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
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
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
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.”