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AIBA Confirms Corruption at 2016 Rio Olympics; in Other News, Water is Wet

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It has been said that it’s difficult, almost impossible even, to refute something you see with your own eyes. But the validity of the eye test carried little to no weight during the scandal-soiled boxing competition at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where what everyone saw was not always what everyone got. Two prime examples of the proof that corruption in Olympic boxing rings was again rampant were the gold medal that was awarded to Russian heavyweight Evengy Tischenko over far more deserving Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan and a hotly disputed early-round decision that went to another Russian, Vladimir Tikitin, over top-seeded bantamweight Michael Conlan of Ireland. Tikitin eventually came away with a bronze medal, but an enraged Conlan’s Olympic journey ended in bitterness.

“They’re cheating bastards,” Conlan, who reacted to his announced defeat by flashing one-finger salutes to offending ringside officials assigned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), the much-maligned governing body for Olympic boxing. “They’re paying everybody. They’ve always been cheats. It’s a shambles, to be honest. Today just showed how corrupt this organization is.”

In indignant reaction to the complaints of Levit, Conlan and others who seemingly had had their bouts judged by officials who either were incompetent or complicit in skullduggery, the AIBA issued a statement that read: With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumors, we will continue to use any means, including legal or disciplinary actions, to protect our sport and its R&J (Referees and Judges) community, whose integrity is constantly put into question. The organization will not be deterred by subjective judgments made by discontented parties.

Five years later, some measure of delayed justice for wronged parties in Rio, who had ample reason to be discontented, was delivered in what was termed an independent report authored by Western Ontario University law professor Richard McLaren. The prof’s company had been hired by AIBA to ascertain, as best it could, whether what appeared to be an overflowing toilet of malfeasance needed to be spiffed up with a Tidy Bowl tablet and a bit of air freshener. Not that any forthcoming adjustments will alter the results of Rio 2016 for Levit, Conlan and other victims in the Legion of the Screwed. Those outcomes are in the books and forever confirmed for posterity’s sake, all eye tests to the contrary notwithstanding.

Owning up to one Olympiad’s worth of rotten officiating, the AIBA issued another statement, this one conceding that the McLaren group’s findings were being viewed “with concern” and that “extensive reforms have been implemented to ensure sporting integrity at current AIBA competitions.” It went on to state that McLaren will probe “not only the 2016 Rio boxing tournament but also all key events until now to reach full transparency.”

It is commendable that AIBA is finally shining an unfavorable light upon itself, but it is akin to opening the barn door after a raging fire has burned down the remainder of the structure. The International Olympic Committee, which has a few skeletons in its own closet, removed AIBA’s governance of the boxing tournament at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (actually staged this year because of COVID-19 concerns) amid all the bad vibes that seemed to be intensifying. It can be argued that AIBA, its absolute control of Olympic boxing slip-sliding away, has been dragged kicking and screaming into doing the right thing on the premise that some of whatever validity it once had might be salvageable going forward.

But it might be a case of too little and too late, and that is even if there is some degree of certainty that the current top administrators of AIBA – Russia’s Umar Kremlev has been its president since 2020 – can pump out the flooded areas of a ship that, in some astute observers’ estimation, has been incrementally sinking at least since the 1988 Seoul Olympics. There is a school of thought that the IOC might simply excise a problem sport that has been a part of the Olympic movement since the 2004 St. Louis Olympics prior to the 2024 Paris Games.

Legendary trainer Emanuel Steward, who was 68 when he died on Oct. 25, 2012, spent only one dissatisfying year as USA Boxing’s director of coaching before he stepped down in the early 2000s from what he perceived to be a mostly ornamental position.

“Are we prepared to just walk away? I don’t know,” Steward said of the possibility that the United States might become so disillusioned with the Olympics, or at least Olympic boxing, that the country might simply step away from the quadrennial event. “I do know that Olympic boxing is not what it used to be, and nobody in America is in agreement on what they want to do.

“To me, it’s been steadily declining since 1988. I don’t even have my amateur kids today pointing toward the Olympics. When I started coaching in 1961, that was everyone’s dream. It was my dream to make the Olympic team in 1964. Your first thought was trying to go to the Olympics, then you worried about turning professional.”

