Seniesa Estrada Signs Multiyear Deal with Boxing Promotional Company Top Rank

Seniesa Estrada is switching promotional teams…

The 30-year-old Mexican American boxer, the WBA strawweight and WBO junior flyweight champion, has left Golden Boy and signed a multiyear deal with Top Rank.

Seniesa EstradaEstrada is the second female fighter to sign with Top Rank, joining Mikaela Mayer, who signed a three-year contract extension earlier this year.

“It’s awesome,” Estrada told ESPN. “It’s like, I’m excited to get back in the ring.”

Estrada’s first Top Rank fight will be later this year, with the possibility of being in November. She said her contract is similar in finances to that of Mayer, who signed a deal for seven figures over the length of the agreement.

Estrada said she and Mayer talked a lot about the financial side of their contracts — a first for Estrada in speaking with another fighter — and it gave her comfort in what she was asking for.

Mayer and Estrada have become friendly in recent months — Mayer even convinced Estrada to join Twitter in April — and now the two will be the main women’s faces for the same boxing promotion.

Money, Estrada said, was part of this. Golden Boy had been her initial high-level promoter and she had done well there, reaching a 22-0 record with nine knockouts — including a seven-second knockout of Miranda Adkins on July 24, 2020 that was the fastest in women’s boxing history.

Estrada, originally from East Los Angeles, had been an active fighter for much of her pro career other than longer breaks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Estrada had hoped to be in the ring earlier this year — she was going to fight in August — but terms couldn’t be agreed upon.

Estrada said part of the reason for her departure from Golden Boy was “I wanted more money, what I felt I deserved.”

Estrada said she also spoke with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom Boxing when she sought a new promoter and almost went with the United Kingdom-based boxing promotion.

Hearn had given her a competitive offer, Estrada said, and the chance to main event and co-main event on DAZN cards. But Estrada said the Top Rank offer made more sense for her — in part because of the platform her fights would be on due to the deal between Top Rank and ESPN.

“Just the whole platform wise and exposure wise would be so much better for me so besides them giving me what I was happy with,” Estrada said. “Yeah, I’m looking forward to that. I’m excited about it.”

Estrada is also the rare women’s fighter who has fought a three-minute round fight as a professional — her technical decision win over Marlen Esparza on November 2, 2019 was a 10-round, three-minute-per-round contest that was stopped after the ninth round due to a cut Esparza suffered as part of an accidental head butt.

Estrada said Top Rank has told her she will often be the main event or co-main event on cards she is on. She also offers the promotion another chance to build fights in Los Angeles, where the No. 6 pound-for-pound fighter in ESPN’s ratings is a draw both because of her Mexican American heritage and because she grew up in and still lives in the area. The 5-foot-2 Estrada has fought 17 of her fights in California.

“That’s definitely something that they want, so I’m happy with that,” Estrada said. “Especially in L.A., they want to put on more shows here in L.A. and knowing that I’m from here, they are hoping I can be able to sell.

“…In L.A., definitely, yeah. I would like to get the chance to show that. That would be great.”

Golden Boy Promotions Reschedules Welterweight Bout Between Vergil Ortiz Jr. & Michael McKinson

Vergil Ortiz Jr.’s next bout is officially (re)scheduled

The 24-year-old Mexican American boxer will fight Michael McKinson in a rescheduled welterweight bout on August 6 in Fort Worth, Texas, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.It was previously reported that Ortiz and David Avanesyan had agreed to a deal for a fight on the same date, but according to Ortiz’s manager, Rick Mirigian, Avanesyan reneged.

“[Avanesyan] agreed to the contract in writing, both by text and email,” Mirigian, who also manages former champions Jose Ramirez and Joseph Diaz Jr., told ESPN. “Golden Boy accommodated all of his needs to get this done, and then more frivolous demands followed and he backed out. Golden Boy bent over backwards to accommodate him.”

Mirigian said Avanesyan’s team informed Golden Boy they would return the signed contract but never did. That’s when GBP turned its attention back to McKinson.

The Englishman was set to fight Ortiz on March 19 before Ortiz was hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle tissue that releases the damaging protein myoglobin into the blood.

McKinson (22-0, 2 KOs) fought a replacement opponent, Alex Martin, on that same date, and won a unanimous decision to remain undefeated.

“I’m getting what I deserve,” said McKinson. “I was prepared to fight Ortiz Jr. before; now, I have been given the opportunity again to prove I am the best in this division.”

Avanesyan, 33, a hard-punching Russian who now resides in the U.K., appeared to present a far more formidable challenge for Ortiz. Avanesyan scored six straight stoppages since a TKO loss to Egidijus Kavaliauskas in 2018. Most notably, Avanesyan stopped Josh Kelly last year, ending his run as a top prospect.

