Valenzuela defeats Berrio by unanimous decision

Unbeaten rising lightweight prospect Jose Valenzuela (10–0, 6 KOs) defeated Deiner Berrio (22–4–1, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision (100-90, 99-91, 98-92) in the 10-round main event of FS1 PBC Fight Night action, and on FOX Deportes, Saturday from Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfiel, California.

Valenzuela totally dominated the first three stanzas, landing nearly four times the punches that Berrio landed.

In the fourth and fifth rounds, Berrio found a bit of a rhythm with his unorthodox style and landed a few clean shots on Valenzuela.

However, Valenzuela made some adjustments, continued to severely outwork Berrio and dominated much of the second half of the bout.

Even when Berrio landed a right hand to Valenzuela’s jaw in the eighth round and followed it up with a left hand that briefly stunned Valenzuela and pushed him back, Berrio took his foot off the gas, allowing Valenzuela to regain himself and win the eighth round on two of the judges’ scorecards.

The tenth and final round was an all-out slugfest with both fighters landing their share of blows, but Valenzuela survived the best of what Berrio had to offer and cruised to a wide decision victory.

The co-main event on FS1 featured Rajon Chance (5–0–1, 5 KOs) battling Elon De Jesus (3–0–1, 2 KOs) to a majority draw (57-55 for Chance, 56-56, 56-56) in a six-round super bantamweight attraction.

De Jesus seemingly jumped out to an early lead, landing several powerful overhand rights in the third round that resulted in a cut opening up on Chance’s forehead.

In the fourth round, Chance and De Jesus got twisted up with Chance bending down to stabilize himself. As Chance leaned forward, De Jesus landed a blow to the back of Chance’s head. Referee Jerry Cantu immediately deducted a point from De Jesus for the infraction.

Midway through the fifth stanza, De Jesus scored a sensational knockdown with a massive right uppercut to Chance’s jaw. Chance picked himself up off the canvas and complained to Cantu that he couldn’t see anything. Cantu called for a timeout to have the ringside physician examine De Jesus’ eyes and the physician approved the fight to continue.

Although De Jesus dominated the action throughout and scored the only knockdown in the contest, the point deduction resulted in a majority draw with both Chance and De Jesus maintaining their undefeated records.

The FS1 opener showcased Amed Medina (4–0, 3 KOs) defeating Abdur Abdullah (4–5, 0 KOs) by unanimous decision (40-35, 40-35, 40-35) in a four-round super featherweight showdown.

Medina, who had never fought beyond the first round in his young career, knocked down Abdullah with a short, right uppercut in the opening frame.

Over the following three rounds, Medina controlled the action, landing nearly three times the punches that Abdullah landed, en route to a lopsided decision.

Photo: Sean Michael Ham / Premier Boxing Champions

Figueroa-Fulton set for 11/27 in Las Vegas

Undefeated 122-pound world champions are set for a unification clash as WBC champion Brandon “Heartbreaker” Figueroa and WBO champion Stephen “Cool Boy Steph” Fulton Jr. will battle in the SHOWTIME main event Saturday, November 27 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Park Theater at Park MGM in Las Vegas.

Figueroa and Fulton were originally scheduled to face each other on Saturday, September 18, before the fight was pushed back due to a positive COVID-19 test for Figueroa.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and also features undefeated super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem battling Mexico’s Eduardo Baez in the 10-round co-main event. Opening the telecast, unbeaten rising bantamweight contender Gary Antonio Russell takes on Mexico’s Alejandro Barrios in a 10-round showdown. The event is promoted by TGB Promotions.

Photo Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

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Blair Cobbs: ‘I want to challenge either Adrien Broner or Conor Benn for my next fight’

Undefeated welterweight, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (14-0-1, 9 KOs), wants to give the fans a big fight and is targeting Adrien Broner (34-4-1, 24 KOs) and Conor Benn (19-0, 12 KO) as fighters he wishes to face next. 

“It is time that I give the fans what they want, a great show, and I want to challenge either Adrien Broner or Conor Benn for my next fight,” said Cobbs, who is ready to face all of the biggest stars in the division. “I know I will stop Broner and I will beat Benn easily, the big question is will either of them fight me.”

“Blair is a fan-favorite and we would love to make a fight with another fighter that gets his fans excited and Broner, as well as Benn, fit that bill,” said Cobbs’ manager, Greg Hannley, CEO of Prince Ranch Boxing. “He is ready for any level of competition, and we are willing to put Blair in with anyone at any time.”

Cobbs last fought decorated amateur Brad Solomon, whom he stopped in the fifth round in a performance that had fight fans in El Paso, Texas on their feet. Cobbs now wants to take the division by storm.

“I want to show the fans my true skills, and to do that I need an opponent to bring it out of me,” said Cobbs. “I think both of these fights make sense and are realistic, and I have no issue signing a contract to fight, in fact, it is very easy. I beat Ferdinand Kerobyan in his backyard, I can do that again to another fighter as well, or we can fight in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or honestly anywhere – I just like to fight.”

Photo: Rodney Pinz / Prince Ranch Boxing

Juárez on fight with Lopez: ‘I’m going to set the pace and fight my fight’

Exciting super lightweight Omar “El Relámpago” Juárez will return to action against Mexico’s Jairo Lopez in FS1 PBC Fight Night action and on FOX Deportes this Sunday, September 19 from Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, California.

The FS1 telecast on Sunday begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and is headlined by undefeated super featherweight prospect Maliek Montgomery facing Aleem Jumakhonov in a 10-round bout.

Sunday’s lineup follows FS1 PBC Fight Night taking place on Saturday, September 18, also at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, California, which begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT and which features rising lightweight prospect Jose Valenzuela putting his unbeaten record on the line against Colombia’s Deiner Berrio in the 10-round main event.

Here is what Juarez had to say about training camp, bouncing back from his first pro loss and more:

On his recent training camp:

“For this camp I headed out to Las Vegas to get elite sparring with some of the best fighters in the sport. I felt I needed to make a change with my conditioning as well. I spent a lot of time running in high elevation up at Mt. Charleston. It was a great experience holding camp in Vegas and I know I’ll be better prepared going into this fight as opposed to my last one.”

On his matchup with Jairo López:

“López is a very durable opponent who has been in the ring with a lot of good fighters. I’m expecting the best version of himself, because everyone has been training hard during the pandemic. I’m going to set the pace and fight my fight.”

On what a win will do for his career:

“I’m coming off my first defeat as a professional and I’m eager to get back in the win column. I had to do a lot of soul searching but I’m confident that I can rebound with a spectacular performance. A nice win against a tough guy like López will put me back on track to bigger fights”

Photo: Team Juarez

Alvarez-Plant set for November 6 in Las Vegas

Mexican superstar and unified WBA/WBC/WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez(56-1-2, 38 KOs) and undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant(21-0, 12 KOs) will battle to crown an undisputed 168-pound world champion on Saturday, November 6 live on pay-per-view from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

A four-division champion regarded by many as the top pound-for-pound fighter in boxing, Álvarez faces off against a supremely skilled, undefeated world champion in Plant, who’s made three defenses of the title he won in January 2019.

The winner will become the first undisputed super middleweight champion in the four-belt era.

The last time we saw Alvarez was back in May when he stopped Billy Joe Saunders to capture his WBO 168-pound title, while Plant is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Caleb Truax in January. 

This is one of the biggest fights in 2021 and an opportunity for Alvarez to clean out the 168-pound division. If Plant wins, it would be a career-defining victory. We’ll see what happens on November 6 in Las Vegas.

Navarrete-Gonzalez set for 10/15 in San Diego

WBO Featherweight World title mandatory challenger, Joet Gonzalez, is set to face Emanuel Navarrette for the world title crown on Friday, Oct. 15 at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The 12-round world championship fight will stream live on ESPN+ at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.   

Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs) was last seen in the ring defeating three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga at the Bubble at the MGM Grand, on September 12, 2020. The victory earned him the WBO International Featherweight Title and the WBO’s No. 1 featherweight ranking. Gonzalez’, first world title opportunity for the WBO Featherweight World Title came in October 2019, in a battle against fellow unbeaten featherweight Shakur Stevenson for the then vacant world championship. Losing by unanimous decision, Gonzalez is ready to redeem himself and claim the world championship when he faces Navarrette on October 15. 

Navarrete (34-1, 29 KOs) is 8-0 with six knockouts in world title fights, a busy championship run that began in December 2018 with his dominant decision over Isaac Dogboe to win the WBO junior featherweight world title. Following five title defenses in nine months, Navarrete moved up to featherweight and bested Ruben Villa by unanimous decision last October to win the WBO world title. He defended that title in April and knocked out Christopher Diaz in the 12th round. 

