Roman on fight with Payano: ‘This will be an explosive twelve-round battle’

Former unified super bantamweight champion Danny Roman anticipates an action packed showdown as he previewed his upcoming WBC super bantamweight title eliminator bout against former world champion Juan Carlos Payano taking place Saturday, September 26 in part two of a first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“Payano is one of the toughest and roughest fighters in the division,” said Roman. “His only losses are to elite fighters. This fight will be all action because Payano likes to mix it up, as do I. The fans will get to see two warriors going at it as I’m fully prepared for a grueling fight. This will be an explosive twelve-round battle, and that’s if it goes the distance, which I highly doubt.”

Roman and his longtime trainer Eddie Gonzalez have prepared for the Payano fight at the Fundamentals Gym in Los Angeles, studying their opponent and aiming to put on an impressive performance on September 26.

“It’s been a very productive training camp thus far,” said Roman. “We’ve been going strong, but smart, since early August. Coach Eddie has been studying Payano and we see some flaws in his game that we feel we can capitalize on. I’m in great shape and its full steam ahead for Payano showdown.”

The Los Angeles-native Roman will return to the ring for the first time since dropping a narrow split-decision, and his super bantamweight titles, to Murodjon Akhmadaliev in January. Roman knows that with a win in this title eliminator, he will be in a prime position to regain his status in the division.

“A victory will put me right back on the doorstep for a world title,” said Roman. “I feel that I’m still one of the best fighters at super bantamweight, but I must get past Payano. There are so many big fights at super bantamweight, because this division is one of the deepest in boxing.  My mind is set on becoming a world champion again, and a victory against Payano will bring me closer to that goal.”

The September 26 doubleheader is stacked with champions and top talent in the 122-pound division, presenting an abundance of opportunities for Roman should he emerge victorious. The 30-year-old relishes the opportunities in front of him to fight for the top spot at super bantamweight.

“I’m excited about this next chapter of my career with PBC and fighting on SHOWTIME®,” said Roman. “I know there will be a lot of big fights that can be made, and I want to thank my promoter Thompson Boxing for always believing in me.  At the end of the day, I’m an entertainer and I want to give the fans great fights.”

The unprecedented pay-per-view twin bill features six compelling fights in all, five of which are world title fights, on the same night for one price. Part one of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast begins live at a special time of 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT with the three-fight card topped by unbeaten WBC Champion Jermall Charlo facing top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Brandon Figueroa will defend his title against 122-pound contender Damien Vázquez in the co-featured bout, while WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero faces off against unbeaten Duke Micah in the pay-per-view opener.

Following a 30-minute intermission, the second three-fight card, headlined by the historic unification matchup between WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo and IBF and WBA 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario, will begin. Unbeaten former champion Luis Nery will battle undefeated Aaron Alameda for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship in the co-feature, while former unified champion Román faces off against former champio   n Payano in a WBC Super Bantamweight title eliminator bout to open the second installment of the pay-per-view.

Ugas: ‘I want all the big names in the welterweight division’

Yordenis Ugas scored a split-decision victory over Abel Ramos Sunday night to win the WBA Welterweight Championship(secondary belt) in the main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

“I set a goal when I was a child back in Cuba to become a world champion and I accomplished that goal tonight,” said Ugas. “I’m so grateful to everyone who helped me along the way. Ramos was a very tough opponent and I knew it was not going to be easy, but I wasn’t going to let this opportunity slip away.”

Ugas set the tone from the outset, peppering Ramos with his jab early and often, as he would throughout the ensuing 12 rounds. Off of his jab, Ugas was able to slowly expand his offensive arsenal and keep the typically aggressive Ramos off-balance and unable to charge forward.

After the feel out first round, Ugas landed 10 jabs or more in the next 11 rounds according to CompuBox. In total, Ugas threw a career-high 504 jabs, landing 160, also a career-high.

In round three, Ramos landed a left hook at the end of an exchange that appeared to buckle Ugas, but he was unable to hurt Ugas on his follow up attack. By round four, Ramos’ left eye began swelling from the onslaught of jabs and right hands.

Ugas continued to mix up his attack as the fight wore on, dragging Ramos into the center of the ring for big exchanges at the end of rounds five and six. In round nine, Ugas began to fight from a closer distance and focus even more on attacking the body, even though he took some return fire from Ramos for his troubles.

