Ramirez fight-worn outfit from Hooker bout garners $10,000 donation to benefit family of Dadashev

WBC/WBO super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez wanted to do something to benefit the family of Maxim “Mad Max” Dadashev, who passed away July 23 due to injuries sustained in the ring.

After he defeated Maurice Hooker in a super lightweight unification bout July 27 in Arlington, Texas, Ramirez and his adviser, Rick Mirigian, offered his fight-worn gloves, shoes and trunks to the highest bidder. The board of The Big Fresno Fair, the largest annual event in California’s Central Valley, stepped up with a $10,000 bid.

One hundred percent of the proceeds were sent to the Dadashev family, and the items are currently on display alongside a life-size statue of Ramirez at the Fresno County Historical Museum.

“I’m honored and humbled to have been able to help out Maxim’s family,” Ramirez said. “Every fighter puts their life on the line in the ring. My prayers to his family.”

“These items are incredibly important to our museum, especially with the recent addition of the life-size statue honoring Jose,” said John C. Alkire, CEO, The Big Fresno Fair. “When we knew this was going to support a family during a time of loss, we were all in.”

“Maxim fought in Fresno once as a pro, and Jose and I just wanted to do something to show our support for his family,” Mirigian said.

“From the bottom of our hearts, and on behalf of Maxim’s family and our entire team, we would like to thank Jose, his team and The Big Fresno Fair for their generosity,” said Egis Klimas, Dadashev’s manager.

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Undercard announced for Canelo-Kovalev

The Canelo vs. Kovalev undercard will be brimming with action as it features the returns of Ryan Garcia, Bakhram Murtazaliev, Seniesa Estrada, Marlen Esparza and many others. The event will take place Saturday, Nov. 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively as one of the most anticipated events this fight season on DAZN.

“We have put a lot of thought into this long-awaited night, and we’re eager to deliver one of the best undercards of the year,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “This event will feature some of our brightest talents taking on the toughest fights of their careers. With Ryan Garcia, we have a huge star in the making, but he’ll need to get past a tough, hard-hitting contender in Romero Duno to secure his path for a world title. We also have Seniesa Estrada and Marlen Esparza, who will look to final end their rivalry in a fight for the Interim WBA Flyweight Title. So, whether in person or live on DAZN, a new chapter in boxing’s history will unfold on November 2.”

As announced previously, rising superstar Ryan Garcia (18-0, 15 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will look to unify the vacant WBC Silver Lightweight Championship with NABO Lightweight Champion “Ruthless” Romero Duno (21-1, 16 KOs) of Cotabato City, Philippines in the 12-round co-main event to Canelo vs. Kovalev. This will be a fight between two of the hardest-hitting lightweights in the Golden Boy stable.

“This is a big moment for me,” said Ryan Garcia. “These opportunities don’t come often. It’s my chance to show what I’m capable of on the biggest stage in boxing. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip. I’m fighting against Romero Duno, the opponent I wanted since the beginning, so I’m going show that I’ve reached another level on Nov. 2.”

“This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for,” said Romero Duno. “I’m so excited to be part of a such a big night as the co-main event of Canelo vs. Kovalev. This fight has been building up for some time. I’ve had my eye on Ryan Garcia for a while now.  I promise to do everything it takes to beat him on Nov. 2 and take home a big victory for the Philippines!”

Undefeated Russian prospect Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0, 13 KOs) will face the biggest test of his young career in a 12-round elimination bout with Jorge Fortea (20-1-1, 6 KOs) of Valencia, Spain for the mandatory position in the IBF Junior Middleweight Division. Murtazaliev was originally supposed to fight Jeison Rosario on September 21 for the #1 position but Rosario pulled out due to an injury. This exciting bout will be co-promoted by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Sampson Boxing.

“I have been waiting a long time for this opportunity. I am excited for my first fight with my new trainer, Virgil Hunter. We will be ready on November 2nd to face Fortea and become mandatory challenger. Thank you to my team Main Events, Krusher Promotions, Kathy Duva, Sergey Kovalev, my manager, Egis Klimas and Virgil Hunter for making my dream a reality.”

According to Fortea, “It’s a moment I have been waiting for whole my life, to be part of the undercard of Canelo vs Kovalev for my US debut is like a dream. I trained 15 years for this. I want to thank Sampson Lewkowicz for making it true, Main Events and Golden Boy for hosting the eliminator. Murtazaliev is indeed a strong and dangerous boxer but I will be ready for that and my skills will prevail. I won’t waste the opportunity to fight for a world title”

“Bakhram is a terrific fighter and we are so pleased to be able to give him this great opportunity on such an auspicious night,” said Main Events’ CEO Kathy Duva. “With any luck, Main Events and Krusher promotions will have another world champion soon.”

