BIG-TIME BOXING IS BACK!

Jul 22, 2020
Jocou, Flo Flo.Jocou@showtime.net via cbs.onmicrosoft.com 10:38 AM (1 hour ago)
to Flo

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SHOWTIME SPORTS® AND PREMIER BOXING CHAMPIONS RETURN TO THE RING WITH ROBUST LIVE BOXING SCHEDULE SPANNING FIVE MONTHS

Nine Live Events * 18 Undefeated Fighters * Nine World Champions and Eight World Championship Fights Begin Saturday, August 1

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NEW YORK – July 22, 2020 – SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions announced today a lineup of nine live boxing events featuring 18 undefeated fighters, nine world champions, and eight world championship fights including one world title unification bout. The schedule comprises 22 critical matchups from bantamweight to heavyweight and features some of the biggest stars in the sport today – Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz, Jermall Charlo, Jermell Charlo, David Benavidez and more. It is the largest collection of world championship boxing announced since the COVID-19 pandemic forced a stoppage of the sport.

The SHOWTIME boxing schedule begins on Saturday, August 1 and runs through the end of 2020. Initially, each live telecast will be presented without fans in attendance from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Included in the schedule are four world title eliminators, three interim title fights and 13 bouts in all pitting top-10 ranked fighters.

There are two SHOWTIME PPV® events in the lineup presented by Premier Boxing Champions. The first in late September is a pay-per-view doubleheader featuring four world title bouts in back-to-back three-fight events on the same night all for one price. Doubleheaders are common in the NFL, NBA and MLB. There hasn’t ever been a boxing PPV doubleheader – until now. The second blockbuster PPV event in October is a unique clash with the winner earning world titles in two weight classes. 

“We are proud to announce the strongest and most comprehensive schedule of fights in all of boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, President, Sports and Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “Each bout on this schedule, our largest schedule announcement since 2018, carries high stakes and significant implications. From highly regarded prospects to emerging stars to established champions – all in tough matchups – this lineup delivers on our promise to provide boxing fans with the best talent, the most exciting fights and the highest quality presentation in the sport. We are thrilled to return to live boxing with this star-studded schedule of exciting, meaningful fights.”

Philadelphia’s 122-pound rising star Stephen Fulton Jr. will headline SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® on August 1 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) against talented, fellow undefeated contender Angelo Leo of the Mayweather stable in a marquee 12-round matchup for the vacant WBO junior featherweight world title. The Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions. This will mark the first live boxing event on SHOWTIME since ShoBox: The New Generation on March 13 when the network presented what was to be the last nationally televised professional sporting event in the U.S. for several weeks.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be finally getting back to boxing,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Everyone has been patiently waiting and the series of fights that we will collectively put on over the next few months will be great for boxing and the sports world in general. We’re kicking things off August 1 with a world title opportunity for our rising contender Angelo Leo who has been consistently grinding and taking care of business. He’s facing another young and focused undefeated fighter and only one of them can be crowned champion. Both guys are confident that the title belongs to them, which is going to make for a great fight from the first bell.”

“I have been really impressed with both Fulton and Leo,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Fulton’s resume includes victories over eight undefeated fighters. Angelo Leo will be the third straight unbeaten fighter he’s faced. Leo has passed every test he’s had with victories against some of the toughest fighters in the division. The winner of this match will be soaring to new heights in the division.”

“This is my time. I’ve prepared for this my whole life,” said Fulton. “He will be a world champion one day, but not this time.”

“I’m excited to get back in the ring and to continue where I left off,” said Leo. “It’s an honor to be the main event on SHOWTIME and to be fighting for the WBO belt.”

The fight-by-fight schedule follows:

August 1

Main Event: Stephen Fulton Jr. (18-0, 8 KOs) vs. Angelo Leo (19-0, 9 KOs) – Vacant WBO Junior Featherweight World Championship

Co-Feature: Tramaine Williams (19-0, 6 KOs) vs. Ra’eese Aleem (16-0, 10 KOs) – Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator

Co-Feature: Joe George (10-0, 6 KOs) vs. Marcos Escudero (10-1, 9 KOs) II – Light Heavyweight Bout

About: Fellow Americans and undefeated fighters Fulton and Leo are legitimate top-10 junior featherweight contenders who will meet for the vacant WBO 122-pound world title. A southpaw from New Haven, Conn., Williams will clash with Las Vegas-based Aleem in an intriguing, 50-50 matchup between talented, undefeated prospects. Managed by All-Pro lineman Trent Williams, Houston’s George upset Escudero in an exciting ShoBox affair last November.

August 15

Main Event: David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KOs) vs. Roamer Alexis Angulo (26-1, 22 KOs) – WBC Super Middleweight World Championship

Co-Feature: Rolando Romero (11-0, 10 KOs) vs. Jackson Marinez (19-0, 7 KOs) – WBA Lightweight Interim Title

Co-Feature: Otto Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs) vs. Travis Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs) – Heavyweight Bout

About: Undefeated Benavidez, 23, kicks off his second reign as WBC Super Middleweight Champion. In 2017, he became the youngest 168-pound champion in boxing history by defeating Ronald Gavril on SHOWTIME at just 20 years old. Angulo is coming off an upset win over heavily hyped and then unbeaten prospect Anthony Sims Jr. The power-punching “Rolly” Romero of the Mayweather stable, who has scored five first- or second-round stoppages in his last six fights, is an undefeated ShoBox alum ranked No. 10 by the WBA while Marinez is ranked No. 6. Wallin vs. Kauffman is an intriguing heavyweight matchup between the Swedish southpaw and the veteran Kauffman. Both fighters have survived bouts with the COVID-19 virus, made full recoveries and are anxious to get back in the ring. The winner will undoubtedly receive another big fight. The loser will go to the back of the line in the busy heavyweight division. This Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing. The Romero vs. Marinez bout is co-promoted by Mayweather Promotions.

