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West Coast Jam For Boxing and NBC Makes Return to Boxing

David A. Avila



Gyms are buzzing all over Southern California even more than usual. Pro boxing enters its “March Madness” much like college basketball.

Beginning on Friday, the Los Angeles area headlines dual boxing cards within 10 miles of each other as Golden Boy Promotions opens up its monthly boxing series “LA Fight Club” in downtown Los Angeles. The Belasco Theater where “bachata” and “salsa” takes place will be dancing a different tune.

Undefeated Jojo Diaz (14-0, 9 Kos) faces Juan Luis Hernandez (17-4-1, 9 Kos) in a super bantamweight clash in the main event. Golden Boy Promotions had a successful run several years ago at a site nearby and is resuming the popular boxing series. It’s sold out, but most of the card will be shown on Fox Sports 1.

Also on the same card will be Las Vegas prospect Cesar Quinonez a junior welterweight from the gym of former world champion Fernando “El Feroz” Vargas. He’s trained by former world champion Joel Casamayor. Another prospect is Ireland’s Jason Quigley and several others are slated as well.

Across town in Glendale, Calif. a fight card featuring cruiserweights in the main event takes place with more interesting prospects. One of those is Russian cruiser Murat Gassiev (20-0, 14 Kos) who meets Cuba’s Yunier Dorticos (18-0, 17 Kos) in a battle of the undefeated.

Gassiev is trained by Abel Sanchez who I ran into on Saturday in downtown L.A. Sanchez, who trains Gennady Golovkin, was there to see Ronda Rousey defend her UFC bantamweight title. He and several others say that Gassiev is “the real deal” and a surefire bet to succeed to the top.

“I only hope he can make the transition to heavyweight,” said Sanchez. “He has all the tools.”

Sanchez, who also formerly trained Sergey Kovalev, said the same thing about “Triple G” several years ago. You have to believe Sanchez, but this fight should substantiate his claim about Gassiev. (ED. NOTE: Sanchez tells TSS that Dorticos needed more time to get ready, the fight is scratched, and he hopes Gassiev will fight in April.)

The Glendale fight card takes place at Glendale Civic Auditorium and is promoted by Bash Promotions.

Three hundred miles east, in Las Vegas, Goossen Promotions stages a fight show at the MGM Grand featuring undefeated Tony Harrison (19-0, 16 Kos) against Antwone Smith (23-5-1, 12 Kos) in a junior middleweight showdown. Numerous other undefeated prospects will also be on the fight card that will be televised by ESPN2.


In Southern California, Thompson Boxing Promotions presents a fight card at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange, a small Orange County town adjacent to Anaheim Stadium. Riverside’s hard-fighting Juan Reyes meets Heriberto Delgado in the main event of a dinner show.

Back in Las Vegas, NBC starts its return to boxing with a primetime slot for “the Sweet Science.” NBC will be airing many shows in 2015.

John Molina, the slugging former lightweight now in the junior welterweight division, has lost his last two fights and now meets former world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner at the MGM Grand on Saturday.

“Yes, I’ve lost back-to-back fights but I’ve proven that I can hang with anyone,” said Molina, whose losses were to Lucas Matthysse in the “Fight of the Year” and to Humberto Soto. Against Soto, many felt he defeated the Mexican former champion with a body shot, but the referee incorrectly ruled it a low blow. Soto won by a decision. “Who knows if I would have gotten this fight had I won against Soto.”

Broner has shown he has superior defensive tools and speedy fists. Only Marcos Maidana has been able to defeat him, though many felt Daniel Ponce De Leon beat him years ago in a fight in Anaheim. The judges did a horrible job that night and simply mailed in the decision win for Broner.

Still, Broner is very talented.

“You know my career, you’ve been there since day one during the Quiet Cannon days,” said Molina. “We’re excited. It’s the inaugural fight for NBC.”

Molina is a former wrestler with a titanium-powered right hand that tested the chin of Matthysse and rendered unconscious current lightweight champion Mickey Bey. Once more he faces a speedy defensive fighter in Broner.

“I’ve had my most success when I’m the underdog,” said Molina, 32, about his underdog status against Broner. “I’m undefeated against guys like that….Adrien Broner is a great name for boxing. Everyone loves to hate him.”

The other main event showcases two dangerous welterweights.

Keith “One Time” Thurman faces Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero. According to odds-makers in Las Vegas, Thurman is a 5 to 1 favorite. Wow.

Ask me and I’ll tell you this is an even fight. Every once in a while the odds-makers get one wrong and this is one of them. Guerrero has won world titles in different weight classes from featherweight on up. Thurman has not captured a world title and has yet to meet anyone in Guerrero’s class.

Can Thurman fight? Heck yeah. But can he dominate and knock out Guerrero like the odds predict? I don’t think so.

“We respect Robert, he’s never been stopped. I hear that as a challenge,” Thurman said. “Especially being a puncher and knowing that he came up from a lighter division.”

Guerrero fought Floyd Mayweather, Andre Berto and Joel Casamayor. Thurman’s toughest came against a 40-year-old southpaw in his last fight.

“He’s quick on his feet, has power. My job is to prepare for anything he does in that ring. We’re professionals and that’s what we do,” Guerrero said. “I have to show everyone in the world I’m here to take it and destroy everyone that gets in my way.”

More importantly, Premier Boxing Champions will be showing the fight card free on NBC. When was the last time that happened?

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Fast Results From Latvia: Mairis Briedis and the KO Doctor advance in the WBSS

Arne K. Lang



briedis vs glowacki

The semifinal round of the Wold Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament played out today in Riga, Latvia, the hometown of Mairis Briedis who was matched against Poland’s Krzysztof Glowacki. Both fighters had only one blemish on their ledger and in both cases their lone defeat came at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk.

The fans left happily after Briedis (26-1, 19 KOs) knocked out Glowacki (34-2) in the third frame. But it was messy fight that invites a lot of second-guessing and likely a challenge from the Glowacki camp.

After a feeling-out first round, Briedis cranked up the juice. An errant elbow landed behind Glowacki’s head, putting him on the canvas. For this discretion, Briedis was docked a point. A legitimate knockdown followed — Glowacki was hurt — and then another knockdown after the bell had sounded. The referee could not hear the bell in the din. It was a wild scene.

The fight was allowed to continue, but didn’t last much longer. Coming out for round three, Glowacki wasn’t right and Briedis pounced on him, scoring another knockdown, leading referee Robert Byrd to waive the fight off at the 27 second mark. It wasn’t Byrd’s finest hour.

The tournament organizers anticipated the complication of a draw and assigned extra judges to eliminate this possibility. They did not anticipate the complication of a “no-contest.” If the outcome isn’t overturned, Briedis, a former WBC cruiserweight champ, is the new WBO title-holder.


In the co-feature, Miami-based Cuban defector Yunier Dorticos, nicknamed the KO Doctor, lived up to his nickname with a smashing one punch knockout of previously undefeated Andrew Tabiti. The end for Tabiti came with no warning in round 10. An overhand right left him flat on his back, unconscious. Referee Eddie Claudio didn’t bother to count. The official time was 2:33.

It was easy to build case for Dorticos (24-1, 22 KOs). He was three inches taller than Tabiti, packed a harder punch, and had fought stronger opposition. But it was understood that Tabiti, now 17-1, had a more well-rounded game. Moreover, there were concerns about Dorticos’ defense and stamina.

Dorticos was ahead on the scorecards after nine frames. He rarely took a backward step and let his hands go more freely. And it didn’t help Tabiti’s cause that he was docked a point for holding in the sixth frame. Earlier in that round, an accidental clash of heads left Dorticos with a cut over his right eye. The ringside physician was called into the ring to examine it and let the bout continue.

