Zurdo: ‘I expect the very best Dmitry Bivol for this fight’

With a fired up Mexican band setting up a festive tone, media and boxing fans alike rallied together for a special Los Angeles media workout event hosted by undefeated, former WBO Super Middleweight World Champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs) at Brickhouse Boxing Club.

Ramirez discussed his upcoming 12-round championship fight against Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) for the WBA Light Heavyweight World Title on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The fight will be broadcast live worldwide on DAZN.

Here is what Ramirez and Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya had to say:

Ramirez:

Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

“Camp has been going very well. I am happy to be here, I am happy to be doing this. Man, this is just exciting.

“I am taking back the belt on November 5! I am very proud to not only represent Mazatlán, Sinaloa, but all of Mexico and all Latinos. I can’t wait to prove to everyone and to myself that I can do this. Bivol is a tough guy. He’s a really good challenge. But, I am going to avenge the Mexican population since he beat Canelo.

“When I heard the fight would be in Abu Dhabi, I thought ‘Wow, that’s cool – I have never been there before.’ After the press conference, I was blown away and I am even more excited to fight there.

“I expect the very best Dmitry Bivol for this fight. I expect this to be an exciting fight. It will be a war.”

De La Hoya:

Photo: Golden Boy Promotions

“This fight was forced on Bivol. Zurdo always wanted to fight for the world title, he wanted to fight the very best. We did our job as a promoter to make this fight happen. We forced this fight to happen through the WBA, through the rankings.

“We established Zurdo as the number one contender. He’s fought back-to-back eliminators, so he deserved this shot. We did a very good job in positioning Zurdo, and now it’s Zurdo’s job to bring the belt back.

“The fact that he [Zurdo] has that killer instinct, and that he wants this so bad, you can see it oozing from out of his eyes. He’s piercing through everything. He wants that big prize against Bivol. Zurdo is calm, cool, and collected – and that’s what you want from a fighter stepping up in competition against someone like Bivol.”

Ortiz-McKinson set for August 6

Knockout sensation and the pride of Grand Prairie, Texas, Vergil Ortiz Jr. (18-0, 18 KOs), will make his grand return to the ring on Saturday, August 6, taking on top 10 ranked, undefeated welterweight contender Michael “The Problem” McKinson (22-0, 2 KOs) of Portsmouth, Great Britain. The 12-round welterweight fight will take place at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, and will stream live worldwide, exclusively on DAZN.

Ortiz-McKinson was originally scheduled to fight on March 19, but Ortiz was forced to pull out after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis.

“I am very happy to be stepping back into the ring again,” said Vergil Ortiz, Jr. “I’m ready to show the world once again why I’m ready for a world title.”

“I’m getting what I deserve,” said Michael McKinson. “I was prepared to fight Ortiz, Jr. before; now, I have been given the opportunity again to prove I am the best in this division.”

“Vergil Ortiz, Jr. is the most exciting welterweight in the world,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO. “We are happy that he is back, healthy, and feels 100%.  Fighting in his home state, I can’t think of a better way for him to make his comeback and put on another great performance for his fans.  He is one step away from challenging any world champion and he will prove it on August 6.”

Vergil Ortiz Jr. boasts a perfect knockout undefeated record and is considered one of the most exciting fighters in the welterweight division. Originally scheduled to return to the ring on March 19 in Los Angeles against Michael “The Problem” McKinson, Ortiz, Jr. suffered a medical emergency that forced him to pull out of that fight. Fortunately, the fighter is now 100% healthy to return and is looking to make an impressive comeback in front of his hometown when he faces McKinson at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, TX. Ortiz, Jr. was last seen in the ring in a fantastic TKO victory against world title contender Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas in August 2021. In addition, he has faced and won against some of the toughest fighters in the division, knocking out contenders like Antonio “Relentless” Orozco, Brad “King” Solomon, and Maurice “Mighty Mo” Hooker.

Ranked as one of the top 10 best welterweights in the world, Michael McKinson is an undefeated fighter ready to face any contender in the division. Hailing from Portsmouth, Great Britain, the 27-year-old made his US debut on March 19, defeating Alex “Chi-Town Heat” Martin after a last minute change due to the cancellation of Ortiz, Jr. vs. McKinson. Now a notable name in the boxing scene, McKinson has enjoyed an accomplished career capturing titles including the WBC International Silver Welter Title and the WBO European and Global Welter titles. Now, the UK fighter will be looking to show that he has what it takes to defeat Ortiz, Jr. in his home turf and prove he belongs among the division’s elite.