September 19

Main Event: Erickson Lubin (22-1, 16 KOs) vs. Terrell Gausha (21-1-1, 10 KOs) – WBC Super Welterweight Title Eliminator Bout

Co-Feature: Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KOs) vs. Eduardo Ramirez (23-2-3, 10 KOs) – WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator Bout

Co-Feature: Jaron Ennis (25-0, 23 KOs) vs. TBA – Welterweight Bout

About: Lubin, already a veteran at just 24 years old, has excelled since his shocking first-round loss to Jermell Charlo three years ago. Gausha is a former U.S. Olympian with just one loss. Both men are poised and hungry for a signature win and the opportunity to fight for a unified 154-pound title, which will be on the line the following week. Nyambayar and Ramirez are legitimate top-10 contenders. Nyambayar faced Gary Russell Jr. in February on SHOWTIME in the last SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast before the COVID-19 shutdown. Ramirez, of Mexico, is coming off a stoppage of previously unbeaten Leduan Barthelemy. A graduate of the popular ShoBox: The New Generation series, Philadelphia native Ennis has fought twice on ShoBox and twice on SHOWTIME BOXING: Special Edition cards. Ennis is a former National Golden Gloves Champion ranked No. 12 by the WBO and No. 14 by the IBF. This Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by TGB Promotions and the Ennis bout is in association with D & D Boxing.

September 26 – SHOWTIME/Premier Boxing Champions PPV Doubleheader

In One of the Main Events: Jermall Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) – WBC Middleweight World Championship

Co-Feature: Brandon Figueroa (20-0-1, 15 KOs) vs. Damien Vasquez (15-1-1, 7 KOs) – WBA Super Bantamweight World Championship

Co-Feature: Diego Magdaleno (32-3, 13 KOs) vs. Isaac Cruz (19-1-1, 14 KOs) – IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator Bout

About: Houston’s Charlo will defend his title against WBC No.-1 ranked Ukrainian Derevyanchenko in one of the main events of this pay-per-view twin bill that boasts four world title fights. Charlo has held the WBC middleweight title since 2019 and reigned as the IBF junior middleweight champion from 2015 to ‘17. Charlo holds wins at 154 pounds against championship-level fighters including Cornelius Bundrage, Austin Trout and Julian Williams. Derevyanchenko has twice challenged for the IBF middleweight title in 2018 and ‘19, losing only to top-level opponents Daniel Jacobs and Gennadiy Golovkin. The 23-year-old Figueroa claimed the interim WBA 122-pound title with an eighth-round stoppage of Yonfrez Parejo last April, before successfully defending the title with a homecoming KO of Javier Chacon in Edinburg, Texas. After being upgraded to the “regular” titlist, Figueroa retained his belt after a 12-round draw against Julio Ceja last November. The southpaw Vasquez is coming off a stoppage win over Alejandro Moreno in February of 2020. Magdaleno vs. Cruz is an IBF title eliminator matchup of ShoBox alums currently ranked 10th and sixth, respectively.

The Other Main EventJermell Charlo (33-1, 17 KOs) vs. Jeison Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KOs) – WBC, WBA and IBF 154-Pound Unification Bout

Co-Feature: Mario Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs) vs. Ryan Karl (18-2, 11 KOs) – WBA Super Lightweight World Championship

Co-Feature: Daniel Roman (26-3-1, 10 KOs) vs. TBA – Super Bantamweight Bout

About: In the other main event of this two-part, six-fight pay-per-view telecast, Jermell Charlo will take on Rosario in just the eighth world title unification fight in the 154-pound division’s history. It is also just the second fight with three super welterweight world title belts up for grabs. In January, Rosario upset Julian Williams to win the WBA and IBF titles. Last December, Charlo regained the title by stopping Tony Harrison. At stake is supremacy in a talent-rich division. The 25-year-old Barrios from San Antonio has held the WBA (regular) super lightweight title since September of 2019. His opponent Karl hails from Houston and is ranked No. 9 by the WBA. A regular sparring partner of Erislandy Lara and Jermell Charlo, Karl is trained by Ronnie Shields. Roman is a former unified super bantamweight champion, having held the WBA (Super) and IBF titles from 2019 to January 2020. Roman’s 19-bout winning streak was snapped in January in a split-decision loss to Murodjon Akhmadaliev. Ranked in the top five by all four sanctioning bodies, Roman previously held the WBA title from 2017 to 2019. This unique PPV doubleheader is presented by Premier Boxing Champions and promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions. The Jermell Charlo-Jeison Rosario match is co-promoted with Sampson Boxing.