With the victory, Dorticos became the IBF world cruiserweight champion and moved one step closer to acquiring the coveted Muhammad Ali trophy in what will be, win or lose, the most lucrative fight of his career.

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Angel Ruiz Scores 93 Second KO in Ontario, CA




Angel Ruiz

(Ringside Report by Special Correspondent Tarrah Zeal) ONTARIO, CA – “Path to Glory” featured some of Southern California’s hottest prospects carving their image into the boxing world through the Thompson Boxing Promotions platform at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario, CA Friday night.

Undefeated welterweight prospect Angel Ruiz (14-0, 11 KO) of Maywood, CA finished veteran Miguel Zamudio (43-13-1, 27 KO) from Los Mochis, Mexico with an impressive stoppage at 1:33 in the first round scheduled for eight.

At 21 years young, Ruiz (pictured) came into the night with four KO wins in his last four bouts and looking to continue his streak. A second-round body shot win over Gerald Avila (8-17-3) on May 10th and first round KO win against Roberto Almazan (8-9) just this year.

Ruiz was just getting started in the ring using his long distance and power punches to punish Zamudio.

Twenty seconds into the opening round, Ruiz’ mouthpiece went flying out and a timeout was called. Once the mouthpiece was placed back in, Ruiz administered a quick flurry of punches but with no exchange from Zamudio, referee Raul Caiz stepped in and stopped the main event fight.

After the fight interview Ruiz was asked about what he saw in the fight, “I see this guy. He wants to fight. He was trying to fight but I’m too hard. I got you.” Ruiz said. “I feel ready. I want to fight with the best.”

With 89 amateur bouts under his belt, although not signed with any promoters, Ruiz is verbally challenging Vergil Ortiz, “Vergil if you see this video, remember me”.


In he co-main event, a six round junior middleweight bout, Richard “Cool Breeze” Brewart (6-0, 2 KO) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA won a unanimous decision over Antonio “El Tigre” Duarte (2-1) of Tijuana, Mexico.

Brewart was coming into the fight looking like the faster, more technical fighter of the two. Duarte over-telegraphed all of his punches, allowing Brewart to use his overhand right and awesome agility to angle out of reach.

Even after Duarte checked Brewart on the chin with a strong punch, Brewart’s power punches always ended the rounds. The judges scored the bout 60-54 twice and 59-55 for Brewart.

Other Bouts

A victorious unanimous decision at the end of a six-round toe-to- toe bantamweight fight was given to Mario “Mighty” Hernandez, (8-1-1, 3 KO) of Santa Cruz, CA over lefty Victor “Lobo” Trejo Garcia (16-11-1, 8 KO) from Mexico City, Mexico.

Continuous hard punches were exchanged from both brawlers starting at the bell of round one. Fans were excited after a flurry of punches and then a clear push from Hernandez sent Trejo to the floor at the end of round three, giving the crowd excitement for the coming rounds.

It deemed to be a bit of a challenge for both, as orthodox Hernandez managed to match southpaw Trejo’s overhand right punches with his own in response. After six rounds of continuous action two judges scored the bout 57-56 and one 59-54 for Hernandez.

In what would be an exciting and entertaining four-round heavyweight bout, Oscar Torrez (6-0, 3 KO) from Riverside, CA took on Allen Ruiz (0-2) of Ensenada, Mexico.

A surprising uppercut from Ruiz, in the beginning of round one, put Torrez on the canvas and every eye in the room were all fixated on both brawlers. The look in Torrez’ eyes were more calculated, as he was careful from then on.

Wild punches were being thrown from Ruiz without fear of repercussion, but then a quick liver shot from Torrez sent him to his knees. After a couple of seconds to adjust back into the bout, Ruiz was then checked again by left hook to the chin knocking out his mouthpiece. There were 20 seconds left in round two and the round ended with no mouthpiece.

Torrez showed he was stronger and the more technical fighter and finally ended the bout by KO with a right hook to Ruiz’s body at 1:08 in the third round.

