Mayweather to battle Deji in exhibition bout

On Sunday, November 13, legendary undefeated boxing Hall of Famer Floyd “Money” Mayweather returns to the ring in his second appearance for the Global Titans Fight Series to face UK-based YouTube sensation turned pro-boxer Deji Olantunji, as world-class boxing and entertainment company Global Titans, along with co-owners/partners FrontRow Entertainment and Mayweather Promotions, proudly present ‘Global Titans Fight Night’ from the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai and live on pay-per-view.

Mayweather’s (50-0, 27 KOs) previous Global Titans appearance was on May 21 of this year, where he dominated “Dangerous” Don Moore in the Abu Dhabi Unity boxing event at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island. Originally scheduled for May 14 on the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel’s helipad, the event was postponed a week and moved, due to the death of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Although retired, Mayweather has kept a busy schedule as he continues to keep The Money Team brand at the forefront of the biggest events and ventures worldwide.

“I’m delighted to be working with Global Titans and FrontRow Entertainment to bring another incredible boxing experience to Dubai.” said Mayweather. “It’s an honor to return to Dubai and to be a part of such an iconic event in this world-class destination. I would like to thank the Global Titans and FrontRow Entertainment team for giving me this platform and for giving back so much to the sport I love.”

The brother of fellow social-media influencer and professional boxer KSI, Oladeji Daniel “Deji” Olatunji (1-0, 1 KO) is a major YouTube personality at home in the UK. Formerly known online as ComedyShortsGamer (abbreviated as CSG), the 25-year-old is best known for his comedic content, reactions and skits, which have garnered him 10.7 million subscribers and nearly 4.1 billion views on the platform. Deji has already notched one professional boxing victory by stopping fellow YouTuber Yousef ‘Fousey’ Erakat in the second round of their fight on Saturday, August 27 at the 02 Arena in London. In his three-fight amateur career, Deji was defeated by celebrity boxing phenom Jake Paul.

“Huge thanks to Global Titans and my team for creating this incredible opportunity,” said Deji. “It’s a privilege to be headlining this phenomenal spectacle in Dubai against the all-time great Floyd Mayweather. This is going to be fun!”

One of the most technologically advanced arenas in the world and located in the City Walk in Dubai, the beautiful 17,000-seat Coca-Cola Arena opened in 2019 and regularly hosts events that include concerts, sport, family entertainment and ceremonies.

Nico Ali Walsh to battle Billy Wagner on Loma-Ortiz undercard

Middleweight prospect Nico Ali Walsh, the grandson of “The Greatest,” is set to make his New York City return.

Ali Walsh will fight Billy Wagner in his first scheduled six-rounder Saturday, Oct. 29 at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Ali Walsh-Wagner joins the undercard of the lightweight main event between former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko and the unbeaten Jamaine “The Technician” Ortiz. In the featherweight co-feature, two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy Ramirez battles former world champion Jessie Magdaleno.

The entire Lomachenko-Ortiz card will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+.

“I am thrilled to be back in action on another significant card. Lomachenko is one of the greats of his era,” Ali Walsh said. “My first year as a professional has been a tremendous learning experience, and I have a great team to help me get to the next level. I respect Billy Wagner and am preparing to showcase everything I’ve learned in the gym from my incredible trainer, Kay Koroma.”

Ali Walsh (6-0, 5 KOs) made his pro debut in August 2021 with a first-round knockout and has been dominant in the paid ranks apart from one minor hiccup. Last December, he made his Madison Square Garden debut and edged Reyes Sanchez by majority decision. Following a pair of quick knockouts to start his 2022 campaign, he fought Sanchez in an August rematch at Pechanga Arena San Diego, the same building where Muhammad Ali lost to Ken Norton via split decision in 1973. Ali Walsh cleared up any doubt, doubling over Sanchez with a left hook to the liver in the second round. Wagner (5-2, 1 KO), from Browning, Montana, has won two straight since a February 2021 knockout loss to Javier Martinez inside the MGM Grand Bubble.

Josh Warrington to defend title on December 10

Josh Warrington will defend his IBF World Featherweight title against Luis Alberto Lopez at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Saturday December 10, live worldwide on DAZN – and Matchroom and DAZN can announce that the Light-Flyweight unification clash between Hiroto Kyoguchi and Kenshiro Teraji will be broadcast live on DAZN in Europe when the pair clash in Saitama, Japan on Tuesday November 1.

Warrington (31-1-1 8 KOs) regained the IBF strap when he stopped Kiko Martinez in his Leeds fortress in March, with the hometown hero flooring the Spaniard in the opening round before ending matters in the seventh round to punctuate a blistering performance in front of his adoring fans.

The 31 year old suffered a broken jaw in his second career win over Martinez but has fully recovered and now aims to take care of a dangerous mandatory challenge before targeting unification blockbusters.

“So we are back at the Leeds Arena, back for the 12th and potentially final time,” said Warrington. “I’m very excited to be back in Leeds. I started the year very well with a sensational 7th round stoppage against Kiko Martinez to recapture my IBF belt and now finishing the end of the year defending my belt to my mandatory who’s a tough Mexican and has waited a long time to fight me.

“It’s going to be a hard fight, he comes forward, he’s wild and erratic, I’ve got history with Mexican fighters, but I’m hoping to put on a great performance in front of my home crowd.

“I’ve been saying it for so long about going over to the States and fighting in a unification fight. That’s the dream but due to delays with injuries to my jaw and hand I have to fight my mandatory now. I’m fully focused on doing a job, getting the show closed early and finishing 2022 with a bang.”

Lopez (26-2 15 KOs) is no stranger to fighting in the UK having punched his ticket to fight for the title by stopping Isaac Lowe in an eliminator clash in London in December. The 29 year old Mexican has stayed busy while waiting for his chance to tackle Warrington, notching stoppage wins in April and August, and will travel to Leeds with ambitions to emulate the stunning KO win his fellow countryman Mauricio Lara inflicted on the Warrington in February 2021.

“I remember, not too long ago, when a Mexican fighter knocked Josh out in his country,” said Alberto Lopez. “On December 10, in his hometown, I am going to silence his fans. The IBF Featherweight title will return to Mexico. I dedicate this fight to the Mexican people and everyone from my hometown of Mexicali. This one’s for you, and Josh, enjoy that belt while you still have it.”

An announcement on ticket sales for Warrington vs. Alberto Lopez will be made soon.

Before that showdown, the focus is on Japan and what promises to be a scintillating fight when WBA ruler Kyoguchi and WBC king Teraji put their belts on the line as the Light-Flyweight division makes moves to crown an undisputed champion.

Kyoguchi (16-0 11 KOs) shone in his last outing, stopping Esteban Bermudez in eight thrilling rounds in Guadalajara in June, his fourth successful defence of the title he ripped from Hekkie Budler in May 2018. Teraji (19-1 10 KOs) regained his WBC crown in March in a rematch with Masamichi Yabuki, landing a third round stoppage in Kyoto to gain instant revenge over his fellow countryman last September, where Yabuki ended Teraji’s five year reign as WBC king with a shock tenth round stoppage win.

The card features a more than interested observer as Puerto Rico’s Johnathan Gonzalez (26-3-1 14 KOs) will look to successfully defend his WBO Light-Flyweight title against the unbeaten Shokichi Iwata (9-0 6 KOs) before taking his seat at ringside to take in the main event with hopes of a unification battle with the winner.

“I cannot wait to be back in Leeds, one of the best atmospheres in the world,” said Eddie Hearn. “It’s great to have Josh back in the ring and ready to thrill again, and those fans will play a big part in getting their hero over the line in a tough fight with the dangerous Mexican Alberto Lopez.