“I am excited and thankful to receive a second world title opportunity, this time against a great Mexican warrior like Navarrete. I know I have what it takes to become a world champion, and I will show the world that on Oct. 15. No disrespect to Navarrete, but this is my time,” said Gonzalez. 

“I am focused on winning this fight and defending my world title for the second time. I know that Joet Gonzalez is a good fighter. I respect him and he is also my mandatory challenger, but I am the champion, and I will show him why. This belt isn’t going anywhere,” Navarrete said. “I hope that my Mexican fans will support me in San Diego, and my fans from Tijuana can also come to the fight. I will give them a great fight, and it will be a great victory for all my Mexican people.”

Navarrete-Gonzalez will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ starting at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.

WBO Featherweight World title mandatory challenger, Joet Gonzalez, is set to face Emanuel Navarrette for the world title crown on Friday, Oct. 15 at Pechanga Arena San Diego. The 12-round world championship fight will stream live on ESPN+ at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.   

Gonzalez (24-1, 14 KOs) was last seen in the ring defeating three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga at the Bubble at the MGM Grand, on September 12, 2020. The victory earned him the WBO International Featherweight Title and the WBO’s No. 1 featherweight ranking. Gonzalez’, first world title opportunity for the WBO Featherweight World Title came in October 2019, in a battle against fellow unbeaten featherweight Shakur Stevenson for the then vacant world championship. Losing by unanimous decision, Gonzalez is ready to redeem himself and claim the world championship when he faces Navarrette on October 15. 

Navarrete (34-1, 29 KOs) is 8-0 with six knockouts in world title fights, a busy championship run that began in December 2018 with his dominant decision over Isaac Dogboe to win the WBO junior featherweight world title. Following five title defenses in nine months, Navarrete moved up to featherweight and bested Ruben Villa by unanimous decision last October to win the WBO world title. He defended that title in April and knocked out Christopher Diaz in the 12th round. 

“I am excited and thankful to receive a second world title opportunity, this time against a great Mexican warrior like Navarrete. I know I have what it takes to become a world champion, and I will show the world that on Oct. 15. No disrespect to Navarrete, but this is my time,” said Gonzalez. 

“I am focused on winning this fight and defending my world title for the second time. I know that Joet Gonzalez is a good fighter. I respect him and he is also my mandatory challenger, but I am the champion, and I will show him why. This belt isn’t going anywhere,” Navarrete said. “I hope that my Mexican fans will support me in San Diego, and my fans from Tijuana can also come to the fight. I will give them a great fight, and it will be a great victory for all my Mexican people.”

Navarrete-Gonzalez will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ starting at approximately 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.

Holyfield: ‘I’m still interested in fighting Mike Tyson’

Four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield made his return to the ring on Saturday night against former UFC star Vitor Belfort at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and it didn’t last long. 

With former president Donald Trump in the house, Belfort came out quick and dropped Holyfield twice in the first round. The 58-year-old would survive the knockdowns, and ultimately, after Belfort swarmed Holyfield one more time, the fight was stopped at 1:49 in the first round, and Belfort would get the TKO victory in the Triller Fight Club main event.

Holyfield looked like a 58-year-old man on Saturday night, which is okay because, after all, he’s 58 years old.

Holyfield, who beat Mike Tyson twice in the 90s and last fought in 2011, wants to fight the 55-year-old Tyson despite the loss.

“I wasn’t able to bounce back like I used to,” Holyfield said. “I let him get too close. But he’s strong, and he pushed me, but I wasn’t hurt. I’m not hurt at all. Yes, I’m still interested in fighting Mike Tyson.”

While the 44-year-old Belfort, who fought Holyfield after Oscar De La Hoya withdrew from the fight due to Covid, was happy with the victory and called out Youtube sensation Jake Paul.

“You never judge how many victories you have; you judge by the quality of your opponents,” Belfort said. “When you fight someone, the two warriors gain immediate respect for each other,” he said. “For me, to be able to compete with Holyfield is a dream.

“Yes, I challenge Jake Paul to a thirty-million-dollar winner-take-all fight; he cannot say no to me; he needs a real fight.”

