Statement from Oscar De La Hoya on Alejandra Jimenez testing positive for banned substances

WBC and WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Alejandra Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KOs) has tested positive for banned substances. Jimenez defeated Franchon Crews-Dezurn(6-2, 2 KOs) on January 11 to capture those titles.

Here is a statement from Golden Boy’s Oscar De La Hoya on Jimenz’s positive test:

“It is extremely unfortunate to learn that WBC and WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Alejandra Jimenez (13-0-1, 9 KOs) has tested positive for banned substances after her title fight with Franchon Crews-Dezurn (6-2, 2 KOs) on January 11,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy.

“As Franchon’s promoter, we are incredibly disappointed for her as she worked incredibly hard to defend her titles. However, our job is to ensure the safety of our fighters both inside and outside of the ring. Thus, we have always insisted and supported testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) for all of our world championship fights. Jimenez’s fight against Franchon Crews-Dezurn is no exception.

“Now our job is to find justice for Franchon by working closely with the WBC and the WBO in order to re-instate her as a world champion.”

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Andrade on 160-pound division: ‘Fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me’

Demetrius Andrade has signed a four-fight extension to his contract with Matchroom Boxing USA.

Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defends his WBO World Middleweight crown for the third time against Luke Keeler in Miami on January 30 live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

‘Boo Boo’ landed the vacant title in Boston in October 2018 with a win over teak-tough African Walter Kautondokwa and followed that win by stopping Artur Akavov in the final round of his first defense in New York in January 2019.

The Rhode Island ace went home for his second defense and thrilled his hometown fans at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence in June by putting Maciej Sulecki on the deck in the opening round en-route to a shut-out win over the Pole.

Irishman Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs) travels to Miami in a bid to shock the world in his first World title fight, but Andrade wants to hold onto his title in style before attacking the big guns and fellow World rulers at 160-pound.

“I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Andrade. “We have had a great 18 months and we’ve got plans to have an even bigger 2020 and 2021.

“I’ve matured in the ring as I’ve been more active and sometimes I think, if these guys had fought me before they might have had a better chance against me, but now they are giving me the time to sign with Eddie and DAZN, get active and fight four times, sharpen the tools and get the ring rust off. So, when it comes their time, it’s going to be hell for them!

“As long as I am building my legacy, performing the way I need to perform and people are loving my style and the things I am doing, I am not worried about anything else as the fans are going to start demanding that these guys fight me.”

The two-weight World ruler was one of the first fighters to team up with promoter Eddie Hearn in July 2018 as he expanded the Matchroom Boxing empire to America with a billion-dollar deal with DAZN, and Hearn expects the Rhode Island ace to have a big year in 2020.

“I am thrilled to have signed an extension to Demetrius’ deal with Matchroom Boxing USA,” said Hearn. “Demetrius is one of the best 160-pound fighters in the world and now is the time to deliver him the fights against the other elite Middleweights in the division, live on DAZN.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Hurd: ‘I look back at my fights, and it kind of scares me all the hits I was taking’

Former unified 154-pound champion Jarrett Hurd(23-1, 16 KOs) is back, and he comes with a new trainer. Hurd fired his trainer Ernesto Rodriguez after his loss to Julian Williams last May and hired trainer Kay Koroma.

Now, Hurd is focused and ready to battle Francisco Santana(25-7-1, 12 KOs) on January 25 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. 

“I’m so focused on taking care of Francisco Santana; I can’t look past him,” Hurd said at a media workout on Wednesday. “He’s a guy who comes forward. This is a fight where I want to see how things work out with my new trainer Kay Koroma, but Santana comes to fight just like Jeison Rosario did. I have to be on my toes.

“People say this is the new Jarrett, but I feel like it’s the old me, and I’m just getting back to it. I used my defense and my height against Frank Galarza and other earlier fights. But when I was training for Erislandy Lara, I was developing this pressure style, and we didn’t have enough of the fundamentals set behind it.

Hurd has had some tough fights in his career, including battles with Williams and Erislandy Lara. In those fights, Hurd took a lot of punishment, something he believes needs to change.

“I look back at my fights, and it kind of scares me all the hits I was taking,” Hurd said. “I had back to back Fight of the Year battles. Those were back and forth fights. I don’t want those each and every year. I want to win in one-sided fashion.

 The Accokeek, Maryland native wants to get back to the top, and he hopes to become the undisputed champion at 154. 

“I was close to becoming undisputed champion at 154-pounds, and that’s still a goal of mine,” he said. “I want to accomplish that feat in this division before we move up. I know I had a bad night against Julian Williams, but it was just a small hiccup. I’m coming back for my number one spot.”

 Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Warren, Truax make their return on February 15

Former bantamweight world champion Rau’shee Warren will battle Mexico’s Gilberto Mendoza in a 10-round attraction, while former super middleweight champion Caleb “Golden” Truax takes on Ghana’s Ernest Amuzu in a 10-round showdown, highlighting the non-televised undercard lineup on Saturday, February 15 from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.

The event is headlined by undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Caleb “Sweethands” Plant making a homecoming world title defense against mandatory challenger Vincent Feigenbutz in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and features welterweight contenders Bryant Perrella and Abel Ramos battling in the co-main event, plus lightweight contender and Nashville native Austin Dulay facing former title challenger Diego Magdaleno in the televised opener.

The undercard will also see Chicago’s Vernon Brown (12-1-1, 8 KOs) battling Augusta, Georgia’s Justin DeLoach (18-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round super welterweight fight, plus unbeaten Cuban Maidel Sando (9-0, 7 KOs), who now lives in Nashville, taking on Mexico’s Sergio Gonzalez (6-7-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super middleweight attraction.

Rounding out the lineup is unbeaten Ashland City, Tennessee native Tyler Tomlin in a lightweight fight, and the pro debut of Cincinnati’s Duke Reagan in a four-round super featherweight contest against North Carolina’s Da’jour Burney.

Warren (16-3, 4 KOs) will return to action for the first time since a close decision loss in a world title fight against unbeaten champion Nordine Oubaali in January 2019. A southpaw from Cincinnati, Ohio, Warren won the WBA Bantamweight World Championship with a majority decision over Juan Carlos Payano in 2016 and lost the title the next year to Zhanat Zhakiyanov by split-decision. The 32-year-old became the first three-time Olympic boxer from the U.S. when he qualified for consecutive Olympic teams in 2004, 2008 and 2012. He will be opposed by the 30-year-old Mendoza (15-7-3, 7 KOs), who is from Mexicali, Mexico and now lives in Modesto, California. Mendoza has won eight of his last 10 fights, including a draw in his last fight against Oscar Vasquez in October 2019.

A native of Osseo, Minnesota, Truax (30-4-2, 19 KOs) will step back into the ring after being forced to withdraw from a scheduled title eliminator against Peter Quillin in August 2019. The 30-year-old had previously faced Quillin in April in a fight that was ruled a no contest because of a cut he suffered due to an accidental head butt. Truax became world champion in 2017 when he went to the U.K. and upset James DeGale to capture the IBF 168-pound crown. Truax lost a narrow decision in the rematch to DeGale but bounced back to stop Fabiano Soares in August 2018. He will take on the Hohoe, Ghana native Amuzu (25-5, 22 KOs), who now fights out of Prichard, Alabama. Amuzu will look to rebound from a November 2019 defeat against Ievgen Khytrov.

Photo: Cynthia Vance / SHOWTIME

 

Paul: ‘I have a list of targets of people that keep talking sh**, Antonio Brown, Dillon Danis’

Jake Paul has vowed to keep boxing as he prepares to make his professional debut against fellow YouTube star AnEsonGib at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday, January 30, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK. 

After a fiery press conference in Los Angeles, Paul and Gib are in the process of completing their training camps in Big Bear, California and Las Vegas respectively, and Paul says he has fallen in love with the sport and wants to prove he is taking it seriously by not just beating Gib, but using victory to launch a boxing career.

 “I see how big this is becoming,” said Paul. “It’s just the start of what we’re going to see, and that’s why I am so excited by it, I want to be the pioneer of this space.     

“This is not a one-off stunt for me. I want to keep fighting, and I have a list of targets of people that keep talking shit, Antonio Brown, Dillon Danis, other YouTubers – the potential for this is massive, and I know that I will be the best ‘influencer-boxer’. I’ve fallen in love with boxing; I was watching my sparring back and just thinking, ‘I love fighting.’ It takes me back to why roots of being competitive playing football and wrestling.

