Robson Conceicao Defeats Xavier Martinez by Decision

Robson Conceicao is back with a vengeance…

In the first fight since his first pro defeat of his career by Oscar Valdez, the 33-year-old Brazilian professional boxer dominated Xavier Martinez on Saturday.

Robson Conceicao,Fighting far more aggressively than he did in his controversial decision loss to Valdez, the judges scored the bout 98-92, 99-91 and 100-90 in Conceicao’s favor.

With the impressive performance in the 10-round ESPN main event, Conceicao (17-1, 8 KOs) set himself up for another title opportunity at 130 pounds.

“I was able to be dominant this evening because I put in such hard work because I was motivated,” said Conceicao, https://www.hispanicallyyours.com/dating-again/. “I know I should be the champion. I know I beat Oscar Valdez. He has a fight against Shakur Stevenson, and I think Shakur is going to win. But as a fan and a fighter, I want Oscar to win because he owes me a fight.”

Besides the third round, when Martinez buckled his opponent with a left hook in the closing seconds, Conceicao was in control. He used his long jab to beat Martinez to the punch consistently and befuddled him with his excellent footwork.

Martinez, who was making his Top Rank debut after a long stint with Mayweather Promotions, emerged with a swollen right eye in the first loss of his pro career. The 24-year-old from Sacramento was stepping way up in competition following a career-best win over fringe contender Claudio Marrero.

“I know I didn’t do enough to win; I sat back too much,” said Martinez. “I didn’t listen to the game plan fully. It is what it is. I’m not going to be a sore loser. He did his thing tonight. It wasn’t my night. I’m not done. This is just the beginning.”

But Conceicao is a legitimate top-10 boxer in one of boxing’s best weight classes, ranked No. 9 by ESPN (Martinez entered No. 10). And he wants a chance at revenge.

“I learned a lot from that Oscar Valdez loss, and that’s why I was able to dedicate myself,” Conceicao said. “I wasn’t discouraged by what happened that evening. I know who I am, and I knew if I put in the work, I could have this type of performance. But my mind is set on Valdez, and I definitely want that shot.”

Oscar Valdez Finalizing Deal to Battle Shakur Stevenson in Junior Lightweight Title Unification Fight

Oscar Valdez is readying for a unifer

The 31-year-old Mexican professional boxer is finalizing a deal for a 130-pound title unification fight against Shakur Stevenson on April 30 in Las Vegas, according to ESPN sources.

Oscar Valdez

No financial agreement has reportedly been reached for the proposed ESPN main event.

After Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) scored a brutal knockout of Miguel Berchelt in February to claim a junior lightweight title, Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) publicly lobbied for the title opportunity. Instead, Stevenson settled for a shot at Jamel Herring, another 130-pound titleholder promoted by Top Rank.

Stevenson, 24, seized his chance with the best performance of his career, a 10th-round TKO of Herring in October. Long dogged by criticism that he doesn’t fight aggressively, the Newark, New Jersey, native applied nonstop pressure during the one-sided beating.

Now, Stevenson is on the verge of landing the fight he wanted all along but with two belts on the line.

While the Olympic silver medalist enters the potential fight with momentum on his side, Valdez is looking for redemption.

The two-time Olympian from Mexico tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug phentermine in August, just weeks before he was set to make the first defense of his title.

Despite the adverse finding, Valdez was allowed to fight Robson Conceicao as planned. Valdez was installed as a heavy favorite but struggled during the first half of the bout en route to a controversial decision victory.

Valdez was ESPN’s No. 1 boxer at 130 pounds before he was dropped from the rankings due to the failed test. Stevenson is currently ESPN’s No. 1 junior lightweight.

Richard Torrez Jr. Reportedly Signs Multiyear Promotional Deal with Top Rank

Richard Torrez Jr. is heading to the Top (Rank)…

The 22-year-old Mexican American boxer, who claimed a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games this summer, has reportedly signed a multiyear promotional deal with Top Rank, according to ESPN.

Richard Torrez Jr.

Torrez, from Tulare, California, is set to make his pro debut in early 2022, per sources, and will campaign at heavyweight.

Top Rank’s haul beefs up a prospect stable that includes heavyweight Jared Anderson, Olympic silver medalist Duke Ragan, Troy Isley Jr. and Xander Zayas.

Torrez lost to Bakhodir Jalolov in his attempt to bring gold back to the United States.

Now, he will develop on ESPN platforms as he pursues title shots in the pros.

Edgar Berlanga Agrees to Two-Fight Plan with Top Rank Boxing

Edgar Berlanga is ready to rumble… twice.

