Sanchez-Negron, Russell-Rodriguez added to Wilder-Helenius undercard

Two exciting high-stakes showdowns have been added to the jam-packed four-fight FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View event headlined by the return of former WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder as he takes top-rated Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius on Saturday, October 15 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The telecast will feature undefeated Cuban sensation Frank Sanchez battling Puerto Rican Olympian Carlos Negron in a 10-round heavyweight duel, while top bantamweight contenders Gary Antonio Russell and Emmanuel Rodriguez meet in a 12-round rematch opening the pay-per-view telecast at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

In the co-feature, former IBF Super Middleweight Champion Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant faces two-time WBC Super Middleweight Champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell in a WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator between 168-pound rivals.

An amateur standout from his native Cuba, Sánchez (20-0, 13 KOs) now trains in California with renowned trainer Joe Goossen. The 30-year-old has remained busy on his rise up the heavyweight rankings, scoring three victories in 2020 as he earned a unanimous decision over Joey Dawejko and stopped Brian Howard and Julian Fernandez. Sanchez caught boxing fan’s attention when he scored a career-best win in October 2021, dropping the previously unbeaten Efe Ajagba on his way to a unanimous decision victory. Sanchez kicked off the New Year with a 10-round decision triumph against Christian Hammer in his last fight.

“Carlos Negron is a dangerous opponent, but I will be ready for whatever he brings. I intend to look for a knockout against Negron to demonstrate to boxing fans that I am both a boxer and a puncher,’’ said Sanchez. “I feel I am the best heavyweight in the world and October 15 will bring me one step closer to the very important goal of becoming mandatory contender for a world title opportunity in 2023.’’

The 2008 Puerto Rican Olympian Negron (25-3, 20 KOs) was scheduled to meet Sanchez on January 1 but had to withdraw from the fight after testing positive for COVID-19. Negron rides a five-fight winning streak into the match against Sanchez, including four wins by stoppage. The 34-year-old bounced back from defeats to Dominic Breazeale and Brian Howard to put together his win streak, which includes a March 2020 knockout over previously unbeaten Robert Alfonso. He scored an eight round unanimous decision over Scott Alexander in his last fight in May 2021. Negron has fought professionally since 2009 and now lives in Miami where he trains alongside Luis Ortiz.

“I know Frank, and I’ve never been a fighter to call any other fighters out or speak of any other boxer, so I don’t know why he asked to fight me,” said Negron. “When my coach told me he wanted to fight me, I didn’t take it personally. I took it like a challenge. It gave me incredible motivation, and now I want to fight him. Let’s see what I can do against good competition. I have always done my best against better opponents. So come October 15, let’s see who’s the better man.”

The 29-year-old Russell (19-0, 12 KOs) originally met the former champion Rodriguez in August 2021, but an accidental clash of heads ended the fight as a no-contest before the first round was completed. The middle brother between WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Jr. and 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne, Russell returned to the ring after the Rodriguez bout to earn a decision victory over Alexis Santiago in November 2021. Fighting out of Capitol Heights, Maryland, Russell also owns a decision victory over former world champion Juan Carlos Payano in December 2020.

“I’m glad that Emmanuel and I will get our chance to have a redo on October 15,” said Russell. “Nothing has changed as far as my objective. I’m coming into the ring at Barclays Center to do whatever I have to do in order to finish this fight victorious.”

Fighting out of Manati, Puerto Rico, Rodríguez (20-2, 13 KOs) has also added a victory since his first clash with Russell, knocking out Roberto Sanchez Cantu in March. The 30-year-old won the IBF Bantamweight World Title with a unanimous decision victory over Paul Butler in 2018 and successfully defended it against then-unbeaten Jason Moloney. Rodríguez went on to lose the title to unbeaten champion Naoya Inoue in their May 2019 title bout.

“I’ve been training in Mexico for a long time and away from my family so that I can focus on this fight that will define my future,” said Rodriguez. “Russell is a good fighter who has been avoided throughout his career, but I’ve come to show that I’m on another level. I will win hands down and be back on top of the bantamweight division. On October 15, he’s going to realize that he’s not on my level.”

Canelo-Plant undercard announced

Three high-stakes matchups featuring former world champions, top contenders and rising future champions have been added to the highly anticipated SHOWTIME PPV event headlined by Canelo Álvarez and Caleb “Sweethands” Plant battling for the undisputed super middleweight championship on Saturday, November 6 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Two-time super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell will square off against exciting contender “Madman” Marcos Hernández in the 10-round co-main event, while unbeaten former super bantamweight world champion Rey Vargas returns to action against Mexico’s Leonardo Báez in a 10-round attraction. Kicking off the pay-per-view at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, super lightweight contenders Elvis Rodríguez and Juan Pablo Romero will duel in a 10-round showdown.