“There was never a deal signed,” a spokesperson for Queensberry Promotions, which promotes Avanesyan, told ESPN. “It was in discussions but didn’t get that far. The terms offered were not acceptable and changed without agreement in the redraft. We never dealt with his manager, we were dealing with Golden Boy. And we notified the WBC that purse offers were preferable. Avanesyan has never run or avoided anyone and for anyone to suggest that is laughable.”

Ortiz, (18-0, 18 KOs), a Dallas native, is one of boxing’s fastest-rising stars. He’s coming off his best win yet, an eighth-round TKO of Kavaliauskas in August. Ortiz was hurt in Round 2 but rallied to score five knockdowns en route to the finish. The nine-month layoff will be the longest of Ortiz’s career.

“I am very happy to be stepping back into the ring again,” said Ortiz, ESPN‘s No. 4 welterweight. “I’m ready to show the world once again why I’m ready for a world title.”

WBC Orders Jaime Munguia to Face Sergiy Derevyanchenko in Middleweight Title Eliminator

Jaime Munguia has been assigned his next opponent…

The 24-year-old Mexican boxer has been ordered to face Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a middleweight title eliminator by the WBC.

Jaime Munguia

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told ESPN that if no deal is struck by September 17, a purse bid will be ordered.

Munguia had been on a collision course with Gabe Rosado for a fall fight before the WBC made the announcement.

If the fight takes place, the winner would become the mandatory challenger to Jermall Charlo, the WBC champion at 160 pounds. However, there’s no guarantee Munguia (37-0, 30 KOs) will go through with the fight.

“Munguia just found out [about the Derevyanchenko possibility],” Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez told ESPN. “He’s going to circle back with us early next week.”

Munguia, a former 154-pound champion, is 3-0 (with three knockouts) since moving up to 160 pounds in January 2020. Despite his experience, Munguia is still raw. He’s clearly improving, though, as he raises his level of competition.

Munguia packs plenty of power and applies nonstop pressure. ESPN’s No. 4 middleweight is also big and strong for the division. If he fights Derevyanchenko, a longtime 160-pounder, Munguia will still easily be the bigger man.

Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) has lost two in a row and three of his past four. However, all three losses came against elite competition. The Ukrainian dropped a split decision to Daniel Jacobs in a 2018 middleweight title fight. The following year, Derevyanchenko fought Gennadiy Golovkin in a brutal title bout, one of the best action fights of 2019. GGG won via unanimous decision, but the verdict was disputed by many.

Against Charlo, ESPN’s No. 6 middleweight wasn’t all that competitive. The 35-year-old hasn’t competed since that September 2020 outing.

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez to Make Golden Boy Debut Against Sullivan Barrera

Gilberto ZurdoRamirez is ready to make his Golden (Boy) debut…

The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a former super middleweight world titlist, will face former light heavyweight title contender Sullivan Barrera on July 9 in Los Angeles, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez

Ramirez (41-0, 27 Kos), of Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, will make his Golden Boy debut after signing with the promotion in February.

Ramirez, who became the first fighter from Mexico to win a world title at 168 by defeating Arthur Abraham by unanimous decision in 2016 to win the WBO belt, defended the title five times before jumping up to light heavyweight. Since then, he has TKO victories over Tommy Karpency and Alfonso Lopez.

“I’m excited to be headlining this show in Los Angeles with Golden Boy Promotions,” Ramirez said via news release. “It’s going to be a great night of boxing with fans back in the stands. I’ve always enjoyed fighting here, and I can’t wait to put on a show to continue my hunt for the light heavyweight championship.”

Barrera (22-3, 14 KOs), 39, of Guantanamo, Cuba, lost his only attempt to win a world title against WBA light heavyweight champ Dmitry Bivol in 2018. He has fought twice since then, a decision win against Sean Monaghan in November 2018 and a decision loss to Jesse Hart in June 2019. “I know that my opponent is a former world champion with a lot of experience and that he will come very much prepared,” Barrera said. “However, I feel that I have faced much better opposition. I’ve also spent my entire career in the light heavyweight division, something that will be totally new for him. It will be a difficult fight, but I will walk away with my hands raised in victory.”

Ibeth Zamora to Defend WBC Women’s Flyweight Title Against Marlen Esparza

Ibeth Zamora is ready to rumble north of the border…

The 32-year-old Mexican professional boxer is set to defend her WBC women’s flyweight world title on June 19, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Ibeth Zamora

Zamora, commonly known as “La Roca,” will face off against 31-year-old Latina former Olympic medalist Marlen Esparza (9-1, 1 KO) in a 10-round bout.

