Statement from Oscar De La Hoya on Alejandra Jimenez testing positive for banned substances

WBC and WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Alejandra Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KOs) has tested positive for banned substances. Jimenez defeated Franchon Crews-Dezurn(6-2, 2 KOs) on January 11 to capture those titles.

Here is a statement from Golden Boy’s Oscar De La Hoya on Jimenz’s positive test:

“It is extremely unfortunate to learn that WBC and WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Alejandra Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KOs) has tested positive for banned substances after her title fight with Franchon Crews-Dezurn (6-2, 2 KOs) on January 11,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy.

“As Franchon’s promoter, we are incredibly disappointed for her as she worked incredibly hard to defend her titles. However, our job is to ensure the safety of our fighters both inside and outside of the ring. Thus, we have always insisted and supported testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for all of our world championship fights. Jimenez’s fight against Franchon Crews-Dezurn is no exception.

“Now our job is to find justice for Franchon by working closely with the WBC and the WBO in order to re-instate her as a world champion.”

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Brand: ‘Joel(Embiid) has quickly established himself as one of our game’s most dominant players’

The NBA announced today that Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers was named an Eastern Conference starter for the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago. It’s Embiid’s third consecutive All-Star Game selection after being named a starter in each of the past two seasons. He’s the first 76ers player to be named a starter in three straight All-Star Games since Hall of Famer Allen Iverson started seven straight from 2000-06. Embiid is also the eighth player in franchise history to be named an All-Star starter three times, matching Wilt Chamberlain with his third selection.

“Congratulations to Joel on being named an All-Star starter for the third consecutive season,” said Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand. “Through his continued hard work and intense desire to win, Joel has quickly established himself as one of our game’s most dominant players and a cornerstone of our franchise. His combination of power and finesse is truly special, as is the unique connection he’s made to our fans in Philadelphia. This is well-deserved, and we look forward to Joel representing the Philadelphia 76ers in Chicago during All-Star Weekend.

In his fourth NBA season, Embiid holds averages of 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game. He and fellow All-Star starter Giannis Antetokounmpo are the only two players in the league averaging 20 points, 12 rebounds and one block per game. Embiid has posted a team-best 24 double-doubles (sixth in East) in his 31 games, while his 21 games with 20 points and 10 rebounds are tied for the second-most in the NBA, behind only Antetokounmpo.

Embiid is one of four Eastern Conference players, and one of seven league-wide, averaging at least eight free-throw attempts per game, making at least 10 free throws on nine occasions. In five of those 10 free-throw games, Embiid has scored 30-plus points, something he’s done a team-leading eight times this season. On Dec. 12, Embiid joined Hall of Famer Dolph Schayes (twice) as the only 76ers ever to post at least 38 points, 16 rebounds and six assists against the Celtics.

Defensively, Embiid ranks sixth in the East with an individual defensive rating of 99.5. He’s one of eight-players league-wide with a mark below 100. Embiid, Antetokounmpo and Detroit’s Andre Drummond are the only three Eastern Conference players averaging at least 1.0 blocks and 12.0 rebounds per contest.

On Nov. 15 at Oklahoma City, Embiid’s 166th career game, Embiid surpassed 4,000 points, becoming the second-fastest 76er to reach the mark, behind only Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain. The Cameroon native would later collect his 2,000th career rebound in his 174th game, becoming the fastest NBA player to reach the mark since Tim Duncan in 1999. The only 76er ever to post 2,000 career rebounds faster than Embiid was Hall of Famer George McGinnis in 1977.

In the Eastern Conference frontcourt, Embiid finished third in fan voting and second in both player and media voting.

Fans accounted for 50 percent of the vote to determine the NBA All-Star Game starters, while current NBA players and a media panel accounted for 25 percent each.

After all votes were tallied, players were ranked in each conference by position (guard and frontcourt) within each of the three voting groups – fan votes, player votes and media votes.  Each player’s score was calculated by averaging his weighted rank from the fan votes, the player votes and the media votes.  The two guards and three frontcourt players with the best score in each conference were named NBA All-Star Game starters.

Andrade on 160-pound division: ‘Fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me’

Demetrius Andrade has signed a four-fight extension to his contract with Matchroom Boxing USA.

Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defends his WBO World Middleweight crown for the third time against Luke Keeler in Miami on January 30 live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

‘Boo Boo’ landed the vacant title in Boston in October 2018 with a win over teak-tough African Walter Kautondokwa and followed that win by stopping Artur Akavov in the final round of his first defense in New York in January 2019.

The Rhode Island ace went home for his second defense and thrilled his hometown fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence in June by putting Maciej Sulecki on the deck in the opening round en-route to a shut-out win over the Pole.

Irishman Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs) travels to Miami in a bid to shock the world in his first World title fight, but Andrade wants to hold onto his title in style before attacking the big guns and fellow World rulers at 160-pound.

“I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Andrade. “We have had a great 18 months and we’ve got plans to have an even bigger 2020 and 2021.

“I’ve matured in the ring as I’ve been more active and sometimes I think, if these guys had fought me before they might have had a better chance against me, but now they are giving me the time to sign with Eddie and DAZN, get active and fight four times, sharpen the tools and get the ring rust off. So, when it comes their time, it’s going to be hell for them!

“As long as I am building my legacy, performing the way I need to perform and people are loving my style and the things I am doing, I am not worried about anything else as the fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me.”

The two-weight World ruler was one of the first fighters to team up with promoter Eddie Hearn in July 2018 as he expanded the Matchroom Boxing empire to America with a billion-dollar deal with DAZN, and Hearn expects the Rhode Island ace to have a big year in 2020.

“I am thrilled to have signed an extension to Demetrius’ deal with Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Hearn. “Demetrius is one of the best 160-pound fighters in the world and now is the time to deliver him the fights against the other elite Middleweights in the division, live on DAZN.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Mahomes: ‘I know I can’t juke like Lamar(Jackson), but I feel like I can extend plays’

Coming into the playoffs, if we were going to talk about any quarterback leading his team in rushing, it would have been Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, and while Jackson did rush for 143 yards against the Titans in the Divisional Round, it was in a losing effort. 

With Jackson out of the playoffs, another running QB has stepped up, and that’s Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes. The two-time Pro Bowl QB has led Kansas City in rushing in these playoffs with 106 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown run against Tennessee in the AFC title game, as the Chiefs advanced to Super Bowl 54 after defeating the Titans 35-24 on Sunday. 

We all know Mahomes can’t run like Jackson, but he is a mobile quarterback that has made a lot of plays with his legs in these playoffs.

“I mean, I watch everybody in the league and see what guys are doing,” Mahomes said on Wednesday. “I think you do that as a quarterback as you watch all these great players. For me, I know I can’t juke like Lamar, but I feel like I can extend plays. When I watch similar opponents, like when I watched Lamar playing the 49ers and seeing him extend plays, I know that’s some stuff I can take away. I can’t run at the same agility or speed he does.”

Mahomes likes to get the ball downfield, and against the Titans, he used his scrambling ability when he connected with Sammy Watkins on a 60-yard touchdown pass, and on Wednesday, Mahomes explained what happened on that play.

“I think it’s something I’ve always done whenever I’m scrambling, I always keep my eyes downfield,” Mahomes explained. “I’ve never been the fastest guy, so I’ve always wanted to get to guys like Tyreek (Hill), Mecole (Hardman), Travis (Kelce), guys like them, Sammy Watkins. For me, actually, in that play, I left the pocket a little too early because they did kind of a stunt with the D-line, and I thought I could run for it, but as I saw it develop, I knew I had to reset in the pocket. As I did that, I got back through my reads, and Sammy was my guy to go to anyways, and he did a good job fighting through a holding penalty and getting down the field. I was able to get the ball to him in enough time that he could score a touchdown.”

The third-year quarterback will probably have to use his scrambling ability against the 49ers, who have nine sacks in these playoffs, so don’t be surprised if Mahomes continues to use his arm and legs in Super Bowl 54.

Hurd: ‘I look back at my fights, and it kind of scares me all the hits I was taking’

Former unified 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd(23-1, 16 KOs) is back, and he comes with a new trainer. Hurd fired his trainer Ernesto Rodriguez after his loss to Julian Williams last May and hired trainer Kay Koroma.

Now, Hurd is focused and ready to battle Francisco Santana(25-7-1, 12 KOs) on January 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

“I’m so focused on taking care of Francisco Santana; I can’t look past him,” Hurd said at a media workout on Wednesday. “He’s a guy who comes forward. This is a fight where I want to see how things work out with my new trainer Kay Koroma, but Santana comes to fight just like Jeison Rosario did. I have to be on my toes.

