Hector Garcia drops, dominates Colbert to pull off upset

Late replacement Hector Garcia performed like the world champion he was substituting for on Saturday night, battering and dropping the highly-touted Chris Colbert to earn a unanimous decision in a 12-round WBA Super Featherweight World Title Eliminator that headlined a thrilling tripleheader live on SHOWTIME in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Garcia (15-0, 10 KOs) stepped in for the WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez less than three weeks ago after Gutierrez was forced to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test. Despite having little time to prepare, , the southpaw Garcia used his height and powerful left hand to dominate Colbert (16-1, 6 KOs) by scores of 118-109, 118-109 and 119-108. 

“I have to thank everyone in my corner, Ismael Salas and Bob Santos, and everyone that worked with me,” said Garcia. “I feel great. I definitely knew three weeks ago that my life would change. My trainers gave me the confidence to win this fight.”

“I’m sorry I let everyone down, today he was the better man,” Colbert said afterward, his arm draped around Garcia in an encouraging embrace. “I take my losses like I take my wins. I want to run it back and hopefully we can do it again. There’s no excuses. He was the better man today.”

Garcia was the aggressor throughout, dropping Colbert for the first time in his career with a counter left in the seventh round that caused Colbert to fall backwards, his legs flying up in the air from the momentum. Colbert got to his feet, but Garcia jumped on him again, stalking him around the ring.

“In the ninth and 10th rounds I hit him so hard,” said Garcia. “I knew I had him. I knew he wasn’t going to be able to box anymore.”

Colbert could never get on track and showed little of the aggression and skills that made him one of the most talked about young fighters in the sport.

“Everyone puts pressure on me in the ring,” said Colbert. “That’s nothing new. I want to get a rematch if I can. Congratulations to Hector and his team. They deserved this win tonight. I wasn’t feeling myself. At the end the day, I’m still ‘Primetime’ on SHOWTIME.”

In the end it was Garcia, a 2016 Dominican Olympian, who performed like the favored fighter, punishing Colbert and pushing him back and potentially earning a title shot against Gutierrez.

“I want to fight Gutierrez for the world championship,” Garcia said. “I worked too hard to get into this position today.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Colbert: ‘I can do it all in the ring’

Unbeaten rising star Chris “Primetime” Colbert and undefeated Dominican Olympian Hector García went face to face and tit for tat in a clash of styles and words Thursday at the final press conference before they meet in the ring this Saturday, February 26 live on SHOWTIME headlining a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

During the event, Colbert briefly and humorously temporarily took control of the hosting duties and began peppering Garcia with questions about his chances on Saturday. Later, Garcia questioned Colbert’s commitment to boxing, likening his career to a “circus.”

2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell and former world champion Viktor Postol will meet in the co-main event, plus IBF Junior Bantamweight World Champion Jerwin Ancajas and undefeated Argentine Fernando Martinez, who meet to kick off the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

Here is what Colbert had to say Thursday from The Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas:

CHRIS COLBERT

“I was a little disappointed when Roger Gutierrez dropped out of the fight. I had to put that disappointment aside and just hope that him and his team recover fast. Once I beat this guy right here, I want Gutierrez next.

“I want to thank Garcia for even taking this fight. Without that, I wouldn’t even be fighting on Saturday. Garcia is just a step in my way. We all have obstacles that we have to overcome, and this is another. I’m ready to test myself against the best.

“He has 10 knockouts but that doesn’t scare me. Everyone knows what I do. Every time someone has power against me, they get beat bad. I don’t know what I’m going to beat him with, but I’m going to beat him down.

“I’m not cocky, it’s just confidence in my skills. We’ve put in the work. I’m in Superman shape. I was ready to take that title.

“I want to fight the biggest fighters in the game. That’s going to be my legacy. Gary Russell Jr. is a tremendous fighter and I’m willing to give him an opportunity to fight for the title at 130-pounds. We’re both dogs and I don’t want any easy fights.

“I can do it all in the ring. How are you going to beat me if I can do it all? I’m a real fighter and I want to give the fans tremendous action.

“If he thinks I’m a clown, I’m going to juggle with him on Saturday and give everyone a show.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Colbert on Garcia: ‘He’s going to learn firsthand how dangerous I am’

Unbeaten rising star Chris “Primetime” Colbert held a media workout in his hometown of Brooklyn Friday, as he prepares to take on undefeated Dominican Olympian Hector Garcia in the SHOWTIME main event Saturday, February 26 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Colbert vs. Garcia tops a stacked SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT as the undefeated fighters match up in a WBA Super Featherweight Title Eliminator.

