Katie Taylor: I can become the greatest

Katie Taylor believes that she can become the greatest female fighter ever as she meets Rose Volante in a World Lightweight unification clash at the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, PA on tonight (March 15), live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

IBF and WBA ruler Taylor (12-0 5 KOs) looks to unify for a second time against the Brazilian WBO champion Volante (14-0 8 KOs) having added the IBF strap to her WBA belt in April in Brooklyn, New York beating Victoria Bustos and now places those belts on the line for the fourth time.

The Irish favorite can take a step closer to her goal of becoming the undisputed champion on St. Patrick’s weekend, with a summer showdown with WBC ruler Delfine Persoon on the cards to enable Taylor to own all four belts at 135lbs – with promoter Eddie Hearn saying this week that that clash could take Taylor back to Madison Square Garden, New York on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s World Heavyweight title showdown with Jarrell Miller on June 1.

The 32 year old has targeted mega fights later in the year with seven-weight World ruler Amanda Serrano and undisputed Welterweight champion Cecilia Braekhus – the types of fights that could make Taylor go down in history as one of the true greats.

“I want to be an undisputed champion, I want to make history in the sport, leave behind a legacy and be known as the best of all time for years and years to come,” said Taylor.

“I wake up every day so blessed and grateful to be able to do something that I love, even on those days that I am not in the mood to train, and I do have those days, we all do.

“The biggest challenge is to change people’s perception of the sport. There are still a lot of people that don’t agree with women’s boxing but I think that is definitely changing and people are seeing the best of women’s boxing right now.

“I’m very lucky to have been given this platform to perform on these big stages and giving women’s boxing the showcase that it deserves. People hadn’t seen the best of the sport before but with Sky Sports and DAZN backing us, we’re on a high – it’s a golden era.

“You are seeing the Olympians turning over to the pros now and that’s huge for the sport, the strength in depth really is there now, especially around Lightweight – there’s a stack of new stars in the sport and that’s why it’s great that there are big fights out there for me.

“I would love to fight at MSG again, it was incredible to box there on the Canelo card, it was phenomenal. I just fight wherever I am told.

“Anyone in the opposite corner is big competition for me but the public want to see the Amanda Serrano fight – it’s one of the biggest in boxing right now, not just in the women’s game but in general, but I am well aware that we both need to keep winning to make it happen and all that is on my mind right now is Rose Volante tonight, I have to get past that.”

Taylor’s clash with Volante is part of a massive night of action as local hero Tevin Farmer (28-4-1 6 KOs) defends his IBF World Super-Featherweight title against Ireland’s Jono Carroll (16-0-1 3 KOs).

Philadelphia Middleweight warrior Gabriel Rosado (24-11-1 14 KOs) faces Poland’s Maciej Sulecki (27-1 11 KOs) for the WBO International title and a likely World title shot at Demetrius Andrade, Philly Lightweight’s Hank Lundy (29-7-1 14 KOs) and Avery Sparrow (9-1 3 KOs) battle for local pride, Olympic gold medal pair Luke Campbell MBE (19-2 15 KOs) and Daniyar Yeleussinov (5-0 3 KOs) and silver medalist John Joe Nevin (11-0 4 KOs) taste their first action of 2019, unbeaten Super-Middleweight D’Mitrius Ballard (19-0 12 KOs) faces Victor Fonseca (17-9-1 14 KOs) while exciting New Jersey amateur star Raymond Ford makes his pro debut.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW PRICED FROM $40 FROM THE LIACORAS CENTER WEBSITE

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Vargas-Soto to battle on April 26

Former two-weight World champions Jessie Vargas and Humberto Soto will clash in a vital showdown for their World title ambitions on a blockbuster bill at The Forum, Los Angeles on Friday April 26, live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK.

Vargas and Soto will meet at 151 pounds as they both look to add a third weight class to their World title CVs later in the year at Super-Welterweight.

Vargas (28-2-2 10 KOs) kicked-off the live American shows on DAZN in an entertaining Welterweight showdown with Thomas Dulorme in Chicago in October, with the fight ending in a draw. The Las Vegas man has now identified World honors at 154lbs as his next target, with Mexican talent and WBO ruler Jaime Munguia top of the hitlist as he defends his title against Dennis Hogan two weeks before Vargas and Soto meet, live on DAZN.