Steward’s mention of 1988 as the possible genesis of what has become a downward spiral is telling. It was at the Seoul Olympics that year that America’s 156-pound representative, Roy Jones Jr. – you might have heard of him – was on the short end of what arguably has been the most egregiously unjust result in the history of Olympic boxing. Jones battered his South Korean opponent, Park Si-Hun, from pillar to post from the opening bell to the end of the scheduled three-rounder, only to be stunned when the judges voted 3-2 that the gold medal should go to the home-nation fighter. That result continues to stand, although a consolation prize, the Val Barker Trophy as the Seoul Olympics’ “most outstanding boxer,” went to Jones.

If the shafting of Jones is the most obvious example of any funny business being done in ’88, succeeding Olympics offered evidence of the increasing brazenness of AIBA presidents Dr. Anwar Chowdhry of Pakistan (now deceased) and Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu of Chinese Taipei. Chowdhry remained in the top spot for a quarter-century until being voted out and replaced by Wu, who promised sweeping reforms, in 2006. If there were such reforms made, however, they were not evident to Teddy Atlas, who was the analyst for NBC’s coverage of four Olympiads (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012). The unapologetically blunt Atlas was not retained in that position in 2016, possibly because he tends to speak the truth as he sees it and is not disposed to gloss over controversies.

Prior to the London Olympics, there had been a British Broadcasting Corporation report the previous September that Azerbaijan, an oil- and mineral-rich satellite country of the old Soviet Union, was prepared to pay millions of dollars to “buy” two gold medals in boxing. The BBC report found documents showing that a $9 million bank transfer, funneled through Switzerland, where AIBA is headquartered, went to a boxing organization owned by AIBA. Atlas mentioned the existence of the report to the American TV audience, but did not state whether it had validity since no certifiably provable links to wrongdoing had been established.

But if anyone needed a large mound of circumstantial evidence to ascertain that something indeed was amiss, it was presented when Atlas and broadcasting partner Bob Papa were calling a match during which a Japanese boxer, Satoshi Shimisu, knocked down Azerbaijan’s Magomed Abdulhamidev seven times, but amazingly, “the Azerbaijan guy’s point total kept going up!,” Atlas said for a 5,000-word story I did for this site that first appeared online on Aug. 25, 2016. “Bob and I were, like, `Can they really be this arrogant? This cold, this uncaring? Don’t these people have any sense of right and wrong, that they can do this before the entire world?’” It hardly seemed to matter much that Japan’s protest on Shimisu’s behalf was upheld in the face of vehement and widespread public outrage.

Fixing Olympic boxing, and maybe even the Olympics as a whole, may require more than a squeegee and a bucket of soapy water. The McLaren Report indicated its investigation focused primarily on Rio in 2016 (there also were signs the 2012 London Olympiad was affected) and any international tournaments since, but to appreciate the full scope of all that was subverted requires a longer, more thorough look at the multiple stains accumulated at least since 1988, and maybe even before then. There is a reason why Olympic boxing, the sport that first brought such luminaries as Cassius Clay, Joe Frazier, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Oscar De La Hoya and others to prominence, no longer merits prime-time exposure on NBC, instead being shuttled off to alternative, little-viewed TV outlets. There is also a reason why more and more young fighters, not just Americans, are turning pro earlier instead of hanging around to pursue Olympic dreams that are no longer quite so enticing.

“Key personnel decided that the rules did not apply to them,” McLaren determined, adding that there was a “culture of fear, intimidation and obedience in the ranks of referees and judges.” He further noted that senior AIBA officials used their power to select referees and judges and turned the commission, which was supposed to ensure they were assigned fairly, into “a mere rubber stamp … to ensure the manipulation of outcomes.”

Perhaps the current AIBA president, Kremlev, will have the resources and will to cleanse all or most of his organization’s blight. Not that anyone’s nationality should be held against them, but being a Russian might not be construed as a positive now insofar as the Olympics and particularly AIBA are concerned. The 2014 Winter Olympics, President Vladimir Putin’s pet project, were staged in Sochi, Russia, and were the costliest ever with a price tag of $51 billion. It later was ascertained that nearly every Russian competitor in Sochi had benefited from the administering of state-sanctioned performance enhancing drugs. Make of that what you will, or that Putin and his “good friend,” IOC President Thomas Bach of Germany, were seated together at ringside for Tischenko’s gift decision over Levit in Rio, a miscarriage of justice almost on the level of Si-Hun over Jones in 1988. Neither man seemed surprised nor concerned about the dubious outcome.

“AIBA hired Professor McLaren because we have nothing to hide,” Kremlev indicated in a statement. “We will work to incorporate any helpful recommendations that are made. We will also take legal advice with regard to what action is possible against those found to have participated in any manipulation. There should be no place in the AIBA family for anyone who has fixed a fight.”

Encouraging words to be sure, but we have repeatedly heard more or less the same tune in the past. The question is, will Olympic boxing actually be able to dance to it instead of stumbling over its own feet?

Editor’s Note: Bernard Fernandez, named to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the Observer category with the class of 2020, was the recipient of numerous awards for writing excellence during his 28-year career as a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Daily News. Fernandez’s first book, “Championship Rounds,” a compendium of previously published material, was released in May of last year. The sequel, “Championship Rounds, Vol. 2,” with a foreword by Jim Lampley, arrives this fall. The book can be ordered through Amazon.com, in hard or soft cover, and other book-selling websites and outlets.

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Regis Prograis KOs Jose Zepeda at Dignity Sports Health Park

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Not all big bangers are the same.

Regis Prograis slugged it out with fellow knockout artist Jose “Chon” Zepeda and after 11 rounds of tactical battle ended the WBC super lightweight battle with a flourishing knockout on Saturday.

Prograis (28-1, 24 KOs) becomes the first two-time super lightweight champion from New Orleans after his win over Zepeda (36-3, 27 KOs) at SoCal’s Dignity Health Sports Park. It had been more than three years since he last held a world title.

“This was the hardest fight of my career,” said Prograis after the strategic clash between the super lightweight division’s biggest punchers.

The heavily favored Prograis and Zepeda were cautious under the cold outdoor weather arena. Many a previous world title match ended quickly under similar circumstances and both were wary.

Zepeda was slightly busier and able to connect early with his deceptively fast left cross. Though the first two rounds were not very action-packed, it seemed Zepeda landed more effective blows.

Then Prograis went to work.

“At first, I wanted to come out and box him. Maybe in the third round I caught my rhythm,” said Prograis. “Then he caught on to that.”

Behind his awkward head movements and more agile movements Prograis used jabs and counters to force Zepeda into a more defensive stance. Though neither fighter dominated a round it was the New Orleans native who dictated the pace and action.

Round after round was going into the books favoring Prograis, not until the eighth round did Zepeda make a move into a more aggressive mode and finally out-punched Prograis. But the former world champion adapted again.

Prograis and Zepeda slugged it out in the ninth round. Zepeda connected with a left uppercut but Prograis withstood the blow and continued moving forward. Once again Prograis out-punched Zepeda in a very close round.

Both seemed ready to make the 10th round their own and Zepeda connected with a left cross that landed flush. Prograis barely was moved and then increased his output and the two super lightweights exchanged furiously with the New Orleans fighter seeming to out-punch Zepeda again. It was a telling round.

Prograis had withstood Zepeda’s biggest blows and was ready to unload some of his firepower. He had dominated most of the fight behind his jab and quick combinations. Now he was ready for the big shells.

Both super lightweights opened up in the 11th round with each connecting early. Suddenly an overhand left by Prograis sent Zepeda reeling backward and he did not let up. A furious 13-punch barrage was unloaded and down went Zepeda. Referee Ray Corona did not bother to count and ended the fight at 59 seconds of the 11th round.

“In the 11th round I felt like taking him to deep waters and drown him,” said Prograis.

Once again Prograis holds a super lightweight world title.

“I heard the small talk. I heard the rumors. I want to congratulate Zepeda, that guy was tough, tough, tough. He gave me my hardest fight,” said an ecstatic Prograis. “Listen, I got 29 fights, this was probably my hardest fight.”

Yokasta Valle beats Evelin Bermudez

Seeking big challenges Yokasta Valle (27-2, 9 KOs) rallied after a slow start and out-boxed Argentina’s Evelin Bermudez (17-1-1, 6 KOs) to win the WBO and IBF light flyweight world titles by majority decision after 10 rounds.

After absorbing big right hands from Bermudez during the first two rounds, Valle solved the problem and out-hustled the taller world champion behind quick combinations and making the champion shift her feet. It was a simple but effective plan and led to Valle storming down the stretch with more effective punching.

Bermudez had steamrolled most of her opponents behind a relentless attack that focused mainly on her big right cross. But against Valle that punch was mostly eliminated after the third round.

Valle slipped under Bermudez’s attacks and countered with her combination punching. Occasionally the Costa Rican fighter connected with a big shot that caught the eye of the judges.

After 10 rounds, one judge scored it 95-95, while two others saw Valle the winner by majority decision 99-91, 97-93.

Valle, an IBF and WBO minimumweight world titlist, moved up a division to win her second weight division world title.

Conwell Wins

In a savage battle Ohio’s Charles Conwell (18-0, 13 KOs) bludgeoned his way to victory over Juan Carlos Abreu (25-7-1, 23 KOs) by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in a super welterweight contest. It was a skillful display of 1950s-style fighting that saw Conwell showcase his strength and canny punch selection in out-fighting veteran slugger Abreu.

Heavyweights

Former Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist Bakhodir Jalolov (12-0, 12 KOs) knocked out Curtis Harper (14-9) in the fourth round with a barrage if blows. Twice he knocked down Harper who had been deducted a point for an intentional head butt.

Vargas Brothers

Both sons of boxing great Fernando Vargas emerged victorious in their bouts. Fernando Vargas Jr. (7-0, 7 KOs) knocked out Alejandro Martinez (3-3-1) in the second round of their super welterweight bout. Amado Vargas (5-0, 2 KOs) won by decision after four rounds versus Osmar Hernandez (1-2) in a featherweight match.

Photo credit: Al Applerose

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John Ryder and Fabio Wardley Triumph on Dueling Shows in London

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John Ryder and Fabio Wardley Triumph on Dueling Shows in London

If one were driving from Greenwich township in London to that city’s Wembley sector, or vice versa, one would travel about 18 miles. No doubt many hardcore British fight fans would have gladly made the trip if the starting times of today’s shows had been sufficiently staggered so that one could attend both events. But no, rival promoters Eddie Hearn (Matchroom) and Frank Warren (Queensberry) elected to go head-to-head.

Warren’s Greenwich show at the O2 Arena, which aired in the U.S. on ESPN+, had the main event with the highest stakes and the deepest undercard. Hearn’s show at Wembley, live-streamed on DAZN, had the allurement of heavyweights.

O2 Arena

The WBO interim 168-pound title was at stake plus pole position for a Cinco de Mayo showdown with Canelo Alvarez when Zach Parker squared off with countryman John Ryder. A second-generation boxer who came in undefeated (22-0, 16 KOs), Parker entered the ring an 11/5 favorite.

This was shaping up as a good fight, arguably tilting Ryder’s way, when Parker pulled out after four rounds with a broken right hand. It was a bitter defeat for the Derbyshire man who was making his first start of 2022 after matches with defending WBO title-holder Demetrius Andrade kept falling out.

Although Canelo Alvarez has no fear of Englishmen having defeated Matthew Hatton, Amir Khan, Liam Smith, Rocky Fielding, Callum Smith, and Billy Joe Saunders in world title fights. John Ryder, a 34-year-old southpaw, nicknamed “Gorilla,” may have the tools to make things interesting. Today’s win, albeit somewhat tainted, was his fourth straight after losing a controversial decision to Callum Smith in Smith’s hometown, elevating his record to 32-5 (18).

If Canelo chooses to spurn his mandatory and go in a different direction when he next laces on the gloves, the WBO will anoint John Ryder its full super middleweight champion.

Other O2 Bouts

Highly-touted middleweight Hamzah Sheeraz scored his 11th straight knockout and improved to 17-0 (13) with a fast beatdown of overmatched River Wilson-Bent (13-2-1) who was bruised and battered when the referee interceded in the waning seconds of round two. Sheeraz has been training in the U.S. at Joe Goossen’s Ten Goose Gym in California.

Southpaw Dennis McCann, a 21-year-old Irish Traveler, continued his climb up the super bantamweight ranks with an eighth round stoppage of Scotland’s Joe Ham. McCann (14-0, 8 KOs) was pummeling Ham (17-4) against the ropes when the bout was waived off. Ham hadn’t previously been stopped.

Knockout artist Sam Noakes, a lightweight, employed a vicious body attack to score his 10th stoppage in as many opportunities, halting Calvin McCord (12-1, 2 KOs) in the fourth frame. Noakes showed no after-effects of the broken thumb that had kept him out of the ring since March.

Junior welterweight Pierce O’Leary scored two knockdowns but wasn’t able to polish off Namibian import Emanuel Mungandjela who was still standing after 10 rounds. The judges had it 99-89, 99-90, and 96-92.

It was the first scheduled 10-rounder for O’Leary (11-0, 6 KOs), a Dubliner with a strong amateur pedigree. Mungandjela (16-4-1) was making his U.K. debut.

Wembley Arena

The main event pitted Dillian Whyte against Jermaine Franklin, but most of the pre-fight talk centered around the co-feature, a 12-round contest between Fabio Wardley and Nathan Gorman for the vacant British heavyweight title.

Wardley (14-0 heading in) had stopped his last 13 opponents while answering the bell for only 31 rounds, but the jury was still out on him. He had no amateur experience and was thought to be very much a work in progress. Nathan Gorman, Tyson Fury’s cousin, had come up short in his first crossroads fight, getting stopped by former amateur rival Daniel Dubois, but was considered something more than a gatekeeper.

Wardley rose to the occasion with the biggest win of his career, stopping Gorman (19-2) in the third frame in a fan-friendly fight. Gorman clearly won the first round and busted Wardley’s nose wide open in round two, but the Ipswich man, a protégé of Dillian Whyte, cranked up the juice at the sight of his own blood and scored two knockdowns before the second round was over. Another knockdown in the third prompted Gorman’s corner to toss in the towel.

Wardley

The main event was anticlimactic.

It was thought that Dillian Whyte, who has been matched tough throughout his career, would have little trouble with Saginaw, Michigan’s Jermaine Franklin who had misleading 21-0 record, lacked fight-altering power, had fought only once in the last three years, and came in at a too-heavy 257 pounds. But the “Body Snatcher,” in his first fight with trainer Buddy McGirt, delivered a lackluster performance while walking away with a majority decision (114-114, 116-112, 116-112).

Whyte, 35, improved his ledger to 29-3 (19) in what some are calling a hometown decision. To his credit, he came on strong in the final rounds after being rocked in the ninth. There is talk that he will be granted a rematch with Anthony Joshua who stopped him in the seventh round at this venue in December of 2015.

Other Wembley Bouts of Note

Welterweight Pat McCormack, a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, was forced to go the distance for the first time in his young pro career, but swept all six rounds on the referee’s card, improving to 3-0 against Argentina’s clumsy, feather-fisted Christian Nicolas Andino (16-6-2). McCormack is trained by Ben Davison.

Derby super welterweight Sandy Ryan improved to 5-1 (2) with a wide decision over Argentine veteran Anahi Ester Sanchez (21-6). The scores were 98-92, 99-91, and 100-92. Ryan, who avenged her lone defeat at the pro level, spent 10 years in the amateurs racking up more than 50 wins.

Photo credits:

Ryder-Parker — Alex Morton / Getty

Wardley-Gorman — Mark Robinson / Matchroom

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Avila Perspective, Chap 213: Regis Prograis vs Jose Zepeda Harks to Pryor-Aguello

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Two of the most avoided super lightweights in the last 40 years, Jose “Chon” Zepeda and Regis Prograis cross paths. One a strong, intense athlete reared in the competitive American amateur boxing world and the other a learn-in-the-ring slugger with heavy fists.

Both are 33-year-old southpaws steeped in dangerous power.

Prograis (27-1, 23 KOs) meets Zepeda (36-2, 27 KOs) on Saturday, Nov. 26, at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. for the vacant WBC super lightweight title. FITE.TV pay-per-view will show the loaded card staged by MarvNation Promotions and Legendz Entertainment.

Not since Aaron Pryor and Alexis Arguello roamed the super lightweights in the early 1980s have two more dynamic fighters with advanced boxing pedigrees met in the prize ring.

Fans still debate their two fights that saw Pryor win consecutive clashes loaded in controversy regarding a mysterious bottle containing an unknown substance imbibed during the final rounds of their first fight. Pryor would proceed to stop Arguello twice in battles that still create excitement when seen.

Can Prograis and Zepeda deliver with equal zeal?

When Hurricane Katrina flooded Progais’ neighborhood in New Orleans his family was forced to move to Houston. In high school he was an outstanding athlete in football and engaged in the amateur boxing program. Errol Spence Jr. blocked his entry into the US Olympic team.

As a professional Prograis proved too strong for most foes and bludgeoned his way to a world title with dominant wins over Joel Diaz Jr., Terry Flanagan and Kiryl Relikh and won the WBA title. In October 2019, he met IBF titlist Josh Taylor of Scotland and lost the unification bout by majority decision to the Scotsman.

Since that loss few are willing to face Prograis who knocked out three foes in three years.

“When I was the world champion everybody called my name but once I didn’t have the belt it all stopped and I know I’m a dangerous fighter and that’s part of the reason,” said Prograis.

Zepeda took a different path.

The American-born Mexican fighter began performing professionally at the late age of 20 in Mexico, in the border town of Mexicali. His heavy hands immediately ended all four of his first pro fights via knockout.

Slowly Zepeda was matched against different style of fighters in Southern California club shows like Ontario, Commerce, Montebello and Burbank. He was always a deliberate and careful pugilist and never the wild swinging type. But if an opponent got too frisky Zepeda could easily unload the left or right to end the fight quickly. That was never more evident than last year when the braggadocious Josue Vargas attempted to intimidate him with words and shoving in a press conference. The Puerto Rican was bludgeoned in the first round in front of his own fans at Madison Square Garden.

Never flashy but deliberate, Zepeda likes finishing the fight inside the distance.

“I have all the experience I need. Regis Prograis is going to be fighting the best version of Jose Zepeda. I really believe it’s now or never,” Zepeda said.

Prograis respects Zepeda and vice versa. But he remains confident.

“I have more experience and I’ve been at the top already. If you compare strength, power, chin, stamina, speed, defense, I feel like I win every time. Every category, it’s me,” said Prograis. “He’s been hurt, he’s been dropped a bunch of times. I’ve never been hurt and I destroy people.”

Zepeda shrugs at the comments.

“Prograis is going to be very surprised by my power and speed. We’re both going to fight the way we’ve been fighting. He hits hard, I hit hard and both of us are desperate to win which will make for a great fight,” Zepeda says.

Expect one of the best super lightweight fights in the last 40 years when they finally exchange blows.

Women co-main

Argentina’s Evelin Bermudez (17-0-1, 6 KOs) defends the WBO and IBF light flyweight world titles against Costa Rica’s Yokasta Valle (26-2, 9 KOs) in a 10-round match. It’s Bermudez’s pressure versus Valle’s speed and agility.

Bermudez, 26, is younger, taller and relentless in her attacks, especially with the right hand. She loves the right and has no left hook. But she does possess a strong left jab to set up the right cross. She has never fought in the USA.

Valle, 30, has plenty of speed and has been working on her power with American-based trainer Gloria Mosquera. This will be a tough test for the Costa Rican who recently signed promotion deals with MarvNation and Golden Boy Promotions. This is her second fight in the USA and toughest foe since losing to Naoko Fujioka in 2017.

It’s a very tough match to predict the winner.

Others on the card include undefeated Ruben Torres, the tall lightweight promoted by Thompson Boxing Promotions. He was popular on social media for a recent knockout of a guy who tapped gloves with him and then was knocked out a single second later. Super welterweight Charles Conwell is another budding contender out of Cleveland. He’s extraordinarily strong for the weight class and opened eyes with his knockout of Kazakhstan’s Madiyar Ashkeyev who was undefeated when they met.

Also, two sons of the great Fernando Vargas are planned to fight too. Super welterweight prospect Fernando Vargas Jr. and featherweight Amado Vargas are scheduled to perform.

Doors open at 3 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at AXS.com.

Fights to Watch

Sat. DAZN 2:00 p.m. ET Dillian Whyte (28-3) vs Jermaine Franklin (21-0); Sandy Ryan (4-1) vs Anahi Sanchez (21-5).

Sat. ESPN+ 2:00 p.m. ET (main card) 5:00 p.m. ET (main event) Zach Parker (22-0) vs John Ryder (31-5).

Sat. FITE.TV ppv 9 p.m. ET (main card) 11:15 p.m. ET (main event) Regis Prograis (27-1) vs Jose Zepeda (36-2); Yokasta Valle (26-2) vs Evelin Bermudez (17-0-1); Ruben Torres (19-0) vs Eduardo Estela (13-1); Charles Conwell (17-0) vs Juan Carlos Abreu (25-6-1).

Photo credit: Tom Hogan / Hogan Photos

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