De La Hoya: ‘One thing about Charlo and the whole PBC stable is that they hide behind Haymon’

Jaime Munguia (39-0, 31 KOs) will return on Saturday night as he battler former world title challenger Jimmy Kelly (26-2, 10 KOs) in a 12-round super middleweight fight on Saturday at Anaheim’s Honda Center.

Recently, Munguia was in talks to battle WBC middleweight champion Jermall Charlo, but those discussions broke down as the two sides could not come to an agreement. 

At the final press conference for Munguia-Kelly on Thursday, Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya talked Charlo-Munguia. According to De La Hoya, Munguia’s side is still ready to make the fight.

“In terms of Charlo, we were ready to make the fight,” De La Hoya said. “We were ready to do whatever it took to give Jaime Munguia the fight he wants and everybody has been asking for. One thing about Charlo and the whole PBC stable is that they hide behind Al Haymon; that’s the bottom line. We don’t want to make ordinary fights; we want to make the best fights. I hope Charlo grows some balls and tells his promoter to fight the very best. These are the fights boxing needs and the fights the fans deserve.”

“I’m not going to exclude our partner DAZN from any type of negotiation. There’s always room for negotiation. Meet us halfway; we can walk across the street; we can meet in the middle of the street. There is no protection; Munguia is ready for anyone. They’re hiding behind Al Haymon, and that’s the bottom line. If the fighters really want to fight, they have to stop saying, ‘talk to my promoter/manager.’ The fighters have a voice, and they need to use it.”

Every story has two sides, so who knows what is true. According to ESPN’s Mike Coppinger, Charlo-Munguia talks broke down due to a dispute over U.S. broadcast rights.

Many would love to see Charlo-Munguia and other fights in boxing, but too often, the business of boxing gets in the way.

Let’s hope they can make the fight.

 Photo: Tom Hogan / Golden Boy

De La Hoya on Garcia: ‘It’s time to show the world Ryan Garcia as an elite level fighter’

Undefeated, lightweight superstar Ryan Garcia (22-0, 18KOs) of Victorville, CA, will face former two-time world champion Javier Fortuna (37-3-1, 26 KOs) of La Romana, DR.

The 12-round lightweight fight will take place on Saturday, July 16 and will stream live worldwide, exclusively on DAZN.

“If there is any doubt I was hesitant to fight Fortuna a year ago, that will all be made clear after our fight,” said Ryan Garcia. “This was the fight I wanted and now it’s time.  I am so grateful to my friends, family, and especially my fans for their support.  I have never felt better, stronger, and more motivated.  It’s time to silence all the doubters and it starts on July 16.”

“This is going to be a very exciting fight. I know it didn’t take place last year like originally announced but I hope that this time it will be real so that I can offer a good show to the public,” said Javier Fortuna. “I feel very happy with the work that I have been doing with my promoter, Sampson who has been trusting me since the beginning of my career. I will prepare 100% to win my fight.  I trust my team now more than ever and have full confidence in my coach Belvin García, who I consider my family.  Together, and with God on our side, I know we will hold up our hands high in victory on fight night.”

“It’s time to show the world Ryan Garcia as an elite level fighter,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO, Golden Boy. “This fight against Javier Fortuna will not only be a tough fight, it will show the world how talented he is.”

After a spectacular performance against top-ten lightweight contender Emmanuel Tagoe in April 2022, Ryan Garcia proved he still is a force to be reckoned with in the lightweight division.  Originally scheduled to face Fortuna in July 2021, Garcia was forced to bow out of the event due to mental health struggles.  However, he has defeated almost every top contender via knockout, including a seventh-round stoppage of 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell in 2021.  His amazing undefeated career with 18 knock-outs inside the ring, including his spectacular shutout performance against Emmanuel Tagoe has earned him a spot as one of the lightweight divisions top stars of our time.  Now, the 23-year-old, undefeated lightweight sensation is on a mission to prove he has what it takes to defeat the division’s elite.

