Joseph Adorno gets big win over Roldan in Atlantic City

Joseph Adorno got the call to fight Hugo Alberto Roldan on four weeks’ notice after Shinard Bunch(personal reasons) was forced to withdraw, and he made the most of it.

Adorno(17-1-2, 14 KOs) dropped Roldan(21-1-1, 7 KOs) in the second round, which ended up being the difference in the fight as he would defeat the Argentinian by unanimous decision Friday night in the 140-pound main event at the Atlantic City Hotel & Casino’s Grand Ballroom. (Shobox/Showtime).

The Allentown, PA native won by scores of 95-94(3x).

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

This is the third straight victory for Adorno after suffering his first loss to Michel Rivera in March, and the 23-year-old was emotional after the win.

“I feel like all the hard work I put in since I was a little kid is finally starting to pay off and coming altogether,” Adorno said. “I did lose a little love for boxing for a while. But I’m proud. He was an awkward fighter. I took the fight on short notice.

“He’s a higher weight class than me. I’m a 135-pounder. All the hard work pays off. I went through a lot in the ring tonight, as any fighter does. I hurt my hand. I got hit with a headbutt that almost closed my eye. But I overcame it all. I got what it takes. I can hang in there with the top guys. Give me a couple more fights, and I’ll be ready for anybody.”

To the knockdown, Adorno dropped Roldan at the end of the second round on a counter-left hook at the bell. Throughout the fight, Roldan was rushing in, and Adorno did a solid job of counter-punching and catching him when he did.

“You learn a lot from a fight like this,” Adorno said. “In boxing, you’re going to face guys with different styles. Not everybody is going to be the same. Weird guys like Roldan make you look ugly. But you have to get through it, listen to your corner, and adjust. That’s what we did tonight.”

Both fighters left the right with swollen left eyes, but in the end, Adorno got the win. 

Adorno moves on and collects a much-needed win over an undefeated fighter. As we examine his resume, three of his last five fights, including tonight, have been against undefeated fighters, so he’s been in tough. Adorno definitely has talent, but he has to stay focused and continue to get better.

Undercard:

-In the co-feature, Frency Fortunato showed off his boxing skills, power and grit to hold off a late rally from the well-conditioned and aggressive Bernard Angelo Torres to capture a split decision in a 10-round featherweight bout. Fortunato, who dropped the southpaw Torres in the fourth round, won by scores of 97-92, 95-94 and 94-95 to improve to 14-1 with 10 KOs while Torres suffered his first defeat and fell to 16-1 with 7 KOs.

Roiman Villa had a successful U.S. debut on Friday in the SHOBOX opener, dropping Janelson Bocachica and pummeling him over eight rounds to capture a unanimous decision by scores of 78-73, 79-72 and 79-72 in the eight-round welterweight bout. Along with landing the flashier and heavier blows, Villa also pounded the mouthpiece of Bocachica, dislodging it five times, resulting in referee Harvey Dock deducting a point the third time it went flying.

A lanky, explosive fighter from Venezuela, Villa (25-1, 24 KOs) dropped Bocachica 30 seconds into the second round with a chopping right hand as Bocachica was pinned against the ropes for the first knockdown of his career.

Bocachica talks working with Danny Garcia, upcoming bout against Villa

Undefeated Detroit-based welterweight prospect Janelson Bocachica (17-0-1, 11 KOs) is deep in preparation for his return to SHOBOX: The New Generation against knockout artist Roiman Villa (24-1, 24 KOs) in an eight-round welterweight battle on Friday, September 9, live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/PT from the all-new Bally’s Casino Resort Atlantic City.

The exciting tripleheader features Joseph “Blessed Hands” Adorno (16-1-2, 14 KOs) taking on undefeated Argentinean Hugo Alberto Roldan (21-0-1, 7 KOs) in the 10-round super lightweight main event for the IBF Latino Junior Welterweight Championship and undefeated Filipino prospect Bernard Angelo Torres (16-0, 7 KOs) against once-beaten Dominican Frency Fortunato (13-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight attraction.

Preparing to make his third consecutive SHOBOX appearance, Bocachica is hard at work with trainer Nelson Figueroa at the Downtown Boxing Gym in Detroit. The 23-year-old says he’s looking to make a statement in this important battle.

“People say I’m just a puncher, so I want to show my skills in this fight,” said Bocachica. “This guy is a puncher himself. He wants to come forward and fight. That’s the type of fighter I want to face to show my skills. I finally have somebody to put it against. We’ve been waiting.”

Bocachica was last seen on Showtime in July 2021, his most recent ring appearance, where he fought fellow prospect Shinard Bunch to a 10-round split-draw in the co-main event. Prior to that in February 2021, he earned his best win to date, a majority decision win over previously unbeaten Mark Reyes, Jr.

