup was initially set for June 19 in Miami, where Lopez grew up, but he tested positive for COVID-19 weeks before the fight.

“He feels great,” McWater said. “He’s been training.”

Lopez, ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer, unified all four 135-pound titles with a majority decision victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko in October. He was ordered by the IBF to face Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) next, but Lopez and Top Rank couldn’t agree on money. That led to the auction, where Triller gobbled up the rights.

Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is set to earn a career-high $3.912 million; he made $1.35 million for the Lomachenko bout.

Kambosos, ESPN’s No. 9 lightweight, will earn $2.106 million, also a career high. The 28-year-old Australian fighter became the IBF’s No. 1 contender with a split decision win over Lee Selby in October.

Earlier that month, Lopez added three more titles to his collection with his win over Lomachenko. He won his first title with a second-round KO of Richard Commey in December 2019.

Now, Lopez appears to be inching closer to the first defense of his undisputed lightweight crown.

Teofimo Lopez Agrees to Restructured Contract with Top Rank Promotions

Teofimo Lopez has a new contract…

The 23-year-old Honduran American professional boxer and current unified lightweight world champion and Top Rank Promotions are back on good terms after agreeing to a restructured contract, according to ESPN.

Teofimo Lopez

In the new agreement, Lopez will have his minimum purses raised from the previous amount of $1.25 million and will have the opportunity for pay-per-view bouts on ESPN+, a source confirmed.

The deal comes on the heels of an acrimonious negotiation for Lopez’s upcoming title defense against George Kambosos on June 19. Top Rank and Lopez failed to come to an agreement on his salary for that fight, and the bout went to a purse bid. Triller, an upstart streaming service, easily won the rights with a $6 million bid, with Lopez getting around $3.9 million.

Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is making his first title defense since beating Vasiliy Lomachenko last year to win three of the four major belts in the 135-pound division. Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) is the IBF‘s mandatory challenger for its version of the title.

Lopez is also looking for a major opponent on October 2 if he successfully defends his titles, sources confirmed to ESPN. Devin Haney (26-0, 15 KOs), the WBC lightweight champion, has repeatedly expressed his desire to face Lopez. In a Twitter post issued Saturday, Top Rank matchmaker Bruce Trampler said Lopez also wants that fight but that Haney has “contractual issues to resolve.”

Jaime Munguia to Now Fight Kamil Szeremeta in June 19 Bout

It’s a change of plans for Jaime Munguia

The 24-year-old Mexican professional boxer will have a new opponent in his main event on June 19 in El Paso, Texas, with Kamil Szeremeta stepping in on short-notice to take the bout.

Jaime Munguia

Munguia (36-0, 29 KO), the former WBO light middleweight champion, has since moved up to middleweight.

He was initially supposed to fight Maciej Sulecki, but instead will now face Szeremeta.

Szeremeta (21-1, 5 KO), from Poland, last fought in December, 2020, when he was stopped in the seventh round of an IBF middleweight title fight against Gennadiy Golovkin. It was the first loss of Szeremeta’s career.

This will be Munguia’s first fight since October 30, 2020, when he stopped Tureano Johnson in the sixth round.

When Munguia was at light middleweight, he defended his WBO title five times before moving up in weight class.

Teofimo Lopez to Defend Lightweight Champion Title vs. George Kambosos Jr.

Teofimo Lopez is going on the defensive

The 23-year-old Honduran American boxer will make his first title defense as the undisputed lightweight champion against George Kambosos Jr. on June 19 at Miami’s loanDepot Park, Triller Fight Club has announced.

Teofimo Lopez

The card will be co-headlined by a women’s super middleweight bout between Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Elin Cederroos, with all four world championship belts on the line.

Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), 23, who became the undisputed champion last year by taking four belts from Vasiliy Lomachenko, is No. 5 in the ESPN pound-for-pound rankings.

He’s No. 1 in the ESPN lightweight rankings, while Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs), the mandatory IBF challenger from Australia, is ranked 10th.

Triller is a relative newcomer to the boxing promotion business. The tech company made headlines in November by promoting the exhibition between former champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr., and in February it won the right to promote the mandatory defense of Lopez, one of boxing’s rising stars.

Canelo Alvarez Defeats Billy Joe Saunders to Claim WBO Super-Middleweight Belt

Canelo Alvarez has expanded his belt collection….

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer added the WBO super-middleweight belt to his growing collection, defeating Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday night in front of a record-breaking 73,126 crowd inside Texas’ AT&T Stadium.

Canelo Alvarez

The attendance figure set an all-time record for an indoor US boxing event — breaking the previous record set in 1978 when Muhammad Ali beat Leon Spinks in front of 63,352 at the Louisiana Superdome — and marked the largest crowd at a sporting event since the pandemic began.

Alvarez dominated the opening seven rounds, leading on all three judges’ scorecards, before a brutal uppercut in the eighth caused a deep cut under Saunders’ right eye and left the Briton unable to come out for the ninth round.

Saunders was reportedly taken from the venue by ambulance straight after the fight to have the extent of his injuries assessed.

“As I said beforehand, the fight was going to develop by the seventh or eighth round,” Alvarez told broadcaster DAZN. “That’s what happened, but it wasn’t as difficult as I expected. That’s where I take note that my preparation is good and I improve day by day.

“The fight I was winning round by round. I told you, my fight would develop after six or seven rounds, but I started getting adjusted quickly. I knew that this round (the eighth) was going to be the final round. I knew it. I think I broke his cheek and I knew he wasn’t going to come out. That was it.”

Alvarez, widely considered one of the best boxers in the world, said “the plan” now was to unify the super-middleweight division by claiming the IBF belt held by American Caleb Plant.

“I’m coming. I’m coming, my friend,” he said.

The hugely popular fighter delighted what appeared to be a largely Mexican crowd, raising his arms at one point during the fight to encourage the already raucous arena to make more noise.

“It’s difficult to explain,” Alvarez said of their support. “I don’t have the words. All the emotions I feel, they give me the motivation to continue on.”

Jose Ramirez to Fight Josh Taylor in Junior Welterweight Unification Title Bout

Jose Ramirez is ready to expand his belt collection…

The junior welterweight unification title bout between the 28-year-old Mexican American boxer and Josh Taylor will take place on May 22 at a to be determined Las Vegas venue.

Jose Ramirez

Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion, and Taylor, the IBF and WBA champion, had initially been planning to fight on May 8, but the fight was moved as to not conflict with the Canelo AlvarezBilly Joe Saunders title fight. Instead, they’ll fight later in the month, headlining a card on ESPN and simulcast on ESPN+.

“This is the best boxing has to offer, two elite fighters in the prime of their careers colliding in a legacy-defining matchup for the undisputed championship of the world,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in a news release. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO) last fought in August, winning a majority decision over Viktor Postol in his first defense as both the WBC and WBO titleholder. He has held the WBC belt since March 17, 2018, when he beat Amir Imam and the WBO belt since July 27, 2019, when he TKO‘d Maurice Hooker in the sixth round.

Taylor (17-0, 13 KO) won the IBF title in a May 2019 decision over Ivan Baranchyk and the WBA belt in a majority decision win over Regis Prograis in October 2019. Taylor, 30, last fought in September 2020, knocking out Apinun Khongsong in the first round.

Both Taylor and Ramirez fought as lightweights in the 2012 London Games, each losing in the quarterfinals in a division won by Vasiliy Lomachenko. On the same side of the bracket, they would have met up in the semifinals had they kept winning. Now, they’ll fight to unify a professional world title instead.

Terence Crawford was the last fighter the unify the division, a feat he accomplished in 2017. Crawford then vacated the titles with a move up to 147 pounds.

Canelo Alvarez Makes Quick Work of Avni Yildirim to Defend WBA & WBC Super Middleweight Titles

Canelo Alvarez didn’t take long to defend his titles…

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer, the sport’s biggest star and best pound-for-pound fighter, made quick work of his limited foe, Avni Yildirim, to defend his WBA and WBC titles at 168 pounds via third-round TKO at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium.

Canelo Alvarez

Needing to clear the hurdle of his mandatory challenger in order to begin an ambitious 2021 plan to unify all four super middleweight world titles, Alvarez looked every bit of the audaciously large betting favorite he was coming in.

Alvarez put on quite the performance amid fireworks and a live concert on his walk to the ring alone. After Yildirim (21-3, 12 KOs) hid behind his high guard for the first two rounds, he finally succumbed to a stiff right cross from Alvarez that dropped him in Round 3.

After trainer Joel Diaz warned his fighter between rounds that he needed to show something or the fight would be stopped, Yildirim stared with a blank expression on his face that caused his corner to stop the fight.

