Makhmudov-Aguilera added to Munguia-Ballard card

Heavyweight monster Arslanbek “Lion” Makhmudov (11-0, 11 KOs) will make his highly anticipated United States debut as he defends his NABF title against Nagy “Dominican Dynamite” Aguilera (21-10, 14 KOs) in the 10-round co-main event of Munguia vs. Ballard. The bout will be presented in association with Eye of the Tiger Management.

“Arslanbek Makhmudov is perhaps the most dangerous fighter in the heavyweight division,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “We are very proud to be working with our partners at Eye of The Tiger Management as we enter a new phase in Makhmudov’s career, one which will see him become a world champion and dominate the biggest names of this weight class.”

Standing at six feet five and a half inches tall, Makhmudov is a Russian monster who weighs as much as 260 pounds when stepping into the ring. Before turning professional in 2017, he was an international amateur standout, where he competed in various tournaments, including the World Series of Boxing. As a professional, the 31-year-old contender has ended all of his fights by knockout, including a first-round win against former world champion Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter to win the NABF Heavyweight Title. Makhmudov, who now calls Montreal, Quebec, Canada his home, has no doubts about what he wants do with his professional career.

“The ‘Lion’ is coming to destroy everyone in the heavyweight division,” said Arslanbek Makhmudov.

“We are excited to show America the biggest threat to the heavyweight division,” said Camille Estephan, President of Eye of the Tiger Management. “Arslanbek is a consummate professional. He is dedicated and skilled—the total package.”

Aguilera is a 34-year-old boxer who made his professional debut in August 2007. The native of Newburgh, New Jersey has faced the likes of Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver, Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola and Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale. Aguilera is coming off a unanimous decision win against Terrel Jamal Woods in November 2020.

”Training camp is going great,” said Nagy Aguilera. “The time off really helped me heal. People don’t know I had a lot of injuries in my career but no excuses. I always showed up to fight. I am coming to win. I’m not coming to lay down.”

Additionally, Ibeth “La Roca” Zamora (32-6, 12 KOs) of San Cristobal Huichochitlan, Toluca, Mexico will defend her WBC flyweight world championship against Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (9-1, 1 KO) of Houston, Texas in a 10-round fight.

“I am so excited for this world title defense against Marlen Esparza,” said Ibeth Zamora. “It will be my first fight in the United States, so this is a great chance to show everybody what I am capable of by fighting on a massive stage on a Golden Boy event live on DAZN. I´m proud to bring my title and defend it against a fighter with Esparza’s experience. I am fully confident that my skills will help me come out on top, and I will prove to everybody why I am the WBC reigning flyweight champion and the best in the division.”

“I’m excited,” said Marlen Esparza. “I want to offer my thanks and appreciation to the WBC and Golden Boy for the opportunity to fight the world title. It’s been a dream and vision of mine to fight representing the WBC. I want people to see another great fight. I’m proud to be on the stage again with a great fighter, and I know there are a limited amount of major women’s fights, so I’m honored to have this opportunity. I am training hard and I am bringing my best. I can’t wait for the opening bell!”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (14-0-1, 9 KOs) of Las Vegas, Nevada will put his undefeated record on the line in the opening bout of the DAZN stream against James Bacon (26-4, 17 KOs) of Cebu City, Philippines in a 10-round welterweight clash.

Additional undercard fights will be streamed live via Facebook Watch, including a highly competitive 10-round welterweight showdown between Ferdinand Kerobyan (14-0-1, 9 KOs) of North Hollywood, Calif. and Brad Solomon (29-3, 9 KOs) of Douglasville, Georgia.

Irish prospect Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (11-0, 7 KOs) will fight in an eight-round middleweight clash against Carlos Ortiz (12-5, 12 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico.

Evan Sanchez (8-0, 6 KOs) of Parlier, California will return in a six-round bout in the 147-pound division.

Chris “Milly” Ousley (12-0, 9 KOs) of Chicago, Illinois will participate in a six-round junior middleweight battle against Sanny Duversonne (11-3-2, 8 KOs) of Avon Park, Florida.

