Sebastian Fundora to Defend WBC/WBO Belts Against Errol Spence Jr. in October

Sebastian Fundora has secured his next opponent.

The 26-year-old Mexican American professional boxer and unified light middleweight champion and Errol Spence Jr. have agreed to a deal for a junior middleweight title fight in Dallas this October, per ESPN.

Sebastian FundoraFundora will defend his WBC and WBO belts, which he won in a split-decision upset over Tim Tszyu in March.

PBC‘s hope is to stage the Prime Video PPV event at AT&T Stadium if the finalized date fits into the Dallas Cowboys‘ home schedule.

Spence, 34, has competed there twice, with wins over Mikey Garcia and Yordenis Ugas.

Following Fundora’s victory against Tszyu, Spence stepped into the ring and called him out, saying, “It’s time to get it on. He got a pretty good height, but we’ll see. We’ll break him down like we always do.”

Sebastian FundoraIndeed, Fundora possesses uncanny height for a 154-pounder at 6-foot-5½ with an 80-inch reach. The 26-year-old’s first title victory came on the heels of his lone defeat, a seventh-round KO loss to Brian Mendoza in one of 2023’s most surprising results.

One year later, Fundora (21-1-1, 14 KOs) is ESPN‘s top junior middleweight after he replaced the injured Keith Thurman on 11 days’ notice to outlast Tszyu.

Known as “The Towering Inferno,” Fundora and his sister Gabriela are the first brother and sister to be full-fledged champions in boxing history.

Spence, meanwhile, will make his 154-pound debut after July’s ninth-round TKO loss to Terence Crawford for the undisputed welterweight championship. Spence (28-1, 22 KOs) was a mainstay of ESPN‘s pound-for-pound list before the setback.

He recently parted ways with Derrick James, who trained him since his amateur days that culminated in an Olympic run at the 2012 London Games.

Spence and James have sued each other surrounding a disagreement over money.

Robson Conceicao to Fight O’Shaquie Foster for Foster’s WBC Junior Lightweight Title

Robson Conceicao is gunnin’ for a title…

The 35-year-old Brazilian professional boxer, a two-time super featherweight world title challenger and an Olympic gold medalist, will fight O’Shaquie Foster for Foster’s WBC junior lightweight on July 6 in Newark, New Jersey, per ESPN.

Robson Conceicao,The 130-pound title fight will serve as chief support to the Shakur StevensonArtem Harutyunyan lightweight title bout on ESPN.

Foster (22-2, 12 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 2 junior lightweight. The 30-year-old, who fights out of Houston, made his second title defense in February with a split decision victory over Abraham Nova. A 12th-round knockdown helped Foster avoid a draw.

Foster blamed a “bad weight cut” for his performance and vowed to come back stronger for his next title defense. He won the title last February when he defeated Rey Vargas and then successfully defended it in October with a 12th-round TKO victory over Rocky Hernandez. Foster was down wide on two of the three scorecards when he scored the come-from-behind KO to retain his title.

Conceicao (18-2-1, 9 KOs) is 0-2-1 in title fights, but his two losses came when he was at a disadvantage. He dropped a disputed decision to Oscar Valdez in September 2021 just weeks after Valdez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Conceicao’s second crack at a title was a decision loss to Stevenson, who was stripped of his belt due to being 1.5 pounds overweight.

Conceicao’s third title bid was in November, and he suffered two knockdowns but still pulled out a draw with Emanuel Navarrete.

Conceicao returned last month with a seventh-round TKO victory over Jose Ivan Guardado.

Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz to Defend WBA Junior Welterweight Title Against Jose Valenzuela

Isaac Pitbull Cruz is going on the defensive…

The 25-year-old Mexican professional boxer will defend his WBA junior welterweight title against Jose Valenzuela, according to ESPN.

Isaac "Pitbull" CruzThe fight will take place on the Terence CrawfordIsrail Madrimov undercard presented by Riyadh Season, the first boxing event organized by Saudi Arabia outside the kingdom.

Cruz (26-2-1, 18 KOs) will make the first defense of the title he won last month with an eighth-round TKO victory over Rolly Romero.

That was Cruz’s first fight at 140 pounds.

Cruz has won four fights since a close-decision defeat to Gervonta Davis in December 2021. Cruz is

ESPN‘s No. 5 junior welterweight.

Valenzuela (13-2, 9 KOs) is coming off a brutal sixth-round KO win over Chris Colbert in a December rematch.

The 24-year-old Mexican lost his two previous bouts, a decision defeat to Colbert and a third-round KO at the hands of Edwin De Los Santos.

This will be Valenzuela’s 140-pound debut.

