LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER GILBERTO ‘ZURDO’ RAMIREZ SIGNS MULTI-FIGHT DEAL WITH GOLDEN BOY 

Feb 27, 2021

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDER GILBERTO ‘ZURDO’ RAMIREZ SIGNS MULTI-FIGHT DEAL WITH GOLDEN BOY 

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 26, 2021): Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, (41-0, 27 KOs), the Mexican light heavyweight contender and undefeated former world champion, has signed a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy. Details for Ramirez’s imminent return will be announced shortly.
Despite being only 29 years old, Ramirez has over a decade of experience under his belt, debuting as a professional in 2009 and embarking on a career that would see him defeating the likes of Maxim VlasovJessie “Hard Work” Hart and “King”Arthur Abraham, whom he defeated to become the WBO Super Middleweight World Champion. After five defenses of his belt, Ramirez moved up to light heavyweight, where he has scored wins against Thomas Karpency and Alfonso Lopez. With a stunning record of 41-0, Ramirez’s goal is to make history by maintaining his undefeated streak beyond 50 fights as he sets sights on the champions of the division.
“After several discussions, Golden Boy Promotions made the most sense and felt like the best partners for me,” said Gilberto Ramirez. “They understood the goals and the agendas I have and I have full faith in Oscar and the team to make the big fights happen. I look forward to working with them closely and to this new chapter of my career.”
“Mexican boxing has been a worldwide force in this sport for as long as I can remember,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “Along with its legacy of courageous fighters, it possesses a fanbase with a unique culture and energy that comes alive every single time its fighters step into the ring.”
“That’s why we are delighted to have signed Gilberto Ramirez to a multi-fight deal, an undefeated former world champion from the land of warriors in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico,” De La Hoya continued. “As we in the United States look towards re-opening to bigger and bigger audiences, we know that Ramirez will bring even more excitement to the stacked 175-pound division as he sets course for all the world champions.”

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UFC 259 headlined by three thrilling world championship bouts

Feb 27, 2021

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FEATURED BOUTS:

(C) JAN BLACHOWICZ vs. (C-MW) ISRAEL ADESANYA

(C) AMANDA NUNES vs. MEGAN ANDERSON

(C) PETR YAN vs. (#1) ALJAMAIN STERLING

UFC® 259: BŁACHOWICZ vs. ADESANYA AT UFC APEX AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON ESPN+ PAY-PER-VIEW

Las Vegas – UFC® delivers its most stacked Pay-Per-View event of 2021 so far, headlined by a trio of world championship bouts. Newly crowned UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz makes his first title defense against UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, who aims to become only the fifth fighter to simultaneously hold belts in two UFC weight classes. Two-division titleholder Amanda Nunes puts her UFC featherweight championship on the line against talented striker Megan Anderson. Plus, UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan looks to take out surging No. 1 contender Aljamain Sterling.

UFC® 259: BŁACHOWICZ vs. ADESANYA will take place Saturday, March 6 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas 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.

ESPN+ is the exclusive provider of all UFC Pay-Per-View events to fans in the U.S. as part of an agreement announced in 2019.

Fans will be able to purchase UFC® 259: BŁACHOWICZ vs. ADESANYAonline at ESPNPlus.com/PPV or on the ESPN App on mobile and connected-TV devices. ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App on all major mobile and connected TV devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, X Box One and more.

Preliminary fights will air nationally in English on ESPN and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, as well as being simulcast in both languages on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Early prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+ (in English and Spanish) at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

Blachowicz (27-8, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland) captured the vacant UFC light heavyweight championship with a spectacular TKO victory over Dominick Reyes in September. Known for his “Polish power,” the No. 14 ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter has also earned impressive KO wins against Corey Anderson, Luke Rockhold and Ilir Latifi. Blachowicz now attempts to cement his reign by securing his first successful title defense and handing Adesanya his first career loss.

No. 3 ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter Adesanya (20-0, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand by way of Lagos, Nigeria) quickly turned heads upon joining the UFC roster in 2018. The former kickboxer has since secured his spot atop the middleweight ladder with sensational KO victories over Paulo Costa, Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson. Adesanya now aims to etch his name in the history books by taking out Blachowicz to become a two-division UFC champion.

The greatest female fighter in combat sports history, Nunes (20-4, fighting out of Coral Springs, Fla. by way of Bahia, Brazil) looks to continue building her legacy by securing her seventh overall UFC title defense —and second in the featherweight division. Throughout her storied career, she has earned stoppage wins over former UFC champions Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, Cris Cyborg and Miesha Tate. Nunes now hopes to deliver another vintage performance by becoming the first fighter to KO Anderson.

Former Invicta FC featherweight champion Anderson (11-4, fighting out of Kansas City, Mo. by way of Gold Coast, Australia) is poised to send shockwaves throughout the MMA world if she can finish Nunes. A powerful kickboxer, she has delivered memorable stoppage victories over Cat Zingano, Norma Dumont and Zarah Fairn during her UFC run. Anderson now has her sights set on achieving her dream of UFC gold by handing Nunes her first loss in over six years.

Yan (15-1, fighting out of Yekaterinburg, Russia) realized his goal of becoming UFC champion by delivering a thrilling fifth-round TKO victory over all-time great Jose Aldo last July. Currently riding an impressive 10-fight win streak, the No. 10 ranked men’s pound-for-pound fighter has also netted KO wins against UFC Hall of Fame inductee Urijah Faber, Douglas Silva de Andrade and Teruto Ishihara. Yan is now gunning for another highlight-reel finish to secure his first successful UFC title defense.

Sterling (19-3, fighting out of Uniondale, N.Y.) hopes to make the most of his first title shot by becoming the first fighter to finish Yan. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and former NCAA Division III wrestling standout, Sterling holds notable submission victories over Cory Sandhagen, Cody Stamann, Johnny Eduardo and Takeya Mizugaki. Sterling now attempts to secure his biggest win yet by dethroning Yan in emphatic fashion to capture UFC gold.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • No. 14 ranked lightweight contender Islam Makhachev (18-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Russia) looks to defend his spot on the 155-ladder when he takes on dangerous finisher Drew Dober (23-9 1NC, fighting out of Denver, Colo.)
  • Former UFC light heavyweight title challenger and No. 2 ranked contender Thiago Santos (21-8, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) locks horns with No. 4 Aleksandar Rakic (13-2, fighting out of Vienna, Austria)
  • Former UFC bantamweight champion and No. 11 ranked contender Dominick Cruz (22-3, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) looks to stop the momentum of surging Casey Kenney (16-2-1, fighting out of Tucson, Ariz.)
  • No. 14 ranked bantamweight contender Song Yadong (16-4-1 1NC, fighting out of Heilongjiang, China) aims to push his unbeaten streak to 10 bouts when he faces The Ultimate Fighter season 27 veteran Kyler Phillips (8-1, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.)
  • Former UFC flyweight title challenger and No. 2 ranked contender Joseph Benavidez (28-7, fighting out of Las Cruces, N.M.) squares off with undefeated No. 3 Askar Askarov (12-0-1, fighting out of Khasavyurt, Dagestan, Russia)
  • No. 15 ranked women’s strawweight contender Livinha Souza (12-4, fighting out of Araraquara, State of São Paulo, Brazil) takes on rising prospect Amanda Lemos (8-1-1, fighting out of Para, Brazil)
  • No. 12 ranked flyweight contender Timothy Elliott (17-11-1, fighting out of Lee’s Summit, Mo.) goes for another show-stealing performance against Jordan Espinosa (15-8 1NC, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.)
  • Kennedy Nzechukwu (7-1, fighting out of Dallas, Texas) takes on unbeaten newcomer Carlos Ulberg (5-0, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand) in an exciting light heavyweight bout
  • Sean Brady (13-0, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.) faces Jake Matthews (17-4, fighting out of Epping, Victoria, Australia) in what promises to be an entertaining welterweight bout
  • Rogerio Bontorin (16-2 1NC, fighting out of Colombo, Parana, Brazil) meets Kai Kara-France (21-9 1NC, fighting out of Auckland, New Zealand) in a clash of No. 8 ranked flyweight contenders
  • Dana White’s Contender Series signees collide when Uros Medic (6-0, fighting out of Anchorage, Alaska by way of Novi Sad, Serbia) meets Aalon Cruz (8-3, fighting out of Tampa, Fla.) at lightweight
  • Mario Bautista (8-1, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) steps in to face Trevin Jones (12-6 1NC, fighting out of Maite, Guam) at bantamweight

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

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Top 10 Heavyweights Aim to Make a Statement

Feb 18, 2021

TOP 10 HEAVYWEIGHTS 

(#3) JAIRZINHO ROZENSTRUIK AND (#7) CIRYL GANE

AIM TO MAKE A STATEMENT AT UFC® APEX IN LAS VEGAS

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FEATURED BOUTS:

(#8) NIKITA KRYLOV vs. (#11) MAGOMED ANKALAEV

(#8) PEDRO MUNHOZ vs. (#9) JIMMIE RIVERA

Las Vegas – The UFC® heavyweight division continues to be on display at UFC APEX as No. 3 ranked Jairzinho Rozenstruik and No. 7 Ciryl Gane aim to make a statement in the main event. In the co-main event, No. 8 ranked UFC light heavyweight Nikita Krylov intends to defend his spot in the rankings against No. 11 Magomed Ankalaev.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: ROZENSTRUIK vs. GANE will take place Saturday, February 27 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The entire card will be available on ESPN+ in English and Spanish, with the main card starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and the prelims at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

Knockout artist Rozenstruik (11-1, fighting out of Paramaribo, Suriname) intends to make the most of his second UFC main event by securing another spectacular victory. Among the most credentialed strikers in the heavyweight division, Rozenstruik has finished all but one of his wins by knockout, including former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski and Junior Dos Santos. He also holds the record for the second-fastest KO in UFC heavyweight history when he defeated Allen Crowder in just nine seconds. He now looks to secure an impressive finish and become the first person to defeat Gane.

Gane (7-0, fighting out of Paris, France) has quickly become the top prospect in the heavyweight division after debuting only a year and a half ago. An undefeated kickboxer and Muay Thai fighter, Gane showed off his well-rounded skillset when he submitted his first two UFC opponents. Most recently, he delivered a high-level performance against former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos, winning by knockout in the second round. Gane now plans on remaining undefeated in MMA and declaring himself as the next contender for the belt. 

Krylov (27-7, fighting out of Donetsk, Ukraine) looks to build another long win streak and work his way into the championship conversation. Since joining the UFC roster in 2013 when he was only 21 years old, he has established himself as an elite contender in the division by finishing all but one of his 27 victories, including wins over Ovince Saint Preux, Walt Harris and Ed Herman. Krylov now seeks to start 2021 off with a bang by becoming the first person to knock out Ankalaev.

Highly touted prospect Ankalaev (14-1, fighting out of Makhachkala, Dagestan, Russia) intends to keep his momentum going and break into the division’s top 10. Among the most well rounded athletes at light heavyweight, Ankalaev bounced back from a shocking, last-second loss in his UFC debut to win his next five bouts in a row. This recent streak includes knockouts over Ion Cutelaba (twice), Dalcha Lungiambula and Marcin Prachnio. He now aims to prove that he can compete with the best in the world by adding an emphatic finish of Krylov to his resume. 

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • In an exciting women’s flyweight bout, Montana De La Rosa (11-6, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas) tests her submission skills against Mayra Bueno Silva (7-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • Randy Brown (12-4, fighting out of Queens, N.Y.) and Alex Oliveira (22-9-1, 2 NC, fighting out of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) seek to steal the show in a welterweight bout guaranteed to deliver action
  • An exciting bantamweight rematch sees No. 8 ranked Pedro Munhoz (18-5, 1 NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Sao Paulo, Brazil) looks to revenge his 2015 split decision loss to No. 9 Jimmie Rivera (23-4, fighting out of Ramsey, N.J.)
  • Fan favorite Alex Caceres ( 17-12, 1 NC, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) looks to extend the longest UFC win streak of his career when he faces Kevin Croom (21-12, 1 NC, fighting out of Kansas City, Mo.) in a featherweight bout
  • Top women’s bantamweight’s No. 9 Marion Reneau (9-6-1, fighting out of Visalia, Calif.) and No. 10 Macy Chiasson (7-1, fighting out of Dallas, Texas) vie to climb the rankings
  • Alexander Hernandez (12-3, fighting out of San Antonio, Texas) meets Thiago Moises (14-4, fighting out of Indaiatuba, Brazil) in a clash of lightweight prospects
  • Women’s MMA veteran Alexis Davis (19-10, fighting out of San Jose, Calif.) intends to spoil the bantamweight debut of Sabina Mazo (9-1, fighting out of Hermosa Beach, Calif. by way of Medellin, Colombia)
  • In a battle of light heavyweight Dana White’s Contender Series veterans, William Knight (9-1, fighting out of Vernon, Conn.) faces off with Alonzo Menifield (9-2, fighting out of Dallas, Texas)
  • Vince Cachero (7-3, fighting out of Los Angeles, Calif.) plans to secure his first UFC victory against Dana White’s Contender Series signee Ronnie Lawrence (6-1, fighting out of Deerfield Beach, Fla.) at bantamweight
  • Dustin Jacoby (13-5, fighting out of Springfield, Ill.) aims to keep making the most of his second run in the UFC when he takes on Maxim Grishin (31-8-2, fighting out of Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russia) in a light heavyweight match

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JOSEPH DIAZ JR. AND SHAVKAT RAKHIMOV FIGHT TO MAJORITY DRAW BRIAN CASTAÑO DEFEATS PATRICK TEIXEIRA TO CAPTURE WORLD TITLE

Feb 18, 2021
JOSEPH DIAZ JR. AND SHAVKAT RAKHIMOV FIGHT TO MAJORITY DRAW BRIAN CASTAÑO DEFEATS PATRICK TEIXEIRA TO CAPTURE WORLD TITLE
for PhotosPhoto Credit: Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy
INDIO, CALIF. (Feb. 13, 2021): Joseph Diaz Jr. (31-1-1, 15 KOs) and Shavkat Rakhimov (15-0-1, 12 KOs) fought to a 12-round majority draw at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. As Diaz Jr. lost the belt on the scales on Friday, the IBF Junior Lightweight Championship will remain vacant. Two judges scored the fight 115-113 for Diaz Jr., which was overruled by two scores of 114-114. The fight headlined a stacked card of action that was streamed live exclusively on DAZN in more than 200 countries and territories, including the U.S., Mexico, Russia, Tajikistan, Brazil and Argentina.. “I’m a little upset. I felt I had done enough to win the fight,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. “It was a close fight. It wasn’t my best performance. I didn’t make weight. I lost the belt on the scales. I want to apologize to everyone. I want to apologize to all my fans. It was a mistake on my behalf. No excuses, but I’ll be back. Rakhimov threw a lot of combinations. But a lot of them landed on the gloves. I felt I threw more shots and landed more body punches. I thought I should have won the fight.” “I did everything I was supposed to do,” said Shavkat Rakhimov. “Victory was on my side. I feel I won the fight. There were a few mistakes, and we need to work on it. I did everything that was possible. There were a few mistakes, but I will work on that. There is no perfect boxer, and I hope to gain more American fans.” Brian Castaño (17-0-1, 12 KOs) of Buenos Aires, Argentina captured the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship by scoring a 12-round unanimous decision win against Patrick Teixeira (31-2, 22 KOs) of Sao Paulo, Brasil. Castaño won with scores of 120-108, 119-109, and 117-111l. “I am very happy. We did a great job with my team,” said Brian Castaño. “It was a good fight. We all mistakes, and I have to fix things here and there, but a fight is a fight. Each fight is different, and I understand that. I knew Teixeira very well going into this fight. He is very strong, and he has a lot of heart. He is a great. This was one of the greatest victories of my career.” Super bantamweight contender Ronny Rios (33-3, 16 KOs) of Santa Ana, California beat Oscar “El Jaguar” Negrete (19-3-2, 7 KOs) of Tierralta, Colombia via 10-round unanimous decision. Rios won with scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 100-90.
“I should have sat down more on my punches,” said Ronny Rios. “I went in a little bit too much with my head, and I kind of waited too long. But I’m happy with the win. I really want a world title shot for my next fight, and I think this fight was a necessary step in that direction.” Shane Mosley Jr. (17-3, 10 KOs) of Pomona, Calif. defeated Cristian Olivas (19-8, 16 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico via stoppage at the end of the fifth round of a scheduled 10-round super middleweight clash. “I had a really tough opponent in there,” said Shane Mosley Jr. “But I went in there, looked sharp and got the job done. These are the kinds of fights that I need in order to show people that I am ready for a world title.” Uzbek phenom Bektemir “Bully” Melikuziev (7-0, 6 KOs) scored a third-round knockout victory against Morgan Fitch(19-4-1, 8 KOs) of New Orleans, Louisiana  in a scheduled eight-round light heavyweight battle. “Despite everything that happened, I think it was a good performance,” said Bektemir Melikuziev. “I wish I could have lasted longer and gotten a few more rounds in, but I think it was a good performance. I’m ready for any of the big names in my division.” Armenian contender Azat “Craz A” Hovhannisyan (19-3, 16 KOs) scored an eighth-round technical knockout victory against Enrique Bernache (24-12, 12 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico in a schedule 10-round featherweight clash. “Crazy A” ended matters at 35 seconds of the eighth round. “I’m very happy,” said Azat Hovhannisyan. “It’s my first time with Robert Garcia. We had a lot of good sparring. I’m No. 1 in the WBA. I want to fight a world champion.” Featherweight prospect Victor Morales Jr. (14-0, 7 KOs) of Vancouver, Washington scored an eight-round unanimous decision victory against Rodrigo Guerrero (26-9-2, 16 KOs) of Mexico, City. Morales won with three scores of 80-72. “After 16 months away from the ring, it feels great to be back,” said Victor Morales Jr. “I knew he was going to be very tough. He is a former world champion, so I knew it was going to be a difficult bout. Either way, I was able to fight either on the outside or on the inside.”  Dalis Kaleiopu (1-0, 1 KO) of Waianae, Hawaii made a successful pro debut by defeating Eduardo Sanchez (2-3) of Corcoran, Calif. via third-round knockout in a super lightweight battle. After a spectacular start, Kaleiopu stopped Sanchez at :38 of the aforementioned round. “It’s been a long time because of COVID,” said Dalis Kaleiopu. “So, it felt great to finally make my pro debut. I hurt him many times, but I let him go. But then I landed a shot he couldn’t come back from, so it feels good to stop somebody that has never been stopped.” Diaz Jr. vs. Rakhimov was a 12-round fight for the IBF Junior Lightweight World Title presented by Golden Boy in association with RCC Boxing Promotions. Teixeira vs. Castaño was the 12-round co-main event for the WBO
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Pivotal heavyweight contenders’ bout at UFC APEX