“Before that, we’ve got a brilliant night of boxing in Japan on November 1. Hiroto has become the number one Light-Flyweight in the world, but Kenshiro will want to take that title and the WBA belt to boot – this fight cannot fail to entertain, fireworks are guaranteed, and the winner will take a massive step towards an undisputed bout.”

Stevenson: ‘Me and Devin {Haney}, we could lock-in’

Former unified junior lightweight champion Shakur Stevenson(WBC/WBO) dominated the 130-pound division, but all good things must come to an end. While Stevenson has never lost to an opponent, he did lose to the scale as he could not make 130 pounds during Thursday’s weigh-in, and the titles were vacated.

However, the fight went on, and in front of a record crowd of 10,107 partisan fans, the largest crowd ever to attend a boxing event at Prudential Center, Stevenson dropped and dominated Robson Conceição for 12 rounds and won by unanimous decision. 

The Newark native won by scores of 117-109(2x) and 118-108.

Stevenson(19-0, 9 KOs) made it his business to go to the body, and he landed a career-high 75 body shots, including a body shot knockdown in the fourth. Overall, Stevenson landed a career-high 199 punches. It was an easy night for the former unified champion. He did lose a point in the ninth round for throwing down Conceicao(17-2, 8 KOs), which really was the only drama Stevenson dealt with all night, but now it’s time for bigger and better as he is going up to 135 pounds. 

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY – SEPTEMBER 23: Robson Conceição (L) and Shakur Stevenson (R) exchange punches during their WBC and WBO junior lightweight championship fight at Prudential Center on September 23, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

After the fight, Stevenson, who was 1.6 pounds overweight, discussed how hard it was for him to make weight this week. 

“I had a long week,” he said. “I killed myself to make weight. All I want to do is come in here and perform. I did everything I could to do that,” Stevenson said. “I’m just a dominating individual. With me versus him, the ref, I did everything I could to try and beat {Conceicao} up as much as I could. He held me the whole night, but I did everything I could.”

Two things are clear, Stevenson is definitely a draw in Newark, and he will be tough to beat for anybody at 135.

“We gotta fight the champ,’ he said. “Me and Devin {Haney}, we could lock-in. After he fights Kambosos, let’s get it on! ‘ll fight (Vasiliy) Lomachenko, too!” 

Those fights can be made, especially Loma, who returns on October 29 against Jamaine Ortiz. Regarding the king of the 135-pound division, Haney, he’s a bigger lightweight, so if he beats Kambosos, who knows how long he’ll stay at 135, but if it happens, it’s a great fight. 

Again, it’s hard to imagine anyone beating Stevenson at this point. He just knows how to win rounds, but those guys he called out won’t be easy nights.

Wilder: ‘It’s good to know that Usyk will be in the arena’

Former WBC Heavyweight World Champion and boxing superstar Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder(42-2-1, 41 KOs) previewed his long-awaited return to the ring during a media workout in Las Vegas Thursday, as he prepares to take on top-rated Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius(31-3, 20 KOs) in a WBC Heavyweight Title Eliminator on Saturday, October 15 topping a FOX Sports PBC Pay-Per-View from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The pay-per-view telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will see Wilder look to make his first step toward becoming a two-time heavyweight champion with an emphatic victory over the hard-hitting Helenius. Wilder’s first title reign saw him rack up an astounding 10 consecutive successful defenses and a staggering 91.1% knockout rate, combining to make him one of the biggest stars in the sport today.

Wilder talked a number of topics, including a possible fight with unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, who is expected to be ringside for Wilder-Helenius.

On what he expects from Helenius…

“I always want a good matchup. Robert (Helenius) has been on a winning streak and he’s here. I’ve been hearing he’s supposed to be the mandatory for (Oleksandr) Usyk and however that’s laid out, but I know he’s coming with his A+++ game. They always do when they fight me.