Andy Ruiz to Fight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller in August

Andy Ruiz has locked in his next opponent…

The 34-year-old Mexican American former heavyweight champion will fight Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on August 3 in Los Angeles, per ESPN.

Andy RuizThe fight will take place on the Terence CrawfordIsrail Madrimov undercard presented by Riyadh Season, the first boxing event organized by Saudi Arabia outside the kingdom.

Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs) will fight for the first time since September 2022, when he floored Luis Ortiz three times in a unanimous-decision victory.

Ruiz, who fights out of Southern California, landed his life-changing shot at then-champion Anthony Joshua in June 2019 when Miller failed a doping test.

Ruiz, 34, went on to lose his three heavyweight titles that December in the rematch, the first major boxing event in Saudi Arabia.

Miller (26-1-1, 22 KOs) last competed in December when he was TKO‘ed in the 10th round by Daniel Dubois in Riyadh. The 35-year-old Brooklynite has been suspended twice during his boxing career for PED use and once during his kickboxing career.

Jose Aldo Coming Out of Retirement to Fight Jonathan Martinez at UFC 301

Jose Aldo is returning to the Octagon

The 37-year-old Brazilian mixed martial artist, a UFC Hall of Fame member and longtime former UFC featherweight champion, will come out of retirement and fight Jonathan Martinez in a bantamweight fight at UFC 301 on May 4 in Aldo’s native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jose AldoAldo retired from the UFC after a loss to Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 in August 2022. He transitioned to boxing, fighting in the ring three times, including one exhibition. His most high-profile boxing match came against former UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens at Jorge Masvidal‘s Gamebred Boxing 4 in April 2023. Aldo and Stephens fought to a draw.

Despite his retirement, Aldo remained under contract with the UFC. Sources said he has one fight remaining on his deal.

Aldo (31-8) had won three straight and was closing in on a UFC bantamweight title shot before the loss to Dvalishvili. He was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame last summer. Aldo has the most title defenses in UFC featherweight history (7); including his time in WEC, he has nine title defenses.

Martinez (19-4) has won six in a row. A Los Angeles native who trains out of Factory X in Colorado, he has two rare leg-kick TKOs in his past three fights. Martinez, 29, is 10-3 in the UFC since his debut in 2018.

News of Aldo’s return was first reported by Brazilian outlet AG Fight.

Emanuel Navarrete Finalizing Deal to Fight Denys Berinchyk for Vacant WBO Lightweight Title

Emanuel Navarrete is thisclose to locking in his next opponent…

The 29-year-old Mexican professional boxer, a three-division world champion, and Denys Berinchyk are finalizing a deal for a May 18 fight in San Diego for the vacant WBO lightweight title, per ESPN KnockOut.

Emanuel NavarreteThe 135-pound title tilt will headline Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.

Navarrete (38-1-1, 31 KOs) will pursue his fourth division title in his lightweight debut. The 29-year-old from Mexico has captured titles at 122, 126 and 130 pounds. He’s ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 130.

The second defense of the WBO junior lightweight title Navarrete still holds was in November. Navarrete dropped Robson Conceicao twice but settled for a draw.

Now, Navarrete will fight for the title vacated by former undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney. Oscar Valdez and Liam Wilson, two fighters Navarrete defeated in convincing fashion last year, will vie for the WBO interim junior lightweight title on March 29.

It’s likely the winner of Valdez-Wilson will be elevated to recognized champion if Navarrete wins as expected.

Berinchyk (18-0, 9 KOs) is a 35-year-old from Ukraine who will vie for his first world title. He’s coming off back-to-back wins over Yvan Mendy and Anthony Yigit, his best opposition. However, Berinchyk will still step up several levels against Navarrete.

Welterweight contender Giovani Santillan, a 32-year-old from San Diego, will fight in the ESPN co-feature, sources said. He’s coming off a career-best win, a sixth-round KO of Alexis Rocha in October.

Canelo Alvarez to Fight Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas in May

May the Fourth be wih Canelo Alvarez.

The 33-year-old Mexican boxing superstar has finalized a deal to fight Jaime Munguia on May 4 fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas for Alvarez’s undisputed super middleweight championship.

Canelo AlvarezIt’s a one-fight deal for Alvarez and Premier Boxing Champions, sources said, after the sides parted ways last week with two bouts remaining on a three-fight agreement signed last June.

It’s a coup for PBC to welcome Alvarez, boxing’s top star, back into the fold for its second pay-per-view offering as part of its new partnership with Amazon‘s Prime Video.

DAZN, the streaming service that has an exclusive deal with Golden Boy Promotions, will also carry the event.

Munguia’s past 12 fights were streamed by DAZN. The 27-year-old Mexican fighter has been co-promoted by Zanfer and Golden Boy.

“On May 4, I’ll be fighting Jaime Munguia at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,” Alvarez posted on social media. “Mexico vs. Mexico!”

Munguia (43-0, 34 KOs) is coming off a career-best win, a ninth-round TKO of John Ryder in January. He has steadily improved under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach.

Now, Munguia will represent Alvarez’s first Mexican opponent since Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in 2017. Munguia is rated No. 4 by ESPN at 168 pounds.

Alvarez, ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer, was lined up for a championship defense against Jermall Charlo in May. However, Alvarez and PBC couldn’t agree to terms for the matchup, which contractually allowed him to explore other options.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) discussed a return to DAZN for bouts with Munguia and Edgar Berlanga this year, but when those talks stalled the champion returned to the table with PBC, sources said.

Alvarez plans to fight on Mexican Independence Day weekend in September as well.

Alvarez defeated Jermall’s twin brother, Jermell Charlo, via unanimous decision in September to retain his undisputed super middleweight championship as he kicked off the PBC partnership.

When the deal was signed in June, Jermall Charlo was lined up as the first opponent before he ultimately withdrew because of personal matters. Jermell stepped in, while Jermall and Errol Spence Jr. loomed as possibilities for the second and third bouts of the deal. That was before Spence was TKO’d by Terence Crawford in a one-sided beatdown in July, eliminating one viable opponent for Alvarez.

Then in November, Jermall failed to impress in a decision win against Jose Benavidez Jr. The bout was Charlo’s first in 29 months. It’s a big event any time Alvarez fights, but there was little commercial demand for a matchup with another Charlo after Jermell’s listless performance in September.

With an Alvarez-Charlo fight less appealing for May, the door opened for what promises to be a far more lucrative matchup with Munguia. Alvarez has been the sport’s top attraction since Floyd Mayweather Jr. retired in 2017.

The all-time great’s résumé includes a pair of wins over Gennadiy Golovkin and titles in four weight classes. His win over Charlo was preceded by a decision victory over Ryder in May in Mexico. Alvarez scored knockdowns in both fights.

The biggest potential fight out there for Alvarez remains a matchup against rising star David Benavidez.

“The reason why this fight is not happening is because Alvarez doesn’t want it to happen, plain and simple,” David Benavidez told ESPN last week.

PBC’s stable also includes star boxer Gervonta Davis, who is set to return vs. Frank Martin this summer. PBC’s first event with Prime Video will take place March 30 in Las Vegas, a pay-per-view headlined by Keith Thurman vs. Tim Tszyu.

Rolly Romero to Defend WBA 140-Pound Title Against Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz in March

Rolly Romero is going on the defensive…

The 29-year-old Latino boxer has finalized a deal to defend his WBA 140-pound title against Isaac “Pitbull” Cruz on March 30 in Las Vegas, sources tell ESPN.

Rolly RomeroRomero-Cruz will serve as the co-feature to Tim TszyuKeith Thurman, Premier Boxing Champions‘ first PPV as part of its new deal with Amazon‘s Prime Video.

The development comes after Ryan Garcia claimed Wednesday evening on social media that he was fighting Romero on April 20. On Thursday morning after ESPN broke the news of Romero-Cruz, Garcia posted on X that he was “informed the deal was finalizing and it would be announced in the coming days.”

“Obviously that was a lie,” Garcia wrote. “My patience has been tested the last few weeks. … I’ll be looking forward to announcing my next fight. I’m not going to say anything until it’s actually signed and delivered.”

Romero (15-1, 13 KOs) is one of the most outspoken fighters in boxing. He won the title in controversial fashion with a ninth-round TKO victory over Ismael Barroso in May. Barroso dropped Romero in Round 3 and didn’t appear to be in serious trouble when the referee stopped the bout.

Romero, who fights out of Las Vegas, suffered his lone professional defeat in May 2022, a sixth-round TKO defeat to Gervonta Davis.

Cruz (25-2, 17 KOs) will move up to 140 pounds for his first full-fledged title shot. He challenged Davis for a secondary lightweight title in December 2021 and dropped a tightly contested decision.

The Mexico City native has won three bouts since the loss, victories over Yuriorkis Gamboa (TKO 5), Eduardo Ramirez (KO 2) and Giovanni Cabrera (split decision). Cruz hasn’t competed since the win over Cabrera in July.

Luis Nery to Reportedly Fight Naoya Inoue in Tokyo This May

Luis Nery is heading back to the ring in the near future…

The 29-year-old Mexican boxer and Naoya Inoue have agreed to a deal for a May fight in Tokyo for Inoue’s undisputed junior featherweight championship, per ESPN sources.

Luis NeryInoue (26-0, 23 KOs) claimed ESPN Fighter of the Year honors when he KOed Marlon Tapales in Round 10 last month to become undisputed champion.

The Japanese star’s victory followed an eighth-round TKO win over Stephen Fulton in July, when Inoue claimed two titles in his 122-pound debut. Inoue, 30, is ESPN’s No. 2 pound-for-pound boxer.

Nery (34-1, 26 KOs) received an indefinite suspension from the Japan Boxing Commission in March 2018, but officials involved have been assured the Mexican will be reinstated, sources said.

The ban was handed down following Nery’s pair of stoppage wins over Japan’s longtime champion Shinsuke Yamanaka.

Nery scored a fourth-round TKO win over Yamanaka to capture the WBC bantamweight title in August 2017, but was suspended afterward when the banned substance zilpaterol was found in his system.

Nery argued the adverse finding was the result of tainted meat consumed in Mexico.

In the March 2018 rematch, Nery stopped Yamanaka in Round 2 but did so after he weighed 121 pounds for a 118-pound title bout. The pair of violations led to the ban.

But Nery earned a shot against Inoue, who usually fights in Japan, when he scored an 11th-round KO over Azat Hovhannisyan in February. The WBC title eliminator was named ESPN‘s runner-up for Fight of the Year.

Nery has won four consecutive fights since his lone professional defeat, a seventh-round TKO vs. Brandon Figueroa in a May 2021 title fight. Nery is rated No. 3 by ESPN at 122 pounds.

Against Inoue, Nery faces long odds to become a two-time junior featherweight champion. “The Monster” is a generational talent fighting at the peak of his powers.

Inoue’s undisputed title victory over Tapales was remarkably his second in as many weight classes in the past year. Inoue stopped Paul Butler in the 11th round of their December 2022 meeting to become undisputed champion at 118 pounds.

Inoue also reigned as champion at 108 and 115 pounds.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. Scores First-Round TKO Victory Over Frederick Lawson

Vergil Ortiz Jr. has notched a convincing victory…

The 25-year-old Mexican American professional boxer scored a first-round TKO victory on Saturday in Las Vegas in a stoppage that was vehemently disputed by his opponent, Frederick Lawson.

Vergil Ortiz Jr.Ortiz, in his first fight in 17 months, buckled Lawson with a jab that backed him up. With Lawson lying on the ropes, Ortiz (20-0, 20 KOs) threw a flurry of left hooks to the body and overhand rights until referee Tony Weeks halted the action at 2 minutes, 33 seconds of the opening round.

Weeks told DAZN‘s Beto Duran that he stopped the bout because he saw Lawson’s eyes roll into the back of his head. Lawson, a 34-year-old Ghanaian who entered the fight as a huge underdog, passionately protested.

“I think that he got saved,” said Ortiz, who was making his junior middleweight debut. “I was hurting him with all the jabs. I wasn’t really putting anything behind it. … I love to fight. I wish I could have kept going. I need the rounds.”

Since March 2022, Ortiz has withdrawn from three fights due to health issues related to rhabdomyolysis, a condition that occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood.

Ortiz was rated No. 3 by ESPN at 147 pounds when he was set to meet Eimantas Stanionis last year. That bout was postponed three times; first after Stanionis underwent an emergency appendectomy and then twice due to Ortiz’s rhabdomyolysis recurrence.

With his health restored, Ortiz returned Saturday at a 156-pound catchweight shake-off-the-rust bout. And he did so with renowned trainer Robert Garcia back in his corner following a split in 2021.

Ortiz, a Dallas-area native, maintained his perfect knockout record with the victory over Lawson (30-4, 22 KOs). Now he wants his first world title shot.

“I’m ready for anyone out there,” said Ortiz, whose breakout 2021 campaign featured inside-the-distance wins over Maurice Hooker and Egidijus Kavaliauskas. “It feels like I’m back to doing what I usually do. This is my calling; this is what I live for.”

Ortiz called out Tim Tszyu, the WBO junior middleweight champion.

“With all respect, I would love to fight you,” Ortiz said in his call out. “I think you’re a hell of a fighter and let’s make this happen. … I want to fight the best.”

Ortiz’s promoter, Hall of Fame fighter Oscar De La Hoya, said Ortiz “will even go to Australia to fight Tim Tszyu.”

Tszyu, the son of Hall of Famer Kostya Tszyu, issued a response to Ortiz in a post on X, welcoming him to the 154-pound division and saying, “I’m always keen for a modern day classic.