Featured Photo Credit-PBC
With heavy-hitters such as Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz Jr. vying for a world title, we take a look at the greatest Latino heavyweights in boxing history.
Featured Photo Credit-PBC
With heavy-hitters such as Luis Ortiz and Andy Ruiz Jr. vying for a world title, we take a look at the greatest Latino heavyweights in boxing history.
ERISLANDY LARA & BRIAN CASTAÑO FIGHT TO HIGHLY COMPETITIVE SPLIT-DRAW IN TITLE FIGHT SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME® FROM BARCLAYS CENTER IN BROOKLYN
Heavyweight Slugger Luis Ortiz Earns Unanimous Decision Over Christian Hammer, Eduardo Ramirez Scores Ninth-Round TKO of Bryan De Gracia In Telecast Opener.
Watch The Encore Presentation Monday At 10 P.M. ET/PT On
All Photo Credits- Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
BROOKLYN (March 3, 2019) – Former 154-pound world champion Erislandy Lara and WBA Super Welterweight Champion Brian Castaño fought to a highly competitive split-draw Saturday at Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions. With the draw, Castaño retains the WBA belt in what was the toughest test of his career against the longtime top 154-pounder in Lara. The judges scored the fight 115-113 (Castaño), 115-113 (Lara) and 114-114.
Castaño (15-0-1, 11 KOs), who was fighting in his first U.S. main event, held a large advantage in power connects (181-103) while Lara (25-3-3, 14 KOs) found success landing his left hand down the middle on his way to a 34 percent to 27 percent advantage in power accuracy.
In the close, difficult-to-score fight, five of the rounds were separated by three or fewer connects and three of those rounds favored Lara. In the final two rounds, Castaño ramped up the pressure and connected on 44 punches, while Lara landed only 24 punches across the championship rounds. Castaño won the final three rounds on all three judges’ scorecards. Without doing so, the Argentine would have lost his belt.
After the hotly contested fight, both fighters have options, including a rematch, in the talent-rich super welterweight division.
“I know I won the fight. I feel I was robbed,” a disappointed Castaño told SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray. “If he wants the rematch, I’ll give him the rematch. I waited for him this time so I can wait for him again if he wants the rematch. I would give him the rematch if he wants. I can also go ahead and fight any other champion that wants to fight me. I’m ready for whoever they put in front of me. Hurd or anyone else.”
Lara, on the other hand, felt he did enough to claim the belt: “I thought I won the fight by landing the more accurate and effective punches. Castaño came to fight but he never hurt me and I hurt him. All I can do is give the fans great fights and that’s what I’ll continue to do. I have a lot of fight left in me and I’m not going anywhere.
“If we have to fight him again, I’ll fight him. Hurd or Castaño. Anybody, I’ll have the rematch with both.”
In the co-feature, Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz (31-1, 26 KOs) earned a unanimous decision victory over a game Christian Hammer (24-6, 14 KOs). Although the judges scored the fight 100-90 and 99-91 twice, both men fought through bloody noses at different points in the fight and both were stunned in a back-and-forth second round.
Ortiz, who earned his third consecutive victory since dropping a thrilling slugfest with WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder one year ago, is now looking for another world title shot.
“The fight wasn’t what I was expecting,” said Ortiz. “It was a hard fight and my corner really had to work with me. After I got the rhythm, I heated up a little bit. Every heavyweight out there should know that I still have it at 40-years-old. Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, I’m ready.”
Although Hammer fought with more energy and with more resolve than in previous fights with other top-tier heavyweights Tyson Fury and Alexander Povetkin, Ortiz used his superior technique and skills to eventually cruise to the lopsided decision. Ortiz averaged 45 jabs thrown per round and landed 61 jabs to just 20 for Hammer, while also connecting on 49 percent of his power punches. Ortiz made a conscious effort to attack Hammer’s body with 33.6% of his total connects (45 of 140) coming via body shots.
“I fought a fight that I hadn’t for years, which is box and work,” said Ortiz. “So I’m not disappointed I didn’t knock him out because I showed some of my boxing skills tonight.”