Ranked in the top 10 of the lightweight division by ESPN.com, the WBC, and The Ring Magazine, Javier Fortuna is a dangerous lightweight contender with a lot to prove on July 16.  The 33-year-old southpaw is a former two-time world champion who previously held the WBA Interim Featherweight World Championship and the WBA Super Featherweight World Championship. Fortuna was last seen in a spectacular first round stoppage of Rafael Hernandez in Santo Domingo, DR this past February and will be looking to have another spectacular performance when he faces Ryan Garcia on July 16.

Vergil Ortiz Jr. pulls out of fight with Mckinson after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis

Vergil Ortiz Jr. has pulled out of this Saturday’s main event against Michael Mckinson after being diagnosed with rhabdomyolysis, Golden Boy Promotions announced Tuesday.

Ortiz is recovering well in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery, according to Golden Boy Promotions.

“We wish Vergil a very quick and speedy recovery,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman, and CEO of Golden Boy. “As fighters, our first instinct is to fight whatever we have and tough it out. It takes a lot of courage to admit that something is wrong and get the care that you need. We are confident that we will be seeing Vergil in the ring again very soon.”

According to Golden Boy Promotions, more information on the March 19 event will be announced shortly.

Ryan Garcia suffers hand injury

 Undefeated 135-pound contender Ryan “King Ry” Garcia (21-0, 18 KOs) sustained an injury to his right hand during a training session. The 23-year old Southern California native will undergo surgery on Monday, October 18, to repair his right wrist by the renowned orthopedic hand specialist Dr. Steven Shin at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Surgery Center.

“I want to thank my fans for all the continued support,” said Ryan Garcia. “We are postponing my next fight for a couple of months as a result of a significant hand injury that requires immediate surgery. I will undergo surgery at Cedars-Sinai on Monday. I promise early 22 I will return better, faster, and stronger than ever. I love you guys!”

“Ryan is a very resilient young man,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy. “We hope he takes the necessary time to heal and recover. As a fighter, I understand the importance of taking hand injuries seriously, and I am glad Ryan is doing the right thing and addressing the injury quickly. We wish him a speedy recovery.”

Garcia, who was expected to fight Jojo Diaz in November, was last seen in the ring on January 1, 2021, with a seventh-round stoppage of Luke Campbell.

De La Hoya: ‘These exhibitions that we’re seeing are becoming a circus; I want no part of that’

At age 48, “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya is ready to return to the sport of boxing when he battles former UFC star Vitor Belfort on September 11 at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Triller PPV.

The fight was initially supposed to be an exhibition fight, but unlike Mike Tyson-Roy Jones, this is a sanctioned bout.

“These exhibitions that we’re seeing are becoming a circus; I want no part of that,” De La Hoya said at a press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “And that’s why this fight is a real, sanctioned fight and not an exhibition. Everybody who knows me, I’ve never been in a boring fight. I go out there and fight. An exhibition isn’t us; Vitor and I have too much at stake. When I see Belfort, I can see in his eyes how proud he is of his legacy, and I feel the same way too, and I respect that.”

De La Hoya last fought in 2008 when he was stopped by Manny Pacquiao. That was a one-sided affair, and it was 13 years ago, but to De La Hoya’s credit, he’s never run away from a challenge in his career, which he discussed on Tuesday.

“I’ve been in top challenges all my life; I’ve basically been fighting since I was five years old,” he said. “I’ve had every challenge in the book, and I’ve fought the very best, from Pacquiao to Mayweather to Hopkins to Julio Cesar Chavez. I wanted a different challenge, and that’s what Vitor Belfort presents. A challenge that’s going to take my training and my mentality to a whole new level.”

If De La Hoya’s comeback is real, he should have no issue with the 44-year-old Belfort. However, 48 is 48, and De La Hoya has been out of the ring and inactive for a long time, so who knows what will happen at Staples Center on September 11. 

Here’s for sure, if De La Hoya looks good against Belfort, maybe a fight with the man he once promoted and one the pound-for-pound best in Canelo Alvarez could be in his future. 

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but a fight against Canelo is big if it does happen.

Photo: Chris Farina – Triller Fight CluB

De La Hoya-Belfort set for September 11 in Las Vegas

Former boxing world champion Oscar De La Hoya will return to the ring to face former UFC Superstar Vitor Belfort in an exhibition bout on Saturday, September 11 in Las Vegas as part of the new TrillerVerz, the first-ever festival bringing together the power of Verzuz and Fight Club into one massive weekend festival, Triller announced on Thursday.

TrillerVerz is a partnership developed between Triller-owned Verzuz and Triller owned Fight Club bringing together the cultural phenomenon the two have created throughout the music and sports worlds.

“I am ready to return to the ring and I am proud to be part of Triller and Verzuz and their game-changing model of reimagining the boxing business as four-quadrant entertainment,” De La Hoya said. “I have nothing but the utmost respect for a champion like Vitor Belfort as we show the world what high level boxing is all about.”

“It was incredibly important to me my comeback was on this date as it represents such an important moment in history for me, my fans and the words culture. This is much bigger than just me and this event, for all those with ties and or roots in and to Mexico.”

 “It will be a pleasure to represent MMA again, this time in the ring against one of the biggest names in the history of boxing,” Belfort said. “It will be a war not to be missed and a fight my kids will be talking about. This is certain to make combat sports history.”

Known as ‘The Golden Boy’ the 48-year-old De La Hoya won 11 world titles in six weight classes, including the lineal championship in three weight classes as well as being an Olympic gold medalist. He’s one of the best drawing boxers in the sport’s history and was named The Ring magazine Fighter of the Year in 1995, and was its top-rated fighter in the world, pound for pound, in 1997 and 1998.

He announced his retirement as a fighter in 2009, following a professional career spanning 16 years.

Brazilian MMA fighter Belfort, 44, is known to fight fans as “The Phenom” for his explosive striking power that helped him secure the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship title and tie for third for the most finishes in UFC history. His fights became part of two of the biggest all-time best-selling UFC Pay-Per-View events in a successful career that includes fighting in UFC’s Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight and Middleweight divisions, fighting for the Strikeforce, Pride and Affliction promotions and winning the Cage Rage championship.

The full festival lineup and details will be announced shortly accompanying the world class boxing card.

Jones Jr.’s trainer:  De La Hoya should fight Jones Jr. in July

Former world champion Roy Jones Jr. (66-9, 47 KOs) has let it be known that he is willing to battle Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KOs) in his return to the ring this summer on Triller.

The 48-year-old De La Hoya announced last week that he will return to the ring in July. No word if it’s a real fight or an exhibition.

“I spoke to Roy today, and he is feeling great and is willing to fight Oscar De La Hoya,” said Alfy Smith, Roy Jones Jr.’s trainer. “I know that they never got to fight based off weight classes before, but now would be the perfect time to give the fans a great fight that they’d thought they would get to see. De La Hoya has one of the greatest left hooks in boxing history; Roy has a devastating hook as well; we shall see who will be the real “Captain Hook.”

The 52-year-old Jones Jr. returned on November 28th against Mike Tyson in an exhibition bout, which did well on pay-per-view. The fight ended in a draw. Now, Jones Jr. wants another legend.

“The fans all over the world love Roy Jones Jr and Oscar De La Hoya,” continued Smith. “This is a great fight, an exciting matchup where you would only dream it up in a video game, now we have a chance to make it a reality. Roy is still active and training every day, he’s in tremendous shape, and his speed is still crisp.”

The weight difference would make this fight hard to put together, but I guess anything is possible.

De La Hoya on Canelo getting stripped: ‘We are extremely disappointed at the IBF’

Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy, has issued the following statement in response to the International Boxing Federation’s decision to strip middleweight world champion, Canelo Alvarez. 

“We are extremely disappointed at the IBF for forcing the world’s best fighter to relinquish his world title. We have been in serious negotiations with Sergiy Derevyanchenko’s promoter. We offered his team an unprecedented amount of money for a fighter of his limited stature and limited popularity, but the truth is that I’m now certain they never had any intention of making a deal. But instead they wanted to force us to relinquish Canelo’s belt. This is an insult to boxing and more importantly an insult to the boxing fans of the world. This decision validates already existing concerns about the credibility of the IBF championship. Canelo inherited a mandatory challenger by defeating Daniel Jacobs, the man who beat Derevyanchenko, so to strip him of his title without giving him enough time to make the best fight possible is truly what is wrong with boxing, and I plan to aggressively consider all legal actions possible.”

According to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, Alvarez is in serious discussions to fight Demetrius Andrade for a middleweight unification bout. Should be very interesting to see how this situation plays out.