The Champ Comes Home: Jose Ramirez to Defend World Title July 7 in Fresno

May 16, 2018

The Champ Comes Home: Jose Ramirez to Defend WBC Super Lightweight Title Against Danny O’Connor July 7 in Fresno 
Title Defense No. 1 For Ramirez, LIVE on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. ET



FRESNO, Calif. (May 16, 2018) – Jose Ramirez, the pride of California’s Central Valley, is ready for his world championship homecoming.

Ramirez, from Avenal, Calif., will make the first defense of his World Boxing Council (WBC) super lightweight title against former amateur standout and longtime contender Danny O’Connor on Saturday, July 7 at the Save Mart Center. Ramirez vs. O’Connor will be televised live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Undercard bouts, including appearances by top Central Valley prospects Bryan Lua and Isidro Ochoa, will stream on ESPN+ starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.  Also appearing on ESPN+ in a six-round special attraction will be blue-chip prospect Gabe Flores Jr. of Stockton, Calif., who signed with Top Rank as a 16-year-old in November 2016, becoming the youngest fighter ever signed by the promotional company. This will be the first professional fight for Flores (7-0, 5 KOs) in California, who is also scheduled to fight on the Terence Crawford vs. Jeff Horn undercard June 9 in Las Vegas.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Star Boxing and Murphys Boxing, tickets to this world championship event, priced at $150 (floor), 90, $60, $35, $20, and $10, plus applicable fees, are ON SALE NOW and can be purchased online at, charge by phone at 800-745-3000, or at the Save Mart Center box office. For more information and box office hours, visit

As a bonus, fans who purchase tickets to Ramirez-O’Connor will also receive a free voucher to attend the May 26 card at the Save Mart Center, a world championship doubleheader featuring 115-pound world champions Jerwin Ancajas and Kal Yafai in separate bouts.

“Jose Ramirez is one of the brightest lights in the sport of boxing,” said Bob Arum, founder and CEO of Top Rank. “He’s an incredible competitor and a great advocate for social causes like immigration rights.”

“It has been my dream to become a world champion. It’s now my duty to defend this belt at home for my city, fans and everything I fight for,” Ramirez said. “I’m blessed to have this opportunity. I dedicate this fight to the immigrants that contribute to and make our society a better place. I’m pro-immigrant and proud.”

“I have been waiting for this opportunity since the day I put my first pair of gloves on. I embrace the chance to do battle with a great warrior such as Jose Ramirez,” O’Connor said. “I believe we have a legitimate shot at winning the world title and fulfilling my lifelong dream. We are prepared to bring it to Fresno on July 7!”

“This is the largest and most historic televised sporting event in Central Valley history, as our hometown hero defends his WBC world title as the main event on ESPN,” said Rick Mirigian, Ramirez’s manager. “Hollywood couldn’t script this any better.”

Ramirez (22-0, 16 KOs), beloved in the Central Valley for his commitment to immigrant causes and water rights for area farmers, won the vacant WBC super lightweight title on March 17 in New York City with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Amir Imam. He earned the title shot with a stunning second-round knockout over the previously undefeated Mike Reed on Nov. 11, 2017 in front of 13,838 fans at the Save Mart Center, which broke the venue’s previous record for a boxing match. When Ramirez fought Issouf Kinda at the Save Mart Center on Dec. 2, 2016, 13,700 fans turned out for the event dubbed “Fight For Water 6.” A 2012 U.S. Olympian, Ramirez turned pro later that year and soon became one of North America’s top ticket-sellers. On Oct. 25, 2014, Ramirez knocked out David Rodela in 50 seconds to win the vacant NABF super lightweight title in front of 10,000 fans at the Selland Arena in Fresno.

O’Connor (30-3, 11 KOs), from Framingham, Mass., is getting his first crack at a world title after nearly a decade as a professional. A slick southpaw, O’Connor had an illustrious amateur career, winning four New England Golden Gloves titles, a 2008 national Golden Gloves title at 141 pounds, and earning an alternate berth on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. O’Connor won the first 14 bouts of his professional career before dropping a unanimous decision to Gabriel Bracero on April 8, 2011 in Laredo, Texas. He won nine in a row before a highly controversial split decision loss to former world champion Vivian Harris in 2013. Following a shocking, one-punch knockout loss to Bracero in their 2015 rematch, O’Connor has won four consecutive fights. In his last bout, on a special St. Patrick’s Day card in Boston, O’Connor rebounded from seventh-round knockdown to win a unanimous decision over Steve Claggett and retain the WBC International Silver super lightweight belt.

ESPN+ is the first-ever multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment and ESPN.ESPN+ also offers fans two exclusive, original boxing programs The Boxing Beat with Dan Rafael (Mondays, weekly) and In This Corner (twice monthly). In addition to boxing content, fans that subscribe to ESPN+ get thousands of additional live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks – for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year).

For more information visit:,; Facebook:,,; Twitter:,, @ESPN @ESPNBoxeo, @ESPNDeportes.


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May 16, 2018


Tickets on general sale Friday, June 1


London, UK – UFC® today confirmed its debut event in Russia to be held later this year at Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow on Saturday, September 15.


Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT® MOSCOW go on general sale Friday, June 1, via


UFC has experienced a sharp rise in popularity in Russia over the past few years, with a fan base that has grown to more than 22 million, driven by the success local athletes have had in UFC. In just the past few months, Khabib Nurmagomedov captured the lightweight championship; heavyweight Alexander Volkov defeated legend of the sport and former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum; and rising featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov extended his overall record to 15-1, including a three-fight win streak in UFC.


“Russia is a key part of UFC’s international expansion strategy,” commented David Shaw, Senior Vice President, UFC International and Content. “The demand from our fans to bring a live event to Russia has been overwhelming, and with the vast potential this market holds for us, we knew this was the perfect time to bring UFC FIGHT NIGHT® to Moscow.”


As part of UFC’s commitment to the market, Andre Gromkovski has been appointed as Vice President, UFC Russia. Gromkovski brings with him expertise across the media sales, digital, marketing and content distribution landscapes, working with companies such as Universal Studios, FOX, Viacom and Paramount Pictures. Based in Moscow, Gromkovski will be leading the regional strategic plan for UFC Russia, working alongside UFC’s executive team in Las Vegas and the EMEA team based in London.


Further details on UFC FIGHT NIGHT® MOSCOW will be announced in coming weeks. Keep up to date with all the latest news by following @UFCEurope on Twitter.


For more information or current fight news, please visit

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UFC Debuts In Boise With A Hard-Hitting Heavyweight Headliner

May 15, 2018


(#11) JAMES VICK vs. (#14) PAUL FELDER



Las Vegas – UFC® will debut in Boise, Ida. with a thrilling heavyweight main event between former champion Junior Dos Santos and dangerous newcomer Blagoy Ivanov. In the co-main, lightweight contenders collide, as No. 11 James Vick battles No.14 Paul FelderUFC FIGHT NIGHT®: DOS SANTOS vs. IVANOV takes place at CenturyLink Arena on Saturday, July 14 and will air live on FS1.

Back in action following a one-year hiatus, Dos Santos (18-5, fighting out of Salvador, Brazil) is gunning to get back in the title mix. The vicious KO artist has beaten some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division. He holds impressive victories over current champ Stipe Miocic, and former titleholders Cain Velasquez, Fabricio Werdum and Frank Mir. He now looks to reassert himself as a heavyweight threat.

A champion outside the UFC, Ivanov (16-1, fighting out of Sofia, Bulgaria) aims to make a statement in his anticipated debut. In 2008, he captured the World Sambo championship, which included a win against Fedor Emelianenko. During his MMA career, Ivanov has netted victories over former UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez, Lavar Johnson and Shawn Jordan. A win over Dos Santos will immediately thrust him into the UFC title picture.
The co-main event will see a pair of exciting lightweight contenders jockey for a crack at the division’s top 10.

Currently riding a four-fight win streak, Vick (13-1, fighting out of Fort Worth, Tex.) hopes to catapult himself further up the 155-pound rankings. During his impressive run, he’s dispatched Francisco Trinaldo, Joseph Duffy, Polo Reyes and Abel Trujillo. With momentum on his side, The Ultimate Fighter veteran now plans to slay “The Irish Dragon.”