The 25-year-old Colbert held the workout at the NYC Cops & Kids Boxing Club where he began his boxing journey, from his decorated days in the amateur ranks, to his burgeoning pro career. Here is what Colbert had to say about training camp, his February 26 opponent and more:

CHRIS COLBERT

Photos: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

“He’s going to learn firsthand how dangerous I am. I’m not worried about anything he brings to the ring. I love when people think that power is going to save them against me.

“I don’t have to live up to the ‘Primetime’ name, that’s just me. That’s who I am. People know who I am. I just have a job to do and I’m going to do it on February 26.

“I don’t really know anything about Garcia. I know he’s got two arms and two legs, and beyond that I expect him to bring his A-game, because he has to against me. There’s no way that I’m letting him come in as a late replacement and beat me.

“I spent most of training camp with Coach Aureliano Sosa and Herman Caicedo at Caicedo Sports down in Miami, but with the change of opponent I made the decision to come back to my gym in Brooklyn because we have three lefties in the gym up here.

“The only real difference for this camp is that I have a nutritionist now, so they’ve got me on a strict diet and I’m just more focused than ever. The other thing about this camp is that I was originally supposed to fight in mid-December, but then it got pushed back to now. So we went through two camps basically. It’s been about a 14-week camp in total.

“We went down to Miami mainly because of the weather, and because of our connection with Coach Herman. I hate the cold up north. And then they’ve also got a lot of quality sparring partners for me down in Miami and they gave me some good work to get me ready for this fight.

“I’m all about making adjustments. I’ve had opponent replacements happen before, and I know this is part of the business of boxing. I just have to roll with the punches, make lemonade out of these lemons and do what I do on February 26.

“I don’t fight for the belts. I fight for the money and my legacy. I still have a job to do next Saturday. I’m still getting paid. After I win, I get to fight again soon for the belt and get paid again for that fight.”

Colbert to battle Garcia after Gutierrez withdraws due to COVID

Undefeated rising star Chris “Primetime” Colbert will now square off against unbeaten Dominican Olympian Hector Luis Garcia in a 12-round WBA Super Featherweight World Title Eliminator headlining live on SHOWTIME Saturday, February 26 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The southpaw Garcia replaces WBA Super Featherweight World Champion Roger Gutierrez, who was forced to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast kicks off at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will feature another unbeaten young phenom in the co-main event. Gary Antuanne Russell, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, faces former world champion Viktor Postol in a 10-round super lightweight bout, while IBF Junior Bantamweight World Champion Jerwin Ancajas defends his title against unbeaten Argentine Fernando Martinez in the televised opener of the loaded tripleheader.

Representing his native Brooklyn, N.Y., Colbert (16-0, 6 KOs) has quickly shot up the 130-pound rankings, taking on high-level competition in his first 16 pro fights. Already established as a fighter with dazzling boxing skills, Colbert showcased his ability to fight toe-to-toe with an 11th-round stoppage of Jaime Arboleda in December 2020 before most recently besting Tugstsogt Nyambayar in July 2021. The 25-year-old turned pro in 2015 and defeated three unbeaten fighters in his first eight contests. Prior to the Arboleda fight, Colbert scored a highlight-reel first-round knockout against Miguel Beltran Jr. in September 2019 and a dominant 12-round decision victory over former champion Jezzreel Corrales in January 2020.

Tall and rangy with good power in his left hand and a dedicated body attack, the 30-year-old Garcia (14-0, 10 KOs) scored the most impressive victory of his career in his last fight, when he defeated Isaac Avelar by unanimous decision in December 2021. The 5-9 Garcia, who sparred with Devin Haney and Rolly Romero for the Avelar win, represented his native San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic, in the 2016 Olympics before turning pro in December that year. Garcia is trained by the highly respected Ismael Salas, who has guided a long list of standouts, including Yordenis Ugás, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Nonito Donaire, and Jorge Linares. Garcia will be fighting for just the third time in the U.S. on February 26, having defeated Avelar in Minneapolis. He was zeroing in on facing a top contender in 2022. Now he will get his chance.

