Teofimo Lopez-Mason Menard added to Loma-Pedraza undercard

Teofimo Lopez is determined to take over the lightweight division. Italian heavyweight and former amateur standout Guido Vianello, who recently signed a multi-year professional contract with Top Rank, is hoping to make a statement in his scheduled six-round pro debut against Luke Lyons (5-1-1, 2 KOs).

Lopez (10-0, 8 KOs), who hails from Brooklyn, will battle Mason Menard (34-3, 24 KOs) for the vacant NABF lightweight title in a 10-rounder on the undercard of the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza lightweight world title unification bout, Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Lomachenko-Pedraza, Isaac Dogboe’s WBO junior featherweight title defense against Emanuel Navarrete, and Lopez-Menard will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.

Vianello-Lyons and the rest of the undercard will stream live at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for this world championship event are on sale now. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.

“The ‘Takeover’ is coming back to the Mecca of Boxing,” Lopez said. “I am going to steal the show once again. It’s my night. It’s time to finish 2018 with a bang. Expect a big celebration after I stop Mason Menard. I was born in Brooklyn, so you know I have to represent my hometown.”

“I am looking forward to fighting Teofimo on Dec. 8. It’s been my dream to fight at Madison Square Garden, and the fact that I am being given a chance to perform on Lomachenko’s undercard live on ESPN is incredible,” Menard said. “I can assure everyone that I will be 100 percent ready, and my performance will lead me to a world title shot.”

“I am so happy to be joining Top Rank and to debut at Madison Square Garden on a Lomachenko undercard, which is a dream come true for me,” Vianello said. “I will do my country proud. I promise I will bring excitement and knockouts to the heavyweight division and ultimately fulfill my destiny of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.”

The 21-year-old Lopez emerged in 2018 with a string of dominating wins and attention-grabbing post-win dances. In May, on the Lomachenko-Jorge Linares undercard at Madison Square Garden, he knocked out Vitor Jones Freitas in the opening round and went viral after performing the “Take The L” dance from the Fortnite video game. He last fought July 14 in New Orleans, knocking out the durable William Silva in six rounds despite suffering a broken right hand earlier in the fight. He underwent surgery the following week. Fully recovered, Lopez hopes to make headlines once again. Menard, an 11-year pro with a vicious right hand, is coming off a decision victory against Ronald Rivas on Oct. 13 in Gary, Ind.

Vianello, a 6-foot-6 power puncher from Rome, went 87-15 in the amateur ranks and fell short in the Round of 16 at the 2016 Olympics. One of the most popular boxers to emerge from the Italian amateur system in quite some time, Vianello is training in Big Bear Lake, Calif., under the guidance of Abel Sanchez. He’s already sparred the likes of lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury as he prepares his transition to the paid ranks.

In addition to Vianello-Lyons, the ESPN+ stream will include:

Welterweight punching sensation Alexander Besputin (11-0, 9 KOs) will make the first defense of his USBA title against Juan Carlos Abreu (21-4-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Besputin knocked out Alan Sanchez on Sept. 14 to win the belt. Abreu is coming off a competitive unanimous decision defeat to Egidijus Kavaliauskas, which headlined an ESPN broadcast on July 7 in Fresno, Calif.

Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas (11-1, 7 KOs), from The Bronx, N.Y., will make his Top Rank debut against John Renteria (16-5-1, 12 KOs) in an eight-round super lightweight fight. Vargas has won five straight since his lone defeat, which came via disqualification against Samuel Santana.

Michael Perez (25-2-2, 11 KOs) will come back from a nearly 20-month layoff to take on Abdiel Ramirez (23-3-1, 21 KOs) in an eight-rounder at lightweight. Perez, a longtime contender, hails from Newark, N.J.