Two of the most exciting and popular female boxers in the sport today will finally settle their heated rivalry as Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (17-0, 7 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. and Marlen Esparza (7-0, 1 KOs) of Houston, Texas battle for the vacant Interim WBA Flyweight Title. This clash has been building up for over two years as both fighters have been exchanging words over social media and various interviews.

“Thank you to my promoter Golden Boy, especially Roberto Diaz for making this fight possible,” said Seniesa Estrada. “I’m happy to give the fans the fight they’ve been wanting to see. I’m looking forward to representing women’s boxing in a positive way. I’m going to put on a great show and demonstrate my skills, showing things that people have not yet seen from me. Thank you to all the people who continue to support me.”

“My team and I have been pushing for this fight,” said Marlen Esparza. “I know this is what the fans want. Now I’m forcing her to back up everything she has ever said. She knows it’s going to be a long night for her.”

Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (12-0-1, 8 KOs), a fan-favorite native of Philadelphia, will fight for the vacant NABF Welterweight Title against Carlos Ortiz (11-4, 11 KOs) of Torreon, Mexico. Cobbs is an exciting, unconventional fighter who has taken the undefeated records of Ferdinand “Lucky Boy” Kerobyan and most recently against Steve “Manos de Oro” Villalobos.

Rising 17-year-old prospect Tristan Kalkreuth (2-0, 2 KOs) of Duncanville, Texas will return in a four-round cruiserweight fight.

Meiirim Nursultanov (12-0, 8 KOs) of Merki, Kazakhstan will fight in a 10-roumd middleweight battle against Cristian Olivas (16-5, 13 KOs) of San Ysidro, California for the WBC – USNBC Middleweight Title. Nursultanov is a top prospect in the hot middleweight division and is current ranked #10 in the IBF. Olivas hits hard with power in both hands and has never been stopped. This should be an explosive match-up.

Evan Holyfield, the son of legendary Hall of Famer Evander “Real Deal” Holyfield, will make his much-anticipated professional debut in a four-round junior middleweight fight against Nick Winstead (0-1) of Abita Springs, La.

Zimmer on Cook: ‘There’s so many ‘wow’ plays when he has the ball in his hands’

After five weeks, Vikings RB Dalvin Cook is probably the team’s MVP. Cook is the second leading rusher(542 yards, five rushing touchdowns) in the NFL, and he has four one-hundred yard rushing games this season. 

On Sunday, the third-year back had a big performance against the Giants. Cook had 218 yards of total offense, which included 132 yards rushing. Cook has made a lot of big plays this season, including runs of 75 and 41 yards. With Kirk Cousins’ struggles this season, Cook has helped keep the Vikings’ offense going in 2019.

According to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, when Cook has the ball, great things can happen.

“When he has the ball in his hand, he’s very dangerous as you can see on that tape,” Zimmer said on Monday. “There’s so many ‘wow’ plays when he has the ball in his hands that he can do so much damage. When we get the passing game going like we did yesterday and him running, I think it’s a good mixture.”

On Sunday, Cousins, who threw for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings 28-10 victory over the Giants, played like the guy Minnesota signed to a three-year, $84 million deal in 2018. The Vikings have the running game to be successful with Cook and have the defense that can take this team very far, but if Cousins is not consistent, it won’t happen for the Vikings this season.

Jones on playing Pats: ‘I think we’ll be prepared and confident going in’

As the Giants(2-3) prepare to travel to Foxboro to battle the world champion and undefeated New England Patriots(5-0) on Thursday night, they know that not many are giving them a chance, including Vegas, who has the Patriots as 16.5-point favorites.

While the Patriots are an excellent football team, Giants WR Golden Tate said the team wouldn’t be intimidated by New England.

“I don’t think we have a locker room full of fanboys,” Tate said on Monday. “I think we understand we’re all in the NFL; we’re going out there to do a job. We’ve all played in big games, I think, at some point, and it’s a big one because it’s the next one on our schedule, but I don’t think we need to put too much pressure on ourselves.

“I think we need to keep our emotions in check—I don’t think we want to get too high, we don’t want to get too low—just live in the moment, enjoy having the opportunity to go play in a very hostile environment against a great team, and go out there and shock the world. It’s as simple as that.”

Over the years, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has been hard on rookie quarterbacks, and the Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones is a guy who has had a lot of success this season, but playing the vaunted Patriots’ defense won’t be easy for Jones.