Yahu Blackwell (3-1, 2 KOs) of Baltimore, Maryland will initiate the night of action in a six-round heavyweight bout. Opponents for Sanchez and Blackwell will be announced shortly.

Ennis on fight with Lipinets: ‘It will be the start of me being a pay-per-view star’

Undefeated rising welterweight star Jaron “Boots” Ennis(26-0, 24 KOs) has been the talk of the boxing world. Ennis clearly has a lot of talent and a lot of ability, which will be tested on Saturday night when he faces former world champion Sergey Lipinets(16-1, 12 KOs) in a 12-round welterweight clash at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.(Showtime)

Despite Lipinets being a former world champion, the 23-year-old Ennis, who has a 16-fight knockout streak, is not concerned.

“I’m not worried about what Lipinets is talking about,” he said. “At the end of the day, he still has to get in the ring with me on Saturday night. And we’re going to see. They don’t know what I’m going to bring. I’m an all-around fighter. You don’t know how I’m going to fight. I can fight several different ways. He just needs to know he’s gotta be ready.”

According to Ennis, Lipinets is the type of opponent he’s been waiting to fight for a long time. 

“I’ve been trying to get these types of guys in the ring for about two-and-a-half years,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get former world champions and top ten guys. It just didn’t happen. I finally got my chance, and you guys are going to see a whole different animal. A whole different beast. It’s time for me to do my thing. I’m real excited.”

If he gets by Lipinets, which he believes he will, Ennis wants the big boys at 147 pounds.

“After I do my thing on Saturday night and I do it with a big statement, it’s only up from there,” he said. “On to bigger and better things. The elite fighters and the top three guys and then maybe a world title by the end of the year. This fight is just going to elevate my ranking, my superstardom, and it will be the start of me being a pay-per-view star.

Look, Ennis appears to have the goods, and if he looks spectacular on Saturday night, he might have a difficult time getting the big names in the ring, but he can worry about that later. Lipinets should test him, and we’ll see if Ennis can ace it.

Perrella expects to be a different fighter with Roy Jones Jr. in his corner

Hard-hitting southpaw Bryant “Goodfella” Perrella detailed his current training camp, including what he’s learned from his new trainer, all-time great Roy Jones Jr., and previewed his upcoming showdown against former world champion Tony “Superbad” Harrison before they square off in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes Saturday, April 17 from Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

“After my last fight I went on a bit of a sparring tour,” said Perrella, detailing the origins of how he linked up with his new trainer. “I ended up sparring with some of Roy’s guys in Pensacola, and afterward he let me stay to soak up some more knowledge. The rest is history. It was an easy decision to stay out there and grow under one of the best fighters ever. It’s like going off to a university. Every day I come in with my notepad and pen ready.”

Perrella will return to the ring after suffering a disappointing defeat in his last fight in February 2020 on FOX. Perrella led on all three scorecards heading into the final round against Abel Ramos, but was stopped in the waning moments of the round. For Perrella, he’s learned from the experience, and combined with his new trainer, believes it will all end up helping him long term.

“Everything that happened with the Ramos fight has been addressed and changed,” said Perrella. “That lost sent me on the journey that led me to this new weight class and training with Roy. Everything happens for a reason, as long as you look for that reason and have faith in it. That reason has been shown to me in so many ways and it’s a huge blessing.”

After spending a majority his career fighting at 147 pounds, Perrella will fight at the super welterweight limit for the first time since his third pro fight. For the six-foot, one-inch Perrella, he believes that moving up in weight full-time will open up different aspects of his game.

“The decision to move up in weight was because of how I felt in the Ramos fight,” said Perrella. “Making 147 pounds was taking a lot out of me. I performed well, but I know how I felt in that ring. I have so much more to give as a fighter. That was really only 30% of me. Making weight was coming at a cost and I no longer thought it was helping me.