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Crawford, Loma, Horn, Parker, and more discuss their New Year’s Resolutions

LAS VEGAS, NV (December 28, 2017) — Boxing enjoyed an outstanding 2017 and before the crystal ball drops in Times Square to begin an even better year, Top Rank asked some of its fighters for their New Year’s resolutions.  Here are their responses:     

TERENCE CRAWFORD (32-0, 23 KOs) / Two-division world champion / 2017 BWAA Fighter of the Year nominee / 2014 BWAA Fighter of the Year

“My 2018 resolutions are to win a world title at my new welterweight division, making me a three-division champion, and to open the fully renovated B&B Boxing Academy here in Omaha for all the kids in my community to enjoy.”

VASILIY LOMACHENKO (10-1, 8 KOs) / Two-division world champion / 2017 BWAA Fighter of the Year nominee
“First I want to wish world peace on earth, good health and Happy 2018 to all.  For me, I want to get back into the ring at least three times and fight the best fighters and biggest names available.”

ÓSCAR VALDEZ (23-0, 19 KOs) / WBO featherweight world champion

“Thanks to God, this was a year full of emotions and victories for our team.  I’m going to keep working hard to defend my title and have an even better 2018” 

GILBERTO RAMÍREZ (36-0, 24 KOs) / WBO super middleweight world champion.

“First, I want to successfully defend my title in Corpus Christi on February 3 and give the fans a good show.  I want to start 2018 the right way.  I also want to unify titles and clean up the division, so I can show the world that I’m the best fighter at 168 pounds.  Finally, I want to be the king of the super middleweight division and be one of the best pound for pound fighters.  That is my dream”

JOSEPH PARKER (24-0, 18 KOs) / WBO heavyweight world champion

“My New Year’s resolution is to give the fans an undisputed world heavyweight champion by beating up Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder as well as bringing honor to New Zealand, Samoa and the sport of boxing.  The world deserves a heavyweight champion who isn’t afraid to fight on his opponents’ home turf.”

JEFF HORN (18-0-1, 12 KOs) / WBO welterweight world champion

“I would like to have a healthy baby and to be a great dad.  I would like to earn millions from the sport of boxing.  I would like to keep proving the doubters wrong and remain undefeated and world champion against top competition.” 

RYOTA  MURATA (13-1, 10 KOs), WBA middleweight world champion

“For this coming year I hope to have my title defenses lead to big fights.  But first I will put my utmost effort to win the fights, that Top Rank and Teiken Promotion have put together for me, and to win them impressively.”

RAY BELTRAN (34-7-1, 21 KOs) / WBO No. 1 world-rated lightweight contender

“My New Year’s resolution is to be the best father, husband I can be, to continue to provide for my family, to be an ambassador to this sport, to be a model citizen of America, to represent this great country, and Mexico in and out of the ring, and to prove on February16th that I am the best and the most dangerous lightweight in the world.

JOSE RAMÍREZ (21-0, 16 KOs) / WBC No. 3 world-rated super lightweight contender

“My New Year’s resolution is to continue to fight on immigration.  To focus more on priorities including family and business plans.  To stay active in the gym all year so I can I fight at least three fights.  To become world champion.  To worry less about what I don’t have and enjoy more what I do have.  To practice my faith a bit more.  And last, to spend less time on the phone including Social Media.”

MICHAEL CONLAN (5-0, 4 KOs) / Two-time Olympian / 2012 Olympic bronze medalist / 2016 World Amateur Champion

“My New Year’s resolutions for 2018 is to sell out Madison Square Garden again on St Patrick’s Day, sell out a fight in Boston, and also sell out my homecoming show in Belfast, towards the end off the year.  I’d like to push on into big fights and hopefully pick up some sort of title on my way!  2017 has been a fantastic year, thank you to Top Rank, ESPN, my management MTK Global and of course all my supporters all around the world.  Let’s bring The Conlan Revolution into 2018 with a bang!”