Feb 12, 2021

PIVOTAL HEAVYWEIGHT CONTENDERS’ BOUT BETWEEN

(#2) CURTIS BLAYDES AND (#4) DERRICK LEWIS

AT UFC® APEX IN LAS VEGAS

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FEATURED BOUTS:

(#6) KETLEN VIEIRA vs. (#7) YANA KUNITSKAYA

(#10) ALEKSEI OLEINIK vs. CHRIS DAUKAUS

Las Vegas – UFC® continues its run of events at UFC APEX with a clash of top five heavyweight contenders, as No. 2 ranked Curtis Blaydes takes on No. 4 Derrick Lewis. In the co-main event, No. 6 ranked women’s bantamweight contender Ketlen Vieira faces No. 7 Yana Kunitskaya.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: BLAYDES vs. LEWIS will take place Saturday, February 20 from UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The entire card will be on ESPN+, with the main card available in English and Spanish, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and the prelims at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.

Blaydes (14-2 1NC, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) looks to continue his dominant win streak with a show-stealing performance. A Junior College National wrestling champion, Blaydes has beaten many of the top heavyweights in MMA. During his UFC run, he has delivered impressive wins over Alistair Overeem, Mark Hunt and Junior dos Santos. Blaydes now aims to stake his claim for a title shot by snapping Lewis’ momentum to secure his fifth consecutive victory.

Fan favorite Lewis (24-7, 1 NC, fighting out of Houston, Texas) crowned himself as the greatest knockout artist in UFC heavyweight history in his last bout after landing a record-setting 11th KO. A former boxer under the tutelage of George Foreman, Lewis holds impressive finishes over Alexander Volkov, Travis Browne and Gabriel Gonzaga. He now strives to secure another shot at the title by becoming only the second person to stop Blaydes.

Vieira (11-1, fighting out of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil) looks to kick off 2021 by delivering another head-turning performance against a top contender. Since joining UFC the roster in 2016, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt has earned impressive victories over former women’s bantamweight title challengers Sara McMann and Cat Zingano. Vieira now looks to hold her spot on the 135-pound ladder by stopping Kunitskaya.

Former women’s featherweight title challenger Kunitskaya (13-5 1NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Saint Petersburg, Russia) quickly made waves after dropping down to the UFC’s 135-pound division.  A lifelong martial artist, she has netted memorable victories over Julija Stoliarenko, Marion Reneau and Lina Lansberg since joining the world’s largest MMA promotion in 2018. Kunitskaya now hopes become only the second fighter to defeat Vieira and continue her climb up the ranks.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Charles Rosa (13-4, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla. by way of Peabody, Mass.) squares off with Darrick Minner (25-11, fighting out of Nebraska City, Neb.) in an exciting featherweight bout
  • No. 10 ranked heavyweight contender Aleksei Oleinik (59-14-1, fighting out of Moscow, Russia) makes his 75th professional appearance against rising Chris Daukaus (10-3, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn.)
  • Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (30-19 2NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) goes for his third straight win against rising prospect Tom Aspinall (9-2, fighting out of Liverpool, London)
  • Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Phil Hawes (9-2, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) hopes to deliver another highlight-reel finish when he takes on Nassourdine Imavov (9-2, fighting out of Paris, France) at middleweight
  • Jared Gordon (16-4, fighting out of Queens, N.Y.) hopes to halt the momentum of Danny Chavez (11-3, fighting out of Miami, Fla.) in a featherweight bout
  • Due to COVID-19 protocol, Drakkar Klose (11-2-1, fighting out of Glendale, Ariz.) now meets replacement opponent Luis Pena (8-3, fighting out of Gilroy, Calif.) at lightweight
  • Former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland (24-14-1, fighting out of Chesterton, Ind.) faces John Castaneda (14-3, fighting out of Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Nate Landwehr (14-3, fighting out of Clarksville, Tenn.) locks horns with Julian Erosa (24-9, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) in a featherweight bout
  • Shana Dobson (4-4, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas) hopes to build off her biggest victory to date when she takes on Casey O’Neill (5-0, fighting out of Gold Coast, Australia) at flyweight
  • Tristar Gym standout Aiemann Zahabi (7-2, fighting out of Montreal, Canada) returns to the Octagon against Drako Rodriguez (7-1, fighting out of Sioux City, Iowa) at bantamweight
  • Serghei Spivac (11-2, fighting out of Chisinau, Republic of Moldova) looks to build off the momentum of his most recent victory when he faces Dana White’s Contender Series signee Jared Vanderaa (11-4, fighting out of Hemet, Calif.)

Visit the UFC.com for information and content to support your UFC coverage.

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Mario Barrios Arrives in California to Start Training Camp with Virgil Hunter

Feb 12, 2021
MARIO “EL AZTECA” BARRIOS
Mario Barrios Arrives in California to Start Training Camp with Virgil Hunter
HAYWARD, CA (February 10, 2021) – Undefeated WBA Super Lightweight Champion, Mario “El Azteca” Barrios (26-0, 17 KOs), has arrived in Hayward, California, to start training camp with coach Virgil Hunter. Barrios, who resides in San Antonio, TX, recently defended his title against Ryan Karl (18-3, 12 KOs) in October of 2020. Barrios is awaiting a fight date from the PBC to make his 2021 debut.
“Leaving home early to start training camp with Virgil has been the game changer in my career,” said Barrios, who has stopped nine of his last ten opponents. “It’s a sacrifice that I feel needs to be made as enter the second half of my career. All the fights from here on out will be against top level opposition, and there is no room for error. Everything is on the line each and every time I step in the ring so I’m doing everything in my power to stay on top.”
There are many big opportunities for Mario Barrios, who at 25-years old, is on the verge of super stardom.
“I know there are plenty of big names that for me to fight that the fans want to see,” Barrios continued. “After talking to my team, I’m excited about what lies ahead, and the possible names that have been presented. 2021 will be another monumental year in my career.”
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HIGHLY ANTICIPTED WELTERWEIGHT TITLE BOUT BETWEEN FORMER TEAMMATES

Feb 9, 2021

HIGHLY ANTICIPTED WELTERWEIGHT TITLE BOUT  BETWEEN FORMER TEAMMATES

(C) KAMARU USMAN AND (#2) GILBERT BURNS AT UFC® 258

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FEATURED BOUTS:

(#10) MAYCEE BARBER vs. (#15) ALEXA GRASSO

(#9) KELVIN GASTELUM vs. (#15) IAN HEINISCH

UFC® 258: USMAN vs. BURNS AT UFC APEX AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY ON ESPN+ PAY-PER-VIEW

Las Vegas – The first Las Vegas UFC® Pay-Per-View of 2021 will be headlined by a thrilling welterweight title bout, as champion Kamaru Usman looks to continue asserting his dominance over the division by ending the momentum of former teammate and No. 2 ranked contender Gilbert Burns. In the co-main event, top 15 women’s flyweights battle to break into the title picture as No. 10 Maycee Barber returns against No. 15 Alexa Grasso.

