Pettis defeats Jones Jr. by majority decision

Former UFC and WEC world champion Anthony Pettis (1-0, 0 KOs) defeated Boxing Hall of Fame member Roy Jones Jr. (66-10, 47 KOs) by majority decision (76-76, 77-75 and 78-74) in the main event of Gamebred Boxing 4 live on pay-per-view from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wis. in an event presented by Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Boxing.

Pettis, a native of Milwaukee who was making his professional boxing debut, managed to pull out the victory with the backing of his hometown fans. The eight-round heavyweight clash showcased some exhilarating back and forth action between the pair of pugilists, with Jones Jr. using his decades of experience and angles to get the best of Pettis at times. But Pettis proved a more than worthy opponent and did enough to get the win on two of the judges’ scorecards.

“Man, he’s 54 years old, but you’ve got to give it up for this guy,” said Pettis. “He’s a legend in the sport, a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time). Praise God for allowing me to get this opportunity. Give it up for Roy Jones Jr., man.

“I’m going to take it one fight at a time, take it day by day,” continued Pettis. “I’m 1-0 as a pro and I’m excited for what the future holds.”

Jones Jr. said, “For me, I like to come in and entertain the fans. My job is to come in and make sure that the fans get what they paid for, and I’m all good with that. I think it was a good fight. He did a great job and fought a very smart fight. I think I educated him and taught him a lot in this fight. So I think if I fought him again it would be even better because he knows a lot more now. I think it would be a really good rematch.

“I don’t do exhibitions, I fight real fights,” added Jones Jr. “I’m not an exhibition guy, I’m a real guy. I want to win, or I want to lose. But I’m going to go out on my shield, and I want to be able to do it again as many times as I want to. At 54 years old, that’s a beautiful thing, and he already said he’d do it again because one judge had it even. So that’s what I love.”

Pettis concluded things, adding, “I would love to do it again. Let’s go. It would be an honor, bro.”

In the co-main event, former UFC and Cage Rage world light heavyweight champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (2-0, 1 KO) made his second professional boxing appearance in a six-round heavyweight battle against debuting fellow Brazilian and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (0-1, 0 KOs). Souza holds an MMA victory over Belfort, but Belfort jumped out to an early lead in their boxing contest, knocking Souza down twice in the third frame. Belfort tried to finish Souza early, but Souza was able to survive and made it to the bell.

Souza, showing the heart of a former champion, had strong fourth and fifth rounds. Belfort rocked Souza again in the final stanza, and although Souza was able to survive until the final bell, Belfort pulled away with the unanimous decision (57-55 and 58-54 twice) victory.

All-time great UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo faced former top UFC contender Jeremy Stephens in a six-round welterweight affair with Aldo entering a professional boxing ring for the second time and Stephens making his professional boxing debut. The pair first met five years ago in an entertaining MMA struggle won by Aldo that garnered him “Performance of the Night.”

In the squared circle, Aldo and Stephens showed signs of far more experienced boxers, giving the fight fans and judges a very evenly matched contest that resulted in a majority draw (58-56 for Aldo and 57-57 twice).

“Jeremy is a tough guy,” said Aldo. “I was very prepared for this fight. This is my second professional boxing fight, and Jeremy is really tough. But I think I did enough to win this fight. I was blocking a lot of his punches, and my corner was telling me I won the fight. So I don’t really understand. I need to go back to my house, see the fight and then train more for the next one.”

Stephens said, “Much respect to Jose Aldo. You know, I’m a big fan of this guy. I watched this guy growing up. He’s put it down for MMA. And it’s an honor to come here, close to the Midwest. Iowa, are you in the house, or what, baby?

“Let’s run it back for number three,” continued Stephens. “This guy is a legend. We put it down tonight, gave you guys a show. That’s what it is!”

Milwaukee’s own undefeated former NABF champion and rising contender Luis Feliciano (17-0, 8 KOs) defeated an extremely durable and game Clarence Booth (21-8, 13 KOs) by unanimous decision (78-74, 77-75 and 79-73) in an exciting eight-round super lightweight bout. With the hometown crowd behind him, Feliciano served up a dazzling performance, working the body and landing some thudding headshots on Booth, who refused to back down. And although the experienced Booth was coming on in the second half of the bout, Feliciano’s early lead proved insurmountable.

Undefeated rising super featherweight prospect Devin Cushing (13-0, 10 KOs) remained unbeaten, stopping the veteran Damian Marchiano (18-12-1, 7 KOs) by technical knockout. In a bout that was scheduled for six rounds, the flashy, slick Cushing used his jab and combinations to outland and outclass Marchiano en route to an easy stoppage win. Late in the third frame, Cushing landed a big right hand followed by a left that floored Marchiano. Marchiano got up in time, but referee Dave Smith had seen enough, deemed Marchiano unable to continue and stopped the fight at the 2:59 mark of the third round.

