Featherweight Thriller on UFC FIGHT ISLAND

Oct 15, 2020




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Las Vegas – UFC® will continue its run of shows on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with a highly anticipated bout guaranteed to deliver fireworks as No. 2 ranked Brian Ortega takes on No. 4 ”The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung in a clash of featherweight contenders. Also, recent women’s flyweight title challenger and No. 1 ranked contender Katlyn Chookagian looks to spoil the 125-pound debut of former strawweight champion Jessica Andrade.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: ORTEGA vs. THE KOREAN ZOMBIE will take place Saturday, October 17 from UFC FIGHT ISLAND on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. The main card will begin at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT in English and Spanish on ESPN+, with the prelims kicking off at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. The event is in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Former featherweight title challenger Ortega (14-1, 1 NC, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) returns to action for the first time in almost two years and hopes to deliver another show-stealing performance. Throughout the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt’s UFC run, he has earned spectacular finishes over Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, Renato Moicano and Clay Guida. He now seeks to get the last laugh against Jung and secure himself another world championship opportunity.

Perennial fan-favorite Jung (16-5, fighting out of Seoul, South Korea) has been thrilling fans for years with exciting bouts and highlight-reel finishes. Having ended 14 of his 16 wins before the final bell, Jung has turned heads with sensational stoppage victories over Frankie Edgar, Dustin Poirier, Leonard Garcia and Mark Hominick. Jung now aims to put his rivalry with Ortega to bed and stake his claim as the next UFC featherweight title challenger.

Chookagian (14-3, fighting out of Kenilworth, N.J.) has her sights set on building off her most recent victory over Antonina Shevchenko and defending her spot atop the women’s flyweight rankings. During her UFC run, she has netted exciting victories over Jennifer Maia, Joanne Calderwood and Alexis Davis. Chookagian now aims to keep her momentum going by finishing a former UFC champion and earning another title opportunity.

Former strawweight champion Andrade (20-8, fighting out of Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) looks to waste no time in her move up to flyweight by taking out the division’s top contender. A powerful grappler and heavy-handed striker, she has delivered incredible finishes against Rose Namajunas, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Joanne Calderwood. Andrade now hopes to make an immediate impact at 125 pounds by stopping Chookagian to secure herself a flyweight title shot.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Undefeated No. 13 ranked heavyweight contender Ciryl Gane (6-0, fighting out of Paris, France) takes on UFC newcomer Ante Delija (17-3, fighting out of Dubrovnik, Croatia)
  • Jimmy Crute (11-1, fighting out of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia) goes for another show-stealing finish against streaking Modestas Bukauskas (11-2, fighting out of London, England by way of Klaipeda, Lithuania) in a light heavyweight contest

·         Thomas Almeida (22-3, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) returns to the Octagon to take on Jonathan Martinez (12-3, fighting out of Plainview, Texas) in a featherweight bout

·         Undefeated Mateusz Gamrot (17-0 1NC, fighting out of Poznan, Poland) takes on Guram Kutateladze (11-2, fighting out of Georgia) in a clash of lightweight newcomers

  • No. 15 ranked women’s flyweight contender Gillian Robertson (8-4, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Niagara Falls, Ont., Canada) meets fellow finisher Poliana Botelho Lopes (8-2, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
  • Claudio Silva (14-1, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) goes for his 15th straight victory against tough veteran James Krause (26-9, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.)
  • Junyong Park (12-4, fighting out of Seoul, South Korea) faces John Phillips (22-10 1NC, fighting out of Swansea, Wales) in what promises to be an entertaining middleweight bout
  • In a battle of lightweight hopefuls, Jamie Mullarkey (12-3, fighting out of Central Coast, Australia) locks horns with Fares Ziam (10-3, fighting out of Givors, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France)
  • Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-7, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) aims to return to the win column against fellow light heavyweight Maxim Grishin (30-8-2, fighting out of Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia)
  • Exciting bantamweight prospects collide when Said Nurmagomedov (13-2, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) takes on Mark Striegl (18-2-1, fighting out of Las Vegas, NV by way of Baguio City, Philippines)

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Oct 15, 2020






Las Vegas – UFC® wraps up its second run on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with one of the most anticipated bouts of the year as UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champion Justin Gaethje battle to unify the belts. In the co-main event, former middleweight champion and No. 1 ranked Robert Whittaker takes on No. 3 Jared Cannonier in a pivotal bout with title implications. 

UFC® 254: KHABIB vs. GAETHJE will take place Saturday, October 24 on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and will stream live on Pay-Per-View, exclusively through ESPN+ in the U.S. at a special broadcast time of 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT in both English and Spanish. The prelims will be simulcast on ESPN2 and ESPN+ (English and Spanish) beginning at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT with the early prelims kicking off at 10:15 a.m. ET /7:15 p.m. PT simulcast on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass. The event is in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

ESPN+ is available on ESPN.comESPNplus.com and the ESPN App for mobile connected TV devices. To subscribe, visit espnplus.com/ufc.

Undefeated champion Nurmagomedov (28-0, fighting out of Dagestan, Russia) looks to put on another dominant performance and once again prove he is the best lightweight on the planet. Nurmagomedov is currently tied for the longest active win streak in the UFC with an impressive 12 victories in a row, which includes finishes over former champion Conor McGregor and former interim champion Dustin Poirier. He now seeks to extend his streak to 13 with a statement performance over Gaethje and make his case as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

Gaethje (22-2, fighting out of Arvada, Colo.) has become a fan favorite for the relentless and entertaining fight style that has earned him nine UFC post-fight bonuses in just seven fights. A proven finisher with a remarkable 20 of his 22 wins coming by stoppage, Gaethje rose through the lightweight ranks with knockouts over Edson Barboza, Donald Cerrone and Tony Ferguson. He now looks to realize his ultimate goal of attaining the undisputed UFC lightweight championship by becoming the first person to defeat Nurmagomedov.