Colbert-Gutierrez set for February 26 in Las Vegas

Undefeated rising star Chris “Primetime” Colbert, whose mix of speed and power have quickly made him a fan favorite, will seek his first world title when he takes on WBA Super Featherweight Champion Roger “The Kid” Gutierrez in the SHOWTIME main event Saturday, February 26 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® telecast kicks off at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT and will feature another unbeaten young phenom in the co-main event. Gary Antuanne Russell, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, faces former world champion Viktor Postol in a 10-round super lightweight bout, while IBF Junior Bantamweight World Champion Jerwin Ancajas defends his title against unbeaten Argentine Fernando Martinez in the televised opener of the loaded tripleheader.

Representing his native Brooklyn, N.Y., Colbert (16-0, 6 KOs) has quickly shot up the 130-pound rankings, taking on high-level competition in his first 16 pro fights. Already established as a fighter with dazzling boxing skills, Colbert showcased his ability to fight toe-to-toe with an 11th-round stoppage of Jaime Arboleda in December 2020 before most recently besting Tugstsogt Nyambayar in July 2021. The 25-year-old turned pro in 2015 and defeated three unbeaten fighters in his first eight contests. Prior to the Arboleda fight, Colbert scored a highlight-reel first-round knockout against Miguel Beltran Jr. in September 2019 and a dominant 12-round decision victory over former champion Jezzreel Corrales in January 2020.

“I’m super ready for my title shot,” said Colbert. “This has been a long time coming, but it’s no shocker to me. This was always the expectation. I know Gutierrez will come to fight. He’s a champion for a reason. So he’s not coming to lay down. But I plan to put him down and I’m willing to do whatever I have to do on February 26 to make that happen. I know a lot of people have been waiting to see when I get this title shot and now it’s time.”

The 26-year-old Gutierrez (26-3-1, 20 KOs) captured his world title with a unanimous decision victory over Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado in January 2021, in a fight that saw him drop his opponent three times. Gutierrez followed up that performance by defending his world championship and defeating Alvarado a second time in August 2021, again earning a unanimous decision. Fighting out of his native Maracaibo, Venezuela, Gutierrez is unbeaten in his last seven outings, including four knockouts.

“First of all, I want to thank God, my mother, my team, my promoter and the WBA for this opportunity,” said Gutierrez. “It cost me a lot of effort to win the world championship, this is my second title defense and I am ready to give it my all to retain it. On February 26, I am going to show the world that I am the best at 130 pounds.”

Russell (14-0, 14 KOs) has yet to allow an opponent to make it the distance against him since turning pro in 2017 following his run representing the U.S. at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. Russell added five more stoppage victories in 2019 before knocking out Jose Marrufo in the first round in February 2020. The 25-year-old most recently dominated Jovanie Santiago in May on SHOWTIME, on his way to a sixth-round stoppage. Russell belongs to one of the sport’s preeminent fighting families and trains alongside his older brothers, former WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Jr. and bantamweight contender Gary Antonio.

“I’m going to make sure I’m prepared mentally and ready to perform at a high-level for this fight,” said Russell. “These fights come down to who’s more mentally stable, and that’s a matter of training. I train my mental as much as I do physically. I’ve watched Postol fight before and I know that he’s a rangy fighter with a European style. He likes to stay at a distance and that works best for him. He leans on his strengths. Every fight I come in planning to make a statement. My prediction, I’m ending this fight in round five.”

A feared contender in the 140-pound division, Postol (31-3, 12 KOs) returns to the ring after losing a narrow majority decision to then unified champion Jose Ramirez in August 2020. Fighting out of California and originally from Ukraine, Postol, knocked out Lucas Matthysse in 2015 to capture a super lightweight world title before losing a unification showdown against Terence Crawford. Postol has won three of his last five fights, with the only defeats in that stretch coming against Ramirez and current undisputed champion Josh Taylor, both by decision.

“I accepted this fight as soon as it was offered,” said Postol. “I haven’t fought in a while and I wanted to get back in the ring as soon as I could. I’m especially excited that I’m going to have the opportunity to face a good young opponent on February 26.”

Representing the Philippines, Ancajas (33-1-2, 22 KOs) was only 15 years old when he was spotted by boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. The young fighter blossomed with Pacquiao’s guidance, becoming the first world champion under Pacquiao’s promotional banner when he outpointed McJoe Arroyo for the IBF title in September 2016. The 30-year-old southpaw hasn’t lost since and will be making the tenth defense of his title, following an April 2021 unanimous decision over Jonathan Rodriguez.

“I am thrilled to be back on SHOWTIME defending my world title on February 26,” said Ancajas. “It’s very exciting to be making my tenth world title defense in the first Las Vegas fight of my career. I want to thank my whole team for giving me this great opportunity to fight on this PBC event on SHOWTIME.”

A resident of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Martinez (13-0, 8 KOs) most recently knocked out Gonzalo Duran in the fourth round of their August 2021 showdown and will be making his U.S. debut on February 26. The 30-year-old rose up the rankings by stopping Athenkosi Dumezweni in his home country of South Africa in 2019, following that up with a decision over Angel Aquino in December 2020. Martinez turned pro in 2017 and owns an amateur victory over former title challenger and super flyweight contender Andrew Moloney.

“I’m excited to have this great chance to show my skills on the big stage in Las Vegas,” said Martinez. “I’m going to leave it all in the ring on February 26 and give all the fans watching an exciting fight. My goal is to become world champion and this is the night for me to prove myself.”

Colbert cruises to unanimous decision victory over Nyambayar

Unbeaten rising star Chris “Primetime” Colbert cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Tugststogt “King Tug” Nyambayar Saturday night to retain his Interim WBA Super Featherweight title in the main event of action live on SHOWTIME from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

The 24-year-old Colbert (16-0, 6 KOs) rode a dominant jab to victory as he landed 112 across the 12 rounds according to CompuBox, buoying a 218 to 78 advantage in punches landed. The Brooklyn-native used the jab to set up a variety of effective power punches that he was able to land from orthodox and southpaw stances.

“We had a tremendous training camp,” said Colbert. “We sparred a lot with a bigger guy in Michel Rivera, so I had a lot of practice using my speed and jab in camp. The jab is always a key in this sport.”

Mongolia’s Nyambayar (12-2, 9 KOs), who now fights out of Los Angeles, stepped in to fight Colbert on less than two weeks’ notice, replacing former champion Yuriorkis Gamboa after he suffered a training camp injury. Nyambayar had successful moments in his 130-pound debut, with Colbert even noting the Olympic silver medalist’s power, but he was unable to keep up a sustained attack or keep the busier Colbert from controlling the tempo.

“He carried power for a 126-pounder,” said Colbert. “Boxing is about hitting and not getting hit. I had to use my Muhammad Ali tactics and float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. This was a great fight and ‘Tug’ did a great job coming in off only a week and a half of training for me. I take off my hat to him and wish him nothing but the best in his career.”

Colbert rode his versatile offensive arsenal to a big advantage on the scorecards and statistically, dominating Nyambayar in punches landed as he connected on 106 power punches to 78 total punches landed by Nyambayar. After 12 rounds, the judges’ scores confirmed Colbert’s dominance, as he won the decision with scores of 117-111 and 118-110 twice.

“I’m number one in the WBA,” said Colbert. “So you know what time it is. I’m going to follow the plan and see what happens next.”

Gervonta Davis holds the WBA strap at 130, but he just fought at 140, so who knows if he will ever fight at 130 pounds again. Colbert is a talented fighter, and is definitely one of the top guys in the 130-pound division. He has options going forward.

In the co-main event, rising lightweight contender Michel Rivera (21-0, 14 KOs) scored a highlight-reel knockout over Jon Fernandez (21-2, 18 KOs) in the eighth round of their WBA Lightweight Title Eliminator. Watch the knockout HERE.

“I’m so excited and beyond happy to get this win,” said Rivera. “Fernández was a strong, experienced opponent that forced me to change the game plan I had going in.”

An unbeaten Dominican fighter who now trains in Miami, Rivera seemed to take control of the action in round four, as he began to find a home for the straight right hand that would eventually end the fight. The tables turned momentarily in round six however, as Fernandez connected with a clean right hand to the head that put Rivera on the canvas for the first time in his career.

“I knew since the first round that I would have to be careful with him,” said Rivera. “He had heavy hands and was taller than me, but I was faster and more skilled overall.”

The 23-year-old was able to weather the storm brought by the Spaniard Fernandez and made it through the round despite the knockdown. After regaining his momentum in the seventh round, Rivera broke through with a decisive right hand that crumpled Fernandez early in the eighth, prompting referee Jack Reiss to wave off the bout 44 seconds in the frame. Rivera held an 87 to 76 advantage in punches landed, and connected on 37% of his power punches, compared to 27% from Fernandez.