UFC® 258: USMAN vs. BURNS will take place Saturday, February 13 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas 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.

ESPN+ is the exclusive provider of all UFC Pay-Per-View events to fans in the U.S. as part of an agreement announced in 2019.

Fans will be able to purchase UFC® 258: USMAN vs. BURNS online at ESPNPlus.com/PPV or on the ESPN App on mobile and connected-TV devices. ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App on all major mobile and connected TV devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, X Box One and more.

Preliminary fights will air nationally in English on ESPN and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes, as well as being simulcast in both languages on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Early prelims will be available on UFC Fight Pass and ESPN+ (in English and Spanish) at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

Undisputed UFC welterweight champion Usman (17-1, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla. by way of Auchi, Nigeria) aims to continue proving that he is the greatest athlete in the division’s lauded history. Following impressive wins over Jorge Masvidal, Colby Covington and Tyron Woodley, Usman finds himself tied with all-time great Georges St-Pierre for the longest winning streak in the 170-pound weight class at 12. He now attempts to stamp his name in the record books and remain undefeated in the UFC by taking out one of his most dangerous challengers yet.

Burns (19-3, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla. by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) intends to make the most of his first shot at UFC gold. A member of the roster since 2014, Burns has seen a resurgence in his career after rejoining the welterweight division in 2019 and rattling off four dominant wins in a row over Alexey Kunchenko, Gunnar Nelson, Demian Maia and former titleholder Tyron Woodley. He now seeks to deliver his most remarkable performance yet and begin his reign as champion.

Barber (8-1, fighting out of Sullivan, Wisc.) looks to make a statement in her return to the Octagon. One of the youngest athletes on the roster, Barber burst onto the MMA scene with a breakout performance on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018 when she was just 20 years old. Once signed, she secured stoppage victories over Hannah Cifers, JJ Aldrich and Gillian Robertson. Barber now plans to return to her winning ways and cement herself as a future contender for the belt.

Former strawweight Grasso (12-3, fighting out of Guadalajara, Mexico) has her sights set on remaining undefeated at flyweight and breaking into the top 10. A former Invicta FC standout, she has been a prominent member of the UFC roster since 2016 with wins over Randa Markos, Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Ji Yeon Kim. She now aims to become the first person to finish Barber and prove that she is the top prospect in the division.

Additional bouts on the card include:

  • Former The Ultimate Fighter winner and No. 9 ranked middleweight Kelvin Gastelum (16-6, 1 NC, fighting out of Yuma, Ariz.) squares off with No. 15 ranked Ian Heinisch (14-3, fighting out of Englewood, Colo.)
  • Top 10 bantamweights hope to steal the show as No. 8 Pedro Munhoz (18-5, 1 NC, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Sao Paulo, Brazil) rematches No. 9 Jimmie Rivera (23-4, fighting out of Ramsey, N.J.)
  • Jim Miller (32-15, 1 NC, fighting out of Sparta, N.J.) and Bobby Green (27-11-1, fighting out of Fontana, Calif.) collide in a clash of lightweight veterans
  • Middleweight submission ace Rodolfo Vieira (7-0, fighting out of Orlando, Fla. by way of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) intends to remain undefeated when he battles Dana White’s Contender Series veteran Anthony Hernandez (7-2, fighting out of Dunnigan, Calif.)
  • No. 13 ranked welterweight Belal Muhammad (17-3, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) takes on Dhiego Lima (17-7, fighting out of Atlanta, Ga.) in an exciting veterans bout
  • In a featherweight bout guaranteed to deliver action, Ricky Simon (17-3, fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.) makes a quick turnaround to face Brian Kelleher (22-11, fighting out of Selden, N.Y.)
  • Gillian Robertson (9-5, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla. by way of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada) competes for the third time in five months when she locks horns with Miranda Maverick (10-2, fighting out of Suffolk, Va.) in an intriguing women’s flyweight bout
  • Welterweight Gabe Green (9-3, fighting out of Downey, Calif.) plans to spoil the UFC debut of Dana White’s Contender Series signee Philip Rowe (7-2, fighting out of Ocoee, Fla.)
  • Middleweight knockout artists clash as Maki Pitolo (13-7, fighting out of Makaha, Hawaii) matches up with Julian Marquez (7-2, fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.)
  • Polyana Viana (11-4, fighting out of Sao Geraldo do Araguaia, Para, Brazil) attempts to maintain her impressive 100 percent finishing rate against Dana White’s Contender Seriessignee Mallory Martin (7-3, fighting out of Brighton, Colo.) 

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

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EL DUELO DE PESO WELTER ENTRE VERGIL ORTIZ JR. Y MAURICE ‘MIGHTY MO’ HOOKER

Feb 9, 2021

EL DUELO DE PESO WELTER ENTRE VERGIL ORTIZ JR. Y MAURICE ‘MIGHTY MO’ HOOKER SE EFECTUARÁ EN EL DICKIES ARENA DE FORT WORTH, TEXAS
SÁBADO 20 DE MARZO Y TRANSMITIDO EN VIVO GLOBALMENTE POR DAZN 
¡Los boletos saldrán a la venta este viernes 5 de febrero a las 10:00 a.m. CT!
FORT WORTH, Texas 2 de febrero de 2021.— El anticipado duelo de peso welter entre Vergil Ortiz Jr. (16-0, 16 nocáuts), el artista de nocaut en ascenso, y Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker (27-1-3, 19 nocáuts), ex campeón mundial, se efectuará en el Dickies Arena de Fort Worth, Texas.
El evento, que está totalmente lleno de arriba a abajo con tremendas y candentes peleas del respaldo, se llevará a cabo el sábado 20 de marzo y será transmitido en vivo exclusiva y globalmente en DAZN, incluyendo Estados Unidos, México y Rusia.
“Es raro que dos peleadores tengan la oportunidad de pelear frente a sus aficionados locales, pero porque el Dickies Arena está muy cercana de donde nacieron Vergil y ‘Mo’, esta sede es el lugar perfecto para este combate”, aseveró Óscar De La Hoya, Presidente y Jefe Ejecutivo de Golden Boy. “Con una probable oportunidad titular en juego frente a sus amigos y familiares, esta es una pelea que garantizará acción para cualquier persona que la mire en persona o por DAZN”, puntualizó. 
“Estoy muy contento de estar peleando en casa frente a mis amigos, mi familia y mis aficionados”, afirmó Vergil Ortiz Jr. “El Dickies Arena es una sede de tamaño perfecto, y parece que podrá acomodar a un gran número de aficionados por lo que todos deben ir y apoyar a todos los peleadores. Estoy muy emocionado por este combate”, subrayó.
“Estoy emocionado de estar peleando tan cerca de casa donde mi familia, amigos y fanáticos locales pueden venir y apoyar mi regreso al cuadrilátero”, dijo Mauricio Hooker. “Como Vergil y yo somos de Dallas, este es un combate que se tiene que llevar a cabo en el metroplex de Dallas-Fort Worth. Vamos a brindar un gran espectáculo para todos nuestros aficionados de casa este 20 de marzo en el Dickies Arena”, finalizó.
Como fue anunciado previamente, el respaldo de Ortiz Jr. vs. Hooker estará lleno de peleas competitivas. 
Arslanbek “Lion” Makhmudov (11-0, 11 nocáuts) realizará su anticipado debut en Estados Unidos a la vez que defiende su título completo NABF en el duelo co estelar a 12 giros presentado por Golden Boy y Eye of the Tiger Management.
Anabel “Avispa” Ortiz (31-3, 4 nocáus), la campeona mundial de la Ciudad de México y Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (19-0, 8 nocáuts), la ex monarca mundial de peso mosca del Este de Los Ángeles, California, chocarán en una épica batalla a 10 giros por el cinturón mundial mínimo de la AMB que actualmente posee Ortiz.
Luis “Matador” Hernández (21-0, 19 nocáuts) de Chihuahua, México participará en una batalla a 10 rounds en peso superligero ante Alex Martin (15-3, 6 nocáuts) de Chicago, Illinois.
George Rincón (10-0, 7 nocáuts) de Dallas, Texas retornará en un duelo a ocho vueltas en la división de las 140 libras.
Héctor Valdez (13-0, 8 nocáut) de Dallas, Texas se medirá ante Alberto Torres (11-3-3, 4 nocáuts) de Sacramento, California en una batalla a ocho giros en peso supergallo. 
Óscar Acevedo (7-0) de Garden City, Kansas y James “Crunch Time” Willkins (9-1-0, 6 nocáuts) de Staten Island, Nueva York chocarán en un pleito a ocho asaltos entre dos grandes prospectos de Golden Boy.
Tristan Kalkreuth (7-0, 6 nocáuts) de Duncanville, Texas retornará en un duelo a seis giros en peso crucero. 
Los oponentes para Makhmudov, Rincón y Kalkreuth se anunciarán en breve.
Ortiz Jr. vs Hooker es un duelo a 12 episodios por el cinturón Internacional welter de la OMB presentado por Golden Boy. El evento es patrocinado por Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle” y “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts.” El evento se efectuará el sábado 20 de marzo en el Dickies Arena de Fort Worth, Texas y será transmitido en vivo exclusiva y globalmente por DAZN, incluyendo Estados Unidos, México y Rusia.

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DÍAZ JR. VS. RAKHIMOV

Jan 21, 2021

DOS BATALLAS CON PELEADORES DE CASA SE EFECTUARÁN EN EL FANTASY SPRINGS RESORT CASINO EN EL RESPALDO DE DÍAZ JR. VS. RAKHIMOV RONNY RÍOS Y ÓSCAR ‘EL JAGUAR’ NEGRETE SE ENFRENTARÁN EN UNA CONTIENDA DE PESO SUPERGALLO   JASON QUIGLEY Y SHANE MOSLEY JR. CHOCARÁN POR EL TÍTULO MEDIANO NABO SÁBADO 13 DE FEBRERO Y TRANSMITIDO EN VIVO POR DAZN  