“People say this is the new Jarrett, but I feel like it’s the old me, and I’m just getting back to it. I used my defense and my height against Frank Galarza and other earlier fights. But when I was training for Erislandy Lara, I was developing this pressure style, and we didn’t have enough of the fundamentals set behind it.

Hurd has had some tough fights in his career, including battles with Williams and Erislandy Lara. In those fights, Hurd took a lot of punishment, something he believes needs to change.

“I look back at my fights, and it kind of scares me all the hits I was taking,” Hurd said. “I had back to back Fight of the Year battles. Those were back and forth fights. I don’t want those each and every year. I want to win in one-sided fashion.

 The Accokeek, Maryland native wants to get back to the top, and he hopes to become the undisputed champion at 154. 

“I was close to becoming undisputed champion at 154-pounds, and that’s still a goal of mine,” he said. “I want to accomplish that feat in this division before we move up. I know I had a bad night against Julian Williams, but it was just a small hiccup. I’m coming back for my number one spot.”

 Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Accorsi on Eli: ‘He won championships, and he was always there giving us a chance to win’

Eli Manning is ready to write the final chapter of his historic career.

One of the best, most popular and most decorated players in Giants history, Manning, a two-time Super Bowl winner and most valuable player, will announce his retirement Friday, ending a 16-year career spent entirely with the team he joined in a draft-day trade in 2004.

“For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field,” said John Mara, the Giants’ president and chief executive officer. “Eli is our only two-time Super Bowl MVP and one of the very best players in our franchise’s history. He represented our franchise as a consummate professional with dignity and accountability. It meant something to Eli to be the Giants quarterback, and it meant even more to us. We are beyond grateful for his contributions to our organization and look forward to celebrating his induction into the Giants Ring of Honor in the near future.”

“We are proud to have called Eli Manning our quarterback for so many years,” said Steve Tisch, Giants chairman and executive vice president. “Eli was driven to always do what was best for the team. Eli leaves a timeless legacy with two Super Bowl titles on the field and his philanthropic work off the field, which has inspired and impacted so many people. We are sincerely thankful for everything Eli has given our team and community. He will always be a Giant among Giants.”

Ernie Accorsi was the general manager who traded for Manning. Though he retired after the 2006 season, Accorsi has remained a member of the Giants family and has followed Manning’s career closely.

“I learned very early that you evaluate quarterbacks on their ability to win championships, and to do it late in a game when the game is on the line, that they’re able to take a team down the field and into the end zone to win a title,” Accorsi said. “The second thing is to know that over a period of years, he’s always going to be there. Those kinds of quarterbacks always give you a chance to win, and for 16 years, he did that for this franchise. He won championships and he was always there giving us a chance to win. I don’t know how you can ask more from a quarterback.”

Manning’s first 183 regular-season and 11 postseason starts were for Tom Coughlin, the Giants’ head coach from 2004-15.

“It was an honor and privilege to coach Eli, and to go through the wonderful and magnificent moments that he and his teammates provided for all of us in the world championship ‘07-‘08 and ’11-’12 seasons,” Coughlin said. “The New York Giants, flagship franchise of the National Football League, have four world championships You have four trophies sitting there. You have (Phil) Simms, you have (Jeff) Hostetler, and you have Eli for two. Eli Manning not only is the quarterback on those great teams, but he is the MVP of the Super Bowls. He’s an incredible big- game performer. You talk about a guy that’s great to coach, focused every day, took tremendous pride in preparing, practice, had a great sense of humor, was a cynic in the locker room. But the guys loved him and they loved him for it, and they played for him. The guys that had the opportunity to play with him know what it’s like to be with a guy with as much talent, as much grit, as much determination.

“Here goes the retirement of a great, great football Giant. I and my coaching staff and our teams from 2004 right through 2015, for me at least, my part, hold Eli in the highest respect and congratulate him and his family, and his mom and dad, for all of the wonderful, wonderful experiences he’s had, and the happiness and pride that he has brought to the entire Giants family, the fanfare, the fans, the family and everyone that’s taken so much pride from his performances and for what he’s meant. He’s always been there to make the call, to stand up and represent the Giants in the best possible way.”