“I think they’ve been a good defense for a long time,” Jones said. “I don’t know—probably rookies and all other quarterbacks—they’ve been a good defense, they can play well against anyone. I think like I said, we’re excited for the opportunity, we’re excited for the challenge, and I think we’ll be prepared and confident going in.”

New England has the number one ranked defense in football and is only allowing 6.8 points per game, which means that Jones could have a rough night.

The Giants probably won’t win on Thursday; however, this is the NFL, and on any given Sunday or in this case, Thursday, anything can happen. But, no matter what happens, these are the games that will help Jones’ development as a quarterback in the NFL.

Marrone on Minshew: ‘You feel like you always have a chance when he’s in there’

On Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars were fighting from behind for most of the game against the Panthers, and after tying the score at seven in the first quarter, the Jaguars would fall behind 21-7 in the second quarter. Jacksonville was able to cut the lead to one in the fourth quarter, and late in the game, the Jaguars had a chance to tie the score, but Panthers LB Luke Kuechly knocked down Jaguars rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew’s Hail Mary pass as Jacksonville(2-3) would lose on the road to Carolina(3-2) 34-27.

Coming into Sunday’s action, Minshew was 2-1 as a starter, and going into that final drive, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was confident about his team’s chances to tie the game because of Minshew.

“You feel like you always have a chance when he’s in there,” Marrone said about Minshew after the game. “You feel like he’s going to go ahead and he’s going to make a play. I think sometimes you see him running around and moving around and ducking and going and eventually, that stuff – in this league – is going to catch up to you where they’re going to knock the ball out.

“Sometimes you’re going to make plays; sometimes you’re not. We just appreciate that the guy’s out there giving us everything he has, and that’s all you can ask for from a player.”

Jacksonville got another solid game out of Minshew, who threw for a career-high 374 yards and two touchdowns. But, the sixth-round pick in this year’s draft did lose three fumbles(two which led to points) on Sunday, which he knows can’t happen moving forward.

“Played well for the most part, but had three turnovers,” Minshew said. “Those are all on me, that can’t happen. When stuff like that happens, sometimes you don’t give yourself a chance to win. That’s what I feel like we did, what I did.”

Minshew is a rookie, and with rookie quarterbacks, you are going to have games like this. Hopefully for the Jaguars, Minshew learns from his mistakes and comes back strong next week against the Saints.

Thielen: ‘8 (Kirk Cousins) doesn’t care what people say about him’

After losing to the Bears last Sunday, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins had a very rough week. He was criticized by WR Adam Thielen, which led to Cousins apologizing to Thielen. However, that was then; this is now.

Led by Cousins(22-27, 306 yards, two touchdowns), Thielen(seven catches, 130 yards, two touchdowns), and Dalvin Cook(218 total yards, including 132 yards rushing), the Vikings dominated the Giants 28-10 at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Cousins did his job, and more importantly, the Vikings move to 3-2 and get their first road win of the season.

“My preparation was the exact same, this week and last week,” Cousins said after the game. “I have a rhythm and routine that I’ve stuck with for five years now as a starter. I go about my business. I go to work. I keep my head down. The results aren’t always predictable.

“We don’t always know what’s going to happen. We could play a really good defense, and sometimes they get you. You come back to work, and you keep going. What you don’t do is quit. You don’t stop. You keep going. So, that’s what I’m going to do. This league will test you. It tests me every week. I’m glad we got a win this time. “

Cousins went over 300 yards passing for the first time this season and had a passer rating of 138.6, and according to Thielen, no matter what goes against Cousins, he just keeps pushing.

“8 (Kirk Cousins) doesn’t care what people say about him, he just goes to work, he grinds, he wants to be the best player that he can possibly be, and he wants to help his team win games,” Thielen said. “At the end of the day, that’s why we’re here to help this team win games. Do whatever we have to do, whatever the coaches ask us to do to help the team win.”

Cousins can breathe easy this week, but as we know the NFL, things can change quickly.

GGG: ‘I still want Canelo’

Gennadiy Golovkin is back in the World champion ranks after beating Sergiy Derevyanchenko in a thrilling contest for the IBF and IBO Middleweight titles at Madison Square Garden in New York, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Golovkin and Derevyanchenko shared 12 memorable rounds in a fight of the year contender in the mecca of boxing in the Big Apple, with Golovkin getting the nod 114-113 and 115-112 (twice) non-stop action from the opening bell.

Derevyanchenko entered the ring in his second ever World title fight and like in his first at MSG against Daniel Jacobs, as a right hook to the top of the head put him on the canvas. A bad cut over the right eye of Derevyanchenko in the second round was further cause concern for the Russian – but the blood only spurred him on and he started the third round at a ferocious speed, sparking a round of fireworks where both men had their moments.