“I want the fight with Rolando Romero next,” said Rivera. “Once I do face him, I would like to go up against Gervonta Davis or Teofimo López.”

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Colbert: ‘Nobody in the 130-pound division can beat me’

 Unbeaten Interim WBA Super Featherweight Champion Chris “Primetime” Colbert and hard-hitting contender Tugstsogt “King Tug” Nyambayar faced off Thursday at the final press conference before they meet in the main event of action live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, July 3 in a Premier Boxing Champions event from Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif.

Here is what Colbert had to say about the upcoming fight, and other things on Thursday:

“I was going to knock [Yuriorkis] Gamboa out cold, and now ‘King Tug’ has to take the knockout.

“My hard work is finally paying off. All I have to do is stay focused, dedicated, and disciplined, and then I’ll be the face of boxing in a couple of years.

“This venue is really known for wars. Come Saturday night I’m definitely going to bring the heat.

“I’m ready for this fight. Nyambayar knows he’s in for trouble on Saturday. Nobody out there can take a fight with me on a week-and-half notice and not be in for trouble.

“Me and Michel Rivera got a lot of rounds in together during training down in Miami. We did a great job all camp and I’m just ready and excited to get in the ring.

“I’ve been knocking out everyone they put in front me. They still don’t give me the respect I deserve yet. I just have to keep doing my thing on Saturday night and embarrass him.

“I can’t tell you if he’s my toughest opponent yet. I know that he’s not beating me, and that’s a promise. There’s no way a 126-pounder will come up in weight and beat me.

“He’s a fighter with only one loss, he can come back from that. But it’s not going to matter on Saturday night. He’s supposed to be confident in himself. He can’t say he’s going to get washed Saturday, but that’s what is going to happen.

“I appreciate ‘Tug’ for taking the fight, but Saturday night I’m going to get in there, dominate and beat him up. This is a Nissan vs. a Lamborghini, and I’m the Lambo.

“I agree that ‘King Tug’ might be better opposition than Yuriorkis Gamboa would have been. But it doesn’t matter if it was Gamboa, ‘King Tug’, or Arnold Schwarzenegger in there with me, it was always going to be the same outcome on Saturday night.

“My hair is orange this week as a dedication to the cause of fighting Multiple sclerosis. One of my friends, Dave, back in New Jersey has it and he told me his story of how he was paralyzed as a kid and also had MS. Then I saw him on the Stairmaster in the gym the next day for like an hour. I saw that and realized there’s no excuses I can make for not being in the gym. I do the different hair colors to make people feel special. I want them to know that I’m fighting for them.

“Nobody in the 130-pound division can beat me. I’m going to continue to prove that every time I step into the ring. I’m going to deliver a dominating performance. Don’t be surprised when I stop him.

“I don’t think thi is going past 10 rounds. I’m going to keep proving that I have power on Saturday night. I’m not discrediting his skills, but I’m just different.”

Photo: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

 

PBC, Showtime announce schedule, including cards headlined by Davis, Charlo Twins

SHOWTIME Sports and Premier Boxing Champions today unveiled a loaded five-month boxing schedule of nine high-stakes world championship events beginning Saturday, May 15, live on SHOWTIME. The schedule delivers two events per month through August. Thirteen matchups have been announced thus far with no less than seven world title fights, and 12 fighters defending undefeated records. The lineup features many of boxing’s best young fighters taking on career-defining challenges in their primes. All fights on the schedule will take place before a live audience, keeping with applicable local COVID-19 safety protocols.

The sizzling summer run features the dynamic Charlo twins as undefeated electrifying champion Jermall Charlo defends his WBC middleweight world title against Juan Macias Montiel in a special Juneteenth homecoming in Houston on Saturday, June 19, live on SHOWTIME.

The following Saturday, June 26, unbeaten Mayweather Promotions star Gervonta “Tank” Davis moves up two weight classes for a chance to become a three-division world champion when he takes on fellow undefeated champion Mario Barrios for his super lightweight world title in what will be Davis’ second pay-per-view showdown.

The next month, WBC, WBA and IBF 154-pound charismatic world champion Jermell Charlo looks to make boxing history when he takes on WBO junior middleweight world champion Brian Castaño in a mega-fight to crown the first four-belt 154-pound world champion. The World Championship Unification bout takes place on Saturday, July 17, live on SHOWTIME.