Soto (69-9-2 37 KOs) breathed new life into his career with a great win over Brandon Rios in a tear-up in his hometown of Tijuana, Mexico in February. The 38 year old is chasing the 70th pro win of his remarkable career, and could force his way into a clash with fellow countryman Munguia.

“I’m excited for my return to the ring on April 26,” said Vargas. “Humberto Soto is the opponent and I’m preparing accordingly with my coaches to give my fans an entertaining fight as always.

“Soto is an experience World class fighter who challenged me immediately after his win over Brandon Rios. The challenge has been accepted and on April 26, I plan to come out victorious.”

“The odds were against me in my last fight against Brandon Rios and I know that this fight will not be any different,” said Soto. “This gives me extra motivation to prove everyone wrong again and to add a third loss to Vargas’ record.

“I am extremely happy for this new chapter in my career and I am not going to waste this great opportunity! Like I said before, this is a do or die fight!”

“Vargas vs. Soto completes a huge card in LA on April 26,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “Soto was outstanding in defeating Brandon Rios a few weeks back in Mexico and goes into this fight full of confidence attempting to upset the odds again.

“Jessie will take this fight at 151 pounds as he makes the transition to 154 pounds and can’t afford an upset as he targets Jamie Munguia later this year. With Rungvisai vs Estrada, Roman vs. Doheny and now Vargas vs. Soto, this is a show fight fans do no not want to miss.”

Vargas’ clash with Soto is part of a huge night of action on Matchroom Boxing USA’s first show in Los Angeles, topped by two massive World title fights as Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-4-1 41KOs) and Juan Francisco Estrada (38-3 26KOs) meet in a rematch for Rungvisai’s WBC and Ring Magazine titles and WBA Bantamweight champion Daniel Roman and IBF king TJ Doheny meet in a unification battle.

It’s Vargas’ first fight under hall of fame trainer Freddie Roach, who will see his charge Scott Quigg (35-2-2 26KOs) continue his path to becoming a two-weight World champ.

Unbeaten Super-Middleweight talent Anthony Sims Jr is set for a breakout year and will fight for his first title on the bill. Sims (17-0 16 KOs), who is in action in Peterborough, England on Saturday night live on DAZN and Sky Sports, clocked three stoppage wins in the second half of 2018, and will look to convert that momentum in style in first the UK and then in LA.

Shakhram Giyasov (7-0 6KOs) and Diego Pacheco (2-0 1KO) landed wins in Tijuana, Mexico this weekend and will fight on the bill, while Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to his blossoming stable of young USA talents, Houston’s Austin ‘Ammo’ Williams, will make his pro debut on the card.

Tickets are on sale now prices from just $25 – to charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.fabulousforum.com or www.ticketmaster.com, and also at the Forum Box Office.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Canelo-Jacobs set for May 4

 Boxing’s biggest star will take a step closer to becoming undisputed champion as Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) defends his WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Titles in a 12-round unification fight against IBF Middleweight World Champion Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) during the celebratory weekend of Cinco de Mayo. The champion-vs.-champion event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 and will be streamed exclusively live on DAZN.

Additional details for the event, including venue and ticket information, will be announced shortly.

Canelo is a 28-year-old native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico who became the top man in the sport by facing the best competition and making the best fights for the fans. At 154 pounds, Canelo captured several world titles and defeated the likes of Austin “No Doubt” Trout, Sugar Shane Mosley, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara and Liam “Beefy” Smith. However, Canelo scored his most significant victory yet at 160 pounds, where he defeated Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in their highly anticipated rematch in September 2018 and established himself as the WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion. Canelo then made history by signing the most lucrative sports contract for an athlete in history to begin a groundbreaking, exclusive partnership with global sports streaming platform DAZN that saw the last king of pay-per-view boxing step into a new era as the new king of sports streaming.

In his debut performance, Canelo became a three-division world champion by knocking out Rocky Fielding in three rounds to capture the WBA Super Middleweight World Title in December 2018. Canelo will return to middleweight for this fight as he continues to clean out the 160-pound division.