“With Robert, I think he’s gotten even more confident because he’s been sparring with me for many, many years. So we kind of know each other. At this point in camp, we’re trying to do some things that he’s never seen before. And I’m sure he’s trying to do some things that I’ve never seen before. And the one thing I like about Robert is that he has a warrior’s heart, just like me.”

Toby Acuna/Premier Boxing Champions

On training nonstop for long lengths of time…

“We’ve been doing 30 or 40 rounds nonstop. Only time I get water is during the break. I’ve just been doing things like that to challenge myself, doing things that have never been done before, or that you don’t really do in boxing. I wanted to see how my body adjusts to the long length of time without a break. When you can go a long time without taking a break, you’re in shape.”

On what’s special about fighting at Barclays Center…

“It’s not only just the beautiful arena that they have there, but they pack so many electrifying fans in there… I think Barclays Center has some of the best fans around. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve had an open-armed welcome, and I’m going to receive the same, or even greater, this time around. And I’m all smiles. I’ve been ready to come back to Barclays Center for some time now, and I get that opportunity… I’m coming back Brooklyn!”

On Usyk potentially being ringside on October 15 and a possible showdown against him in the near future…

“It’s music to my ears. I hold Usyk to be a very honorable person and a man of his word. So I’m looking forward to that. I’m not looking past Robert by any means. It’s good to know that Usyk will be in the arena. Welcome to a great show. And to all the fans, welcome to a great show for whoever is watching and attending, but I’m not looking past Robert.

“For Usyk to be able to bless me with a title shot when I’ve blessed so many during my reign, it’s a great feeling. So we’re going to get past October 15, and then after that we can see what happens. I’ve got a lot of things lined up, a lot of options in the works for me… But when it’s dealing with a title shot you’ve got to jump on it when the opportunity presents itself.”

On a renewed energy and doing things ‘his way’ in the second half of his career…

“It feels good. Even in my first reign, a lot of it was my way. But this right here is totally 100% Deontay Wilder’s way. I’m in a different position right now. And it just feels great to be in the position I’m in with no pressure. I don’t need the business anymore. When I do it, I do it for my own personal reasons. I’m doing it for the people and I’m doing it for some hardware, some titles.”

Shakur Stevenson: ‘I’m really focused on putting in the work on Friday night’

Shakur Stevenson is two days away from the ultimate homecoming. The WBC/WBO/Ring Magazine junior lightweight king will defend his belts Friday evening against Robson Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) at Prudential Center. Stevenson, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, is a Newark native who is fighting at home as a world champion for the first time.

Before Stevenson and Conceição took the mic, the Mayor’s Office of the City of Newark presented Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs) with a proclamation declaring September 21, 2022, as Shakur Stevenson Day in the city. That was followed up by special plaque from Quitman Street School students, Stevenson attended Quitman Street for elementary school, and the building sits less than a mile from Prudential Center.

In the eight-round lightweight co-feature, U.S. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (5-0, 4 KOs) steps up in class against Omar Tienda (25-5, 18 KOs).

At Wednesday’s press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.

Shakur Stevenson

 (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“Honestly, I’m just ready to fight. I’m not really focused on the pressure. I don’t care about all that. I’m really focused on putting in the work on Friday night. I’m just ready to fight at the end of the day. All I can think about is fighting and performing. That’s everything that’s on my mind.”

“He’s a good fighter. But I think he lost against Valdez. If you left it in the judges’ hands, then you lost. I fought Valdez, and I beat the s*** out of him. I don’t have any excuses. He’s talking about having COVID or something before his last fight. All I hear are excuses. I’m ready to fight. Tell him to not have any excuses on Friday night. I’m ready to beat him up.”

“I never leave it in the hands of the judges. I go in there and take everything that I want.”

Robson Conceição

 (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“It was very touching for me to be welcomed by my community here. Yes, I understand that Shakur is a native, but I also feel right at home here.”

“I’m very motivated. I’ve trained all my life for this moment. The world was able to see that I was better than Oscar Valdez. I should have won. So, he’s not really defending two titles because one should have been mine. I’m a champion without a crown, and I’m ready for Friday night.”

“Shakur is someone that I really respect. He’s a great athlete. I can tell that he’s young, probably overly excited and speaks a little too much. This coming Friday, there will only be one champ, and that champ is me.”

Keyshawn Davis

 (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

“Keyshawn is going to be Keyshawn and he’s going to have fun in there. The talent that Shakur and I have is extraordinary. We both get to show our talent back to back. Just like I said last time in Las Vegas when I fought alongside him, the fans are going to be the winners at the end of the night. And that’s definitely what happened. We’re definitely looking forward to just giving the fans what they came out and paid for.”

“Is he my toughest opponent yet? I don’t know. I’m going to wait and see. I’m hoping that it’s a great fight for me so that I can keep learning and developing. I’m more than prepared for this fight both mentally and physically.”

Omar Tienda

“I’m happy to be in the co-feature of an event of his caliber. I’m excited and happy to be able to come here and do my job. What do we bring that may be different? Well, obviously experience, hard work and strength. We will also bring big surprises for the entire night.”

“You all know why I have ‘The Heroe’ as my nickname. I worked 13 years in emergency rescue, doing different kinds of rescues internationally. Not only in 2008, but in 2010, 2014 and the last one in 2016. They have been very important rescues in which lives are at risk, where we know that we have to go in there and work and where we don’t know if we’ll be returning to see our families.”

“So, for me, this is about working, enjoyment and happiness. We’ve come to score the upset and the name of ‘The Heroe’ will ring once more.”

Bruce Carrington

“Being on Top Rank boxing is the best move that I’ve ever made. I’m happy to be a part of this team. The sky is the limit, and I’m ready to continue proving myself. I just want to step into the ring and showcase my talent so that everybody can see what I’m capable of doing. Top Rank is the place to be for you to be able to showcase that.”

Jahi Tucker

“I just want to thank God for the opportunity to be here. This is a testament to all the hard work we’ve done, and this Friday we’re going to show all the hard work. This means the world to me.”

Katie Taylor battles Elizabeth Carabajal on October 29

Katie Taylor will defend her Undisputed Lightweight World title against aren Elizabeth Carabajal at the OVO Arena Wembley in London on Saturday October 29, live worldwide on DAZN.

Taylor (21-0, 6 KOs) is coming off the biggest when of her career when she defeated Amanda Serrano in an epic fight for the ages on an iconic night at a sold-out Madison Square Garden in New York earlier this year. 
 
The Irish superstar retained her Undisputed Lightweight World title after a Fight of the Year contender with Puerto Rico’s Serrano – the first women’s boxing bout to headline the famous MSG in its 140-year history. 
 
Argentina’s Carabajal (19-0, 2 KOs) is undefeated in all 19 of her professional contests since turning over in August 2013 and the 32-year-old from Buenos Aires is a former WBC Latino, South American and Argentinian Super-Featherweight Champion, and is promoted by Argentine legend Marcos Maidana.
 
Chatteris’ European Featherweight Champion Jordan Gill (27-1-1, 8 KOs) puts his title on the line for the first time against Spain’s two-weight World Champion Kiko Martinez (43-11-2, 30 KOs) in a fight that also doubles up as an Eliminator for the IBF World title held by Josh Warrington.
 
‘The Thrill’ lived up to his nickname last time out at The O2 in February as he claimed the European title in stunning fashion by knocking out Frenchman Karim Guerfi with a blockbuster right hand in the ninth round to end an incredible contest.
 
Gill was knocked down in round seven before being heavily bundled to the floor by his opponent. Looking unsteady on his legs, the 28-year-old was backed up into his own corner and subject to a constant barrage from Guerfi, but he showed tremendous heart and determination pull off a massive comeback win. 
 