Manning is one of the most accomplished players in the 95 seasons of Giants football. He is the only player in franchise history to suit up for 16 seasons and his 236 regular-season games (234 starts) and 248 total games are both Giants records.

From Nov. 21, 2004 through Nov. 23, 2017, Manning started 210 consecutive regular-season games, then the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history (to Brett Favre’s 297). After sitting out one game, he started the next 22 in a row, giving him 232 starts in 233 games – plus 12 postseason games. Manning never missed a game because of injury.

“I can’t tell you what that means to a coach, to be able to prepare every week knowing your starter is going to be there,” Coughlin said. “It’s almost impossible today to be able to do that. Some teams are fortunate. Many teams it doesn’t happen to. You get a guy nicked, you get him hurt. I remember once he was hurt with a shoulder. He didn’t practice all week. We didn’t know if he’d be alright. He started and played the whole game and played well. It meant a great deal to us to be able to prepare knowing he was going to be on the field and be the starting quarterback for all of those games.”

Manning led the Giants to victories against the New England Patriots in Super Bowls XLII (when they defeated a Patriots team that was 18-0) and XLVI. In each game, he led the Giants on a long fourth-quarter drive to erase a fourth-quarter deficit. On Feb. 3, 2008, it was a 12-play, 83-yard march highlighted by Dave Tyree’s famous helmet catch and the 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining that gave the Giants a 17-14 victory. Four years later, the decisive series covered 88 yards in nine plays, most memorably a 38-yard sideline throw to Mario Manningham and Ahmad Bradshaw’s seat-of-his-pants one-yard touchdown run for a 21-17 triumph.

Manning won the Rozelle Trophy as the game’s most valuable player each time. He is the only Giants player to win the award twice and is one of just five players in NFL history to win multiple Super Bowl MVP awards. All of them are quarterbacks (Tom Brady, 4; Joe Montana, 3; Terry Bradshaw and Bart Starr, 2 apiece).

Manning is one of 21 quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl without losing one and one of 12 to win at least two Super Bowls.

In 2016, Manning was the co-recipient (with Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a fellow member of the 2004 draft class) of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award. He is the only Giants player to be so honored in the award’s 49-year history.

Manning owns every significant Giants career passing record. He is sixth in NFL history with 8,119 attempts and seventh with 4,895 completions, 57,023 yards and 366 touchdown passes. Manning also has the franchise’s highest career completion percentage (60.29). Manning holds the seven highest single-season completion totals and the four highest yardage totals (he threw for more than 4,000 yards seven times) and completion percentages. He was selected to four Pro Bowls.

Manning also excelled in the postseason, when he had an 8-4 record. He set Giants career playoff records with 400 passes, 242 completions, 2,815 yards and 18 touchdown passes.

In the recently-concluded 2019 season, Manning played four games. He started the first two games before being replaced by Daniel Jones, the sixth overall selection in the draft last year.  Jones sprained his ankle against Green Bay on Dec. 1 and Manning started the next two games, a Monday night game in Philadelphia and the following Sunday at home vs. Miami. Manning threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns in a 36-20 victory over the Dolphins and left the game to a long and loud ovation with 1:54 remaining. The victory evened his regular-season record at 117-117.

Off the field, Manning has been one of the most giving Giants, donating his time and money to numerous civic and charitable causes. He heads the Tackle Kids Cancer Initiative at Hackensack UMC and he launched “Eli’s Challenge” by pledging to match grassroots donations from local organizations dollar-for-dollar up to $100,000. He and his family built “The Eli Manning Children’s Clinics” at the Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson, Miss. Manning supports numerous other charities, including Children’s of Mississippi Capital Campaign, March of Dimes, New York March for Babies, Guiding Eyes for the Blind, American Red Cross, Scholastic’s Classroom Care Program and the PeyBack Foundation.

Fittingly, one of the many awards he has received for his work in the community is the Ernie Accorsi Humanitarian Award at the National Football Foundation.

“That’s what it’s all about – it’s about giving back,” Coughlin said. “You think that the good Lord gave you these tools for you to hold inside you and be selfish about it? No chance. He goes out in the community, he’s himself when he’s out there. He’s done a tremendous amount of work for the Jay Fund (Coughlin’s charity foundation, which benefits the families of children with cancer). He goes to see cancer kids over in Hackensack and throughout New York City. His heart is in the right place.”