In an extremely spirited and competitive six-round featherweight bout, Pearl Gonzalez and Gina Mazany squared off in the center of the ring with Mazany cutting Gonzalez over her right eye near the end of round one. Gonzalez was able to weather the cut, and in a rock ‘em sock ‘em back-and-forth contest that saw both women landing some very heavy shots, it was Mazany that emerged victorious by majority decision (57-57, 59-55 and 58-56).

The second bout on the pay-per-view portion of the fight card featured heavyweights Dillon Cleckler and Joshua Burns going toe-to-toe with Cleckler defeating Burns by technical knockout. Cleckler caught Burns with a right hand that dropped burns early in the first round. Burns made it to his feet to continue, but Cleckler swarmed Burns and quickly landed several more flush right hands, sending Burns to the canvas for a second and final time. Referee Benjy Esteves Jr. called a stop to the action 1:20 into round one of their scheduled six-round fight.

In the pay-per-view opener, Bi Nguyen defeated Andy Nguyen by unanimous decision with all three judges scoring their four-round bantamweight contest 39-37.

Photo: Phil Lambert/Gamebred Boxing

Undercard announced for Jones-Pettis

The full card has been announced for the Saturday, April 1, “Gamebred Boxing 4” pay-per-view event (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, presented by Jorge Masvidal’s Gamebred Boxing.

In the main event, Boxing Hall of Famer Roy Jones Jr. and former UFC and WEC World Champion Anthony Pettis of Milwaukee will go toe-to-toe in an intriguing six-round heavyweight clash between two of combat sports’ most skilled, accomplished and popular champions.

A colorful array of boxing and MMA’s best highlight the exciting undercard, including former UFC and Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (1-0, 1 KO) making his second official pro boxing appearance in a six-round heavyweight battle against debuting fellow Brazilian and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza.

The grappler Souza holds an MMA victory over Belfort, but the quick-fisted southpaw Belfort is much more established in the ring, having defeated the great Evander Holyfield by TKO in a September 2021 exhibition bout, in addition to his official first-round boxing KO over Josemario Neves in 2006.

In another MMA crossover bout, all-time great UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo of Brazil will compete in a second-sport rematch against former MMA foe and top UFC contender Jeremy Stephens. The pair first met five years ago in an entertaining struggle won by Aldo that garnered him “Performance of the Night.” The two MMA vets will meet this time in a six-round welterweight affair.

Also on the main card, Milwaukee’s own undefeated former NABF Champion and rising contender Luis Feliciano (16-0, 8 KOs) will take on durable veteran Clarence Booth (21-7, 13 KOs) of Florida in an eight-round super lightweight bout, while Florida’s undefeated Devin Cushing (12-0, 9 KOs) will face Argentine veteran Damian David Marchiano (18-11-1, 7 KOs) in a six-round super featherweight tussle.

Former UFC contender Pearl Gonzalez will take on fellow mixed martial artist turned social media star Gina Mazany in a six-round featherweight showdown. Brooklyn’s Gonzalez is already 2-0 with one KO as a boxer. Originally from Alaska, Mazany will be making her boxing debut.

Kicking off the pay-per-view telecast will be a six-round heavyweight battle between 11-1 MMA/3-1 Bareknuckle fighter Dillon “Bad Boy” Cleckler and Bellator MMA and fellow bareknuckle competitor Josh “The Hammer” Burns.

Several preliminary bouts are also on tap, headed up by former UFC and BKFC fighter Joe Riggs taking on fellow UFC alum Markus Perez in a six-round cruiserweight bout. Riggs replaces UFC vet Paul Daley who was forced to withdraw.

Also scheduled is a double pro debut between female fighters, as Vegas via Vietnam’s Bi Nguyen will face Myrtle Beach via Vietnam’s Andy Nguyen in a four-round bantamweight contest. This will be the rubber match between the two MMA competitors turned boxers with each previously claiming a victory over the other.

Rounding out the preliminary action will be a female four-round lightweight bout, as MMA fighters Danielle Wynn and Danielle Cohen will meet, with Cohen making her pro debut, while Wynn is 0-1 in boxing. Wisconsin southpaw Javier “El Guerito” Zamarron (2-0, 2 KOs) will take on debuting South Carolinian, MMA competitor Roberto Armas in a four-round super featherweight matchup.

Lastly, Florida’s Cade Howell (3-1, 3 KOs) will appear in a four-round welterweight bout vs. an opponent that is TBA.

Holyfield: ‘I’m still interested in fighting Mike Tyson’

Four-time heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield made his return to the ring on Saturday night against former UFC star Vitor Belfort at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and it didn’t last long. 

With former president Donald Trump in the house, Belfort came out quick and dropped Holyfield twice in the first round. The 58-year-old would survive the knockdowns, and ultimately, after Belfort swarmed Holyfield one more time, the fight was stopped at 1:49 in the first round, and Belfort would get the TKO victory in the Triller Fight Club main event.

Holyfield looked like a 58-year-old man on Saturday night, which is okay because, after all, he’s 58 years old.

Holyfield, who beat Mike Tyson twice in the 90s and last fought in 2011, wants to fight the 55-year-old Tyson despite the loss.

