Julio Cesar Martinez is going on the defensive yet again…
The 25-year-old Mexican professional boxer and WBC flyweight world titleholder will defend his belt against Francisco Rodriguez Jr. on the Canelo Alvarez–Callum Smith undercard on December 19 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Martinez (17-1, 13 KOs) won the title in a ninth-round TKO victory over Cristofer Rosales in December 2019. He defended the belt twice this year, a unanimous decision victory against Jay Harris in February and a second-round TKO of Moises Calleros in October.
Martinez, who lost his pro debut in 2015, has gone 17-0 with one no-contest since then. He’s trained by Eddy Reynoso, who also trains Alvarez.
Rodriguez Jr. (33-4-1, 24 KOs) is a former strawweight world titlist. After losing back-to-back decisions against Donnie Nietesand Moises Fuentes in 2015, Rodriguez, 27, has won 14 straight bouts, 12 by stoppage.
Also on the undercard, super middleweight blue-chip prospect Diego Pacheco (10-0, 8 KOs) will face Rodolfo Gomez Jr. (14-4-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-round battle.
Ryan Garcia will have to wait a month to get back in the ring…
A date has been finalized for the rescheduled vacant WBC title bout between the 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and Luke Campbell. The two will fight on Saturday, January 2, DAZN has announced.
Garcia and Campbell were scheduled to fight on December 5 in Los Angeles, but the fight was postponed after Campbell tested positive for COVID-19 on November 10.
“My mindset going into this fight hasn’t changed, and my training hasn’t stopped,” Garcia said. “I’m excited we have a new date and can finally bring this to the fans. I’m here, and I’m ready to ring in the new year with a victory … let’s go!”
Campbell, who has resumed training back in England, doesn’t seem too concerned about the short delay. “New date, new year, same result,” said Campbell. “I’m fully back in training and have never felt better. What a way to start 2021. This is going to be with a clinical Luke Campbell win.”
Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs) hasn’t fought since a first-round KO victory over Francisco Fonseca in February. Garcia trains with Eddy Reynoso, who also trains middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, junior lightweight contender Oscar Valdez and former heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr.
Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs), 33, lost a unanimous decision challenging then lightweight unified champion Vasiliy Lomachenko in August 2019.
Devin Haney is theWBC lightweight titlist and Teofimo Lopez Jr. is the WBC “franchise” champion.
Juan Francisco Estrada is one step closer to a rematch…
The 30-year-old Mexican professional boxer and WBC junior flyweight world titleholder has done his part to get a rematch with Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, who beat him in 2012, by defeating Carlos Cuadras in an 11th-round TKO Friday night at the TV Azteca Studio in Mexico City.
But it didn’t come easy, as Estrada had to recover from an early knockdown before stopping Cuadras late in the fight.
Estrada-Cuadras was itself a rematch of a 2017 bout that saw Estrada defeat Cuadras by a single point on all three of the judges’ cards in a 12-round fight, with the difference being a knockdown by Estrada in the 10th round.
On Friday, Estrada (40-3, 28 KOs) hit the deck in the third round when he was clipped by a right uppercut-left hook combination from Cuadras (40-4, 27 KOs). But Estrada was able to get up and control the next several rounds with precise punching, accuracy and power.
Cuadras had his moments, but he simply couldn’t match the power of Estrada’s thumping shots to the body. At times you could see Estrada hurting Cuadras with attacks to the body. To his credit, though, Cuadras mustered up enough offense to take Round 10 on the scorecards.
But at the beginning of the 11th, a three-punch combination by Estrada sent Cuadras crumbling to the floor. While it was obvious that he was on his last legs, Cuadras was able to continue and attempted to trade punches with Estrada again, and Estrada responded by hitting Cuadras again with a straight right hand that knocked Cuadras down for the second time in the round. It looked as if the fight was over, but somehow Cuadras got back to his feet once more, and showed incredible courage in letting his hands go and exchanging blows with Estrada.
Cuadras landed a few of his punches, but they simply lacked the steam and velocity in response to what was coming back his way. Finally, a right hand that snapped Cuadras’ head back forced the referee to stopped the fight at 2:22 of Round 11.
And with that, Estrada looks forward to a long-awaited rematch with Gonzalez.
The bout between the 22-year-old Mexican American boxer and Luke Campbell for the WBC interim lightweight title will take place on December 5, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN have announced.
The venue is still to be determined.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is the WBC lightweight “franchise” champion; Devin Haney is the WBC titleholder.
This is the first title fight for the 22-year-old Garcia (20-0, 17 KOs), who has not fought since a highlight-reel first-round knockout of Francisco Fonseca on February 14.
“I’ve been eagerly waiting to get back in the ring and have been working harder than ever to get here,” Garcia said. “It’s been a tough year for everyone, but I’m excited to bring the fans an escape for the night … or based on my track record, a few minutes at most. Luke’s record speaks for itself, but I’m ready to prove the doubters wrong. This is my era now and Dec. 5 is just the start of it.”
Added promoter Oscar De La Hoya: “For years, the world of boxing has been clamoring for a crossover star who can reach new audiences that have gone untapped for far too long. Ryan Garcia stands at the precipice of doing the same thing at an incredibly young age when he takes on Luke Campbell.”
The 33-year-old Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) is ESPN‘s third-ranked lightweight and a seasoned veteran who has faced the likes of Jorge Linares and Lomachenko in recent years.
“2020 has been an extremely tough year for everyone, so I’m really pleased we can finally get this fight officially on and give the fans something to look forward to,” said Campbell, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist. “There’s been a lot of talk and he’s clearly a very highly regarded fighter, but I’m going to prove that this is far too much, far too soon, and that I’m on a completely different level.
“I’ve fought in America before, so this will be nothing new for myself and my team. Fans or no fans, the one thing I can guarantee is that I will be coming back to the UK with the victory. Training hasn’t stopped for me, and I’m going to be in peak condition to show something very special from Luke Campbell on December 5.”
The bout between the 32-year-old Puerto Rican boxer, a and former two-division titleholder, and unified welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. will now take place on December 5 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas – the home of the Dallas Cowboys.
This event, which had been scheduled for Nov. 21 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, will have fans in attendance. At the time, holds were put on other venues around the country in hopes that the fight could be moved somewhere with a live audience.
“Every time Spence fights in front of his hometown fans, it is an unforgettable and energetic evening,” said Tom Brown, president of TGB Promotions, who is staging the card. “We’re excited to be able to bring those fans this great matchup.”
In March 2019, Spence — a native of DeSoto, Texas — defeated Mikey Garcia in the same venue in front of more than 47,000 fans.
Spence, who suffered a serious one-car crash a year ago, said fighting in front of his hometown fans adds some extra motivation.
“It means even more because I’m going up against a great champion in Danny Garcia,” Spence said. “I know people are looking out to see if I’ve lost a step or won’t be at my best, but I’m 100% focused and everything is on point in training camp. I just can’t wait to go out there … and put on a show.”
Garcia was the unified and lineal junior lightweight champion before moving up to welterweight, where he won the WBC title against Robert Guerrero in 2016. In his most recent fight, Garcia defeated Ivan Redkach by decision in January.
“This matchup is a megafight unification bout,” Garcia said. “It’s my opportunity to reclaim my spot at the top in this division and become a five-time world champion. Training and sparring has been going really well. I’m extremely prepared for this already, and it can’t get here soon enough.”
The pay-per-view card includes Sebastian Fundora vs. Jorge Cota in a junior middleweight bout, a welterweight battle between Josesito Lopez and Francisco Santana, and Julio Ceja vs. Eduardo Ramirez in a featherweight bout.
This event will have tickets sold in seating “pods” to maintain social distancing and follow other coronavirus guidelines. All in attendance must wear masks, according to the promoters.
A junior welterweight battle between 26-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a former title challenger, and unbeaten fighter Arnold Barboza Jr. has been finalized for October 17.
The fight is part of the undercard for the Vasiliy Lomachenko–Teofimo Lopez lightweight unification fight at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Saucedo (30-1, 19 KOs) faced Maurice Hooker in November 2018 for the vacant WBO title, losing by seventh-round TKO. Since then, Saucedo has changed trainers, and has defeated Rod Salka by first-round knockout last November and Sonny Fredrickson by unanimous decision in June.
Saucedo is currently ranked No. 6 by the WBO.
Barboza (24-0, 10 KOs), who defeated Tony Luis by unanimous decision on August 29, is rated No. 7 by the WBC and WBO.
The 28-year-old Mexican American boxer has retained his WBC and WBO junior welterweight world titles in a close battle against Viktor Postol.
Postol’s tactical boxing style made Ramirez strategically uncomfortable throughout this weekend’s fight, and neither man ever truly took control of the action.
But, it was Ramirez who ultimately got the majority decision win by the scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112 at the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
With the victory, Ramirez kept alive his chances of fully unifying the 140-pound division against Josh Taylor, who holds the WBA and IBF world titles.
Ramirez, a frenetic pressure fighter, was kept at bay for much of the fight by the long reach of Postol, who worked the perimeter of the ring adroitly for long stretches of the fight.
While many of the rounds were close, Ramirez generally appeared the busier fighter. He was able to stun Postol a few times with left hands in the seventh and eighth rounds.
But Ramirez was never truly able to impose his will on the always-composed Postol. Unfortunately for Postol, his game plan wouldn’t be enough to capture the two belts.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this bout had been canceled twice prior. Both fighters had not fought in more than a year.
Ramirez said the long layoff and the crowdless environment affected his performance.
“I went in there a little too cold, you know?” Ramirez said after the fight. “I impressed myself. I’m much stronger than most guys think. I just gotta not lose confidence in myself and stick to what I do best and box, let my hands go and not hesitate too much. I think there was a little bit of hesitation throughout the fight.
