Guillermo Rigondeaux to Fight John Riel Casimero for 118-Pound Title

Guillermo Rigondeaux is heading back to the ring…

The 40-year-old Cuban boxer, a two-weight world champion, having held the WBA bantamweight title since 2020, and previously the unified WBA, WBO, and Ring magazine super-bantamweight titles between 2013 and 2017, will now fight John Riel Casimero for the 118-pound title.

Guillermo Rigondeaux

The fight is set for August 14, according to MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons.

The bout, a Showtime main event, will be held at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.

The fight was announced in April. But after Casimero’s countryman, Nonito Donaire of the Philippines, regained a 118-pound title with a fourth-round knockout of Nordine Oubaali in May, Premier Boxing Champions worked quickly to make a deal for a title unification fight between Casimero and Donaire. Rigondeaux stepped aside to allow the bout to proceed.

It all spiraled out of control from there. Following the formal announcement of Donaire-Casimero, there was a disagreement over drug-testing protocol. Donaire, a longtime proponent of comprehensive testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, and Gibbons disagreed on when testing should commence.

The dispute boiled over into a personal exchange, with Casimero’s camp insulting Donaire’s team. Following the remarks, Donaire decided to withdraw from the fight on Tuesday.

Donaire made it clear that the bout is off because of those insults, not the drug-testing dispute, telling ESPN, “I represent boxing to the utmost with integrity.”

“I’m not making the fight happen because I’m here to stand on the problems,” he said.

TGB Promotions, which handles all PBC events, formally informed VADA on June 25 that both fighters would be tested. The following day, Casimero submitted his paperwork, including his whereabouts form so that he can be tested randomly.

Accepting the ultimate result — and with a Casimero-Rigondeaux bout back on the books to plan for — Gibbons apologized to Donaire’s team for his part in the controversy, admitting that “it got out of control.”

“We jump on the sword and say there were some things that shouldn’t have been said,” Gibbons added. “That’s boxing. We’re not in ballet; we’re in boxing.”

With the fight off, Donaire (41-6, 27 KOs) is left to find another big opportunity. A win over Casimero would have made him a unified champion at 118 pounds. The only bigger matchup available is a rematch with Naoya Inoue, ESPN’s No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter. When they met in November 2019, Inoue won a unanimous decision but suffered a broken orbital bone in ESPN’s fight of the year.

“[Donaire is] one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, he’s must-see TV, he’s a world champion and he’s a legend,” Donaire’s promoter, Richard Schaefer, told ESPN. “You put all of these things together, it will be a big event. We’ll see what we can get done.”

While Donaire, 38, seeks another opponent, Casimero, 32, once again prepares for Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist. Rigondeaux is a former champion at 122 pounds but is now campaigning at 118.

Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs) scored a unanimous decision victory over Donaire in 2013. His lone professional defeat came to Vasiliy Lomachenko at 130 pounds in 2017.

“I think we’re fighting the tougher fight; we’re fighting the guy who beat Donaire,” Gibbons said. “He’s only had one bad fight in his life, and that was fighting a guy two divisions bigger than him, Vasiliy Lomachenko. Guillermo Rigondeaux … dude has a lot of life left in him.

“We’re taking on a very difficult challenge.”

Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) won the title with a third-round TKO of Zolani Tete in 2019. Casimero’s only defense came in September, with another third-round stoppage, this time versus Duke Micah.

Casimero is rated No. 4 at bantamweight; Rigondeaux is No. 2.

Mikey Garcia in Advanced Talks to Fight Regis Prograis

Mikey Garcia is thisclose to another clash…

The 33-year-old Mexican boxer and former four-division champion is in advanced talks to take on ex-titleholder Regis Prograis for a fall clash at 140 pounds, according to both fighters and promoter Eddie Hearn.

Mikey Garcia

If a deal is completed, the bout would take place in the U.S., and be streamed on DAZN.

Garcia is one of the most accomplished active fighters in boxing with titles claimed at 126 pounds, 130, 135 and 140. He attempted to win a title at 147 pounds but dropped a decision to Errol Spence Jr. in his lone pro defeat. His last fight also was contested at 147 pounds, a decision victory over Jessie Vargas in February 2020.

Formerly recognized by ESPN as one of the top 10 pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Garcia is a proven box-office draw in Southern California and Texas, where he has headlined numerous times.