Former UFC middleweight champion Whittaker (22-5, fighting out of Sydney, Australia) intends to continue his journey back to the title with his second marquee win of the year. The first Australian UFC champion, Whittaker initially made waves by winning The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes in 2012. After moving up to the middleweight division, he went on an eight-fight win streak to capture the title, which included spectacular performances against Yoel Romero, Jacare Souza and Derek Brunson. He now aims to keep his momentum going against Cannonier and cement himself as the No. 1 contender for the belt.

Former heavyweight Cannonier (13-4, fighting out of Anchorage, Alaska) seeks to claim the most important win of his career and secure his first UFC title shot. After moving down to the middleweight division, Cannonier quickly established himself as a top contender with stoppage victories over David Branch, Jack Hermansson and former champion Anderson Silva. He now has his sights set on landing another signature knockout against Whittaker and seizing his spot at the top of the rankings.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Top 10 heavyweights face off asNo. 6 ranked Alexander Volkov (31-8, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) battles No. 8 Walt Harris (13-8 1 NC, fighting out of Birmingham, Ala.)
  • No. 2 ranked women’s flyweight Cynthia Calvillo (9-1-1, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.) and No. 4 ranked Lauren Murphy (13-4, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.) look to make a statement and earn their first UFC title shot
  • No. 11 ranked light heavyweight Magomed Ankalaev (13-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) and Ion Cutelaba (15-5, fighting out of Chisinau, Maldova) finally meet in a highly anticipated bout guaranteed to deliver action
  • Stefan Struve (33-12, fighting out of Beverwijk, The Netherlands) locks horns with Tai Tuivasa (10-3, fighting out of Western Sydney, Australia) in a heavyweight bout
  • In a clash of UFC newcomers, Jacob Malkoun (4-0, fighting out of Sydney, Australia) meets Dana White’s Contender Series signee Phillip Hawes (8-2, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) at middleweight
  • In an exciting welterweight bout, Alex Oliveira (22-8-1 2 NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) aims to spoil the UFC debut of Shavkat Rakhmonov (12-0, fighting out of Kokshetau, Kazakhstan)
  • Da-un Jung (13-2, fighting out of Seoul, South Korea) seeks to stay undefeated in the UFC when he takes on veteran Sam Alvey (33-14, fighting out of Temecula, Calif.) at light heavyweight
  • UFC newcomers Umar Nurmagomedov (12-0, fighting out of Chelyabinsk, Russia) and Sergey Morozov (16-3, fighting out of Aktobe, Kazakhstan) aim to put on a show-stealing performance
  • Liana Jojua (8-3, fighting out of Tbilisi, Georgia) battles Invicta FC veteran Miranda Maverick (7-2, fighting out of Norfolk, Va.)
  • Top bantamweight prospects battle in a 140-pound catchweight bout as Nathaniel Wood (17-4, fighting out of London, England) meets Casey Kenney (15-2-1, fighting out of Tucsan, Ariz.)
  • In a lightweight bout, Joel Alvarez (17-2, fighting out of Asturias, Spain) looks to extend his win streak when he takes on Alexander Yakovlev (24-9-1, fighting out of Fairfield, N.J. by way of Saint Petersburg, Russia)

