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Should Russian Boxers Be Barred from Competing? Results of a New TSS Survey

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The question this time was a somewhat complex one, to wit: “Do you believe that Russian (and Belarusian) boxers should be barred from competing until the conflict in Ukraine is over? If yes, why so? If not, why not?”

Twenty-seven notables in the boxing community weighed-in. The respondents are listed alphabetically.

Russ Anber — elite trainer, cornerman, and owner of Rival Boxing Equipment: In my opinion, yes! If you are a Russian or Belarussian boxer who’s home and legal status is still in Russia, then yes I think they should be barred from fighting. If you are Russian born, but you are now a legal, landed Immigrant or Permanent Resident in another country, then you are free to box. If you are Russian and travelling on a “Work Visa” and your place of residence and citizenship is still in Russia, then that would render you ineligible. As a side note I think this should be applied to all professional athletes including the NHL. If you are a Russian player playing on a Work Visa, then you lose that right.

Joe Bruno — member of Florida Boxing Hall of Fame, prolific writer, and former BWAA official: No Russian athlete should be allowed to compete anywhere while his country is killing innocent civilians in Ukraine.

Jeff Bumpus — former boxer, writer: I can understand both sides of the argument. I know that the 1980 (U.S. Olympic) team did not compete and the only ones who suffered were the athletes from both countries who were denied the stage (the Russians boycotted the ‘84 LA games). Holding the athletes out doesn’t solve the international crisis, but neither does ignoring a tyrant. The 1938 Olympics went forward despite Hitler’s aggressions. Were we wrong for sending Jesse Owens and the (others) to Germany? Or did any of it make any difference? I say no, it did not. And an athlete’s window of opportunity is very small. It’s a hard question to answer. If pressed, I say put the world affairs aside and let them compete.

Michael Culbert — former pro boxer: These boxers are just trying to make a living and have nothing to do with politics. It would be very unfair to be banned because of what their government has done.

Jill Diamond — WBC International Secretary: Sports should transcend politics; however, peace should transcend sports. We use the tools we have to accomplish this. It’s all terribly sad.

********** It’s Putin not them! **********

John DiSanto — keeper of Philly Boxing History, author: I believe they should NOT be barred from competing. The war in Ukraine was started by a corrupt leader and “government”, not the people of Russia. Although Russian athletes represent their country, they are not responsible for the problems. Although this might be reaching, a Russian boxer might even speak out against the aggression of his president, and thus help the overall cause of ending the war. So, no.

Rick Farris — president & founder at West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame: Who cares? Boxing is not important compared to what is going on in the world. I have never considered the best of Russia’s boxers to be competitive as professionals. And who cares about amateur boxing beyond those involved?

Jeffrey Freeman — aka KO Digest, TSS writer: I stand with conservative pundit Candace Owens on this one: “Absolutely appalling the way Russians are being treated in America and abroad. That our leaders and government institutions are allowing for and at times calling for this discrimination…..is quite telling. Russian lives matter.”

Clarence George — writer and historian: Of course Russian and Belarusian fighters shouldn’t be banned. We don’t punish people for their nationality. As Paul Sorvino said in Goodfellas (1990), “We’re not animali.”

Lee Groves — writer, author and the wizard of CompuBox: I understand the desire for administrators to demonstrate their outrage against Putin’s savagery, but I do not think penalizing Russians and Belarusians just for being born Russian or Belarusian is the proper way to do so. These athletes can’t control where they are born and they shouldn’t be prevented from making a living. If a specific athlete has been found to have supported or contributed to Putin’s carnage, that’s a different matter, but without that caveat, a ban is wholly unfair.

Henry Hascup — historian and President of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame: No, Schmeling wasn’t banned back in the 30’s so why should they. It’s Putin, not them!

Chuck Hasson — author and historian: I really don’t think I am qualified to decide such a complex question. We have all tried to provide for our immediate families and these guys aren’t into political policy. They just want to take care of loved ones.

Arne LangTSS editor-in-chief, author, historian: I would prefer that this was handled on a case-by-case basis. For example, David Avanesyan is slated to fight this coming weekend in his adopted homeland of England and I am perfectly fine with it so long as Avanesyan doesn’t bring any Russian insignia into the ring with him.