ANDRE WARD (32-0, 16 KOs) / Retired IBF / WBA / WBO super middleweight world champion / Co-manager of Shakur Stevenson

“Shakur has the potential to be one of the greats in the sport.  My resolution for him in 2018 is to stay focused on his craft, listen to the strong team of people he has in his life, and to stay on the right path so he can ultimately get to the finish line.”

SHAKUR STEVENSON (4-0, 2 KOs) / 2016 Olympic silver medalist

“My resolutions for 2018 are to be as active as possible in the ring, continue to make my family and Brick City proud and prove that I am the best prospect in boxing.”

OLEKSANDR GVOZDYK (14-0, 12 KOs) / WBO No. 1 light heavyweight world-rated contender / 2012 Olympic bronze medalist

“I want to become a world champion and then keep busy fighting 3-4 times in 2018. n I want to wish everyone happy and safe holidays.”

ALEX SAUCEDO (26-0, 16 KOs) / No. 3 WBO and No. 4 WBA super lightweight world-rated contender

“It is my New Year’s resolution to make 2018  a big year.  To battle hard every time I get into the ring, and  ultimately win at least one 140 pound world title.”

CHRISTOPHER DIAZ (22-0, 14 KOs) / No. 4 WBO world-rated junior lightweight contender

“My goal in 2018 is to become a world champion and give boxing fans the best action-packed fights.”

FÉLIX VERDEJO (23-0, 15 KOs) / 2012 Olympian

“My new year’s resolution is to let my actions in the ring speak for me.  I want to bring a world title to my Island and I know this will be the year that I become a world champion

TEÓFIMO  LÓPEZ (7-0, 6 KOs) / 2016 Olympian
“My 2018 resolution is nothing but to just keep on winning.  Unleashed Savage!

MIKAELA MAYER (3-0, 2 KOs) / 2016 Olympian / Three-time U.S. National Amateur Champion

  1. Practice gratitude even when there’s a reason to be unhappy or to complain

    2. Take my dogs on more adventures even when I’m tired from training

    3. Eat less meat and incorporate new vegan recipes into my diet more often

    4. Design a Mikaela Mayer glove with Everlast

    5. Extend my sponsor partnerships

    6. Find new ways to give back to my fans

    7. Showcase my skills on a MAIN card on ESPN

    8. Fight my first 10 rounder

    9. Capture all the 130 lb belts!

Teddy Atlas reacts to Loma-Rigo!

We expected a lot and got very little on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Vasyl Lomachenko defeated Guillermo Rigondeaux by TKO as Rigondeaux could not answer the bell after the sixth round due to what he claims was a left wrist and hand injury.

With the victory, Lomachenko retains his WBO super featherweight title.

It was not much of a fight as Lomachenko dominated from start to finish!

ESPN’s Teddy Atlas reacted to this one-sided Lomachenko victory:

https://twitter.com/EternalSunART/status/939725374300155904

Loma on Rigo: ‘I am not promising to knock him out, but I am promising to squash him’

WBO junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko has been called by Bob Arum “the greatest fighter since Muhammad Ali.’ That’s high praise for a guy with only 10 fights. In order for Lomachenko(9-1, 7 KOs) to reach the heights of a fighter like Ali, he is going to need to build his resume. He will have that chance on December 9 against WBA bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux(17-0, 11 KOs) at Madison Square Garden.

While Rigondeaux is one the best defensive fighters in the sport, Lomachenko believes he will not have any problems getting to Rigo.

“I have a plan in my head, a picture of what I am going to do but I don’t think it would be too smart to talk about it right now,” Lomachenko said.  “I think it is better one time to see than 100 times to say.”

Whatever the game plan is on fight night, Lomachenko expects to bring the pain to Rigondeaux.

“I am like every single fighter – going into the ring I have in my mind ‘finish the bout before all the rounds are over and to get the victory before that,”  Lomachenko said.  “There is a good possibility that the fight will end before the twelfth round.  I am not promising to knock him out, but I am promising to squash him.”