October 10

Main Event: Sergey Lipinets (16-1, 12 KOs) vs. Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (15-0, 8 KOs) – IBF Welterweight Interim Title

Co-Feature: Xavier Martinez (15-0, 11 KOs) vs. Claudio Marrero (24-4, 17 KOs) – Super Featherweight Bout

Co-Feature: Malik Hawkins (18-0, 11 KOs) vs. Subriel Matias (15-1, 15 KOs) – Super Lightweight Bout

About: The 31-year-old Lipinets has won three significant fights in a row since his lone loss to Mikey Garcia, including a dominant stoppage that sent former word titlist Lamont Peterson into retirement. Uzbekistan’s Abdukakhorov is coming off his biggest win to date over former world titlist Luis Collazo and is yet to taste defeat since turning professional in 2015. With Abdukakhorov ranked No. 1 by the IBF and Lipinets ranked No. 3, the winner will be in prime position to challenge the unified 147-pound world champion Errol Spence Jr. Sacramento’s Martinez of the Mayweather stable is an exciting prospect who thrilled ShoBox viewers when he scored one of the quickest knockouts in the history of the series last November, while Marrero is a grizzled veteran who held the WBA interim featherweight title in 2017. Hawkins of the Mayweather stable is trained by Calvin Ford and a teammate of two-division world champion Gervonta Davis. Every one of Matias’ 15 career victories as a pro has come by way of knockout, with his only setback a unanimous-decision loss to Petros Ananyan back in February. This Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by TGB Promotions, Top Rank, Inc. and Mayweather Promotions. 

October 24 – SHOWTIME/Premier Boxing Champions PPV

Main Event: Gervonta Davis (23-0, 22 KOs) vs. Leo Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KOs) – WBA Super Featherweight World Championship/WBA Lightweight World Championship

About: This blockbuster main event will be contested at the super featherweight limit of 130 pounds. The winner of the match, however, will be in the unique position to earn world championships at 130 and 135 pounds on the same night.Two crowd favorites with massive followings will meet with Santa Cruz’s newly won WBA (Super) 130-pound world title on the line. The unbeaten “Tank” Davis is a two-division world champion and reigning WBA lightweight titlist at the age of 25. He emerged as a bona fide star in 2019 with sold-out main event bouts in Baltimore and Atlanta. “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz is a four-division world champion who avenged his only professional loss to Carl Frampton. The stage is set for one of the best matchups that can be made in all of boxing. Both men are all-action fighters. Davis boasts a knockout percentage of .957 while Santa Cruz is one of the busiest punchers in the sport. The winner of this fight will rightfully earn a top-10 spot on the coveted pound-for-pound list. This Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by Mayweather Promotions, TGB Promotions, GTD Promotions and Santa Cruz Boxing Club.

November 28

Main Event: Chris Colbert (14-0, 5 KOs) vs. Jaime Arboleda (16-1, 13 KOs) – WBA Super Featherweight Interim Title

Co-Feature: Richardson Hitchins (11-0, 5 KOs) vs. Argenis Mendez (25-5-3, 12 KOs) – Super Lightweight Bout

Co-Feature: TBA

About: The WBA interim super featherweight champion Colbert has fought five times in the past 20 months. Arboleda of Panama earned a split-decision win over veteran Jayson Velez in a WBA junior lightweight eliminator in February. New York City’s Hitchins of the Mayweather stable represented his parents’ home country of Haiti in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and Mendez is a former IBF Super Featherweight champion from the Dominican Republic. This Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by TGB Promotions and Sampson Boxing. The Hitchins vs. Mendez bout is co-promoted by Mayweather Promotions.

December 12

Main Event: Nordine Oubaali (17-0, 12 KOs) vs. Nonito Donaire (40-6, 26 KOs) – WBC Bantamweight World Championship

Co-Feature: TBA

Co-Feature: TBA

About: France’s Oubaali will be defending the WBC bantamweight world title for the third time. Donaire is the No. 1-ranked contender and fighting for his eighth world championship. A four-division titlist and former pound-for-pound mainstay, Donaire fought brilliantly in what many picked as 2019’s Fight of the Year, a decision loss to Naoya Inoue. At age 37, Donaire is attempting to defy the belief that the smaller the fighter, the earlier the prime. The Premier Boxing Champions event is promoted by TGB Promotions.

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PIVOTAL MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT BETWEEN NO. 1 ROBERT WHITTAKER AND NO. 5 DARREN TILL HEADLINES

Jul 22, 2020

PIVOTAL MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT BETWEEN NO. 1 ROBERT WHITTAKER AND NO. 5 DARREN TILL HEADLINES

FINAL UFC FIGHT ISLAND CARD

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FEATURED BOUTS:

MAURICIO RUA vs. ANTONIO ROGERIO NOGUEIRA 3

(#14) FABRICIO WERDUM vs. (#7 – LHW) ALEXANDER GUSTAFSSON

Las Vegas – The final event of the UFC® run of shows on UFC FIGHT ISLAND is set to be headlined by a pivotal middleweight bout as former champion and No. 1 ranked contender Robert Whittaker takes on No. 5 Darren Till. Also on the card, MMA legends Mauricio Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira look to settle their historic trilogy. All events on UFC FIGHT ISLAND are the result of a partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN®: WHITTAKER vs. TILL will take place Saturday, July 25 at Flash Forum on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. The full event will be simulcast airing live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (English and Spanish) with the prelims starting at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT and the main card at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. The event will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance

The first New Zealand-born UFC champion, Whittaker (21-5, fighting out of Sydney, Australia) aims to return to his winning ways and secure the next shot at his lost title. Whittaker first captured his championship after moving up in weight and going on an incredible winning streak that included stoppage wins over Jacare Souza, Derek Brunson and Brad Tavares. This streak was capped off with back-to-back wins over Yoel Romero to earn and retain the belt, in two of the best fights in the division’s history. He now intends to make a statement and cement his claim as the clear No. 1 contender.