“Ortiz is a very good and experienced fighter,” said the 31-year-old Hammer, who was making his American debut. “He’s technical and smart but he’s not as intimidating as people say he is. I respect Ortiz but I don’t think he’s the best fighter I’ve ever faced.
“I’m very confident going forward. I know that I can go the distance with anyone and I’m willing to fight anyone. People thought I’d get knocked out but I proved them wrong.”
In the telecast opener, Eduardo Ramirez (22-1-3, 9 KOs) caught Bryan De Gracia (24-2-1, 20 KOs) with a vicious right uppercut in the ninth, stunning his opponent and suddenly breaking open a close fight. Ramirez pounced on the dazed De Gracia and unleashed a wave of punches which forced referee Benjy Esteves to call the fight at 2:10 of round nine.
The southpaw Ramirez, of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, was trailing on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage according to two out of three judges (the third had it even). Ramirez, known to grow stronger in the later rounds, connected on 36 punches in round number nine, by far his highest connect total on the night. Although De Gracia was the more aggressive fighter, the Panamanian failed to consistently land punches. De Gracia was accurate on just 27 percent of his power punches, while Ramirez landed 38 percent of his.
“I definitely knew it was close but my corner kept telling me to keep going and going, and that’s when I caught him,” said Ramirez, who was fighting with a heavy heart following the passing of his grandfather. “I didn’t just come here to fight. I came here to do something and I did it.”
With the win, Ramirez is now in line to face WBA (Regular) Featherweight World Champion Can Xu and will be looking to challenge for a world title fight in the deep featherweight division.
In SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN action that streamed live on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page, Edwin Rodriguez (31-2, 20 KOs) won a 10-round cruiserweight fight via unanimous decision over Mitch Williams (16-7-3, 11 KOs) by scores of 96-94 twice and 98-92. Coverage on social media also saw Antonio Russell (13-0, 11 KOs), younger brother of WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr., stop Jose Maria Cardenas (16-4, 13 KOs) 22 seconds into the sixth round of their bantamweight fight. In the opening bout of the digital presentation, Leduan Barthelemy (14-0-1, 7 KOs) remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Miguel Angel Aispuro (11-7-2, 7 KOs) by scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73 in their eight-round super featherweight attraction.
CUBAN HEAVYWEIGHT LUIS ORTIZ NAMED HONORARY AMBASSADOR BY EB RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP TO RAISE AWARENESS FOR DAUGHTER’S DISEASE
(Left to right: Luis Ortiz and EBRP Development Manager Stephanie Ishoo; Photo Credit: Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME)
Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Partnership Announces Ambassadorship On “Rare Disease Day” at Press Conference For Ortiz’s Fight This Saturday Night Live on SHOWTIME® at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
BROOKLYN (February 28, 2019) – Cuban heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz has long chronicled his daughter Lismercedes and her battle with the skin condition epidermolysis bullosa (EB). On Thursday, Ortiz was named an honorary ambassador for the EB community by the EB Research Partnership, a global non-profit founded by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and his wife Jill, along with a dedicated group of parents.
Thursday’s announcement came on “Rare Disease Day”, which is dedicated to raising awareness and improving access to to treatment and medical representation for individuals with rare diseases and their families. Ortiz was presented with the honor at the press conference for his fight against Christian Hammer this Saturday live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
“I’m totally speechless and honored to receive this recognition,” said Ortiz. “It means so much to have this platform to help the parents and children who are suffering from this disease and don’t have an answer or don’t have a way of getting an answer. I’m very proud to not only be able to help my daughter, but someone else’s son or daughter.”
A life-threatening genetic skin disease, it is estimated that 500,000 people worldwide have EB. Children with EB are called “Butterfly Children” because their skin is as fragile as the wings of a butterfly: they face severe pain, open wounds, and a grueling bandaging process on a daily basis. There is currently no treatment or cure for EB, however EBRP is dedicated to changing that as rapidly as possible.