Ron Lipton — member of NJ and NY Boxing Halls of Fame, referee, historian, writer: No. There are many people in Russia who are protesting the war. It should not be held against one fighter nor should the lone fact of their heritage be a reason to ban them from making a living. There was a guy in boxing once, let me think of his name, give me a moment please, he stood up against many for his beliefs, oh yeah, I remember, Muhammad Ali.

Paul Magno — writer, author, and boxing official in Mexico: Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see the direct correlation between an individual Russian athlete competing as a private citizen and the war in Ukraine as a whole. How would banning him/her impact Russia or strike any sort of blow to the Russian invasion? I guess there’s the propagandists’ use of a victorious Russian athlete to support their war efforts. There’s also the possibility that money earned from the event could be funneled into the war effort. So, maybe I’m wrong. But I just can’t get past the idea of shutting down a fighter’s livelihood for something that is 100% not their fault and something they actually may be against.

 Adeyinka Makinde — UK barrister, author, contributor to the Cambridge Companion to Boxing: Politics should be kept strictly out of sports. Sporting links can maintain a vital link between nations which may be ruptured at diplomatic and trade level. All boycotts and barring edicts do is replicate national political rivalries and reveal the hypocrisy of those who have done the same or similar deeds of which they accuse the wrongdoing nation that is the target of the boycott.

Layla McCarter — world title holder, multiple weight divisions; member of Female Boxer Hall of Fame: It’s complicated. On the one hand stopping Russians from competing is meant to put pressure on Putin from his own people. On the other, the Russian people are paying the price for Putin’s actions. If they speak out against him, they are punished. By not allowing them to compete the world is punishing them. Fair? I don’t think so, so I lean toward letting them compete.

Robert Mladinichformer boxer, author, writer, actor: No fights should be sanctioned in Russia or for boxers based in Russia or Belarus but I don’t think it is fair to penalize boxers from those nations who are in other countries on work visas. It’s an emotional, hot button issue and I could entertain arguments for or against them being banned but it is important to strike a balance while still holding Russia accountable.

Joseph Pasquale — elite boxing judge and member of AC Boxing Hall of Fame: I imagine there will great difficulty just in obtaining visas to compete out of Russia under these war conditions. Compared to most sports, boxers have a very narrow window of peak career opportunity. This conflict will probably handicap many.

Russell Peltz — legendary Philadelphia boxing promoter, 2004 IBHOF inductee, author: I’m undecided. I hate to penalize any Russian athlete whose political leaning I have no clue about. On the other hand, it MAY be necessary to go all in 100% against everything Russian, whether it’s oil, vodka, McDonalds, athletes, etc

Dennis Rappaportfamous manager, promoter, and historian: Fights in Russia should not be sanctioned; however, you really should not prevent Russian fighters from boxing elsewhere. Even Schmeling wasn’t prevented from fighting in the U.S.

Fred Romano — boxing historian, author and former HBO Boxing consultant: This is not the type of question I would answer without careful consideration. I would like to know the precedents in such situations before drawing a conclusion. Punitive action against an individual for the actions of others must pass strict scrutiny.

Dana Rosenblattformer middleweight champion of the world, inspirational speaker: The only way to make sanctions stick is if all Russians feel it. Then they will take action against their own government. All Russian boxers should be banned until the conflict is over.

Ted Sares — TSS writer: For sanctions to be 100% effective, they must be symbolic as well as actual. In my view, Russian boxers should be barred from competing in the U.S. until the conflict is over.

“Iceman” John Scully — former boxer, manager, trainer, writer: Of course not. They are not politicians. Many other countries do ungodly things to human beings including China and no one has ever called for them to be removed from any rankings. The fighter should not suffer. And the fact of the matter is millions of Russians do not agree with the invasion of the Ukraine. Ultimately people are trying to make the boxers victims as well.

Alan Swyer — filmmaker, writer, and producer of the acclaimed El Boxeo: Despite the Kremlin’s contention “that sport is beyond politics,” Russia has long used athletics as a tool for propaganda. That explains why systematic doping has resulted in 46 Olympic medals stripped from Russian athletes. Russian boxers should definitely be barred from competing not just until the conflict is over, but until Russian aggression ceases.