No stranger to spectacular runs, Felder (15-3, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.) has delivered three consecutive knockout victories. The talented striker’s vicious elbows were on full display as he stopped Charles Oliveira, Stevie Ray and Alessandro Ricci. With Vick in his sights, Felder’s focused on delivering yet another show-stealing performance.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • No.15-featherweight contender Myles Jury (17-2, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) welcomes back two-time title challenger Chad Mendes (17-4, fighting out of Sacramento, Calif.)
  • No.10-ranked featherweight contender Darren Elkins (24-5, fighting out of Portage, Ind.) faces rising prospect Alexander Volkanovski (17-1, fighting out of Windang, Australia)
  • No.6-ranked women’s bantamweight contender Cat Zingano (9-3, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) takes on surging No.7 Marion Reneau (9-3-1, fighting out of Visalia, Calif.)
  • No.8-ranked women’s flyweight contender Liz Carmouche (10-6, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) looks to spoil the debut of Invicta FC champion Jennifer Maia(15-4-1, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil)
  • Entertaining flyweight Justin Scoggins (11-4, fighting out of Spartanburg, S.C.) battles newcomer Said Nurmagomedov (11-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia)
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Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez Announcement Press Conference

May 15, 2018

Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez Announcement Press Conference Quotes and Photos

Kovalev and Alvarez
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Hard Rock Cafè, New York, NY:WBO Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) and Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) addressed the media at Hard Rock Café in Times Square to officially announce their upcoming “Super Men” showdown at the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, on Saturday, August 4 televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®.
Kathy Duva
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Kathy Duva – CEO, Main Events: “Welcome to the fabulous Hard Rock Café in Times Square. We’re delighted to announce today that the WBO World Light Heavyweight Champion, Sergey Kovalev, will face undefeated number one contender, Eleider Alvarez, in an HBO World Championship Boxing event at the brand new, soon to open, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City on Saturday, August 4th. The TV bouts start at 10 p.m. The event will be promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel.
“Ever since Sergey and Bernard Hopkins drew a million-dollar gate to unify the light heavyweight titles in November of 2014, at the last major boxing event to take place in Atlantic City, we at Main Events have been itching to find a way back to the place where we promoted so many big events and spent so much of our lives. While this city has dealt with the same challenges that have bedeviled most of the world economy during the last decade, the arrival of the iconic Hard Rock brand heralds a new beginning that I believe will lead to the re-birth of a streamlined, modernized and revitalized destination resort.
“And so, with my dear friend, Bernie Dillon, who I have known and worked with many times since we were all starting out our careers in the early ’80s … When he called and asked me if Main Events could help him bring big time boxing back to Atlantic City in his new role as the V.P. of Entertainment at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, I was delighted to be able to tell him that I had just the thing he was looking for.
“Sergey participated in the last big fight on the Boardwalk, and how fitting it is that he would be in a position to bring HBO back to Atlantic City and kickoff the next chapter of the city’s boxing history.
“And speaking of history, I am pleased and still a little amazed to be able to mark a big milestone in the story of Main Events today. In May of 1978, my late husband, Dan Duva, incorporated Main Events. So, this month we celebrate our 40th anniversary and I can’t think of a better place to mark that occasion than here today among so many friends.
“During the last 40 years, we have had the privilege to promote many hundreds of events. A lot of those big events took place in Atlantic City. Holyfield-Foreman, Pazienza-Camacho, Gatti-Ward II and III, Gatti-Mayweather and Kovalev-Hopkins come to mind immediately. There are a lot of others. Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker … All the great fighters we worked with. I think even Fernando Vargas once or twice fought in Atlantic City.
“So, let’s move on to the future now, and talk about what we have in store for you on August 4th. Supermen. Krusher and Storm. Sounds like a couple of superheroes, right? Today Sergey sits at the top of the light heavyweight division. Alvarez, the long-time number one contender in the division finally gets his shot at the title when they share the ring on August 4th.
“They, of course, have something else in common besides their date in August. Both have been avoided a lot by the same guy and so, tired of waiting for that guy to step up and face them, despite multiple attempts to put those fights together as Yvon can well attest, they have decided to simply fight each other. And we think it is most fitting to declare that they are the true supermen.
“As for our co-feature, that fight is still being made and will be announced separately. It will most likely be that dynamic young WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol will defend his title.
“Before I introduce the principals, I would like to bring up Rhonda Utley who is here representing Larry Hazzard and the New Jersey Athletic Control Board. That is the same athletic commission that regulated our first fight 40 years ago, and that wasn’t too long before Larry Hazzard began his storied career as a referee. As you know, he is now the Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, and it’s good to see you again, Rhonda, it’s been way too long.”
Rhonda Utley-Herring
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Rhonda Utley-Herring – Deputy Commissioner, New Jersey State Athletic Control Board: “Thank you, Kathy, for that introduction. Good afternoon, everyone. On behalf of Commissioner Larry Hazzard, I’d like to extend his apologies for not being here today, as he’s attending his granddaughter’s graduation from college at Hampton University.
“Nonetheless he, as well as the rest of us at the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, would like to extend a very warm welcome home to Kathy Duva and the Main Events family as you kick off the resurgence of Atlantic City casinos’ partnerships with major boxing events.
“For those of us who were around in the early ’80s for the initial rise of casino gambling and professional boxing and all that it brought to the Jersey Shore, you may agree that it’s very fitting that Main Events … which, by the way, is one of New Jersey’s founding fathers of boxing promotions … is at the forefront, making history once again with the first major boxing event opening the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City this summer.
“The SACB is very pleased to welcome back casino executive veterans James Allen and Bernie Dillon who were also at the center of the action during some of the most competitive and great boxing matches held in Atlantic City. We sincerely thank you for your interest in New Jersey as a major boxing venue, and we look forward to what we hope is the first of many, many exciting combat sports promotions at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
“I’m certain that boxing fans will be in for a real treat on August the 4th, when these exciting, talented fighters demonstrate their skills and their greatness in the ring. And I’m very proud and happy to have my seat at ringside to witness the rise of major boxing once again in the Garden State. So, on behalf of the State of New Jersey, I extend best wishes for a very successful event. Thank you.”
Duva: “Thank you, Rhonda. I a sense of theme here. This is like we’re all coming home.
“Now I would like to acknowledge our television partner, HBO, Peter Nelson, Jonathan Galst, Ray Stallone and all the many wonderful people that work there. During those 40 years, it seems that so many of the memories were made with that HBO logo in the background, and Jim Lampley’s voice ringing in my ear. I am so happy to be able to stand here today, 40 years into this crazy ride, and say that Main Events’ relationship with boxing’s number one network is still as strong as ever. We have made so many stars with you, HBO, over the years, and we look forward to making many more in the future.
“On to our host. On to Bernie Dillon. If you had told me back in 1983, when Vinny Pazienza fought on the undercard of a fight between Thomas Hearns and Murray Sutherland, that when I first met Bernie Dillon when he worked at the host hotel at that time, that we’d be standing here today in these roles, doing these big jobs, I would’ve had a lot of trouble envisioning it. Bernie’s been involved with boxing throughout most of his career in his various positions at Caesar’s Atlantic City, Trump Plaza, the Taj, HBO, Hard Rock in Ft. Lauderdale, the Revel, and now at the Hard Rock in Atlantic City.
“Bernie told me that when he left Atlantic City to work for a cruise line a few years ago, he thought that he had finally left boxing behind. But, Bernie, we don’t let anyone get away that easily. I am so glad to welcome you back, and I can’t think of anyone better positioned to help resurrect big time boxing in our state because you are one of us, and you always have been.
“And, so, it is my pleasure to introduce the Vice President of Entertainment for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, Mr. Bernie Dillon.”
Bernie Dillon
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Bernie Dillon – VP of Entertainment, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City: “Thank you, Kathy. It’s great to be here. I want to thank our sister Hard Rock Café New York here in Times Square for hosting this event today. And it’s great to be back in Atlantic City and I hope that each and every one of you will be able to make the trek to our new property on the Boardwalk. It’s very special. It is going to be … It is a resurrection. It’s a transformation. Hard Rock is investing $500 million to make the property something the Boardwalk and the entire city has never seen before. It is a destination in itself.
“We will have a completely revamped arena. You remember the old Etess Arena. We are keeping the name. Etess Arena is very special to a lot of us. Mark Etess would be happy, and I’m sure he’s watching us right now. But it used to have a capacity of 5,000 people. We have created the opportunity to increase that capacity up to 6,000 for boxing. There is not a bad seat in the house. If you remember from the events we’ve done there in the past, it’s a great room. It can create the electricity that certainly boxing deserves and I know it’ll play well for HBO as well.
“The property itself, 2,000 rooms. It will have 125 table games, 2,100 slot machines, over 20 bars and restaurants throughout the facility. Like I was talking about the Etess Arena, we also have the Sound Wave, which is a theater. It has a capacity of 2,000 people which will be doing over 200 nights of programming a year. The Arena will have over 80 nights of programming a year, which is unprecedented in Atlantic City.
“We’ll also have five other live entertainment facilities on property. Any time, 365 days a year, we will be presenting live entertainment on an ongoing basis. Just a great, great, electricity that we will be creating. Hard Rock brand is all about music, and add to that comedy, add to that boxing, and I think you’ll just find it entertaining any time you come.
“Our grand opening will be on June 28th. June 29th, we just announced yesterday that we have Carrie Underwood performing, a super country star. And then we have Pitbull the next night. As it’s been told to me, you can’t start the party without Pitbull. Great lineup throughout the rest of the summer, including … I’ll just mention a few which we have. We have Florida Georgia Line for two nights. We have Maroon 5 coming in. Rascal Flatts. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, an old time Atlantic City favorite. We also have STP and Colt. We have Counting Crows. We have Blake Shelton. We have Toby Keith. Amy Schumer. Kid Rock for a couple nights. Steely Dan. I mean, we really cover a whole gamut across the entertainment scene, and I’m sure this property will be shining in the months to come.
“We could not be happier than to be a part of this promotion. The fight itself certainly with Mr. Kovalev and Mr. Alvarez. We are excited, and may the best man win. We know we’ll have a great promotion and look forward to working with you guys. It’ll be our pleasure to host you.
“Working again with Kathy Duva and Main Events … Like Kathy was saying before, her and her husband, Dan, we had a lot of great promotions together back in the ’80s and the ’90s, and I’m sure that this event will go a long way in helping restore boxing to its heyday like it was before.
“The Etess Arena, like I was talking about before, has a rich history in boxing already. I just want to read to you a few of the names that have performed there in the past. Starting off with Thomas Hearns, Michael Moorer, George Foreman, Roy Jones, Jr., Vinny Pazienza, Roberto Duran, Hector Camacho, Arturo Gatti and Buster Douglas, just to name a few. There were many more and I could go on and on about it. But, again, it’s a great room for boxing, and not a bad seat in the house.
“With that said, in our commitment to making this event work, making boxing work, back in Atlantic City, our ticket prices are very fairly scaled. We’re not trying to go out and charge what we probably could for this show. Ringside seats are topping out at $200. More than half the house — 3,500 seats — are priced $100 or less: 1,500 tickets at $100 and 2,000 tickets at $50. So hopefully boxing fans will respond. I’m sure they will. And in our estimation, a very affordable rate for such a great event like we’re putting on August 4th.
“So, I hope to see you all there, and thank you all for coming out today. Kathy, it’s great to be back and working with you. Thank you very much.”
Duva: “You know, Bernie just made me realize Mark Etess is definitely up there watching us along with Dan, and they’re both scratching their heads like … Kathy and Bernie are running this thing? How the hell is that? Who would have known? They would be telling us everything to do. But, you know, we learned from the best, and that’s why we know what to do.
“So, let’s move on to the fight. That’s why we’re all here. When I called Yvon Michel a few weeks ago to ask if Eleider Alvarez might possibly want to be interested in challenging Sergey Kovalev, he sounded very happy. And he asked me to give him a couple of days. A couple of days later, he called back and we had a deal. I sent him the contract a couple days after that and found it signed in my email queue the next morning.
“I tell that story to illustrate two points: 1. The relationship between Yvon and Kathy is not the reason that a certain fight hasn’t happened. Yvon is a good promoter and when left unfettered to do his job, he gets it done in a most professional manner. 2. When fighters really want to fight, making the fights that you, the fans, want to see is easy. And we have two fighters here who want to fight. This is the way it’s supposed to be.
“Yvon asked me when we first spoke if we might be able to bring this fight to Quebec. Well, as it turned out, I was not able to make that happen, because Bernie made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. However, we are bringing Quebec to the fight.”
“When I used to ride down the Parkway in my father’s Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser as a child during our annual trek to the Jersey Shore for our vacation during the first two weeks of August, I used to wonder why there were always so many license plates from Quebec. Well, I learned why just a few weeks ago. Every year, during late July or early August, thousands of contractors from Quebec travel to the Jersey Shore for their vacations. And so, it seems that much of Montreal will be within a short drive of Atlantic City on August 4th, enjoying their Contractors’ Holiday, which apparently is a big deal and none of us in New Jersey knew about it.
“We expect a big, bipartisan crowd to be in the newly renovated and improved Mark Etess Arena at the Hard Rock and it’s going to be a lot of fun. It is my pleasure to introduce the President of Montreal’s Groupe Yvon Michel, m friend, Yvon Michel, who will introduce his team.”
Yvon Michel
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Yvon Michel – President & General Manager, Groupe Yvon Michel: “Thank you very much, Kathy. You can’t imagine how excited we are to be here today. There’s one person more excited than me, Eleider Alvarez. Thank you very much for being here. Thank you very much, Kathy, for this important opportunity. It was unexpected, really. We were fighting hard to have another world championship opportunity, but that will fall at the right time, at the right place. The way you have handled our negotiation … really, really it was professional. We’re very, very pleased how it turned out.
“Thank you very much, Sergey ‘Krusher’ for giving us the opportunity. Thank you, HBO, also Peter Nelson for bringing that fight there.
“Kathy is right. The last week of July and the first week of August, it’s by legislation in Quebec. It’s the law. It’s Construction Holiday. And used to be, not that long ago, why Atlantic City was the main place for Quebecers to go for their vacation. And I’m telling you, we have received a lot of calls and it has been announced only a couple days ago. We have received a lot of calls and there will be buses that are going to be just to go to Atlantic City for this weekend, because Eleider Alvarez has a lot of fans. He’s very liked, very loved in Quebec. And there will be a lot of people that are going to come.
“I remember Atlantic City, and I believe Arturo Gatti was fighting his last five years in his career over there. And we were going there. We were so happy all the time to bring a lot of people from Quebec to go to see Arturo Gatti. He fought only once in Quebec.”
“Again, thanks to Main Events, but like Kathy was saying, it was when Gatti was fighting in Atlantic City, we were bringing Quebec and a lot of people over there. And when Mr. Dillon called Kathy and asked her if she had a good event for you, you can’t imagine how good it will be. I’m telling you, it’s good. It will be exceptional. And you said 6,000 seats, and I’m sure it will be sold out pretty quick.
“Eleider Alvarez is an undefeated, 23-0, 11 KOs. He’s pro since 2009. He resides and lives and trains in Montreal. He’s married but his family they still reside in Colombia. He’s 34 years old. He’s been number one contender since 2015. He’s a former amateur star. He had participated in the Olympic Games in Beijing. He won a gold medal in the Pan Am Games in Rio in 2007.
“He is one of the few fighters in America who holds a winning record against Cubans. Even he has three wins against the current gold medalist of the last Olympic Games, Julio Cesar La Cruz. He is rated by Ring Magazine for 218 months. So over four years, he’s been rated in the top ten … the best contender in the world. He fought on his way up, he beat Edison Miranda and Alexander Johnson. He traveled in Monaco to defeat Ryno Liebenberg, where he got his Silver Belt. He traveled in Chicago to beat Anatoliy Dudchenko. He fought and beat Isaac Chilemba to become the mandatory contender in Quebec City in November 2015.
“Since then, even if the timing was not there, he did not have the opportunity to fight against Adonis Stevenson for the title, he was very active. He fought four times. We took that opportunity to raise his value to bring his confidence higher, and he beat two former stars in Quebec. He knocked out Lucian Bute in the fifth round. And remember, Bute was just fresh from a draw that has been reversed since then, but a draw against Badou Jack. And he beat also, soundly Jean Pascal. So, it was his last fight. And he was supposed after that last fight, he was supposed to fight Superman.
“By the way, I’m pretty sure he will be happy to see Superman. And I’m convinced also that Superman will be there to watch that fight, because Eleider will be there also next week to watch his fight against Badou Jack.
“So, I’m telling you, Eleider Alvarez is the number one, is the best contender in the world. And I know that we got that fight because another fight fell apart, but I’m telling you Eleider Alvarez would not have been a 50/50 fight against Marcus Brown. He has more experience. He is a man who has more maturity. And I’m convinced he would beat any contender in the world. I’m also convinced, looking at all the fighters, the four champions have fought, I’m convinced Eleider Alvarez would have won against all of them. And I’m really, really convinced of that.
“So, when you get the fighter who has a lot of talent, great speed, a great environment, excellent training with Marc Ramsay and an excellent management team with Stèphane Lèpine. I’m telling you he’s also excited, fully vindicated. He trained and lived in Montreal and his family still in Colombia, because he still wants to focus on his career. But he plans to bring them back in Montreal very soon. So, he is hungry, determined, a dangerous contender and August the 4th, with all due respect, he will be the new WBO Light Heavyweight Champion of the World. Thank you very much.
“So, I’d like to introduce the undefeated number one contender of the world, Eleider ‘Storm’ Alvarez.”
Eleider “Storm” Alvarez
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Eleider “Storm” Alvarez: “Good afternoon, everybody. First of all, I would like to thank Yvon Michel, Stèphane Lèpine who’s not here currently, Main Events, Kathy Duva, HBO and Sergey Kovalev for this opportunity. I feel really overwhelmed. It’s my first press conference outside of my country.
“I want to speak a little bit about myself. The first time that they offered me to fight against Sergey Kovalev, I didn’t think about it too much, and I said, at once, yes. Because everybody knows I’ve been three years waiting for Stevenson for the world championship. I have this kind of opportunity and I wanted to take advantage of it at once. It’s the same thing; it’s a world championship. But the importance of this fight is the man that I’m facing. The man that I’m going to be fighting with. He’s the best in the category of the 175 pounds. And after I took the position to fight as a professional boxer, I wanted to face the best ones. Sergey Kovalev is one of the best ones. For this sport of ours, you’re going to know more about who Eleider Alvarez is.
“Many know me from BoxRec because I didn’t have before to have the fight of such importance as the one that I’m going to have on the 4th of August. It’s going to be a chance for me to show what I have and everything I went through throughout my career. The next 4th of August, WBO’s going to have our next champion, and it’s going to be Eleider Alvarez.
“I have a lot of respect for Sergey Kovalev. He’s a great champion but I like these kinds of fights. I know it’s going to be a difficult fight but I know what I have. I know of my training and my preparation, and on next August 4th, I’m going to be the champion. Thank you very much.”
Duva: “Thank you, Yvon and Eleider. Now on to the champion. Last night, you, the boxing writers, honored Egis Klimas as your Manager of the Year for the second year in a row.
“When I met Egis six years ago, right here in a restaurant down the street in Times Square, he was managing fighters as a hobby. As I look at the outstanding group of fighters whose careers he now guides, I have to wonder how many more times you’re going to have to give him that award. You will probably have to retire it at some point.
“One thing is certain. No matter how many times you make him your Manager of the Year, he will richly deserve it, and this is sure not his hobby anymore. So please allow me to introduce my friend, Egis Klimas.”
Egis Klimas
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Egis Klimas – Manager, Sergey Kovalev: “Thank you very much, Kathy. Thank you very much, writers who saw me working, doing job … and by the way, it still is a hobby. Still is.
“I really like what I do. I really enjoy what I do. And that’s probably why coming along very well. I don’t see that as my work, as my job. I see that as my life. And all the fighters with me, I really don’t pay attention … Is he the best? Is he a champion? Or he’s just starting today … Is he going to turn into pro? I even thought of some who’s still amateur boxers and I treat them all the same. Sometimes some writers are asking me like, ‘Which out of your fighters are the best? Which out of your fighters you like most?’
And I just say, ‘Simple. If you cut my finger on my hand, no matter which one you’re going to cut, it’s going to still the same pain.’ So, all of my fighters I would say are treat same. I look at them and they are same to me.
“As far as Sergey Kovalev, we went with him through the long road, I would say. And I wanted to say to the fighters who are starting today, or who started a year ago, Sergey Kovalev opened a lot of doors to new fighters from Russia, from Ukraine, from all over the former Soviet Union, because everyone was looking up to him. And when we started, nobody knew much about the Russian fighters and he was very patient. And I was also very patient, too. So, we went a very, very long run.
“Before I met Kathy Duva, I had to manage, promote, do everything for Sergey, and we went through 18 fights. He was 18-0 when I brought him here. Sergey played the big, big role into my management career and I wanted to thank him personally. That the trophy I got yesterday, it wouldn’t be without Sergey. So, he played a big role.
“As far as August 4th, I think we got outside of the champions, we got the best opponent is available today in the light heavyweight division. I was actually even surprised that Alvarez agreed to fight, because he gave away his mandatory position to fight a WBC and he choose to fight Sergey. So, it’s a lot of respect for that.
“In closing, I wanted to thank writers, fans, HBO, promoters and hosts, Hard Rock. To whoever is not going to make it to Atlantic City to watch it, to watch it live, turn on the TV and watch on HBO. Thank you very much. We’ll see you August 4th.”
Duva: “Thank you, Egis. Also, I want to acknowledge Sergey’s trainer, Abror Tursunpulatov, who is not still here. He’s got some guys fighting tonight on the undercard, but he’s played a big role in the second half of Sergey’s career.
“Sergey is making, by the way, his 14th appearance on HBO on August 4th, and this will be his 14th world title fight. He is what I would call a real champion. He has traveled throughout the world, challenging his opponents in their own hometown, many times. He has taken on every challenge that has been offered to him without a moment’s hesitation. He has reached the point in his career where we get to see how real champions cement their legacies. I don’t believe … and, again, we’ll go back to my 40 years … I saw Marvin Hagler. I saw Ray Leonard. I saw Muhammed Ali. I saw every great fighter, really of this last 40-50 years, and you know very few of them didn’t suffer a loss.
“When you come down to it, a career is not measured by the W’s and the L’s on your record. In the end, it’s measured by the richness of the challenges you accept, and the memories you make for the fans along the way.
“We have seen some pretty special things from Sergey since we met him just six years ago and I suspect that he has a lot more thrills to give all of us before he decides to call it a career, because that’s what great champions do. As always, it is my privilege and my delight to introduce you to WBO Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev.”
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev Flexes Above the Hard Rock Cafe in New York City
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – Two-Time Light Heavyweight World Champion: “Thank you. Thank you very much for everything and I’m happy to be here and back to New York and I’m glad to be here again.
“First of all, I want to say thank you to Egis, who one day believed in me and gave me opportunity to be a professional fighter and may my dreams happen for me. And, also, thank you to Kathy Duva who supports us and gave opportunity fighting on HBO. Thanks also to HBO for great opportunity to be in team of HBO boxing. And personal thank you for help to Peter Nelson and Hard Rock for expressing confidence in me.
“Thanks to Yvon Michel and Eleider Alvarez for approve the fight. I am sure that we will show really great fight August 4th because I have a plan to defend my title. He has a plan to get a title and to be champion. It will be very big battle and we must be ready and be the best shape of our boxing career. Because in the future, happening huge fights, unification fights, I hope.
“Thank you to all the writers. To the writers who gave award that Egis best manager in the world, Lomachenko was the best fighter in the world, and his father, Anatoly, won the best trainer in the world.
“Thank you very much for everything and see you and at next press conference before August 4th. God bless you everyone, and thank you.”
Duva: “Thank you, Sergey. I want to leave you with a couple of final thoughts: 1. Many of you have been asking me lately about Ellen. You haven’t seen Ellen Haley lately. Some of you met Ellen when she was by Evander Holyfield’s side. Others of you met her later in her career with Main Events. I just wanted to let you all know she hasn’t been around lately. She is going through a very difficult time. Her brother is desperately ill. Her nephew, Jeffrey, who many of you know, also just had very serious surgery. You know, Ellen is not a mother, but I think we’ve all, everyone in this room, has been mothered by her at one time or another. So, if you’re thinking about her, this would be a great time to send her a little text and ask her how she’s doing.
“2. It was pointed out to me by our matchmaker extraordinaire and Vice President of Operations, Jolene Mizzone, that I should tell you something very important. You should advise your listeners and your readers to make sure they show up in time to see the undercard. The reason why really says a lot about the way our sport evolves and surprises.
“Almost 26 years ago, to this day, May 15, 1992, Main Events promoted its first ever boxing event at the Mark Etess Arena. Michael Moorer fought Burt Cooper in one of the most hellacious heavyweight fights that I have ever personally seen. It was a great card overall, with future champions, Livingstone Bramble and Gerald McClellan featured in the undercard bouts. Can you believe that? But the most important and interesting thing about that night was the guy who won a six-round decision in the first bout of the evening. His name was Arturo Gatti. And it was the first time he ever fought in the city where he cemented his legacy so many years ago.
“So, mark your calendars, and be there for all the action. The ticket pricing is spectacular, very similar to the kind of pricing we had when Arturo started his fantastic nine-fight run in Atlantic City. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if, in addition to watching a terrific main event, you might see a future world champion, or even a legend in the making before the TV fights even get started.
“Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 18th, at 10 a.m. and will be available through the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino box office and Ticketmaster. If you can’t be there in person, TV starts at 10 p.m. on HBO.
“Thank you to the Hard Rock Times Square for hosting us today, and HBO, the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, and the brand spanking new Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City. See you all there on August 4th.”
About Kovalev-Alvarez: In the first boxing event at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev will defend his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title against undefeated contender Eleider “Storm” Alvarez on Saturday, August 4, 2018. The event is promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Groupe Yvon Michel and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, May 18 and will be available through the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Box Office and Ticketmaster.
Twitter: @krusherkovalev
Instagram: @SergeyKrusherKovalev
Twitter: @stormalvarez
Instagram: @stormalvarez
Twitter: @main_events
Instagram: @Main_Events
Instagram: @groupeyvonmichel
Twitter: @HardRockHCAC
Instagram: @hardrockhcac
Twitter: @HBOBoxing
Instagram: @hboboxing
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May 13, 2018
(ABOVE: Jaime Munguia defeated Sadam Ali via fourth-round technical knockout in the main event of HBO World Championship Boxing on May 12 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.)
Photo Credit: Matt Heasley-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
VERONA, N.Y. (May 12, 2018): Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the dangerous undefeated native of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, scored an emphatic fourth-round technical knockout victory against Sadam “World Kid” Ali (26-2, 14 KOs) of Brooklyn, N.Y. to capture the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title in the scheduled 12-round main event of HBO World Championship Boxing at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. Munguia was too big and powerful for Ali, sending him to the canvas several times before a left hook forced the referee to stop the fight at 1:02 of the fourth round.
“This victory is something huge for me,” said Jaime Munguia. “This is a dream come true. Every fighter dreams of this. I want to thank the Nevada Commission for making this opportunity possible as they didn’t allow me to fight Gennady Golovkin. I want to show that I am ready to fight at the highest level and with the best fighters.”
“He [Munguia] caught me early,” said Sadam Ali. “That’s what affected me. I don’t want to give any excuses. He was the better man tonight. I have to check with my team to see a what’s next for me.”
Rey Vargas (32-0, 22 KOs) engaged in a hard-fought 12-round war as he defeated explosive Armenian contender Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan (14-3, 11 KOs) to retain the WBC Super Bantamweight World Title in tonight’s co-main event. Vargas used his significant length and reach advantage, though Hovhannisyan made the fight very tough with his relentless aggression. Vargas won with scores of 118-110, 116-111 and 117-111.
“I’m very happy,” said Rey Vargas. “This was a tough opponent, though he fights dirty and has his bad habits. He head-butted me a lot. It was important that I first take care of my head in this fight and then of course land my punches. Right now, it’s time for me to rest and leave the decisions to my managers.”
“I have great respect for Rey Vargas, but I felt I controlled the fight with my aggression,” said Azat Hovhannisyan.” I landed the harder and cleaner punches. He got too much credit for pitty-patter shots. I felt it was close, but my constant attack won the fight.”
George Rincon (4-0, 2 KOs) of Dallas, Texas stopped Corey Gulley (2-2-2) of Killeen, Texas by way of technical knockout at :37 of the second round of a scheduled four-round super lightweight fight.
“This victory was all for my Uncle Beto in Mexico,” said George Rincon. “Being able to adjust to a southpaw is always tough, but the plan worked well. Now I just have to be ready for the next one.”
Veteran Mexican pugilist Diuhl Olguin (12-10-2, 9 KOs) scored a six-round unanimous decision victory against Kevin Rivers (14-2, 10 KOs) of Palmer Park, Maryland. Rivers was given one score of 58-55, which was overruled by scores of 58-55 and 57-56 for Olguin.
“I’m super happy,” said Diuhl Olguin. “Giving it my all in the later rounds when we were both tired was key to winning this fight. For my next fight, I want to face someone of a higher level to demonstrate that I really belong in this ring.”
Alex Vanasse (4-0, 4 KOs) of Palmer Park, Md. scored a third-round technical knockout victory against Ray Santiago (2-8) of Albany, N.Y. in a bout originally scheduled for four rounds of heavyweight action. Vanasse landed a vicious flurry that forced the referee to call a halt to the bout at 2:08 of the third round.
“This was a rematch,” said Alex Vanasse. “He [Santiago] called me out because he said the referee called it off too early. In reality, the referee saved his life. This time the referee called it off again and it was even clearer that he needed to.”
Luis Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) of Syracuse, N.Y. defeated Damian Lewis (0-8-1) of Niagara Falls, N.Y. via unanimous decision over four rounds of heavyweight action. Vargas was quicker and more explosive than Lewis, which helped win with him scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 39-37.
“I got really tired in there, and Lewis can really take a punch,” said Luis Vargas. “After this fight I want to lose some pounds and go back to my normal weight of 154 pounds.”
Lawrence Gabriel (2-1-1, 1 KO) of Syracuse, N.Y. opened the night of action with a second-round technical knockout victory against the debuting Brad Vargeson (0-1) of Syracuse, N.Y. After a close first round, Gabriel landed a right hand followed by a few more shorter shots to drop Vargeson. Vargeson got back to his feet on time, but the referee stopped the fight at 2:19 of the second round as he was clearly unable to continue.
“I felt good,” said Lawrence Gabriel. “He [Vargeson] got me a couple times, but he didn’t really hurt me. I saw that he was bending over a lot, so I looked for the shot to hurt him and stop him.”
Ali vs. Munguia was a 12-round fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Zanfer Promotions. Vargas vs. Hovhannisyan was a 12-round battle for the WBC Super Bantamweight World Title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Promociones del Pueblo. The event was sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Casa Mexico Tequila. The event took place Saturday, May 12 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Host of the May 12 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 25th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.
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May 13, 2018