The event will be held at the Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso.

“I am very excited to be defending my title against Marlen Esparza,” said Zamora. “It will be my first time fighting in the United States, and therefore it is a great opportunity to show everyone what I am capable of fighting on a massive stage. I am proud to bring my title and defend it against an experienced fighter like Esparza. I am sure that my skills will help me to come out with victory, and I am going to show everyone why I am the current WBC flyweight champion and the best in the division, ”highlighted‘ Roca ’through a statement.

“I want to thank you and offer my thanks to the WBC and Golden Boy for the opportunity to fight for the world championship. It has been a dream and a vision to represent the WBC. I want people to see a great fight. I am proud to be back. in this type of scenario in front of a great fighter. I know there are a limited number of important fights for women’s boxing, and so it is an honor to have this opportunity. I am training hard and I am going to bring my best. I can’t wait to hear the first bell,” said the challenger.

Zamora is 32-6 with 12 KOs.

Jaime Munguia to Fight Maciej Sulecki in June

Jaime Munguia will be heading back to the ring in June…

The 24-year-old Mexican professional boxer will now face Maciej Sulecki in a middleweight battle set for June 19, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

Jaime Munguia

The fight between Munguia and Sulecki was originally scheduled for April 24 at the Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso, but Sulecki suffered an injury and was forced to pull out of the event. D’Mitrius Ballard was named as a replacement opponent, but Ballard was also injured before the fight. Now, with Sulecki recovered, the original fight will go on.

According to Golden Boy, strict COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place and capacity will be down to 40%. The fight will air on DAZN.

Munguia (36-0, 29 KOs) won the WBO junior middleweight title against Sadam Ali in 2018 and defended the belt five times before moving up in weight in January 2020. He has TKO victories over Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan and Tureano Johnson at middleweight.

“I feel very excited to be returning on June 19,” Munguia said via a news release. “I know it will be a tremendous fight against Maciej Sulecki. I think he is a great fighter, and I will make sure to deliver a great fight to all the fans.”

Sulecki (29-2, 11 KOs), 31, of Poland, has won three of his past four fights. He lost a unanimous decision to Demetrius Andrade when he challenged for the WBO middleweight world title in June 2019.

“There have been many changes, but I am happy that things will take place as planned,” Sulecki said. “I know that a victory against Jaime Munguia will put me on the path to challenge for a world title. That’s why securing this fight was very important to me. I feel great, and I am totally ready to show the world that I can compete against the best in the division.”

Ryan Garcia Agrees to Terms with Javier Fortuna on a Fight This Summer

Ryan Garcia is sealing the deal…

The 22-year-old Mexican American budding lightweight contender has agreed to terms with former champion Javier Fortuna on a fight this summer, according to ESPN.

Ryan Garcia

In March, the WBC ordered Garcia to fight Fortuna in a defense of the WBC’s interim lightweight title. The winner will likely be in contention to face Devin Haney, who holds the sanctioning body’s top belt in the 135-pound division.

The location and date is yet to be determined, but sources confirmed to ESPN it likely won’t occur on July 10, which is the same date as UFC 264 featuring the trilogy fight between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) is coming off a January win over Luke Campbell, which was the toughest bout of the 22-year-old’s young career. Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs), who was once the junior lightweight champion, has won three straight fights since a no-contest against Adrian Granados in 2018.

Friday’s development comes exactly two weeks before a scheduled purse bid if Garcia and Fortuna’s promoters couldn’t come to an agreement.

Garcia, who has one of the biggest social media followings in boxing, has long viewed as one of Golden Boy Promotions‘ top prospects. Garcia defeated Campbell with a 7th-round technical knockout via a big body shot, Garcia’s fifth consecutive stoppage victory.

News of the Garcia-Fortuna bout was first reported by The Athletic.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. to Fight Maurice Hooker in March

Vergil Ortiz Jr. is ready to rumble…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer, an undefeated rising welterweight star, will step up his boxing game as he’s set to face fellow contender Maurice Hooker in a bout that’s still being finalized, according to ESPN.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.

The fight is expected to take place on March 20, according to ESPN sources. The firm date is the final step to be completed before an announcement of the bout, which is expected to take place in Dallas and air on DAZN.

Ortiz (16-0, 16 KOs) was ESPN’s and Ring Magazine‘s 2019 Prospect of the Year. His knockout power and impressive skill put him among a handful of young fighters competing for prime billing in the years to come. With Canelo Alvarez‘s departure, Ortiz has become one of Golden Boy Promotions‘ most promising fighters.

Ortiz is coming off a seventh-round TKO victory over veteran Sam Vargas in July — the first pro bout in Ortiz’s career that has lasted beyond six rounds.