Derevyanchenko began to invest in the body and appeared to hurt Golovkin on more than one occasion in the middle rounds, and the crowd were on their feet at the end of the seventh round as the pair traded heavy blows up and downstairs, with the intense pace, workrate and ferocity of shots from both continuing into the business end of the fight.

Derevyanchenko started the tenth round with an all-out assault on GGG in what will surely be one of the rounds of the year, and as they entered the championship rounds, Golovkin’s iron chin was being tested by Derevyanchenko, who continued to bely the effects of his severe cut with skill and grit in equal measure.

The final round began with an electrified crowd on their feet and World titles in the balance, both men poured every last ounce of themselves into the remaining three minutes, ending the battle throwing big shots.

“I want to say thank you so much to my opponent,” said Golovkin. “This was a great job. I respect his team. I told you, he’s a very tough guy. This is huge experience for me. Right now, I understand I need more. Focus is boxing. This was a tough fight. I need a little bit more. I need to still get stronger in my camp. Just more serious. I need to work hard. I need a little bit more focus.

“Right now it’s bad day for me, it’s a huge day for Sergiy, his team. This is huge experience for me. Right now I know what I need exactly. I lost a little bit of focus. Sergiy was ready, I really respect him. He showed me such a big heart. I told him, Sergiy, this is best fight for me. It’s a huge experience. It’s maximum destroy. I just respect his team.”

“Rematch? Absolutely. Big fight for DAZN, for the people, of course I’m ready. I’m a boxer, I’m ready for anything.

“Absolutely, I still want Canelo, I’m just open to anybody. There are so many great champions here. Sergiy, a lot of guys. Everything is ready, just call Canelo. If he says yes, let’s do it.”

“I feel great. Thank you so much to all my fans, everybody who came to MSG. Thank you to my team. I want to thank everybody,. It was a great night of boxing.”

The cut really changed the fight. I couldn’t see at times. And he was targeting the eye. But no excuses, it is what it is, I was trying my best.”

“When I started moving, I felt like I was giving him room and I was getting hit with those shots that he threw and that’s why I started taking the fight to him and getting closer and not giving him room to maneuver.”

“He hit me in the back of the head. He hit me behind the ear. I didn’t really see the punch but it didn’t really affect me that much. I got up and I wasn’t really hurt so I continued to fight, so it was nothing, nothing too bad.”

“I would like the rematch if it’s possible, I’m ready.”

Photo: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

Andrade on GGG: ‘He’d be a great guy to put on the resume’

Demetrius Andrade will be a more than interested spectator as the WBO Middleweight champion sits ringside tonight as Gennadiy Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko clash for the vacant IBF and IBO titles at Madison Square Garden live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) is set to defend his WBO crown in December before hunting a blockbuster clash in 2020 to back up his conviction of being the best 160lber on the planet, and both GGG and Canelo Alvarez are on ‘Boo Boo’s’ radar for that.

The Rhode Island star expects a tough fight tonight though, with Kazakh king Golovkin aiming to regain the IBF and IBO crowns while Derevyanchenko full of belief in his second World title fight.

“Fighting either one of them would be cool,” said Andrade. “Sergiy is a durable guy, his only loss is to Danny Jacobs, one of the best out there, and we’re going to see what is left in GGGs tank tonight. Has he gotten a little older or not? We can’t tell until tonight, and it’s a good step up for Sergiy to see his skill level. Either way, I would get in the ring with the winner as they are both stand out guys.

“GGG is the more popular guy and I want to go out and beat the popular guy. He may not be the most skillful out there. He’s put in the work, they’ve moved him well and he’d be a great guy to put on the resume, even if he loses – it’s still GGG!

“I’m not frustrated, I’m working on my own legacy. I want to stay active, fight who we can fight, fight my mandatories and do what we have to do so there’s no more excuses for why people won’t fight me. There’s a small window of names out there now and sooner or later, we’re going to have to fight. So how can I be frustrated when I am a World champion again, fighting four times in a year, I’m getting paid, I’m chilling, my family is good – there’s nothing to be frustrated about. It would still be an honor to get in with Canelo, with GGG, they’ve done a lot for the sport and so am I. It’s going to happen, me and Canelo are in the same age group.