Las Vegas – UFC® today announced that the classic 2011 UFC® 139 fight between former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and UFC® 17 middleweight tournament champion and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Dan Henderson will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame’s ‘Fight Wing’ as a member of the class of 2018. The 2018 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on Thursday, July 5 at The Pearl at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas and will be streamed live and exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®.


“The first fight between Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua is one of the best fights I’ve ever seen,” UFC President Dana White said. “This fight represents everything that’s great about UFC and the sport of mixed martial arts. Dan came out dropping bombs and took control of the first three rounds, while Shogun was able to absorb a ton of punishment, win the fourth and push the fight to the brink in the fifth. This fight was so good that it was named the 2011 Fight of the Year and is still considered one of the top five fights in UFC history.  Congratulations to Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua on a fight that will forever be considered one of the greatest of all-time!”


As UFC’s first-ever event in San Jose, California, UFC® 139: SHOGUN vs. HENDERSON, which took place on November 11, 2011 at HP Pavilion, was headlined by the highly-anticipated meeting as both athletes came into this matchup following impressive victories. The main event was also set to make history as the first non-title five-round fight in UFC light heavyweight history and only the second non-title fight scheduled for five rounds in UFC history.


Henderson, a two-division world champion and 2005 middleweight grand prix champion during his tenure with PRIDE FC, entered the Octagon® with a 29-8 record, having won six of his last seven fights, including a first round TKO of former PRIDE FC heavyweight champion and 2004 PRIDE FC heavyweight grand prix champion Fedor Emelianenko. His other victories during this term included wins over former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping, former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Renato Sobral and former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Rafael Cavalcante.


“It’s awesome that this fight is being inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame,” Dan Henderson said. “I knew Shogun and I had thrown and landed a lot of big shots, but I had no idea people were calling it one of the best fights ever until the post-fight press conference. I had to watch the fight to appreciate how exciting it was. I’m honored that what Shogun and I went through that night is being remembered like this.”


Shogun arrived at HP Pavilion with a 20-5 record and wins in seven of his last 10 fights, having defeated UFC Hall of Famers Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, Mark Coleman, former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion and current UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem during this stretch.


“I am very happy for this honor,” Shogun Rua said. “I trained hard every day for that bout and the fight was crazy. I gave everything I had, all my heart in the Octagon. I didn’t win, but I know I gave my all and this fight was one of the best of my career.”
“Dan Henderson is a great guy and I respect him,” Rua continued. “We gave the fans a special fight that night and I’m proud that the fans still talk about it and that it is part of UFC history. I’m going to display my Hall of Fame trophy alongside my championship belts and show this fight to my grandkids, son and all of their friends one day.”


Shogun opened the first round by taking down Henderson 45 seconds into the fight, but Dan’s counter resulted in a guillotine attempt and barrage of punches that immediately cut Rua over his left eye. Henderson then connected with his famed “H-Bomb” right hook which decked the Brazilian. Rua then caught Henderson with a right cross counter that put him on the canvas. Henderson almost finished Shogun in the third round, dropping the 2005 PRIDE FC middleweight grand prix champion with another hook before unloading over a dozen strikes as the referee came close to stopping the fight.


At the end of the third round, Henderson had out-struck Shogun 69 – 47 in power strikes.


Shogun launched a valiant comeback attempt during rounds four and five, coming within seconds of submitting Henderson via choke in the early seconds of the fourth. Overall, Rua was the aggressor during the final two rounds, connecting on 79 total strikes while Henderson only landed eight.


Both athletes were exhausted going into the fifth round, with Henderson’s coaches explicitly telling him not to stand and strike with Shogun. Each fighter mounted attempts to finish the fight during the fifth, but the bout ultimately went the distance. At the conclusion of the fifth round, Henderson captured the victory via unanimous decision.


“It’s crazy to think that without this being a five-round fight, we would have never known that Shogun could come back in the next two rounds and that Dan Henderson would have been able to last through five and win by unanimous decision,” noted White.


Both athletes combined to land 304 total strikes, which tied for the second-most in UFC light heavyweight history at the time, and ranks third in the division all time. Of the 304 strikes, their combined 173 power punches currently rank second all-time in UFC light heavyweight history.


One key aspect of Shogun’s strategy of attempting to take down Henderson, a two-time member of the United States Olympic Wrestling team (1992, 1996), surprised everyone, but Rua successfully notched five, more than any other fighter who faced Henderson during his career. Rua landed a total of 96 power strikes during the fight, the most he’s ever tallied in a fight in his career.


Both fighters endured more strikes over the course of this bout than they ever had during their careers. Henderson connected on 77 strikes, with Shogun landing 96, both career highs at the time.


The pair met for a rematch at UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: SHOGUN vs. HENDERSON 2 on March 23, 2014 in Natal, Brazil. Henderson would defeat Shogun for a second time, via TKO in the third round, after another classic that was almost as exciting as their first encounter. Henderson fought 10 more times in UFC, retiring in 2016.


Shogun has fought nine times in UFC since his first legendary matchup with Henderson in San Jose. Rua is currently on a three-fight winning streak and headlines UFC’s return to Hamburg, Germany with UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: VOLKAN vs. SHOGUN on Sunday, July 22.


The remaining inductees of the UFC Hall of Fame class of 2018 will be announced in the coming weeks leading to the 7th Annual UFC International Fight Week™, which takes place from Monday, July 2 through Sunday, July 8 in Las Vegas.


To see a complete list of UFC athletes and fights enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame, as well as details regarding the UFC Hall of Fame format, please visit UFCHOFFAQ. For additional information, please visit

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Kovalev-Alvarez 8/4 at Hard Rock Atlantic City Live on HBO!

May 13, 2018
Sergey Kovalev vs. Eleider Alvarez Set for 
Saturday, August 4 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino 
Atlantic City
Televised Live on HBO World Championship Boxing®
Atlantic City, N.J. – May 12, 2018 – Two-time light heavyweight world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KOs) puts his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title on the line against long-time WBC Light Heavyweight number one Contender Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (23-0, 11 KOs) at the Etess Arena in the brand new Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on Saturday, August 4, 2018. The event, promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Groupe Yvon Michel, will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. This will mark Kovalev’s 14th appearance on HBO® with Alvarez making his network debut.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday, May 18.
Kovalev vs. Alvarez will be the first professional boxing event to take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, which opens on June 28. Kovalev, 35, of Chelyabinsk, Russia, will be fighting for the fourth time in Atlantic City, including his 2014 victory over future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins, which unified three of the four light heavyweight world titles. The only light heavyweight world title Kovalev has not had the chance to win belongs to WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson. Kovalev and Stevenson have come close to getting in the ring several times, but “Superman” seems set on avoiding the hard-hitting Russian.
Undefeated Eleider Alvarez also knows a little something about being avoided by Stevenson. Alvarez defeated Isaac Chilemba in 2015 to secure the WBC mandatory position and the opportunity to face Adonis for his piece of the light heavyweight crown. Since then, Alvarez is 4-0 with notable wins over former world champions Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute. After more than two years since becoming the mandatory contender and almost one year since his last fight, Stevenson still has not agreed to fight Alvarez, so Eleider jumped at the opportunity to face Kovalev for the WBO World Title when the offer arrived.
Kovalev explained, “Alvarez has earned his title shot but Chickenson dodged him; just like he dodged me. I want to fight the best in my division. Alvarez took the fight with me without hesitation. I respect that and I am excited to face him in my return to Atlantic City.”
Egis Klimas, Sergey’s manager, added, “Eleider Alvarez is a great competitor. That is probably why Stevenson refused to fight him. Sergey will face anyone, any time, any place. If Adonis is too scared to take the fight, Sergey is happy to step up and fight Alvarez. He earned this opportunity.”
Main Events’ CEO and Kovalev’s promoter, Kathy Duva, said, “Entering our 40th year in this business, we are so excited to return to Atlantic City and honored to be the first fight in this beautiful new venue. Atlantic City, and the Etess Arena in particular, were home to so many amazing fights with Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer, and the late, great Arturo Gatti, just to name a few. The Atlantic City fans have always come out to support Sergey and, fortuitously, this event will take place during the French-Canadian Construction Holiday when the Jersey Shore fills up with vacationers from Quebec. We’re going to have a great crowd on August 4th!”
According to Alvarez, “I am extremely happy. I said yes as soon as I had the offer! I waited for a long time to get a shot at a world title. I don’t want to hear about Adonis Stevenson anymore: I am focused on Sergey Kovalev! I am really motivated, it is a huge fight against a really high-class opponent. Kovalev is right now the best fighter of the division. I wanted to fight in a world championship bout to show my talent and now I finally have the opportunity. I know it is a really hard fight, but I will work hard to become world champion. This is my dream. I am a boxer who loves challenge and who performs at my best when I am challenged. I now have what I want. Kovalev is an all-around solid fighter, with a good jab, good technique and a hard puncher, but my trainer knows him well! I have no doubt, I will be the next WBO champion.”
Alvarez’s promoter, Yvon Michel, added, “The experience that Eleider Alvarez has now makes gives him solid chances to win that important clash! He is fighting with passion and adrenaline. He deserves his world title fight in front of his crowd. I am convinced that Eleider Alvarez has what it takes to beat Sergey Kovalev and to bring a third light heavyweight title back in Quebec!”
Eleider is managed by Stéphane Lépine, who explained, “The offer from Kathy Duva arrived and we were really happy. Fighting against Sergey Kovalev, an established and recognized name of the boxing world, on HBO, we couldn’t ask for any better opportunity! For me, it was a no brainer; we had to accept that amazing offer. We were also too tired to wait for Adonis Stevenson.”
Marc Ramsay, Eleider’s trainer, has faced Kovalev before as the trainer for Jean Pascal. He said, “‘Eleider is an experienced fighter, he has fought in other opponent’s backyard, he also fought in front of huge home crowd. We were waiting for a title shot for so long, he is now very ready to perform. The objective for him when we started together in the pro ranks was to become world championship fight. That is a promise I made him when he arrived in Montreal from Colombia. I am really confident that Eleider have what it takes to become world champion.”
“Sergey Kovalev will face his toughest opponent in over a year in undefeated Eleider Alvarez when World Championship Boxing returns to Atlantic City,” said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “The boardwalk has been the site of many memorable moments throughout the years and we look forward to this light heavyweight title showdown on August 4.”
“We are thrilled to bring championship boxing to the Boardwalk and to host it at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. This event will mark the first sporting event at Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena which is all new and a venue that our boxing fans will truly enjoy. Our world-class facility will be the ultimate location for events and entertainment”, stated Bernie Dillion, vice president of entertainment at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
About Kovalev-Alvarez: In the first boxing event at the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, NJ, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev will defend his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title against undefeated contender Eleider “Storm” Alvarez on Saturday, August 4, 2018. The event is promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Groupe Yvon Michel and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, May 18 and will be available through the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Box Office and Ticketmaster.
Twitter: @krusherkovalev
Instagram: @SergeyKrusherKovalev
Twitter: @stormalvarez
Instagram: @stormalvarez
Twitter: @main_events
Instagram: @Main_Events
Instagram: @groupeyvonmichel
Twitter: @HardRockHCAC
Instagram: @hardrockhcac
Twitter: @HBOBoxing
Instagram: @hboboxing
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May 11, 2018
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
LOS ANGELES (May 10, 2018): Undefeated featherweight contender and former U.S. Olympian Joseph“JoJo” Diaz Jr. (26-0, 14 KOs) hosted a media workout in Los Angeles at Azteca Boxing Club. Diaz, Jr. will challenge Gary Russell, Jr. (28-1, 17 KOs) for the WBC World Featherweight World Title on Saturday, May 19 in a clash televised live on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Here’s what Joseph Diaz, Jr. had to say at today’s workout:
JOSEPH “JOJO” DIAZ, JR, Current NABF and NABO Featherweight Champion:
“I have no hostility toward Gary Russell Jr. I respect Gary Russell Jr., and I know what he brings to the table. Ever since I was brought up as a professional fighter I was always humble and I was always down to earth. Now that I have the opportunity to become the champion that I know I can be I feel like I’m more outspoken because I know that the opportunity is finally here, and I know what I’m capable of doing.
“I want to fight the best at 126 pounds and I want to show all the fans that I’m the real deal. By fighting and bringing on the toughest 126 pounders like Gary Russell Jr., and defeating him, that’s going to showcase to the whole boxing world that I am the real deal and I will be the king at 126 pounds.
“He’s been inactive and used to fighting just once a year now. But what makes him so dangerous is he’s very, very speedy and has great hand speed. And not only that but he knows how to use his hand speed and counter when guys are opening up. My father and I know what we are bringing to the table, and I’m fast, as well. I have a very high boxing IQ and I’m very powerful in there. I know how to land sneaky body shots and I’m a big 126-pound fighter, and that will be the key to victory. He will try and land his power shots, but they’re not going to be effective because I’m the bigger fighter.
“I need to bring this WBC belt back to L.A. and to South El Monte. I’ll be the first champion coming out of there and I’m a role model to a lot of youth. That’s what makes me hungry and I’m one hundred percent confident I’ll be the champion and we will have a big parade in South El Monte, and you’re all invited!
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime, fighting for a world title against Gary Russell Jr., is a dream come true. I feel like I’m so much better a fighter now than I was at the Olympics. If feel like if I fought that kid who was in the Olympics now I’d stop him in the first round. My management and trainers have groomed me for this fight on May 19. I fought some undefeated fighters, some experienced fighters and some real live dogs. I just feel like all the experience I’ve gained in the past will serve me well.”
(ABOVE: Oscar Duarte, Romero Duno and Raymond Muratalla pose for the media ahead of their fights on the May 17 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino)
Photo Credit: Lina Baker/SeeYouRingside Photography
Fighters from the May 17 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN also participated in the workout. In the main event, Romero “Ruthless” Duno (16-1, 14 KOs) of General Santos City, Philippines will take on Mexico City’s Gilberto “Flaco” Gonzalez (27-4, 22 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight fight. The co-main event will feature Oscar Duarte (13-0-1, 9 KOs) of Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico against Rey Perez (22-9, 6 KOs) in a lightweight bout scheduled for 10 rounds of action. Raymond Muratalla will make his professional debut in a four-round lightweight battle.
ROMERO “RUTHLESS” DUNO, Lightweight Contender:

“I want this victory to prove to Golden Boy Promotions that they made no mistake in putting me in the main event. In 2016, no one knew who I was. But then I jumped at the opportunity and now I’m in the biggest fight of my career. I’m ready to impress everyone and give a great victory.”

OSCAR DUARTE, Lightweight Prospect:
“I feel really motivated. I get to be co-main event on an ESPN card! I’m ready to go out there and win without a doubt. I know after this, only good things wait for me. I love training in the Coachella desert with Joel Diaz — making weight is so easy when it’s so hot out there! I’m excited for the next door to open after this.”
RAYMOND MURATALLA, Lightweight Prospect:
“I’m making my pro debut. I hope I impress the boxing fans and let them know that I’m someone to watch. I have a really good amateur record with 74 wins and only six losses. I’m currently training with Joel Diaz in Indio and it’s been a great experience. I’m ready to leave an impression.”
(ABOVE: Rafael Gramajo, Javier Molina and Jessie Roman pose for the media ahead of the June 1 edition of LA FIGHT CLUB at Belasco Theater and televised on EstrellaTV)
Fighters from the June 1 edition of LA FIGHT CLUB also participated in the workout. Super lightweight contender Javier “El Intocable” Molina (17-2, 8 KOs) will return to the ring to face Jessie Roman (22-3, 11 KOs) in an eight-round 140-pound battle. Rafael “El Alikin” Gramajo (9-1-2, 2 KOs) will return in an eight-round super bantamweight fight.
JAVIER “EL INTOCABLE” MOLINA, Super Lightweight Contender
“I’m not nervous to be in the main event. This is my town, and at the end of the day Jessie Roman and I are still going to be able to shake hands because we have a solid friendship that is years in the making. This is a tough business, but at the end of the day that’s all it is.”
JESSIE ROMAN, Super Lightweight Contender
“We had a really tough camp this time around because I wanted to be ready. At the end of the day it’s just business, but we’re still friends.
“We were in the amateurs together and even though he was a couple years older and a little heavier, we still had the opportunity to spar against each other for a couple rounds. I’m fully aware of what I’m facing. This is my opportunity to show everyone what I’ve got.”
RAFAEL “EL ALIKIN” GRAMAJO, Super Bantamweight Prospect
“Unfortunately, things didn’t work out with my opponent [Pablo Rubio Jr.], but I was ready catch some sharks. I’m ready to face whoever and wherever. I’ve been training hard, so I’m ready to fight anyone that night.”
Russell, Jr. vs. Diaz, a 12-round World Championship fight for Russell, Jr.’s WBC’s Featherweight Belt presented by TGB Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions. The fight will take place on Saturday, May 19 in a clash live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Tickets for the MGM National Harbor show, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions, are on sale now and are available by visiting
Duno vs. Gonzalez is a 10-round lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Doors to the Special Events Center will open at 4:00 p.m. PT and the first fight begins at 4:30 pm PT. ESPN2 will air the fights beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT, and stream live on ESPN3 starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights on Friday, May 18 at 9:00 p.m. ET/ 6:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets for the event are on sale and start at $25. Tickets will be available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at
Molina vs. Roman is an eight-round super lightweight fight presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Casa Mexico Tequila. The Boxeo Estelar broadcast will air live on EstrellaTV at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT. The card will also stream live on and on YouTube via LBI Media, Inc.’s Fenomeno Studios. Mark your calendars and buy your tickets for the upcoming shows on July 6, Aug. 10, and Oct. 12.
Tickets for LA FIGHT CLUB start at the fan-friendly price of $25 and are available for purchase now at and the Golden Boy Promotions Facebook page.
For more information visit,, follow on Twitter @ShowtimeBoxing, @PremierBoxing, @MrGaryRussellJr, @JosephDiazJr, @TGBPromotions, @GoldenBoyBoxing, @MGMNatlHarbor and @Swanson_Comm or
become a fan on Facebook at and The event is sponsored by
Corona Extra, La Cerveza Mas Fina.
GBP on ESPN on May 17:
For more information, visit and; follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing, @OscarDeLaHoya, @ESPN, and @ESPNBoxeo; become a fan on Facebook at; and follow on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing and @OscarDeLaHoya. Follow the
conversation using #GBPonESPN.
LA FIGHT CLUB on June 1:
For more information visit, and Follow on Twitter at
@GoldenBoyBoxing and @EstrellaTV. Become a fan on Facebook at, Visit us on Instagram at @GoldenBoyBoxing, @belascola and @EstrellaTV. Follow the conversation using #LAFIGHTCLUB and #BoxeoEstelar.
Past-fights and workout footage available for review and download. All footage must be credit SHOWTIME.
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May 11, 2018

Las Vegas – UFC® today announced the renewal of its partnership with the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF). The extension stands as a continuation of the global brand’s commitment to supporting the safe practices and promotion of amateur mixed martial arts.