“I definitely feel better at 140 (pounds), the only reason I was trying to be at 147 was for a title fight, but since we couldn’t secure a fight with Manny (Pacquiao), there was no reason to stay there,” Garcia (40-1, 30 KOs) told ESPN. “But I’ve pretty much made my decision to campaign at ’40 for the next matchup.

“I think it’s a great matchup for a few reasons being that he’s an aggressive fighter, he’s accomplished, former world champion and he’s also hungry to regain that position and have a big victory. I want to get back, I want to do big things, I want to be able to challenge for a world title again and be a world champion so I think those are the elements that make it a great matchup.”

Prograis, 32, dropped his 140-pound title to Josh Taylor (currently the undisputed champion and ESPN’s No. 7 fighter pound-for-pound) in a thrilling scrap in October 2019. Taylor narrowly earned the decision in London and went on to win two more titles from Jose Ramirez in May.

Prograis, meanwhile, stayed busy with stoppage victories over Juan Heraldez and Ivan Redkach while he hoped to gain another crack at Taylor.

“I think it’s the biggest fight at 140,” Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) told ESPN. “He has a big name; I have a big name right now. All sides want it. Sometimes one side don’t want it and the other side tries to push it. But with me and Mikey, I want it, he wants it. I talked to his brother (trainer Robert Garcia) on FaceTime; he wants it.

“I think it’s going to be a huge, huge fight. I do want to fight the best; I’ve been telling you I want to be a champion again. If I can’t get Josh Taylor, I think Mikey is bigger than anybody right now.”

Prograis has missed the weight limit in both of his past two fights, weighing in at 141 pounds for a fight against Heraldez contracted at 140 and 143 for a bout with Redkach contracted at 142.

“Rougarou” said he’ll be hiring a nutritionist for his next training camp after trying to “do everything by myself. I know I need professional help.”

“I grew up in New Orleans, I was raised eating a lot of (expletive),” Prograis said. “Very, very bad food habits. It takes a long time to break a bad habit.”

Recently, Prograis has been training with legendary fighter Roy Jones Jr., in Pensacola, Florida, though Jones won’t be part of his team during training camp or on fight night. Bobby Benton trains Prograis in Houston.

Garcia, meanwhile, is trained by his brother, former champion Robert Garcia, in Oxnard, California, and is anxious to return to the ring.

“I’ve been off for a little over a year now, a year and a half,” Garcia said. “It’s a good fight to get that return and not many good fights, good matchups get done. I think this is one that can get done.”

Oscar de la Hoya to Return to the Ring in July

Oscar de la Hoya is officially coming out of retirement…

The 48-year-old Mexican American former professional boxer and boxing legend has a date in mind for his previously stated plan to return to the ring.

Oscar De La Hoya

At a news conference for the upstart promoter Triller Fight Club, de la Hoya took the stage alongside Snoop Dogg at the Venetian and suddenly announced that he’d be making his boxing comeback on July 3.

De La Hoya said last August that he would be coming out of retirement, but now there is a date for his return. And he will be promoted by the new fight promotion launched by Triller, the social media app.

Ryan Kavanaugh, the CEO of Triller parent company Proxima Media, told ESPN that he and de la Hoya are “dear friends” and the two have been discussing his return for “a long time.” Kavanaugh said the card will take place in Texas — possibly AT&T Stadium — and the promotion is targeting a “big” UFC name for de la Hoya’s opponent.

“He has been [training] and in his own words, he’s stronger and better than ever,” Kavanaugh said of De La Hoya.

Sources told ESPN that de la Hoya has a multifight deal with Triller and this will not be a one-off bout.

de la Hoya, a former six-division boxing champion and Olympic gold medalist, has not fought since a 2008 loss to Manny Pacquiao. He’s one of the best drawing boxers in the sport’s history. The news conference was held Friday to promote Triller Fight Club’s April 17 card, which is headlined by YouTube star Jake Paul and former UFC fighter and wrestling Olympian Ben Askren.

World Boxing Council Orders Ryan Garcia to Face Javier Fortuna for Interim Lightweight Title

Ryan Garcia has lined up his next opponent…

The World Boxing Council has ordered the 22-year-old rising lightweight boxing star to face contender Javier Fortuna for the interim lightweight title and right to be mandatory challenger to champion Devin Haney.

Ryan “Kingry” Garcia 

The negotiation period has begun for a Garcia-Fortuna bout with a purse bid scheduled for April 16 if no deal is in place by then.

Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) won the WBC interim lightweight title with a seventh-round TKO victory over Luke Campbell. Despite significant interest from Haney, Garcia decided not to enter negotiations with Haney for a title shot, instead pursuing bigger deals with Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Manny Pacquiao. Neither deal materialized, and now Garcia appears set to face Fortuna this summer.

Fortuna (36-2-1, 25 KOs) is a former champion coming off a sixth-round knockout victory over Antonio Lozada Jr. in November. He was the secondary WBC mandatory challenger.

Garcia is one of boxing’s biggest young stars with a significant following, particularly from Gen Z and social media communities. But his mission has been to gain respect for his boxing ability. He made his first big step in that by overcoming a first-round knockdown to beat Campbell earlier this year.

If a bout with Fortuna is finalized, Garcia would have his second consecutive contender to add to his résumé and continue to raise his profile.

Oscar de la Hoya Says He’s Coming Out of Retirement & Resuming Boxing Career

Oscar de la Hoya is ready to rumble once again…

The 47-year-old Mexican American former professional boxer and boxing/mixed martial arts promoter says he’s planning to return to the ring.

Oscar De La Hoya

Twelve years after his last fight, the 11-time titlist confirmed he’s ready to end his retirement.

“The rumors are true, and I’m going to start sparring in the next few weeks,” de la Hoya said.

de la Hoya (39-6 30 KOs) added that he won’t be engaging in an exhibition fight like fellow retired champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr.

“It’s a real fight,” he said. “I miss being in the ring, I love boxing. Boxing is what gave me everything I have today, and I just miss it.”

After winning a gold medal for the United States at the 1992 Barcelona Games, de la Hoya had a meteoric rise in the professional ranks, winning the WBO junior lightweight title by stopping Jimmi Bredahl in 10 rounds in 1994, in only his 12th professional bout.

de la Hoya would eventually win major world titles in six different weight classes.

During this stretch, “The Golden Boy” was considered one of the best fighters in boxing and its biggest pay-per-view and gate attraction. He was as marketable outside the ring as he was good inside of it. There are very few fighters who can appear on the cover of Ring Magazine and Newsweek.

de la Hoya’s career came to an ignominious conclusion when he quit on his stool after the eighth round of a fight against Manny Pacquiao in December 2008. A few months later at age 36, de la Hoya announced his retirement.

“Look, my last fight with Pacquiao, I weighed in at 145 and obviously that was a shell of myself,” said de la Hoya of his ill-fated decision to move down to welterweight to face Pacquiao after seven years of campaigning at junior middleweight.

Now, as he’s set to return, de la Hoya understands that many will question his decision.

“Look, it’s been a long time, yes,” said de la Hoya, who was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014. “But actually my jab feels faster than ever. I have to make sure that my conditioning is perfect, my health is good. And that’s going to take place in the next few weeks. So we’ll see.”

de la Hoya, who has battled drug and alcohol addiction in the past, said he started to get back into shape a couple of months ago, and as he began to feel better and better, the old itch came back.

de la Hoya said he looked around the current landscape of boxing and didn’t like what he saw.

“All these fighters are not of the level that was 15, 20 years [ago], all these fighters are demanding so much money, all these fighters are demanding the moon,” said de la Hoya. “And they’re forgetting that you must train hard, you must work hard. So that’s a huge advantage for me because I know what it takes to train hard, I know how to train smart. I know how to fight smart in the ring.

“These guys are in it just for the money — that’ll be the big difference. I will fight for the glory, and these guys only fight for the money. And guess what? The glory will always win.”

For now, the plan is to compete between 154-160 pounds. As for who he will be targeting?

“Any top guy, any top guy out there,” said de la Hoya.

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.

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.

De La Hoya Elected to International Boxing Hall of Fame

Oscar De La Hoya will forever be remembered for his illustrious career…

The 40-year-old retired Mexican American boxer and Olympic gold medalist has been elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in balloting results announced Wednesday.

Oscar De La Hoya

De La Hoya has earned the honor in his first year of eligibility.

“I am honored and appreciative to be chosen for the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 and I thank everyone who has been a part of this journey with me,” said De La Hoya, who has struggled with substance abuse issues during retirement but also founded Golden Boy Promotions, one of the leading promotional companies in the world.

De La Hoya — “The Golden Boy” from East Los Angeles — won a 1992 Olympic gold medal at the Barcelona Games shortly after graduating from James A. Garfield High School before rocketing to professional stardom that resulted in his winning 10 world titles in a then-record six weight divisions (junior lightweight to middleweight) while becoming the face of boxing and a pay-per-view mega star during his 1992 to 2008 career.

“This is the dream of everyone who puts on a pair of gloves and steps between the ropes, and through the good and the bad, you always hope that when all is said and done, you put on good fights, entertained the fans and will be remembered for what you did in the ring. To know that I will be in the Hall of Fame with the greats of this sport is humbling, but it’s also put a smile on my face that isn’t coming off anytime soon.”

De La Hoya, whose titles came at 130, 135, 140, 147, 154 and 160 pounds, faced a who’s who of top opponents, including beating Hall of Famers Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. (twice), Pernell Whitaker and Arturo Gatti. He also faced the likes of Feiix Trinidad (a fellow honoree), Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Ike Quartey, Shane Mosley (twice), Fernando Vargas, Hector Camacho Sr. and Genaro Hernandez.

De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) was a heavyweight when it came to selling pay-per-view as fans of all kinds, including women and a passionate Hispanic fan base, flocked to his fights. His 2007 junior middleweight championship fight against Mayweather set numerous revenue records, including selling nearly 2.5 million pay-per-view subscriptions, still the all-time high.

Oscar De La Hoya

Joining him and Trinidad in the modern category of inductees (voted on by the Boxing Writers Association of America and a panel of boxing historians) is  ormer super middleweight world champion Joe Calzaghe, who retired undefeated and is widely considered the best fighter to come out of Wales.

They will be honored on June 8 during the 25th annual inductions ceremony at the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.

Marquez Stuns Pacquiao with KO in the 6th Round…

It’s just one single “perfect punch” that Juan Manuel Marquez needed to finally defeat his arch nemesis Manny Pacquiao

The 39-year-old Mexican boxer blasted Pacquiao with a huge right hand with just one second left in the sixth round of their highly anticipated welterweight fight on Saturday night to leave his Filipino adversary face-first on the canvas and score a decisive knockout, giving Marquez his first defeat of  Pacquiao in four attempts.

Juan Manuel Marquez

Pacquiao had charged into the Mexican counterpuncher’s danger zone and ran into a right hand, dropping the Filipino along the ropes. Pacquiao lay motionless for several seconds as the sellout crowd of 16,398 at the MGM Grand Arena erupted.

“That’s boxing,” said Pacquiao. “I started to get confident, but I never expected that punch.”

Marquez said, “I knew after the last three rounds that he was going for the knockout and I could be knocked out at any time. I hit him with the perfect punch.”

Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, felt his fighter was in charge throughout the bout. “He just got a little too careless, but he was hurting Marquez,” he said. Pacquiao had knocked Marquez down in the fifth round and nearly had him stopped at that point.

Juan Manuel Marquez

Marquez, who’d never won a fight above 140 pounds, was behind on all three judges’ cards when the fight dramatically ended.

This time, there was no need for Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs) to complain about the judges’ scoring. The former four-division world champion had bitterly disputed the results of their three previous encounters, particularly his points loss last November in Las Vegas.

Asked about a fifth fight between the two, promoter Bob Arum, who handles Pacquiao, said, “Why not? We haven’t seen such an exciting fight in years. This fight will go down in history as a ring classic.”

Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs), who also went down in the third round, has lost two fights in a row for the first time in his career and was stopped for the first time in more than 13 years.

He said he would be up for a fifth fight. “It’s up to my promoter. Let’s fight again,” Pacquiao said before heading to the hospital.

Shakira Collaborates with Pitbull on “Get It Started”

The wait is over… Shakira’s finally back with a new single… And, this time around she’s getting it started with Pitbull

The 35-year-old Colombian singer/songwriter has collaborated with Mr. Worldwide on “Get It Started,” which has been leaked on the web.

Shakira

The dancetastic track starts off with an introduction by the 31-year-old Cuban-American rap superstar before Shakira belts the song’s catchy chorus.

Produced by RedOne and Afrojack, “Get It Started”—which name-checks several celebrities, including Tom Cruise and boxers Manny Pacquiao and Muhammad Ali–will reportedly appear on Pitbull’s forthcoming studio album, “Global Warming,” which is expected to be released in the U.S. later this year.

Meanwhile,  Shakira will reportedly come out with a new album sometime before the end of 2012.

Pitbull previously appeared on Shakira’s single “Rabiosa,” which was part the superstar’s Latin Grammy-winning album Sale el Sol.