Former UFC welterweight title challenger, Till (18-2, fighting out of Liverpool, England) made an immediate impact in the middleweight division with a victory over perennial top contender Kelvin Gastelum. Prior to moving up in weight, Till had established himself as one of the best welterweights in the world with marquee wins over Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson. Now, Till seeks to earn another shot at UFC gold by taking out his first former champion.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Rua (26-11, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil) looks to make it three in a row against fellow Brazilian legend Nogueira. One of the most exciting and dangerous athletes to compete in UFC and PRIDE, Rua has secured wins over a who’s who of MMA icons, including Alistair Overeem, Chuck Liddell, Mark Coleman, Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin and Lyoto Machida. He now intends to prove that he still has what it takes to compete with the best in the world.

Nogueira (23-9, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) plans to make the most of his third fight with Rua with a career-defining win. A former PRIDE standout, Nogueira made waves when he joined the UFC in 2009 by earning wins over former champions Tito Ortiz and Rashad Evans. Now, he looks to get back in the win column with another signature finish in what could be his last bout.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Former UFC champion and No. 14 ranked Fabricio Werdum (23-8, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) takes on former three-time light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson (18-6, fighting out of Stockholm, Sweden) in the heavyweight division
  • In a matchup of top women’s strawweight contenders, former champion and No. 7 ranked Carla Esparza (17-6, fighting out of Irvine, Calif.) attempts to hand undefeated No. 9 Marina Rodriguez (12-0-2, fighting out of Santa Catarina, Brazil) her first loss
  • Paul Craig (12-4, fighting out of Coatbridge, Scotland) battles fellow light heavyweight grappler Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-6, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia)
  • An exciting welterweight matchup sees Alex Oliveira (20-8, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) take on Peter Sobotta (17-5, fighting out of Balingen, Germany)
  • Looking to set a record for fastest back-to-back UFC wins, Khamzat Chimaev (7-0, Stockholm, Sweden) returns to welcome Rhys McKee (10-2-1, fighting out of Northern Ireland)
  • Veteran lightweight Francisco Trinaldo (25-7, fighting out of Federal District, Brazil) looks to spoil the UFC debut of Jai Herbert (10-1, fighting out of England, United Kingdom)
  • Nicolas Dalby (15-2, fighting out of Copenhagen, Denmark) intends to put on another exciting performance when he meets Jesse Ronson (21-10, fighting out of London, Ontario, Canada) on short notice at welterweight
  • In a heavyweight bout, Tom Aspinall (7-2, fighting out of England, United Kingdom) aims to make a good first impression on UFC fans when he takes on Jake Collier (11-4, fighting out of Cuba, Mo.)
  • Undefeated featherweight prospect Movsar Evloev (12-0, fighting out of Ingushetia, Russia) looks to hand Mike Grundy (12-1, fighting out of England, United Kingdom) his first UFC loss
  • Streaking Canadian heavyweight Tanner Boser (18-6-1, fighting out of St. Albert, Alberta, Canada) steps up on short notice to take on Raphael Pessoa (10-1, fighting out of Atuba, Parana, Brazil)
  • No. 13 ranked women’s bantamweight Bethe Correia (11-4, fighting out of Campina Grande, Paraiba, Brazil) aims to defend her spot in the rankings against Pannie Kianzad (13-5, fighting out of Helsingborg, Skane County, Sweden)
  • Ramazan Emeev (18-4, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) looks to bounce back into the win column against short-notice replacement Niklas Stolze (12-3, fighting out of Magdeburg, Germany) in a welterweight bout
  • Top English bantamweight prospect Nathaniel Wood (16-4, fighting out of England, United Kingdom) aims to get back to his winning ways with a statement win over John Castaneda (14-2, fighting out of Minneapolis, Minn.)

UFC will then wrap up its first series of events on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: WHITTAKER vs. TILL on Saturday, July 25.

For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.

A full line of UFC FIGHT ISLAND products, including t-shirts, hats, water bottles, tote bags, and more are available now on UFCStore.com

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EL FALLECIMIENTO DEL CONTENDIENTE DE PESO SUPERWELTER TRAVELL MAZIONLOS

Jul 17, 2020

DECLARACIÓN DE GOLDEN BOY SOBRE EL FALLECIMIENTO DEL CONTENDIENTE DE PESO SUPERWELTER TRAVELL MAZIONLOS ÁNGELES, California 16 de julio de 2020. — Nosotros en Golden Boy estamos profundamente tristes por el trágico fallecimiento de Travell Mazion que ocurrió ayer miércoles por la noche. Mazion fue un amable y carismático peleador que iluminaba cada lugar que atendía, y brindaba emoción a los fanáticos dentro del cuadrilátero. Nuestras oraciones y pensamientos están con su familia. ¡Que en paz descanse!             Mazion falleció debido a un accidente automovilístico anoche en Texas.

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(#1) DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO AND (#2) JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ REMATCH FOR VACANT UFC FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ON UFC FIGHT ISLAND

Jul 17, 2020

(#1) DEIVESON FIGUEIREDO AND (#2) JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ REMATCH FOR VACANT UFC FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP ON UFC FIGHT ISLAND

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FEATURED BOUTS:

(#6) JACK HERMANSSON vs. (#7) KELVIN GASTELUM

(#4) ALEXANDRE PANTOJA vs. (#7) ASKAR ASKAROV

Las Vegas – UFC® continues its run of shows on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with a vacant flyweight championship bout that will see No. 1 ranked contender Deiveson Figueiredo rematch No. 2 Joseph Benavidez. In an exciting clash of middleweight contenders, No. 6 ranked Jack Hermansson takes on No. 7 Kelvin Gastelum. All events on UFC FIGHT ISLAND are the result of a partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: FIGUEIREDO vs. BENAVIDEZ 2 will take place Saturday, July 18 at Flash Forum on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. The main card begins at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT in English and Spanish on ESPN+. The preliminary card will kick off at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ (English and Spanish). The event will be closed to the public and will be produced with only essential personnel in attendance.

Figueiredo (18-1, fighting out of Soure, Pará, Brazil) scored a controversial TKO win over Benavidez in February, but was deemed ineligible for the vacant championship due to missing weight. Arguably the hardest hitting flyweight on the roster, Figueiredo holds spectacular victories against Tim Elliott, Alexandre Pantoja and John Moraga. Figueiredo now looks to do right by his second title opportunity and prove his win over Benavidez was no fluke.

Considered by many to be among the greatest fighters to never win a UFC championship, Benavidez (28-6, fighting out of Las Cruces, N.M.) has a fresh opportunity to make his dream a reality. Over the course of his tremendous career, he has earned impressive victories against Jussier Formiga (twice), Henry Cejudo and Tim Elliott. Benavidez now hopes to even the score with Figueiredo and capture the UFC flyweight championship.

Known for his heavy ground-and-pound attack, Hermansson (20-5, fighting out of Oslo, Norway) has proven to be as tough and gritty as they come at middleweight. Victorious in four of his last five outings, he has netted exciting wins over Jacare Souza, David Branch and Thales Leites. Hermansson now aims to re-assert himself as a title threat by taking out another former UFC title challenger.

Winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 17, the resume of Gastelum (16-5 1NC, fighting out of Yuma, Ariz.) features the top names at middleweight and includes a classic five-round battle against champion Israel Adesanya. He also holds sensational wins over Michael Bisping, Jacare Souza and Tim Kennedy. Gastelum now hopes to continue his climb up the ranks by taking out Hermansson.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • In an exciting lightweight bout, Marc Diakiese (14-3, fighting out of Doncaster, England) meets Rafael Fiziev (7-1, fighting out of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan by way of Phuket, Thailand)
  • Ariane Lipski (12-5, fighting out of Curitiba, State of Paraná, Brazil) aims to build off her most recent win when she takes on Luana Carolina (6-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • In a pivotal flyweight contenders’ bout, No. 4 ranked Alexandre Pantoja (22-4, fighting out of Arraial Do Cabo, Brazil) squares off with unbeaten No. 7 Askar Askarov (11-0-1, fighting out of Khasavyurt, Dagestan, Russia)
  • Undefeated Roman Dolidze (6-0, fighting out of Odessa, Ukraine) makes his UFC debut against Khadis Ibragimov (8-2, fighting out of Saint Petersburg, Russia)
  • Grant Dawson (15-1, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.) meets Nad Narimani (12-3, fighting out of Bristol, England) in a 150-pound catchweight bout
  • Joe Duffy (16-4, fighting out of Donegal, Ireland) returns to take on Joel Alvarez (16-2, fighting out of Asturias, Spain)
  • Brett Johns (16-2, fighting out of Swansea, Wales) goes for another highlight-reel finish when he takes on Montel Jackson (10-1, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.)
  • UFC flyweight newcomers collide when Malcolm Gordon (12-3, fighting out of London, Ont., Canada) squares off with Amir Albazi (12-1, fighting out of London, England)
  • Davi Ramos (10-3, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) meets Arman Tsarukyan (14-2, fighting out of Krasnodar, Russia, by way of Phuket, Thailand) in a battle of gritty lightweight grapplers
  • Heavyweights kick off the evening when Carlos Felipe (8-0, fighting out of Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil) squares off with Serghei Spivac (10-2, fighting out of Chisinau, Republic of Moldova)

UFC will then wrap up its first series of events on UFC FIGHT ISLAND with UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: WHITTAKER vs. TILL on Saturday, July 25.

For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.

A full line of UFC FIGHT ISLAND products, including t-shirts, hats, water bottles, tote bags, and more are available now on UFCStore.com

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UFC 251: USMAN vs. MASVIDAL – Virtual Fan Q&A

Jul 8, 2020

In anticipation of UFC® 251: USMAN vs. MASVIDALtaking place this Saturday, UFC will be holding a virtual fan Q&A hosted by Megan Olivi featuring UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, 1 ranked featherweight contender Max Holloway and No. 2 ranked women’s strawweight contender Rose Namajunas on Wednesday, July 8 at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT via the streaming platform On Location Live.

To tune in and listen to the athletes answering fan questions and break down UFC 251, Fight Island and more, please follow this link: https://onlocationlive.com/product/ufc-fight-island-virtual-q-a and enter the access code ‘VIRTUAL’ to join for free.

UFC® 251: USMAN vs. MASVIDAL takes place Saturday, July 11 at Flash Forum on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and will stream live on Pay-Per-View, exclusively through ESPN+ in the U.S. at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT in both English and Spanish.

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UFC FIGHT ISLAND MEDIA GUIDE

Jul 8, 2020

UFC FIGHT ISLAND MEDIA GUIDE

Press,

In anticipation of the historic upcoming UFC Fight Island series of events,

we wanted to provide a comprehensive guide covering all of the potential media assets and needs you may require to support your coverage

in the lead up to, and throughout, the four thrilling cards set to take place over the 14-day experience

About 630 UFC staff members, athletes, corners, and contractors will travel to Abu Dhabi to make the dream of Fight Island a reality

“The infrastructure we’ve put in place on Fight Island has created a once-on-a-lifetime experience for everyone.