Dirrell (33-2-2, 24 KOs), a two-time WBC 168-pound world champion, won the title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Sakio Bika in 2014. The native of Flint, Mich. dropped the title the next year to Badou Jack by majority decision, before putting together six straight victories to get back into position to fight for the championship again. He captured the title for a second time in 2019, winning a technical decision victory over Avni Yildirim. Most recently, Dirrell battled Kyrone Davis to a draw in February, in his first fight since a title fight defeat against David Benavidez in September 2019.

“I’m very ready for this fight,” said Dirrell. “I know Hernandez is a tough competitor and I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fans there since we’re fighting on the same card as Canelo. But I know I’m ready to fight on the big stage and on a card of this magnitude. I fought on the Errol Spence Jr. vs. Shawn Porter undercard and I think this fight night is going to have a similar feel. I’m just prepared to do whatever I have to do to get the victory. The fans should expect fireworks. I’m not shying away from the action and hopefully I can get the winner of Canelo vs. Plant if I perform well on November 6.”

Fighting out of Fresno, Calif., Hernández (15-4-2, 3 KOs) has faced excellent competition in his career, battling a litany of tough fellow rising contenders. The 28-year-old most recently scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over previously unbeaten Armando Resendiz in September. In addition to his recent triumph, Hernández has twice faced former unified super welterweight champion Jeison Rosario, fighting to a draw in their first meeting before losing the rematch. He has also taken down then-unbeaten fighters in Kevin Newman II and Thomas Hill.

“I’m having a great training camp for this fight coming off of my performance in early September,” said Hernández. “As always, the fans can expect me to bring an entertaining fight. I know that I’m up against a former world champion who’s accomplished a lot in his career. I’m just focusing on working hard every day to get the victory and everything that will come with it.”

The former WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion, Vargas (34-0, 22 KOs) will return from layoff due to injury when he enters the ring on November 6. The 30-year-old went on the road to the U.K. to capture his title in 2017, winning a decision over previously unbeaten Gavin McDonnell. A native of Mexico City, Vargas made five successful defenses of his title, defeating top contenders including Oscar Negrete, Ronny Rios and Azat Hovhannisyan. His last fight and fifth successful title defense came via a unanimous decision over former world champion Tomoki Kameda in July 2019.

“I’m very happy for my return to the ring and my debut with PBC,” said Vargas. “You are going to see a renewed Rey Vargas on November 6. My opponent is a good fighter with speed who throws a lot of combinations. It will be a tough fight, but I know I have what it takes to win. I couldn’t be happier to be on the big stage on Canelo’s undercard. I know that I have to shine on fight night, take advantage of this showcase, and deliver a great fight for the fans.”

The Baja California, Mexico native Báez (21-4, 12 KOs) enters this fight the winner of his last three outings, all coming by TKO. The 26-year-old put together the winning streak after defeats to the previously unbeaten Carlos Caraballo and former title challenger Jason Moloney. Báez, who has fought professionally since 2013, will fight in the U.S. for the fourth time on November 6. Amongst his stateside outings, Báez dominated former interim champion Moises Flores on his way to earning a unanimous decision in February 2020.

“I’m excited for this great challenge on November 6,” said Báez. “I’m planning on giving the fans a true Mexican war and leaving it all in the ring to get the victory. It’s an honor to fight on the Canelo undercard and I’m going to make the most of it. This is going to be a toe-to-toe war, and I’m going to show that he’s not able to stand up to my power and aggression.”

Rodríguez (11-1-1, 10 KOs) burst onto the scene with knockout victories in 10 of his first 11 fights. He capped off a five-win 2020 campaign with a knockout of Cameron Krael in October and a decision victory against Luis Alberto Veron four months later. Fighting out of his native Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Rodríguez most recently dropped a narrow majority decision against Kenneth Sims Jr. in May.

“I am very thankful to my team for getting me this tremendous opportunity opening up the pay-per-view for the biggest fight of the year,” said Rodríguez. “I have a tough opponent in front of me, but I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m ready to show everyone that I’m the real deal. My goal remains the same, and that’s to win a world title in 2022. First, I am just focused on November 6 and making sure I take advantage of the opportunity that a victory will produce on my road to the world title.”

Romero (14-0, 9 KOs) turned pro in 2017 after fighting for his native Mexico at the 2016 Olympic Games. The 31-year-old dispatched solid veterans Nestor Armas, Nestor Gonzalez and Ranses Payano in 2019, before earning a 10-round decision over Sergio Torres Alvarado in his only 2020 contest. Romero made it back-to-back 10-round unanimous decision triumphs in April of this year, as he won his U.S. debut by defeating Deiner Berrio. Throughout his extensive amateur career, Romero owns an impressive victory over unbeaten welterweight contender Gabriel Maestre.

“I’m very excited that my team was able to get me this great opportunity to fight on a Canelo show in Las Vegas,” said Romero. “I feel just as happy and excited to fight as I did for the Olympic games. I’m going to prove what I’m made of on November 6. No matter who my opponent is, I always train hard and prepare to do whatever I can to earn the victory.”

Dirrell: ‘He hit gloves a lot; I knew it was going to be a draw’

After 12 rounds, it appeared that two-time super-middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell(33-2-2, 24 KOs) did enough to defeat Kyrone Davis(15-2-1, 6 KOs), but when the scores were read, Dirrell’s fight with Davis ended in a split-draw in a WBC super-middleweight title elimination bout on Saturday night from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles(FOX).

Judge Patrick Russell scored it 115-113 for Dirrell. Judge Lou Moret had it 115-113 for Davis, and Judge Zachary Young had it 114-114 even.

“I thought I won the fight. I pushed the fight, hit him with cleaner punches,” Dirrell said. “He hit gloves a lot; I knew it was going to be a draw—as soon as they said it was going to be a split decision. I can’t control what the judges do, and I respect them all because they have different perspectives and angles on what is happening.

“I was pressing the fight; I wasn’t tired at all. My jab was working. But I can’t stop what the judges think. Davis fought well. He did what he was supposed to, came in with a good game plan. He was boxing; he normally doesn’t do that. But we pressed the action.”

The 36-year-old Dirrell was coming off a hard-fought loss to former champion David Benavidez, but at this point, he wants a belt and has no interest in a rematch with Davis.

“I’m looking for a title. I’m not looking for just another fight. I’m looking for a big fight. That’s the plan,” Dirrell said. “I’ll take whoever has a belt, whoever we can get. I’ll take a Canelo or a Caleb Plant.”

Like Dirrell, Davis, whose biggest win was against Marcos Hernandez, felt he won the fight.

“I thought I won the fight, 116-112. It was a great opportunity, he said. They doubted me. They told me he was going to knock me out. This was supposed to be a showcase for him, but it wasn’t,” Davis said. “My body felt well. I felt good. Anthony Dirrell is a two-time world champion. I really wanted to make a statement. A draw is not as bad as a loss, but I really don’t like breaking even.”

It was a close fight, and while it appeared Dirrell won, this was not a robbery. However, going forward, both guys will probably go in different directions. 

Photo:  Sean Michael Ham/TGB Promotions


 


 

Dirrell-Davis set for February 27

 Two-time super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell takes on Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis in a 12-round WBC Super Middleweight World Title eliminator to headline FOX PBC Fight Night live on Saturday, February 27 from the Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall in Los Angeles.
 
The show features two of the most sensational teenage boxers in the sport as 19-year-old welterweight rising star Jesus Ramos battles Jesus Bojorquez in a 10-round co-feature and 18-year-old exciting prospect Vito Mielnicki, Jr. squares off against Noe Lopez in an eight-round welterweight match to open the broadcast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. The event is promoted by TGB Promotions.
 
Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KOs), a two-time WBC 168-pound world champion, is a battle-tested veteran who never backs down from anyone in the ring. The 36-year-old Dirrell won the WBC title for the first time with a unanimous decision over Sakio Bika in 2014. The native of Flint, Michigan lost the title the next year to Badou Jack by majority decision. He put together six straight victories after that loss to get back into position to fight for the championship again. He won the title with a technical decision victory over Avni Yildirim in 2019. Dirrell is the younger brother of Andre Dirrell, who won a bronze medal as a member of the U.S. Olympic boxing team in 2004. He is coming off a hard-fought loss to former champion David Benavidez.
 
“I feel great, camp has been great and it feels good to get back in the ring with everything that’s been going on in the world,” said Dirrell. “Kyrone Davis has fought some good guys but with me being me, he’s biting off a little more than he chew. Fans can look forward to a knockout on February 27. I’m not playing, I’m going to make a statement.”