“I’m happy to announce my next fight during the festive weekend of Cinco de Mayo,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I will unify my middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs on one of the two most important dates that belong to me. I have no doubt that I will be victorious and that I’ll be one step away from becoming the undisputed middleweight world champion. And what better way to watch it than on as tremendous a platform as DAZN.”

Jacobs is a 31-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York who is widely considered as one of the best middleweights of this era. Despite being away from the sport for 19 months, due to a form of bone cancer that he courageously overcame, Jacobs rose up the middleweight rankings to win the WBA Middleweight World Title against Jarrod Fletcher in 2014. Jacobs made several successful defenses, including a thunderous first-round knockout of Peter Quillin the following year. Despite losing to Gennady Golovkin in a very close fight in 2017, Jacobs has remained undefeated since his return, defeating former amateur champion and middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko to capture the IBF Middleweight World Championship. Jacobs will look to capture more middleweight hardware in the biggest fight of his career.

“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. The opportunity to achieve greatness inside the ring,” said Daniel Jacobs. “I have always believed I can beat Canelo, and on May 4 live on DAZN, I will get my chance to play it out. It’s been nearly four years since Canelo has faced an American challenger. It’s going to be a huge event where I believe I will cement myself as the best middleweight in the division.”

“Canelo Alvarez wants the best fights and the biggest challenges,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “That’s what he did as the 154-pound champion, and that’s what he’s doing now as the king of the middleweight division. We are also proud to demonstrate to boxing fans that this new partnership with DAZN means that fans will get pay-per-view level fights without the cost of pay-per-view. Golden Boy Promotions is continuing its promise to make the sport as accessible as possible by putting this champion-vs.-champion fight on the platform.”

“What a fight! I can’t tell you how happy I am that Danny Jacobs gets this opportunity to fight Canelo on Cinco de Mayo in a massive unification fight,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Victory would cap one of the most incredible, inspirational boxing stories of our generation, and Danny and the team will be putting everything in place to lead him to victory. Respect to Canelo and Golden Boy for accepting this challenge, and congratulations to DAZN and their subscribers for getting this incredible fight with no extra cost. Let’s go May 4! Let’s go Daniel Jacobs!”

Bivol signs with Matchroom Boxing; Bivol-Smith to happen in March

Dmitry Bivol and World of Boxing have signed a promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing USA and the Russian will defend his WBA World Light-Heavyweight title against Joe Smith Jr live on DAZN in the US and on Sky Sports in the UK in March.

Bivol makes the fifth defense of his belt against Smith Jr after moving to 15-0 (11KOs) in November, with a comprehensive to a points win over former unified champion Jean Pascal in New Jersey. Bivol’s win over the Canadian was the latest impressive name on his growing CV, following a points triumph over Isaac Chilemba, a final round stoppage of Sullivan Barrera and a highlight real first round KO of Trent Broadhurst.

The Russian star will meet a stern test of his ambitions to unify the division in the shape of Smith Jr. (24-2 20KOs) the Long Islander who famously stopped Bernard Hopkins in the Philadelphia legend’s last pro fight in December 2016 and destroyed Andrzej Fonfara inside the opening round of their clash in Chicago six months earlier.

Eddie Hearn presents Bivol vs. Smith Jr in association with World of Boxing, Star Boxing and Main Events – and both fighters and their teams predict fireworks when the pair clash in March, with the date and venue to be confirmed at a press conference in New York this Friday.

“I am glad to finally meet Joe in the ring,” said Bivol. “I saw his fights against Fonfara and Hopkins live and always wanted to test my skills against him! Thank you to World of Boxing, Matchroom Boxing USA, and DAZN – I hope to put a great performance for everybody!

“Very happy to be working with Eddie Hearn, it’s a pleasure!” said World of Boxing’s Andrei Ryabinskiy. “We look forward to a great event together with Matchroom and DAZN.”

“Bivol was supposed to fight Joe back in November, it’s a very exciting fight,” said Bivol’s manager Vadim Kornilov. “Both Dmitry and Joe have a lot of power. I guess this fight was meant to happen and we look forward to a building relationship with Eddie Hearn and DAZN!”