 INDIO, California 21 de enero de 2021.— Dos emocionantes combates con peleadores de casa se llevarán a cabo en el Fantasy Springs Resort Casino de Indio, California en el respaldo de Díaz vs. Rakhimov, cuando Ronny Ríos (32-3, 16 nocáuts) y Óscar “El Jaguar” Negrete (19-2-2, 7 nocáuts) se enfrenten en una batalla de peso supergallo, a la vez que Jason Quigley (18-1, 14 nocáuts) y Shane Mosley Jr. (16-3, 9 nocáuts) se midan por el fajín mediano de la NABO.              Este gran evento tendrá lugar el sábado 13 de febrero y será transmitido exclusivamente por DAZN en más de 200 países, incluyendo Estado Unidos, Tayikistán, Brasil y Argentina.                      “El primer viaje de Golden Boy al Fantasy Springs en el 2021 comienza justo donde lo dejamos, con una función totalmente llena de acción”, dijo Óscar de la Hoya, Presidente y Jefe Ejecutivo de Golden Boy. “Jason Quigley y Shane Mosley Jr. participarán en una verdadera pelea de encrucijada donde ambos dejarán todo en el ring para recuperar su posición en la división de las 160 libras. También, Ronny Ríos, quien derrotó a mi primo Diego de la Hoya, buscará seguir adelante contra al aguerrido contendiente Óscar Negrete, cuyas únicas dos derrotas han sido ante un campeón mundial”, puntualizó.             Ríos es un contendiente de 30 años quien vendrá después de tres victorias consecutivas por nocaut, incluyendo una dominante victoria por la vía del cloroformo ante el entonces invicto Diego de la Hoya en el 2019. El recio púgil de Santa Ana, California quiere aprovechar de esta oportunidad de manera contundente para acelerar su camino hacia otra oportunidad titular.             “El COVID-19 ha robado algo de cada persona ya sea memorias, miembros de sus familias, amigos, o en mi caso, un año de mi carrera boxística,” afirmó Ronny Ríos. “Tengo oportunidades perdidas que debo recuperar, y tengo más hambre que nunca. Éstas no son buenas noticias para Óscar Negrete. Tengo mucho respeto para Óscar, Pero al final de cuenta tengo un trabajo y eso es quebrar la voluntad de cualquier oponente que enfrento. Mi tiempo para aprovechar del vigor que he construido en ese deporte iniciará con esta pelea”, amenazó Ríos.           Negrete, nativo de Tierralta, Colombia de 33 años de edad, retornará a la división supergallo tras una victoria por decisión unánime ante el dos veces olímpico Alberto “Impacto” Melián y una inolvidable trilogía ante Joshua “The Professor” Franco, quien ahora es campeón mundial.          “Estoy contento de regresar al cuadrilátero ante Ronny Ríos este 13 de febrero”, afirmó Óscar Negrete. “Tanto él como yo tenemos un estilo muy aguerrido, lo cual garantiza una verdadera guerra dentro del ring. Éste combate será muy importante para determinar el futuro de esta competitiva división, y por lo tanto estaré entrenando al cien por ciento para salir con la victoria y obtener otra oportunidad al campeonato mundial”, puntualizó.             Quigley, oriundo de Donegal, Irlanda de 29 años quien regresará después de victorias por nocaut contra Abraham Cordero y Fernando Marín, buscará recuperar su posición en la división mediano después de su única derrota ante Tureano Johnson en el 2019.          “Me siento más que listo para esta pelea”, dijo Jason Quigley. “Trabajé fuerte durante el cierre de emergencia, y me he mantenido listo para pelear en cualquier momento que me digan. Tengo que hacer las cosas bien en esta pelea. Estoy muy agradecido por esta oportunidad de combatir en esta función”, aseveró.          Mosley Jr., el orgullo de Pomona, California de 30 años de edad, buscará ganarse una posición alta en la división tras firmar con Golden Boy en el 2020 y derrotar a Jeremy Ramos en su último combate.                     “Quiero agradecer a todos en Golden Boy y The Contender por darnos esta oportunidad”, afirmó Shane Mosley Jr. “He estado trabajando extremadamente duro, y estoy listo para mostrarles a todos que debo estar altamente clasificado entre los mejores del mundo. No se pierdan esta pelea por DAZN este 13 de febrero ante un excelente pugilista como Jason Quigley”, subrayó.             Esta cartelera también contará con varios prospectos y contendientes en ascenso.              Bektemir “Bully” Melikuziev (6-0, 5 nocáuts), el poderoso olímpico de Uzbekistán realizará su anticipado regreso en un duelo a 10 asaltos en peso supermediano.             Azat “Crazy A” Hovhannisyan (18-3, 15 nocáuts), el explosivo contendiente de Armenia, retornará en un combate a 10 episodios en peso supergallo.             Víctor Morales (13-0, 7 nocáuts), el carismático prospecto en ascenso de Vancouver, Washington, participará en un duelo a ocho episodios en peso pluma ante José González (23-8-1, 13 nocáuts) de Guadalajara, Jalisco México.             El prospecto hawaiano Dalis Kaleiopu realizará su debut profesional en un combate a cuatro giros en peso ligero ante Eduardo Sánchez (2-3) de Corcoran, California.             Los oponentes de Melikuziev y Hovhannisyan se anunciarán en breve.             Díaz Jr. vs. Rakhimov es un combate a 12 episodios por el cinto mundial superpluma FIB presentado Golden Boy en asociación con RCC Boxing Promotions. Teixeira vs. Castaño es el duelo co estelar a 12 asaltos por el cinturón mundial superwelter de la OMB presentado por Golden Boy en asociacion con TGB Promotions. El evento es patrocinado por Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle,” “BetOnline – Your Online Sportsbook Experts,” y O’Reilly Auto Parts. Better Parts, Better Prices…everyday! El evento se llevará a cabo el sábado 13 de febrero en el Fantasy Springs Resort Casino de Indio, California y será transmitido en vivo exclusivamente en DAZN en más de 200 países, incluyendo Estado Unidos, Tayikistán, Brasil y Argentina. 