Next week in Hollywood, Fla., Manning will be presented with the 2020 Athletes in Action/Bart Starr Award. The award, bearing the name of Pro Football Hall of Famer Bart Starr, honors Starr’s lifelong commitment to serving as a positive role model to his family, teammates and community. Manning was selected by his peers in the NFL, making it the only award – other than the Pro Bowl – voted on by all the players.

Coughlin was three months into his 12-year tenure as the Giants’ coach when Manning joined the team roughly an hour after the San Diego Chargers selected him first in the 2004 NFL Draft. Picking fourth, the Giants selected another quarterback, Philip Rivers. Accorsi then engineered a trade that brought Manning to the team he had hoped to play for all along. The Giants sent Rivers, their third-round choice in 2004 (No. 65 overall), and first and fifth-round picks in the 2005 draft to the Chargers for Manning.

“(The late Beano) Cook told me once, ‘You could be on the first civilian flight to Mars, and the first line of your obituary is going to be that you traded for Eli Manning,’” Accorsi said. “No question about that. I’m honored to be associated with Eli Manning in every way possible, as a person and as a player.”

So is everyone else who had the privilege of working with Manning for 16 years.

49ers’ Kyle Shanahan discusses his regrets from Super Bowl LI

For 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, Super Bowl 54 provides an opportunity for redemption. The last time Shanahan coached in a Super Bowl was when he was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

In that game, the Falcons were dominating the Patriots and were up 28-3 in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the Falcons and Shanahan, the Patriots would score the final 31 points and would defeat the Falcons 34-28 in overtime. This was the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.

Losing in the Super Bowl was very difficult for Shanahan, and on Monday, he discussed how he felt after the loss to the Patriots.

“The days after were real tough,” Shanahan said. “Losing a Super Bowl is extremely tough for everybody, especially when you lose one when you have a 28-3 lead going into the fourth. The way it came down on me personally, I didn’t react to that, I think, the way people would expect because there were definitely parts in that Super Bowl that I would love to have back and stuff I was very hard on myself, but the whole narrative of if I would’ve just ran it, we would’ve won. I know that wasn’t the case. 

“I know what went into that game and all the stuff that happened, so that stuff didn’t bother me. You’ve got to deal with that and listen to other people, but it was nice to be able to move on and move out here and just keep working. I’m glad I’m going to get the chance to go back.”

With the Falcons leading 28-20 late in the fourth quarter, the Falcons moved the ball all the way down to the Patriots’ 22-yard line. However, Falcons QB Matt Ryan was sacked, and then, the Falcons were called for a holding the penalty, which pushed the Falcons out of field goal range.

Shanahan discussed what he did wrong.

“Yeah, the play I regretted the most was when we got down there,” Shanahan said. “We haven’t converted a third down, really the entire second half, I think we were averaging one yard a carry rushing. So, when you do that, the formula to keep giving the ball back to someone is to go run-run-pass. You’re going to make a third-and-seven at best every single time. If you’re not converting third downs, that makes it tough. We did mix it up a little bit. I think we actually ran it more in the second half than we did in the first half.

“The other team was I think 34 of 38, converted all their third downs, couldn’t get the ball. Finally they got it within a score, we got it back and got pretty aggressive to get it down there. It was a second-and-10, called a pass on the last time down there. On second-and-10 I called a run. We got a two-yard loss and a holding call that put us out of field goal range. This time I went the opposite. Tried to get a play to [Atlanta Falcons WR] Julio [Jones]. They played a different coverage, didn’t get the call I wanted, so I didn’t like the call. I was hoping we could just get rid of it, but they had a pretty good rush and got a sack. Once that happened, I knew we had to throw because now we were out of field goal range. Threw it the next down to [Atlanta Falcons WR Mohamed] Sanu, ran a choice-route breaking out and moved the chains, but they called a holding call on our left tackle so that put us way back and we had to throw again to get back into it and we missed it. I wish I didn’t call that play on second-and-11 that led to that sack.”

Obviously, the Falcons should have won that football game, but Bill Belichick and Tom Brady made magic happen, and the rest is history.

Hopefully, for Shanahan, he can get vindication in Super Bowl 54. 

Warren, Truax make their return on February 15

Former bantamweight world champion Rau’shee Warren will battle Mexico’s Gilberto Mendoza in a 10-round attraction, while former super middleweight champion Caleb “Golden” Truax takes on Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu in a 10-round showdown, highlighting the non-televised undercard lineup on Saturday, February 15 from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

The event is headlined by undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant making a homecoming world title defense against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features welterweight contenders Bryant Perrella and Abel Ramos battling in the co-main event, plus lightweight contender and Nashville native Austin Dulay facing former title challenger Diego Magdaleno in the televised opener.

The undercard will also see Chicago’s Vernon Brown (12-1-1, 8 KOs) battling Augusta, Georgia’s Justin DeLoach (18-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight fight, plus unbeaten Cuban Maidel Sando (9-0, 7 KOs), who now lives in Nashville, taking on Mexico’s Sergio Gonzalez (6-7-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super middleweight attraction.

Rounding out the lineup is unbeaten Ashland City, Tennessee native Tyler Tomlin in a lightweight fight, and the pro debut of Cincinnati’s Duke Reagan in a four-round super featherweight contest against North Carolina’s Da’jour Burney.

Warren (16-3, 4 KOs) will return to action for the first time since a close decision loss in a world title fight against unbeaten champion Nordine Oubaali in January 2019. A southpaw from Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren won the WBA Bantamweight World Championship with a majority decision over Juan Carlos Payano in 2016 and lost the title the next year to Zhanat Zhakiyanov by split-decision. The 32-year-old became the first three-time Olympic boxer from the U.S. when he qualified for consecutive Olympic teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012. He will be opposed by the 30-year-old Mendoza (15-7-3, 7 KOs), who is from Mexicali, Mexico and now lives in Modesto, California. Mendoza has won eight of his last 10 fights, including a draw in his last fight against Oscar Vasquez in October 2019.

A native of Osseo, Minnesota, Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) will step back into the ring after being forced to withdraw from a scheduled title eliminator against Peter Quillin in August 2019. The 30-year-old had previously faced Quillin in April in a fight that was ruled a no contest because of a cut he suffered due to an accidental head butt. Truax became world champion in 2017 when he went to the U.K. and upset James DeGale to capture the IBF 168-pound crown. Truax lost a narrow decision in the rematch to DeGale but bounced back to stop Fabiano Soares in August 2018. He will take on the Hohoe, Ghana native Amuzu (25-5, 22 KOs), who now fights out of Prichard, Alabama. Amuzu will look to rebound from a November 2019 defeat against Ievgen Khytrov.

Photo: Cynthia Vance / SHOWTIME

 

Paul: ‘I have a list of targets of people that keep talking sh**, Antonio Brown, Dillon Danis’

Jake Paul has vowed to keep boxing as he prepares to make his professional debut against fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday, January 30, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. 

After a fiery press conference in Los Angeles, Paul and Gib are in the process of completing their training camps in Big Bear, California and Las Vegas respectively, and Paul says he has fallen in love with the sport and wants to prove he is taking it seriously by not just beating Gib, but using victory to launch a boxing career.

 “I see how big this is becoming,” said Paul. “It’s just the start of what we’re going to see, and that’s why I am so excited by it, I want to be the pioneer of this space.     

“This is not a one-off stunt for me. I want to keep fighting, and I have a list of targets of people that keep talking shit, Antonio Brown, Dillon Danis, other YouTubers – the potential for this is massive, and I know that I will be the best ‘influencer-boxer’. I’ve fallen in love with boxing; I was watching my sparring back and just thinking, ‘I love fighting.’ It takes me back to why roots of being competitive playing football and wrestling.

“This is new; it is an untapped vertical for me. I look at myself as an innovator and a pioneer. I came into YouTube at a time when a lot of change needed to happen, and I was that change along with my brother. We went so big and viral and became the biggest. 

“Boxing is making a huge comeback, and there’s a huge lane for ‘celebrities’ or whatever you want to call us to make huge noise. It’s a business. If we can see the most tickets, we’re going to make the most money and draw the most fans, and no-one can really hate on that. That’s why I want to be the best and most technically skilled ‘influencer-boxer.’”

Paul and Gib clash on a massive night of action in Super Bowl week with WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defending his crown against Irish challenger Luke Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs), Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defending his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), and unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs).

Photo: Matchroom Boxing