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Oct 8, 2020


LOS ÁNGELES, California 8 de octubre de 2020.— Uno de los combates de peso ligero más esperados en los últimos años finalmente tendrá lugar cuando el estrella en ascenso Ryan García (20-0, 17 nocáuts) se enfrente al experimentado contendiente y medallista de oro Olímpico Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 nocáuts) en un batalla a 12 asaltos por el campeonato mundial interino de peso ligero CMB. La pelea se efectuará el sábado 5 de diciembre y se transmitirá en vivo exclusivamente por DAZN en Estados Unidos.             La información sobre la sede y el respaldo se anunciará en breve.             “Desde hace muchos años, el mundo del boxeo ha estado clamando por un estrella con atracción global que es capaz de capturar la atención de nuevas audiencias que han estado sin explotar durante mucho tiempo”, afirmó Óscar De La Hoya, Presidente y Jefe Ejecutivo de Golden Boy. “Ryan García se encuentra al borde de hacer lo mismo a una edad increíblemente joven cuando se enfrenta a Luke Campbell. Si bien la transición de los enormes seguidores de Ryan en las redes sociales a los espectadores de DAZN es un buen negocio para Ryan, Golden Boy y DAZN, es más importante para el deporte del boxeo que necesita una inyección de ánimo ahora más que nunca. Durante los próximos meses, trabajaremos incansablemente con nuestros socios para promover esta pelea, la mayor prueba de Ryan en su carrera que puede catapultarlo a un nivel completamente diferente”, explicó.             García es un contendiente de 22 años que se ha convertido rápidamente en uno de los jóvenes atletas más populares del boxeo. Desde que se unió al establo de Golden Boy en 2016, García ha mostrado que merece una oportunidad titular al derrotar a peleadores como “Ruthless” Romero Duno, Francisco Fonseca, Carlos “The Solution” Morales Jason “La Maravilla” Vélez. Desde que unió fuerzas con el reconocido entrenador Eddy Reynoso, el nativo de Victorville, California se ha mirado mejor que nunca, mejorando sus habilidades técnicas y anotando victorias por nocaut en sus últimas cinco peleas. Pero ahora, la prueba más dura de su carrera le espera en Campbell, un hombre con el que puede demostrar definitivamente que es material de campeonato.
            “He estado esperando ansiosamente por volver al ring y he estado trabajando más duro que nunca para llegar aquí”, dijo Ryan García. “Ha sido un año difícil para todos, pero estoy emocionado de brindarles a los fanáticos un escape por la noche… o, según mi historial, unos minutos como máximo. El récord de Luke habla por sí solo, pero estoy dispuesto a demostrar que los escépticos están equivocados. Esta es mi era y el 5 de diciembre es sólo el comienzo”, enfatizó.
            Campbell, un campeón ligero Plata del CMB quien capturó una medalla de oro frente a sus compatriotas ingleses en los Juegos Olímpicos de Londres 2012, es un peleador de élite. Junto con las victorias contra Darleys Pérez y el ex campeón mundial Argenis Méndez, el púgil zurdo de 33 años ha estado en peleas muy competitivas contra el ex campeón unificado de 135 libras Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares y el actual campeón unificado de peso ligero Vasiliy Lomachenko. Ya sea por su experiencia o su habilidad, Campbell confía en que puede acabar con García.             “2020 ha sido un año extremadamente difícil para todos, así que estoy muy contento que finalmente podamos comenzar esta pelea oficialmente y darles a los fanáticos algo que esperar”, dijo Luke Campbell. “Se ha hablado mucho y claramente [Ryan] es un peleador muy respetado, pero voy a demostrar que esto es demasiado pronto para él y que estoy en un nivel completamente diferente. He peleado en Estados Unidos antes, así que esto no será nada nuevo para mí y para mi equipo. Con aficionados o sin aficionados, lo único que puedo garantizar es que regresaré al Reino Unido con la victoria. El entrenamiento no se ha detenido para mí, y estaré en las mejores condiciones para mostrar algo muy especial de Luke Campbell el 5 de diciembre”, puntualizó.             “Esta es una gran pelea en lo que probablemente sea la división más popular del boxeo en este momento”, dijo Eddie Hearn, Director General de Matchroom Sport. “Luke es intrépido en los desafíos que toma y está listo para lograr una gran victoria en diciembre contra Ryan García. Luke ha estado combatiendo en el nivel más alto de la división ligero durante mucho tiempo, y aunque Ryan es un talento joven excepcional, realmente creo que el pedigrí y la experiencia de Luke serán demasiado para él”, aseveró.             García vs. Campbell es un duelo a 12 giros por el título interino mundial ligero del CMB presentado por Golden Boy en asociación con Matchroom Boxing. El evento es patrocinado por Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” y BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.”  El combate se llevará a cabo el 5 de diciembre de 2020 y será trasmitido en vivo exclusivamente por DAZN en Estados Unidos. 

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Oct 8, 2020
BROWNSVILLE, TX (October 7, 2020) – Yesterday undefeated professional boxer Omar “El Relámpago” Juarez (9-0, 4 KOs), the highly regarded super lightweight prospect fighting for Premiere Boxing Champions, the top boxing promotion company in the world today, was presented with recognitions for his work outside the ring.
Texas State Congressman, Filemon Vela, presented Juarez with a Congressional Record from the House of Representatives, while Texas State Senator, Eddie Lucio, and representatives from the Brownsville Independent School District and Down by the Border, presented Omar with additional recognitions. Omar continues to be a community leader with the youth in his hometown of Brownsville, TX,
“It was a great honor to be recognized and awarded these recognitions.” said Omar Juarez. “I think it’s important to give back to my community with time and support. I’m very grateful to have a solid team behind me that helps me accomplish all my goal outside the ring. I will continue to be a positive role model to the youth in my community and around the world.”
“We are very proud of Omar for being a positive role model in the South Texas community,” said Jorge Sanchez, who helps Juarez with his activities outside the ring. “The sky is the limit for Omar as he will continue to bring a helpful environment for the kids in this area.”
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Oct 8, 2020
Photos by Kyte Monroe – Thompson Boxing
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 7, 2020) – The exciting return of super bantamweight Saul “The Beast” Sanchez (13-1, 7 KOs) of Pacoima, Ca, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing, will happen this Friday, October 9th, 2020, as he faces Daniel “La Tormenta” Lozano (15-9-1, 11 KOs), who fights out of Bowling Green, Florida. The two warriors will headline a ten-round bout televised live on Telemundo, taking place at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
Here is what Sanchez had to say about this recent training camp with coach Manny Robles.
On his recent training camp.“It has been really good training camp as we just wrapped up our final day of working out. I am working with my coach Manny Robles, and he is helping me to improve in a lot of areas. This has been an exhausting and hard camp, but I feel that the work I put in will pay off in the ring.”
On the match-up with Daniel Lozano. “Daniel Lozano is a really tough and experienced fighter. I think he is a little past his prime, but even then, he is still a difficult fight. He’s been in the ring with some good fighters.  Lozano is from Florida and I am going into his backyard, so I am coming in with the mindset of being the underdog.  I hate that I have a loss on my record, so I feel my performance needs to be that much better to get my name to where it was prior to my first defeat.”
On what a win would do for your career. “A win could elevate me into the bouts I want to be in. I look at guys like Daniel Roman and Ruben Villa, both of whom are in world title fights and signed to my promoter Thompson Boxing, and that is what I want. So, I want to get myself into a position in which I can fight for a world title against the very best in the world and beating a known veteran like Lozano helps move me in that direction.” On headlining a Telemundo boxing card“Obviously to headline any card is huge, but for it to be on national television is a major step up in my career. I just want to put on a great fight for those tuning in. I need to be impressive in this televised fight.  I’ll be throwing a lot of punches, that you can guarantee.
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Oct 8, 2020
Undefeated World Ranked Contender Ruben Villa IV Battles Emanuel Navarrete for the Vacant WBO Featherweight World Title October 9 Live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes From the MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas
Photos from Brett Ostrowski
SALINAS, CA (October 6, 2020) – The highly anticipated world title fight between Ruben Villa IV (18-0, 5KOs), who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions, and Emanuel Navarrete (32-1, 28 KOs) will happen this Friday, October 9th, 2020 on ESPN with the vacant WBO featherweight world title on the line. 
The fight is being promoted by Top Rank, in association with Thompson Boxing Promotions and Banner Promotions, taking place at “The Bubble” inside the MGM Grand Conference Center, televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes (10 PM ET / 7 PM PT).
Prior to being in the professional ranks, Villa was largely considered as one of the greatest amateurs in recent years in USA Boxing. He is now looking to make a childhood dream come true by bringing a world title back to his hometown of Salinas, California. Here is what Villa had to say about his upcoming fight world title fight. On his recent training camp“This camp has been the best camp of my life. I turned off all social media, I took a ‘Mamba Mentality’, and focused strictly on training. I’ve had great sparring partners preparing for this fight like Manny Jaimes, Javier Padilla, Andy Vences and Xavier Martinez, and they all gave me tough rounds, and I am ready for whatever Navarrete will bring, whether it is boxing or pressure.
On his matchup with Emanuel Navarrete“Navarrete is a good fighter, but I will be honest, I feel largely disrespected coming into this fight. I am a southpaw who is the bigger man, and had a better amateur career, but am being viewed as an underdog. I have a chip on my shoulder, and though I respect Navarrete’s skills, I am looking to prove a point.” On bringing a world title back to Salinas, California.“I love my hometown of Salinas, California, and I want to bring home a world title to all the fans here that have supported me over the years. I have told my trainers Max Garcia and Sam Garcia that this has been a childhood dream of mine since I first laced up a pair of gloves. We’re working as a team to accomplish this goal.” On what people expect when he steps in the ring.“People will see someone who started boxing at a young age, show his skills and poise in accomplishing a childhood dream. I have been very focused, I am giving this my all, and I am ready. Everyone should tune in Friday, October 9th, on ESPN, because this will be a great fight for the fans.”
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Oct 8, 2020