While Ramos was able to rock Ugas late in round 12, Ugas was able to make it to the final bell to claim a split decision victory, and the WBA title, with scores of 117-11 for Ramos, overruled by two cards of 115-113 for Ugas.

“I came into this fight in the best shape of my life and it showed,” said Ugas. “Now that I’m a world champion, I want all the big names in the welterweight division.”

In the co-main event, sensational prospect Jesus Ramos (13-0, 12 KOs) delivered an impressive second-round knockout of previously unbeaten Esteban Garcia (14-1, 6 KOs) in their super lightweight showdown.

The 19-year-old nephew of Abel Ramos, Jesus Ramos continued to flash the considerable power that has helped him earn a 92% knockout rate in his early pro career. Ramos used his jab early to try to find the distance for his offense, while Garcia had some success countering his aggressive opponent in the first round.

In round two, Ramos found a lane for a big left hand and immediately buckled Garcia with the powerful shot. Garcia was able to stay on his feet and attempted to hold to survive the round, but was eventually hurt again with a follow-up flurry from Ramos.

That final flurry prompted referee Rudy Barragan to jump in and halt the action, giving Ramos the TKO victory 2:45 into the second round.

“I’m happy with my performance tonight,” said Ramos. “We wanted to make a statement and I think I did that tonight. I thought Garcia was going to come out to fight but I was more than ready and it showed in the ring.”

In a special bonus feature on the broadcast, rising prospect Omar “El Relámpago” Juárez (9-0, 4 KOs) earned a unanimous decision over Dakota Linger (12-4-2, 8 KOs) after eight rounds of super lightweight action.

“We knew that Linger would be a tough fighter, but we prepared for anything,” said Juarez. “I stay active and I’m always ready. It felt really good to get the eight rounds in. I showed that I’m a smart fighter. In my first couple of fights when I was getting early knockouts, I felt like I wasn’t really getting the work I needed. Tonight I felt really good and really strong. I’m ready for more.”

Juarez set the tone early with his impressive activity, especially a body attack that targeted Linger throughout the fight. While Linger was content to counter in the opening rounds, he upped his aggression in round three and had some of his best moments of the fight.

As the fight wore on, Juarez’s pace proved to be too much for Linger to keep up with, alternating between pot-shots and brawling to slowly break Linger down. Linger managed to keep moving forward and throwing dangerous shots, but was unable to break through against the 21-year-old Juarez.

Juarez enjoyed a 199 to 113 advantage in punches landed, including 150 to the body, landing 37% of his attack to 27% from Linger. Juarez came close to a stoppage in the final round, pelting Linger with big right hands that caused blood to pour out of from his nose. Linger made it to the final bell, but Juarez was victorious by the scores of 80-72 and 79-73 twice.

“We’re going to take a couple of days off and stay in the gym,” said Juarez. “I always want to be ready no matter what. I love having these opportunities and learning experiences in the ring.”

Preceding FOX PBC Fight Night, FS1 PBC Fight Night action saw Cody Crowley (19-0, 9 KOs) defeat Joseph Torres (22-7-2, 13 KOs) via unanimous decision by the score of 100-90 three times after 10 rounds of welterweight action. Plus, Batyr Akhmedov (8-1, 7 KOs) dropped Rey Perez (24-11, 8 KOs) twice on his way to a knockout victory 2:19 into the first-round of their super lightweight attraction, and Leduan Barthelemy (16-1-1, 8 KOs) sent Recky Dulay (11-9, 8 KOs) to the canvas three times to score a knockout 2:39 into the third-round of a lightweight battle.

Photo;  Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions

Herring: ‘It’s just a great opportunity for fighters to be back in the ring, period’

Two fight dates came and went, and WBO junior lightweight world champion Jamel Herring and Jonathan Oquendo had nothing to show for it. Herring’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis forced postponements of July 2 and July 14 fight dates, but he and Oquendo will finally face off Saturday from the MGM Grand Las Vegas (ESPN+, 7:30 p.m. ET).

Herring (21-2, 10 KOs) will make the second defense of the world title he won from Masayuki Ito last May, while Oquendo (31-6, 19 KOs), a 37-year-old veteran from Puerto Rico, is making his second attempt at a world title.

In the co-feature, unbeaten super middleweight Steven Nelson, a stablemate of Herring’s, will fight DeAndre Ware in a 10-rounder. In heavyweight action, unbeaten sensation Jared Anderson will fight Rodney Hernandez.