From the Octagon on the beach, the private training facility, designated UFC safety zone, first-class restaurants and the incredible arena,

this is truly a destination that only could have been imagined.”

– UFC President Dana White

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JORGE ‘EL NIÑO DE ORO’ LINARES TO FACE JAVIER ‘EL ABEJON’ FORTUNA FOR THE WBC DIAMOND LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Jul 1, 2020
JORGE ‘EL NIÑO DE ORO’ LINARES TO FACE JAVIER ‘EL ABEJON’ FORTUNA FOR THE WBC DIAMOND LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP FRIDAY, AUGUST 28 AT FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO AND STREAMED LIVE ON DAZN
INDIO, CALIF. (June 29, 2020) – A high-stakes battle of international proportions heads to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. as Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) takes on Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) in a 12-round fight for the WBC Diamond Lightweight Championship. The fights will take place on Friday, August 28 and will be streamed live on DAZN.  The event will be closed to the public and media. Details for the undercard will be announced shortly. “Temperatures will reach record-breaking numbers this summer as we present a high-level clash between two battle-tested former world champions,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Linares’ legacy as a future Hall of Famer is etched in stone. During his time with us, he has conquered three divisions and traveled all over the world as he demonstrated his courage as a fighter. But make no mistake: Linares is not done yet. On August 28, he’s in for a tough fight against a man who is just as quick-handed as he is, so expect both men to bring a lot of firepower. Golden Boy boxing is back, and that means competitive fights are back.”  Linares is a Venezuelan contender who boasts one of the most impressive resumes of any active fighter today. The quick-handed 34-year-old has earned world titles in the featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight divisions and faced some of the best fighters in recent years. After a dominant performance against Carlos “The Solution” Morales in February, Linares is ready to regain his throne as the King of the Lightweights. “I’m ready to return to the top of the lightweight division,” said Jorge Linares. “I have been training in Japan, a place that nourishes me and provides me with the best environment to train. At the same time, I’m also grateful to be headlining a card during this difficult time for the world, but I hope to provide everyone with a bit of diversion and excitement as I get closer to regaining my throne as the king of the 135-pound division. Fortuna is a 31-year-old southpaw who is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBC in the lightweight division. The native of the Dominican Republic is a proven veteran who captured the interim WBA Featherweight Title against then-undefeated Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland in 2012, while in 2015, he defeated once-beaten Bryan “El Tiquito” Vazquez to capture the WBA Super Featherweight Title. In his last shot at a world title, Fortuna lost a close split decision victory to Robert Easter Jr., and in his last outing, Fortuna dominated former world titles Jesus “El Jinete” Cuellar to earn his status in the division. 
“Don’t make any excuses on fight night,” said Javier Fortuna. “Not the Covid. Not the travel. Nothing. Don’t blame it on an injury either. Just fight. Come ready for war because that’s what I’m going to do. And when you lose, don’t make any excuse.”
“I commend Jorge Linares for taking this fight while so many other top contenders didn’t want the fight,” said Sampson Lewkowicz, President of Sampson Boxing. “I expect Javier Fortuna to be in top shape and ready for a battle he will win. Javier Fortuna will be the first three-time world champion from the Dominican Republic.”
Linares vs. Fortuna is a 12-round fight for the WBC Diamond Lightweight Championship presented by Golden Boy in association with Teiken Promotions and Sampson Boxing. The event is sponsored by Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take Friday, August 28 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
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¡GOLDEN BOY, DAZN Y FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO, PRESENTARÁN EL GRAN RETORNO DEL BOXEO DE CALIFORNIA!

