Danny Garcia Named Season 21 Winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef”

Danny Garcia is bringin’ home the bacon while making history…

The Latino chef has been crowned the new winner of Season 21 of Bravo’s culinary competition series Top Chef, becoming the first Puerto Rican, Dominican and Muslim winner.

Danny Garcia, Top ChefGarcia, Daniel Jacobs and Savannah Miller made it to the finals, hoping to win the grand prize of $250,000.

Season 21 took place in Wisconsin, with the two-part finale in the Caribbean.

Ultimately, it was Garcia who took the Season 21 crown. He also earned an additional $53,000 in prize money, the most of any chef in a season, which he won throughout the challenges.

“I’m honored to be the first Puerto Rican, Dominican and Muslim Top Chef,” Garcia said. “I take immense pride in the dishes I’ve presented during this competition as they embody my evolution as a chef.”

Danny Garcia, Top ChefHe continued, “I dedicate this win to my mentor, the late Chef Jamal James Kent, whose steadfast support, leadership, guidance, and friendship have been instrumental in shaping the chef I’ve become today.”

Michelle Wallace was named as Top Chef Fan Favorite of the season and won $10,000.

The Top Chef Season 21 finale took place aboard MS Eurodam, where Garcia, Miller, and Jacobs served the most important meal of their careers to judges Kristen Kish, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons, along with guest judge Emeril Lagasse.

Garcia, Miller, and Jacobs had to impress a table of culinary luminaries, including Carrie Nahabedian, Bricia Lopez, Justin Pichetrungsi, and Top Chef Canada judge David Zilber.

Ultimately, Garcia’s four-course progressive seafood menu, which took the diners on a journey of his significant culinary memories, earned him the illustrious title of Top Chef.

Colicchio stated his dessert Piragua con Leche was “fantastic … and going to be a signature” dish.

Erislandy Lara to Defend Middleweight Title vs. Danny Garcia in August

Erislandy Lara is preparing to defend his title…

The 40-year-old Cuban professional boxer will defend his middleweight title versus Danny Garcia on August 5, according to the WBA.

Erislandy LaraThe Showtime main event is expected to take place at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, sources said, at a 155-pound catchweight.

PBC has been planning a fight between Lara and Garcia for months, but Michael Zerafa stood in the way. The 31-year-old Australian was the mandatory challenger to Lara’s title, but he agreed to step aside after he was offered an undercard slot, Zerafa’s manager, Elvis Grant, told ESPN.

“PBC were more than fair in reasonably working this out with Team Zerafa,” Grant said.

Zerafa (30-4, 19 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 10 middleweight.

The WBA stipulated that the winner must face Zerafa by December or face being stripped.

Lara, 40, was elevated as champion after Gennadiy Golovkin relinquished his title. A former 154-pound champion, Lara’s impressive résumé includes a controversial decision loss to Paul Williams, a split decision defeat to Canelo Alvarez and a victory over Austin Trout.

The Cuban’s split decision defeat to Jarrett Hurd in a 154-pound title unification was ESPN‘s 2018 Fight of the Year. Lara’s draw with Brian Castano the following year was one of the best fights of 2019.

Lara (29-3-3, 17 KOs) has competed four times since the Castano bout, all of them against domestic-level competition. Three of those four wins came inside the distance.

Garcia (37-3, 21 KOs) is a former unified 140-pound champion and 147-pound titleholder. He rose to prominence with an upset fourth-round TKO victory over Amir Khan in 2012 and followed up with an impressive victory over Lucas Matthysse the following year.

His lengthy résumé includes wins over Erik Morales, Zab Judah and Lamont Peterson, along with tight decision defeats to Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter. The 35-year-old Philadelphian made his 154-pound debut in July with a majority decision win over Jose Benavidez Jr.

That was Garcia’s first fight since a December 2020 decision loss to Errol Spence Jr.

Danny Garcia Agrees to Fight Jose Benavidez Jr. in Junior Middleweight Bout

Danny Garcia is preparing to chase down a title in a third weight class.

The 34-year-old Puerto Rican boxer, a former two-division champion, has agreed to fight Jose Benavidez Jr. in a junior middleweight bout on July 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, according to ESPN.

Danny GarciaThe PBC on Showtime main event will mark Garcia’s debut at 154 pounds after he captured titles at 140 and 147.