This is what Herring and Oquendo had to say at Thursday’s press conference.

Jamel Herring

“I just feel like everything happens for a reason. It’s not like I was the only one suffering. It’s a global pandemic, so I can’t really complain too much. I’m just glad that I have a great team.

“Going through a global pandemic, I was still fortunate to have training camp. We have a gym. My strength coach, Jamie Belt, is here, {assistant trainer} Esau Dieguez as well. Being around {Terence Crawford}, Steven Nelson, who is also fighting this weekend, Rob Brant, Maurice Hooker, and so many guys coming in that gym… I’m just grateful. Despite all the setbacks, I’m still able to handle business. I sparred every other day. We have a track. To me, it’s just another day at the job, and I’m just happy to be here.

“All I need to hear is Bomac’s {Brian McIntyre’s} voice in the corner, Red Spikes, and Esau, and I’m fine with that. {Bomac} will probably be the highlight of the show, to be honest with you. Any fighter will tell you, once they get in there, it’s tunnel vision anyway. My job is to focus on what’s in front of me. I can’t really worry about what’s going on on the outside. It’s just a great opportunity for fighters to be back in the ring, period. Despite having no crowd, we’re still fortunate to be doing what we love and do for a living. That’s all that matters to me.

“All I can focus on is this fight, getting to even right now on this stage. Everything was a process. I’m not really worried about what’s going on. With this series, we’ve seen many, many upsets because fighters tend to maybe not train their best or look ahead to things.”

Jonathan Oquendo

“I was disappointed {when the July 14 fight was postponed} right before the weigh-ins. I knew things were going to be OK. I understand the position of my opponent. I was worried about the fight never happening, but I had faith in Top Rank, and I know they do a good job. I’m ready to go for it Saturday night.

“I want to congratulate Herring. I know he’s a great fighter. He deserves everything he has right now, and I will try my best on Saturday night. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity.

“I’m 37 years old, but mentally, I’m prepared. I believe this is the perfect time for me to fight for a world title. I want to show the world what I’m capable of doing.

“Health and safety is the most important thing. I’m good. Herring is good. I can’t wait to fight.”

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Figueroa: ‘I don’t think he’s going to want to go toe-to-toe with me’

Unbeaten WBA Super Bantamweight Champion Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa gave updates on his current training camp and previewed his showdown against Damien Vazquez taking place Saturday, September 26 on part one of a first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The 23-year-old Figueroa has begun to make a name for himself as a force in the 122-pound division and has moved past being known primarily as the younger brother of former champion Omar Figueroa. However, it is the encouragement and motivation he receives from his brother, in addition to his father and head trainer, Omar Sr., and his sister and strength and conditioning coach, Omayra, that has helped him get to this point.

“It’s great to have my family behind me because they understand what I fight for,” said Figueroa. “Especially in a career like this, it’s not easy, and they help me a lot both mentally and physically. I’m grateful that they support and push me the way that they do.

“Training camp for this fight has been going really well. I’ve been sparring a lot with Omar Juarez and a number of guys from here in the Rio Grande Valley. We’ve just been helping each other out, keeping busy and keeping the work rate up.”

Figueroa returns to defend his title after fighting to an exciting draw against Julio Ceja in a November clash. Figueroa is set on making up for what he sees as far from his best performance, and believes that the extra rest time because of the pandemic will end up being an advantage..

“Heading into my last fight, I had some injuries that I was dealing with,” said Figueroa. “But with this pandemic and the quarantine, I got a chance to recover and fully heal. I’ve never had this much time between fights, so I feel great now and I’m prepared for this fight. I’m just anxious to fight at this point.

“I don’t take anything away from Ceja though. He came to fight. But we learn from every fight. What I took away from it was that even at the worst moment of my career, I didn’t lose. I’m a different fighter now, though. I’m healthy heading into this upcoming fight and I feel like everyone is going to see a different type of Brandon Figueroa.”

Figueroa’s September 26 foe Vazquez has already stated that he plans to make their title fight a “Mexican war” full of toe-to-toe action. For Figueroa, no stranger to action fights himself, he sees that as playing into his hands.

“I feel like the action fighting has been my style and game plan since day one,” said Figueroa. “But I obviously believe I’d also have an advantage boxing him at distance. So he can say whatever he wants, I don’t think he’s going to want to go toe-to-toe with me. I can guarantee you he’ll regret that.

“I see this as the biggest opportunity of my career, and Vazquez is standing in my way. This is my chance to show everyone why I’m one of the best fighters in the world. I’m ready, I’m focused on September 26 and I can’t wait to showcase my skills.”

The stacked doubleheader lineup includes a number of top fighters in and around the 122-pound division, including a vacant WBC title fight between Luis Nery and Aaron Alameda, plus former unified champion Danny Roman battling Juan Carlos Payano in a title eliminator. In addition, the winner of a future fight between recently crowned WBO champion Angelo Leo and Stephen Fulton could loom as a possible opponent down the road. No matter who Figueroa may face next, he is in position to deliver action for boxing fans.

“At this point, I feel like any fight with me against a top 122-pounder is a great fight,” said Figueroa. “I’m willing to mix it up with any of them. I honestly don’t care who wants to fight me, I’ll take any of them to put on a great show for the fans. My team knows that as well. So hopefully after September 26 we can make a great fight with any of the other top fighters in my division.”

The unprecedented pay-per-view twin bill features six compelling fights in all, five of which are world title fights, on the same night for one price. Part one of the SHOWTIME PPV telecast begins live at a special time of 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT with the three-fight card topped by unbeaten WBC Champion Jermall Charlo facing top contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Figueroa will defend his title against 122-pound contender Vázquez in the co-featured bout, while WBO Bantamweight World Champion John Riel Casimero faces off against unbeaten Duke Micah in the pay-per-view opener.

Following a 30-minute intermission, the second three-fight card, headlined by the historic unification matchup between WBC Super Welterweight Champion Jermell Charlo and IBF and WBA 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario, will begin. Unbeaten former champion Nery will battle undefeated Alameda for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship in the co-feature, while former unified champion Danny Román faces off against former champion Juan Carlos Payano in a WBC Super Bantamweight title eliminator bout to open the second installment of the pay-per-view.

Ugas: ‘I feel I beat Shawn Porter, so I know I belong with the elite boxers at 147 pounds’

Top contender Yordenis Ugás shared insights into his training camp and more as he prepares to take on hard-hitting Abel Ramos for the vacant WBA Welterweight Championship this Sunday, September 6 in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Ugás returns to action after scoring a stoppage victory over Mike Dallas in February on FS1. Prior to that fight, Ugás had battled then WBC Welterweight Champion Shawn Porter in a March 2019 title fight on FOX that saw the Cuban fighter lose a narrow decision.

To earn the title shot, the Olympic bronze medalist Ugás returned from a nearly two-year layoff in 2016 and beat then unbeaten fighters Jamal James and Bryant Perrella. Ugás turned that into an eight-fight winning streak, including triumphs over Thomas Dulorme, Ray Robinson and Cesar Miguel Barrionuevo.

Here is what Ugás had to say from training camp in Las Vegas with his coach, Ismael Salas:

On his recent training camp:

 “Training in Las Vegas at the Salas Boxing Academy with coach Ismael is a great time because he provides a championship atmosphere. The gym is filled with excellent fighters and the sparring I’ve gotten has been incredible. More importantly, Salas is a great teacher who knows exactly what is needed to improve my game. We got a lot done in this camp and you will see a more polished version of myself on fight night.”

On his matchup with Abel Ramos:

“Ramos is a very tough fighter who has a tremendous amount of heart, as shown in his last fight when he knocked out Perrella in the final seconds of that fight. This will be one of those fights that the fans will be talking about for many years, because we are not going to be backing up. I’m expecting an all-out war.”

 On his quest to become the first Cuban Welterweight World Champion in 45 years:

“If I’m not mistaken, there hasn’t been a Cuban welterweight world champion since Jose Napoles in 1975. It will be an honor to become the first Cuban welterweight world champion of this millennium, God willing I come out victorious.  Becoming a world champion is a goal I set for myself when I first started boxing, and I’m not going to let it slip by this time around.  My goal is to not leave the decision in the hands of the judges, so I’ll be going for the knockout.”

 On the state of the welterweight division:

“Everyone knows the welterweight division is always loaded with the best fighters in boxing, and I consider myself as one of those guys. I feel I beat Shawn Porter, so I know I belong with the elite boxers at 147 pounds. I must get past Ramos first, then I’m coming for everyone.”

Photo: Team Ugás

Rosario on fight with Charlo: ‘I’m a warrior, and we’re going to see that night who really is the hunter’

Unified 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario(20-1-1, 14 KOs) shocked the boxing world when he stopped then-champion Julian Williams in January, in Williams’ hometown of Philadelphia. Now, Rosario is looking to ruin the Charlo Twins’ pay-per-view debut.

Rosario will battle WBC 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo(33-1, 17 KOs) in a unification fight on Saturday, September 26, in part two of a first-ever SHOWTIME PPV boxing doubleheader presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

According to Rosario, this battle against Charlo will be a war. 

 “This is going to be a great war,” Rosario said via a virtual press conference on Tuesday. “I’m dedicated and motivated for this fight, and I know what it means to face a fighter of Jermell’s quality, so the training has been going great. I’m so ready.

“I am even hungrier now than I was before I won the titles. I’m more motivated. The desire inside of me and the fire inside of me is burning to win this fight against a great fighter in Jermell Charlo. Like the Dominican people say, ‘we have to keep moving forward’ and that’s what I plan to do in this fight.”

The 25-year-old Rosario will go from battling Williams to Charlo, which are two tough fights, and on Tuesday, Rosario explained the difference between Charlo and Williams.

“Jermell Charlo and Julian Williams are definitely two different types of fighters,” he said. “I think Williams has a little more quickness, but Jermell is definitely stronger and has more power. That’s why I’ve had to prepare a little differently for this fight. In regards to who I feel is the better fighter – I don’t want to take anything away from either guy. Williams was a great fighter, and he was considered No. 1 when I fought him, which is now the same position that Jermell Charlo is in. They both have their merits, but I wouldn’t say which one is the better fighter. Jermell is considered the best fighter at 154 right now.”

Charlo calls himself a lion, and the name of his promotional company is “Lions Only Promotions,” but Rosario believes the world will find out who the real hunter is on September 26.

“I consider this to be my time. Empires fall. Presidents fall. Kingdoms fall,” Rosario said. “It’s all very interesting because under Charlo’s brand, you have the lion and you have the hunter and all that. But during the fight, you’re going to find out who really is the hunter. I’m a warrior, and we’re going to see that night who really is the hunter and who is the one that’s going to be hunted.”

The first three-fight card is headlined by WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo taking on vaunted challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko in the main event. Following a 30-minute intermission, the second three-fight card, headlined by the historic Charlo vs. Rosario unification matchup, will begin. Unbeaten former champion Luis Nery will battle undefeated Aaron Alameda for the vacant WBC Super Bantamweight World Championship in the co-feature, while former unified champion Danny Román faces off against former champion Juan Carlos Payano in a WBC Super Bantamweight title eliminator bout to open the second installment of the

Photo: TGB Promotions

Charlo: ‘After this fight, people are going to say that I’m a great fighter’

Unbeaten WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo(30-0, 22 KOs) and top 160-pound contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko(13-2,10 KOs) spoke to the press during a kick-off virtual press conference Monday as they preview the main event of part one of the first-of-its-kind SHOWTIME PPV doubleheader on Saturday, September 26, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

This is Charlo’s biggest test at 160, and for Derevyanchenko, who lost to Danny Jacobs and Gennady Golovkin, another opportunity to get that elusive title. Both fighters come into this encounter very confident, and both believe they will walk out of the ring with a belt. 

Here is what Charlo and Derevyanchenko had to say on Monday. 

JERMALL CHARLO:

“He lost both of those fights against Gennadiy Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs. Competitive or not, that’s what happened. He’s a warrior though and I want him to be sharp so he can give me the best he can give me. This is going to be a real fight, just know that.

“I’m going to be super sharp. That’s the message I want to deliver to all of the other middleweights out there.

“I thought I might need to out-perform Jacobs and Golovkin, but as long as I continue to be myself, I will get the victory and I’ll have my hand raised. I’m smart, stronger and better than I used to be. Every fight is a different fight. I let my trainer do the studying and I’m just focused on what I have to do.

“He’s coming straight to me and fighting. That’s what I expect. You want me to go toe-to-toe? That’s what I expect to do.

“Everybody is doubting me. I’ve been doubted for years. It’s not anger. I don’t care what my opponent or his trainer says about me. I’m a fighter and I’m ready for this. I really want to just get in there and fight.

“After this fight, people are going to say that I’m a great fighter. I’m the best in the world. I know Sergiy feels that way too. So we get to clash in the ring. I’m expecting a fight. I haven’t left the gym since February. I’ve been locked in. I wanted this opportunity to get in there and be me.

“If it goes the distance, I’m prepared for the distance. If he can’t take the power, then I’m going to finish him off.

“I’m no Daniel Jacobs, and I know Andre is probably trying to compare that fight to me, because he worked Jacobs’ corner. I know Andre has been studying me for a long time and now he gets to see what his other fighter can do against me.

“I’ve been at home training like crazy. I’m at the top of my game. I’m not worried about what anyone is saying. I know this is a so-called step up fight, but I’m ready for whatever the challenge comes. You’ll get a chance to see me be the best Jermall Charlo that he can be.”

Sergiy Derevyanchenko:

“My training is progressing. I’ve been in the gym working out, keeping fit, eating healthy and doing everything that I’m supposed to do. I’m anxiously waiting for September 26. You can expect the same type of fight from me that you saw against Golovkin.

 “I’ve had the experience of fighting at this level against the likes of Jacobs and Golovkin, which gave me the confidence and experience of fighting at the highest level. I have supreme, utmost confidence in myself.

“Charlo thinks he’s the best in the world and I believe I’m the best in the world. I think I’m the better fighter. The great thing is that we’re actually going to get a chance to settle it and we’ll see who the best in the world really is.

“I’m just focused on my opponent and what I have to do on September 26. The goal is to go in there and take the belt from him and bring it home.

“What I’ve said before is that I have a lot of experience and that might be an issue for Charlo. I never said it would be too much for him, but we will find out on fight night.

“I need to just stick with my game plan. We have a plan in place. I’m going to do what I have to do. If there’s a chance to knock him out, I will knock him out. If it goes 12 rounds, I’ll do the best that I can and show the judges that I am the winner.”

Photo: Showtime Boxing

Ramirez on win over Postol: ‘I felt like I was just in a sparring session’

WBC/WBO junior welterweight world champion Jose Ramirez solved the riddle of Viktor “The Iceman” Postol. In his first bout as a unified world champion, Ramirez came on strong late to edge Postol via majority decision by scores of 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112.

Ramirez (26-0, 17 KOs) swept the last three rounds of two of the judges’ cards to pull out the win. Postol (31-3, 12 KOs), a former WBC 140-pound world champion, saw his two-bout winning streak come to an end.

Ramirez kept alive his hopes of unifying the division with WBA/IBF world champion Josh Taylor, a promotional stablemate who bested Postol by unanimous decision in June 2018. Taylor defends his belts Sept. 26 against Apinun Khongsong, live on ESPN+.

Said Ramirez, I went in there a little too cold, you know? I impressed myself. I’m much stronger than most guys think. I just gotta not lose confidence in myself and stick to what I do best and box, let my hands go and not hesitate too much. I think there was a little bit of hesitation throughout the fight.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the ring. There have been a lot of things that have happened in my personal life. It’s been such a long training camp. I think {I went} through the routine instead of, ‘Let’s fight.’

“I felt like I was just in a sparring session. I think I could’ve made the fight a lot easier in my favor, but we live and we learn. This was an amazing experience. I’m just happy I got the win.”

Said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum, “It was a good fight, but both men were impacted by going through three training camps and the whole situation with COVID-19. That being said, I thought Jose clearly won the fight.”

Barboza: Still Undefeated

Junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr. (24-0, 10 KOs), the fighting pride of South El Monte, Calif., remained unbeaten with a workmanlike unanimous decision (99-90 3x) over Tony “The Lightning” Luis (29-4, 10 KOs), a former interim world title challenger who entered the fight on a 10-bout winning streak.

Barboza applied steady pressure throughout, with the only hiccup coming when referee Mike Ortega deducted a point for low blows.

Ranked in the Top 10 by two of the sanctioning organizations, he has bigger fights on his radar.

Said Barboza, “To be honest, I haven’t fought since last November. I haven’t gone 10 rounds in a while. He was a tough guy. I needed the rounds. I showed a little bit of what I’ve been working on in the corner, going southpaw and all that. I give my performance a ‘B.’ I wasn’t really satisfied because I didn’t get the stoppage. It happens.

“I want {Alex} Saucedo. I think me and him would be a great fight. I know he wants it. I want it, so we could probably get it on soon. If he’s ready, I’ll be ready.”

In other action:

— Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez  (9-0-1, 9 KOs) scored his third “Bubble” knockout, stopping Cody Wilson (9-3, 6 KOs) with a left hand in the third round of their scheduled six-round welterweight bout. Rodriguez, trained by Freddie Roach, has notched seven consecutive knockouts since a first-round technical draw.

Said Rodriguez, “We knew it was going to be a tough fight because I’m a 140-pound fighter, but this fight took place at 144 pounds. I knew I had to be patient, but I knew that I could set up that knockout.

“When someone like Freddie Roach, a Hall of Famer, a legendary trainer, says that about someone like me, wow, that’s amazing. It’s also bringing some pressure because I have to perform. I know that under him, I’m going to continue to develop my skills, my talent, and I’m not going to let anyone down.”

— Rising lightweight Raymond “Danger” Muratalla (10-0, 8 KOs) extended his knockout streak to five with a seventh-round TKO over Cesar Valenzuela (15-7-1, 5 KOs). Muratalla recovered from a flash knockdown in the second round to dominate the duration of the bout. The accumulation of punishment prompted referee Mike Ortega to stop the fight.

— Bantamweight prospect Gabriel “El Maestro” Muratalla (5-0, 3 KOs), the fighting preschool teacher, improved to 3-0 inside the “Bubble” with a four-round unanimous decision over Justice Bland (2-1). Muratalla rebounded from a first-round knockdown to sweep the final three rounds on the judges’ scorecards, each of whom scored it 38-36.

— Milwaukee native and top middleweight prospect Javier Martinez (2-0) cruised to a six-round unanimous decision over Rance Ward (4-2-1, 2 KOs) by identical scores of 60-54. Martinez, a former U.S. amateur star, turned pro under the Top Rank banner last month.

Photo: Top Rank Boxing/Mikey Williams

Lara: ‘I’m looking to step in the ring with any of the other champions’

WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (27-3-3, 15 KOs) defeated Greg Vendetti (22-4-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision (116-112, 117-111, 117-111) in a 12-round showdown headlining FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Lara, using his counter punching and superior boxing skills, outworked Vendetti, landing 161 total punches to Vendetti’s 88.

“Tonight, I dominated the fight,” said Lara. “After this performance, I’m looking to step in the ring with any of the other champions.

“I definitely want the winner of Jermell Charlo vs. Jeison Rosario. If that fight can be made, I’ll be ready to go.”

Click HERE and HERE for highlights of Lara vs. Vendetti.

The co-main event featured a super middleweight slugfest as Vladimir Hernandez (12-4, 6 KOs) defeated rugged veteran Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo (26-8, 21 KOs) by unanimous decision (98-92, 98-92, 98-92) in a 10-round contest.

In an all-action bout that set a CompuBox record for combined punches thrown in a super middleweight scrap (2,137), both fighters landed their share of solid punches. Hernandez got off to a good start, winning the early rounds on the judges’ scorecards. Angulo took control in the middle rounds, landing the more significant punches and seemed to start wearing down Hernandez. However, Hernandez managed to get his second wind and was able to tough it out, applied the presser in the closing stanzas, and did enough to earn the hard-fought victory.

Click HERE and HERE for highlights of Angulo vs. Hernandez.

The FOX broadcast also featured an eight-round super lightweight matchup as Abram Martinez (8-0-1, 6 KOs) fought Luis Arcon (10-0-1, 10 KOs) to a split draw (76-74 Martinez, 76-74 Arcon, 75-75) in a special bonus feature.

Martinez dominated the early action, scoring a knockdown in the second round with a pair of sharp left hooks to Arcon’s jaw. Arcon came on late, though, and in the closing seconds of the final frame was able to knock down Martinez with a left hook and right hand combination that proved enough to earn the draw.

Click HERE and HERE for highlights of Martinez vs. Arcon.

In FS1 prelim action, Brian Mendoza (19-1, 13 KOs) defeated Thomas LaManna (28-4-1, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision (96-94, 98-92, 98-92) in a super welterweight attraction. LaManna landed 189 total punches to Mendoza’s 171, but Mendoza was able to land 133 power punches to LaManna’s 130. The opening bout on FS1 saw super lightweight Justin Pauldo (14-1, 7 KOs) cruise to a wide unanimous decision (80-72, 79-73, 79-73) over Josec Ruiz (21-4-3, 14 KOs).

