Haney-Prograis set for December 9 in San Francisco

Devin Haney and Regis Prograis will clash in a Super-Lightweight blockbuster at Chase Center in San Francisco, California on Saturday December 9(DAZN PPV).

Haney (30-0 15 KOs) returns to his Bay Area roots in his quest to become a two-weight World champion, moving up from 135lbs having become undisputed after beating George Kambosos Jr in Australia in June 2022, and then successfully defended his crown twice, once in a rematch Down Under in October and then against modern-day legend Vasiliy Lomachenko in Las Vegas in May, and now the San Francisco-born 24-year-old can make more history in his first fight on his home turf.

Prograis (29-1 24 KOs) puts his WBC title on the line for the second time after successfully seeing off the Danielito Zorrilla on his New Orleans home patch in his first defense in April. ‘Rougarou’ became a two-time holder of the green and gold belt in November when he knocked out Jose Zepeda in the 11th round in Carson, California – and the 34-year-old returns to The Golden State to face the former undisputed Lightweight king.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Haney. “It’s been a dream of mine to fight in my hometown. I’m excited for the opportunity to become two-division World champion in The City [The Bay] where it all started. The energy in the building is going to be electric. I haven’t fought at home since I was an amateur, so I’m looking for my city to show up and show out.

“As a kid, I always envisioned fighting at The Oracle in Oakland. Now with Chase Center, I have two dream locations with a bridge between them. So, my first order of business is to blow the roof off Chase Center on December 9 with an amazing event. I picked a focused and hungry champion to invite to my hometown. Regis is going to be trying to knock me out and that’s exactly what I need him to be TRYING to do. This is what you do when you are the youngest promoter in boxing. I’m the real face of boxing. December 9. Legacy and Money.

“On paper this is a tough fight because it’s my first fight at a heavier weight division. I’m comfortable with the plan have. God willing, I’m going to be stronger and faster than ever. I’m going to dominate him, and the Welterweight division will be put on notice.

“It’s never personal, this is a business at the end of the day. We’re two gentlemen at the end of the day, but when we get in the ring, we don’t have respect for each other. I’m going to go in in there and do my job.”

“Finally, we’re ready to go on Saturday, December 9 and I can’t wait to put on a show,” said Prograis. “I’ve already started training camp and I’ll be more than ready to do what I do best.

“Devin has done well at 135 pounds, but I’m the best in the world at 140 pounds, and I will prove that once again!

“Since my last fight they mentioned Devin’s name and that’s the only person I’ve had on my mind. I will not only beat him, but I will beat him up. I will hurt this kid. It’s nothing he can do that’s going to stop me from dominating. It’s going to be a massacre. Again, I will hurt him.”

“It’s been quite a journey from East Oakland,” said Bill Haney, Devin’s father and trainer. “Everything us represents “The Bay.” Strong and independent. It’s surreal to finally get a chance to go home where The Dream started.

Haney vs. Prograis is the first boxing event to be held at the world-class Chase Center in San Francisco. Opening its doors in 2019, Chase Center is an award-winning 18,064-seat sports and entertainment arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood that is home to the seven-time NBA champion Golden State Warriors and San Francisco’s top events and performances.

Jermell Charlo receives Houston send-off

Undisputed Junior Middleweight World Champion and Houston-native Jermell Charlo received a hometown send-off on Saturday before he headed to Las Vegas to challenge Undisputed Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez headlining a SHOWTIME PPV on September 30 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo Promotions will present the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view. 

Photos: Andrew Hemingway/SHOWTIME

Charlo’s big day began with him holding a boxing clinic for the Stafford Boys & Girls Club as part of the day’s tailgating festivities at Cougar Alley before the University of Houston versus Sam Houston State University game that evening. During the game, Charlo was honored and acknowledged on the field in a formal presentation in front of the crowd at TDECU Stadium.