After this performance, let’s hope this is the last time we see Holyfield in the ring. Clearly, he has nothing much to offer. However, Triller still might be able to sell an exhibition fight with Tyson.

In other action on the card:

ANDERSON ‘THE SPIDER’ SILVA, (3-1, 2 KOs), knocked out  ‘THE HUNTINGTON BEACH BAD BOY’ TITO ORTIZ, (0-1), with a stunning overhand right to the head dropping Ortiz to the canvas. With Ortiz unable to beat the count the fight was stopped at 1:21 of the round.

“I’m so happy, my team and I worked so hard,” said Silva. “I just try to enjoy every single moment inside the ring. Thanks to God for giving me one more time to do my job.”

“The training is tough and that makes me feel ready for everything inside the ring. The entire team pushes me every day. I prepare my body and my mind for war and tonight I won. I’m not sure what’s next, just to go home and be with my family.”

In a battle of former friends, Former Unified Cruiserweight World Champion and Former Heavyweight World Champion DAVID ‘THE HAYEMAKER’ HAYE, (29-4, 26 KOs), solidly defeated JOE ‘THE BILLIONAIRE’ FOURNIER, (9-1, 9 KOs), in their eight-round clash. Scores were 80-71 and 79-72 (twice) as Haye flashed moments of brilliance throughout the fight against the outgunned Fournier.

“It felt really good to be back in the ring,” said the victorious Haye. “I haven’t hit a bag in three years, no sparring but I had four weeks of preparation for this and I got in there and felt fresh. I felt sharp, my timing was good. I wanted to give eight rounds of good entertainment and that’s what I did.”

“Now I feel like I’m ready to do some big things. I went out there and did exactly what I was going to do. Tyson Fury has been in my mind for a long time since 2013 when we were scheduled to fight. I’ve always wanted that fight and I’ve seen him getting better and better. I know I can beat him, I know his style, I know what he does well. My attributes don’t work for his style and he and his team know that.”

In a thrilling ten-round junior lightweight battle, Ireland’s JONO “KING KONG’ CARROLL, (22-6, 5 KOs), was victorious over ANDY ‘EL TIBURON’ VENCES, (23-3-1, 12 KOs), by way of majority decision. Scores were 95-95 and 97-93 twice. An even fight in the first half, the southpaw Carroll would pull away in the latter half of the fight with damaging combinations against the valiant Vences.

Said Carroll, “It’s fantastic to get this big win, it’s been a very tough year. But they say you have to sacrifice to really succeed in life. It’s never been a matter of if, only when I’m going to accomplish these goals. And now in 2022 I’m set up to fight for a world title and become a world champion. When I become a world champion I can build on the next chapter in my life.

A win like tonight and it all becomes worth it.”

In a preliminary bout, ANTHONY CHAVEZ, (9-1-1, 3 KOs), and DIUHL OLGUIN, (15-19-5, 10 KOs) fought to a majority draw in their junior lightweight bout. Scores were 58-56 for Chavez and 57-57, twice.

Also, ELIEZER SILVA, (1-0), made a successful pro debut against TERRY ROSCOE, (2-6), in their four round middleweight fight. Scores were 39-36 on all three scorecards for Silva.

Photo: Triller Fight Club/Amanda Westcott

Valdez: ‘We all want the winner of Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring’

It’s been a rough few weeks for WBC 130-pound champion Oscar Valdez(30-0, 23 KOs), as it was revealed that he tested positive for a banned substance(phentermine).

Despite testing positive, Valdez was still able to fight Robson Conceicao(16-1, 8 KOs) on Friday night as the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Athletic Commission and the WBC let the fight go on.

Ultimately, Valdez would defeat Conceicao by unanimous decision (115-112 2x and 117-110) in front of a sold-out crowd of 4,545 at Casino Del Sol in Tuscon, Arizona, to retain his title.

Conceicao, who was using his jab effectively, throwing combinations and consistently landing against Valdez, dominated the early part of the fight, but to Valdez’s credit, he battled hard in the second half of the fight, which helped him get the victory. 

One judge had Valdez winning the final seven rounds, while another had Valdez winning six of the final seven.

Valdez was aided by the referee, who deducted a point from Conceicao for a rabbit punch that was more like a tap in the ninth round. The point deduction was questionable at best.

This was Valdez’s first defense of his title after stopping MigueL Berchelt in February, and he survived.