Photo: Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions

Truax withdraws, Angulo to face Vladimir Hernandez

Mexico’s Vladimir Hernandez will step in to face hard-hitting Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo in a 10-round super middleweight contest that serves as the co-main event of FOX PBC Fight Night and on FOX Deportes this Saturday, August 29 from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Caleb Truax was originally scheduled to face Angulo, but was forced to withdraw due to effects of dehydration.

“We wish Caleb the best and hope to see him back in the ring soon, but it is fortunate that we have backups in place because of COVID-19,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Under normal circumstances you wouldn’t have a backup on standby. But because of COVID-19, we have someone who has been training, has been tested and is in the bubble and ready to go.”

FOX PBC Fight Night begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and is headlined by WBA Super Welterweight Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara facing Greg Vendetti in a 12-round showdown. The broadcast will also feature unbeaten super lightweight Abram Martinez squaring off against 2016 Venezuelan Olympian Luis Arcon in a special bonus feature.

Angulo (26-7, 21 KOs) enters this fight after winning an action-packed battle against former champion Peter Quillin last September, under the tutelage of highly regarded trainer Abel Sanchez. The Mexicali, Mexico native, who now lives in Coachella, California, has been in with some of the sport’s top boxers and sluggers during a career that has seen him in numerous exciting bouts against the likes of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Erislandy Lara, amongst others.

The 31-year-old Hernandez (11-4, 6 KOs) was born in Ciudad Lerdo, Durango, Mexico and now lives and trains out of Denver, Colorado. Hernandez’s last six bouts have come in the U.S., including an upset over previously unbeaten Daniel Valdivia, that he followed up by defeating Valdivia in their rematch. Most recently, Hernandez scored a decision victory over Aaron Coley in July to bounce back after two defeats.

Born in Dallas and now fighting out of Las Vegas, Martínez (8-0, 6 KOs) made his pro debut in the U.S. in 2016 by stopping Phillip Percy in round two. The 24-year-old returned to fight in the states in his last outing, when he knocked out the previously unbeaten Jose Rodriguez in the third round of their November 2019 clash.

The 28-year-old Arcón (10-0, 10 KOs) will look to keep his perfect knockout streak intact when he steps into the ring on Saturday night for his 2020 debut. Born in San Juan de Los Morros, Venezuela, and now fighting out of Coachella, California, Arcón added five knockout victories to his record in 2019, most recently stopping Jasond Prado in December.

Preceding the action on FOX, FS1 PBC Fight Night will be headlined by super welterweight contenders Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna and Brian Mendoza battling in a 10-round attraction.

The FS1 telecast begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and also features prospect Justin Pauldo in an eight-round super lightweight showdown against Josec Ruiz, plus unbeaten prospect Jose Valenzuela facing Zack Kuhn in a lightweight bout.

Pauldo (13-1, 7 KOs) returns to make his 2020 debut after a 2019 campaign that saw him score first round knockouts over Federico Jesus Malespina and Tyrone Luckey. The 25-year-old from Orlando had previously earned a career best victory in winning his first eight-round fight via a unanimous decision over then unbeaten Joshua Zuniga in 2018.

A native of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Ruiz (21-3-3, 14 KOs) now fights out of Miami since making his U.S. debut there in March 2019. The 26-year-old has fought in the U.S. for his last five bouts, including most recently losing a decision against unbeaten Gabriel Flores, Jr. in June. Prior to that fight, Ruiz had been on a seven-fight winning streak dating back to 2016.

Valenzuela (5-0, 2 KOs) returns to the ring for his 2020 debut after picking up three victories in 2019, including most recently defeating Charles Clark in September. The 21-year-old was born in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico but now lives and trains in Seattle, Washington alongside unbeaten star David Benavidez.

The 29-year-old Kuhn (10-5-1, 5 KOs) steps into the ring after his most recent outing saw him knockout Donny Miller in round three of their December 2019 contest. Fighting out of Charleston, West Virginia, Kuhn has fought professionally since 2010.

The event will be promoted by TGB Promotions and will take place without fans in attendance at the Microsoft Theater, an AEG venue, in downtown Los Angeles.