“I know these fighters at 154 are bigger and stronger, but so am I. I’m going to be stronger than ever and I’m going to be ready to tangle. I probably should have been at this weight for a while. I was always a fighter moving down in weight. I still train hard like always, but by not having to worry as much about weight, I’m able to add big layers to my game. With all these changes, I even surprise myself some days with what I can do now. I’m super confident and I can’t wait to bring it all to the ring on fight night.”

Perrella not only finds motivation from returning in a primetime main event, but from having elite opposition in the former 154-pound champion Harrison. Perrella knows that Harrison presents a versatile and difficult task, but is more than up to the challenge in front of him.

“This is a huge opportunity to fight one of the top guys at this weight,” said Perrella. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. It definitely helps motivate me to have this kind of chance on this stage against a fighter like Tony.

“Tony has different layers and dimensions to his game. He can box with his jab and length, but he can also come forward with that high guard. At this level, it’s a game of adjustments. This is going to be an interesting clash of styles. There’s no other southpaw like me. He’s sharp and has experience, but I’m a whole different kind of animal than anything he’s seen.”

With Roy Jones Jr. in his corner, Perrella believes that he has the confidence to not only come out victorious on April 17, but to make this a memorable action fight for fans watching.

“I have a unique approach and now I have Roy passing down his knowledge from his experiences,” said Perrella. “It’s like a shortcut. I’m getting the knowledge handed right to me instead of going through it not knowing what to expect. This matchup is between two strong fighters and the fans can expect an action packed fight from start to finish.”

Khan warns Benn about the power of Samuel Vargas

Amir Khan has warned Conor Benn about the “dangerous” power of Samuel Vargas “which can cause any fighter problems” and says the 24-year-old is taking a “massive step-up” when he risks his unbeaten record and WBA Continental Title against the Canadian-Colombian warrior this Saturday, live on Sky Sports in the UK and on DAZN in the U.S. and more than 200 countries and territories.

Khan knows all about the threat posed by Vargas, having been floored when they shared the ring on a Matchroom bill in Birmingham back in September 2018. The Bolton fighter sent Vargas to the canvas in the second round, only to be dropped himself, and had to respond with another knockdown during a hard-fought points victory.

Vargas is no stranger to elite level competition after sharing the ring with numerous quality operators such as Errol Spence and Danny Garcia, and former World Champion Khan says ‘The Destroyer’ will have to be at his very best this weekend if he is to maintain his unblemished record.

“He can get in there and have a little tear up,” said Khan when speaking to Sky Sports. “He can throw a good shot as well. He’s got decent power. I think it’s a massive step-up for Conor Benn. I think Conor will have his hands full in that fight.

“Since obviously after he fought me, he has been in one or two difficult fights, Samuel Vargas, and he’s been beat after I beat him. But I still think he’s a dangerous operator.

“You have to stay focused throughout the whole fight, because this is boxing, one punch can change a fight. Samuel has that power, has decent skills, which can cause any fighter problems.”

Benn has spoken of his desire for a huge domestic clash should he get past Vargas on Saturday, and the son of British fight legend Nigel has picked out Khan and Kell Brook as potential opponents. Khan’s next move is still unknown, but the 34-year-old is backing Benn to enjoy further success at the highest level of the sport.

“He’s a great fighter,” stated Khan. “I’ve seen him fight a few times. If he sticks to his game, he can be a World Champion just like his father. His father was a great champion, and to have him as a mentor is a big thing as well. I think he will go far.

“As long as you believe in yourself, you work hard, you train hard. You always wake up every morning, knowing that one day, where your end goal is. Chase your dreams, chase your goals.”

Benn vs. Vargas tops a big night of action April 10, Watford’s Shannon Courtenay (6-1, 3 KOs) faces Australia’s Ebanie Bridges  (5-0, 2 KOs) for the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title, Hartlepool’s Savannah Marshall (9-0, 7 KOs) returns after her win over Hannah Rankin, Glasgow Bantamweight Kash Farooq (14-1, 6 KOs) challenges Alexander Espinoza (20-2-2) for the WBC International Silver Title, Takeley prospect John ‘The Gentleman’ Hedges (1-0) looks to build on his pro debut win last October and Glasgow Heavyweight Nick Campbell makes his professional debut.