Jul 1, 2020
¡GOLDEN BOY, DAZN Y FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO, PRESENTARÁN EL GRAN RETORNO DEL BOXEO DE CALIFORNIA!  VERGIL ORTIZ JR., EL REY DEL NOCAUT, ENCABEZARÁ EL EVENTO ESTELAR ANTE SAMUEL VARGAS
INDIO, California 29 de junio de 2020. — ¡Golden Boy, DAZN y Fantasy Springs Resort Casino están orgullosos de anunciar el regreso del boxeo profesional de talla mundial en el sur de California! En el evento estelar de este anticipado retorno Vergil Ortiz Jr. 15-0, 15 nocáuts) pondrá en juego su faja Oro Welter de la AMB ante Samuel Vargas (31-5-2, 14 nocáuts) en un duelo a 12 episodios.             La función se efectuará el viernes 24 de julio desde el Fantasy Springs Resort Casino en Indio, California y será transmitida en vivo por DAZN. El evento estará cerrado para el público y los medios, a la vez que iniciamos la primera etapa de nuestro responsable retorno.             “Preparando nuestro regreso no ha sido fácil, pero sabemos que tenemos una responsabilidad de presentar eventos boxísticos de alto nivel tan pronto que podamos para nuestros peleadores y aficionados”, afirmó Óscar De La Hoya, Presidente y Jefe Ejecutivo de Golden Boy. “Esta cartelera mostrará nuestro compromiso de presentar peleas competitivas a pesar de las circunstancias actuales cuando Vergil Ortiz Jr., el futuro del boxeo, ingrese al tinglado contra Samuel Vargas tal y como fue planeado en marzo”, subrayó.             “Además el contendiente ligero Héctor Tanajara Jr. tomará un gran paso adelante en cuanto a su calidad de oposición contra el experimentado contendiente zurdo Mercito Gesta”, continuó De La Hoya. “Estamos viviendo unos tiempos difíciles, pero nuestros púgiles son más fuertes, y por lo tanto quiero agradecerles por aceptar estos retos durante estos tiempos. Quiero también agradecer a la Comisión Atlética de California (CSAC, por sus siglas en inglés), Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, DAZN y todos los involucrados a la vez que trabajamos juntos para hacer que este evento sea un éxito”, finalizó.             Ortiz Jr., tras debutar en el boxeo de paga en 2016, ha vencido a todos sus oponentes por la vía del cloroformo. El nativo de Grand Prairie, Texas, quien tiene raíces en Michoacán, México, participará en su primera pelea del año tras un espectacular 2019 donde noqueó a púgiles de la talla de Mauricio “El Maestro” HerreraAntonio “Relentless” Orozco Brad “King” Solomon. El contendiente de 22 años de edad está un poco sorprendido porque su debut en 2020 se llevará a cabo tan tarde en el año en este caso en julio, pero de todos modos está preparado para el reto.              “Estoy muy agradecido y emocionado de estar encabezando el primer evento de Golden Boy después de la cuarentena”, afirmó Vergil Ortiz Jr. “Estoy contento que sea contra el mismo oponente, así que estamos continuando justamente donde empezamos en marzo. Va a ser una pelea difícil, y será una gran manera de iniciar el año para mí”, subrayó.             Vargas es reconocido como un reto difícil en la división de las 147 libras. El nativo de Bogotá, Colombia se han enfrentado al quien es quien de los pesos welter como Amir “King” KhanLuis CollazoDanny “Swift” Garcia y Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. El experimentado boxeador de 31 años de edad está totalmente confiado en que puede vencer a Ortiz Jr. a pesar de la incertidumbre que ocurre en el mundo hoy en día.              “Estoy contento de estar regresando y entrenando en Las Vegas”, aseveró Samuel Vargas. “Creo que todo pasa por algo. Este tiempo me ha beneficiado. Estoy listo para dar la sorpresa, y creo que puedo salir con la mano en alto. El mundo está muy extraño hoy en día, y este evento será diferente. No habrá aficionados. Pero no tengo duda de que voy a ganar”, amenazó.             Héctor “El Finito” Tanajara Jr. (19-0, 5 nocáuts) incrementará su calidad de oposición cuando se mida ante el dos veces retador al campeonato mundial Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (32-3-3, 17 nocáuts) de Cebú, Filipinas en el duelo co estelar a 10 giros por el cetro ligero USNBC.             “Estoy listo para el mejor de la división”, dijo Héctor Tanajara Jr. “Quiero ser campeón del mundo, y a la única manera de hacerlo es enfrentar a peleadores fuertes como Mercito Gesta, un experimentado zurdo quien ya ha combatido por un título mundial. A la misma vez, estoy muy agradecido por estar peleando en estos tiempos muy difíciles. El boxeo está regresando poco a poco, y estoy orgulloso de ser parte de la primera cartelera de Golden Boy después de esta gran pausa en el mundo deportivo”, finalizó.             “Estoy tan emocionado de pelear este 24 de julio frente a un peleador talentoso, joven, y con buena técnica como lo es Héctor Tanajara Jr.,”, afirmó Mercito Gesta. “Durante la pandemia, había estado entrenado virtualmente con mi equipo en San Diego, pero ahora estoy en Los Ángeles entrenando con Marvin Somodio y mi papá en el Wild Card Boxing Club. Pese a que este combate será diferente porque no habrá audiencia, amigos y familia, estoy bien preparado para dar un gran espectáculo contra Tanajara Jr. Espero que todos vean esta cartelera en todo el mundo y en especial en mi ciudad natal de Ciudad Mandaue, Cebú, Filipinas porque el boxeo de Golden Boy ha regresado. ¡Salamat, Mabuhay!”             Shane Mosley Jr. (15-3, 9 nocáuts) de Pomona, California realizará su debut con Golden Boy en una batalla a ocho vueltas ante Jeremy Ramos (11-8, 2 nocáuts) de Colorado Springs, Colorado.             Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (18-0, 7 nocáuts), la campeona mundial del este de Los Ángeles, California, regresará a la división de las 108 libras ante un oponente que se anunciará en breve.             Héctor Valdez (12-0, 8 nocáuts), el recién firmado prospecto de Dallas Texas, tendrá accion a seis asaltos en peso supergallo.             El poderoso prospecto welter Evan Sánchez (7-0, 6 nocáuts) de Parlier, California abrirá la velada en una pelea a seis asaltos.             Ortiz Jr. vs. Vargas es un combate a 12 giros por al campeonato Oro Welter de la AMB presentado por Golden Boy. El evento es patrocinado por Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” El evento se llevará a cabo el viernes 24 de julio en el Fantasy Springs Resort Casino y será transmitido en vivo por DAZN.
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DUSTIN POIRIER NAMED INAUGURAL RECIPIENT OF FORREST GRIFFIN COMMUNITY AWARD PRESENTED BY TOYO TIRES

Jun 29, 2020

Las Vegas – UFC® today announced that former interim UFC lightweight champion Dustin Poirier has been named the inaugural recipient of the Forrest Griffin Community Awardpresented by Toyo Tires®. Named in honor of UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin, the award will recognize a UFC athlete for their exceptional volunteer and charity work and the meaningful impact their efforts have on the community.