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CALEB “SWEETHANDS” PLANT

Jan 21, 2021
El Campeón Invicto del Peso Súper Mediano de la FIB Caleb Plant Se Enfrenta al Campeón Caleb Truax en el Evento Principal de la Noche de Boxeo de PBC por FOX & FOX Deportes el Sábado, 30 de Enero desde Los Ángeles
El Co-Evento Principal Contará con un Duelo Entre Dos Pesos Pesado Invictos Como Michael Coffie y Darmani Rock
Además, Joey Spencer Busca Demostrar Por Qué es la Sensación del Peso Súper Welter Ante Isiah Seldon en la Pelea Inaugural de la Transmisión 
LOS ÁNGELES (18 de Enero, 2021) – El Campeón Mundial Invicto del Peso Súper Mediano de la FIB Caleb “Sweethands” Plant  defenderá su título ante un ex campeón como Caleb “Golden” Truax en el evento principal de la Noche de Boxeo de PBC por FOX y FOX Deportes el Sábado, 30 de Enero desde el Auditorio Shrine y Expo Hall en Los Ángeles.
Plant es una superestrella en ascenso que supo capturar su primer título mundial en la división de 168 libras en enero del 2019, y ahora él defenderá su cinturón por tercera ocasión en vivo y en directo en primetime una vez más contra un veterano como Truax, cuya propia gloria en el peso súper mediano ocurrió en el 2017 cuando destronó a James DeGale por el cinturón de la FIB. El co-evento principal contará con Michael Coffie y Darmani Rock en una batalla de pesos pesados invictos a 10 rounds. Además, Joey Spencer busca demostrar por qué él es la sensación del peso Súper Welter ante Isiah Seldon en una contienda a ocho rounds para inaugurar la transmisión.
El evento será promovido por TGB Promotions y Sweethands Promotions, en asociación con Warriors Boxing, y se llevará a cabo en el Auditorio Shrine y Expo Hall, una sede de AEG, en downtown Los Ángeles.
“Caleb Plant se ha establecido como un campeón en la división súper mediana y buscará seguir consolidándose en la cima de su peso el 30 de enero”, dijo Tom Brown, Presidente de TGB Promotions. “Su habilidad sublime y su tenacidad feroz hacen que Plant esté posicionado para ocupar un lugar entre la élite de los mejores libra por libra de este deporte. Caleb Truax buscará dar el batacazo y será un duro examen para él con su vasta experiencia ante los mejores boxeadores de las 168 libras, lo cual convierte a esta contienda de primetime en una pelea imperdible por FOX y FOX Deportes.”
Plant (20-0, 12 KOs) está pasando por su mejor momento a los 28 años de edad tras obtener dos victorias consecutivas deteniendo a sus respectivos rivales en sus dos defensas por el título por FOX. Primero venció al por entonces invicto Mike Lee en julio del 2019, y luego derrotó al alemán Vincent Feigenbutz en su ciudad natal de Nashville, Tennessee en febrero del 2020. El nativo de Ashland City, Tennessee, actualmente reside y se entrena en Las Vegas y capturó su título en el 2019 sobreponiéndose a José Uzcátegui. Plant no era el favorito en aquella pelea contra Uzcátegui antes de callar a todos derribándolo dos veces temprano en la contienda camino a prevalecer por decisión unánime. Aquella fue una noche turbulenta emocionalmente para Plant, quien le dedicó la obtención del título a la memoria de su hija   Alia, quien solía sufrir de un desorden que le causaba convulsiones.
“Quiero expresar mi gratitud por poder comenzar mi 2021 peleando por FOX. Estaré enfrentando a Caleb Truax el 30 de enero, y estoy seguro de que él vendrá con todo, pero yo estaré preparado para batallar dando lo mejor de mí’, dijo Plant. “Todos saben que yo estoy en una misión personal para convertirme en el primer campeón súper mediano indiscutido de la historia del boxeo. Habiendo dicho eso, los fans pueden contar con la expectativa de verme pelear a mi mejor nivel. Esta pelea acabará con un nocaut”.
Truax (31-4-2, 19 KOs) ganó su propio cinturón de campeón en diciembre del 2017 cuando fue visitante en el Reino Unido contra DeGale y le arrebató su título en uno de los batacazos más inesperados de aquel año. Truax posteriormente perdería por puntos en una revancha reñida contra DeGale en el 2018. Truax proviene de Saint Michael, Minnesota y solía ser una Estrella del fútbol americano Universitario. Su lista de rivales super medianos y medianos ha sido impresionante durante su trayectoria, incluyendo a DeGale, Anthony Dirrell, Peter Quillin y Daniel Jacobs.
“Estoy hambriento de gloria y trato a esta como mi última oportunidad para recuperar mi título’, expresó Truax . “Yo no soy el favorito, pero ya he dado la sorpresa anteriormente’.’
Coffie (11-0, 8 KOs) es un veterano de los Marines que comenzó a boxear tras regresar del exterior y no tardo en impresionar en torneos amateur, ganándose asignaciones como sparring de Deontay Wilder y Adam Kownacki. El pugilista de 34 años de edad nació en el Bronx, pero ahora pelea basado en Brooklyn. Coffie mejoró su marca inmaculada recientemente con una victoria por nocaut técnico sobre un duro veterano como Joey Abell el 11 de noviembre por FOX.
“Yo pienso que esta será una gran pelea. Estamos al mismo nivel en estatura física tanto con nuestra altura como nuestro peso. Me imagino que será una pelea que los fans van a disfrutar”, opinó Coffie. “Yo creo que Rock es un buen boxeador. Él nunca ha sido exigido al máximo. Yo siento que siempre lo he sido ya que no contaba con un background amplio como amateur. Cada pelea era una prueba de voluntad para mí. Un triunfo sería dar otro paso más para acercarme a las peleas que la gente quiere ver”
Rock (17-0, 12 KOs) es un pugilista invicto de 24 años de edad que proviene de Philadelphia y se está estableciendo como una potencia en la división de pesos pesados mientras se acerca a ser un contendiente. Coffie, sin embargo, no contó con ninguna pelea el año pasado. Su contienda más reciente fue contra Maurenzo Smith, deteniéndolo el 19 de octubre del 2019.
“La inactividad quizás me afecte un poco, pero no creo que vaya a ser un gran problema. Yo solo debo hacer lo que necesito hacer’’, dijo Rock. “No conozco muy bien a (Coffie). Sé que se ve fuerte. Lo principal va a ser recuperar mi ritmo y escuchar los consejos de mi esquina y de mi papá, y divertirme. Estoy muy contento de poder pelear el 30 de enero, ya que quiero estar muy ocupado este año para compensar por la inactividad del año pasado en el que me tuve que mantener en forma’.’
Spencer (11-0, 8 KOs) es un joven de 20 años de edad que ha dado pasos de gigante desde que se convirtió en profesional en febrero del 2017.  El nativo de Linden, Michigan, inauguró su 2020 prevaleciendo con una victoria por puntos en seis rounds sobre Erik Spring en enero de aquel año, y luego regresó con una victoria por nocaut sobre Shawn West por FOX en agosto. Esos dos triunfos se agregaron a los cuatro que supo obtener en el 2019.  
“Estoy super entusiasmado por volver a salir al ring y comenzar mi 2021 con una actuación explosiva que complacerá a mis fans’’, expresó Spencer. “Me estoy entrenando de forma increíble y estoy en la mejor forma física de mi vida’.’
Seldon (14-3-1, 5 KOs) es el hijo de un ex contendiente y campeón del peso pesado como Bruce Seldon, pero él recién comenzó a ser boxeador profesional a los 22 años bajo la tutela de Bill Johnson en Atlantic City. Johnson también solía entrenar a su padre. Han pasado 10 años desde aquel entonces, y ahora Seldon busca seguir de racha tras noquear a Darryl Bunting de forma impresionante en el segundo round en marzo del año pasado.
“Estoy entusiasmado por poder contar con esta oportunidad. He estudiado mucho a Spencer y sé que él es un buen boxeador con un background amateur excelente’’, dijo Seldon. “Ya quiero que llegue el 30 de enero. He tenido mucho tiempo para prepararme y lo he hecho de gran manera junto a Danny Davis. Cuando se presentó esta oportunidad, la tomé sin dudarlo y ahora pelearé de gran manera el 30 de enero”
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