Former IBF Super-Bantamweight and Featherweight World Champion Martinez returns to the UK following his loss to Warrington at the First Direct Arena in Leeds back in March. ‘La Sensacion’ stopped Kid Galahad in six rounds to become his country’s first ever two-weight ruler last year and hopes to claim another British scalp as his brilliant career draws to an end. 
 
Emerging Belfast Super-Welterweight star Caoimhin Agyarko (12-0, 7 KOs) fights on his second Taylor undercard as he defends his WBA International title against New York’s undefeated Peter Dobson (16-0, 9 KOs) in his third fight of 2022, while Irish Lightweight contender Gary Cully (14-0, 8 KOs) fights under the Matchroom promotional banner for the first time, with his opponent to be announced soon. 
 
Romford Heavyweight sensation Johnny Fisher (6-0, 5 KOs) brings ‘The Romford Bull Army’ to North-West London for a scheduled six-round clash with Italy’s Alfonso Damiani (5-2, 2 KOs) and there’s action for Takeley Light-Heavyweight prospect John Hedges (6-0, 2 KOs) and Luton Super-Welterweight Jordan Reynolds (3-0, 1 KO).
 
“It’s hard to believe it’s been almost six years since I made by pro debut there so it’s great to go back now and headline,” said Taylor. “It’s been an amazing journey so far but there are still lots of great fights out there for me and I’m excited about what’s still to come.”
 
“I was very happy when I received the offer to challenge Katie,” said Carabajal. “The hard work has paid off. I’m not thinking for a second about giving Katie a win. All the belts with come back to Argentina with me!”
 
“We will travel to London with our undefeated warrior and we will shock the boxing world,” said Maidana. “Katie Taylor will be amazed. This will be Chino Maidana Promotions and my co-promotion partner Legacy Boxing second World championship this year, it will be a huge success for us as a new company.”
 
“I’m delighted to see Katie back in action following her epic victory over Amanda in a historic night in New York,” said Eddie Hearn. “Katie is one of the superstars of boxing and more than that a pioneer for women’s sport, and it’s great to have her return to the arena that she made her debut in 2016. It’s always an honor to stage Katie’s fights and I have no doubt that after her fight of the year with Amanda in April, a new wave of fans will pack the Wembley Arena to see this icon perform against the tough, hungry and unbeaten Argentine.
 
“We have a great card in support of the main event, Jordan mixes it with the always dangerous Spanish legend Kiko, Caoimhin continues his march to major titles, Gary fights for the first time with Matchroom, Johnny brings his Bosh Army of brilliant fans back to Wembley and unbeaten talents John and Jordan take their next steps in their fledgling careers. It’s going to be a fantastic night in the capital.”



 

 



 


Photos: Stevenson, Conceição interacting with fans in Newark

WBC/WBO/Ring Magazine junior lightweight world champion Shakur Stevenson has never fought at home as a world champion. The six letters on the front of his trunks — Newark — represents his past and immediate future.

Stevenson (18-0, 9 KOs), a 2016 Olympic silver medalist, will defend his belts against Brazilian Olympic gold medalist Robson Conceição (17-1, 8 KOs) on Friday evening at Prudential Center. He has fought at Prudential Center once before. In July 2019, he stopped Alberto Guevara in his last fight before winning the WBO featherweight world title that October.

A world championship homecoming, though, feels a little different. Stevenson kicked off fight week Tuesday afternoon at Boylan Street Recreation Center, where he met several dozen local children and was greeted by Councilwoman LaMonica McIver and other politicians from Newark and the surrounding areas. Stevenson trained at Boylan as a youngster and always makes a point to return to his roots.

Photos/Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images:

Earlier that day, Conceição received a hero’s welcome at Mantena Global Care, a Newark-based nonprofit that serves the Latino community in the city. Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood is home to one of the nation’s largest Brazilian populations. Many local dignitaries, including East Ward Council Member Michael J. Silva, were on hand to support Conceição.

“I knew that Newark had a large Brazilian population, but I am humbled by the reception I have received today,” Conceição said. “I fight for my country, and I will go out there Friday night to win these titles for my people.”

Jake Paul-Anderson Silva undercard revealed

Ashton “H20” Sylve and two of its most intriguing newcomers, Chris Avila and Mikhail “Doctor Mike” Varshavski highlight the SHOWTIME PPV undercard on Saturday, October 29 (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) headlined by Jake “The Problem Child” Paul vs. UFC legend Anderson “The Spider” Silva at formerly Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz., just outside Phoenix.

Teenage sensation Sylve (7-0, 7 KOs) will increase his level of competition and put his knockout streak on the line against durable Braulio Rodriguez (20-4, 17 KOs) of the Dominican Republic in an eight-round lightweight bout contested at 133 pounds. Avila, a disciple of UFC superstar Nate Diaz, will look to make a statement against “Dr. Mike” Varshavski, a board-certified family physician and social media influencer with nearly 23 million followers. Their four-round cruiserweight bout is contracted at 185 pounds.

The first prospect signed by MVP, Sylve of Long Beach, Calif., has stopped all his opponents in four rounds or less, demonstrating hair-trigger reflexes. The 18-year-old recently knocked out Giovanni Gutierrez in the first round of his MVP debut at lightweight in May. He fought three times in 2021 and twice thus far in 2022. A gifted amateur who turned pro at 16 with over 100 wins and 10 national titles to his credit, Sylve first rose to fame as an eight-year-old when a training video made by his father, Ivan, went viral, leading to an invite to Floyd Mayweather’s storied gym in Las Vegas.

“This is a dream come true and I’m really excited for the opportunity to put on a spectacular performance on SHOWTIME Pay-Per-View,” Sylve said. “This is my toughest opponent yet and I’ve been training hard. I’m looking forward to introducing the world to H2O on October 29th.”

Sylve is facing an experienced opponent in Rodriguez, who has scored knockouts in all but three of his wins thanks to an aggressive, swing for the fences style. When he’s lost, it has come against top-flight opposition. Rodriguez has shared the ring with lightweight contender Ryan Garcia and title challenger Christopher Diaz. He dropped a split decision to then undefeated prospect Alberto Mercado and a unanimous decision to then unbeaten Carlos Diaz, the first blemish of his career after scoring 15-straight knockouts to start his pro campaign.

“I’ve fought on big stages before and I’m going to take full advantage of this great opportunity to show fans what I’m capable of,” Rodriguez said. “I’m thankful for this chance. October 29th can’t come soon enough.”

A veteran of both the UFC and Bellator, Chris Avila (1-1 as a boxer) has made the walk for 17 professional fights and has never been stopped or hurt during his time in the cage and ring. Making his second appearance on a Jake Paul card, the 28-year-old Stockton, Calif., native is an everyday training partner of Nate Diaz, and signature member of the Nick Diaz Army. As was the case in Tampa, Fla., when Avila beat Anthony Taylor in a super middleweight boxing match last December, Diaz and more than 40 members of the Nick Diaz Army will once again be present for Avila when he takes on “Dr. Mike.” With a reputation as an aggressive fighter, Avila’s calling card overhand right landed him two first round KOs in 2021 in MMA fights, and a 3-0 combat sports record for the year.

“Hmmmm, let’s see. I am giving him a height advantage, a reach advantage and a medical degree advantage,” Avila said. “It’s whatever though. If he wants to go to boxing fantasy camp, then I’m glad to give him the lesson he wants. A real fight against a real fighter who is not here to play games or clout chase for Instagram.”