The Philadelphian fighter hasn’t boxed since a December 2020 loss to Errol Spence Jr. in a welterweight title fight. The 19-month layoff is the longest of Garcia’s career.

Garcia (36-3, 21 KOs) was a unified junior welterweight champion who owns wins over Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan, Zab Judah and Erik Morales. His other two losses came against Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman in 147-pound title fights.

Benavidez (27-1-1, 18 KOs) suffered the lone loss of his pro career in 2018, a 12th-round TKO loss to Terence Crawford in a 147-pound title fight. The 30-year-old from Phoenix has competed only once since then, a November draw with the unheralded Francisco Emanuel Torres.

The brother of former super middleweight champion David Benavidez, Jose was still dealing with the effects of a gunshot wound to his right leg suffered in August 2016 when he fought Crawford.

Yordenis Ugas to Face Errol Spence in Welterweight Three-Belt Unification Bout

It’s official… Yordenis Ugas is readying for a three-belt unification bout…

The 35-year-old Cuban professional boxer, who has held the WBA welterweight title since January 2021, and Errol Spence will unify welterweight titles on April 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Spence announced on social media.

Yordenis Ugas,The bout will be Spence’s third at the home of the Dallas Cowboys; he defeated Mikey Garcia and Danny Garcia (no relation) at the venue in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The deal was being finalized in December, as previously reported, but the fight wasn’t announced until two months later as Premier Boxing Champions officials sought to lock in a date and venue.

Spence, who will put his WBC and IBF titles on the line, will be making his second comeback from serious injury. The 31-year-old boxer was involved in a single-car accident in October 2019 that hospitalized him for days and sidelined him for months. A planned August 2021 fight with Manny Pacquiao was derailed after he underwent surgery to repair a detached retina.

Ugas (27-4, 12 KOs) stepped in on 11 days’ notice and scored the upset of Pacquiao via unanimous decision. Now, Ugas will defend his WBA title in a three-belt unification.

The 35-year-old Cuban and Spence have one common opponent: Shawn Porter. Spence defeated Porter in a brutal September 2019 fight via split decision. Six months earlier, Ugas dropped a controversial split-decision to Porter.

Spence (27-0, 21 KOs) is rated No. 2 at 147 pounds by ESPN; Ugas is one spot behind. Terence Crawford, who holds the other welterweight title, is No. 1.

A fight between the winner of Spence-Ugas and Crawford would crown an undisputed welterweight champion, but there remains a roadblock. Eimantas Stanionis stepped aside from his mandatory title shot against Ugas to allow him to fight Spence. Stanionsis will fight Radzhab Butaev on the undercard, sources told ESPN. Both are rated in ESPN’s top 10 at welterweight.

Danny Garcia’s Fight Against Errol Spence Jr. Moved to December at the Dallas Cowboys’ Stadium

Danny Garcia is heading into enemy territory…

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.

Danny Garcia

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.

Danny Garcia Has Reportedly Agreed to Fight Errol Spence Jr. This Fall

Danny Garcia has lined up his next opponent…

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer, the former junior welterweight and welterweight titlist, has agreed to fight unified welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. in a fall pay-per-view event, according to ESPN.

Danny Garcia

The bout — which needs a negotiation of final contract numbers — is expected to take place in November at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, according to sources. 

But, Premier Boxing Champions, which promotes both fighters, has put holds on other venues around the country as it monitors the coronavirus pandemic and the guidelines in place for each state.

The Athletic first reported the agreement.

Garcia (36-2, 21 KOs) was a unified champion at junior welterweight and a world titlist at welterweight. In his most recent fight in January, Garcia outpointed Ivan Redkach over 12 rounds.

Spence defeated Shawn Porter by 12-round split decision on September 28 in a tough fight at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Spence, who came into the bout as the IBF titlist, earned the WBC belt with the win. He was involved in a horrific one-car accident a few weeks later near Dallas, Texas, and suffered serious injuries, including facial lacerations and a broken jaw.

Before the accident, there was talk of Spence facing Garcia in late January 2020.

Spence is ranked No. 1 at welterweight in ESPN‘s divisional rankings, and Garcia is No. 6. Manny Pacquiao (WBA) and Terence Crawford (WBO) are the other titleholders in the division.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. Stops Samuel Vargas by TKO in Seventh Round

Vergil Ortiz Jr. is proving he’s a real contender…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer dominated and ultimately stopped Samuel Vargas in the seventh round in the main event of a DAZN card on Friday night at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.,

With the victory, Ortiz (16-0, 16 KO) has taken another step toward becoming a welterweight contender. He demonstrated a complete skill set and proved he’s more than just a one-dimensional slugger.

“I hit him to the body a lot. I don’t know how he didn’t go down. He was hurt the entire time — I asked him,” Ortiz said. “I knew it was time to take him out. If it went to eight rounds, he would have been hurt worse.”

From the beginning, Ortiz took control of the fight behind his powerful left jab, bloodying Vargas’ nose. Ortiz began to layer his attack with quick right hands over the top that stunned Vargas in the third.

Then in the fourth, Vargas (31-6-2, 14 KOs) was hurt by a series of quick punches that seemed to come in all directions as Ortiz appeared to look for an early finish. Vargas survived the attack, but the punishment he absorbed was such that referee Jack Reiss called the ringside physician to look over him at the end of the third.

Vargas did his best to stay active in the next couple of rounds, throwing shots on the inside, but most of his punches were blocked by the tight guard of Ortiz.

In the seventh round, Vargas was stung by another steady, two-fisted barrage from Ortiz. If it wasn’t right hands, it was left hooks or right uppercuts that seemed to hurt Vargas. They came at a more rapid pace as the round went on.

All the while, Ortiz’s laser-like jab had been snapping back Vargas’ head throughout the night.

As Vargas took a steady pounding, Reiss mercifully waved things off 2 minutes, 58 seconds into the seventh.

It was a big win for Ortiz. Vargas is an experienced pro fighter who previously had been stopped only twice, by unified welterweight titlist Errol Spence Jr. and two-division titlist Danny Garcia.

Ortiz said he would grade his performance against Vargas a B-plus.

“He brought it out of me — hardest opponent to date,” Ortiz said. “My hands took a beating punching him the whole time, so when they’re healed, I’ll be back.”

Ortiz said he’d like a step up in competition, naming Garcia and former welterweight titlist Keith Thurman as opponents he’d like to fight next.

“They’re good opponents I can beat,” Ortiz said. “I want to take risks. I’m not here to take easy fights. I’m in the hardest division in boxing, so when I win a title, it will mean a lot more.”

Vergil Ortiz Officially Set to Fight Samuel Vargas in Golden Boy’s First Post-Coronavirus Fight Card

Vergil Ortiz is officially ready to rumble…

As previously expected, the 22-year-old highly regarded Mexican American welterweight will face veteran Samuel Vargas on July 24 in Golden Boy‘s first fight card since the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to boxing events across the world in mid-March.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The card will take place at the Fantasy Springs Casino Resortin Indio, California.

“We’re just excited, happy to be back with our fighters,” said Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions

“Especially a guy like Vergil who was scheduled to fight before the shutdown. He was 10 days out from fighting, so I’m just happy he gets to fight again, and we’re back at it.”

For the time being, Golden Boy’s cards in California will be held without an audience.

Ortiz (15-0, 15 KOs) is considered one of boxing’s best young fighters. The Grand Prairie, Texas native has stopped everyone he has faced thus far as a professional. In 2019, Ortiz stopped Mauricio Herrera in three rounds, and then Antonio Orozco in six.

Ortiz and Vargas were originally scheduled to clash on March 28 at The Forumin Inglewood, California, before that card was canceled.

“I’m very thankful and excited to be headlining the first Golden Boy event after the quarantine,” said Ortiz, who has been training with Robert Garcia in Riverside for the past few weeks. “I’m happy that it’s still with the same opponent, so basically we’re picking up where we left off. It’s going to be a tough fight, and it’ll be a great way to kick off the year for me.”

Ortiz is facing a seasoned veteran in Vargas (31-5-2, 14 KOs), who has faced Amir KhanLuis CollazoDanny Garcia and Errol Spence over the course of his career.

“I think that everything happens for a reason,” said Vargas, who has been in Las Vegas in recent weeks, preparing for this bout. “I think this time off benefited me. I’m ready to upset the world. I believe I can come out with the win. The world is a weird place right now. The show will be different. There will be no fans, but I have no doubt I’m going to win.”