Jose “Tito” Sanchez, a rising featherweight prospect with two knockouts in his first two fights and training under star trainer Joel Diaz, out of Indio, CA, took on veteran Pedro “Pedroito” Melo (17-20-2, 8 KO). Even with his low experience in the professional boxing world, Sanchez showed his maturity in the ring by controlling the fight when following Melo around the ring and landing clean left hooks and powerful body shots. After four rounds Sanchez won by 40-36 on all three cards.

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Is the UFC Purchasing Premier Boxing Champions?

Miguel Iturrate



UFC Purchasing PBC?

Several news outlets are reporting that the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company Endeavor is in talks with Al Haymon to purchase the Premier Boxing Champions. The deal is far from happening and will be complicated if it is completed. Let’s look at some of the details.

Dana White has been the face of the UFC since the brand was purchased by Zuffa in 2001 and over the years he has repeatedly hinted about invading the world of boxing. In his early days as the UFC’s head honcho, White even challenged his biggest star, Tito Ortiz, to a boxing match. The match never happened but to this day White will tell you he would have beaten Ortiz in a fight under Queensberry rules.

In more recent years the UFC co-promoted the Conor McGregor versus Floyd Mayweather Jr match and White, although he would vehemently deny it, also had to have at least tacitly approved of Oscar De LaHoya’s promotion of the third bout between Ortiz and his rival Chuck Liddell. That match-up was likely assessed by White this way: “If Oscar wants to promote MMA let him lose his money,” but he didn’t stand in the way of De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions.

White’s name has also come up in connection with Anthony Joshua. White is said to have had a huge offer ready for the then heavyweight champion, but he backed off when the realization hit that he could not make matches for Joshua in the way he is accustomed because he had no roster of potential opponents. However, White has been insistent that the UFC will “100 percent get into boxing.”

Under new owners Endeavor, White cannot operate like he did under old owners Zuffa, but if the deal goes down it is likely because White crafted some type of long term vision that he sold to Endeavor co-founder and CEO Ari Emanuel (pictured).

When Endeavor purchased the UFC in July of 2016 for a reported $4.05 billion, White agreed to guide the company for at least five more years, of which roughly two are up.

On the flipside, it is difficult to see Al Haymon relinquishing control of PBC. More than likely Haymon would stay in charge of the PBC wing and Endeavor would serve as a cash cow to keep what he has built going.

Haymon must stay aboard for another reason, though few will say it. The reason is ethnicity. If Haymon is left out, that would basically leave Leonard Ellerbe and his boss Floyd Mayweather Jr as the only prominent African-American promoters in boxing and that would not be a healthy situation.

Premier Boxing Champions has a diverse group of fighters among the over 200 pugilists under contract. Some are African-American as are many of Haymon’s key employees and associates. Frankly, at least a portion of those fighters and employees would not feel the same comfort level they have with Haymon if Emanuel, a member of an influential Jewish family (his brother is former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel) and Vegas power broker White were abruptly substituted.

Another effect on the PBC model is on the promotional end. Haymon has cobbled together a group of promoters that operate regionally under his PBC umbrella. The model that Endeavor brings with the UFC will have a more centralized approach to promotion. How will the new owners deal with Lou DiBella in NY, James Leija and Mike Battah in Texas, and Tom Brown in California? Throw in the aforementioned Ellerbe and Mayweather, who operate primarily in Vegas but also in the Washington DC and Baltimore area. How will the promoters who work with the PBC see their relationship change if Haymon left and Dana White was in charge?

Haymon has built the PBC over the years into a big business. He has the PBC on FOX and Showtime whereas the UFC, which previously partnered with FOX, now has a long-term deal with ESPN. This suggests that if a deal is made, PBC and the UFC will have to operate as completely separate entities under the same umbrella, at least for the foreseeable future. And even that might be further away from happening than most people realize.

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