Peter Wood — former boxer, writer. author, and artist: In 1980, I strongly disagreed with Jimmy Carter’s decision to boycott the Moscow Olympics–the boycott was in response to the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. However, today, in 2022, the situation is much different. I strongly support barring Russian & Belarusian boxers from competition. McDonald’s, Netflix, Shell, Visa, Mastercard, Adidas, AT&T, and hundreds of other major companies agree with me–they have halted business with Putin. So should the boxing community.

Summary

Most respondents felt that the boxers should not be punished for the situation in Ukraine, but there were some strong feelings on the other side of the argument.

How do you see it?

Ted Sares is a member of Rings 4, 8 and 10. He is a retired competitive power lifter.  He can be reached at tedsares@roadrunner.com

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The Inevitable Triple Crown of Emanuel Navarrete: Demystifying Alphabet Titles

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The Inevitable Triple Crown of Emanuel Navarrete: Demystifying Alphabet Titles

The thing which most needs to be understood concerning alphabet sanctioning bodies and the fighters who wear their belts is that the relationship is primarily one of customer and supplier.  Fighters pay to wear the alphabet belts that so profligate in the sport of boxing and they are in receipt of a service.  The service is twofold. Firstly, they are supplied with hardware. Belts for the “WBO Asia Pacific” middleweight title holder. Belts for the “World Boxing Council Silver flyweight title holder. Belts for the “World Boxing Association International” cruiserweight title holder. Belts for everyone.

Depending upon who you feel like recognising there can be around a thousand title belts floating around the world of boxing at any given time and the great percentage of these are not “world titles” but regional titles, pre-title titles (you read that right) and completely made-up titles for special occasions. Whenever you see a title, someone is paying a portion of their fight fee to the relevant sanctioning body. This is why fringe companies like the WBF and IBO spring into existence – where there is a belt there is cash.

This brings us to the second function served by the thousand belts sucking money out of boxing: they do make financial sense for the fighters and are directly profitable in the case of “world” titles.  Take the case of Padraig McCrory (16-0) out of Belfast.  He is a fine 175lb prospect with good power he has not yet quite harnessed into a fulsome skillset fighting just below national title level often on Michael Conlan undercards.  He’s also the light-heavyweight champion of the world according to the IBO, who crowned him for defeating Lean Bunn, a German who had never contested a fight longer than eight rounds before. He folded to McCrory in six.

Now McCrory can put “world light-heavyweight champion” on his fight-posters. For those that consider the IBO a body of minor reputation, that is fair, but boxing should not kid itself that IBO means more to most members of the paying public than WBA does – and nor should it, in this writer’s opinion. They are all in the same business and if it seems the fighter makes the title, keep in mind that Oleksandr Usyk wears an IBO heavyweight crown and Gennady Golovkin an IBO middleweight strap.

I was interested to see then that Emanuel Navarrete was set to step up to his third weight class and box for a “title” in the shape of the WBO 130lb world championship. The reigning 126lb WBO title holder, Navarrete is a fine example of a modern-day boxing customer to the bodies who are meant to police them. He has been paying the WBO for years.

I have to say here that there is no implication that Navarrete has done anything illegal nor even anything morally wrong within the culture of the industry he inhabits. Everyone pays sanctioning fees. Anthony Joshua, who is boxing’s second biggest earner since Floyd Mayweather’s retirement, is rumoured to have sunk well over a million dollars into sanctioning fees. Generally, champions and challengers will pay 2-3% of their fight purse to a roof of around $250,000 depending upon which ABC they are working with; some alphabets charge a registration fee to promoters, also. This means that for the likes of Joshua, Canelo Alvarez, and Floyd Mayweather the sanctioning fees can become quite prohibitive. Mayweather himself dropped belts to avoid paying these monies. The wonderful Erik Morales at one point completely ceased co-operating with his suppliers.

But generally, fighters do as Navarrete does and they pay for the gold. The proliferation of minor regional titles I describe in paragraph one was something that Navarrete neatly sidestepped. That is because he was very much the opponent for his 2018 fight with Isaac Dogboe, who had paid for regional title belts since 2015 at one point somehow being named both the WBO “African Featherweight” champion and the WBO “Oriental Featherweight” champion. Dogboe is British but was born in Ghana. Paying for these titles got him onto the WBO on-ramp, establishing him as a customer of this organisation and allowing relationships to be built between the WBO and Dogboe’s promotional organisation – again, if this sounds like a form of corruption, it should be noted that this is normal, no accusations of legal wrongdoing are being made.