Herring: ‘They called me every name in the book, but even with the cut, I wasn’t going to give up’

In the biggest fight of his career, Jamel Herring came up big and dominated and then stopped Carl Frampton in the sixth round to retain his WBO junior lightweight world title Saturday from Caesars Bluewaters Dubai.

The 35-year-old Herring (23-2, 11 KOs) dropped Frampton twice in the fight, the second one coming in the sixth round courtesy of a brutal uppercut. A follow-up assault prompted Frampton’s corner to throw in the towel, and with that, Herring gets his signature victory and his first stoppage win since May 2018.

“It was an emotional rollercoaster just to get here,” Herring said. “My last outing was not my best. People doubted me. They called me every name in the book, but even with the cut, I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to quit, and Carl Frampton is a tremendous champion. I’ve been a fan since day one. It’s tough to see any veteran of the sport go out like that.”

Frampton (28-3, 16 KOs), from Belfast, was attempting to become the first man from the island of Ireland to win world titles in three weight classes. Having fallen short of that goal, the 34-year-old elected to retire.

“I said before the fight I’d retire if I lost, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do,” Frampton said. “I want to just to dedicate my life to my family now. Boxing has been good to me. It’s also been bad to me, but the last few years with these boys have been the best years of my career. I just want to go home to my beautiful wife and kids, and that’s it.

“I just got beat by the better man. I really struggled to get inside on him.”

Will Frampton retire? Who knows. Boxers emotionally retire after fights all the time, so we’ll see what happens next. Regarding Herring, does he unify with WBC 130-pound champion Oscar Valdez, or will he battle WBO number one contender Shakur Stevenson? It should be interesting, but if you’re Herring, you want to unify, so Valdez, who is signed to Top Rank like Herring, and someone he called out after the fight, seems to be the obvious choice. 

Courtesy: D4G Promotions

Jones Jr.’s trainer:  De La Hoya should fight Jones Jr. in July

Former world champion Roy Jones Jr. (66-9, 47 KOs) has let it be known that he is willing to battle Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) in his return to the ring this summer on Triller.

The 48-year-old De La Hoya announced last week that he will return to the ring in July. No word if it’s a real fight or an exhibition.

“I spoke to Roy today, and he is feeling great and is willing to fight Oscar De La Hoya,” said Alfy Smith, Roy Jones Jr.’s trainer. “I know that they never got to fight based off weight classes before, but now would be the perfect time to give the fans a great fight that they’d thought they would get to see. De La Hoya has one of the greatest left hooks in boxing history; Roy has a devastating hook as well; we shall see who will be the real “Captain Hook.”

The 52-year-old Jones Jr. returned on November 28th against Mike Tyson in an exhibition bout, which did well on pay-per-view. The fight ended in a draw. Now, Jones Jr. wants another legend.

“The fans all over the world love Roy Jones Jr and Oscar De La Hoya,” continued Smith. “This is a great fight, an exciting matchup where you would only dream it up in a video game, now we have a chance to make it a reality. Roy is still active and training every day, he’s in tremendous shape, and his speed is still crisp.”

The weight difference would make this fight hard to put together, but I guess anything is possible.

Ennis: ‘I don’t think I have my man strength yet’

Undefeated welterweight Jaron “Boots” Ennis will look to cement his status as a rising star in the welterweight division when he takes on rugged former world champion Sergey Lipinets in a 12-round battle that headlines action live on SHOWTIME Saturday, April 10 from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The 23-year-old Ennis will be facing the toughest competition of his career in Lipinets, as he enters the ring in his first SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING main event. Representing the fighting city of Philadelphia, Ennis has used sublime boxing skills and power in both hands to make his claim as the city’s next great champion.

Ennis put together a 16-fight knockout streak that included becoming the first person to stop Juan Carlos Abreu when he blasted out the longtime challenger in the sixth round in August 2020. Ennis was unable to extend that streak in December 2020, when his fight against Chris van Heerden was declared a no-contest after round one due to a clash of heads causing a severe cut on Van Heerden’s forehead.