“I am very excited for the opportunity to fight Bivol for the World championship,” said Smith Jr. “Everything I’ve worked for in and out of the gym was to better myself and become a World Champion. All the hard work and my determination will pay off come fight night.”

“Joe Smith Jr. is one of the hardest punching fighters out there,” said Smith’s promoter Joe DeGuardia. “His exciting style and humble background has made him a real fan favorite. I am pleased he will be getting this opportunity to fight for the World Championship. Joe has been anxiously waiting for this opportunity and I look forward the fight.”

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Rosado on Arias: ‘I want to smash this clown and then meet the top middleweights’

Gabriel Rosado has pleaded with Luis Arias to go to war on Saturday night as they clash in a must-win Middleweight battle at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, KS, live on DAZN.

Rosado and Arias can lay claim to challenging the World champions in 2019 with victory in Kansas, and Arias has promised to KO Rosado to bounce back from his sole pro defeat against Daniel Jacobs last November.

Jacobs was crowned as the new IBF champion the day that Arias and Rosado met in a press conference for this weekend’s clash in October, joining Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Demetrius Andrade as rulers at 160lbs.

Rosado has twice challenged for World Middleweight titles and after over a year out of action, the Philadelphia ace wants a show-stealing and fan-friendly fight with Arias to show he’s ready for a third crack at the big prize.

“He ran in his last fight, remember that,” said Rosado. “He doesn’t know what he’s got coming. I like that all the Middleweight titles are with DAZN – congratulations to Demetrius Andrade for his win, that’s a fight I’d love, Daniel Jacobs too and Canelo – I want to smash this clown and then meet the top Middleweights.

“It’s been a long time since my last fight but in that time, I’ve been able to re-group, focus, get back with my original trainer and I’m looking forward to this opportunity. Luis has said a lot about my losses, but win, lose or draw, everybody respects me.

“I don’t know Luis personally, I guess he feels he has to hype himself up. I’ve fought the best, but not only that, I’ve fought them back to back to back, champion after champion. You have to put that into perspective, that’s a hard schedule for anybody, that level of competition.

“I took some time off and I’m healthy, strong and you are going to see a wiser, smarter Gabe Rosado that’s still hungry. I’m not worried about him wearing a mask or talking about bets, it’s a business and it’s a fight.

“Everybody has their path and that was mine. I’ve never had that promoter behind me saying ‘let’s push Gabe Rosado, let’s protect him and build him up to become World champion’. I was thrown to the wolves and being the man I am, I take these fights, I’m not supposed to turn anything down but my collar.

“Through all those tough fights I was able to gain knowledge – it’s either going to make or break you. I think most fighters would be broken by now and would have hung them up, but you see me in the Martin Murray fight, I looked good. I controlled the pace against Glen Tapia and I am going to keep that momentum going and you will see a skilled Gabe Rosado.”

Rosado’s clash with Arias is part of a huge night of action in Kansas in association with KO Night Boxing with a host of stars and local talents in action.

Brooklyn’s Heavyweight star Jarrell Miller meets fellow unbeaten big-hitter Bogdan Dinu in a crunch clash at the top level of the division, while chief-support provided by the brilliant two-weight World ruler Claressa Shields who looks to add the WBC Middleweight strap to her WBA and IBF crowns against tough Scottish challenger Hannah Rankin.

There’s an all-Mexican clash and a homecoming for Brandon Rios against Ramon Alvarez, brother of ‘Canelo’’, as both men look to make a splash at Welterweight.

Team USA 2016 Olympic bronze medal man Nico Hernandez has raced to 5-0 (4KOs) – the Wichita talent fights for the third time in the Kansas Star Casino and Arena since debuting there in March 2017, unbeaten Wichita Super-Middleweight and police officer Manny Thompson looks to improve his 7-0 record and Las Vegas’ Jeremy Nichols meets Wichita’s Jeremiah Page at Middleweight.

Unbeaten contender Anthony Sims Jr. makes a move to Super-Middleweight and Brooklyn’s exciting newcomer to the Middleweight scene Nikita Ababiy, fresh from a first round KO on debut in Chicago earlier in the month, is also in action.

Photo: Matchroom Boxing

Arias on Jacobs’ fight: ‘I was able to get out of that fight against a 190-pound guy with just a scratch’

Middleweight contender Luis Arias is back in action on Saturday when he battles Gabe Rosado at the Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, KS, live on DAZN.

Arias is back in action for the first time since losing out on points to Daniel Jacobs in New York last November, citing a huge blister as the cause of him having to adopt a defensive approach against the now-IBF World champion who handed him a first career loss in his 19th fight.

“That’s his(Rosado) only stab at me to say that I ran like a bit** against Jacobs,” said Arias. “But I didn’t get KO’d. He’s had two feet against plenty of guys and got KO’d, beaten up badly. I had a little scratch on my face after the Jacobs fight.

“I was physically and mentally ready for the fight and I believed I would win. I made a rookie mistake with my footwear and I learned a lesson the hard way.

“The fact that I was able to get out of that fight against a 190-pound guy with just a scratch, it shows I can compete with the best and it’s time to get my things in order and really prove that I can hang with all the top guys.”

Arias believes the fight against Jacobs has helped him grow as a fighter, which he believes will benefit him against Rosado.

“I left a sour taste in the mouths of the fans in the Jacobs fight but I am a better and more mature fighter now, I’ve learned from it and I think that this is the fight that changes my career,” Arias said. “I’m a warrior, he’s a warrior – it’s going to be bloody but the blood is not going to be mine.

“He’s got a lot of miles on the clock but he’s durable. If I’d had this fight before the Jacobs fight then I would have been readier for that stage, but it didn’t work out that way. I get a fresh chance and a do-over now, and I’m going to do this right this time.”

Arias’ clash with Rosado is part of a huge night of action in Kansas in association with KO Night Boxing with a host of stars and local talents in action.

Brooklyn’s Heavyweight star Jarrell Miller meets fellow unbeaten big-hitter Bogdan Dinu in a crunch clash at the top level of the division, while chief-support provided by the brilliant two-weight World ruler Claressa Shields who looks to add the WBC Middleweight strap to her WBA and IBF crowns against tough Scottish challenger Hannah Rankin.

There’s an all-Mexican clash and a homecoming for Brandon Rios against Ramon Alvarez, brother of ‘Canelo’’, as both men look to make a splash at Welterweight.

Bellator and DAZN announce on-air talent for Bellator 206

Bellator 206 will bring together an on-air all-star team including Mauro Ranallo and “Big” John McCarthy calling all the action cageside. Renowned sports broadcaster Jay Glazer will host the desk with expert commentary and analysis from Chael Sonnen and Josh Thomson. Mike Goldberg and Jenn Brown will provide behind-the-scenes updates and breaking news as roving reporters throughout the night. Veteran announcer Michael C. Williams will serve in his customary role as in-cage announcer.

Mauro Ranallo is a versatile and dynamic combat sports broadcaster well-regarded for his excitement, passion and knowledge of combat sports. His lengthy resume includes Showtime Boxing, WWE, Strikeforce, PRIDE, and has the distinction of being the first announcer to call boxing, MMA, kickboxing and professional wrestling. Ranallo joined the Bellator announce team in 2017.  A social activist, his recently released documentary, Bipolar Rock ‘N Roller was met with critical acclaim.

  “Big” John McCarthy was a renowned MMA referee spanning nearly a quarter century, officiating many of the biggest events in the sport’s history. Now McCarthy, in his first year as a broadcaster for Bellator, shares his wealth of knowledge and insight with a global television audience.

Acclaimed NFL Insider at FOX Sports, Jay Glazer will host Bellator’s coverage of Bellator 206. The veteran broadcaster is one of the most recognizable sports personalities on television and possesses a vast understanding of MMA along with owning the popular training facility Unbreakable Performance Center in West Hollywood, Calif. for top-level athletes.

Chael Sonnen, currently a semifinalist in Bellator’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix, is among the most popular and recognizable fighters and personalities in the sport. An All-American wrestler at the University of Oregon, the world-class grappler has fought the biggest names in the history of MMA, from “Rampage” Jackson to Anderson Silva to Jon Jones. A former contestant on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, he has provided MMA commentary for ESPN since 2014, including hosting the weekly show Ariel and the Bad Guy with Ariel Helwani.

Josh Thomson is a former Strikeforce lightweight world champion who joined Bellator in 2015, and won has two of his three fights with the promotion. The exciting and outspoken fighter, known as “The Punk,” also has a budding acting and on-air announcing career.

Mike Goldberg, a popular veteran sports announcer, joined the Bellator announce team in 2017. With over a decade behind the microphone, Goldberg is one of the most recognizable voices in all of MMA. His resume also includes calling nearly 1000 NHL games for the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota Wild, play-by-play for SEC, Big Ten, ACC college basketball and football and sideline reporter for the Chicago Bulls.

Jenn Brown joined Bellator in 2017 and is a two-time Emmy-award winner. A former Division I collegiate athlete for the University of Florida, the well-regarded on-air sports reporter has reported from the sidelines of the biggest college football and baseball games for ESPN. Brown was the first female correspondent for Inside the NFL and can be regularly seen covering both boxing and MMA. She spent eight years as a reporter and host for ESPN and sidelined the smash-hit show American Ninja Warrior.

Michael C. Williams has served as the in-ring voice of Bellator since 2010, covering events all over the globe. In is his 19th year as a ring announcer, the well-accomplished announcer has worked events ranging from boxing to marathons with prominent networks including HBO, Showtime, ESPN, Spike/Paramount Network, NBC and CBS, among others.

Demetrius Andrade: The best middleweight is Danny Jacobs(VIDEO)

It’s a good time to be former two-time world champion and middleweight contender Demetrius Andrade. The Providence, Rhode Island native has had a hard time getting fights over the years, but now, he will have an opportunity to be more active.

Last Tuesday, it was officially announced that Andrade(25-0, 16 KOs) has signed to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing. Andrade’s bouts will be on DAZN, which is a new streaming service coming to the U.S. in September.

Andrade’s first fight on DAZN will be on October 6 in Chicago. No opponent has been named at this point.

For now, the 30-year-old is looking to fight the best and most popular fighters at 160:

“I wanna see the most popular,” Andrade told Paul Gant in New York City. “The most popular is Canelo(Alvarez); the best middleweight, to me, is Danny Jacobs, but I’m just taking my time, taking my growth, fill up to be at 160. I ready to become the Canelo, I’m ready to become Triple-G, the Floyd Mayweather.”

Regarding Jacobs being the best at 160, you could make an argument that this is true. Some believe Jacobs beat Gennady Golovkin, but some were unimpressed with Jacobs last performance against Maciej Sulecki, which Jacobs won by UD. The Brooklyn native is expected to fight Sergiy Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF middleweight title this fall, so we will see if Jacobs is still one of the best at 160.

Listen below as Andrade talks signing with DAZN, his future, and more:

Former champion Jessie Vargas talks DAZN, future, & interest in Broner rematch(VIDEO)

Former world champion Jessie Vargas has signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing and DAZN. The announcement was made Tuesday at the DAZN unveiling in Manhattan.

Vargas, 29, is scheduled to make his DAZN debut on October 6 in Chicago at Wintrust Arena. No word on his opponent.

“I signed with DAZN because of the enormous future it has,” Vargas told goforitradio.com.

Vargas is coming off a draw against Adrien Broner back in April. In a fight, some believe he won.

The DAZN streaming service will debut in the U.S on September 10. The first fight card on DAZN will be on September 22, which be headlined by Anthony Joshua who will defend his titles against Alexander Povetkin.

Listen below as Vargas talks signing with DAZN, Adrien Broner rematch, and more:

 

 

BELLATOR & DAZN SIGN MULTI-YEAR DISTRIBUTION DEAL

Bellator and DAZN, the world’s largest dedicated live sports streaming service and part of Perform Group, today announced a multi-year landmark distribution agreement.

The nine-figure deal will feature seven exclusive stacked fight cards per year on DAZN and another 15 that are simulcast across Paramount Network and DAZN. All fights will stream in any country where DAZN is available. As part of the platform’s global expansion, DAZN will launch in the U.S. and Italy in 2018, with the service already live in Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan.

 “The exciting new partnership with DAZN is a game-changer for Bellator,” said Bellator President Scott Coker. “The investment will enable us to continue expanding our roster with free agents that make sense, so we can put on PPV-worthy fight cards that fans want to see. Plus, on DAZN’s worldwide platform, our fights will be seen live for the first time to new audiences around the globe.”   

 “It’s simple; fans want to see great fighters in competitive fights so we’ve handed the keys to Scott Coker and his venerable team to go out and recruit even more top-level talent to further stack Bellator fight cards and build on their success,” said DAZN CEO James Rushton.  “With the combination of this investment and our recent announcement to bring more than 30 nights of boxing to the platform annually, DAZN will be a must-have for fight fans in the U.S.”

 “The DAZN partnership speaks to the incredible growth of Bellator into a global sports powerhouse and high-valued franchise in the Viacom portfolio,” said Kevin Kay, President, Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT. 

 The deal begins with an epic event on Saturday, Sept. 29 from SAP Center at San Jose. The card features a highly anticipated middleweight title fight pitting Gegard Mousasi (44-6-2) against Rory MacDonald (20-4), who is moving up a weight class for a title shot against the 185-pound champ, along with the fourth fight in the legendary rivalry between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-13) and Wanderlei Silva(35-13). 

 Also included on Sept. 29, will be the opening fight of Bellator’s first-ever Welterweight World Grand Prix, which will feature eight of the best welterweight fighters on the planet. The Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix will be a major component of the first year of the multi-year agreement between Bellator and DAZN.

The event will air live on DAZN at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Additional bouts will be announced in the coming weeks.  DAZN, which now streams 15,000 live events and 100 million hours of sports content globally each year, will be available in the U.S. this September with exact pricing and dates being announced this summer.

 Mousasi vs. MacDonald:

 Gegard Mousasi impressed in his promotional debut over former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko, a win that earned him a shot at Rafael Carvalho, where 185-pound gold was on the line. Now, after a decisive victory against Carvalho at Bellator 200, Mousasi will defend his crown against Rory MacDonald, entering the bout with his current unbeaten streak at seven fights. “The Dreamcatcher,” who trains out of The Netherlands, holds one of the most impressive resumes in all of the sport, at one time winning the STRIKEFORCE light heavyweight title, as well as the DREAM light heavyweight and middleweight titles. 

 Over the last several years, “The Red King” Rory MacDonald has become the most popular Canadian mixed martial artist due to his classic stand-up wars and wins over some of MMA’s best in Paul Daley, Nate Diaz, Tyron Woodley, B.J. Penn and Demian Maia. Bellator’s welterweight champion joined the Viacom-owned promotion in 2016 and went on to defeat Douglas Lima for the welterweight title at Bellator 192. Now, the Tristar Gym-trained fighter sets his sights on winning gold in not one, but two separate weight classes. 

 “Rampage” vs. Silva:

 A six-fight veteran of Bellator, “Rampage” Jackson’s legendary career has seen him compete against some of the top names in the sport, generating a loyal army of fans along the way. The former PRIDE and UFC champion is the proud owner of many epic highlight reel slams and knockouts that he has racked up throughout his epic battles with the likes of Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, “King Mo,” Kevin Randleman and, perhaps most-notably, his trilogy with fellow Bellator athlete Wanderlei Silva, who he now meets at heavyweight on Sept. 29

 Wanderlei Silva’s wars with “Rampage,” Tito Ortiz, Mirko Cro Cop, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson, Kazushi Sakuraba, Chuck Liddell and Michael Bisping remain some of the more memorable bouts in MMA history. “The Axe Murderer” is far from ready to close the book on his illustrious career, returning to action against a man he has already competed against three times before. In addition to the PRIDE middleweight title, Silva’s trophy case includes awards for “Fight of the Year” (2003, 2004, 2007), KO of the Year (2008) and multiple “Fight of the Night” awards. Most recently, the Brazilian native made his Bellator debut against Chael Sonnen in the main event of Bellator: NYC

 

Updated Bellator Fight Card:

Middleweight World Title Bout: Gegard Mousasi (44-6-2) vs. Rory MacDonald (20-4)

Heavyweight Feature Bout: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-13) vs. Wanderlei Silva (35-13)

Welterweight World Grand Prix First Round Bout