Henry Cejudo Open to Return to Competition with Fight Against Ryan Garcia

Henry Cejudo is open to a comeback…

The 33-year-old Mexican American retired mixed martial artist is open to return to competition, witha fight against up-and-coming boxer Ryan Garcia at the top of his wish list.

Henry Cejudo

The former UFC double champion told ESPN that if any bout would get him to come back, it would be one against Garcia, the 21-year-old boxing prodigy promoted by Oscar De La Hoya‘s Golden Boy Promotions.

Cejudo and Garcia have been going back-and-forth on social media for weeks. Cejudo said he’d be willing to face Garcia in a boxing match, but he proposed a hybrid fight with 10-ounce boxing gloves that have the fingers exposed for grappling.

Previously, Cejudo, a former Olympic wrestling gold medalist, said he’d most like to return against UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski. But the ex-UFC flyweight and bantamweight champ has changed his tune a bit.

“I think Ryan Garcia would be the easiest payday ‘Triple C’ would ever get,” Cejudo said. “It would be a lot bigger than any purse I did in the UFC. If there’s any fight that intrigues me between staying retired, between fighting … Alexander Volkanovski or fighting … Ryan Garcia, I like the payday. Plus, it’s easy money because he’s fought nobody.”

Cejudo added that he thinks Garcia is “another Sean O’Malley,” referring to the highly touted UFC bantamweight prospect, when it comes to unfounded hype.

“It makes me sick,” Cejudo said.

Cejudo said Garcia “wouldn’t make it 30 seconds” with him in mixed martial arts. A bout between the two seems like a long shot. Cejudo still has a UFC contract, and the promotion would have to OK any other fight deal or be part of the co-promotion.

Cejudo (16-2) stepped away from MMA unexpectedly after six straight wins. ESPNstill has him ranked No. 3 on its pound-for-pound fighter list. Cejudo has an impressive résumé, including being one of four fighters to hold two UFC titles at the same time. The Arizona resident has beaten the likes of Demetrious JohnsonTJ Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz, all former champions.

“Triple C” is apparently now looking to add Garcia to that list.

“Ryan Garcia, if you are watching this … answer the call, man, and sign the damn contract,” Cejudo said.

Jorge Linares to Fight Javier Fortuna in August

Jorge Linaresis heading back to the ring this summer…

The 34-year-old Venezuelan professional boxer and three-time world champion will fight Javier Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) on August 28 at the Fantasy Springs Resort and Casinoin Indio, California.

Jorge Linares

After Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) dispatched Carlos Morales in four rounds on February 14, a showdown with the undefeated Ryan Garcia was heavily rumored for the summer. That fight never materialized, and Linares and his representatives shifted their focus to another fight.

“We wanted that fight [with Garcia], Jorge wanted that fight more than anybody,” said Jose de la Cruz, who manages Linares. “I guess their camp is not being reasonable with Golden Boy.”

In regard to the potential July 4 fight, Garcia representative Lupe Valencia said, “What they offered Ryan was not acceptable. We can’t just accept it if we know it’s not reasonable.”

Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, told ESPN, “Fortuna was willing to fight pretty much anybody, he was available. So we made the offer to Linares, and he took it right away.”

Gomez said there is a chance that this bout could be contested for the WBC interim lightweight title.

“It was a no-brainer,” said de la Cruz. “I think it’s the right time for Jorge to fight for a world title, and to stay active, number one. He’ll be 35 by the time he fights. How many fights does he have left? We all want to know.”

Linares, who is ESPN’s No. 6 lightweight, has had a memorable career, filled with substantial victories and mind-boggling defeats. 

He’s captured world titles at 126, 130 and 135, but never had a long title run with any of those belts. Linares has victories over the likes of Oscar LariosKevin MitchellAnthony Crolla and Luke Campbell, and gave Vasiliy Lomachenko his toughest test to date as a professional. 

But Linares has also been knocked out in all five of his losses, the latest of which was when he was stopped in the first round by Pablo Cesar Cano in an ill-fated experiment at 140 at the beginning of 2019.

The 31-year-old Fortuna, who is ESPN’s No. 8 lightweight, once held the WBA 130-pound title and had a strong showing as he knocked out a faded Jesus Cuellar in two rounds last November. 

Fortuna, a southpaw from the Dominican Republic presents a formidable challenge for Linares with his above-average power. Should Linares overcome the challenge of Fortuna, he’ll be in line for even bigger fights.

“There’s [DevinHaney,” said De La Cruz, mentioning the current WBC lightweight titleholder as one option. ”If Golden Boy can make the Ryan Garcia fight, if the virus doesn’t affect us late in the year, everything goes well, we want a championship fight or a big fight at the Staples Center. That’s what Golden Boy wants.”