Davis (15-2, 6 KO) will face the toughest challenge of his career when he steps in against the more experienced Dirrell. The 26-year-old Davis from Monmouth, N.J. will be moving up to super middleweight for this match. His last fight was a TKO victory over Antonio Todd at middleweight in January 2020.  His only two losses came against Junior Castillo and Patrick Day in 2018. His most notable victory so far came against Marcos Hernandez in 2017. Hernandez was undefeated at the time.

“I’ve worked extremely hard and I’m thankful for the opportunity and plan to take full advantage of it,’’ Davis said. “It’s my turn and you’re going to see that on FOX PBC on February 27.”
 
Ramos (14-0, 13 KOs), the nephew of welterweight contender Abel Ramos, steadily increased the toughness of competition in 2020. The 19-year-old from Casa Grande, Arizona has scored four-straight knockout wins following his only pro fight that has gone the distance, which came in a June 2019 unanimous decision over Kevin Shacks. In his last fight Ramos scored a fourth round stoppage against Naim Nelson in December 2020 on FOX.
 
“I’m very excited to be back in the ring on February 27, just two months after my last fight,” said Ramos. “I want to stay active this year, and I can’t wait to kick off 2021 with another solid performance.”
 
Bojorquez (24-2, 18 KOs) has scored four straight victories since losing to Abner Lopez. All four of those victories came by way of stoppage. The 33-year-old Bojorquez from Sonora, Mexico will be fighting for the first time in the United States. He’s coming off a fourth round TKO win over Jose Luis Araiza.
 
“I know Ramos is a tough young boxer and he’s been on a hot streak. But I’ve been on a hot streak too and my experience will be the deciding factor,’’ said Bojorquez. “I’m looking forward to going against him in an exciting fight on FOX PBC in prime time. I expect it will be a tough fight but I’m ready for anything that he can come with on February 27.’’
 
Representing Roseland, New Jersey, Mielnicki (7-0, 4 KOs) began turning heads during an exceptional amateur career where he compiled a 147-22 record and was named the Most Oustanding Boxer of the 2011 Junior National Golden Gloves amongst many accolades before turning pro. Last December, the 18-year-old welterweight dropped Steven Pulluaim twice on his way to a six-round unanimous decision.
 
“Camp is going great and I’m in the best shape of my life,” said Mielnicki. “I can’t wait to showcase my talent on FOX in my first eight-rounder.”
 
Veteran Lopez (10-3-1, 4 KOs) hails from the fighting town of Jalisco, Mexico and currently resides in Spring, Texas. He’s remained active during the pandemic, fighting three times in 2020, including two victories and a points loss to Joseph Francisco last November.
 
“I’m really excited about this fight,” said Lopez. “I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this and I’ve been training hard for months now. Mielnicki is a young, strong kid. I’m going to go out there, test him and shock the world.”

Anthony Dirrell wins Technical Decision Over Douglin; photos from the action in Flint

FLINT, MI. (November 18, 2017) – Former world champion Anthony Dirrell (31-1-1, 24 KOs) had a successful return to the ring in his hometown as he won a technical decision over Denis Douglin (19-6, 12 KOs) in the main event of a special Friday night edition of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes from Dort Federal Credit Union Center in Flint, Michigan.

The fight was stopped in the sixth round after an accidental clash of heads left Dirrell’s left eye badly cut. The ringside physician deemed Dirrell unable to continue and the fight went to the scorecards where Dirrell won a technical decision by scores of 49-46 and 48-47 twice.

Fighting in his hometown for the first time since 2011, Dirrell came out fast and appeared to have Douglin in trouble in round one with a flurry of hooks. Douglin was able to survive the round and had successful moments landing left hooks to Dirrell’s head.

Douglin was aggressive throughout but was unable to stop Dirrell from mounting his own offensive surges. Dirrell scored to the body often and was able to work through any difficult moments.

Dirrell and Douglin continued to trade blows until the decisive clash of heads that led to a premature end of the fight and Dirrell taking home the decision victory.

In the co-main event, unbeaten welterweight prospect Jamontay Clark (13-0, 7 KOs) boxed his way to a majority decision victory over Domonique Dolton (19-2-1, 10 KOs) in their eight round bout.

Clark used his significant reach advantage and pumped his jab early and often, establishing it in the first round and adding different combinations off of it throughout the contest. Dolton attempted to close down the distance but was unable to land anything that deterred Clark.

A clash of heads midway through the fourth round opened up a cut over Clark’s right eye and appeared to temporarily re-energize Dolton, who tried to take advantage of the wound. Clark showed toughness in never letting the cut slow him down as he stuck to the game plan and boxed effectively down the stretch.