“This is new; it is an untapped vertical for me. I look at myself as an innovator and a pioneer. I came into YouTube at a time when a lot of change needed to happen, and I was that change along with my brother. We went so big and viral and became the biggest. 

“Boxing is making a huge comeback, and there’s a huge lane for ‘celebrities’ or whatever you want to call us to make huge noise. It’s a business. If we can see the most tickets, we’re going to make the most money and draw the most fans, and no-one can really hate on that. That’s why I want to be the best and most technically skilled ‘influencer-boxer.’”

Paul and Gib clash on a massive night of action in Super Bowl week with WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defending his crown against Irish challenger Luke Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs), Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defending his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), and unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs).

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Sims-Angulo set for January 30

Anthony Sims Jr will fight for his first pro title as he meets Roamer Alexis Angulo for the WBO Latino Super-Middleweight title on Thursday January 30 at the Meridian in Island Gardens in Miami, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Sims Jr (20-0 18 KOs) secured three wins in 2019 to further underline his credentials for landing major clashes in 2020, finishing the year with a stoppage win in Chicago in October after going the ten-round distance for the first time in April in California.

WBO #9 Angulo (25-1 22 KOs) represents a stiff test for Sims Jr’s aspirations with the Miami-based Colombian KO artist only having one blemish on his record, coming against Gilberto Ramirez when he challenged the Mexican for his WBO World title in June 2018.

“I’m delighted to be fighting for my first belt in Miami – I plan to make it the first of many,” said Sims Jr. “I’ve been ready for this step up for some time and I will prove that I am ready to mix it with the best with a devastating performance on January 30 – it’s time to bring the funk!”

“I am always well prepared when I step in the ring,” said Angulo. “On January 30, my opponent will be facing the most difficult test of his young career. I will do everything I can so that he fails. I hope many of my fans and fellow Colombians living in Miami will come out to see me give my all.”

Sims Jr and Angulo clash on an action-packed night of World championship boxing in Miami, topped by WBO World Middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade (28-0 17 KOs) defending his crown against Irish challenger Luke Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs).

Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defends his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs) and YouTube stars Jake Paul and AnEsonGib clashing on their pro debuts.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Alvarez: ‘I wanted to come back as the fighter that beat Kovalev’

The first man to land his Sunday punch was going to win the fight. Former world champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez returned from a nearly one-year layoff to knock out Michael “Cannon Handz” Seals with a single overhand right at the end of the seventh round Saturday evening at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

Alvarez (25-1, 13 KOs) is back following a disappointing decision defeat to Sergey Kovalev last February, the man he knocked out to win the WBO light heavyweight world title. Seals (24-3, 18 KOs), one of boxing’s biggest punchers, saw his four-bout winning streak come to an end.

“During training camp, we practiced {the right hand} over and over. My trainer was mad at me at first because I wasn’t doing what he was asking. Finally, we got the knockout,” Alvarez said. “I was out of the ring for 11 months. I wanted to come back as the fighter that beat Kovalev, and this is what we practiced for.”

Verdejo Back in Lightweight Mix

Felix “El Diamante” Verdejo 2.0 is off to a smooth start. Verdejo (26-1, 16 KOs), in his first fight since linking up with noted trainer Ismael Salas, outboxed Manuel Rey Rojas (18-4, 5 KOs) over 10 rounds in the lightweight co-feature by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.

Verdejo has now won three in a row since the lone defeat of his career and, at 26 years old, is entering what should be his physical prime.

“I give myself a ‘C.’ I want to keep working hard and keep developing because I want to look like an ‘A’ fighter,” Verdejo said. “I have the desire. I have the hunger. I’m going to keep working hard for all the Puerto Ricans and all the Boricuas.”

— Abraham “El Super” Nova (18-0, 14 KOs) had a dominant Top Rank debut, knocking out Mexican veteran Pedro Navarrete (30-25-3, 19 Kos) in round four of a scheduled eight-round lightweight bout. Nova has now won four in a row via stoppage.