“I learned in that fight that it’s not about who is stronger,” he explained of the Bunch fight. “It’s about actually winning and boxing. I’ve got to use that jab, use a lot more footwork and come in on angles, sharpshooting. I need to come with more of a game plan, instead of thinking I can walk over somebody.”

Having started camp in July for this fight by helping two-division world champion Danny Garcia prepare for his recent impressive victory over Jose Benavidez Jr., Bocachica says working with a world champion like Garcia taught him a lot.

“He showed me a lot of footwork,” said Bocachica. “People don’t know he has great footwork and he passed that on to me. We became friends. He’s even coming to Detroit to train with me. He’s a super smart businessman and I look up to him.”

All of the hard work, says Bocachica, will help him present a more well-rounded style to the SHOWTIME audience in September. Bocachica will need to be cautious as all 24 of the Venezuelan sharpshooter Villa’s victories have come by way of stoppage.

“I’m not going in looking for just the knockout. I’m going to be boxing instead of being so aggressive,” he said. “I‘ll be setting a million traps and waiting for him to mess up. He wants to brawl, but we’re not going to be there to give him the fight he wants.”

Magsayo on win over Russell: ‘This is my dream come true’

Unbeaten Mark Magsayo defeated longtime champion Gary Russell Jr. by majority decision Saturday night to capture the WBC Featherweight World Championship in the SHOWTIME main event from Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J. in a Premier Boxing Champions event that was brimming with action from the telecast opener to its conclusion.

“This is my dream come true,” said Magsayo. “Ever since I was a kid, this was my dream. I’m so proud that I’m a champion now. Thank you so much to the Filipino fans for the support.”

A protégé of Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao, Magsayo (24-0, 16 KOs) was able to end the reign of boxing’s longest male world champion by defeating Russell (31-2, 18 KOs) across 12 hard-fought rounds. Magsayo was able to use his size advantage to lean on Russell throughout the fight and benefited from an apparent injury to Russell’s right shoulder that became discernable in round four.

“I believe I have a torn tendon in my right shoulder,” said Russell. “I haven’t competed in almost two years. This is what true champions do. I wanted to step into the ring and display my superiority regardless of the injury.

“I hurt the shoulder about two weeks ago,” continued Russell. “But I went through with the fight because I’m a true champion and this is what warriors do. I’m going to fight regardless of what the situation is. I refuse to not compete and display my skillsets to my fans and the people that came out to show support and love. Please believe that I will be back. I still want these fights.”

“I knew that he was hurt in round four,” said Magsayo. “I took advantage of it because he was only using one hand. This was my opportunity to follow through. My coach was telling me to use good combinations and follow through. He said this is your chance to become a champion and now I am a champion.”

Russell appeared to injure the shoulder throwing a short right hand and immediately winced in pain and retreated from the action. Russell was able to re-adjust his game plan and had success focusing solely on variations of his left hand. He slowed down the action and landed a number of clean shots to keep Magsayo at bay in a display of ring generalship, but it wasn’t enough to win over the judges.

The Freddie Roach-trained Magsayo was able to land 41% of his power shots in the contest, a significant improvement from the 28% clip that Russell’s previous eight opponents had connected on, according to CompuBox. Russell was limited to just 64 jabs thrown and was out-landed 150 to 69.

Magsayo continued to put the pressure on in the later rounds and was able to ride that activity to victory, including an attack that nearly dropped Russell late in round 10, thrilling the Filipino fans in attendance.

At the end of the 12 rounds, Magsayo edged out the decision on the judges’ cards with a 114-114 score overruled by two judges seeing the bout 115-113 for Magsayo. After the fight, Russell indicated that he believed he still won the fight, while Magsayo left open the possibility of a rematch.

“I believed in my skillset and what I bring into the ring,” said Russell. “I felt like I still won the fight to be honest. Hell yeah I want a rematch. Would he want a rematch? That’s the question.”

“It’s up to my promotional team,” said Magsayo when asked about a potential rematch. “But I’m willing to fight anybody. I’m the champion now!”

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Shields-Habazin set for January 10 in Atlantic City

The long-awaited showdown between undisputed middleweight world champion Claressa Shields and former champion Ivana Habazin has been rescheduled for Friday, January 10 live on SHOWTIME from Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Shields and Habazin will face off for the vacant WBC and WBO 154-pound world titles as Shields attempts to make history as the fastest fighter in boxing, male or female, to become a three-division world champion.

Shields and Habazin were scheduled to fight on October 5 in Flint, Mich. The bout was called off less than 36 hours from the opening bell following an altercation at the official weigh-in that resulted in an injury to Habazin’s trainer, James Ali Bashir. This is the third date for Shields and Habazin. They were first scheduled to meet on August 17 before Shields withdrew due to a minor knee injury.

The January 10 SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will feature a WBA Super Lightweight World Title Eliminator between Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs) and Keith Hunter (11-0, 7 KOs). The winner becomes the mandatory challenger for WBA Super Lightweight World Championship currently held by Mario Barrios.

Shields vs. Habazin is promoted by Salita Promotions in association with T-REX BOXING PROMOTIONS. Ergashev vs. Hunter is promoted in association with Greg Cohen Promotions. Ticket information for the live event will be announced next week.

The 24-year-old Shields (9-0, 2 KOs) became the undisputed middleweight champion with a near-shutout victory over previously undefeated world champion Christina Hammer in April on SHOWTIME. In doing so, the two-division titlist joined Terrence Crawford, Jermain Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Oleksandr Usyk and Cecilia Braekhus as the only fighters to have unified all four major world titles in any weight class (Katie Taylor has since joined the prestigious list). On January 10, Shields will seek to make even more history in her sixth headlining appearance on SHOWTIME. With a win over Habazin, Shields would become a three-division champion in just 10 bouts, breaking the record of Vasiliy Lomachenko and Kosei Tanaka, who both accomplished the feat in 12 fights.

“My goal is to become three-division champ faster than any man or woman in history,” Shields said.  “This is a very significant fight for both of us. We have both trained really hard twice and great opportunities await the winner, so hopefully three times is the charm.”

Habazin (20-3, 7 KOs), of Zagreb, Croatia, is ranked No. 1 by the WBO at 154 pounds. The 30-year-old, who will be making her U.S. debut, won the IBF Welterweight Title over Sabrina Giuliani in 2014. In her next fight, Habazin dropped a unanimous decision to Braekhus in a historic unification bout where Braekhus picked up all four major world title belts. Most recently, Habazin avenged one of only three losses in her career to Eva Bajic in Zagreb.

Habazin will train in her native Croatia and has dedicated the fight to Bashir.

“I’ve been thinking about this since October and I have more of an incentive now given what happened,” Habazin said. “I feel like I’m fighting for James Ali Bashir, as well as for my own pride and respect. I’m also fighting for my country. I want to make Croatia proud that I am their daughter, and I feel that I now have their full support. Claressa is just a brief stop on my journey. I have bigger dreams and bigger shoes to fill in my life. I’m on my way to fulfilling my personal legend – being crowned the undisputed women’s junior middleweight champion. This is just another step on that journey. Given my faith, I feel that while what happened in October was incredibly unfortunate, this was God’s plan.  And I have faith that my hand will be raised in victory in January.”

Shields was the first American boxer in history – male or female – to win consecutive Olympic gold medals. She turned professional following the 2016 Olympics and headlined the first women’s boxing main event in premium television history in just her second professional fight in 2017.  Shields became unified women’s super middleweight world champion in just her fourth professional fight, and a two-division champion in her sixth professional contest.  She was crowned the undisputed 160-pound champion in her ninth fight, less than three years after turning professional following the 2016 Olympics.

Hard-hitting super lightweight Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0, 15 KOs), of Uzbekistan, is ranked in the top-15 in three of the four major sanctioning bodies.  The 27-year-old Ergashev is coming off an impressive fourth round knockout of veteran Abdiel Ramirez this past August on ShoBox: The New Generation.  In his previous appearances on the prospect developmental series, the former member of the Uzbek national team scored a third round knockout against then top-10 rated Sonny Fredrickson, and a 10-round unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Mykal Fox.  The hard-hitting southpaw currently trains in Detroit with Javan “Sugar” Hill at the new Kronk Gym with stablemate Vladimir Shishkin.

“My goal is to be the junior welterweight champion of the world in 2020,” Ergashev said.  “After I win this fight I will be just one step away from realizing my dream of bringing the world title home to my country Uzbekistan.”

The 27-year-old Hunter is ranked No. 12 in the WBA.  A native of Las Vegas, the 6-foot Hunter will make his national television debut against the first undefeated opponent of his career.  Hunter, who is the younger brother of former Olympian Michael Hunter, trains at Bones Adams Gym in Las Vegas and is co-managed by former heavyweight champion Hasim Rahman.

“I’m looking forward to making my national television debut on Showtime,” said Keith “The Bounty” Hunter. “Boxing is in my blood and January 10 will be my chance to take my career to the next level. Ergashev has a bounty on his head, I’m here to collect!”

Iran Barkley making a comeback?

Former boxer Iran “The Blade” Barkley is looking to make a return to the ring. Barkley, 57, who was a former middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight titleholder, believes he can be a champion again. 

Barkley’s last sanctioned fight was in 1999.

We caught up with Barkley in Atlantic City, at the inaugural Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend. Barkley discussed his possible return to the sport, boxing in Atlantic City, the heavyweight division, Mayweather-McGregor, and more.

Take a listen: