Gary Russell Jr.-Kiko Martinez added to Wilder-Breazeale card

WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. will defend his title against former world champion Kiko Martinez in the co-feature to Wilder vs. Breazeale on Saturday, May 18 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and will also feature unbeaten super lightweight contender Juan Heraldez squaring-off against former world champion Argenis Mendez in a 10-round attraction. The event is headlined by WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder as he makes the ninth defense of his title against mandatory challenger Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale.

The 30-year-old Russell (29-1, 17 KOs), who was born in Washington, D.C. and now lives in Capitol Heights, Maryland, will make the fourth defense of his featherweight world title on May 18 and his second career appearance at Barclays Center. Russell won his title by knocking out Jhonny Gonzalez in 2015. After stopping Patrick Hyland and Oscar Escandon, he most recently defeated previously unbeaten Joseph Diaz Jr. last May. Russell, who is trained by his father, Gary, Sr., is part of a boxing family. Two of his younger brothers, Gary Antonio and Gary Antuanne, are currently unbeaten professionals.

A native of Comunidad Valenciana, Spain, Martinez (39-8-2, 28 KOs) has faced the best names in and around the featherweight division throughout his career. He won a super bantamweight world title in 2013 by stopping Jhonatan Romero and has faced the likes of Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton, Josh Warrington and Scott Quigg. The 33-year-old is unbeaten in his last four contests, including most recently defeating Marc Vidal for a European featherweight title in October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Luis Ortiz: ‘Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, I’m ready’

Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) earned a unanimous decision victory over a game Christian Hammer (24-6, 14 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night.

Although the judges scored the fight 100-90 and 99-91 twice, both men fought through bloody noses at different points in the contest and both were stunned in a back-and-forth second round.

Ortiz, who earned his third consecutive victory since dropping a thrilling slugfest with WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder one year ago, is now looking for another world title shot.

“The fight wasn’t what I was expecting,” said Ortiz. “It was a hard fight, and my corner really had to work with me. After I got the rhythm, I heated up a little bit. Every heavyweight out there should know that I still have it at 40-years-old. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, I’m ready.”

Obviously, if Ortiz wants to beat Wilder or Joshua, he has to fight a lot better than he did on Saturday night, but overall, he was okay with his performance.

“I fought a fight that I hadn’t for years, which is box and work,” said Ortiz. “So I’m not disappointed I didn’t knock him out because I showed some of my boxing skills tonight.”

Should be interesting to see what happens next for Ortiz. Will he get Wilder or Joshua next? Only time will tell, but if he does, he better be ready!

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/Showtime

Luis Ortiz: ‘If fighters avoid me, there’s nothing I can do about it’

Heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz is a very talented fighter, and he is a guy that is high-risk with not much reward. Ortiz, 39, is a southpaw with serious power, which means facing him won’t be an easy night for any fighter in the heavyweight division, and on Saturday night, Ortiz will continue his march to a world title when he battles Christian Hammer at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Since losing to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Ortiz has stopped his last two opponents, but he knows if he continues to dominate, fighters might be reluctant to get in the ring with him.

“Whoever they put in front of me, I’m going to go in there and try to knock them out,” Ortiz said at a media workout on Wednesday. “I’m not going to change for anyone. If fighters avoid me, there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Recently, unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua said he would have some interest in Ortiz if he does not get Wilder or Tyson Fury, and while Ortiz has an interest in Joshua, the fight he really wants is a rematch with Wilder.

“If there is a chance to rematch Deontay Wilder, that’s the fight I want,” Ortiz said. “That’s the fight to make. I want to give the fans the fights they want.”

Erislandy Lara headlines the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® triple-header as the former long-reigning champion challenges Brian Castaño and also features exciting heavyweight contender Ortiz battling former world title challenger Christian Hammer in a 10-round contest. Coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with once-beaten contenders Bryan De Gracia and Eduardo Ramirez squaring off for a 12-round featherweight clash.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Anthony Joshua is willing to fight Luis Ortiz after Miller(VIDEO)

Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is ready to make his mark in America, and that starts on June 1 when he battles Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

The boxing public has waited for Joshua to battle WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, but they could never agree on a fight. Also, lineal champion Tyson Fury has recently signed with Top Rank/ESPN, so a fight with him might be difficult to make for Joshua.

So, where does Joshua go if he beats Miller? Maybe, he fights Luis Ortiz.

Listen below as Joshua talks about fighting Ortiz if he does not get Wilder or Fury. He was a guest on the Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 in New York City on Wednesday.

Kownacki to Wilder: ‘I’m coming for you'(VIDEO)

Brooklyn’s Adam Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) continued his climb up the heavyweight rankings by earning a second-round TKO victory over former title challenger Gerald Washington (19-3-1, 12 KOs).

The Polish-born fighter put on an impressive performance in front of a large crowd of Polish diehards. With the victory, Kownacki has now beaten three opponents who have fought for world titles.

While Keith Thurman-Josesito Lopez was very entertaining fight, Kownacki may have stolen the show last Saturday night at Barclays Center.

“I think I made a statement here. It was a huge card, PBC on FOX,” Kownacki said after the fight. “I think I proved myself that I am worthy of a title shot.”

Kownacki, 29, ultimate goal is to be the first Polish heavyweight champion.

“Watch out, I’m going to be the first Polish heavyweight champion,” Kownacki said.

Kownacki wants a shot at WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, and according to his manager, Keith Connolly, Kownacki can beat Wilder, and they hope to fight the WBC heavyweight champion at the end of 2019.

“I think we have one more fight like this and then, you know, the talks I’ve been having is that he would be fighting Deontay Wilder at the end of the year,” Connolly said after Kownacki’s fight on Saturday night.

Kownacki had one final message for Wilder:

“I’m coming for you.”

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/TGB Promotions

Breazeale: ‘I’m only chasing the belt because Deontay Wilder is running’

Heavyweight contender Dominic Breazeale is looking to continue his winning ways as he battles Carlos Negron on Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Breazeale, who has won two straight fights since losing to Anthony Joshua, wants to beat Negron so he can get to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.

“I think fighting a guy like Carlos Negron is a stepping stone to getting the fight with Deontay WIlder,” Breazeale said on Thursday. “He has similar size and stature, so it’s like a rough sketch for the title fight. I want to stay in rhythm and dust off any cobwebs there may be, so I’m active and ready when the Wilder fight comes.”

There is no love lost between Wilder and Breazeale after the two had an altercation at an Alabama hotel back in 2017. The two have had a war of words since.  Breazeale would later file a lawsuit against Wilder, but ultimately that case was dismissed.

At this point, according to Breazeale, Wilder is running from him.

“I’m only chasing the belt because Deontay Wilder is running,” he said.

Wilder is coming off a controversial draw against Tyson Fury on December 1. If Wilder does not fight Fury or Joshua, Breazeale could be an option for him, and with the bad blood between the two, it could make for an exciting fight. However, it does not happen unless Breazeale beats Negron on Saturday night.

Photos from Wilder-Fury

Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury fought to a split-decision draw on SHOWTIME PPV® on Saturday night from STAPLES Center​ ​in​ ​arguably ​one of the best heavyweight fights in years​.​

After controlling the WBC World Championship fight early, Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) miraculously overcame two knockdowns by Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) – including one in round 12 – in the improbable draw. The judges scored the bout 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113.

Here are photos from a great night of action:

Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

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Twitter reacts to Wilder-Fury draw

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury gave the fans a great night of boxing, and to some, it was a robbery, to others it was about right. But in the end, the fans got a great fight.

Wilder retains his WBC title after his fight with lineal champion Tyson Fury was declared a controversial split draw on Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Fury dominated most of the action, but Wilder was able to drop Fury in Rounds 9 and 12, which helped Wilder secure the draw.

The good news is we will get a rematch at some point.

Here is how Twitter reacted to the draw:

 

 

Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, Lewis, Ortiz, and others predict Wilder-Fury

As fight week in Los Angles kicks off, heavyweights of the past and present have spoken, and the majority believe Deontay Wilder’s pure punching power will be enough to defeat the highly-skilled Tyson Furyon Saturday, December 1 on SHOWTIME PPV®.

Some of the greatest heavyweight names in the history of boxing weighed-in on what will be the biggest heavyweight title fight in the U.S. since Mike Tyson took on Lennox Lewis in 2002. The SHOWTIME PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from STAPLES Center in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.

Here is what the current and former heavyweight greats had to say about the Wilder vs. Fury matchup:

MIKE TYSON:

“Although Wilder’s punch is strong, nothing can compare to the mental strength Fury has shown both in and out of the ring. It’ll be a close call, but I think Fury’s got a true fighting chance.”

EVANDER HOLYFIELD:

“It’s a great fight. Fury’s got a lot of skills, he’s awkward and he has long arms. He has good reflexes and is a strong counter-puncher. Deontay needs to be first and he can’t wait on Tyson. Tyson’s always been the bigger fighter. In fighting Deontay it’s the same case. If things get difficult, he’s (Fury) got more experience and a lot of tricks. I think with Deontay’s power, he might be able to end it early, but if Tyson can frustrate him and it goes the distance, then it could go his way.”

LENNOX LEWIS:

“If it goes the distance then it belongs to Tyson Fury. If it’s a short fight it will belong to Deontay Wilder. This is an epic and most-unpredictable showdown. I can’t wait for this fight.”

GEORGE FOREMAN:

“I am a big fan of Deontay Wilder and I was impressed with Tyson Fury and how he avoided the big shots against Wladimir Klitschko. I can see him going 12 rounds with Wilder because of his height and reach.

“The great thing about this fight is that we’re all talking about it. I think Wilder wins a close decision.”

RIDDICK BOWE:

“If Wilder comes out and means business then he should beat Fury with ease. My prediction is Wilder by knockout!”

GERRY COONEY:

“Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury is a very interesting fight. I love Tyson Fury. I think he’s a remarkable self-promoter, and he did a great job with Wladimir Klitschko, using his feints and throwing Klitschko off his game plan. Deontay is a different kind of fighter, though. Fury fights at 30 miles per hour. Deontay fights at 100 miles per hour. So, when Deontay catches Fury and gets ahold of him I think it’s going to be over. I admire Fury, but I think he’s barking up the wrong tree with this fight. I think the bottom line is that Deontay is a whole different type of beast. He comes in aggressive and finishes his opponents. I hate to pick, but somebody has to lose. I’m picking Deontay by knockout and I think it ends inside of four or five rounds.”

 LUIS ORTIZ

“If Fury decides he wants to dip and dive and move, then he can extend the fight. But it’s all up to Wilder. If Fury decides he wants to come to the middle of the ring and fight, then it’s going to be over quick. Wilder is going to catch him. Prediction: Wilder by KO.”

 CHRIS ARREOLA:

“I think Wilder fighting Ortiz and now Fury back-to-back gives the fans exciting fights. I like both Wilder and Fury, but for this fight I am leaning slightly toward Wilder to win.”

Wilder on fight with Fury: ‘I feel whoever wins this can call themselves the best heavyweight champ in the world’

WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury are weeks away from one biggest heavyweight fights on American soil in a long time. Fury will battle Wilder on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Showtime PPV.

Because Wilder and unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could not agree on a fight, you have to say the winner of Wilder-Fury could be considered the best in the heavyweight division, and according to Wilder, he believes that should be the case.

“America is totally different. As far as I’m concerned, this right here will tell the world in the heavyweight division who is the best of the best because I don’t feel Joshua can beat me, nor can he beat Fury,” Wilder said. “I personally, I’ve got a strong opinion and a strong feeling about that. I don’t feel that would happen.

“He(Anthony Joshua) had two opportunities to prove to the world, not only to his country but to the world that he’s the best. Not only with me, but with Luis Ortiz. We already know the story how they collected that, had that man over there fighting for nothing like he was a clown entertaining the people. They were scared of him, they wanted to hold him so they wouldn’t have to fight him and that’s just sad. That aren’t showing you the best. I don’t think he has the heart. The man’s had to prove that he’s the best and if he does, his people don’t, that’s who runs him. He doesn’t run his career like we thought it was.”

At this point, Joshua has to fight the winner of Wilder-Fury. Now, Joshua could decide to stay in the UK, make a ton of money, and fight a Dillian Whyte, or a Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller. However, the most significant fight would be against Wilder or Fury.