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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Haney: ‘There’s only bigger and better things from here on out’

PHILADELPHIA (May 12, 2018) – Blue chip lightweight prospect Devin Haney rose to the occasion in what was the toughest test of his career, defeating veteran Mason Menard via ninth-round TKO in the main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday on SHOWTIME from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

Haney (20-0, 13 KOs) entered the fight as a highly regarded prospect who had never been tested. He faced his first test on Friday in what was a scheduled 10-round bout against ShoBox veteran Menard (33-3, 24 KOs).

Haney took control of the fight from the opening bell and never relinquished it. The 19-year-old picked off Menard with a dominating jab from the outside and used lateral movement to avoid getting hit.  Menard was unable to land any meaningful punches and he looked sluggish compared to Haney’s consistent movement and athleticism.

After nine rounds of domination, Menard’s corner had seen enough and stopped the fight following the round. Haney passed the toughest test of his career with flying colors, never once letting Menard take control of the fight.

“The plan was to go in there and work off the jab,” Haney said. “If the knockout came, I would take it but I just went in there, put on a boxing clinic and showed the world that I could go the full 10 rounds.

“I feel like I put on a performance. I was relaxed and did my job.  I’m definitely the next superstar.  There’s only bigger and better things from here on out.   I work very hard.  I went in and put on a good performance against a guy that people said could knock me out or hurt me.”

 

 

Photo: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME

Haney: ‘The boxing world will see something they’ve never seen a 19-year-old professional boxer do’

Highly regarded undefeated lightweight Devin Haney will face the toughest test of his career in veteran Mason Menard in the 10-round main event of ShoBox: The New Generation Friday, May 11 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

The 19-year-old Haney, who was a seven-time national junior amateur champion, has been considered a blue-chip prospect since turning professional at the age of 16 in Mexico.  Haney (18-0, 12 KOs) will face by far the toughest opponent of his career in his ShoBoxdebut against Menard (33-2, 24 KOs), a two-time ShoBox veteran whose only loss in nearly a decade came to current WBO Lightweight Champion Ray Beltran.

“The boxing world will see something they’ve never seen a 19-year-old professional boxer do,” Haney said. “I’m intimidating and I know it.  I’m thankful to SHOWTIME and Mason Menard for giving me this opportunity, unfortunately for him, he will get a chance to see first-hand what all the hype is about.  I’ve been sparring with former world champions like Jesse Vargas in preparation for this fight.  The fact that I’m fighting in the main event is bringing out the best in me.  It’s my time to show the world what I’m made of and I’m coming to make a statement in this fight.  Mason Menard is in trouble!”

The young and flashy Haney fights out of Las Vegas, where he has earned a reputation as a prodigy having sparred with Floyd Mayweather, Shawn Porter, Jessie Vargas and Rances Barthelemy.  He compiled an amateur record of 130-8 and received a special exception from the Nevada State Athletic Commission when he was just 17 years old to make his U.S. debut on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley III.

Haney, who is trained and managed by his father, William Haney, has been active since turning pro with nine fights in 2016 and seven in 2017. In his last fight on Nov. 4, he scored a fifth-round TKO against Hamza Sempewo in Atlanta.

Menard had an emphatic win in his ShoBox debut in 2016 with a brutal Knockout of the Year nominee of previously unbeaten Eudy Bernardo.  He returned later that year with a knockout victory of Bahodir Mamadjonov before facing Beltran on short notice.  Prior to the 2016 loss to Beltran, Menard’s only blemish was a 2008 defeat in just his third professional fight.

“It’s a privilege for me to be able return in a fight on national television again,” Menard said.  “My all-around game will be different.  I have a new team, a repaired shoulder and a different outlook on things.  Haney may be undefeated, but he’s never faced anyone like me.  If everyone expects me to fold against an untested prospect they are in for a big surprise.”

After facing Beltran, Menard changed trainers and is now based in Los Angeles with trainers John Pullman and Buddy McGirt.

Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Greg Cohen  Promotions, Devin Haney Promotions & Hard Hitting Promotions, are priced at $125 for VIP, $75 for ringside and $50 for general admission and are available at the 2300 Arena Box office or online at www.HardHittingPromotions.com.