The August 28 Golden Boy card is scheduled to be the promotion’s second of the summer, following a July 24 show headlined by Vergil Ortiz and Samuel Vargas.

Oscar Valdez to Fight Jayson Velez in Las Vegas Next Month

Oscar Valdez is ready to rumble…

The 29-year-old Mexican boxer and former WBO featherweight champion will face veteran Jayson Velez on July 21 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.

Oscar Valdez

The bout will take place at 130 pounds, according to Frank Espinoza, Valdez’s manager.

“The fight is done, we’re excited about it, Oscar is very happy to be back doing what he loves,” Espinoza told ESPN. 

Top Rank officials confirmed that the fight has been finalized, while the rest of the card is still being formulated.

A victory by Valdez could lead to a showdown with WBC junior lightweight champion Miguel Berchelt. Valdez is No. 1 in the WBC’s 130-pound rankings.

Valdez (27-0, 21 KOs) recently moved up to junior lightweight after making six defenses of his featherweight title between 2016 and 2019. Last November, he had a rocky debut at 130 pounds when he was knocked down early by late replacement Adam Lopez. He rallied to score a seventh-round TKO.

In Velez (29-6-1, 21 KOs), Valdez is facing a seasoned veteran who has been in the ring with a plethora of recognizable names including Ryan Garcia, Ronnie RiosJoseph Diaz and Rene Alvarado

In his most recent outing on February 8, Velez had a very strong showing against Jaime Arboleda but lost on a razor thin split decision in Allentown, Pennsylvania. 

In the 36 professional outings, Velez has never been knocked out.

It’s a pivotal fight for Valdez, who is still looking to find his groove under trainer Eddy Reynoso, while fine-tuning his skills for the formidable Berchelt.

“That’s the fight we want next, that’s the one Oscar is aiming for,” Espinoza said. “We’re hoping that by the fall there can be crowds at fights, because we know how much fans are anticipating it.”

Vergil Ortiz to Headline Golden Boy Promotions’ Return to Boxing in July

Vergil Ortiz is the Golden Boy of the moment…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and undefeated welterweight will be the headliner when Golden Boy Promotions returns to boxing in July.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The original plan for Golden Boy was for the highly marketable and telegenic Ryan Garcia to take part in the main event on the Fourth of July. But the two sides weren’t able to come to a financial agreement. Oscar De La Hoya, the founder of Golden Boy, tweeted about the situation on Monday.

Eric Gomez, the president of GBP, confirmed to ESPN that Ortiz (15-0, 15 KOs), whom many consider the company’s best prospect, would be in the main event of Golden Boy’s first card of the summer. This show will most likely take place at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, and will be streamed on DAZN

Ortiz was originally scheduled to face Samuel Vargas on March 28 in Los Angeles, before that card was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s expected this fight will be rescheduled for late July.

Henry Cejudo Open to UFC Return for Fight Against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo isn’t opposed to a UFC comeback…

The 33year-old Mexican American mixed martial artist and former UFC bantamweight and flyweight champion tells TMZ that he’d consider a return to the Octagon if he were given a fight against Alexander Volkanovski

Henry Cejudo

Cejudo wants a crack at Volkanovski’s UFC featherweight title to complete the championship trifecta — a feat no one in promotion history has ever pulled off.

“I’ve done everything in MMA,” Cejudo told TMZ.

“I’m satisfied with my career. There would only be one fight that would really bring me back — that would really wake me up in the morning. Other than [boxer] Ryan Garcia, it would be Alexander Volkanovski. That overgrown midget. I would love to make him bend the knee. He’s already halfway there.”

Cejudo, the former Olympic wrestling gold medalist, stunningly announced his retirement from MMA after successfully defending his bantamweight title against Dominick Cruz last month at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida. There has been speculation, though, that Cejudo is using it as leverage to try and get a bigger contract from the UFC.

Since the retirement announcement, the UFC has removed Cejudo from the promotion’s official rankings and taken him off the website as bantamweight champion. UFC president Dana White has said that a vacant bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and former featherweight champion Jose Aldo is in the offing this summer.

Cejudo, though, acknowledged to TMZ for the first time that there was indeed a way to bring him back. That would be a chance at a third belt.

“I want to be different,” Cejudo said. “There’s a lot of champ champs. Obviously there’s only one Triple C — there’s only one Olympic champ, flyweight champ, bantamweight champion of the world. It’s just to cement it and go in the history books as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time.”

Cejudo (16-2) is on a six-fight winning streak, a stretch that goes back to 2016. The Arizona resident is one of only four fighters in UFC history told hold two titles in two different weight classes at the same time. Cejudo owns wins over Cruz, TJ Dillashaw and Demetrious Johnson.