When Dogboe surprisingly dropped his 122lb title to Navarrete, the WBO had a new customer – and a good one. Navarrete boxes in America and on American television, which is still the best way to enhance a purse without a pay-per-view audience. His most recent paydays are estimated at around a million dollars. This meant that when Navarrete decided that he could no longer make 122lbs, the WBO had a problem, namely that it was losing money on Navarrete’s purses as he no longer held a WBO strap. Navarrete also had a problem – he couldn’t leverage television or the paying public with a “world championship.” So, after boxing a fighter named Uriel Lopez Juarez who had lost his last three fights, Navarrete was deemed for a title shot at 126lbs, against another WBO customer, Ruben Villa, who had been paying to wield a regional WBO strap for the past year.

Villa was in no way qualified to face Navarrete. There is absolutely no question of the WBO fixing fights, but there they mandated a contest that would have genuinely shocked had it produced a Navarrete loss. This type of match-making is as old as the sport, where lesser fighters are sacrificed at the alters of the sport’s cash cows to fatten their records and progress their careers: but it is not, until recently, that this became normal for sanctioned “world title” fights.

Villa had never boxed over twelve rounds before in his career. Although he was clearly able to defend himself, Villa was dumped twice by Navarrete who won a clear points decision win. What we saw this Friday night in Glendale was a repeat of this exercise as Navarrete, once more struggling with the weight limit in his new division, departed for pastures new and 130lbs. The soft opponent this time would be Liam Wilson, an Australian, like Villa before him a loyal WBO customer having wielded both their “WBO Asia Pacific” 130lb title and their “WBO International” 130lb title in his short career (now 11-2). This is the first piece of the alphabet puzzle when trying to decipher who the most valued customers of an alphabet organisation are: is the championship match against a soft opponent who is expected to lose?

Look closer though, and you can sometimes see more.

Liam Wilson was astonished at the weigh-in when he was announced at just over 126lbs, nearly four pounds below the divisional weight-limit.

“Something happened with the scales,” he told Australian media.  “I’m sure they’ve been tampered with. I weighed in 20 minutes prior to the weigh in. I was just under weight. I went on the official scales for the official weigh-in and I was four pounds under, magically. So, in twenty minutes I lost four pounds, two kilos in Australian weight.”

Fighters sometimes sit in saunas forgoing water and sweating the best part of themselves into a tightly wrapped arrangement of plastic to lose this sort of weight. It is an enormous difference for Wilson, a man who has not weighed in close to 126lbs since the Oceanian Youth & Junior Championship – in 2012.

“I think he’s come in overweight and they tampered with the scales to make it seem like he made it.”

This is a significant accusation, and one that has not been proven. From the WBO’s own regulations:

The President of the Organization shall attend or designate a WBO Supervisor to attend every World Championship contest sanctioned by the WBO. The duties of said Supervisor shall be to represent the WBO at the Championship Match and prefight events including the weigh in…if a World Champion fails to make the prescribed weight for his category, the Champion shall lose the title at the scales, and the Championship shall then and there be declared vacant, whether or not the challenger makes weight.

The WBO then, is responsible for making sure the weigh in is conducted fairly to both parties.  Currently, there is no evidence that this was not the case.

Happily, the fight itself was a good one and a competitive affair before Navarrete lifted the vacant strap by technical knockout in the ninth. Navarrete, with limited experience of the 130lb punch was caught with a flush left hook in the fourth which Wilson followed up with good pressure and punching to ditch his man. Navarrete had the experience to spit the gumshield out while receiving a standing eight, clearly in trouble; Wilson did not have the experience to follow up against a hurt Navarrete who had bought himself some extra time.

That is why good customers tend to get inexperienced opponents when fighting for a favoured organisation’s strap. Imagine Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov or Roger Gutierrez chasing a hurt Navarrete across the ring in what, after all, is supposed to be a world-title fight. That is the key. There was nothing wrong with making Navarrete-Wilson; it was a good fight conducted in what were difficult circumstances for the Australian and one he nearly won, but for a world-title to be perpetrated upon the boxing public at the end of it is unreasonable.