Trained by his father Bozy Ennis, Ennis shared his thoughts on training camp, Lipinets and more below:

On headlining his first Showtime Championship Boxing card: 

“It has made my schedule a little crazier. Being in the main event on SHOWTIME brings more attention, but I like it. I like being in the spotlight. I like to shine, so it’s nothing new to me. Now it’s fight time. I am locked in and ready to rock and roll.”

On training camp:

“We always do four-minute rounds in camp. I’ve been doing that since I was a baby. That’s another reason why I don’t sit down when I fight, because I am so used to the four-minute rounds. The three-minute rounds go by real fast on fight night. One thing we added this camp was the underwater treadmill work.”

On his final preparations: 

“The week before the fight, we are winding it down and sharpening up. It’s been a great training camp. I have been getting better and better each and every day, and I can’t wait to perform next Saturday.”

On facing his first former world champion: 

“He’s a good fighter, but it doesn’t mean anything to me. It’s just another day in the office. He’s a regular person just like anyone else.”

On Sergey calling him a ‘typical Philly fighter’:

“I guess he knows I’m tough, gritty and I’m ready to rumble. I’m coming there to take a win home to Philadelphia and look good doing it, by any means.”

On his knockout power:

“I don’t think I have my man strength yet. I feel it will be one or two more years until I fully have my man strength. The crazy part is, I feel like in a fight, I still haven’t thrown a real power shot and really sat down on a punch yet. Everything I’ve been knocking guys out with has been all natural strength.”

On how he views his knockout streak:

“Some people might look at a knockout on April 10 as the 17th consecutive knockout, some might view it as the start of a new knockout streak. For me, I don’t really care as long as I come out victorious. That’s all that matters to me. I’m not looking for a knockout but I’m going to take it if it comes.”

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Devin Haney on Linares: ‘Best fighter I will have ever faced in my career’

Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney will defend his WBC World Lightweight title against Jorge Linares at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Saturday, May 29. The event will air live worldwide on DAZN in association with Devin Haney Promotions and Golden Boy Promotions.

The spotlight will be on Haney (25-0, 18 KOs) over Memorial Day Weekend as he puts his belt on the line for the third time, this time taking on Linares who will provide the sternest test of the champion’s rich talents. The 22-year-old star will box in his Las Vegas backyard for just the third time in his career and first time since his sixth pro outing in May 2016.

‘The Dream’ was elevated to World champion after a destructive KO win over Zaur Abdullaev in New York in September 2019. He went on to defend his belt twice with comfortable distance wins over Alfredo Santiago in November 2019 and Yuriorkis Gamboa the following November.

“I’m very excited to be making my third World title defense against a great fighter like Jorge Linares, who will be the best fighter I will have ever faced in my career,” said Haney. “He’s a three-division World champion who has fought at the championship level for the past thirteen years.

“I grew up watching Linares and the fact that this fight is happening in Las Vegas is incredible. Boxing fans around the world are eager to see me step up in competition which is great, and I know Linares is coming to fight. I’m ready to give the fans a spectacular performance. The better competition brings the best out of me. Against Linares, I’m going to show the world why I’m the king of the Lightweight division.”

Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) is looking to become a two-time holder of the WBC strap that he won in December 2014 against Javier Prieto. The fight was a catalyst to a four-year run where the Venezuelan ace beat Kevin Mitchell, Ivan Cano, Anthony Crolla twice, Luke Campbell and Mercito Gesta as Lightweight king before he faced defeat in a to-and-fro clash with Vasiliy Lomachenko in New York in May 2018.

The 35-year-old takes on Haney in his 15th World title battle and 53rd bout in over 18 years as a pro. Linares believes there are plenty more chapters to be written in his storied career.

Linares said, “This is my moment to show the world that I still have a lot more to give at 135 pounds. Devin Haney is a talented and quick-handed young man, but when I was his age, I had already become a world champion by snatching the title away from a real World champion like Oscar Larios. And now you can imagine how much more experience I have now at an age where I feel stronger and better than ever.”