Ryan Garcia Knocks Out Francisco Fonseca in the First Round

Ryan Garciadidn’t need much time to score the win…

In an eye-opening performance, the 21-year-old Mexican boxer stopped Francisco Fonseca in the first round of their lightweight bout with a blazing counter left hook that left his opponent flat on the canvas on Friday.

Ryan Garcia

Referee Raul Caiz Sr. counted out Fonseca at 1 minute, 20 seconds.

It was a dazzling display of reflexes, timing and power, as Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) caught Fonseca (25-3-2, 19 KOs) with a flush shot he never saw coming.

“It was good,” Garcia said of the knockout punch. “[The fight] didn’t last that long, but I watched a video of Sugar Ray Robinson, and he did this little feint and threw the perfect left hook. I saw it and went for the left hook. Thought I was going to go longer, not going to lie. I respect Fonseca and thank him for the opportunity.”

For Garcia, who was ESPN‘s 2017 prospect of the year, it was another step in his development as a fighter and a box-office attraction. Friday night’s card played to an announced crowd of 10,310.

Garcia has shown steady improvement under the direction of trainer Eddy Reynoso, best known for developing light heavyweight titleholder Canelo Alvare zinto one of the best boxers in the world.

The victory could set up a possible fight with former three-division world titlist Jorge Linaresin a classic crossroads matchup pitting a young rising star versus a seasoned, proud former champion.

“I’m 21, I’m a late bloomer,” Garcia said. “I’m ready for everyone, and I’m comfortable. I’m ready to go after everyone. I’m turned up. Let’s go.”

Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandez Signs Co-Promotional Deal with Golden Boy Promotions

Eduardo “Rocky” Hernandezhas a new deal…

The 21-year-old Mexican junior lightweight boxer, one of Mexico’s most highly touted up-and-coming boxers, has signed a co-promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions, according to CEO Oscar De La Hoya.

Eduardo "Rocky" Hernandez

Hernandez, who is also co-promoted by Promociones del Pueblo, one of Mexico’s leading promoters, will make his United States debut in his first fight of the deal. 

He’ll face Ibrahim Class in a 10-round fight on March 30 on the undercard of the Ryan GarciaJose Lopez lightweight bout at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.

De La Hoya and Oswaldo Kuchleof Promociones del Pueblo have worked together over the years, and they both hope the partnership will help launch Hernandez (27-0, 24 KOs), 21, to stardom.

“At Golden Boy, we are in the business of working with fighters from all over the world and making them into international stars,” De La Hoya said, listing an impressive roster of fighters that Golden Boy helped build into well-known names, including Deontay WilderAdrien BronerDaniel JacobsMarcos MaidanaAbner Maresand Jermell and Jermall Charlo.

“We’re doing it presently with the biggest star in the sport, Canelo Alvarez, along with world champions such as Jaime Munguia, Rey VargasXu CanAngel Acosta and Andrew Cancio; and we have the next generation of stars with Ryan Garcia, Vergil Ortiz, and Lamont Roach Jr.

“This company knows how to work with fighters from all kinds of backgrounds,” De La Hoya continued, “so we’re more than ready to join forces with Oswaldo Kuchle and Promociones del Pueblo to co-promote Rocky Hernandez as he begins to make big waves in the stacked 130-pound division.”

Hernandez turned pro at age 16 in February 2014.

“I’m very delighted to be presented to fans in the United States,” Hernandez said. “I am preparing very hard to give a great fight to the fans on March 30, and God willing, I will walk away with my hand raised. I have a tough opponent in front of me, but I am training very hard.”Class (22-5, 10 KOs), 28, of Tanzania, also will be fighting in the U.S. for the first time.

Brat Orders Ryan “Kingry” Garcia-Fronted Series “On The Ropes”

Ryan Kingry” Garcia is joining the Brat pack…

Brat, the Gen Z-focused digital studio and network, has given the green light to a new series featuring the 20-year-old Mexican-American up-and-coming professional boxer.

Ryan “Kingry” Garcia 

On the Ropesthe eight-episode series fronted by Garcia, is set in the world of underground boxing.

Garcia, who is 16-0 as a pro, has 1.4 million Instagram followers and is on the December 15 Canelo AlvarezRocky Fielding undercard at Madison Square Garden.

On the Ropes debuts February 25.

The Brat network has more than 2.5 million subscribers on YouTube, with 15 million unique viewers, says the company, which focuses on using social media stars to build teen-based programming for platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Nearly 3 billion minutes of content were consumed in the past year, Brat says.