It is also inevitable. As soon as the people who are policing the fighters become a service industry for those fighters, the type of easy night we repeatedly see for WBO favourites becomes nothing less than a part of the fabric of the sport. Even so, a fighter becoming a triple-crown champion by defeating not one but two fighters who have never boxed the championship distance seems shocking, even for this sport.

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Rey Vargas: “The featherweight title is absolutely still mine”

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Although there have been many speculations and comments about his boxing future, Mexican Rey Vargas affirms with total conviction that he will only decide after his fight against American O’Shaquie Foster on February 11th at the Alamodome in Texas.

Undefeated and current WBC featherweight champion, Vargas (36-0, 22 KOs) will seek to add the vacant WBC super featherweight belt that American southpaw Shakur Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs) lost on the scale last September when he beat Brazilian Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs) by unanimous decision.

Referring to his 126-pound title, Vargas expressed via a translator, “The featherweight title is absolutely still mine, so no worries about that. As far as 130, this is definitely an interesting challenge, an interesting place to be. We haven’t really decided what we’re gonna do afterwards, but we’re focused on the moment right now. Let’s focus on this fight, on this great crowd that we’re gonna be in front of, and then whatever happens, it will come after this fight.”

Born 32 years ago in the Federal District and residing in Otumba, Mexico, Vargas captured the world featherweight belt in February 2017, defeating Gavin McDonnell (22-2-3, 6 KOs) by majority decision at the Ice Arena in McDonnell’s hometown of Hull, England.

During the following two years, he made five successful defenses and in November 2021 he was victorious in a 10-round bout against his compatriot Leonardo Báez (21-5, 12 KOs) at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.

Eight months later, in his second appearance at 126 pounds, Vargas defeated then-undefeated Philippine champion Mark Magsayo (24-1, 16 KOs) by split decision. Magsayo was defending his WBC belt for the first time that night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

After beating Magsayo, Vargas’s representatives made arrangements to collide with Mexican Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1, 19 KOs), who at that time was the WBA featherweight super champion.

However, the agreement with Santa Cruz did not materialize and Vargas directed his attention towards the 130-pound belt, which Stevenson lost at the weigh-in in September. Considering his status as champion, the WBC agreed to Vargas’ request and ordered him to compete with O’Foster, who is ranked at the top of the category.

In a statement on its website, the WBC specified that the winner between Vargas and Foster has the obligation to make two defenses, according to the rules and regulations of that sanctioning body.

“The Leo Santa Cruz fight is definitely something that we have been meaning to do for years now,” Vargas said. “But as the process got more complicated and other stuff just kept getting in our way, this door opened for us where it was definitely an interesting challenge, something that can be as good as the Leo Santa Cruz fight.”

“(I’m) in a new division, the super featherweight division, where I can test myself,” said Vargas. Yes, it’s not my division per se, but I’m always up to new and exciting challenges, and this is definitely one of them. So, even though this isn’t the Leo Santa Cruz fight, it can definitely live up to the hype just as that one would.”

Foster (19-2, 11 KOs) has nine successive wins, the most recent against Tajikistan southpaw Muhammadkhuja Yakubon on March 18 of last year in Dubai, where they fought for the WBC silver belt.

Born 29 years ago in Orange, Texas, Foster said in an interview that this opportunity to face Vargas for the 130-pound crown “is a dream come true. And I’m so happy I can’t even hide it.”

Foster continued, “It’s something that I’ve been working for since I was eight years old. I never had a dream to be an Olympian, it was always to be a world champion so I’m feeling great and I’m ready to put on a show for the world.

“I feel like everything is happening at the right time and it’s my time to take over. I would love to unify once I get the title and then go undisputed if I can.  I’ve got big, big, big aspirations coming up.  We’re going to make it happen.”

Article submitted by Jorge Juan Álvarez in Spanish.

Please note any adjustments made were for clarification purposes and any errors in translation were unintentional.

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Navarrete Overcomes Adversity to TKO Wilson in a Corker

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Mexico’s Emanuel Navarrete won his 31st straight fight, pushing his record to 37-1 (31) and captured a title in a third weight class tonight at the Desert Diamond Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, but nearly came a cropper himself in a match in which both he and his opponent Liam Wilson were on the deck and hurt on multiple occasions. At stake was the WBO 130-pound belt vacated by Shakur Stevenson.

The obscure 26-year-old Wilson, subbing for Oscar Valdez who had to pull out with a rib injury, was making his U.S. debut and appearing in his first scheduled 12-rounder. The skinny on him was that he had a puncher’s chance because of a powerful left hook, but with only 12 pro fights on his ledger he was a massive underdog.

Navarrete got a taste of that left hook in the fourth round which Wilson landed after landing a hard overhand right, and suddenly it appeared that the Queenslander was poised to score the biggest upset in Australian boxing history since Jeff Horn upended Manny Pacquiao. Navarrete hit the deck, lost his mouthpiece and was clearly hurt, but managed to survive the round after precious seconds elapsed as he was getting his mouthpiece re-fitted.

Navarrete fought his way back into the fight and was having a strong sixth round until the final 30 seconds when Wilson hurt him again, this time with a right hook. But the Mexican weathered the storm, winning the next two rounds decisively and closed the show in round nine when he put the intrepid Aussie on the deck with an overhand right, the prelude to an assault that forced the referee to waive it off.

Semi-windup

In a tactical junior welterweight fight that heated up in the final round, LA’s Arnold Barboza continued his steady ascent toward a title fight with a narrow but unanimous decision over Puerto Rican veteran Jose Pedraza, a former Olympian and world title-holder in two weight divisions.

Barboza, who fights well off his back foot but isn’t a hard puncher, won by scores of 97-93 and 96-94 twice to push his record to 28-0. The 33-year-old Barboza fell to 29-5-1.

Also

In the opening bout on ESPN’s main platform, Tulare, California’s Richard Torrez Jr, a silver medalist at the Tokyo Summer Games, scored his fifth fast knockout in as many opportunities at the expense late sub James Bryant

Torrez came out like gangbusters, as is his custom, and sent Bryant stumbling back into the ropes with a harsh left uppercut followed by a straight hand in the waning seconds of the opening round. A highly decorated high school football player in Pennsylvania who had a cup of coffee with two NFL teams, Bryant, 37, was saved by the bell but elected not to come out for round two.

Torrez has mentioned that he would welcome a fight with British up-and-comer Frazer Clarke. Both were defeated in the Tokyo Olympics by fearsome Uzbek southpaw Bakhodir Jalolov, the heavy favorite.

ESPN+

Las Vegas super featherweight Andres Cortes (19-0) overcame a deep cut on his left eyelid to keep his undefeated record intact with a lopsided decision over Luis Melendez. The cut was caused by an accidental clash of heads in round six. Cut man deluxe “Stitch” Duran used his magic potion to stem the bleeding and the match continued on its established course. Cortes, the busier fighter, won all 10 rounds on all three cards. Melendez, a Puerto Rican from Hialeah, Florida, declined to 17-3.

Nico Ali Walsh, Muhammad Ali’s grandson, advanced to 8-0 (5) with a unanimous decision over a local fighter, Eduardo Ayala (9-3-1), in a six-round middleweight affair. The scores were 60-53 and 59-54 twice.

Walsh, who sparred with Caleb Plant in preparation for this fight, had Ayala on the canvas in round two, compliments of a short right hand, but his durable opponent managed to last the distance.

In an 8-round junior welterweight match, Mexico’s Lindolfo Delgado, a 2016 Rio Olympian, advanced to 17-0 (13) with a unanimous decision over Clarence Booth (21-7), a 35-year-old Floridian. The scores were 80-71 and 79-72 twice.

The heavy-handed Delgado, who had Robert Garcia in his corner, scored the fight’s lone knockdown, knocking Booth off his pins in the final stanza with a chopping right hand to the ear.

In the ESPN+ opener, 18-year-old Emiliano Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) won a 4-round unanimous decision over 19-year-old Tex-Mex southpaw Francisco Duque (1-2). Vargas won all four rounds, but Duque had several good moments.

Emiliano Vargas is the youngest and most well-touted of three fighting sons of Fernando Vargas, the former U.S. Olympian and two-time world super welterweight champion.

A 10-round super featherweight fight between Zavier Martinez (18-1) and Yohan Vasquez (25-3) was cancelled when it became obvious that Martinez would not make the contracted weight.

Photo credit: Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

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