Connect with us

Featured Articles

LA’s Danny Roman Risks his WBA Belt against Gavin McDonnell in Chicago

David A. Avila



reign supreme

In a city where sports and other entertainment reign supreme, even a world champion like Danny Roman can get lost in the galaxy of stars that is Los Angeles.

The amiable prizefighter known as the “Baby Faced Assassin” never outwardly showed concern.

But when Matchroom Boxing Promotions signed Roman to a fight contract and then made him a co-main event, it was a moment to finally exhale.

“It’s great to finally get this kind of exposure,” said Roman. “It’s good for boxing.”

Roman (25-2-1, 9 KOs) defends the WBA super bantamweight title against Great Britain’s Gavin McDonnell (20-1-2, 5 KOs) on Saturday Oct. 6, at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Ill. The world title fight will be streamed by DAZN.

The road to success has never been easy for Roman who slowly progressed in the professional boxing world as just one of the many faces that show up in gritty gyms around Southern California. While other hopefuls show blazing hand speed, or eye-popping power, Roman was simply known as a tough kid with a lot of heart.

Heart can take you far in the boxing world.

“Danny Roman has always had tremendous heart,” said Alex Camponovo, the matchmaker for Thompson Boxing Promotions. “He’s shown it in all of his world title fights.”

Roman, 28, grabbed the WBA world title a year ago by knockout against Japan’s Shun Kubo a tall hard-hitting fighter who was undefeated. Despite being more than five inches shorter the L.A. fighter cut him down with a savage attack that left the Kyoto, Japan audience stunned.

After that win, Roman returned to Japan and faced yet another tall foe in Ryo Matsumoto. Once again the L.A. fighter needed to tip-toe to see his foe face-to-face. But Roman cut the Japanese fighter down to size in front of a Tokyo audience, winning a unanimous decision.

“It was one of the most incredible moments I’ve ever seen or been a part of,” said Ken Thompson the president of Thompson Boxing. “I’ll never forget it.”

This past June, Roman defended his title against Mexico’s Moises Flores another fighter who towered over the L.A. fighter. On this occasion the match took place in Texas and was televised.

Finally, the American sports world – outside of his native Los Angeles – would get an opportunity to see Roman in action.

But when Flores failed to make weight, all could have been washed away. Roman accepted the over-the-weight challenge from the lanky Mexican fighter and proceeded to batter him for 12 rounds in retaining the world title by unanimous decision.

American boxing fans finally saw the grit of Roman via the television airwaves. Just a glimpse.

When Eddie Hearn spoke with Roman’s co-promoters Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions it opened the door to add a Southern California influence to the boxing card in Chicago.

Southern California

For hardcore boxing fans and those engaging in prizefighting in one form or another, it’s not a surprise that the area from Santa Barbara to San Diego, California is rife with boxing gyms springing up like weeds.

More than 100 boxing gyms exists in Southern California and in the past 10 years prizefighters from around the world are arriving from Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and Australia to be a part of a “boxing gold rush” taking place in the Golden State.

Fighters like Dmitriy Bivol, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Isaac Dogboe, and Romero Duno have arrived in Southern California to train and be a part of the growth of professional boxing in the U.S.

Roman often trains in Norwalk alongside many of the fighters like Bivol.

Because of the abundance of boxing talent in Southern California, the WBA titlist gets an opportunity to spar against many top fighters on a weekly basis. It’s an immeasurable advantage.


In the last 10 years boxing has erupted in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. Though prizefighting has always been popular in the United Kingdom, lately the region has exploded with regular shows on a weekly basis.

McDonnell, 32, represents that growth of talented prizefighters and is gunning for a world title. He’s won various regional titles but never a world title though he did have one earlier attempt against current WBC titlist Rey Vargas of Mexico.

“I know (Roman) he’s a good fighter and he’s a worthy champion. He won it abroad in Japan and has defended it against good fighters – undefeated fighters,” McDonnell told “He’s a worthy champion and it’s going to be a hard fight, but one I’m confident in. It’ll be a great night for myself, it’s one of them that will always be remembered, going over there and pulling off a win against a great champion.”

Roman, 28, has become accustomed to facing taller fighters.

“At 5’11” he’s got the height, he’s got the reach, he’s fought Rey Vargas, so it’s his second chance at the world title, he is going to come at me with everything,” said Roman about McDonnell.

Though Roman’s career didn’t skyrocket to success like many other champions, his was a gradual ascent as he fought different styles and learned how to combat them with his own cache of fighting tools.

“I do a little bit of everything. I can brawl or box, I can exchange, I can do a little bit of everything,” confesses Roman who had a loss and a draw in his first four pro bouts. “It all depends on the fight. If it’s working on pressuring the guy we can adjust to it.”

On Saturday, the Los Angeles-based fighter hopes to show Chicago what he and others from Southern California can do.

“Little by little things are changing especially now with this deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing,” said Roman by telephone. “In a way this fight is for me and for other (Southern California) fighters too. I’m opening doors for them too. We will all see how it goes.”

Here comes Roman.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this article at The Fight Forum, CLICK HERE.

Featured Articles

Odds Review for Friday’s Boxing on Telemundo

Miguel Iturrate



boxing odds
South Florida promoter Tuto Zabala Jr has a seven fight card planned for the Osceola Heritage Center in Kissimmee this Friday, February 22nd that sees three undefeated prospects headline the show. For more than two decades, Zabala Jr has promoted the sport in Mexico and Florida and Friday’s event will air on Spanish language Telemundo in the United States, so check your local listings for start times.
A pair of ten round bouts hold the main event spots as undefeated Yomar Alamo faces veteran Manuel Mendez at welterweight and likewise unbeaten Carlos Monroe takes on Jonathan Tavira in a middleweight bout.
The 23 year old Alamo is from fight hungry Puerto Rico and he is considered a key piece to promoter Zabala Jr’s plans to run shows back on the island. The 28 year old Mendez once carried the ‘prospect’ label as well but Mendez is 1-3-1 in his last five fights. The experience of being in there with the likes of Sonny Fredrickson (19-1) and undefeated Johnathan Navarro (15-0) will make him Alamo’s toughest test to date. The welterweight division is crowded and Alamo is going to need to keep winning beyond Friday to get noticed, but he already banks on the fervent support of his “boriqua” crowd. Promoter Zabala Jr may be wondering if matchmaker Ruben DeJesus picked the right guy in Mendez. Alamo’s record in Puerto Rico looks to have a good bit of fluff. He didn’t face an opponent with a single pro win until his seventh fight. He faced 40 year old vet Edwin Lopez in 2016, but Lopez hurt his hand in the first round and could not continue, so Alamo is largely untested.
Middleweight prospect Carlos Monroe looks to go 12-0 as he steps in to his first bout scheduled for ten rounds. Veteran Jonathan Tavira provides the opposition for the 24 year old Monroe, who turned pro in December of 2017 and notched 10 fights in calendar year 2018. Monroe has been brought along carefully, as the combined record of his 11 opponents stands at 46-98-8. Tavira has been in there with the likes of Arif Magomedov, Dario Bredicean and Esquiva Falcao, all undefeated fighters on the way up. Tavira hits hard but he has been stopped five times in his six losses, so look for Monroe to improve on his eight KOs to date.
2016 U.S. Olympian Antonio Vargas looks to improve to 10-0 in an eight round bantamweight bout against Lucas Rafael Baez (34-17-5). Vargas was originally scheduled to take on Wilner Soto, a veteran with a 21-5 record and he was a big favorite in that match-up.
Below are the current lines as we start off fight week.
Fri 2/22 – Osceola Heritage Center – Kissimmee, Florida
Welterweight 10 rounds –
Manuel Mendez(16-4-1) +160
Yomar Alamo(15-0)         -210
Middleweight 10 rounds –
Jonathan Tavira (17-6)            +550
Carlos Monroe (11-0)             -1050
Bantamweight 8 rounds –
Lucas Rafael Baez        +1150
Antonio Vargas            -2450
(Opponent change for Vargas, line should be similar for new opponent Lucas Rafael Baez)

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Blake Caparello Looks To Grab WBA Regional Belt This Friday

Miguel Iturrate



This Friday night in Australia, light heavyweight contender Blake Caparello returns to action as he faces youngster Reagan Dessaix for the WBA’s Oceania title in the main event of a planned six fight card at The Melbourne Pavilion.
Dessaix currently holds the belt that Caparello held back in 2017, and the 22-year-old is hoping a win on Friday will put him on the international radar. It is where Caparello, who enters this fight as a 32-year-old, has been and hopes to get to again.
Those are the basics of Friday’s main event, the youngster Dessaix making a significant leap in competition level as he looks to get ranked internationally, while the veteran Caparello is hopeful a win will propel him closer to another world title shot.
Caparello laid claim to the IBO’s world title at 175 pounds back in October of 2013 when he won a comfortable unanimous decision over veteran Allan Green. Caparello, who was 17-0-1 at the time of the Green fight, went on to an introductory fight in the United States, and a win there saw him earn an August of 2014 title shot against WBO champion Sergey Kovalev.
Caparello has to feel he was close to a world title as he had the feared Kovalev down in round one before the “Krusher” took him out in round two. Since then, he has fought Isaac Chilemba and Andre Dirrell, extending both ranked veterans the full fight distance. The March of 2018 loss to Chilemba was for the WBC’s world title, and Caparello managed to go 2-0 the rest of the calendar year.
Green, Kovalev, Dirrell and Chilemba. The bottom line is that Dessaix had a solid amateur career in Australia, but there is no one with resumes like the men Caparello has faced when asked to step onto the world scene.
The WBA’s current world champion is Dmitry Bivol (15-0), who is making the fourth defense of his title in March against hard hitting Joe Smith Jr. The veteran Caparello could mount a case for a mandatory shot against either man with a win on Friday, while Dessaix would likely have to keep fighting and winning before earning a shot at a world title.
The co-feature bout is for the Australian title at 154 pounds and sees 31 year old Billy Klimov facing Joel Camilleri. Camilleri is favored as he has had a lot more professional experience than Limov, who turned professional at 29 years old. Strictly regional stuff here.
Both fights have lines at some of the sportsbooks. Check out the numbers as they were at the start of fight week below.
Fri 2/22 – The Melbourne Pavilion – Victoria, Australia
WBA Oceania Title
Light Heavyweight 10 rounds –
Reagan Dessaix(16-1)         +255
Blake Caparello (28-3-1)    -365
Australian Title
Super Welterweight 10 rounds –
Billy Limov (4-0-1)     +200
Joel Camilleri(16-5-1) -280
Check out the link for the live event right here.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE

Continue Reading

Featured Articles

Will Fury’s Deal With ESPN Torpedo The Fights That Fight Fans Want to See?

Arne K. Lang



Fury's deal with ESPN

For the past few weeks, boxing fans have been led to believe that the rematch between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder was ever so-close to being a done deal. But in the world of professional boxing where Machiavellian characters seemingly hold all the positions of power, nothing is ever a done deal until it’s finally finalized. Today’s announcement that Tyson Fury has signed with ESPN is the latest case in point. It’s a three-fight deal that will reportedly earn the Gypsy King $80 million if he can successfully hurdle the first two legs.

As Thomas Hauser has noted, what we have in boxing today is something similar to leagues in other sports. There’s the Top Rank/ESPN League, the Matchroom/DAZN League, and the PBC/Showtime/FOX League. We would add that these are intramural leagues. Occasionally there’s cross-pollination, similar to when the Yankees play the Mets in a game that counts in the regular season standings, but basically the boxers in each league compete against each other.

We have no doubt that WBC/WBA/IBF heavyweight ruler Anthony Joshua will eventually fight Wilder and/or Fury, but it now appears that these matches, when they transpire, will have marinated beyond the sell date. The action inside the ring may mirror the Mayweather-Pacquiao dud.

A match between Joshua and Wilder is already somewhat less enticing than it would have been if it had come to fruition last autumn. The odds lengthened in favor of Joshua after Wilder’s raggedy performance against Tyson Fury on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles.

True, the Bronze Bomber almost pulled the fight out of the fire with a thunderous punch but he was out-slicked in most of the rounds and it wasn’t as if he was fighting a bigger version of Pernell Whitaker. Before that fight, casual fans were less tuned-in to Deontay Wilder’s limitations.

It was reported that the Wilder-Fury rematch was headed to Las Vegas or New York, but that Las Vegas fell out of the running when the State Athletic Commission insisted on using Nevada officials. Fury was the one that balked.

In hindsight we should have seen that this was fake news. No Nevada officials were involved in Fury-Wilder I. The judges were from California, Canada, and Great Britain. The California judge voted against Fury, scoring the fight 115-111, a tally for which he was excoriated. The judge from Great Britain, like many ringside reporters, had it draw. The TV crews, especially the crew from Great Britain, left no doubt that Fury should have had his hand raised and the controversy made the hoped-for rematch more alluring.

So who will be Tyson Fury’s next opponent? Speculation immediately centered on Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev.

Pulev, who turns 38 of May 4, sports a 26-1 record. He was slated to fight Anthony Joshua in October of 2017 but suffered a torn biceps in training and was forced to withdraw. In his most recent bout he outpointed Hughie Fury, Tyson’s cousin. He’s currently ranked #1 by the IBF.

On Dec. 8 of last year, Bob Arum announced that he had hammered out a deal to co-promote Pulev. It was subsequently reported that Pulev’s first fight under the Top Rank/ESPN umbrella would be against Finland’s Robert Helenius on March 23 in Los Angeles. Six days ago, the distinguished European fight writer Per Ake Persson told his readers that the fight had fallen out, ostensibly because the parties could not come to terms.

Tyson Fury is the most charismatic white heavyweight to come down the pike since Gerry Cooney and the big galoot is bigger than Cooney ever was as he has avid followers on both sides of the Atlantic and Cooney didn’t have social media to enhance his profile. I have little doubt that ESPN will recoup their investment in him. However, deals in boxing are never consummated with an eye on uplifting the sport – on patching things up with the disaffected – and here’s yet another example.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

To comment on this story in The Fight Forum CLICK HERE


Continue Reading