The SHOWTIME boxing schedule features eight editions of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING and one premier SHOWTIME PPV event, all presented by Premier Boxing Champions:

  • MAY 15 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Luis Nery vs. Brandon Figueroa, WBC Super Bantamweight World Title Fight
    • Danny Roman vs. Ricardo Espinoza Franco, Super Bantamweight Fight
    • Xavier Martinez vs. Abraham Montoya, WBA Super Featherweight Fight
  • MAY 29 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire, WBC Bantamweight World Title Fight
    • Subriel Matias vs. Batyrzhan Jukembayev, IBF Super Lightweight Title Eliminator
  • JUNE 19 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Jermall Charlo vs. Juan Macias Montiel, WBC Middleweight World Title Fight
  • JUNE 26 – SHOWTIME PPV
    • Gervonta Davis vs. Mario Barrios, WBA Super Lightweight World Title Fight
    • Erickson Lubin vs. Jeison Rosario, WBC Junior Middleweight Title Eliminator
  • JULY 3 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Chris Colbert vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa, WBA Super Featherweight Interim Title Fight
  • JULY 17 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castaño, Undisputed IBF, WBA, WBC & WBO Junior Middleweight World Title Unification Fight
  • AUGUST 14 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. John Riel Casimero, WBO Bantamweight World Title Fight
  • AUGUST 28– SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING 
    • David Benavidez vs. Jose Uzcategui, WBC Super Middleweight Title Eliminator
  • SEPTEMBER 11 – SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING
    • Stephen Fulton, Jr. vs. winner of Nery-Figueroa, Super Bantamweight World Title Unification Fight

The boxing action begins on SHOWTIME on Saturday, May 15 with the highly anticipated WBC super bantamweight world championship fight between Luis Nery and Brandon Figueroa. The battle of two unbeaten champions who have been on a collision course for supremacy in the 122-pound division headlines a three-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast. Rounding out the May 15 event, former unified super bantamweight world champion Danny Roman faces the tough, hard-hitting Ricardo Espinoza and super featherweight rising contender Xavier Martinez takes on the experienced Abraham Montoya.

Two weeks later on Saturday, May 29, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING will present the long-awaited title tilt between Nordine Oubaali and future Hall of Famer Nonito Donaire for the WBC bantamweight world championship. The undercard will feature Subriel Matias taking on undefeated Batyrzhan Jukembayev in the stiffest test of their professional careers as they meet in an IBF super lightweight title eliminator.

This summer, the thrilling Charlo twins will headline separate SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events to defend their titles.

In a Juneteenth Day celebration on Saturday, June 19, in his hometown of Houston, unbeaten WBC middleweight world champion Jermall Charlo takes on the power-punching Juan Macias Montiel. After claiming a championship in the 154-pound division, Charlo moved up in weight and has been just as dominant. The battle against Montiel will be Charlo’s fifth defense of his 160-pound title. Charlo is coming off a career-defining victory over Sergey Derevyanchenko in September.

On Saturday, June 26, current two-division world champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis looks to become a three-division world champion when he returns to headline his second SHOWTIME PPV event. Davis, 26, will jump up two weight classes from his last contest to face unbeaten super lightweight world champion Mario Barrios. Davis is coming off a career-best victory over world champion Leo Santa Cruz. The co-main event that evening will feature a high-stakes WBC junior middleweight world title eliminator between Erickson Lubin and former unified 154-pound world champion Jeison Rosario.

Then, on Saturday, July 17, one month after his brother’s fight, Jermell Charlo looks to make boxing history when he defends his WBC, WBA and IBF junior middleweight world titles against undefeated WBO world champion Brian Castaño in one of the most highly anticipated and important matches of the year. Charlo aims to achieve something that has never been done in boxing history by becoming the first fighter to be undisputed champion at 154 pounds in the four-belt era. Charlo has held the WBC title since 2019 and added the WBA and IBF titles with a stunning knockout victory over Jeison Rosario in his last fight in September.

Also in July, undefeated rising star Chris Colbert of Brooklyn, N.Y. will defend his WBA super featherweight interim title against three-division world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in a crossroads bout on Saturday, July 3. The 24-year old Colbert is coming off a career best victory, a knockout win over Jaime Arboleda in December 2020. The Cuban-born Gamboa seeks to reassert himself by moving back down to super featherweight where he has excelled throughout his career.

August will feature another pair of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING events. On Saturday, August 14, two of the best bantamweights in the world will meet when former unified world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux faces John Riel Casimero for Casimero’s WBO bantamweight world title.

Two weeks later, on Saturday, August 28, undefeated two-time former super middleweight world champion David Benavidez will face former super middle champion Jose Uzcategui in a fight that will put the winner one step closer to a world championship opportunity. Benavidez, 24, made boxing history when he became the youngest super middleweight world champion at age 20 with a victory over Ronald Gavril in 2017.

On Saturday, September 11, the red-hot 122-pound division will take center stage once again on SHOWTIME as the WBO junior featherweight world champion Stephen Fulton, Jr. will make the first defense of his title against the winner of the May 15 clash between undefeated champions Nery and Figueroa. The unification fight will be the main event on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

Colbert: ‘I came to show the 130-pound division that I can punch’

Undefeated interim WBA Super Featherweight Champion Chris “Primetime” Colbert scored a statement knockout victory Saturday night, dropping tough contender Jaime Arboleda three times en route to the 11th round win live on tonight’s SHOWTIMEBOXING: SPECIAL EDITION from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

At the end of an action-packed ninth round, the flashy Colbert (15-0, 6 KOs) sent the WBA No. 4 ranked Arboleda (16-2, 13 KOs) to the canvas for the fourth time in his career when he caught him with a vicious left hook. Arboleda survived, but in round 11 Colbert knocked Arboleda down twice early in the round and followed up with an unanswered flurry that convinced referee Steve Willis to stop the fight at 1:37 of the penultimate round. Watch the stoppage here: https://twitter.com/ShowtimeBoxing/status/1337983163759538177

“I dominated the whole fight,” said Colbert. “I probably gave him two rounds, but that was by choice. I just wanted to build his confidence because I knew I was going to stop him in the later rounds. I came to show the 130-pound division that I can punch. I’m here and I’m here to stay.

“I’m more than just a flashy boxer. I can stand in there and bang. I know there were close rounds in the fight, but I understood that as it was happening. It was part of the game plan. I knew what I was doing. I was wearing him down to knock him out late. I did what I said I’d do.”

Colbert was docked a point for a low blow in the eighth round and at the time of the stoppage all three judges scored each round identically and had Colbert ahead 98-90.

“I just kept my head up after the deduction and kept coming strong,” said Colbert. “I had to come out here and put on a dominating performance. I talk a lot, so I had to make sure I backed it up.”

The Panamanian Arboleda was the much busier fighter in Saturday’s main event, throwing almost 300 more punches (709-411) than Colbert. However, Brooklyn’s Colbert out-landed Arboleda 184-153 and relied heavily on his lightning quick hand speed and stylish defense to stymie Arboleda’s attack.

The 24-year-old Colbert, who was making his SHOWTIME debut in his first televised main event, proved that he is a legitimate threat in the talent-heavy 130-pound division.

In the co-main event, talented up-and-coming super lightweight prospect Richardson Hitchins (12-0, 5 KOs) remained unbeaten, scoring a split-decision victory over former world champion Argenis Mendez (25-6-3, 12 KOs). Two judges scored the 10-round contest 98-92 and 99-91 in favor of Hitchins, while one judge scored it 97-93 in Mendez’s favor.

The Brooklyn, N.Y. native Hitchins, who represented his parents’ home country of Haiti in the 2016 Olympics, used his superb jab to counteract Mendez’s power punches. The 23-year-old Hitchins landed 57 of his 198 jabs thrown compared to Mendez’s 12 of 90. Mendez landed 80 of his 256 power punches, including 44 shots to the body, compared to Hitchins’ 60 power punches landed out of 135 thrown. Mendez came on late in the fight and was more active over the second half of the bout, but was unable to overcome Hitchins’ jab.

“I rate my performance a B-plus,” said Hitchins, who fights out of the Mayweather Promotions stable. “I think I might have lost one round. I could have gotten an A if I put a little more hurt on him, but I knew his defense would be tight. I’ve watched him since I was a kid. I knew he was a smart fighter. With the amount of experience I have compared to him, it was a great performance.

“Now I have my first world champion under my belt just 12 fights in. It’s a tremendous honor. I haven’t been boxing as long as he’s been professional. I’m proud of myself.”