“I knew I had to be patient in there because he’s a tough, awkward fighter. I also wanted to be patient because I hadn’t fought in a bit and wanted to get some rounds in,” Nova said. “I could’ve taken him out a little earlier, but I needed the rounds. When my trainer told me to knock him out, I went out there and ended the fight.”

— Former junior lightweight world title challenger Christopher “Pitufo” Diaz (25-2, 16 KOs) shut out former junior featherweight world title challenger Adeilson dos Santos (19-8, 15 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout. All three judges scored it 80-72.

“I am very happy to have returned to the winning route,” Diaz said. “I showed that I don’t only know how to brawl. I also know how to box very well. Before, what I wanted was to give fans wars to entertain them, but I learned that I can also give good, entertaining fights by boxing well.”

— In a heavyweight fight featuring a pair of 2004 Olympians, Devin Vargas defeated Victor Bisbal by disqualification in the eighth and final round. Referee Mike Ortega, who had taken a pair of points from Bisbal earlier in the fight, ended the proceedings after Bisbal landed a low blow. Vargas led on all three scorecards at the time the fight was stopped: 67-63 2x and 66-64.

—In a back-and-forth super bantamweight battle, former world champion Jonathan Guzman (24-1, 23 KOs) survived a hellacious second-round knockdown to KO Rodolfo Hernandez (30-10-1, 28 KOs) with a left hook to the body in the third.

— Heavyweight phenom Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson (3-0, 3 KOs) scored the third straight first-round stoppage to begin his career, knocking down Andrew Satterfield (5-4, 3 KOs) twice en route to the TKO victory.

Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Rosario on Williams: ‘I knew that my power was affecting him right away’

Jeison Rosario captured the WBA and IBF Super Welterweight World titles with a shocking fifth round stoppage of hometown favorite Julian “J-Rock” Williams Saturday night in the FOX PBC Fight Night main event and on FOX Deportes from Temple University’s Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.

“As soon as I stepped into the ring, I knew he could not hurt me,” said Rosario. “I knew that my power was affecting him right away. This is a big victory for me and for the whole Dominican Republic.”

“Rosario was the better man tonight,” said Williams. “It was a great homecoming for my fans and I’m sorry I let them down. What went wrong tonight needs to and will be fixed. We’re going to an immediate rematch and we look forward to returning the favor.”

In his first world title fight, the Dominican Republic’s Rosario landed power punches from the outset and opened up a cut on with a punch over Williams’ right eye in the second round. Williams was landing power punches of his own, but was unable to stop Rosario from coming forward.

Watch round two highlights where Rosario opens the cut over Williams’ eye here.

“I’m so emotional in this moment right now,” said Rosario. “When I lost my last fight I said I will never lose again until I become champion of the world and that’s what happened tonight. I came prepared. I knew before the fight that I was going to win it.”

In round five Rosario landed the punches that would ultimately lead to the end of the fight, hitting him with hard straight right hands that immediately slowed Williams.

“I have to give a lot of credit to my team,” said Rosario. “I had a 16-week training camp and that prepared me for this. My life is changed forever and I can support my family in a whole new way. I realized that I was going to win, once I was offered the fight. I knew that if I made the sacrifice, that I would do what I did tonight. I knew it 16 weeks ago.”

Rosario sensed his moment and came forward with big punches, while Williams tried to hold and survive. Eventually the onslaught proved to be too much, and referee Benjy Esteves halted the bout 1:37 into the round. At the time of the stoppage, Rosario led 39-37 on two cards, with the third card scored 38-38.

“I wasn’t surprised he was so good,” said Williams. “I told everybody he’s a real fighter. I have to accept it. The cut blurred my vision a little bit but it wasn’t the reason why I lost. He was the better fighter tonight. We’ve got a rematch clause. I’ll see him again soon. I’ll be back.”

Watch Rosario finish Williams in Round 5 here.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Hurd on J-Rock: ‘The rematch just couldn’t happen sooner because of my circumstances’

Former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd shared his thoughts on his ring return taking place Saturday, January 25 against Francisco Santana live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

“This fight isn’t about making a statement,” said Hurd. “I just want to get the win and fight a great fight. I’m going to remind the boxing world what it’s like when I bring a storm to Brooklyn.”