But he’ll be facing his stiffest competition yet in Hooker, who after having issues making weight is moving up from junior welterweight to take this bout.

Hooker (27-1-3) has a significant experience and length advantage over Ortiz, helping make the bout an intriguing test. Hooker, 31, hasn’t fought since a December 2019 first-round TKO over Uriel Perez. Before that, he suffered his lone loss to junior welterweight unified champion Jose Ramirez by sixth-round TKO.

Canelo Alvarez Becomes Mexico’s First Unified Champion in Super Middleweight History

Canelo Alvarez is making history…

The 30-year-old Mexican professional boxer, the sport’s biggest superstar, put on a dominant display on Saturday night to end the 2020 major fight slate, cruising to a unanimous decision win over previously undefeated champion Callum Smith and winning the WBA, WBC and The Ring magazine super middleweight titles.

Canelo Alvarez

The scorecards read 119-109, 119-109 and 117-111, all for Alvarez.

In the process, Alvarez became the first unified champion from Mexico in super middleweight history.

In front of 15,000 fans (20% capacity) at the San Antonio Alamodome, Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KOs) stalked Smith (27-1, 19 KOs), punishing him with an array of consistent jabs, uppercuts and hooks for 12 rounds.

“I’m the best in the world,” Alvarez said on the DAZN broadcast via an interpreter. “In the first round, I tried to see what he brings, the skills or whatever, but like you can see, I showed what I am.”

By the later rounds, the intrigue of the fight shifted from who would win to whether Smith would survive Alvarez’s devastating blows and go the distance.

The 6-foot-3 Smith had a 7-inch height advantage and an 8-inch reach advantage over the 5-foot-8 Alvarez. But it didn’t matter, as Alvarez was the big bully, eliminating the distance that Smith prefers and consistently pounding punches off the British boxer’s head and body.

“He was the better fighter tonight,” Smith said. “He’s smart. He’s clever. He sets you little traps and keeps you thinking. Before you know it, he’s closing the ground. He’s a good fighter, but I’m just a little disappointed with myself. His jab was really good. It surprised me a little bit. His defense was really good.”

Alvarez has now defeated two Smith brothers — knocking out older brother Liam Smith as a junior middleweight in 2016 and defeating Callum Smith on Saturday.

Alvarez — universally considered one of the top two pound-for-pound boxers in the world, boxing’s best-selling fighter, and already a four-division champion — now has won The Ring magazine title in three different weight classes.

He landed 43% of his punches and 57% of his power punches on Saturday, per CompuBox, in a complete performance in which his defense also shined. Smith landed only 18% of his punches and 24% of his power punches.

It was Alvarez’s first fight since parting ways with Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN after contractual disputes, and he returned to the ring for the first time in 13 months as his own promoter with little in-ring rust.

“I’M BACK!” he wrote as part of a Twitter post early Sunday morning.

https://twitter.com/Canelo/status/1340544290003533829?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1340544290003533829%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.espn.com%2F

Canelo Alvarez to Fight Callum Smith Next Month in Texas

Canelo Alvarez is heading back to the ring…

Following months of conflict between the 30-year-old Mexican boxer, his promoters and his broadcast partners, Alvarez is finally ready to rumble.

Canelo Alvarez

Alvarez will meet Callum Smith in Texas this December to unify WBA super middleweight titles, according to ESPN. This will be Alvarez’s first appearance since his 11th-round TKO victory over Sergey Kovalev in November 2019.

The target dates for the fight are December 18, 19 or 20.

Alvarez (53-1-2, 36 KOs) faces “Mundo” Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) after he announced himself as a free agent last week. His first business partner will be Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. It’s very possible that DAZN, the broadcaster partner Alvarez was working with before severing ties with longtime promoter Golden Boy Promotions, could carry the fight in the U.S.

The fight — targeted for AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, or the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas — will come a year after a meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, where Smith’s trainer, Joe Gallagher, spent a few minutes with Eddy Reynoso, Alvarez’s trainer, to tell him about his interest in an Alvarez-Smith fight.

Smith, 20, is seven inches taller than Alvarez and has about eight inches reach advantage. Smith, like Alvarez, hasn’t fought since last November when he scored a contested unanimous decision victory over John Ryder.

Smith is the WBA “super” super middleweight world titlist, and Alvarez has the WBA “regular” belt, but the fight could also be for the WBC super middleweight title that was left vacant when David Benavidez missed weight for his fight against Roamer Alexis Angulo in August and was stripped of the belt.

Alvarez starts a new era as his own promoter with a title fight against a legit opponent. Smith is considered one of the elite fighters in the division, and is ranked No. 1 by ESPN.