Spanish Podcast, “El Gancho Con Abner Mares,” Debuts Wednesday, October 7 on Apple Podcasts
Blue Wire Podcast Network and Four-Time World Boxing Champion Abner Mares Launch Bilingual Podcast Series
OCTOBER 6, 2020 – LOS ANGELES, CA – Blue Wire Podcasts and Four-Time World Boxing Champion and 2004 Olympian Abner Mares are releasing two new podcasts “On the Hook with Abner Mares” and “El Gancho con Abner Mares” on Apple Podcasts this week. The English language podcast, “On the Hook with Abner Mares” launches today, and the Spanish podcast “El Gancho con Abner Mares” will premiere on Wednesday, October 7. Both are available on Blue Wire’s podcast platforms which include Apple Podcasts.

The first episode of “On the Hook” is Abner telling his story. From growing up in Mexico, his roots, how his career started, the fights that he has endured both inside and outside the ring, and his perspective in life as a Latino. 

Abner Mares is a four-time world, three-division boxing champion, Olympian, sports commentator, and, most importantly, girl dad. Beloved by fans worldwide, Abner is not only a fighter but a businessman, entertaining, informing, and enlightening people across the world both in and out of the ring. Each week, Mares will interview fellow boxers, musicians, actors, lifestyle influencers, and family members on everything from coming back from injury, trash talk at weigh-ins, dancing with his daughters, and staying in fighting shape.

The short-form episodes will be premiered three times a week, with two episodes in English and one in Spanish each week.

The trailer for “On the Hook” and “El Gancho” is now available. You can listen here. New episodes will be available every Tuesday starting October 6th. You can subscribe here.

About Abner Mares
Abner Mares is one of boxing’s most admired and revered athletes.  A four-division World Boxing champion and former Olympian, his warrior mentality inside the ring and his commitment to his community and philanthropy work outside the ring have made him a hero of the Americas.

Born in Guadalajara, MX, he was raised in both Mexico and the United States, with his parents working multiple jobs to provide for their 11 children. Abner’s story of his family’s struggles both in Mexico and in Hawaiian Gardens, CA has been well documented, as he came to the U.S. at seven years old, immigrating to the U.S. via Tijuana, and had to overcome poverty, language differences, and avoiding gang life as a teenager. Recently becoming an American citizen, his journey has made him an inspirational athlete whose message of never giving up resonates with fans across the globe.

He looks to re-enter the ring in 2020 and have a chance to earn his fifth world title.
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Oct 5, 2020


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WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario Barrios Takes on Ryan Karl;

Former 140-Pound Champion Regis Prograis Faces Unbeaten Juan Heraldez; Lightweight Contenders Isaac Cruz and Diego Magdaleno Meet in Title Eliminator


NEW YORK – October 2, 2020 – Three-time world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis and four-division world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz will square off in a Halloween thriller for the WBA Super Featherweight and WBA Lightweight Championships live on SHOWTIME PPV Saturday, October 31 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The four-fight pay-per-view card will be the first major boxing event with fans in attendance since COVID-19 forced a halt to U.S. sports in March.

The stacked undercard will feature unbeaten San Antonio native and WBA Super Lightweight Champion Mario “El Azteca” Barrios defending his title against hard-hitting Ryan “Cowboy” Karl in the co-main event and former super lightweight world champion Regis “Rougarou” Prograis will take on unbeaten contender Juan Heraldez in a 10-round showdown. In the telecast opener, lightweight contenders Isaac Cruz and Diego Magdaleno will battle in an IBF title eliminator bout.