Announced earlier this year, the Forrest Griffin Community Award is presented annually as part of UFC Honors President’s Choice category, as the award recipient is personally selected by UFC President Dana White. UFC Honors, presented by Toyo Tires® is the company’s annual awards program recognizing UFC athletes, performances, and moments throughout each year.

As the inaugural recipient of the Forrest Griffin Community Award, Dustin will receive a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice. All donations are courtesy of Toyo Tires. Dustin will be honored for this award later this year during the 2020 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Toyo Tires®, which will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS®.

“Dustin is a great athlete, but more importantly he’s a great human being,” UFC President Dana White said. “He is a kid who works hard and is passionate about giving back to not only his community, but to those who are less fortunate.”

“We would like to congratulate Dustin on being selected as the first-ever Forrest Griffin Community Award recipient,” Toyo Tires Vice President of Marketing Tim Chaney said. We admire and commend Dustin for his efforts to support his local community and are pleased to donate $25,000 to the charity of his choice.”

In April 2018, Dustin and his wife, Jolie, established The Good Fight Foundation, with the mission of being committed to helping those in need and to fighting to change the world by doing positive things in the community.


Throughout the first two years of the foundation’s existence, the Poiriers have launched a series of initiatives for those in need throughout their hometown of Lafayette and neighboring Acadiana, Louisiana. These programs include annual Thanksgiving food drives, back to school campaigns, and fundraisers to help purchase necessity kits for hundreds of women experiencing homelessness, as well as furniture for local shelters.


Dustin has also utilized his fight-worn UFC Fight Kits, auctioning off his inventory of apparel to raise donations for families of fallen law enforcement officers, and building a local playground for Aaron Hill, a terminally ill seven-year old of Lafayette. Hill, diagnosed with a genetic brain disorder, requested to have a special needs playground built for his friends who attend Prairie Elementary School.

 
In May 2019, he was awarded with the key to the city of Lafayette by Mayor Joel Robideaux for his work with The Good Fight Foundation and his contributions to the community. Following his most recent fight in September 2019 against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov and Poirier each raffled off their fight-worn UFC Legacy Series Walkout Jerseys, raising more than $100,000 with a direct match from UFC, totaling $200,000 donated directly to the foundation.

The funds generated from this global auction helped purchase hundreds of car seats, which were donated to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Lafayette. Later that year, Poirier and his foundation also partnered with former UFC heavyweight Justin Wren’s “Fight For The Forgotten” organization. As part of this joint partnership, Poirier and Wren were able to use the funds raised and the platform to combat the water crisis in Uganda. During the campaign, they exceeded their fundraising goal of purchasing new water wells, and also secured 43.21 acres of land and a solar powered water well to create a more self-sustainable living environment for the Batwa Pygmy Tribe.

This year, Dustin and his team have stayed active in the community with relief efforts associated with COVID-19 by donating more than 1,000 meals to frontline healthcare workers at local hospitals and clinics.  Currently ranked no. 3 in the lightweight division, Dustin is a veteran of 32 fights and has compiled a record of 25-6, 1 NC (18-6, 1 NC UFC) while competing in both the featherweight and lightweight divisions since his debut in 2009.

During his tenure inside the Octagon®, Dustin has become a notable fan favorite by defeating former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway (2), former UFC lightweight champions Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis, as well as winner of season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter® Diego Brandao and winner of season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter® Jonathan Brookins. 

For more information regarding The Good Fight Foundation, please visit TheGoodFightGroup.com.

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Teenage Boxing Prodigies Continue Sparring Tour in Texas

Jun 29, 2020
Teenage Boxing Prodigies Invade The Alamo
LAS VEGAS, NV (June 26, 2020) – Undefeated twin phenoms Angel “AK-47” Barrientes (2-0, 2 KOs) and Chavez “The Beast” Barrientes (2-0, 2 KOs), as well as their stablemate Demler “DJ War Machine” Zamora III (3-0, 2 KOs), who fight out of the Pound-4-Pound Boxing Gym in Las Vegas, continue their boxing tour of the United States as they’ve arrived in San Antonio, TX.
The three elite boxers are fresh off their trip to the Bay Area, where they got elite sparring amongst all of the best in their weight classes in that region. They will know square off against Texas based fighters, Omar Juarez (7-0, 4 KOs), top amateur fighters Sebastian Rodriguez and Jason Limon, as well as WBA super bantamweight champion Brandon Figueroa.
“We had a great time in the Bay Area and now we are looking to continue getting great work in Texas,” said Chavez Barrientes. “We sparred some of the best fighters in the Bay Area, Eros CorreaOscar EscandonJustin Cardona, Arnold Dinong, and learned a ton. I am excited to get even more new looks now that we’ve arrived in San Antonio.”
Well known San Antonio, Texas coach Rick Nunez will be taking the powerful young trio around the area to get the best possibly sparring for these fighters on their sparring tour.
“It is a great feeling being able to train and spar with so many skilled fighters from so many different places,” said super bantamweight Angel Barrientes. “I have big goals for myself and my team, and this is what we all need to be great, to go outside of what we’re comfortable with.”
The non-twin, Zamora, a 17-years-old featherweight is beyond thrilled to spend his summer on the road. 
“I really like being uncomfortable and not being familiar with the fighters I am in the ring with,” said Zamora III. “I am learning how to adjust to new styles with all the different looks I’m facing. I learned a lot sparring in the Bay Area, and I am excited to learn more in Texas.”
These three fighters, who are just 17 years old, are going from sparring top level competition in the Bay Area, to taking on San Antonio’s finest boxing talent in their weight class.
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