“Houston means so much to me and it’s extremely motivating to feel their support before I step into the biggest fight of my career,” said Charlo. “Me and my brother Jermall have been putting on for our city for so many years, and on Saturday, September 30 I know I’m gonna have Houston in my corner. I can’t wait to represent what this city is all about.”

Benn hopes to fight in UK very soon

Some felt he should not be in the ring on Saturday night, but he was, and Conor Benn went 10 rounds with Rodolfo Orozco and won by unanimous decision in Orlando, Florida.  

Two judges had the fight 99-91 and 96-94, all for Benn.

Benn (22-0 14 KOs), who is currently unable to fight in the UK after testing positive for banned substances before his fight with Chris Eubank Jr. last October, fought for the first time since April 2022.

The National Anti-Doping Panel cleared the son of former world champion Nigel Benn in July, but UKAD(U.K. Anti-Doping) and BBCOFC(British Board of Control) have appealed that decision.

Benn, who usually campaigns at 147, fought at junior-middleweight on Saturday night and inflicted a decent amount of punishment on Orozco (32-4-3 24 KOs) throughout the fight. Still, the Mexican fighter was able to provide a test of Benn’s durability and punch resistance, but Benn got the job, and maybe more importantly, he got rounds in.

September 23, 2023; Orlando, Florida; Conor Benn during his bout on the Matchroom boxing card at the Grand Sierra Ballroom at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

“We didn’t want a walk in the park,” Benn said after the fight. “I needed the rounds after 18 months out; he’s a true Mexican, my first Mexican I’ve fought, and we knew he was durable. Credit to him, he’s never been stopped before, and he’s one tough man, and I hope he progresses.

“They are stronger and take shots more; I don’t think there was ring rust; I was going through the gears after going through hell.”

The 26-year-old Benn’s goal is to fight in his native UK again.

“Britain is my home, and it’s only right I fight back there, sooner rather than later.”



Frank Sanchez returns on Canelo-Charlo undercard

Top heavyweight Frank “The Cuban Flash” Sanchez will highlight the stacked three-fight SHOWTIME PPV COUNTDOWN show as he takes on Scott Alexander in a 10-round matchup on Saturday, September 30 leading up to the Canelo Álvarez vs. Jermell Charlo SHOWTIME PPV event taking place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo Promotions will present the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view.

The lineup will also see former light heavyweight champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk battle Brazil’s Isaac Rodrigues in an eight-round duel, while 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha faces KeAndrae Leatherwood in an eight-round middleweight bout.

The live stream will begin at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT and be available on the SHOWTIME SPORTS YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing® Facebook page.

These fights lead into a four-fight pay-per-view telecast beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and headlined by Undisputed Super Middleweight World Champion Canelo Álvarez defending his titles against Undisputed Junior Middleweight World Champion Jermell Charlo in a historic battle of reigning undisputed champions.

An amateur standout from his native Cuba, Sánchez (22-0, 15 KOs) now trains in California with renowned trainer of Canelo Álvarez, Eddy Reynoso. The 31-year-old caught the heavyweight division’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. Most recently he blasted out Daniel Martz in one round in April. He will be opposed by the 34-year-old Alexander (17-5-2, 9 KOs), who most recently knocked out Jaime Solorio in August 2022. The Los Angeles-native has challenged many contenders throughout his career, including Zhilei Zhang, Carlos Negron and Travis Kauffman.

After earning a bronze medal representing his native Ukraine at the 2012 Olympics, Gvozdyk (19-1, 15 KOs) turned pro in 2014, eventually defeating a slew of contenders to earn a light heavyweight title shot. He went on to become WBC champion with an 11th-round knockout of Adonis Stevenson and defended the title in 2019 by stopping Doudou Ngumbu in round five. Since losing the belt in a unification match against Artur Beterbiev, Gvozdyk has picked up a pair of victories in 2023, besting Josue Obando in February and Ricards Bolotniks in May. He will take on Mocajuba, Para, Brazil’s Rodrigues (28-4, 22 KOs), who most recently dropped a decision to Richard Rivera in February. Rodrigues has also challenged contender Demond Nicholson in a career that dates back to 2005.

A member of the 2012 U.S. Olympic team, Gausha (23-3-1, 12 KOs) was born in Cleveland, Ohio but now fights out of Encino, Calif. The 36-year-old has faced tough competition throughout his career, having fought former champion Austin Trout to a draw in 2019 in addition to decision losses against former champion Erislandy Lara, top contender Erickson Lubin and interim champion Tim Tszyu. Gausha has shown impressive power in recent years, blasting out Jamontay Clark in two rounds in 2021 and most recently stopping Brandyn Lynch in round nine in March. He faces Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s Leatherwood (23-8-1, 13 KOs), who has faced numerous former champions and contenders including Caleb Truax, Andy Lee, Hugo Centeno Jr., John Jackson, Steve Rolls and Christian Mbilli.

The non-televised undercard will see 140-pound contender Gabriel Valenzuela (27-3-1, 16 KOs) duel Yeis Gabriel Solano (15-2, 10 KOs) in an eight-round attraction, amateur sensation Curmel Moton in his pro debut taking on Ezequiel Flores (4-0, 3 KOs) in a six-round super featherweight fight, and super featherweight prospect Justin Viloria (3-0, 3 KOs) stepping in for a six-round match against Chicago’s Angel Barrera (4-2).

Rounding out the lineup is a pair of unbeaten prospects from Kazakhstan as Bek Nurmaganbet (10-0, 8 KOs) squares off against Abimbola Osundairo (5-0, 3 KOs) in a six-round super middleweight tilt, while middleweight Abilkhan Amankul (4-0, 4 KOs) faces Joeshon James (7-0-1, 4 KOs) for six rounds of action.

Lubin: ‘I feel I’m one of the best in the world’

Hard-hitting contender Erickson “Hammer” Lubin will look to catapult himself right back to the top of the stacked 154-pound division with an emphatic victory over unbeaten rising sensation Jesus “Mono” Ramos in the Canelo vs. Charlo SHOWTIME PPV co-main event on Saturday, September 30 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo Promotions will present the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view.

“Ramos is nothing that I haven’t seen before, and on fight night, he’s gonna know that I’m the better man,” said Lubin during a short breather from training camp. “He’s a tough southpaw, but I’ve watched enough to dissect him and go out there and execute in the fight. He’s a good fighter, but he’s not perfect. There are a lot of flaws that I can definitely capitalize on and that’s what I’m going to do on September 30.”

Lubin (25-2, 18 KOs) returned from a defeat to Sebastian Fundora in one of 2022’s best fights to stop contender Luis Arias in June and begin another ascent toward a world title shot. Before stepping into the ring for a pivotal matchup on September 30, Lubin spoke extensively about training camp, Ramos, bouncing back from defeat and more:

On his edge in experience and how it could play out in the fight:

“When it comes to ‘A-side’ or ‘B-side’, it doesn’t really matter in this fight. I’m the one with experience. He wants to be in my spot. He’s young, he’s undefeated, he’s been on big undercards and stuff like that. But they must have given him the ‘A-side’ because of his looks or something because I’m really the ‘A-side’ if it comes down to it. He wants to take what I have. On September 30, it’s my job to stop this young boy’s dreams. He bit off more than he can chew too early. This is an important fight for me. I’m going to show the world that I’m not a gatekeeper in this division. I’m one of the top dogs in this division. Being a gatekeeper doesn’t sit well with me. So I’m motivated. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder and it will show on September 30.”

On training camp in South Florida with head trainer Kevin Cunningham:

“We haven’t done too much differently this training camp. The one thing we have done differently is the game plan. Every training camp we give it our all. We train really hard and that’s just the program and system that we live by. I’ve had over 200 rounds of great sparring with young guys and veterans, so I’m sharp.”