The highly anticipated main event will be contested at 130-pounds and will be fought for both Santa Cruz’s 130-pound title and Davis’ 135-pound title, which they each won in their previous fight. Two crowd favorites with massive followings, Davis vs. Santa Cruz is an all-action style matchup, with Davis owning a .957 knockout rate, while Santa Cruz is long established as one of the busiest punchers and best pressure fighters in the sport.

Davis vs. Santa Cruz will be a rare clash in boxing history in which world titles in two weight classes will be at stake. Other notable instances in recent boxing history are the 1988 Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Donny Lalonde fight for the light heavyweight and super middleweight titles, and the 2014 Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana rematch for the super welterweight and welterweight championships.

“I’m looking forward to showing the world how hard I’ve been working in camp,” said Davis. “We are just a few weeks away, and I’m already in great shape. Headlining on pay-per-view has always been a dream of mine since I started boxing. I can’t wait to put on a spectacular performance against multiple division world champion Leo Santa Cruz. Thank you to my team, SHOWTIME, Mayweather Promotions, GTD Promotions, and all my fans worldwide. Keep supporting me and I’ll fight for you.”

“October 31 is going to be the biggest fight of my career,” said Santa Cruz. “I’m going to fight a very tough opponent, maybe the toughest opponent of my career. Two titles are going to be on the line, and this will be my first time headlining a pay-per-view. So I’m going to do everything that I can to put on a good show. Davis is known for his power. But I think with my experience and ring IQ I can break him down. He’s probably going to be very aggressive in the early rounds. But if I do what I’m supposed to, and execute our game plan, I will win.’’

The event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, GTD Promotions and Santa Cruz Boxing Club.

“This fight between Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz is such a great fight that we had to have it with fans, which will be a first for a major boxing event since COVID-19 started,” said Floyd Mayweather, President of Mayweather Promotions and a 12-time, five-division world champion. “Tank’ Davis is a special talent, a super skilled fighter and I have been in the gym regularly to watch and help him prepare for a tough opponent in Santa Cruz, who we all know always comes in shape and ready to fight. It’s going to be a great night for Mayweather Promotions, for boxing and for sports. The best fighting the best is all we can ask for.” 

“We continue with the tradition of offering boxing fans the best matchups in the hottest divisions, pitting the best versus the best,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Tank Davis facing Leo Santa Cruz is one of the most exciting matchups of the year. You have a young, hungry star with devastating power in Davis and an experienced and absolutely relentless four-division champ looking to conquer a title in a fifth division. This is the type of matchup boxing fans have waited the entire year to watch. Two superstars in their toughest matchup to date battling for titles in two weight divisions at the same time.”

“Gervonta Davis is the most exciting fighter in the sport, and he’s set to headline his first pay-per-view card and set the world on fire,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “He’s up against an experienced, four-division world champion in Leo Santa Cruz, who is looking to take him down and hand him his first L on October 31.”

“Gervonta Davis vs. Leo Santa Cruz is one of the best matchups that can be made in boxing, with each fighter in position to score a career-defining victory,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “We’re excited to bring a historic showdown with world titles in two weight classes on the line to fans at the Alamodome. Davis vs. Santa Cruz presents a fascinating clash of styles, with Santa Cruz’s relentless pressure against Davis’ fight-changing power. Adding in three high-stakes undercard attractions, this pay-per-view is lined up to present drama in the ring from start to finish.” 

Tickets will go on sale Monday, October 5 at 10 a.m. CT and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com. This is the first major boxing event with fans in attendance since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. in March. The Alamodome has implemented a comprehensive health and safety plan to protect against the spread of the virus. All fans attending the event will be screened upon entry and are required to wear a mask, as well as follow social distancing guidelines. Tickets will be distributed in seat blocks known as “pods” to maintain distance between groups not from the same party. For more information, visit Alamodome.com.

“The Alamodome is excited to host the Davis vs. Santa Cruz SHOWTIME PPV event and to bring these athletes to San Antonio,” said Steve Zito, General Manager, Alamodome. “Not only is this a great platform for these athletes and their fans, but the event will also spotlight San Antonio through nationally televised matches and generate economic impact for our community during these challenging times.”

Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) burst onto the scene with an explosive knockout victory over Jose Pedraza to win the IBF Junior Lightweight World Title in a star-making performance on SHOWTIME® in January 2017. At the time, he became the youngest world champion in boxing at age 22. In the ring, Davis blends controlled aggression with blazing hand and foot speed, eye-catching power and sublime boxing skills. The dynamic combination of skills has made Davis a fan-favorite who filled arenas in Atlanta, Ga., and his hometown of Baltimore, Md., last year. 

The 25-year-old began his 2019 with a knockout of Hugo Ruiz in February, before scoring a second-round stoppage of Ricardo Núñez in his homecoming fight in July. Davis closed out the year by capturing his lightweight title via 12th round TKO of former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in December. Davis also owns a title-winning performance in which he dominated former champion Jesus Cuellar to capture the WBA 130-pound belt in 2018. Under the guidance of Mayweather Promotions, Davis will look to further improve his impressive portfolio with another title-winning performance in his first pay-per-view main event.

Fighting out of Los Angeles, Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) made his debut at super featherweight last November by defeating Miguel Flores to capture the WBA title. Santa Cruz has made his name in the sport by engaging in numerous Fight of the Year contenders, including two thrilling featherweight title duels against four-time champion Abner Mares and two-division champion Carl Frampton each. He lost his featherweight title in his first match against Frampton in 2016, but reclaimed it in their rematch the following year.

The 32-year-old has competed in title bouts in 17 of his last 19 fights, while picking up belts at 118, 122, 126 and 130-pounds. The 130-pound title made Santa Cruz just the fifth fighter of Mexican descent to win titles in four weight classes, joining Oscar De La Hoya, Erik Morales, Jorge Arce and Mikey Garcia. Santa Cruz was introduced to the sport and trained throughout his career by his father Jose, along with his brothers Jose Armando, a former lightweight contender, and Antonio. Santa Cruz will look to become a five-division champion in his first pay-per-view headliner.

The 25-year-old Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs) will be making the first defense of his world title in his hometown of San Antonio. Barrios captured his 140-pound title in his last fight in September 2019, earning a hard-fought unanimous decision over then-unbeaten Batyr Akhmedov, dropping him twice and fighting through a cut suffered on a head butt. Barrios trains in Oakland, Calif. under the guidance of renowned coach Virgil Hunter. The five-foot ten-inch Barrios debuted as a super bantamweight in 2013, eventually moving up to 140-pounds full time in 2017 where he is 8-0 with seven knockouts.

“The long layoff is finally over and fans can expect to see me go to war with Ryan Karl, who I know is coming to bring an aggressive fight to the table,” said Barrios. “I’ve stayed in great shape during this past year, so now it’s time for me to keep giving boxing fans exciting fights. I’ll be representing my city of San Antonio and as always, everyone can expect to see me as explosive as ever. On October 31, all the fans watching on pay-per-view will watch me make a statement as I defend my title.”

Born in Milano, Texas and now trained in Houston under the tutelage of top trainer Ronnie Shields, Karl (18-2, 11 KOs) will step in for his first title opportunity on October 31. The 28-year-old enters this fight on a three-bout winning streak, with all three wins coming in 2019, including a knockout of Kevin Watts to avenge one of his losses in an immediate rematch. Karl also owns victories over Kareem Martin and then-unbeaten Jose Felix Quezada during his pro career that dates back to 2014.

“I’ve been training for this my whole life and I’m not going to let it slip away,” said Karl. “We’re working hard in training camp to put on the best performance of my career. We know what we’re up against in Mario Barrios, but I’ve come too far not to take full advantage of this opportunity on October 31.”

A staple of the 140-pound elite, Prograis (24-1, 20 KOs) returns to the ring after losing his title in an exciting unification clash via majority decision last October against Josh Taylor. The 31-year-old won his title by defeating Kiryl Relikh by TKO in April 2019 and has also earned stoppage victories over former unified champion Julius Indongo, and then-unbeaten contenders Joel Diaz Jr. and Juan Jose Velasco. Prograis was born in New Orleans but lives and fights out of Houston.

“This is a huge fight and I’m very thankful to PBC for giving me this opportunity,” said Prograis. “I haven’t fought in a year and since then I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and moved from L.A. back to Texas. I’m more focused than I’ve ever been and I can’t wait to get back to my number one spot in the super lightweight division. I have to be a world champion again and I won’t stop until that happens.”

The 30-year-old Heraldez (16-0-1, 10 KOs) can vault himself into the top tier of 140-pound contenders with a career-best victory over Prograis on October 31. Born in Northridge, Cal. and training out of the Mayweather Promotions gym in Las Vegas, Heraldez most recently fought to a majority draw last May against former champion Argenis Mendez. Heraldez’s pro career has also seen him score victories over previously unbeaten Jose Miguel Borrego and tough contender Eddie Ramirez.

“It’s been a crazy year, but I took this opportunity to spend time with my family and sharpen my skills inside the ring,” said Heraldez. “There’s been a lot of great sparring happening at the Mayweather Boxing Club that I’ve taken advantage of. I have a tough opponent in front of me, and that’s my only focus right now. I trust in my ability as a fighter and I trust my team to get me over the finish line with a victory on October 31. I’m thankful to Mayweather Promotions for putting me on such a large platform for this fight.”

Fighting out of his native Mexico City, Mexico, Cruz (19-1-1, 14 KOs) is unbeaten in his last 15 fights since dropping his sixth pro fight by decision. The 22-year-old knocked out 10-of-13 opponents between 2016 and 2018, before making his U.S. debut in December 2019. That contest saw Cruz earn a unanimous decision over Miguel Perez, which he followed up in February of this year by defeating Thomas Mattice by decision on ShoBox: The New Generation.

“Since I started boxing, it has been my dream to fight on this stage in the United States,” said Cruz. “I know that Diego Magdaleno is a very tough and experienced fighter, but it’s my time on October 31. The fans will see that I have what it takes to be world champion when I beat Magdaleno and announce myself as one of the best lightweights in the world.”

Magdaleno (32-3, 13 KOs) enters this fight coming off of an impressive victory over contender Austin Dulay in February that saw him drop Dulay on his way to a unanimous decision. The 33-year-old has challenged Roman Martinez for a 130-pound title and Terry Flanagan for a lightweight crown, while also battling lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez in February 2019. A Las Vegas native, Magdaleno has won four-of-five fights entering October 31, including a 10-round decision over Artyom Hovhannisyan.

“I’ve been super eager to get back into the ring since my last performance,” said Magdaleno. “That win sparked a fire in me and got me as motivated as I’ve ever been. Now that I’m in a title eliminator, I’m even more excited to return to action. I’m facing another young lion, but he’s lacking the experience that I have. Training with Bones Adams has made a world of difference in my career. I’ve made a transition to being more composed and smarter in the ring. I’m here to make a statement and claim what’s mine. I’m never going to back down until I get that world title.”

For more information visit www.SHO.com/sportswww.PremierBoxingChampions.com, follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @PremierBoxing, @MayweatherPromo, @TGBPromotions or become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SHOBoxing

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Pivotal Bantamweight Matchup Sees Moraes Battle Sandhagen

Oct 5, 2020








Las Vegas – UFC® will continue its run of shows on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with a pivotal matchup in the bantamweight division as former title challenger and No. 1 ranked Marlon Moraes battles No. 4 ranked Cory Sandhagen with a potential title shot on the line. The co-main event will see dynamic featherweights compete to climb the rankings as No. 14 Edson Barboza takes on Makwan Amirkhani.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: MORAES vs. SANDHAGEN will take place Saturday, October 10 from UFC FIGHT ISLAND on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. All bouts will be carried exclusively on ESPN+ in English and Spanish, beginning with the prelims at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT and followed by the main card at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. The event is in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

Former UFC bantamweight title challenger Moraes (23-6, fighting out of Toms River, NJ by way of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) plans to earn his second shot at the belt by landing another signature knockout. A black belt in both Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Moraes has proven that he is dangerous wherever the fight goes with finishes over Raphael Assuncao, Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling. Moraes now intends to become the first man to knockout Sandhagen and cement his spot at the top of the rankings.

Sandhagen (12-2, fighting out of Aurora, Colo.) returns to the Octagon aiming to secure the most significant win of his young career. A professional mixed martial artist for just over five years, Sandhagen has proven himself to be among the best in the world with wins over Raphael Assuncao, John Lineker and Iuri Alcantara. He now looks to show off his ever-growing skillset and earn his first UFC title shot with a statement victory.

Highly regarded striker Barboza (20-9, fighting out of Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) intends to land another highlight-reel knockout and begin his climb towards the top of the featherweight division. One of the top Muay Thai artists in the UFC, Barboza made his name with devastating victories over Terry Etim, Evan Dunham and, most recently, Dan Hooker. He now seeks to claim his first victory at 145 pounds and prove he still has what it takes to compete with the UFC elite.

Finland’s Amirkhani (16-4, fighting out of Turku, Finland) steps up on short notice against his most dangerous opponent to date, hoping to break into the featherweight top 15 for the first time. A submission specialist with dynamic striking, Amirkhani burst on to the UFC scene with an eight-second flying knee knockout over Andy Ogle. Since then, he has notched exciting wins over Jason Knight, Chris Fishgold and Danny Henry. Amirkhani now aims to deliver his most impressive performance yet and declare himself as the next future contender for the belt.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Heavyweight veterans collide as Ben Rothwell (38-12, fighting out of Kenosha, Wis.) locks horns with Marcin Tybura (19-6, fighting out of Uniejow, Poland)
  • Middleweight Markus Perez (12-3, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) plans to spoil the UFC debut of Dricus du Plessis (14-2, fighting out of Hatfield, Pretoria, South Africa)
  • In a battle of heavyweight prospects Tom Aspinall (8-2, fighting out of Liverpool, England) looks to spoil the UFC debut of Alan Baudot (8-1, fighting out of Lyon, France)
  • Thomas Almeida (22-3, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) returns to the Octagon to take on fellow bantamweight finisher Alejandro Perez (22-8-1, fighting out of San Jose, Calif.)
  • Featherweight Youssef Zalal (10-2, fighting out of Englewood, Colo.) goes for his fourth win of 2020 when he meets undefeated UFC newcomer Ilia Topuria (8-0, fighting out of Alicante, Spain)

·         Tom Breese (11-2, fighting out of Birmingham, England) returns to action against undefeated UFC newcomer KB Bhullar (8-0, fighting out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) in a middleweight scrap

  • Heavyweights Chris Daukaus (9-4, fighting out of Philadelphia, Pa.) and Rodrigo Nascimento (8-0, fighting out of Belo Horizonte, State of Minas Gerais, Brazil) aim to hand each other their first UFC loss
  • Hard hitting middleweights faceoff as Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Impa Kasanganay (8-0, fighting out of Charlotte, N.C.) meets Joaquin Buckley (10-3, fighting out of St. Louis, Mo.)
  • Bantamweights Ali Al-Qaisi (8-4, fighting out of Amman, Jordan) and Tony Kelley (6-2, fighting out of Shreveport, La.) clash to earn their first UFC victory
  • Dynamic featherweight striker Giga Chikadze (10-2, fighting out of Huntington Beach, Calif. by way of Tbilisi, Georgia) looks to hand Omar Morales (10-0, fighting out of Miami, Fla. by way of Caracas, Venezuela) his first loss
  • Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Tracy Cortez(7-1, fighting out of Scottsdale, Ariz.) welcomes UFC newcomer Stephanie Eggar (5-1, fighting out of St. Gallen, Switzerland) at bantamweight
  • Bruno Silva (10-5-2, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Tagir Ulanbekov (12-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan, Russia) meet in a battle of flyweight grapplers
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Oct 2, 2020
WBC Lightweight champion defends on Nov. 7 – Super-Middleweight grudge match on Nov. 27
Devin Haney will defend his WBC World Lightweight title against Yuriorkis Gamboa on Saturday, Nov. 7 and Daniel Jacobs will clash with Gabriel Rosado on Friday, Nov. 27, both behind closed doors and subject to strict COVID-19 protocols at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida, live on DAZN. To subscribe to DAZN, visit www.DAZN.com. Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) is back in action for the first time since November 2019 after injuring his right shoulder in seeing off Alfredo Santiago in the first defense of his belt in LA. The 21-year-old sensation had successful surgery on the injury and is now ready to resume his quest to dominate a 135-lbs. scene that’s littered with big names. First on his hit list is Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs), the former unified World Featherweight king and Cuban hero, following his Olympic gold medal. Gamboa is aiming to become a two-weight World ruler at the third attempt having challenged Terence Crawford and Gervonta Davis for their titles, but Haney is confident he will reignite his reign in style. “Yuriokis Gamboa is a dangerous and experienced fighter,” said Haney. “He’s a former unified world champion, and he has been in the ring with some of the best. He hurt Terence Crawford with a big shot, so his power is not to be ignored. He beat Orlando Salido who beat Vasiliy Lomachenko. Less than a year ago he took Gervonta Davis into the 12th round, something no one has ever been able to do. Gamboa is a true warrior and I’m not taking him lightly. I’ve called out all the top names, and I finally got someone who will challenge me for my title. I intend on making a statement in this fight. My hunger is on another level. It’s time to show the world who the best fighter in boxing is and that’s me!”  “I’m extremely thankful to God for allowing this fight to happen and for the miracle of healing my Achilles,” said Gamboa. “I’ve been dreaming and wishing of fighting for the WBC Green Belt ever since I was an amateur in Cuba. I’m ready and determined to win this title for my fans and to prove those who wrote me off as a washed up fighter wrong. I came up short against Davis because of my Achilles in the second round, but I fought the rest of the fight on one foot, hurting him in the middle rounds. You are going to see a healthy Gamboa fight with both of my legs, fists and warrior heart of mine. With God’s blessings I will come out victorious Nov. 7.” Jacobs and Rosado have built up a rivalry over the last year and now that comes to a head three weeks after Haney vs. Gamboa. Jacobs (36-3, 30 KOs) made the first steps on his target of becoming a two-weight World champion with victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Phoenix, Arizona in December. That was the “Miracle Man’s” first foray into the 168-lbs. scene after the two-time World Middleweight king moved up from 160 lbs. after his unification clash with Canelo Alvarez in Las Vegas in May 2019. Rosado (25-12-1, 14 KOs) appeared on the undercard in Phoenix and clashed with Jacobs ahead of the weigh-in. The Philly ace recorded a ten round points win that night to return to winning ways following his thrilling back-and-forth battle with Maciej Sulecki on home turf in March 2019, and the 34-year-old will be out to fire himself into contention for the World title clash that Jacobs seeks. “Gabe talked his way into this fight and now it’s time to see if he can back it up,” said Jacobs. “He’s got a big mouth and he’s been bringing up my name constantly for over a year – but on Nov. 27 the talking stops and I can’t wait to shut him up. My aim is to become a two-weight division World champion in 2021 and that starts with a big win in Florida. After that, I’m ready to step up and fight one of the World champions at 168 pounds.” “I’m really excited for the fight,” said Rosado. “There’s been a lot of back and forth between me and Jacobs, and for the fight to finally happen, I’m more than ready. I’ve started training camp with Freddie Roach in LA at Wild Card Boxing, and I’m just looking to put on one hell of a show for the fans. I’m definitely going to bring the fight to Danny and it’s going to be great.” Both events have stacked undercards in support of the main event. There’s a Heavyweight flavor to the Haney card with Croatian talent Filip Hrgovic (11-0, 9 KOs) facing American Rydell Booker (26-3, 13 KOs) and Chinese star Zhilei Zhang (21-0, 18 KOs) meeting another American in Devin Vargas (22-6, 9 KOs). Three young stars continue their pro journeys on the bill as Reshat Mati (7-0, 5 KOs), Raymond Ford (6-0, 2 KOs) and Arthur Biyarslanov (6-0, 5 KOs) are in action on the show – and Matchroom are delighted to announce the signing of French star Souleymane Cissokho (11-0 7 KOs) to a multi-fight deal and he’ll box on the bill, and more details on the deal for the Anthony Joshua managed Super-Welterweight will come on Monday. Marc Castro will make his pro debut on the undercard of Jacobs vs. Rosado. The Fresno talent was slated to make his bow in the paid ranks in Tulsa, Oklahoma in August, but he tested positive for COVID-19. Now the amateur sensation finally laces them up and is joined on the undercard by fellow amateur rulers in Olympic gold medalist Daniyar Yeleussinov (9-0, 5 KOs), three-time World amateur champion Magomedrasul Majidov (2-0, 2 KOs), and young talents Nikita Ababiy (9-0, 6 KOs) and Alexis Espino (6-0, 4 KOs). “I can’t wait for our U.S. return in Florida – two stacked cards with plenty riding on them,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “The Lightweight division is on fire and there’s no better time for Devin to return to action and make a big statement at the Hard Rock. Although Devin may well be the next big thing, when you look at his CV, Yuriorkis is by far his toughest test to date. A few weeks later, the bad blood between Daniel and Gabe will come to a head as they clash, and the winner of that fight will find themselves in a great position for a World title shot at 168 lbs. in 2021.” “There’s so many interesting plotlines on both undercards. The Heavyweights are in the spotlight on Nov. 7, with Filip and Zhilei, two World-class fighters that are looking to stake their claims for massive fights next year, as will Magomedrasul who fights on Nov. 27.” “Marc was devastated that his debut was postponed but the Fresno sensation has re-focused and it’s not a bad thing to have to learn to cope with a setback like that – he’s been working so hard in training, and I think we’re going to see a spectacular debut.” “We’re lining up a big test for Daniyar, and so many of the young stars on the cards are beginning to get to the stages in their career where they move to the next level so I am expecting two exciting nights of action in the Sunshine State.” Hard Rock Live and Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood in Florida have a rich history of hosting world-class boxing in addition to globally recognized entertainment acts like Jerry Seinfeld, Alicia Keys and Aerosmith. The venue is excited to play host to two huge nights of action in November.
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