In the telecast opener, Ronald Ellis (18-1-2, 12 KOs) was victorious by fifth-round TKO after 37-year-old veteran contender Matt Korobov (28-4-1, 14 KOs) suffered a fight-ending injury in his second straight appearance. In the fourth round, Korobov injured his left Achilles and prior to the start of the fifth round, the fight was stopped upon the advice of the ringside physician.

At the time of the forced stoppage, Korobov was ahead on two of the judges’ scorecards, with the third having it even after the four completed rounds. Over the first three rounds, Korobov landed two more punches than Ellis (22-20) and in the fourth round, Korobov upped his output, throwing a fight-high 56 punches with 11 connects.

The bout was contested at super middleweight after the 31-year-old Ellis came in five pounds above the middleweight limit at Friday’s official weigh-in. In Korobov’s last bout, he suffered a left shoulder injury and was unable to continue against Chris Eubank Jr.

“I know he dies out in the later rounds so I was going to step on it in the second half of the fight,” said Ellis, a native of Lynn, Mass. “It’s been a while and I know that this wasn’t my best performance. He’s awkward, he’s a southpaw. He wasn’t giving me that much but I was trying to beat him by a few punches each round. I heard the announcers say that I wasn’t throwing as much as I usually do but I was giving what I was getting. After I heard that, I stepped it up. Once I saw that his leg was hurt, I was nervous we were going to the scorecards because he might have grabbed early rounds.”

In non-televised undercard action, highly regarded featherweight prospect David Navarro scored a first-round KO for the second time in as many professional appearances. The 21-year-old Los Angeles native opted to forgo the chance to represent the U.S. at next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, and has since displayed his power with two first-round KOs in the span of two months.

Photo: Amanda Westcott/SHOWTIME

Colbert: ‘Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz and Jamel Herring would all be great fights for me’

Unbeaten interim WBA Super Featherweight Champion Chris “Primetime” Colbert will look to make a statement in his first nationally televised main event as he faces hard-hitting Jaime Arboleda live on SHOWTIME this Saturday, December 12 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

“I always knew I was going to get here,” said Colbert. “It’s all God’s plan. This is just going to be another day for me and I’ll show everyone why I’m one of the best 130-pounders in the world.”

The 24-year-old Colbert has shot up the rankings of the 130-pound weight class and believes that a victory on Saturday night will lead to bigger opportunities in the jam-packed division.

“This is one of the most stacked divisions in boxing and I love competing in it,” said Colbert. “It’s great to be getting noticed in a division that has this much talent, and hopefully it’ll lead to me getting the big fights that I need. I don’t feel like there’s any certain fighter I’m targeting, but Gervonta Davis, Leo Santa Cruz and Jamel Herring would all be great fights for me. Beating them would help me become ‘the guy’ in the division.”

Colbert‘s rise continued in his last fight, as he scored a 10th-round knockdown against former champion Jezreel Corrales on his way to a decision win while showing an impressive array of skills against a fighter determined to slow the action through holding and other veteran tricks.

“Against Corrales I learned not to rush,” said Colbert. “It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. I can’t just go rush in there and expect everyone to get knocked out. I had to take my time, do what I do best and stick to my game plan.”

In the 26-year-old Arboleda, Colbert will be presented with another rising 130-pound contender with his own sights set on emerging amongst the elite in the division. Arboleda has won five of his last six fights by stoppage and most recently dropped Jayson Velez on his way to a decision victory in February on SHOWTIME.

“Come December 12, I’m ready for whatever he brings,” said Colbert. “I expect him to bring pressure and ‘try’ to make me tired because that’s the only chance he has. He can’t outbox me. That’s not happening. But I love to bang inside and I’m ready for whatever he does. I hope he doesn’t run or clinch me because I’d love to get the knockout and get him out of there early.”

The Brooklyn-native Colbert has continued to work with his longtime coach Aureliano Sosa in his hometown through the difficulties of the pandemic. Those difficulties have led to Colbert sparring with larger welterweight and super welterweights in camp, which Colbert believes could help him with the power Arboleda will bring into the fight.

“Training camp has been going great for the most part,” said Colbert. “It’s just been a little hard finding sparring partners. But because it’s been difficult to find fighters at my weight I’ve actually been sparring with 147 and 154-pound fighters. I honestly love that because it prepares me better, and who’s to say that Arboleda won’t have power like them? I’m on weight now, though, and ready to put on a show on December 12.”