“It doesn’t matter if they are taller and have more reach or whether they have a good new trainer or no trainer, it doesn’t matter,” Alvarez said after the win. “I come here to do my job and win and I come to make history and I have the best trainer in the world [Eddy Reynoso] in my corner.”

Alvarez made a quick return to the ring just two months after dominating unbeaten champion Callum Smith to unify a pair of super middleweight titles. But he opened as an alarming 50-1 favorite over Yildirim, a native of Turkey who didn’t seem to deserve the mandatory shot considering he was fresh off a two-year layoff and a loss in his last fight.

“It’s great to be active. It’s wonderful to be here in Miami. I wanted to have a great fight here and I’m happy it’s a knockout. That’s what I wanted to do,” Alvarez said. “I will fight anyone. I fight the best and I always fight the best. I fight the best at 168 and here I am, making history. I had to fight Yildirim to get the opportunity to fight the best at 168 and I had to do it. I defended my titles and am ready for what’s next.”

What’s next was confirmed for May 8 by promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, who has one fight remaining on a two-bout deal Alvarez signed to open the year. Hearn said Alvarez will challenge unbeaten WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders at a location to be announced.

In addition, Alvarez is hoping to fight twice more in 2021 after the Saunders bout and has shared his interest in closing the year by defeating Caleb Plant, the unbeaten IBF champion, to become boxing’s first undisputed super middleweight champion.

“[Saunders] is a very difficult fighter and he has the championship, the WBO. We want to unify,” Alvarez said before being asked about Saunders’ ability to trash talk his opponents. “People talk but I’m a mature fighter. I know how to control myself. All I have to do is get into the ring, win and make history. Words are just that.

“I [want to unify] because it hasn’t been done. At 168, no one has done that in the world. I want to make history.”

“I want to make my own history. I don’t want to be equal to anyone. I respect everyone in history but I want to make my own history so that when they one day talk about the sport of boxing, they talk about Canelo.”

Triller to Promote Teofimo Lopez’s Next Fight

Teofimo Lopez is looking to trill in his next fight…

Triller has just thrown its name into the ring to promote the next fight of the 23-year-old Honduran American boxer, one of the sport’s rising stars.

Teofimo Lopez Jr.

The upstart tech company won the rights to promote Lopez’s lightweight title defense against George Kambosos with a bid of more than $6 million, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

Triller, which was founded in 2015, beat out established boxing outfits like Matchroom and Top Rank, Lopez’s current promoter, in a purse bid hosted by the IBF on Thursday.

The rights to promote Lopez’s mandatory defense hit the open market after Lopez and Top Rank failed to reach an agreement on a purse. Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) became the unified lightweight champion after beating Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020 to win the IBF, WBA and WBO belts in the 135-pound division.

“I love ESPN and the platform and everything they have done for Team Lopez and The Takeover. However, I am very thankful that my team and I stuck to our guns,” Lopez said in a statement to ESPN’s Mark Kriegel. “We knew what we were being offered was disrespectful, and we expected the open market would value us differently. And it showed today. The $6 million from Triller, right there, says that Top Rank doesn’t value the best fighter on their roster. I look forward to my title defense against George Kambosos. Stay tuned for the fight date.”

Triller made headlines when it promoted the exhibition bout between former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr as a pay-per-view attraction. According to reports, the fight generated more than 1.6 million buys.

Because of the IBF’s purse-split rules that give the champion 65%, Lopez’s share will be just under $4 million. Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) is set to receive $2.1 million in his third fight in the United States. The Australian is coming off a split-decision victory over Lee Selby last October in London.

Ryan Kavanaugh, the CEO of Proxima Media, the company that owns Triller, said that Lopez vs. Kambosos will “probably be a co-main event” on a Triller card in May paired with an “influencer-celebrity-type event.”

“We don’t view them as an undercard. It’s just a matter if we have a co-main [event] that brings a different audience than them or not,” he said.

Kavanaugh said Triller would be open to bid for more fights in the future.

“If it’s an attractive purse bid like this where it’s for a significant title with well-known talent and people that we think will attract the right audience, then absolutely,” he said.

Top Rank president Todd duBoef said the agreement means “at the end of the day, everybody wins.”

“If Teofimo comes out successful and has a successful defense against Kambosos, terrific,” he said. “If they do a bunch of promotion and he gets bigger on the social platform, terrific and we have a long career together going forward.”