Conceicao did not like the decision, and according to Valdez, he was disrespectful after the fight.

“He’s(Conceicao) over here yelling in my face,” Valdez said. “We’re grown men. Don’t be yelling in my face. He might be upset. Of course, you want to be a world champion, but don’t point at me, don’t be yelling in my face. I’ve been through enough this week, man,” Valdez said. “It makes the fight complicated when someone is trying to run the whole fight. I’m trying to put on a good show for my fans, give the fans what they want, which is a good fight. If he wants to run, you can’t win a fight running like that.”

Canceicao added: “This is boxing. I cannot go with his game. I played my game. Look at his face and look at my face. I have nothing on my face. Oscar’s is all fu—- up. I won this fight.”

After this win, Valdez has his sights set on the winner of the October 23 bout between WBO champion Jamel Herring and unbeaten star Shakur Stevenson.

“We all want the winner of Shakur Stevenson and Jamel Herring,” Valdez said. “Let’s do it.”

Look, Valdez probably should not have been fighting on Friday night and probably should have been stripped of his title. However, this is boxing, so at times, the sport can be a mess. Fortunately, for all parties involved, no one was seriously hurt.

(Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images)

Holyfield expects to be ready against Belfort

Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield is back. The 58-year-old returns to the ring for the first time in a sanctioned bout since 2011 when he battles former UFC star Vito Belfort on Saturday night at Hard Rock LIVE at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida(FITE PPV/Triller Fight Club). 

According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, the fight will be eight, two-minute rounds with 12-ounce gloves.

Holyfield replaced Oscar De La Hoya, who was forced to withdraw after testing positive for Covid-19. The Atlanta native was scheduled to fight Kevin McBride in June, but that fight was postponed.

According to Holyfield, he’s in shape and will be ready for Belfort.

“I’ve been training for over two years because there were fights mentioned against other fighters,” he said. “I realize now as I prepare to face Belfort I’m in good shape, and I don’t get out of shape…

“I think I look alright, but this is after two years of solid training.”

Many are opposed to seeing Holyfield in the ring, but throughout his career, Holyfield has always defied the odds and plans on doing that against Belfort.

“When I was young, I didn’t have any bad habits, and so I’m older now and feel good,” Holyfield said. “I learned my whole life you’ll never be successful in life if you don’t take chances; that’s throughout my whole career.”

Should we have concerns about Holyfield entering the ring for a sanctioned bout at age 58? Probably, but fortunately for him, he will be fighting a 44-year-old Belfort, who is a novice when it comes to boxing, so maybe it won’t be too bad. Plus, it’s two-minute rounds, which helps.

In my opinion, Triller and the Florida commission will do everything in their power to make sure Holyfield doesn’t get hurt, but it’s the fight business, so anything can happen. 

We’ll see what both Holyfield and Belfort have left on Saturday night.

Photo: Amanda Westscott/Triller Fight Club

Wilder on fight with Fury: ‘ The key to victory in this fight is having a violent mind’

WBC Heavyweight World Champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury(30-0-1, 21 KOs) and former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder(42-1-1) have restarted their long-running rivalry and stated their intent to finally settle the score when they meet for the third time on Saturday, October 9, in an ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV event from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The two were scheduled to fight in July, but the fight had to be postponed after Fury was diagnosed with Covid-19.

“I’m going to knock Deontay Wilder spark out, and it’s going to be even quicker than our last fight,” said Fury, who stopped Wilder in their second fight in February 2020 to capture the WBC title.

“If he couldn’t beat me after three years out of the ring and 10 stone weight loss, he’s never beating me. None of them will. They’re just hyped-up bums. All of them. Wilder, Joshua, Usyk. They’re all bums. Compared to me, they’re no good.”

Wilder, who was dropped two times by Fury in their second fight and lost after his corner threw in the towel in Round 7, expects to be a different man on October 9.

“Hopefully, Fury is confident enough to go through with this fight because I’m going to be a reinvented Deontay Wilder on October 9,” said Wilder, who had successfully defended his heavyweight title 10 times before losing to Fury.

“This training camp has rejuvenated me. It’s refreshed me. The key to victory in this fight is having a violent mind but approaching it with calmness. I have all the right people around me, and we’re looking forward to October 9. I just hope Fury is ready to put on a show for the fans and make history once again.”