The January 25 co-main event will be Hurd’s first fight with new trainer Kay Koroma. While Koroma trains fighters at the Alexandria Boxing Club in Virginia, not far from Hurd’s Maryland home, he is also an assistant coach for the USA amateur boxing team, having helped various boxers win Olympic medals.

“Camp has been going great with my new trainer Kay Koroma,” said Hurd. “We’ve been working on a lot of head movement and jabs. We’re strictly focused on boxing and working on all the areas where I have room to grow. He’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things.”

For the Accokeek, Maryland native, this will be his first fight training outside of his home area as a pro fighter. He has been in Colorado Springs training since January 2 and has experienced both the positives and negatives of camp away from home.

“The positives are that there’s literally nothing to focus on out here except boxing,” said Hurd. “No distractions at all. The only negative is you can get homesick. I miss my girlfriend and my family. Also, I just got a new puppy named ‘Bolt’ and I miss my little guy too.”

Hurd will be fighting again after losing his WBA and IBF 154-pound titles in May 2019 against Julian Williams. It was one of the most exciting fights of last year, and one that Hurd will hope to be running back soon, after a victory on January 25.

“The rematch with Julian Williams is what I always wanted,” said Hurd. “I had no intentions of moving up in weight. Unfortunately, the rematch just couldn’t happen sooner because of my circumstances.”

For his first fight back, Hurd will be facing a tough veteran in Francisco Santana, one who has faced other top 154-pounders, including Williams and Jermell Charlo, and who always comes forward and brings the fight to his opponent. If Hurd is unprepared, it will show against his hard-charging opponent.

“We just wanted a matchup to get back in the groove of things,” said Hurd. “I’ve been inactive for the better part of the last year. Santana being a smaller fighter, he will stay close and try to outwork me. I know he’s coming to win, so I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana. We’re going to work behind strategy and skills to get the victory.”

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions and DSG Promotions, are on-sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and barclayscenter.com. Tickets also can be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Keeler: ‘He’s already talking about the Charlo fight, and that’s a dangerous mindset’

Luke Keeler has branded Demetrius Andrade ‘deluded’ and has predicted he’ll rip his WBO World Middleweight title away from him when they clash for the belt at the Meridian at Island Gardens in Miami on Thursday January 30, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

 Keeler (17-2-1 5 KOs) heads into his first World title fight full of confidence with impressive wins over Luis Arias and Conrad Cummings in 2019 and a blossoming relationship with trainer Pete Taylor, father of Irish star Katie Taylor.

The Irishman is confident he will be the first man to inflict defeat on the two-weight king Andrade (28-0 17 KOs), and believes that the Rhode Island ace is looking past him to blockbuster bouts and unification fights – and that lack of focus on the job at hand can play into the challenger’s hands in Miami.

“He’s really talking himself up,” said Keeler. “I don’t know if he believes it or he’s a bit deluded, but he hasn’t produced it in the ring yet. He hasn’t really fought anyone elite, I think he is going to overlook me and I think he is that deluded that he believes he’s one of the greatest and he just has to turn up to win. That’s going to count against him and I am taking that belt with both hands.

“He’s already talking about the Charlo fight, and that’s a dangerous mindset when I am coming in with my lottery ticket basically. I’m merely a hindrance to him. I don’t have a great record on paper; there’s a couple of losses on there that shouldn’t have been losses, so he can look past me.

“I think I am a banana skin to him, there’s no pressure on me, for me it’s easy. When you go in against guys you are expected to win it’s tough, this is easy mentally and it’s lifted me as I know it’s a life-changing chance for me. Win this fight and you are talking a contract with DAZN and massive pay days in huge fights.

“I want to win his World title and move on. Some of these guys go in and respecting him too much, fear him in there and I am going in there to rip it from him. He talks about being the best Middleweight out there, but he hasn’t proven it yet and I will prove him wrong on the night.”

Keeler and Andrade clash on a huge night of action in Super Bowl week with Tevin Farmer (30-4-1, 6 KOs) defending his IBF World Super Featherweight title against JoJo Diaz (30-1, 15 KOs), unified World Super Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman (27-2-1, 10 KOs) defending his titles against Murodjon Akhmadaliev (7-0, 6 KOs) and YouTube stars Jake Paul and AnEsonGib clashing on their pro debuts.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing