Sanchez, Helenius, Anderson get victories on Fury-Wilder III

In the co-main event battle between two unbeaten heavyweights, Frank Sánchez (19-0, 13 KOs) scored one knockdown on his way to a comfortable, 10-round unanimous decision win over Efe Ajagba.

Sánchez used his superior boxing skills to keep the hard-hitting Ajagba (15-1, 12 KOs) off-balance for the entire fight. The “Cuban Flash” displayed his power as well, flooring Ajagba with a hard right in the seventh. A follow-up left hook which landed a tick after Ajagba’s knee hit the canvas and caused referee Mike Ortega to warn Sanchez.

Ajagba made it to his feet and survived the round but never seriously threatened on his way to the first defeat of his career.

Robert Helenius (31-3, 20 KOs) was even better against Adam Kownacki (20-2, 15 KOs) this time. In a rematch of their March 2020 slugfest, which Helenius won via fourth-round TKO, Helenius battered Kownacki throughout to induce a stoppage at 2:38 of the sixth round of their scheduled 12-round heavyweight encounter.

“It was good,” Helenius said of the ending. “Either way, it would have been a stoppage. I had a lot of good shots tonight and he didn’t have any.

“I expected [this win] because, what does he have? Don’t get me wrong, he’s a good brawler, but I’ve been fighting brawlers for 20 years. I know how to deal with them, even if they are hitting me low or behind the head. That doesn’t bother me.”

Helenius used his height and length to box in the first, working the jab up and downstairs and briefly buckling Kownacki with a right toward the end of the stanza.

Kownacki came alive in the second and third, throwing punches in bunches, but earned a warning for two low blows that sank Helenius to his knees. The “Nordic Nightmare” took over from that point on, closing Kownacki’s left eye and bloodying his nose with thudding power shots.

The steady hammering continued until the sixth, when Kownacki landed another low blow. Referee Celestino Ruiz examined Kownacki as he warned him for the infraction and decided to halt the action.

“Right now, I want to go home to my family,” Helenius said. “I’ve been away from them for four weeks. Then we can worry about what’s next.”

Jared “Big Baby” Anderson (10-0, 10 KOs) continued his rapid rise up the heavyweight ranks, stopping veteran Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1, 12 KOs) at 2:51 of the second round.

“I was a little anxious in the opening round,” Anderson said. “My first pay-per-view card and all that. But I settled in and gave a great performance. I practiced what my coaches preached. On to the next one.”

Anderson dominated from the opening bell, landing at will. In the second, a series of well-placed power shots drove Tereshkin toward the ropes where Anderson unloaded on his defenseless opponent until referee Kenny Bayless stepped in.

“I got great work in the gym with Tyson Fury. Iron sharpens iron,” Anderson said. “Shout out to Toledo, my home. I hope I made the fans back home proud.”

Photo: Ryan Hafey / Premier Boxing Champions

Fury: ‘It was a great fight tonight, as good as any trilogy in history’

In an incredible back-and-forth that included five knockdowns and countless exchanges, Tyson Fury retained his WBC Heavyweight World Title and lineal crown with an eleventh-round TKO win over former long-time champion Deontay Wilder in an ESPN+/FOX Sports pay-per-view live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
 
The UK’s Fury (31-0-1, 22 KOs) scored three knockdowns in all, the final two in the eleventh frame, sending the raucous crowd of 15,820 into a frenzy.
 
“Like the great John Wayne said, iron and steel, baby,” Fury said. “I give God the glory for the victory. [Wilder] is a tough man. He took some big shots tonight. And I want to say that if it wasn’t for SugarHill, America and Detroit’s own, I wouldn’t have gotten through that fight tonight.  He said, ‘get your jab working, big guy, and throw that right hand down the middle.  That’s how the big dogs do it.’”
 
“I did my best, but it wasn’t good enough,” said Wilder afterwards. “I’m not sure what happened. I know that in training he did certain things, and I also knew that he didn’t come in at 277 to be a ballet dancer. He came to lean on me, try to rough me up and he succeeded.”
 
Fury got off to a hot start in the first round, landing quick one-two’s while Wilder worked the jab to the body. A hard right toward the end of the round punctuated it for Fury, as did another in the second.
 
The action heated up in the third when a big Fury right sent Wilder tumbling to the canvas. The game slugger from Tuscaloosa, Alabama rose to his feet, surviving the follow-up until the bell rang moments later.
 
With Wilder (42-2-1, 41 KOs) on unsteady legs in the fourth, Fury pounced, looking to finish him off. But just when it appeared that the fight was about to end, the “Bronze Bomber” uncorked a perfect short right followed by another, driving Fury to the mat.
 
Fury made it to his feet but was down again moments later when another Wilder flurry floored him. The bell rang seconds after he got up.
 
Wilder started strong in the fifth, blasting Fury with more rights. The “Gypsy King” maintained his composure, digging to the body in close quarters.
 
The inside work slowly wore Wilder down. He was dropped again in the tenth from another Fury right and then a third and final time in the eleventh via a crunching right cross. Referee Russell Mora mercifully rescued the brave warrior, ending the fight at 1:10 of the round.
 
“It was a great fight tonight, as good as any trilogy in history,” said Fury. “October 9, 2021, will go down in history, I hope. I always said I was the best in the world and he was the second-best. Don’t ever doubt me.  When the chips are down, I will always deliver.”

Photo: Ryan Hafney/PBC

Photos: Fury-Wilder 3 weigh-in

Both Tyson Fury(30-0-1, 21 KOs) and Deontay Wilder(42-1-1, 41 KOs) felt they needed to bulk up in their third fight, and it was mission accomplished.

Fury came in at a career-high 277 pounds, while Wilder came in at a career-high 238 pounds as the two will get it on for the third and probably final time on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Wilder looked as if he put on a lot of muscle for this fight. He’s seven pounds heavier than he was in the second fight, while Fury, who kept his shirt on, came in four pounds heavier.

Below are the weights for the Fury-Wilder 3 undercard:

Tyson Fury 277  pounds vs. Deontay Wilder 238 pounds 

(Fury ‘s WB Heavyweight World Title — 12 Rounds)
Judges: Tim Cheatham, Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld
Referee: Russell Mora

•  Efe Ajagba 237 pounds vs. Frank Sanchez 240 pounds 

(NABO and WBC Continental Americas Heavyweight Titles — 10 Rounds)

•    Robert Helenius 246 pounds vs. Adam Kownacki 258 pounds 

(Heavyweight — 12 Rounds)

•    Jared Anderson 240 pounds vs. Vladimir Tereshkin 256 pounds 

(Jr. NABF Heavyweight Title — 8 Rounds)

Photos/SEAN MICHAEL HAM/TGB PROMOTIONS:

WIlder on fight with Fury: ‘I’m wearing my red outfit because I want it back in blood’

WBC and lineal heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder previewed their highly anticipated heavyweight title trilogy showdown at the final press conference Wednesday before they step in the ring this Saturday, October 9 live on ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV from T-Mobile Arena. 

Face to face for the first time since originally announcing the trilogy showdown in June, Fury and Wilder exchanged words during the heated press conference, rehashing the numerous dramatic twists and turns that have made up their rivalry, while promising to end their feud in the ring on Saturday.  

Here is what Fury and Wilder had to say on Wednesday:

TYSON FURY

“I’ve just been training and taking it day by day. All we can do is live one day at a time. Every day that we wake up is a blessed day. 

“All these fights are exactly the same to me. Some guy is trying to take my head off. No matter who it may be, they don’t matter to me. It’s the Tyson Fury road show and it has continued for 13 years.  

“Wilder is a weak person mentally and I’m going to knock him out on Saturday night. I obliterated him in the rematch and I see much more of the same in the third fight.  

“I’m the last man standing between me, Deontay and Anthony Joshua. I’m the last one undefeated. I’m the two-time heavyweight champion and I’ve never lost a fight. That’s history. 

“Me and Sugarhill go back to like 2010 in Detroit. We have a great bond going. To have any successful relationship, you have to have good communication. We’ve got that. We just gel together. 

“It’s not easy for me to pick a trainer because I’m outspoken and do outlandish things. I have to have someone on the same wavelength to match that and I’ve definitely found a match with Sugarhill.  

“He says he wants to do bad things to me and that he’s got all this anger and aggression. Those who hold hot coals with aggression are the ones who get burned. He knows he’s lost twice and that he’s going to lose the third time.  

“He’s in denial and he’s getting knocked out. His legacy is in bits. I knocked him out and now I’m going to retire him.” 

 

DEONTAY WILDER:

“I don’t have anything to prove. I’m in a great place and in a great state of mind. I have a lot of great people around me. This fight is about redemption, retaliation and retribution. 

“We’ve been going from day one since the last fight. There’s been no stop. The delays have been beneficial for us. One thing about this camp, is that I’ve had all of my brothers around me who’ve been with me from the start. 

“Many people thought I was down and out, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people around me to feel that way. My dedication has been focused every day.  

“Over training is a real thing and we’ve been able to take small breaks at certain times before getting back at it. Everything has been good and timed out perfectly. 

“Saturday night is going to be a different fight. It’s rare that we get trilogies like this and I truly believe this one is going down in history.  

“It’s only made me better as a man and as a fighter to see certain things that happened in the second fight. It’s made me even hungrier than before. I needed everything that happened in that fight. It was really a blessing in disguise. 

“I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Your legacy only dies when the desire for the sport dies. I’m well alive right now.  

“My energy is like my mind, it’s very violent. I’m just ready to go October 9. I’ve dedicated myself and devoted my time and my body, me and my team, to reinventing myself. I’m ready to reintroduce myself to the world.  

“Get ready for war. This is going to be an amazing fight on Saturday night. I’m wearing my red outfit because I want it back in blood. I’m looking forward to it.” 

Photo: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

Photos: Grand arrivals for Fury-Wilder III

WBC and lineal heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder made their grand arrivals in Las Vegas Tuesday evening to officially kick off fight week for their highly anticipated heavyweight title trilogy showdown taking place this Saturday, October 9 live on ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV from T-Mobile Arena.

The resumption of one of the great heavyweight feuds, Fury vs. Wilder III fight week began with both fighters stating their intention to settle this rivalry once and for all on Saturday night

Fury said, “You can go to college and get a master’s degree in nearly two years, so for a boxer, that’s very easy to do. No matter what Deontay Wilder does, I’m still going to knock him the fu*k out!”

“I see me beating him up and then knocking him out,” said Wilder. “I’m going to put on a great performance Saturday night.”

Photos:

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 05: Deontay Wilder (L) being interviewed by Ray Flores (R) during the grand arrivals at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 05: Deontay Wilder (L) being interviewed by Ray Flores (R) during the grand arrivals at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 05: WBC heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury (L) being interviewed by Crystina Poncher (R) during the grand arrivals at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 05: WBC heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury poses during the grand arrivals at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 05: WBC heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury answers media questions during the grand arrivals at T-Mobile Arena on October 05, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Kownacki: ‘I’m going to show everyone that my last fight was an accident’

Polish star Adam Kownacki has revenge and redemption on his mind as he prepares for his rematch against Robert Helenius, which takes place on the ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV undercard (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) leading up to the highly anticipated Fury vs. Wilder III heavyweight trilogy showdown on Saturday, October 9 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

“A win on October 9 puts me back on the map and would show that the last fight was just an accident,” said Kownacki. “I think that I got a little tired and tried to end the night early, so I rushed in and got caught. But being Brooklyn-born, when someone puts you on your ass, you want to show the kind of character you have, come back and beat them. I come from a hardworking community of mostly immigrants. So I don’t shy away from hard work or tough tests.”

The test in front of Kownacki is a second showdown against Finland’s Helenius, after Kownacki suffered his first career loss in March 2020 against Helenius. For this fight, Kownacki has made adjustments in training camp to help put him over the top when he faces Helenius again.

“Training has been going great,” said Kownacki. “I’ve been eating healthier and feeling a lot better. We’ve been working out of Bellmore Kickboxing Academy in New York and I’ve been sparring with Otto Walin and Brandon Lynch. We cut down sparring to two days a week, but we’re doing eight and 10-round sessions, so it’s been great work.

“With the rematch being postponed a few times, we’ve basically had three or four mini camps going all the way back to January. At this point, I just can’t wait to get back in the ring with Helenius.”

Kownacki’s rise up the heavyweight division coincided with him becoming a popular draw amongst the passionate Polish sports fans in his adopted hometown of Brooklyn. On October 9, Kownacki fights in Las Vegas for the first time in his career, and competes outside of Brooklyn for the first time in years. This change in venue is something that Kownacki is not only ready for, but could work to his advantage.

“I’m going to be ready for the bright lights for sure,” said Kownacki. “There actually might be less distractions for me in Las Vegas, compared to being in Brooklyn. I’m not looking to make any excuses, but my son was born just months before my last fight and there were lots of sleepless nights leading up to it. For this fight, my son will be staying back home with my wife. I’ll miss them, but I should be able to totally focus during fight week.”

Known for his aggressive and action-packed style, Kownacki does not plan to abandon that strategy that made him a fan-favorite, but he plans to be more prepared for what Helenius brings to the ring and fully-focused on showing the best version of his skills on October 9.

“Helenius is a good counter puncher and that’s what I got caught with,” said Kownacki. “I got reckless. Every fighter in this division can pack a punch. Everyone who’s seen me fight, knows that I come forward and try to destroy people. As always, this fight is going to be action packed. On October 9, I’m going to show everyone that my last fight was an accident and that I’m back to being my old self.”

Wilder: ‘The old Deontay is no longer there’

On October 9 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, former WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder(42-1-1, 41 KOs) will have an opportunity at redemption when he battles WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury(30-0-1, 21 KOs) for the third and probably the final time.

The first fight ended in a draw; the rematch ended in a TKO victory for Fury after Wilder’s former trainer Mark Breland threw in the towel.

Now, Wilder has a new trainer in former heavyweight contender Malik Scott, with who he has developed a great bond before and during this training camp.

“Malik Scott is a wonderful person and trainer,” Wilder said during a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. “We met years ago sparring with Tomasz Adamek. We clicked right away, and we’ve formed a real bond and brotherhood. I have so much love around me in this camp that I’m not dwelling on anything negative.

“We’re having fun while learning and creating things together during training camp. That’s just the passion that we have to become two-time heavyweight champion of the world.”

According to Wilder, everything happens for a reason, and losing to Fury has helped him become a more focused fighter.

“I’m super focused,” Wilder said. “I’m more focused now than I’ve even been in my entire career. This is the second phase of my career. I had fun winning and defending the title for five years. At this point, we’re just serious about everything. I’m in a happy place, and I’m glad that I’m here.

“They say that things happen for a reason and that we don’t understand that reason until we get to a certain place in life, then we understand it. My whole team understands everything that has happened, and we’re looking forward.”

Wilder won his first 40 fights, including many title defenses, but according to the Alabama native, this has been his best training camp as a pro.

“This has hands down been the best training camp I’ve had in my entire career,” he said.  “Sometimes you need events to happen in life to bring about changes that you need. We’ve had no distractions, and I’m just in a happy state mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually…

“You’re looking at a rejuvenated and reinvented Deontay Wilder. The old Deontay is no longer there; I can’t explain it to you; I have to show you on October 9. I’m looking forward to it, and I can’t wait.”

Wilder appears to be a different guy this time around. He seems to have a focus that he hasn’t had before, which could mean that Fury could be in trouble on October 9 in Las Vegas. However, Fury is an exceptional fighter, so defeating him won’t be easy. 

Berlanga, Williams to return on Fury-Wilder III undercard

Brooklyn’s newest young knockout prodigy and a former unified world champion from Philadelphia will see action Saturday, Oct. 9 at T-Mobile Arena in preliminary bouts before the highly anticipated heavyweight trilogy grudge match between WBC and lineal heavyweight world champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury and former heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder.

Edgar “The Chosen One” Berlanga will fight former world title challenger Marcelo Esteban “El Terrible” Coceres in a scheduled 10-round showdown for the vacant NABO super middleweight belt, while Julian “J-Rock” Williams will face Mexico’s Vladimir Hernandez in a 10-round junior middleweight bout in his first fight since losing his title belts.

Berlanga-Coceres and Williams-Hernandez will be televised live at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, FS1 and FOX Deportes, and simulcast on ESPN+. Preliminary bouts will stream live on the ESPN App and FOX Sports App starting at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT.

The all-heavyweight Fury vs. Wilder III ESPN+ and FOX Sports PPV bonanza begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features 2016 Nigerian Olympian “The One and Only” Efe Ajagba squaring off against fellow unbeaten Frank “The Cuban Flash” in the 10-round co-main event; the highly anticipated 12-round rematch between Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius and Adam “Babyface” Kownacki; and the eight-round PPV opener featuring 21-year-old sensation Jared “The Real Big Baby” Anderson versus Russian veteran Vladimir Tereshkin.

Berlanga (17-0, 16 KOs), the Brooklyn-bred puncher with Puerto Rican roots, became one of boxing’s most talked-about fighters by scoring first-round knockouts in his first 16 fights. The 2020 Prospect of the Year, he’s walked to the ring with mentor and multi-platinum hip hop artist Fat Joe and become a social media sensation with his highlight-reel stoppages. The knockout streak ended in April, as Berlanga knocked down Demond Nicholson four times in eight rounds and had to settle for a unanimous decision. Coceres (30-2-1, 16 KOs), from Argentina, challenged Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO super middleweight world title in November 2019 and was nearly level on the scorecards before being knocked out in the 11th round. He last fought in June, knocking out Nelson Nicolas Rosalez in the second round.

Berlanga said, “I am thrilled to be fighting on the Fury-Wilder III card, and I am coming do what I always do, which is to steal the show and knock out my opponent in devastating fashion. Coceres is in for a rude awakening on October 9. Do not get up for a snack when I’m fighting. It’s going to be a short, brutal night. Count on it.”

Philadelphia’s Williams (27-2-1, 16 KOs) became a unified world champion at 154-pounds in May 2019 when he upset Jarrett Hurd in one of the year’s best fights, winning a close-quarters brawl by unanimous decision. The 31-year-old dropped the titles in his first defense, losing to Jeison Rosario in January 2020. Williams had been riding a five-fight winning streak going into the Rosario matchup, in which he added victories over former champion Ishe Smith and hard-hitting contender Nathaniel Gallimore to his ledger. He returns to action on Oct. 9 against the 32-year-old Hernandez (12-4, 6 KOs). Originally from Durango, Mexico, Hernandez now lives in Denver, Colorado, and most recently earned a decision victory over longtime contender Alfredo Angulo in August 2020.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to compete on this amazing card,” said Williams. “I’m excited to be getting back in the ring and starting my journey back to the very top of the division.”

Preliminary bouts include a 10-round featherweight bout between two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist Robeisy “El Tren” Ramirez (7-1, 4 KOs) and unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Orlando “Capu” Gonzalez (17-0, 10 KOs), heavyweight phenom Viktor Faust (7-0, 5 KOs) in an eight-rounder against Mike Marshall (6-1, 4 KOs), the pro debut of former U.S. amateur star Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington in a four-round featherweight contest against an opponent to be named, and junior welterweight standout Elvis “The Dominican Kid” Rodriguez (11-1-1, 10 KOs) versus Victor Vazquez (11-5, 5 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

Wilder on fight with Fury: ‘ The key to victory in this fight is having a violent mind’

WBC Heavyweight World Champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury(30-0-1, 21 KOs) and former longtime heavyweight champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder(42-1-1) have restarted their long-running rivalry and stated their intent to finally settle the score when they meet for the third time on Saturday, October 9, in an ESPN+ PPV and FOX Sports PPV event from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The two were scheduled to fight in July, but the fight had to be postponed after Fury was diagnosed with Covid-19.

“I’m going to knock Deontay Wilder spark out, and it’s going to be even quicker than our last fight,” said Fury, who stopped Wilder in their second fight in February 2020 to capture the WBC title.

“If he couldn’t beat me after three years out of the ring and 10 stone weight loss, he’s never beating me. None of them will. They’re just hyped-up bums. All of them. Wilder, Joshua, Usyk. They’re all bums. Compared to me, they’re no good.”

Wilder, who was dropped two times by Fury in their second fight and lost after his corner threw in the towel in Round 7, expects to be a different man on October 9.

“Hopefully, Fury is confident enough to go through with this fight because I’m going to be a reinvented Deontay Wilder on October 9,” said Wilder, who had successfully defended his heavyweight title 10 times before losing to Fury.

“This training camp has rejuvenated me. It’s refreshed me. The key to victory in this fight is having a violent mind but approaching it with calmness. I have all the right people around me, and we’re looking forward to October 9. I just hope Fury is ready to put on a show for the fans and make history once again.”

Jonnie Rice on win over Coffie: ‘I had to fight a little bit like Deontay Wilder’

Heavyweight Jonnie Rice (14-6-1, 10 KOs) got a big opportunity at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, when he stepped in for Gerald Washington(COVID-19) to score a technical knockout over previously unbeaten Michael Coffie (12-1, 9 KOs) in the main event on Saturday night(FOX).

Referee Eric Dali called a stop to the action at the 2:19 mark of the fifth round after Rice was tagging Coffie in the corner.

Rice had lost two straight fights before battling Coffie on Saturday night, including a unanimous decision loss to Efe Ajagba last September, but he fought inspired against Coffie and dominated the fight from start to finish.

While Rice was a late replacement, according to him, he was ready.

“I wasn’t a late replacement,” Rice said. “I was waiting for an opportunity. We replaced someone, but we weren’t late. We were right on time. I was training every day. I was training with Michael Hunter. I did 20 rounds, 10 and 10, last Friday before I got the call. So when I got the call, I was ready.”

Rice was surprised by how Coffie fought. He expected Coffie to be more of the aggressor. However, it was the opposite. Rice was the one dictating things in the ring. In his mind, it was like Deontay Wilder versus Luis Ortiz, and he was Wilder.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to overwhelm Coffie like that,” Rice said. “I knew Michael Coffie from his fights, but not because he had a great record but because he was a sparring partner for Deontay Wilder. In my head, I played the little game that I was Luis Ortiz’s sparring partner for his second fight against Wilder. So technically, it was Luis Ortiz’s vs. Deontay Wilder’s sparring partners. We’re going to see what happens. I was playing with that in my head. I had to fight a little bit like Deontay Wilder and then a little bit different.”

The 34-year-old did not call out anybody after the fight, but at this point, the goal for Rice is to be a world champion and make a bunch of money doing it.

“I want it all. I want what every boxer wants,” he said. “I want to be world champion. I understand that my record doesn’t say that, but I want the world to watch my progress. I’m not in the right mind to be calling people out. I’m just going to be ready for the opportunity, and when it comes, I’m going to answer the call. I’m going to get as much money for it as I can. And you know one thing, I’m going to put on a show.”

Coffie did not look good on Saturday night, but all the credit goes to Rice; he was well-prepared and fought a great fight. Now, maybe more significant opportunities are on the way.

Mielnicki dominates Kidd

In the co-main event on FOX, New Jersey native Vito Mielnicki Jr. (9-1, 6 KOs) knocked out Noah Kidd (6-4-2, 5 KOs) in the second round of their welterweight contest. Mielnicki scored a knockdown in the opening frame, causing the crowd at Prudential Center to erupt with cheers for the hometown favorite.

Mielnicki continued to batter Kidd in the second round, forcing Kidd to take a knee. Referee Eric Dali had seen enough at that point and stopped the action at the 2:32 mark of the second round.

“Kidd was fading fast,” said Mielnicki. “That’s why I started to pick up the pressure. He was starting to wilt. I learned in my past performance that when you have someone hurt you have to finish the job.”

Mielnicki was supposed to compete in a rematch against James Martin, but Martin missed weight. Kidd was originally scheduled to fight on the non-televised portion of the undercard, but filled in as Martin’s replacement against Mielnicki.

“There were no issues with the change of opponent,” added Mielnicki. “I trained for a more technical fighter. Kidd was more awkward than Martin. We got the job done in front of my hometown fans, so I’m happy.”

Having noticed the tremendous amount of support at Prudential Center, Mielnicki concluded, “This is my home and these are my people. Whenever we fight in Jersey this is where we’re doing it. I’m looking forward to many more fights here.”

Dirrell stops Brooker

In FS1 action, veteran contender and Olympic bronze medalist Andre Dirrell (28-3, 18 KOs) got a technical knockout win over Christopher Brooker (16-8, 6 KOs) in their light heavyweight bout. Referee Richard Gonzalez stopped the fight at the 2:58 mark of the third stanza.

The FS1 co-main event featured unbeaten heavyweight Norman Neely (9-0, 7 KOs) defeating Juan Torres (6-4-1, 3 KOs) by unanimous decision (60-54, 60-54, 60-52).

The FS1 opener showcased super lightweight contender Karl Dargan (20-1, 10 KOs) knocking out Ivan Delgado (13-4-2, 6 KOs). Referee Harvey Dock called a stop to the action at the 1:09 mark of the third round.

Photo/credit: Frank Micelotta/FOX