On when he first targeted Ramos as a potential opponent:

“I asked for this fight before Ramos fought Joey Spencer. They told me no. I guess he was still growing, but now is the time for him. I’m excited for it. He’s a young lion and I’m going to show him that I’m a young lion with more experience. I’m hungrier than he is. I just want it more.”

On what taking on this challenge says about him as a fighter:

“Look at my resume. It’s been like this from the beginning. They know what type of fighter I am. I feel I’m one of the best in the world and I want to leave my mark on the sport as one of the greatest to ever do it. I could have been fighting a YouTuber and I still would have trained just as hard. I look at every fight as my most important one, especially while I’m right here, close to a title. I still want to avenge my defeats against Sebastian Fundora and Jermell Charlo, but in order to do that, in order to get another world title shot, I’ve got to go out and prove myself. I’ve got to win in a good fashion.”

On how he’s able to bounce back from his defeats:

“I’m strong mentally. I really believe in myself. I know the talent that I have. I’m very talented. My hiccups only made me better. With the Charlo fight, I was a little bit too young. Charlo was fighting in his 30th fight and it was just my 19th. The experience level was different.

“With the Fundora loss, that was a fight I was winning. My trainer had to throw in the towel because of my face. He cares for me beyond boxing. He saw my face swollen and lumped up and he did what he felt was best. We live to fight another day. I came back, went to the drawing board and got better and smarter. Right now, I’m just entering my prime. I’m 27 years old and the best of me will show on September 30. I’m excited, I’m stoked, and I definitely want to show that I’m the best fighter in the division.”

On how important a statement victory is to him:

“I don’t feel that I have to make a statement, but I will make a statement. I’m always motivated to just win. That’s the only objective. But I feel I will make a statement. With the hard training camp that we had with Kevin Cunningham, who is a zero-tolerance type of trainer, he’s drawn up a great game plan and it always works. So I’m definitely going in there, listening to him, and it’s going to be a great night on September 30.”

On what fighting in the co-main event of a pay-per-view mega fight means to him:

“I’ve been waiting for moments like this. I feel like this is going to bring the best out of me. We put in a hard 10 weeks of camp. I just got back from fighting in June. Activity brings the best out of me. This is what I asked for. It’s the big stage and I’m going to show that I’m a very elite fighter. They know I’m elite, but I’m going to show that I’m one of the best in the world and I’m here to stay. I’ve got this young kid in front of me and he wants to take my spot.”

Ra’eese Aleem is looking for title shot

Super bantamweight contender Ra’eese Aleem (20-1, 12 KOs), currently ranked #5 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), is ready to take on his next challenge. Aleem is setting his sights on a showdown with Ireland’s TJ Doheny (24-4, 18 KOs) in his quest to ascend the WBO rankings. In addition, Aleem is open to fighting anyone rated in the WBO to ten.

Aleem’s recent setback in Australia, where he faced local hero Sam Goodman (15-0, 7 KOs) in a split decision loss, has only fueled his desire to make a comeback and prove his worth on American soil. The razor-close nature of the fight left no doubt in Aleem’s mind that he belongs among the elite in the super bantamweight division.

“I’ve faced adversity, and I’ve learned from it,” said Aleem. “The loss to Goodman in Australia was a tough pill to swallow, but it’s only made me hungrier. Now, I’m looking forward to challenging TJ Doheny and showing the world what I’m made of. He’s ranked #4 and I’m #5, and if a fight can be made in the USA, then I’m ready to go. I also want to let it be known that I’ll fight anyone in the top ten in the WBO rankings. My goal is to fight here in the USA before the end of the year, or early 2024.”

Aleem’s manager, Greg Hannley, believes a win over Doheny would get him closer to a world title shot.

“Ra’eese is a fighter with incredible heart and talent,” Ra’eese Aleem’s manager, Greg Hannley stated when talking about his fighter’s abilities and aspirations. “We believe that a victory over Doheny, or anyone in the top ten will propel him further up the WBO rankings and put him in a prime position to fight for a world title.”

Ugas, Barrios putting in work for big fight on Canelo-Charlo undercard

Former world champions Yordenis Ugas and Mario “El Azteca” Barrios showed off their skills and previewed their upcoming showdown for the Interim WBC Welterweight Title during a media workout in Las Vegas Tuesday before they meet on the Canelo vs. Charlo SHOWTIME PPV undercard on Saturday, September 30 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Canelo Promotions will present the Premier Boxing Champions pay-per-view.

Ugas and Barrios will look to reclaim championship gold in a matchup that will see the former WBA Welterweight Champion Ugas square off against the former 140-pound titlist Barrios. Each fighter is led to the ring by a renowned trainer as Ugas is guided by longtime top trainer Ismael Salas, while Barrios trains under 2022 Ring Magazine Trainer of the Year Bob Santos.

Here is what Ugas and Barrios had to say Tuesday from DLX Boxing in Las Vegas:


“In the end, it’s about taking each round as seriously as the previous round. I don’t take anything for granted. The goal is to have each and every round go the direction I want it to go.

“I’m not in the prediction business, but what I do is fight elite fighters, give my best every round and let the chips fall where they may.

“I’m used to these big fight atmospheres, but it is very exciting to be on the card with a star as big as Canelo. It’s a great source of pride and I plan to bring my best for all the fans watching.

“It’s beautiful to be fighting here in Las Vegas again. I’m 5-0 in Las Vegas and this is my third time fighting at T-Mobile Arena. I feel at home and absolutely love fighting here in Las Vegas.

“It was both physically and emotionally tough after the Errol Spence Jr. fight. Emotionally I had to carry that loss with me. Now I can redeem myself and put it all in the past. I always knew that I would come back after the fight. My eye got stronger after the surgery and now I feel ready.

“I was so happy to be able to be back in the gym and do what I’ve wanted to do my entire life. I was back in training in December and started sparring again a couple months after that.

“I’m just focused on my fight. I have no clue what Crawford may do with the WBC belt. I’m doing my thing and that’s what I plan to keep doing.”


Photos from Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

“I’m gonna bring the same intensity that I bring in every fight. I feel a lot more comfortable and settled in at the weight now.

“I’m preparing myself to the best of my ability. We have a very good game plan that we’re getting ready for Ugas. It’s a really hard fight, but those are the type of fights that I like to take. I want to continue to test myself and my ability and my skill in the ring.

“Everything has been really good. I’ve been here in Las Vegas for a few months staying ready. My mind and body are both looking on point right now. It’s exciting.

“I think the move out here to Las Vegas was necessary. I feel sharper than ever and more focused. I get tremendous workouts here. It’s been very beneficial.

“A win in this fight means everything for me and my career right now. It puts me at the top of the division with the best welterweights out there and gets me closer to the bigger world title fights.

“I’m very happy to be here in Las Vegas with Bob Santos. Me and Bob have always had a great relationship and having him as the head coach again is great. We’re gonna be able to accomplish a lot in the next few years.”


Hitchins: ‘I’m ready for the champions’

Richardson Hitchins is planning to dominate Jose Zepeda and send a message to the big guns at 140 pounds that he’s coming for them when they clash on Saturday night at Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida(DAZN).

 Hitchins (16-0 7 KOs) is sitting pretty at #5 in the WBO and #7 in the IBF, and victory on Saturday night would see him rise to the cusp of World title fights, with the WBC Silver, WBO NABO and IBF North American Super-Lightweight titles on the line.

The Brooklyn ace shone in his last outing, flooring New Jersey’s John Bauza en-route to a shut out over ten at Madison Square Garden. The 25 year old knows continuing to win is vital to landing the World title shot he craves, but not content with that, Hitchins believes that his rivals will stand up when he delivers dominant displays, and that starts with the biggest test of his career in former World title challenger Zepeda (37-3 28 KOs).

“Winning is number one of course, but to get the big fights I have to win and dominate,” said Hitchins.

“I’m ready for the champions because when you look at the guys Prograis or Haney fight, those are guys that I am a nightmare for any of them. I have size, reach, superb defense – I can damn near feel when a guy is about to punch. So, when you have a guy like that against a guy that doesn’t know how to defend themselves, it kind of makes it tricky for them, because I’ve been in there with guys that just stand in front of you and don’t have the ability. You get in front of a guy like Shakur Stevenson, that turns boxing into a math problem, it’s different and that’s what you face with me. I can bring that puzzle that people can’t solve, it’s algebra in the ring.

“Every fight at 140lbs is a good fight, this is a great fight. Jose is confident, he’s put people to sleep, out, first round KOs, had the fight of the year in 2020 with Baranchyk. And then there’s people now saying, ‘OK let’s see how Richardson handles Zepeda’. Then you have Teofimo, he says he’s from Brooklyn – I know he ain’t, but I am. He beat the man at 140 and I feel I’m the uncrowned king at 140 and that would be a great fight.

“Jose is supposed to say he wants to fight me. He’s 34 years old, he’s been campaigning for a long time, he has confidence, he was power, and he’s got the tools to make it a nightmare for me, so he should be taking an opportunity like this, why would he say no?

“It’s just my job to show him that I am on a different level to him. He’s going to try to use his experience to try land his power, pressure me. Boxing is a sport where you must be smart, he’s a tough fighter but he’s not a durable one because he’s been down numerous times and I feel the mistake that they cannot make its me is overlooking my power, I’m a very sharp powerful fighter. My record may not show it, but if you pay attention, it shows I am punching.

“I’m a way smarter boxer than Jose, he’s one-dimensional and I just feel I’ll show levels. I must be smart and show him, yeah, this kid knows what he is on. I think when I am in there, he will see that. Boxing is all about timing, everything I do is about doing it at the right time.

“There’s a lot of things that can happen next. I want to fight again in 2023, I think that could be a guy that’s going to bring the best out of me, just like Zepeda will, and then we should be ready for the World champions, Devin, Regis and Teofimo. If I win this, I’ll climb the rankings again in the WBO, so I’ll be knocking at the door for Teo.”

Htichins’ clash with Zepeda is part of a stacked card in Orlando, with Jessica McCaskill (12-3 5 KOs) and Sandy Ryan (6-1 2 KOs) clashing in a unification battle for the WBA, WBC, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine Welterweight titles.

Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (14-0 10 KOs) press his claims for World title action at Middleweight as he tackles Steve Rolls (22-2 12 KOs) and will Orestes Velazquez (7-0 6 KOs) will defend his WBA International Super-Lightweight title to kick off the main card against Mohamed Soumaoro (13-1 6 KOs).

Khalil Coe (6-0-1 4 KOs) continues to rise through the ranks at Light-Heavyweight, and ‘Big Steppa’ headlines the Before The Bell action and will be looking for his third KO win of 2023 against Kenmon Evans (10-1-1 3 KOs). Super-Welterweight Jeovanny Estella (12-0 3 KOs) and Super-Flyweight Jasmine Artega (10-0-1 5 KOs) tasting action over eight rounds while Bantamweight Roberto Rivera Gomez (3-0 2 KOs) kicks the whole night off over four rounds, with all three fighters to be matched imminently.

Sandy Ryan wants Jessica McCaskill’s belts

Sandy Ryan has told Jessica McCaskill to ‘keep the belts warm’ as they meet in a Welterweight unification clash on Saturday night (September 23) at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, Florida(DAZN).

Ryan (6-1 2 KOs) landed the vacant WBO title in her last fight, seeing off Canadian Marie Pier Houle in Cardiff in April, and in her first defense, she travels to Florida to face WBA, WBC, IBO and Ring Magazine champion McCaskill (12-3 5 KOs), the Chicagoan who is fighting in her tenth consecutive World title bout.

Ryan, who turned 30 on Saturday, believes she’s heading down the path of her own lengthy run of World title action starting in Orlando and leading to an undisputed fight next, then showdowns with the other big-name champions in the sport.

“This is just massive for me,” said Ryan. “Jessica is up there, she is on the pound-for-pound list and that’s where I want to be, so I need to beat girls like her to be where she is. I really respect Jessica as a fighter, and you’ll see that this week with the shape that I am in and the mentality that I have. I remember watching her against Katie and she’s done so well since then, she’s always been in the big fights, and she’s won most of them.

“She’s tough, she’s going to come with everything, she’s never been stopped and she knows the pro game because she’s been in it a long time so she knows all the tricks, but I feel that with my ability I am at another level to her.

“I’m not going off the Chantelle Cameron fight as I think she had a bad night; I’ve had a bad night and I don’t think anyone would look at me with that performance. I can see that there’s some bad habits from that fight, but she will be training her heart out for this fight because if she loses, it’s her last fight, she’ll have nothing, no belts. That’s why I am making sure I am fully prepared. She’s going to see isn’t she. I don’t need to say much, we’ll see on Saturday night, just be ready, keep the belts warm for me.

“It’s all about big fights now for me. This is massive but the level I am at, if I win this fight, I want to be undisputed and there’s nothing bigger, so this is the level I am now. You never know in boxing what is going to happen but now I am at this level, I feel I am here to stay.

“Every pro wants to hold all the belts, that’s the aim, it’s legacy. Welterweight is where I am at, I’ve done 140lbs as well, there are some massive fights that can be made with all the best girls, let me get all the belts at 147 and then let’s all make big fights.

“I think I can be a star in the game. I’m quite low-key, but I know what I can achieve, and I can be a massive name in the women’s pro scene.”

Ryan’s clash with McCaskill is part of a stacked card in Orlando, topped by the biggest test of Richardson Hitchin’s (16-0 7 KOs) career to date against Jose Zepeda (36-3 27 KOs), with the WBC Silver, WBO NABO and IBF North American Super-Lightweight titles on the line.

Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams (14-0 10 KOs) press his claims for World title action at Middleweight as he tackles Steve Rolls (22-2 12 KOs) and will Orestes Velazquez (7-0 6 KOs) will defend his WBA International Super-Lightweight title to kick off the main card against Mohamed Soumaoro (13-1 6 KOs).

Khalil Coe (6-0-1 4 KOs) continues to rise through the ranks at Light-Heavyweight, and ‘Big Steppa’ headlines the Before The Bell action and will be looking for his third KO win of 2023 against Kenmon Evans (10-1-1 3 KOs). Super-Welterweight Jeovanny Estella (12-0 3 KOs) and Super-Flyweight Jasmine Artega (10-0-1 5 KOs) tasting action over eight rounds while Bantamweight Roberto Rivera Gomez (3-0 2 KOs) kicks the whole night off over four rounds, with all three fighters to be matched imminently.

Lopez defeats Gonzalez by UD, Zayas impresses

Luis Alberto “El Venado” Lopez (29-2, 16 KOs) successfully defended his IBF Featherweight by defeating Joet Gonzalez (26-4, 15 KOs) by unanimous decision at American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday night. 

Lopez retained his belt with scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112.

In the opening round, Gonzalez pressured Lopez with punches to the body. By rounds three and four, though, Lopez found his distance and began using his legs to set up shots from the outside.
Gonzalez’s high guard made it difficult for Lopez to connect with his signature leaping punches, but occasional counterpunches on the inside kept Gonzalez from gaining momentum. 
Lopez seemed to fade in the later rounds, and with a sense of urgency, Gonzalez began pressuring Lopez as he did in the opening round.

Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

However, it wasn’t enough as Lopez got the nod on the scorecards.

“We knew that Joet Gonzalez is a very dangerous fighter,” Lopez said. “He never stops attacking. He can take anything you throw at him. We knew that’s what he came to do and that he came with a lot of hunger to take the title away from me, but I also am very hungry to remain champion.”

Gonzalez thought the scorecards should have been closer.

“I thought the scores should have been a little closer,” Gonzalez said. “Overall, I am very disappointed in my performance. I felt that I could have done a lot better. By far, this is the worst performance of my title fights.”

Zayas continues to impress!!

Puerto Rican junior middleweight phenom Xander Zayas (17-0, 10 KOs) scored a fifth-round TKO victory against hard-hitting Mexican Roberto Valenzuela Jr. (21-5, 20 KOs) in tonight’s co-feature.

Zayas dropped Valenzuela with a hard jab in the opening round. Valenzuela got back up, only to suffer another knockdown before the round ended. In rounds two and three, Zayas worked off his back foot, landing quick combos from the outside. A left hand in round three caused a cut on Valenzuela’s nose.

The cut bled profusely, but referee Mark Nelson allowed Valenzuela to continue fighting. However, Zayas continued landing vicious punches to Valenzuela’s nose, forcing Nelson to halt the contest at :42 of the fifth round.

“I didn’t think he was going to stop bleeding from his nose,” Zayas said. “When I went to my corner, I told my dad {assistant trainer Orlando Garcia} that his nose was really bad. So, we knew that it was a matter of time.

“I came here to accomplish a goal. I came here to let everybody know at 154 pounds that I’m coming for everything. They said he was a power puncher, and I dominated tonight. I’m a contender now at 154 pounds. Whenever Top Rank gives me the opportunity, I’ll be ready for a world title. All my respect to Roberto. He was a warrior like I knew he was going to be.”

In other action:

Unbeaten lightweight sensation Emiliano Fernando Vargas (7-0, 6 KOs) made his ESPN-televised debut with a spectacular third-round TKO win against Alejandro Guardado (5-1, 1 KO). 

In the opening round, Vargas calmly evaded shots with quick head movement before sneaking uppercuts through Guardado’s guard. He pressured Guardado in the second round, but Guardado responded with offense of his own.

Vargas then landed a counter left hook in the third round that initiated a flurry that forced referee Lee Rogers to end the fight at 1:07.

Vargas said, “We’re just going to work in there. It’s a beautiful thing to be here with all my beautiful Mexican fans. I love what I do. I get up early in the morning and it’s not work. I can’t wait to be back.”

Welterweight: In an all-Mexican showdown, Julio Luna (21-1-2, 11 KOs) toppled Omar Aguilar (25-2, 24 KOs) to capture the vacant WBC USA welterweight title. Aguilar was aggressive early, but Luna’s distance made it hard for him to land cleanly. In the fourth, Aguilar found success on the inside, but Luna overcame the onslaught with longer punches. Scores: 79-73, 78-74, and 77-75.

Welterweight: John Rincon (8-0, 2 KOs) beat Bryan Ismael Rodriguez Rivera (4-2-1, 2 KOs) via unanimous decision in front of a hometown crowd. The bout was a cautious affair, but Rincon pulled away with effective aggression. Scores: 60-54 2x and 58-56.

Junior Welterweight: Jamaine Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs) overcame an almost one-year layoff to defeat Antonio Moran (29-6-1, 20 KOs) via unanimous decision. Moran hurt Ortiz early, but Ortiz got his rhythm by the middle rounds and wobbled Moran in the sixth round. A game Moran was aggressive in the later rounds, but it was not enough to overcome Ortiz’s quick counterpunching. Ortiz was coming off last October’s valiant stand against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Scores: 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.

Featherweight: Former world title challenger Ruben Villa IV (21-1, 7 KOs) tallied a workmanlike eight-round unanimous decision against Brandon Valdes (15-4, 7 KOs). Valdes started strong by finding a home for his right uppercut. Villa, however, figured him out and out-landed the Colombian in nearly every exchange. Scores: 78-74 3x.

Junior Welterweight: U.S. Olympian Tiger Johnson (10-0, 5 KOs) scored a majority decision victory against Ricardo Quiroz (13-3, 7 KOs). Scores: 76-76 and 79-73 2x.