It’s a good bet Avila has never faced anyone with a bedside manner like “Dr. Mike” Varshavski. Voted “Sexiest Doctor Alive” by People Magazine, the 6-3 Varshavski will attempt to prescribe a steady diet of right hands to Avila in his pro boxing debut. A fitness nut with over 10 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, “Dr. Mike” bloodied and battered YouTube personality Ian “iDubbbz” Washburn this past May in the main event of Creator Clash to walk away with a victory in the exhibition bout. If “Dr. Mike” puts forth a similar effort on October 29, the prognosis could be grim for Avila. “Dr. Mike” donated his entire purse in May to help relief efforts in Ukraine and plans to donate his purse on October 29 to a Boys & Girls Club of NYC.

Maxi Hughes can’t wait to fight Saturday night

Maxi Hughes has told Kid Galahad to prepare for life after boxing as he defends his IBO World Lightweight title at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).

Hughes (25-2-2, 5 KOs) defends his title for the second time, after widely outpointing fellow Brit Ryan Walsh in March in his first defense, following his shutout win over the dangerous Giovanni Straffon to land the belt last September.

‘Maximus’ is riding the crest of a wave, unbeaten since November 2019 and enjoying the ‘Cinderella Man’ status that has come with his impressive run of form, that has seen him be linked with big time battles against Californian star Ryan Garcia and former World ruler Jorge Linares.

The Rossington man has put those thoughts to one side for this South Yorkshire derby though, with former IBF Featherweight ruler Galahad () stepping up two weights in his ring return and looking for an immediate return to boxing’s top table – but his 32 year old opponent says Saturday night could be the end of the line for the Ingle Gym slickster.

“I hope he has a plan in place for life after boxing because after Saturday night he’s got nowhere to go,” said Hughes.

“He was Featherweight champion, and he was looking to go to Super-Feather, so I am surprised that he’s jumping up two weights to face me. It’s a high-profile fight, he’s been IBF champion and they usually regard their champions highly, so they may rank him highly, so beating KG should improve my ranking. It would be nice to get a top five ranking with them and move towards to a bigger fight. It’s the same every time for me, get this one won, and a bigger fight could be next.

“I don’t take boxing personally, this is my full time job and that’s where my mind is at. He’s in the way of me providing for my family. I’ the underdog and I love that. He was a World champion in his last fight so he’s a high-calibre opponent, that’s really getting the juices flowing.

“I have faith in my ability and where I am in my team. I’m not one for bold predictions – I just want a win, however it comes, and I believe I am going to get it.”

On a stacked undercard, Denaby Main’s Terri Harper (12-1-1, 6 KOs) leaps up in weight to challenge Scotland’s Hannah Rankin (12-5, 3 KOs) for her IBO and WBA Super-Welterweight World Titles in an intriguing England vs. Scotland clash.

Former IBO and WBC Super-Featherweight World Champion Harper lost her titles at the hands of the USA’s Alycia Baumgardner on the undercard of Galahad vs. Martinez last year before landing the WBA Intercontinental Lightweight Title against Yamila Belen Abellaneda in March.

Rankin captured gold by decisioning Maria Lindberg over 10 rounds at the Tottenham Hotspur FC Banqueting Hall in November 2021 before defending her belts against Mexico’s Alejandra Ayala at The SSE Hydro, Glasgow in May.

Birmingham Heavyweight prospect Solomon Dacres (4-0, 1 KO) meets Dominic Akinlade (9-3-1, 4 KOs) over ten rounds, former Team GB Olympian Cheavon Clarke (2-0, 2 KOs) looks to maintain his perfect start to life in the Cruiserweight division against Argentina’s Marcos Nicolas Karalitzky (7-5-2, 2 KOs), Alnwick Welterweight talent Cyrus Pattinson (4-0, 2 KOs) has his fifth fight in the paid ranks, new Matchroom Super-Welterweight signing Junaid Bostan (2-0, 2 KOs) aims to make it three knockouts from three fights, Mansfield Super-Bantamweight prospect Nico Leivars (2-0-1) returns to action after his technical draw in Sheffield and Wigan Lightweight Rhiannon Dixon (5-0) fights for the first time under the STN Sports banner.