As Golden Boy officials began to put this card together, they found a rather limited pool of options to draw from, in terms of selecting boxers.

“There’s a lot of guys that just weren’t ready,” Gomez said. “They hadn’t been to the gym because [gyms] were closed, they didn’t train, do road work, sparring or anything. Now it’s a little better, but we’re not in the clear yet.”

The co-feature scheduled for July 24 is a 10-round lightweight contest between Hector Tanajara (19-0, 5 KOs) and Mercito Gesta (32-3-3, 17 KOs). Other fights include an eight-round middleweight bout between Shane Mosley Jr. (15-3, 9 KOs) and Jeremy Ramos (11-8, 2 KOs), a women’s junior flyweight fight between Seniesa Estrada (18-0, 7 KOs) and Jacky Calvo(12-5-2, 1 KO), and a clash between prospects Hector Valdez and Evan Sanchez.

There’s no indication when spectators will be allowed back into any sporting events, and from Golden Boy’s perspective, the hope at this point is just to try to get the first few cards off the ground smoothly.

“It’s hard to say. It’s scary. You’ve seen the numbers, they’ve been rising again,” Gomez said. “There have been surges in Florida, here in California. I don’t know what the governor is going to decide. I just hope we don’t get shut down again.”

Vargas to Defend His Title Against Antonio DeMarco in Macau, China

Jessie Vargas is preparing to make an Asian invasion in the fight to keep his belt…

The 25-year-old Mexican-American Junior welterweight boxer will defend his title for the second time when he fights former lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco on November 22 in Macau, China.

Jesse Vargas

The fight will open the televised portion of the HBO PPV card headlined by welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) defending against Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao.

Vargas will be making the second defense of his secondary title — Danny Garcia is the champion — and will be facing his third consecutive left-hander.

Vargas claimed the belt by winning a slightly controversial decision against Khabib Allakhverdiev of Russia on April 12 on the undercard of Pacquiao’s rematch with Timothy Bradley Jr. Vargas made his initial defense on August 2, outpointing another Russian southpaw, then-undefeated Anton Novikov, in an exciting fight.

Now Vargas (25-0, 9 Kos) has DeMarco (31-3-1, 23 Kos) of Mexico, to deal with.

“My opponent Antonio Demarco is a tough, rugged fighter who comes to fight,” Vargas said. “I know this will be a fight that fans throughout the world will enjoy. This is very exciting for our team to be part of an event of this magnitude. I plan on bringing my world title belt back to Las Vegas.”

Since getting knocked out in the eighth round and losing his lightweight world title to Adrien Broner in November 2012, DeMarco has won three fights in a row, all as a welterweight.

He is coming off a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision against Lanardo Tyner on August 23, a fight in which DeMarco got knocked down in the first round but dominated the rest of the way.

Garcia Defeats Amir Khan to Claim WBA Title

Danny Garcia is still undefeated…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer beat heavy favorite Amir Khan in the fourth round to stay undefeated and add another super lightweight belt to his collection on Saturday night.

Danny Garcia

“I always knew I would win this fight,” said Garcia. “I needed a great fighter in front of me to show how great a fighter I am. Now everyone knows.”

Khan bruised Garcia early, even opening a small cut above his eye. But Garcia sent Khan to the canvas in the third round with a left hook, although the 2004 Olympic silver medalist for Britain was able to beat the count.

At the start of the fourth, though, Garcia swarmed him with power punches, knocking him down twice quickly. Khan got back to his feet each time, but the referee ended the bout at 2:28 of the round.

“It wasn’t my night,” said Khan. “I was coming in with my hands down and Danny took advantage of that. He countered very well against me.”

Danny Garcia

Garcia now has the World Boxing Association (WBA) title to go along with his World Boxing Council (WBC) one. He improved his record to 24-0 with 15 knockouts while Khan fell to 26-3 with 18 KOs.

Khan was originally scheduled to face Lamont Peterson on May 19th in a rematch of their December 10th bout in which Peterson took a 12-round split decision to win Khan’s WBA and IBF titles.

Just days before the bout, Peterson tested positive for synthetic testosterone.

The fight was canceled and he was stripped of his WBA title which was later restored to Khan.

Garcia, who beat Erik Morales for the WBC title on March 24 agreed to fight Khan and took full advantage of the opportunity, defeating the popular fighter in spectacular fashion.