“When it comes to skills, I do believe I’m the most talented fighter out there. So, people don’t want their business destroyed by fighting me. But at the end of the day, you are fighting one of the best. You’re going to say that you fought Demetrius Andrade – Olympic champion, two-weight World champion, what is there to be upset about. Everyone is fighting around the same time, GGG-Derevyanchenko tonight, Canelo in November, I’ll be fighting in December, we can fight in May or June, so it’s all lining up and all I have to do is keep winning and looking good.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Shurmur on Barkley: ‘I think he’s making good progress, and when he’s ready to play, we’ll put him out there’

Saquon Barkley will not make an unlikely return to action two weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain. The Giants today declared their star running back out of their home game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

“After consulting with our doctors, we decided that he’s not going to play this week,” coach Pat Shurmur said.

Barkley, who was injured in the victory at Tampa Bay on Sept. 22, returned to practice today on a limited basis. He had spent the previous two days rehabilitating with the team’s athletic training staff.

“He took some reps today,” Shurmur said. “We deemed him out this week, and that’s how we’re going to play it. I understand everybody’s interested in the situation. You (reporters) got to see him moving around out here with your own eyes. But we decided that he’s not playing this week.”

Asked if he’s encouraged by what he’s seen this week from Barkley, Shurmur said. “I’m encouraged because he’s going through his rehab process and he’s making an effort to come back quickly.

“I think he’s making good progress, and when he’s ready to play, we’ll put him out there.”

The next chance for that will be Thursday night when the Giants visit the New England Patriots.

Without Barkley, the Giants’ running game will again be in the capable of hands – or legs – of third-year pro Wayne Gallman and rookie Jon Hilliman, who made his NFL debut last week vs. Washington.

Barkley is constantly encouraging both of them. Gallman and Hilliman understand they aren’t expected to perfectly mimic Barkley, but must give the team the level of production needed to win a game. And it is in that context that they are determined to continue capitalizing on their opportunity.

“We talk about that all of the time,” Hilliman said. “It’s key that you’re not trying to be someone you’re not. Saquon Barkley is a once-in-a-generation back. He’s somebody that’s phenomenal. He does phenomenal things in his way. Wayne is a phenomenal back in his way. I’m a phenomenal back in my way. That’s three different ways. We all believe that we can get it done, just in a different way. That’s just what we speak about all of the time. Even with (Eli) Penny, we speak about it all the time. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Just play to the best of your capability and be who you are and believe that you can get it done your way.

“We’re not going to drop the standard. The standard is what it is in our room, regardless of who carries the ball. We’re not dropping the standard for anybody, so that’s kind of how we feel about that.”

As his backfield mate for two years, Gallman knows better than anyone how special Barkley is. But his job now is to produce enough that the Rookie of the Year’s absence is not a factor in the game’s outcome.

“Football is a team game,” Gallman said. “Whether you have a two-back rotation, one-back rotation where it’s simply just the main guy and someone is filling in the role like I have, or a three-back rotation, it doesn’t matter. You just have to keep the main thing the main thing, prepare, and just get ready to play and be a team player. It’s not about being an individual. You have to throw all of those feelings out the door and you just have to focus on what you have and what you can control.”

Gallman was one of the offensive stars of the Giants’ victory against the Redskins last week. He scored their two offensive touchdowns, one apiece rushing and receiving, ran for 63 yards and caught six passes for another 55 yards. His 118 yards from scrimmage were a career high.

“Just being able to get that rhythm and you start to really feel it, I haven’t had that in a long time,” Gallman said. “Just being out there and being able to have that moving forward, I think preparation for me is not changing, but just a little different in a way.”

Hilliman rushed for 33 yards on 10 carries. Like Gallman, he lost a fumble in the game. But Hilliman’s occurred at the Washington two-yard line. And that stuck with him more than his 33 yards after his first NFL appearance.

“I’m a perfectionist,” he said. “It was an easy fix. Just put two hands on the ball. I got overexcited. I saw the end zone. Rookie mistake. Obviously, I just knew what I had to do and just did it. But besides that, don’t change anything. Run as hard as you can, hit the holes, be physical in protection, be smart on your routes, communicate and stuff like that. Obviously, if I get that opportunity this week, I have to go punch it in.”

That’s the attitude the entire backfield will maintain as long as Barkley is sidelined.

*The other three players on the Giants’ final injury report are all linebackers. Alec Ogletree (hamstring) and Tae Davis (concussion) are out, and Lorenzo Carter (neck) is questionable.

Without Ogletree and Davis and rookie Ryan Connelly, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing his ACL vs. Washington, the Giants’ inside linebackers will be David Mayo, Nate Stupar and rookie free agent Josiah Tauaefa, who was signed off the practice squad this week.

“We’re very confident in the guys that we’re going to put out there,” Shurmur said.

Asked why, he said, “Because they’re good football players, and they’re pro football players. We’ve liked what we’ve seen from what they’ve done in practice and for some of them, what they’ve done in games.”

Courtesy: Michael Eisen