“I wasn’t able to bounce back like I used to,” Holyfield said. “I let him get too close. But he’s strong, and he pushed me, but I wasn’t hurt. I’m not hurt at all. Yes, I’m still interested in fighting Mike Tyson.”

While the 44-year-old Belfort, who fought Holyfield after Oscar De La Hoya withdrew from the fight due to Covid, was happy with the victory and called out Youtube sensation Jake Paul.

“You never judge how many victories you have; you judge by the quality of your opponents,” Belfort said. “When you fight someone, the two warriors gain immediate respect for each other,” he said. “For me, to be able to compete with Holyfield is a dream.

“Yes, I challenge Jake Paul to a thirty-million-dollar winner-take-all fight; he cannot say no to me; he needs a real fight.”

After this performance, let’s hope this is the last time we see Holyfield in the ring. Clearly, he has nothing much to offer. However, Triller still might be able to sell an exhibition fight with Tyson.

In other action on the card:

ANDERSON ‘THE SPIDER’ SILVA, (3-1, 2 KOs), knocked out  ‘THE HUNTINGTON BEACH BAD BOY’ TITO ORTIZ, (0-1), with a stunning overhand right to the head dropping Ortiz to the canvas. With Ortiz unable to beat the count the fight was stopped at 1:21 of the round.

“I’m so happy, my team and I worked so hard,” said Silva. “I just try to enjoy every single moment inside the ring. Thanks to God for giving me one more time to do my job.”

“The training is tough and that makes me feel ready for everything inside the ring. The entire team pushes me every day. I prepare my body and my mind for war and tonight I won. I’m not sure what’s next, just to go home and be with my family.”

In a battle of former friends, Former Unified Cruiserweight World Champion and Former Heavyweight World Champion DAVID ‘THE HAYEMAKER’ HAYE, (29-4, 26 KOs), solidly defeated JOE ‘THE BILLIONAIRE’ FOURNIER, (9-1, 9 KOs), in their eight-round clash. Scores were 80-71 and 79-72 (twice) as Haye flashed moments of brilliance throughout the fight against the outgunned Fournier.

“It felt really good to be back in the ring,” said the victorious Haye. “I haven’t hit a bag in three years, no sparring but I had four weeks of preparation for this and I got in there and felt fresh. I felt sharp, my timing was good. I wanted to give eight rounds of good entertainment and that’s what I did.”

“Now I feel like I’m ready to do some big things. I went out there and did exactly what I was going to do. Tyson Fury has been in my mind for a long time since 2013 when we were scheduled to fight. I’ve always wanted that fight and I’ve seen him getting better and better. I know I can beat him, I know his style, I know what he does well. My attributes don’t work for his style and he and his team know that.”

In a thrilling ten-round junior lightweight battle, Ireland’s JONO “KING KONG’ CARROLL, (22-6, 5 KOs), was victorious over ANDY ‘EL TIBURON’ VENCES, (23-3-1, 12 KOs), by way of majority decision. Scores were 95-95 and 97-93 twice. An even fight in the first half, the southpaw Carroll would pull away in the latter half of the fight with damaging combinations against the valiant Vences.

Said Carroll, “It’s fantastic to get this big win, it’s been a very tough year. But they say you have to sacrifice to really succeed in life. It’s never been a matter of if, only when I’m going to accomplish these goals. And now in 2022 I’m set up to fight for a world title and become a world champion. When I become a world champion I can build on the next chapter in my life.

A win like tonight and it all becomes worth it.”

In a preliminary bout, ANTHONY CHAVEZ, (9-1-1, 3 KOs), and DIUHL OLGUIN, (15-19-5, 10 KOs) fought to a majority draw in their junior lightweight bout. Scores were 58-56 for Chavez and 57-57, twice.

Also, ELIEZER SILVA, (1-0), made a successful pro debut against TERRY ROSCOE, (2-6), in their four round middleweight fight. Scores were 39-36 on all three scorecards for Silva.

Photo: Triller Fight Club/Amanda Westcott

Former president Donald Trump will provide commentary for Holyfield-Belfort

The former president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, will provide commentary for the Holyfield-Belfort card on September 11 at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida(FITE PPV).

“I love great fighters and great fights,” said Trump. “I look forward to seeing both this Saturday night and sharing my thoughts ringside. You won’t want to miss this special event.” 

Former Cruiserweight and Heavyweight Undisputed World Champion Evander Holyfield will make his comeback fight against former UFC Heavyweight World Champion Vitor Belfort.

The 58-year-old Holyfield, who is considered one of the best pound-for-pound heavyweight champion alive today, replaced Oscar De La Hoya after “The Golden Boy” had to withdraw from the fight due to testing positive for Covid-19. 

Also featured on the card is Anderson Silva fighting Tito Ortiz in a professional boxing bout, David Haye also making a professional comeback versus Joe Fournier, followed by Andy Vences-Jono Carroll. 

Additionally, performing LIVE between fights will be Brazilian Pop-Superstar ANITTA, Cuban super-group GENTE DE ZONA, and Latino superstar LUNAY.

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