“I felt like I was just in a sparring session. I think I could’ve made the fight a lot easier in my favor, but we live and we learn. This was an amazing experience. I’m just happy I got the win.”
Ramirez cleared a significant hurdle in his quest to become the first fighter of Mexican heritage to capture all four major belts in a division.
Ramirez’s attention now turns to September 26, when Taylor faces his IBF mandatory challenger, Apinun Khongsong. A victory by Taylor could set up a title unification bout with Ramirez.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will be sharing a special billing with his famous father…
The 34-year-old Mexican boxer, who held the WBC middleweight title from 2011 to 2012, will return to the ring on Friday, September 25 in an event that includes his legendary father, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.
Chávez Jr. will face Mario Cazares in an event to take place in Tijuana, Mexico, while his former professional boxer dad, a multiple-time world champion, will fight in an exhibition bout against Jorge “Travieso” Arce.
Chavez Jr. (51-4-1, 33 KOs) will face Cazares (11-0, 5 KOs) in a sanctioned 10-round light heavyweight bout. Cazares was the last fighter to defeat Canelo Alvarez as an amateur in 2004.
Chavez Jr. had planned to return October 17, but his father persuaded him to join his exhibition card.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission placed Chavez Jr. under indefinite suspension for refusing a random drug test ahead of his bout against Daniel Jacobs on December 20. That middleweight fight eventually took place in Phoenix, where Chavez Jr. quit in the fifth round with a broken nose to boos from the crowd.
The fight took place after Chavez Jr. won a temporary restraining order lifting the Nevada ban. However, the suspension was reinstated a few months later. Chavez Jr. has been training in California since.
Chavez Sr. and four-division champion and fellow Mexican legend Arce, will headline the card.
This is the third exhibition bout between Chavez Sr. and Arce. Another of Chavez Sr.’s sons, Omar (38-6-1, 25 KOs), joins the card in his first fight since a loss to Oziel Santoyo in June 2019. Arce’s nephew, Karim Arce (16-2, 7 KOs), is also scheduled to fight.
Matchroom Sports, which promotes Campbell, and Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Garcia, made the announcement on Wednesday, just minutes before a WBC purse bid was to be held for the right to promote the bout.
Last week, the two sides had requested a seven-day extension believing they were close to a deal.
The venue has not been finalized, but Golden Boy president Oscar de la Hoya said it will take place in California.
“We’re very happy that Ryan Garcia will be fighting here in the U.S. in California,” De La Hoya said. “It’s a very difficult fight, and again, we have to give it to DAZN, we have to give it to [Matchroom promoter] Eddie Hearn for making this happen, and we’re looking forward to it.”
The WBC recently ordered this bout to be for their interim title, putting the winner a step closer to a shot at champion Devin Haney. Vasiliy Lomachenko is the WBC “franchise” champion.
Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) will arguably be the toughest opponent of Garcia’s (20-0, 17 KOs) young career. He won a gold medal in the 2012 London Games and put a good effort in decision losses to Jorge Linares in 2017 and Lomachenko in 2019.
de la Hoya said he believes Garcia, the 2017 ESPN prospect of the year, is ready to face a fighter of Campbell’s caliber.
“Absolutely, 1,000 percent,” De La Hoya said. “We strongly believe that once and for all, Ryan Garcia will be able to shut up the critics, prove to everyone that he’s the real deal. It doesn’t get any bigger or more dangerous than Luke Campbell, being an Olympic gold medalist, being tall, strong, and this is going to be Ryan’s time to shine.”
Garcia and Golden Boy haven’t always been on the same page, but with this fight now being made, it seems as though they are a united front.
“Everything is wonderful,” de la Hoya said. “As Ryan has always said, and the way I’ve always expressed it, we’re a family. Families sometime have their differences, but at the end of the day, we’re still family.”
David Benavidez may have lost his WBC super middleweight title on the scales, but that didn’t stop him from registering another victory…
The 23-year-old Mexican-American professional boxer salvaged his weekend with a one-sided 10th-round TKO victory over Colombia’s Roamer Alexis Angulo on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Since Benavidez was nearly three pounds over the 168-pound limit at the weigh-in, only Angulo had an opportunity to capture this title.
Benavidez was in complete control as he slowly built up momentum in the middle rounds and began to overwhelm Angulo with a powerful and varied attack. From right hands to left hooks to uppercuts, Benavidez began to wear down the high guard of Angulo, who if anything proved to be durable for much of this bout.
But late in Round 10, Benavidez started to land clean shots that visibly affected Angulo, who started to show signs that he was getting hurt by the punches that were now connecting with more and more frequency.
After the round, Angulo’s head trainer made the decision to call off the fight.
The offensive barrage of Benavidez was relentless, as he threw 703 punches, landing 290 of them. Angulo landed only 51 of 400 punches.
This is the second time Benavidez has relinquished this title without having lost a fight.
Back in 2018, he was stripped of his title and suspended by the WBC for testing positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition drug test.