Dolton stalked him throughout the final frames and landed occasionally but it was not enough as Clark took home the decision by scores of 78-74, 77-75 and 76-76.

The opening bout of the telecast saw Ryan Karl (15-1, 9 KOs) earn a unanimous decision victory over Kareem Martin (9-2-1, 3 KOs) in an eight round battle of junior welterweight prospects.

Martin had success early walking Karl down and landed a powerful looping right hand combined with a left hook midway through the first round that staggered his opponent. Karl set the tone for the fight and shook off the attack and continued to come forward in an exciting opening frame.

Karl increased his work rate after the first two rounds, consistently using the jab and throwing right hands mixed in with body shots. Martin stayed in the pocket throughout but was too easy to hit as Karl got the better of much of the action in the middle of the ring.

In the final round, Karl seemed to have more left in the tank as he buzzed Martin with a right hand that slowed his opponent and helped him on his way to a unanimous decision by scores of 78-74 twice and 77-75.

Photos from Dirrell-Doughlin:

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Photos: Silvia Jones/Premier Boxing Champions

Anthony Dirrell returns November 17

FLINT, MI. – (October 4, 2017) – Former super middleweight world champion Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs) will meet Denis Douglin (20-5, 13 KOs) in a 10-round bout that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions special edition of TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes on November 17 from Dort Federal Credit Union Center in Flint, Michigan at 10:30 p.m. ET/ p.m. PT.
The 10-round bout is a homecoming for Dirrell, who was born and raised in Flint along with his brother and top contender, Andre. It will be the third time that he has fought in his hometown with the 32-year-old’s last outing in Flint ending with a knockout of Dante Craig at Atwood Stadium on July 2, 2011. Since losing his title via majority decision to Badou Jack in 2015, Dirrell has won three straight bouts including his most recent fight, a fifth-round stoppage of Norbert Nemesapati in January.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and A.D.D. Enterprises, begin at $20. To purchase tickets, visit the Dort Federal Credit Union Center box office or Ticketmaster.com.
“Douglin has fought a lot of good fighters and I respect him, but he’s standing in the way of my title shot,” said Dirrell. “This is a chance for me to showcase my skills. I’m going for a stoppage, and I think I’m going to get it in the middle rounds. I want to put on a great performance and give the fans something to see. I’m going to get the job done.”
The 29-year-old Douglin of Marlboro, N.J. has stood in against some of the toughest boxers in the sport, including 168-pound champions David Benavidez and George Groves, plus 154-pound champion Jermell Charlo. In his last match, Douglin lost on a TKO to Benavidez after winning three straight bouts by stoppage.
“I’ve taken a lot of fights on short notice and that’s hurt me in the past, but I’ve had ample time and a great training camp to prepare for this fight,” said Douglin. “I think Dirrell has a problem with guys who aren’t afraid of him and who will actually give him a fight. With my style and determination, I’m going to bring a lot more than he’s expecting. I’m going to bring it for 10 rounds and I know I’ll have my arm raised at the end of the day.”
Jamontay Clark (12-0, 7 KOs) and Ivan Golub (13-1, 11 KOs) will meet in an eight-round welterweight bout that serves as a rematch of their exciting June 30 showdown which ended with Clark winning a unanimous decision.
The 23-year-old Clark of Cincinnati, Ohio is looking to remain unbeaten and pick up his third victory of the year, while the 28-year-old Golub, who was born in Ukraine and now lives in Brooklyn, wants to hand Clark the first loss of his career and erase what he believes was a bad decision in their first fight. Coming into the first fight between the two southpaw welterweight prospects, Golub had stopped seven straight opponents.
Ryan “Cowboy” Karl (14-1, 9 KOs) will take onKareem Martin (9-1-1, 3 KOs) in an eight-round junior welterweight match that opens televised coverage. The 25-year-old Karl of Houston is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Carlos Winston Velasquez in his last fight on July 18 as he bounced back from the first loss of his career when he lost to Eddie Ramirez in February.
The 22-year-old Martin of Washington D.C. scored a unanimous decision victory over Evincil Dixon in his last fight on Aug. 12 as he works his way back from a defeat to David Grayton last year.
“Anthony Dirrell headlining in his hometown of Flint will be a great treat for boxing fans in the area,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “This is something that Anthony Dirrell has wanted for a long time and I’m sure that he is going to be at his absolute best and look to really impress in front of his fans on November 17. He will have a tough challenge from the strong Denis Douglin, but if he’s able to get by him, we could see Anthony Dirrell fighting for a world title in the very near future.”