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican boxer has agreed to terms on a two-fight plan with Top Rank.

Edgar Berlanga

The first bout comes October 9 in Las Vegas against Marcelo Esteban Coceres, Berlanga said, in the main event of a Top Rank Boxing show on an ESPN platform that will lead into the Tyson FuryDeontay Wilder III fight on pay-per-view.

Berlanga’s second fight is December 11, the co-feature to Vasiliy Lomachenko‘s return in New York at Madison Square Garden. An opponent has yet to be finalized for that bout. The power-punching super middleweight Berlanga is in the midst of a multiyear deal with Top Rank. Financial terms were finalized for both of his upcoming fights.

“I’m knocking these guys in October and December; we’re not going to the scorecards,” said Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs). “I want to let the world know after these two fights that I’m the guy they need to worry about.”

Berlanga was extended the distance for the first time in his last bout, an April win over Demond Nicholson. It was the first time Berlanga heard the bell to signal the start of Round 2 in his pro career. He scored first-round knockouts in each of his first 16 fights.

Berlanga dropped Nicholson three times but settled for the unanimous-decision victory. The Brooklynite will now face another durable opponent in Coceres (30-2-1, 16 KOs). The 30-year-old Argentine is best known for an 11th-round KO loss to Billy Joe Saunders in a 2019 title fight. That was his only fight outside of Argentina.

In January, Coceres lost again, this time a split-decision defeat to Sebastian Horacio Papeschi in Argentina. He rebounded with a second-round stoppage win in June over Nelson Nicolas Rosalez.

The two-fight plan promises to give Berlanga his greatest exposure yet as he inches closer to title contention. Despite 17 pro fights, he remains inexperienced with just 24 rounds in the professional ranks.

If all goes according to plan, Berlanga will return in March to Puerto Rico (the country his family hails from) before headlining at Madison Square Garden in June on Puerto Rican Parade Day weekend.

Teofimo Lopez’s Championship Fight Against George Kambosos May Take Place in the Middle East

Teofimo Lopez could be throwing punches in the Middle East…

In the never-ending saga to find a new fight date and location for the 24-year-old Honduran American boxer and George Kambosos, Triller co-founder Ryan Kavanaugh says he’s planning to stage the rescheduled undisputed lightweight championship fight in October in the Middle East.

Teofimo Lopez Jr.

“We are currently working with the regulatory bodies to bring this fight to Saudi [Arabia] or UAE [United Arab Emirates] in October,” Kavanaugh said. “We think it’s the perfect place for such a landmark fight.”

Triller hoped to stage the fight on October 17 in Sydney, but Lopez balked at the 14-day quarantine mandated by the Australian government. The disagreement led to an IBF ruling, handed down last week, that Triller must stage the fight in a location that doesn’t require a quarantine.

The New Jersey-based sanctioning body also gave Triller until October 17 to hold the fight; contracts are due by August 24.

“Can’t wait to see the details,” Lopez’s manager, David McWater, told ESPN when informed of Triller’s Middle East plan. “We were always willing to go anywhere we didn’t have to quarantine.”

In the event Triller fails to submit contracts by August 24, the rights to the fight will revert to the next-highest bidder at February’s auction. That would be Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom, which bid $3.506 million. Lopez’s promoter, Top Rank, came in third at $2.315 million. Triller won the rights with a bid of $6.018 million.

The matchup was initially set for June 19 in Miami, where Lopez grew up, but he tested positive for COVID-19 weeks before the fight.

“He feels great,” McWater said. “He’s been training.”

Lopez, ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer, unified all four 135-pound titles with a majority decision victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko in October. He was ordered by the IBF to face Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) next, but Lopez and Top Rank couldn’t agree on money. That led to the auction, where Triller gobbled up the rights.

Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) is set to earn a career-high $3.912 million; he made $1.35 million for the Lomachenko bout.

Kambosos, ESPN’s No. 9 lightweight, will earn $2.106 million, also a career high. The 28-year-old Australian fighter became the IBF’s No. 1 contender with a split decision win over Lee Selby in October.

Earlier that month, Lopez added three more titles to his collection with his win over Lomachenko. He won his first title with a second-round KO of Richard Commey in December 2019.

Now, Lopez appears to be inching closer to the first defense of his undisputed lightweight crown.

Oscar Valdez Agrees to New Multi-Fight Deal with Top Rank

Oscar Valdez is ready for the next chapter of his boxing career…

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer and WBC junior lightweight champion has signed a new multi-fight contract with Top Rank, including his first defense of that belt this fall.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez won the title in his last fight, upsetting Miguel Berchelt on February 20. He is 29-0 with 23 knockouts, including winning four of his past five fights by knockout or technical knockout.

“I want to thank Bob Arum and Todd duBoef for their confidence in my abilities,” Valdez said in a news release announcing the deal. “I will not let them down. I also want to thank my manager, Frank Espinoza, for securing a great deal for me. This is a wonderful moment in my career, and I’m grateful to God for my blessings.”

Prior to his junior lightweight crown, Valdez held the WBO featherweight title from July 23, 2016, when he knocked out Matias Rueda, until his unanimous decision victory over Jason Sanchez on June 8, 2019, for a total of six title defenses.

“I have been very fond of Oscar from the moment we signed him,” Top Rank chairman Arum said in a statement. “And I am proud of everything he has accomplished.”

Emanuel Navarrete Defeats Chris Diaz to Retain WBO Featherweight Title

Emanuel Navarrete is keepin’ his crown…

The 26-year-old Mexican professional boxer defended his WBO featherweight title with an action-packed 12th round TKO over Chris Diaz during Top Rank‘s main event on Saturday night.

Emanuel Navarrete,

Known for his awkward and relentless style, Navarrete (34-1, 29 KOs) knocked Diaz down four times — but it was the final one with just seconds remaining in the 12th round that was the finisher.

Puerto Rico’s Diaz (26-3, 16 KOs) was a very game opponent, particularly as he laid it all out going for a knockout in round 12, but ultimately Navarrete’s power was too much as he dropped Diaz with a combination. Diaz appeared to beat the count with about 15 seconds left in the fight but his corner and the referee stopped the bout as it was clear he was hurt.

Navarrete consistently landed his go-to leap uppercut, but his best weapon on Saturday night was a barrage of power hooks that landed in combination leaving Diaz moving backward.

Navarrete landed 257 of 744 punches (34.5%) and an eye-opening 241 of those landed were power punches.

It was Navarrete’s second title defense. Attention now turns to whether he will remain at featherweight or move up to junior lightweight division where there are several contenders in Top Rank’s stable that could make great fights, including rising star Shakur Stevenson.

The bout was held in front of 3,262 socially distanced fans at sold-out Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida. It was Top Rank’s second boxing card in front of fans since the pandemic began.

Jose Ramirez to Fight Josh Taylor in Junior Welterweight Unification Title Bout

Jose Ramirez is ready to expand his belt collection…

The junior welterweight unification title bout between the 28-year-old Mexican American boxer and Josh Taylor will take place on May 22 at a to be determined Las Vegas venue.

Jose Ramirez

Ramirez, the WBC and WBO champion, and Taylor, the IBF and WBA champion, had initially been planning to fight on May 8, but the fight was moved as to not conflict with the Canelo AlvarezBilly Joe Saunders title fight. Instead, they’ll fight later in the month, headlining a card on ESPN and simulcast on ESPN+.

“This is the best boxing has to offer, two elite fighters in the prime of their careers colliding in a legacy-defining matchup for the undisputed championship of the world,” Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said in a news release. “It’s a true 50-50 fight, one that the fans and both fighters demanded.”

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KO) last fought in August, winning a majority decision over Viktor Postol in his first defense as both the WBC and WBO titleholder. He has held the WBC belt since March 17, 2018, when he beat Amir Imam and the WBO belt since July 27, 2019, when he TKO‘d Maurice Hooker in the sixth round.

Taylor (17-0, 13 KO) won the IBF title in a May 2019 decision over Ivan Baranchyk and the WBA belt in a majority decision win over Regis Prograis in October 2019. Taylor, 30, last fought in September 2020, knocking out Apinun Khongsong in the first round.

Both Taylor and Ramirez fought as lightweights in the 2012 London Games, each losing in the quarterfinals in a division won by Vasiliy Lomachenko. On the same side of the bracket, they would have met up in the semifinals had they kept winning. Now, they’ll fight to unify a professional world title instead.

Terence Crawford was the last fighter the unify the division, a feat he accomplished in 2017. Crawford then vacated the titles with a move up to 147 pounds.

Triller to Promote Teofimo Lopez’s Next Fight

Teofimo Lopez is looking to trill in his next fight…

Triller has just thrown its name into the ring to promote the next fight of the 23-year-old Honduran American boxer, one of the sport’s rising stars.

Teofimo Lopez Jr.

The upstart tech company won the rights to promote Lopez’s lightweight title defense against George Kambosos with a bid of more than $6 million, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

Triller, which was founded in 2015, beat out established boxing outfits like Matchroom and Top Rank, Lopez’s current promoter, in a purse bid hosted by the IBF on Thursday.

The rights to promote Lopez’s mandatory defense hit the open market after Lopez and Top Rank failed to reach an agreement on a purse. Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) became the unified lightweight champion after beating Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020 to win the IBF, WBA and WBO belts in the 135-pound division.

“I love ESPN and the platform and everything they have done for Team Lopez and The Takeover. However, I am very thankful that my team and I stuck to our guns,” Lopez said in a statement to ESPN’s Mark Kriegel. “We knew what we were being offered was disrespectful, and we expected the open market would value us differently. And it showed today. The $6 million from Triller, right there, says that Top Rank doesn’t value the best fighter on their roster. I look forward to my title defense against George Kambosos. Stay tuned for the fight date.”

Triller made headlines when it promoted the exhibition bout between former heavyweight champions Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr as a pay-per-view attraction. According to reports, the fight generated more than 1.6 million buys.

Because of the IBF’s purse-split rules that give the champion 65%, Lopez’s share will be just under $4 million. Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) is set to receive $2.1 million in his third fight in the United States. The Australian is coming off a split-decision victory over Lee Selby last October in London.

Ryan Kavanaugh, the CEO of Proxima Media, the company that owns Triller, said that Lopez vs. Kambosos will “probably be a co-main event” on a Triller card in May paired with an “influencer-celebrity-type event.”

“We don’t view them as an undercard. It’s just a matter if we have a co-main [event] that brings a different audience than them or not,” he said.

Kavanaugh said Triller would be open to bid for more fights in the future.

“If it’s an attractive purse bid like this where it’s for a significant title with well-known talent and people that we think will attract the right audience, then absolutely,” he said.

Top Rank president Todd duBoef said the agreement means “at the end of the day, everybody wins.”

“If Teofimo comes out successful and has a successful defense against Kambosos, terrific,” he said. “If they do a bunch of promotion and he gets bigger on the social platform, terrific and we have a long career together going forward.”

Oscar Valdez Scores Knockout of the Year Against Miguel Berchelt to Claim WBC Junior Lightweight Title

Oscar Valdez has scored the knockout of the year…

The 30-year-old Mexican boxer, a former WBO featherweight titleholder and a two-time Olympian, took down Miguel Berchelt at the MGM Grand on Saturday night to claim the WBC junior lightweight title.

Oscar Valdez

Valdez’s upset win came after he rocked Berchelt (38-2, 34 KOs) with a left hook in the final second of the 10th round in an immediate favorite for knockout of the year.

Many expected Saturday’s fight between Berchelt and Valdez (29-0, 23 KOs)

to be a back-and-forth bout between two Mexican fighters. But, the violence was mostly one-sided.

Oscar Valdez

“There’s nothing better in life than proving people wrong,” said Valdez, who entered the fight as a plus-240 underdog, according to Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. “I have a list of people who doubted me. My idols doubted me. Boxing analysts doubted me. They said Berchelt was going to knock me out. I have a message to everybody: Don’t’ let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do.

Berchelt, whose only other professional loss came via TKO in 2014, remained on his back on the canvas for several minutes but was eventually able to sit and stand with assistance.

He was taken to a hospital afterward, and Top Rank president Todd DuBoef told ESPN that he underwent a CT scan that came back clear. Berchelt was expected to be released from the hospital Saturday night.

The stunning walk-off shot might have overshadowed the fact the much smaller Valdez dominated the fight. He scored knockdowns in the fourth and 10th rounds and was well ahead on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the finish.

Judges had Valdez, who was born in Mexico but grew up in Arizona, ahead by scores of 89-80, 88-81 and 87-82.

“Oscar Valdez proved he is one of the great Mexican champions,” said Top Rank CEO Bob Arum. “An absolute masterpiece in the ring tonight.”

Valdez outlanded Berchelt 149-99 in total punches and 103-64 in power punches, according to CompuBox.

The victory, which is Valdez’s third consecutive appearance at 130 pounds, could set up a junior lightweight title fight between Valdez and Top Rank’s Shakur Stevenson (15-0, 8 KOs), who was in attendance inside the “bubble” on Saturday and has expressed interest in taking on Valdez. Top Rank president Todd DuBoef said he would love to set up a fight between the two undefeated junior lightweights.

“I want to take this belt home, and I’m happy for that. Any champion out there … I heard Shakur Stevenson wants to fight,” Valdez said. “Let’s do it. I just want to keep on fighting and give the fans what they want.”