“We are thrilled to renew our partnership and provide continued global support of IMMAF,” UFC Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ike Lawrence Epstein said. “IMMAF has done a remarkable job of promoting the sport of amateur mixed martial arts from a grassroots level and serving as a conduit for higher safety and regulatory standards. UFC is proud to further its alignment with IMMAF as they consistently produce top tier amateur events around the world.”


Since its launch in 2012, IMMAF has partnered with 70 national federations. It has hosted four nation vs. nation, amateur MMA World Championships, with three taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, as part of UFC International Fight Week. IMMAF has also expanded its continental series of tournaments to cover Asia, Oceania, Europe and Africa. In 2018, IMMAF will host its 5th annual IMMF World Championships of Amateur MMA in Bahrain.


“On behalf of IMMAF, I would like to thank both UFC and owners, Endeavor, for their continued support and commitment to the development of the sport of mixed martial arts at all levels,” IMMAF President Kerrith Brown said. “UFC is renowned as the pioneer of modern-day MMA, and we are honored by this partnership which pays great tribute to IMMAF’s successes to date.”


UFC and IMMAF have collaborated and shared information and expertise in areas of sport development that are of mutual interest, including anti-doping and event sanctioning.


IMMAF is working to obtain international recognition for the sport of MMA from the Global Association of International Sports Federations, the global umbrella body for all established sports, as part of its pledge to see its ‘Olympic’ style, amateur MMA tournaments into the Games. Currently, half of IMMAF’s member federations are recognized by their National Olympic Committees.

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A Solo Dos Días de Linares vs. Lomachenko

May 11, 2018

Conferencia de Prensa Final: Linares y Lomachenko Están Listos Para el Gran Escenario del Madison Square Garden 

EN VIVO por ESPN, ESTE SÁBADO, 12 de mayo a las 8 p.m. ET

(Credito de Fotos: Mikey Williams / Top Rank)

NUEVA YORK (10 de mayo del 2018) — La pelea que el mundo del boxeo ha estado esperando – Jorge Linares defendiendo los títulos ligeros de la AMB y Ring Magazine en contra del excampeón de dos divisiones Vasiliy Lomachenko en el Madison Square Garden – está a solo dos días de distancia.Lomachenko y Linares, junto con muchos de los combatientes de la cartelera, se reunieron con los medios una última vez el jueves.

La cartelera cargada de talento presenta al contendiente dominicano de peso welter Carlos “Caballo Bronco” Adames (13-0, 11 KOs) en su debut con Top Rank en un combate a 10 asaltis y televisado por ESPN, contra el mexicano Alejandro Barrera (27-4, 17 KOs); La sensación irlandesa Michael Conlan (6-0, 5 KOs) verá acción en un combate de ocho asaltos en peso pluma contra Ibon Larrinaga (10-1, 2 KOs); el máximo prospecto peso ligero Teofimo López (8-0, 6 KOs) se enfrentará al veterano Vitor Freitas (13-1, 7 KOs) de Salvador, Brasil, en una pelea a ocho asaltos; La sensación femenina del boxeo Mikaela Mayer (4-0, 3 KOs) se enfrentará a Baby Nansen (6-2-1, 0 KOs) de Auckland, Nueva Zelanda, en una pelea de peso ligero a seis asaltos; el ex marine Jamel Herring (16-2, 9 KOs) se enfrenta al duradero Juan Pablo Sánchez (29-15, 14 KOs) en una pelea de peso ligero de ocho asaltos; y el medallista de oro olímpico de 2016 Fazliddin ‘Fayzi’ Gaibnazarov (3-0, 1 KO) regresa en una ronda programada de ocho asaltos contra Jesús Silveyra (8-5-2, 3 KOs) de Monterrey, México.

Los combates Linares vs. Lomachenko y Adames vs. Barrera serán televisados en vivo y exclusivamente a las 8:00 p.m. ET en ESPN y ESPN Deportes, y los combates preliminares se transmitirán en vivo por ESPN+, disponible en la aplicación móvil de ESPN, comenzando a las 4:30 p.m. ET.

Esto fue lo que dijeron los peleadores.

Vasiliy Lomachenko

“Quiero agradecer a Linares por aceptar este reto. El sábado en la noche, será una buena pelea, y vamos a averiguar quién es el mejor.”

“La forma en que esta pelea va a ir … ¿quién sabe? Es el boxeo. Va a ser una pelea, y después de eso, vamos a ver.”

Jorge Linares

“He estado trabajando duro durante las últimas peleas preparándome para esta pelea. Sabía que Lomachenko la quería. Yo la queria. Así que estaba muy seguro de que Golden Boy, Teiken y Top Rank iban a lograrlo.”

“Los últimos dos oponentes que enfrenté fueron zurdos. A propósito, me estaba preparando psicológica y físicamente para pelear contra Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lo he tenido en mi radar.”

“Creo, y créanme cuando digo esto, la pelea se hará más intensa a medida que avancen los asaltos.”

Bob Arum

“Este es un reto, pero eso es lo que hace que un peleador sea uno de los grandes de todos los tiempos… los grandes desafíos. Lomachenko estuvo grandioso en las 126. Devastó a todos en las 130. Ahora, se está moviendo a 135, y la gente dice ‘¿Es este un puente demasiado lejos?’ Y su padre (Anatoly), que es un gran entrenador, dice: ‘No, este no es un puente demasiado lejos’. Y vamos a ver el sábado. De eso se trata el boxeo. Si no hay ningún desafío, si no hay ningún obstáculo, ¿Quién diablos quiere verlo?

Carlos Adames

“Sé que Barrera es un guerrero mexicano, pero se enfrentará a un peleador que está listo para hacer lo que sea necesario para ganar.”

“Estoy esperando el apoyo de mi gente. No soy solo un peleador dominicano. Yo soy el peleador dominicano que voy aponer bien aloto nuestra bandera y voy a representar a mi gente.”

Alejandro Barrera

“Esta es una gran oportunidad para mí”. Esta es una gran cartelera, y estoy listo para lo que sea que él traiga.”

Michael Conlan

“Tengo que agradecer a los fanáticos de Nueva York por apoyarme siempre. Mis fanáticos siempre llenan el lugar cada vez que peleo aquí.”

“Siento que estoy en el camino correcto y avanzo constantemente al ritmo adecuado. Me preparo para la distancia más larga, pero si la pelea se hace corta, se hace corta.”

Teofimo López

“El 12 de mayo, voy a hacer lo que tengo que hacer para tomar el control. Sin faltar el respeto a Loma y Linares, pero estoy aquí para robarme el espectáculo. Al final del día, estoy aquí para entretener y montar un espectáculo para todos. Voy por el nocuat. Después de esta pelea, mi equipo y yo tenemos grandes planes. Sé que voy a ganar, pero quiero que la gente salga de mis peleas diciendo que necesitan verme nuevamente.”

Mikaela Mayer

“Este es un gran momento para el boxeo femenino. Siempre necesitábamos que grandes promotores firmaran a más mujeres. Creo que ese fue el primer paso.”

“Debido a que soy una de las pocas boxeadoras en el punto de mira, siento que tengo la gran responsabilidad de representar a las mujeres boxeadoras cada vez que subo al ring.”

“Puedo boxear adentro y afuera también. Quiero ser una peleadora completa. Si veo la oportunidad de un nocaut el sábado, la tomaré.”

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