“Without a doubt it will be a tremendous fight, but I will demonstrate that Haney made a big mistake by accepting a challenge that he is still not ready to overcome.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn said, “This is the breakout fight that will show the world that Devin Haney is the best lightweight on the planet. Jorge Linares is a tremendous fighter, a three-weight king that has speed, power and plenty of experience.”

“I’ve represented four fighters who have attempted to beat Jorge and failed, but this time I believe we have the future king of the division in Devin, and this is his moment. May 29, the bright lights of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, this is the moment.”

Chavez Jr.: ‘I will be ready to face anyone in the Light Heavyweight division starting with Silva’

The Legend Anderson Silva has agreed to fight Julio Chavez Jr. in “Tribute to the Kings” in a boxing match on Saturday, June 19th, which will be on Pay Per View in North America.

Anderson Silva, considered by many to be the greatest MMA fighter of all time, will take on former WBC Middleweight Champion of the world Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in a boxing match on June 19th at Jalisco Stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico. Silva of Curitiba Brazil was the longest reigning middleweight Champion for the UFC and compiled a record of 34 victories with 11 losses and 23 stunning knockouts. His boxing record is 13 – 1. Chavez, Jr. has a record of 52-5-1 with 34 knockouts.

“When I look back at my journey, I see that nothing has been in vain! 

“I am extremely happy for the opportunity to test my boxing skills with Julio César Chávez Jr. I train continuously, always am striving for resilience and to overcome obstacles. Fighting is my everlasting breath,” said Silva.

“I have rededicated myself to the sport I love and I will be ready to face anyone in the Light Heavyweight division starting with Silva. I will be prepared to be victorious on June 19th,” said Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

This Massive Event, “Tribute to The Kings,” will be live on Pay-Per-View and will also feature a special Exhibition bout that will see Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. make his final ring appearance against Hector Camacho Jr. Camacho will be honoring the legacy of his late Hall of Fame father.

Whyte: ‘Anybody on the planet that gets hit with that left hook, they’re going down’

Dillian Whyte(28-2, 19 KOs) flattened Alexander Povetkin(36-3-1) with a huge left hook to drop and earn a fourth-round TKO in their rematch at the Europa Point Sports Complex in Gibraltar on Saturday.

The rematch was originally scheduled to take place in November, but Povetkin tested positive for COVID-19.

The 32-year-old Whyte had Povetkin on the brink of a knockout throughout their second heavyweight battle and closed the show dramatically, returning the favor after he lost to the Russian last year.

“I was so close, and then one lapse in concentration, and I made a mistake,” Whyte said. “Tonight, I was like ‘yo’, I’m looking to beat some a** tonight. I was trying to get it done in the first round, but then I had to relax. Anybody on the planet that gets hit with that left hook they’re going down. Some of them might get up, but most will stay down. He was kind of badly hurt. Now I feel bad. I want him to go home to his family healthy. 

“One loss, two-loss so what. It was a good learning fight for me because I had to think in there. I was rushing him, but I had to think also. He’s still very heavy-handed, and he’s still very good. I’m going to spend some time with my family and just relax. I’ll probably call Eddie tomorrow and ask him what we’re doing next. I want to make the most of it now and retire good and healthy.”

Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn would like to see him fight former WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder.

“For me, we called for the Deontay Wilder fight for a long, long time,” Hearn said. “He actually DMed and said I’ll never give you that fight. Now he’s calling for that fight. To me, that’s a stadium fight. I’d like to get him back out again quickly in the summer. But the goal has always been to get Dillian Whyte a world title.”

It should be interesting to see what’s next for Whyte, who regained the WBC interim title with the victory over the 41-year-old Povetkin. A fight with Wilder would be fun. He’s also in line to face WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, but he’ll be fighting unified champion Anthony Joshua next, so who knows what will happen with Whyte, but he’s sure happy to get his hand raised once again. 

Photo: Mark Robinson/Dave Thompson/Matchroom Boxing