“EB Research Partnership is honored to have Luis Ortiz as an EB Ambassador,” said Michael Hund, Executive Director of EB Research Partnership. “When you have a bold mission to cure a rare disease, we need leaders in our corner like Luis who will fight with us to accelerate treatments and cures for EB. Leading researchers believe that life-saving treatments and a cure are within reach. We are thankful to have Luis as part of the team that will make that vision a reality.”
About EB Research Partnership
Founded by a dedicated group of parents and Jill and Ed Vedder (Pearl Jam), EB Research Partnership (EBRP) is the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to funding research aimed at treating and ultimately curing Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a group of devastating and life-threatening skin disorders that affect children from birth. EB Research Partnership works to treat and cure EB as quickly and efficiently as possible and fulfills their mission by partnering with non-profit and for-profit organizations, foundations, individual donors, and the EB and research communities.
EB Research Partnership utilizes an innovative business model of venture philanthropy, when making a grant to a research project they retain the added upside of generating a recurring revenue stream if the therapy or product is commercially successful, then use the return on investment to fund additional EB research until a cure is found. To learn more about EB Research Partnership visit http://www.ebresearch.org.
ERISLANDY LARA VS. BRIAN CASTAÑO, HEAVYWEIGHT LUIS ORTIZ FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES & PHOTOS
Former Champion Lara Challenges WBA Super Welterweight Champion Castaño Live On SHOWTIME® This Saturday from Barclays Center in Brooklyn & Presented by Premier Boxing Champions
BROOKLYN (February 28, 2019) – Former world champion Erislandy Lara and WBA Super Welterweight Champ Brian Castaño went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they headline action this Saturday live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, and presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
At the press conference, Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz faced off against Christian Hammer, as they near their 10-round showdown, while once-beaten contenders Bryan De Gracia and Eduardo Ramirez stared each other down before their 12-round featherweight clash that kicks off SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.
All Photos from Stephanie Trapp/SHOWTIME
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what the fighters had to say Thursday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn:
“Everyone knows what I bring to the ring and you will see me at my best on Saturday. This fight means a lot to me and I’ve prepared with that mentality.
“I had a great fight against Jarrett Hurd. There was a height and weight difference on fight night but that whole experience is history now. My focus is on Castaño and making this another great fight. It’s great to be a part of awards like Fight of the Year, but now I have to move on to what is next.
“This is my third time fighting at Barclays Center and its always extra motivation. We’ll see what happens on Saturday but I’m prepared for anything my opponent brings to the ring.
“I’m excited for this fight. I’m just ready to fight. It’s great to have another chance to fight for a world title and work toward getting my top spot back.
“Everything in this fight is going to be important. My experience, the styles of the fighters and our power. It’s all going to play a big role in this fight.
“I just want the biggest fights. There are a lot of great fighters at this weight and around it. I’m going to be ready for anyone who steps up to the challenge.
“I’m here to win and show everyone that I’m the best 154-pounder in the world. I’m going to take a big step in cleaning out the division on Saturday. I’m going to be at my best and bring home the victory.”
“I breathe boxing and people are going to see that on Saturday night. I’m going to show them that I’m a great boxer and I’ve prepared to beat the best.
“There’s nothing left to say, on Saturday night, it’s going to be a war. The best fighting the best. This is a truly elite super welterweight I’m facing and that’s what I want. I want to face the best.
“A fight is a fight. It doesn’t matter who is in front of me. Lara is a great fighter, but we have to beat him to get where we want to go. This is the path we’ve chosen to get to that ultimate goal.
“I think Lara and I are both very well-conditioned and well-prepared for this fight. I’m in the final stages of my work for this fight. All of the toughest and hardest work is already done.
“I’m anxious to get in the ring and hear that first bell. I can’t wait to go in there and get to work on Saturday night.
“I worked so hard for this fight because I know how much is at stake. I’ve been looking for this fight, even before Lara lost to Hurd. Luckily everything came together for me to fight Lara on Saturday.
“I am a crowd-pleasing fighter. I’m going to be aggressive. That’s just my style. But I can also adapt to my opponent. You have to do different things to win a fight of this caliber.”
“Everybody knows I don’t talk a lot and prefer to make my name in the ring. On Saturday you’re going to see what I do best and that’s throw punches. That’s my job.
“This is a big fight for me to prove that I deserve another shot at the title. In my heart I still believe I had that fight against Deontay Wilder in my hands. It was mine to win. Hopefully he will step up and face me again.
“Christian Hammer says that he’s coming to win so he better come with a lot of energy. I’m ready for him and anyone else who steps up to the challenge.
“I fight for my family and I bring that passion into the gym every day. You will see it in the ring Saturday night. I hope that Hammer has prepared because I’m leaving it all in the ring like I always do.
“My focus is completely on Christian Hammer. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I know what it takes to be at my best. After this fight, I’ll see where we’re at and see which of the top heavyweights will be available to me.
“I don’t know how I’m going to win on Saturday, but I’ll leave with my hand raised. I don’t know how, but I’m going to do everything to make it happen.”
“I’ve had great preparation and I’m here to win. I feel good and I’m ready to deliver a great performance.
“I will always be ready to take on the biggest challenges. I have great preparation in camp, working with lots of strong power southpaws and also fighters who can box. I’m ready for anything Luis Ortiz comes with.
“I’m completely focused on this fight. I’m here to cancel his plans for a Wilder rematch. I’m going to put myself in a position for even more big fights.”
BRYAN DE GRACIA
“I’m very happy to be here in this position. This is a great opportunity for me to show my skills on a big stage here in Brooklyn.
“This is going to be an action fight. We both want to prove that we have what it takes to fight the best in the division. I’m not going to let him stand in my way of getting to where I want.
“You’re going to see a great event on Saturday night. We put a lot of effort into this fight and you’ll sense it in the ring on Saturday night. I hope Ramirez comes very prepared.”
“I’m going to save my words and bring the action into the ring on Saturday night. I’m going to get this victory.
“I’m ready for this challenge. This is a big moment for my career. I’m very thankful to everyone who helped me get to this big fight and this moment.
“My style is to be aggressive. I bring the classic Mexican style into the ring. He better be prepared because I’m coming to take this fight.”
LOU DIBELLA, President of DiBella Entertainment
“This is another terrific card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Once again its Premier Boxing Champions bringing the greatest stable of fighters in the world to the fans as part of a major card on SHOWTIME.
“This is a significant card with competitive fights. If you’re a fight fan, these are the fights you want to see. There will be good action and the fights will lead the winners to somewhere bigger.
“The winner between De Gracia and Rodriguez should be very competitive, there are tough guys and they’re ready to throw down. The winner of this fight has a significant matchup ahead down the road.
“Nobody wants to fight ‘King Kong’. Luis Ortiz is one of the scariest guys in the division. Christian Hammer is a fighter who is capable of going into the ring with the greatest heavyweights in the world and putting a durable and competitive fight. One of these big guys is going down.
“The main event is a great fight. Castaño is a tremendous fighter but he has his hands full Saturday night. Lara is an elite fighter and one of the hardest guys in boxing to beat. He’s capable of making adjustment in the ring to win. For every young fighter there is a championship moment, and on Saturday it’s put up or shut up time for Brian Castaño against a truly top-level fighter.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, President Sports & Event Programming, Showtime Networks Inc.
“We are thrilled to be back at Barclays Center. This is an all-action card of intriguing fights. Really, we are highlighting maybe what are three of the most interesting and deepest divisions in boxing right now: super welterweight, heavyweight and featherweight. Those of you who are regular viewers of SHOWTIME Boxing will recognize the names and these are the three of the divisions that SHOWTIME has focused on over the last several years because they are exciting and they are filled with great talent.
“The 154-pound division is one of the deepest and most exciting in boxing. [Lara-Castaño] is a fight-fans’ fight with longtime star Erislandy Lara taking on newcomer Brian Castaño, who has generated quickly a lot of buzz among those who think he might be the next big thing. In our co-feature we have fan-favorite Luis “King Kong” Ortiz. Again, the heavyweight division is now as exciting and interesting as it’s been at any point in the last 20 years. Our opening fight is in the featherweight division. This is another deep, talented division where SHOWTIME has over and over again showcased the best fighters and the biggest fights.
“Bryan De Gracia is here to make a name for himself and if you don’t know him, this is a fight you should pay attention to. Eduardo Ramirez has only one blemish on his record and that’s a decision loss to champion Lee Selby. He’s from Los Mochis, Mexico. For those of you who know anything about Los Mochis, there’s something in the water there because they just turn out great boxer after great boxer.”
BRETT YORMARK, CEO of BSE Global
“We are excited to welcome everyone back for our second PBC fight of the year. I’m excited to welcome back to town great Cuban fighters who have shown all their skills here before. The last time Ortiz was here, it was probably the most exciting fight we’ve had here at Barclays Center when he fought Deontay Wilder.
“I want to welcome Brian Castaño and Christian Hammer to Barclays Center for the first time. You’ll get a taste about what boxing in BROOKLYN BOXING is all about.
“We think that this will be the best year yet for BROOKLYN BOXING. We want to bring the best fights right here to Brooklyn and do it in a way that’s continuous. Saturday night should be very exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there.”
Cuban Boxing Stars Take Center Stage On Saturday, March 2 As Former World Champion Erislandy Lara Challenges Unbeaten Brian Castaño For His WBA Super Welterweight World Title While Top Heavyweight Contender Luis “King Kong” Ortiz Battles Christian Hammer In Co-Feature
Live on SHOWTIME® from Barclays Center in Brooklyn & Presented by Premier Boxing Champions Plus! Hard-Hitting Super Featherweight Ricardo Núñez Clashes with Former World Title Challenger Edner Cherry in SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Opening Bout
Tickets on Sale Tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET!
BROOKLYN (January 17, 2019) – Former 154-pound world champion Erislandy Lara seeks to return to the championship ranks when the Cuban star challenges undefeated contender Brian Castaño for his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship on Saturday, March 2 live on SHOWTIME and presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage of the PBC event begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features another Cuban star in top heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz as he clashes with Christian Hammer in a 10-round co-featured bout. In the opening bout of the tripleheader, hard-hitting Ricardo Núñeztakes on rugged veteran Edner Cherry in a 12-round super featherweight opener.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions in association with DiBella Entertainment, are on sale Friday, January 18 at 10 a.m. ET and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com, barclayscenter.com, or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center beginning Saturday, January 19. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
The super welterweight division remains one of the hottest divisions in boxing with unified champion Jarrett Hurd, newly crown champion Tony Harrison, former world champion Jermell Charlo, former title challenger Julian Williams and Lara all circling each other for supremacy in the weight class.
“This night of exciting action is headlined by two Cuban stars who will surely put on a display of the immense skill and determination that Cuban boxers are known for,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Erislandy Lara has long been one of the best, if not number one, in the 154-pound division and he will look to get right back into that class by taking the WBA title from a hard-hitting and undefeated Argentine in Brian Castaño. Luis Ortiz has another opportunity to show why he’s one of the most-feared punchers in the heavyweight division and prove that he deserves a rematch for the title with Deontay Wilder. Christian Hammer has fought against the best at heavyweight and he isn’t coming here to lie down for Ortiz. When you add the Ricardo Núñez vs. Edner Cherry fight that is sure to bring action, it adds up to another can’t-miss night at Barclays Center and live on SHOWTIME.”
“Erislandy Lara is one of the most talented junior middleweights in the world, and while Brian Castaño is not yet a household name, he was a world renowned amateur and is undefeated as a pro,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “This is a must-win fight for Lara and Castaño’s chance to establish himself as one of boxing’s rising stars. Luis Ortiz is a dangerous man. His ‘King Kong’ nickname is appropriate, as no one wants to fight the beast. You saw why in his spectacular challenge against Deontay Wilder. Tested world class contender Christian Hammer will attempt to derail ‘King Kong’ in his quest to secure another world title shot.”
“Over the last few years SHOWTIME has spotlighted the progression of the super welterweight and heavyweight divisions as they have emerged as two of the hottest and deepest in the sport,” said Stephen Espinoza, President of Sports and Event Programming, SHOWTIME. “On March 2, we will further that with a pair of the most dangerous and perhaps most avoided fighters in boxing in Erislandy Lara and Luis Ortiz. Both are in significant and difficult matchups. Brian Castaño is young, undefeated and although already the champion, looking to make a mark on the division with a signature win over Lara. Add in an all-action 130-pound bout and we have a dynamite three-fight card.”
“I’m thrilled to welcome both Erislandy Lara and Luis Ortiz back to Barclays Center for what will be an exciting night for fight fans in Brooklyn,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global. “Both fighters have put up compelling performances in our ring, and will face tough competitors on March 2. I am also looking forward to BROOKLYN BOXING returning to SHOWTIME for the first time in 2019 for an evening of world class matchups.”
Lara (25-3-2, 14 KOs) was the longest reigning 154-pound champion until he lost a split decision to Jarrett Hurd on April 7 in a unification bout on SHOWTIME. Now the 39-year-old Lara, who was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and lives in Houston, looks to grab a title and once again stake his claim as one of the division’s best. He has one of the strongest resumes in the division, having fought Hurd and former 154-pound champions Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout.
“I’m very excited to be back headlining SHOWTIME in another major fight,” said Lara. “Brian Castaño is a young undefeated champion with a strong amateur pedigree. I look forward to being in the ring with him and putting on a great fight for the fans. I can’t wait to being crowned world champion again. Everyone tune in March 2nd, you don’t want to miss the whole card, it’s going to be sensational.”
The 29-year-old Castaño (15-0, 11 KOs) has worked his way up the ladder in one of the toughest divisions in boxing with raw power and toughness. Castaño, who is from Buenos Aires, fits well into the mold of the Argentine sluggers before him – such as former champions Carlos Monzon, Sergio Martinez and Marcos Maidana. He will battle Lara after wins against Michel Soro in 2017, where he captured the interim 154-pound, and Cedric Vitu in 2018, where he captured the belt he will defend on March 2.
“I’m thrilled to be facing Lara as he was a great champion and still one of the best fighters out there,” said Castaño. “Obviously this is the most important fight of my career and I know it will be difficult because of his experience. I have my own experience however, and I’m willing to prove that I belong with the best tin the division. I know he will get onto his bike and move around the ring, but I have the strength to knock him off.”
‘King Kong’ returns to New York on March 2 as Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs), a southpaw power puncher, enters the ring with two solid knockout victories under his belt since losing to WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder at Barclays Center last March. The 39-year-old Ortiz, who is from Camaguey, Cuba and now lives in Miami, Florida, is still considered one of the top five heavyweights in the division. He most recently scored a knockout victory over Travis Kauffman on December 1.
“‘King Kong’ is coming back to Brooklyn!” said Ortiz. “I’m very excited to be back on SHOWTIME in a huge event at Barclays Center. Christian Hammer is a very good fighter and I will be prepared for the best he has to offer. Come March 2, I’m hammering my way past him and setting up a clash with the winner of Wilder-Fury II or Anthony Joshua. I can’t wait till Brooklyn.”
Hammer (24-5, 14 KOs) has dueled some of the top heavyweights in the sport, including Tyson Fury and Alexander Povetkin. The 31-year-old Hammer, who was born in Galati, Romania and lives in Hamburg, Germany, has put together two victories since he lost a unanimous decision to Povetkin in 2017. In his last fight he scored a KO victory over then-unbeaten Michael Wallisch on December 15.
“I’ve been in training since right after Christmas for this big opportunity,” said Hammer. “I won my last fight by knockout, but I’m preparing for 12 hard rounds against Ortiz. A fight like this in New York is very special to me. This is the reason I became a boxer. The fans can look forward to a real heavyweight thriller on March 2.”
The hard-hitting Panamanian Núñez (20-2, 18 KOs) will be fighting for the first time in the United States on March 2. The 25-year-old is on a nine-fight winning streak in which he has scored eight knockout victories. He most recently delivered a first-round knockout of previously unbeaten Elvis Torres in June.
Cherry (37-7-2, 19 KOs) has put together a three-fight win streak since losing to Jose Pedraza in a featherweight title match in 2015. The 36-year-old Cherry, who was born in Nassau, Bahamas and now lives in Wauchula, Florida, has defeated Dennis Galarza, Omar Douglas and Haskell Rhodes heading into March and has faced top fighters including Tim Bradley and Paulie Malignaggi throughout his career.
All Photo Credits-Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
DEONTAY WILDER AND TYSON FURY FIGHT TO SPLIT-DECISION DRAW IN EPIC BATTLE ON SHOWTIME PPV® FROM STAPLES CENTER IN LOS ANGELES
Jarrett Hurd Defends WBA, IBF 154-Pound Titles With Fourth-Round KO Over James Welborn; Luis Ortiz Registers 10-Round TKO of Travis Kauffman; Joe Joyce Remains Undefeated With First-Round KO Against Joe Hanks
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 1, 2018) – Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury fought to a split-decision draw on SHOWTIME PPV® on Saturday night from STAPLES Center in arguably one of the best heavyweight fights in years.
After controlling the WBC World Championship fight early, Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) miraculously overcame two knockdowns by Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs) – including one in round 12 – in the improbable draw. The judges scored the bout 115-111 for Wilder, 114-112 for Fury and 113-113.
“I think with the two knockdowns I definitely won the fight,” said Wilder, who has recorded a knockdown in each of his 41 pro fights and was defending his WBC belt for the eighth time since 2015. “We poured our hearts out tonight. We’re both warriors, but with those two drops I think I won the fight.”
Fury saw it differently, stating that he gave it everything he had.
“We’re on away soil, I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight,” said England’s Fury, whose amazing comeback continues following a two and a half-year absence from the sport from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health issues. “I hope I did you all proud after nearly three years out of the ring. I was never going to be knocked down tonight. I showed good heart to get up. I came here tonight and I fought my heart out.”
It was an electrifying night with an attendance announced at 17,698 fans, which included Hollywood stars and fight fans like former Lakers greats Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry West, former NFL stars Michael Strahan and Michael Irvin, and boxing legends Evander Holyfield and Floyd Mayweather.
Fury, who out-landed Wilder 84-71 overall, was caught by a short right hand by Wilder just behind the left ear to drop Fury for the third time in his career in the ninth round. Then in the 12th, a Wilder right hand and left hook combination sent the 6-foot-9 Fury down again, hitting his head on the canvas. Again, he managed to stand up and referee Jack Reiss let him continue to fight.
“Boxing is always the theatre of the unexpected, and that’s what we had tonight,” SHOWTIME expert analyst Al Bernstein said.
Bernstein said seeing Fury get up and continue to fight after the brutal knockdown was “one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen in the boxing ring.”
SHOWTIME boxing historian and commentator Steve Farhood had Fury controlling the early rounds and Fury winning rounds 3-8, and ultimately scored the fight, 115-111.
Because of a rematch clause, both fighters were asked if they would like to do it again. “I would love for it to be my next fight,” Wilder said. “Why not? Let’s give the fans what they want to see. It was a great fight and let’s do it again. It doesn’t matter to me where we do it.”
“One hundred percent we’ll do the rematch,” said Fury, fighting in the first heavyweight title pay-per-view bout in America since 2002. “We are two great champions. Me and this man are the two best heavyweights on the planet.”
Wilder said he came out slow and rushed his punches. “I didn’t sit still. I was too hesitant. I started overthrowing the right hand and I just couldn’t adjust.”
Fury, fighting for the third time this year with 26-year-old trainer Ben Davison in his corner, also had former boxing great Ricky Hatton and seven-time Trainer of the Year Freddie Roach in his corner.
In the lead-up fight to Wilder-Fury, “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (23-0, 16 KOs) defended his 154-pound IBF and WBA world title belts with a fourth-round knockout against United Kingdom’s James Welborn (24-7, 7 KOs), who was fighting for the first time on American soil.
Welborn was the aggressor in the first minute of the fourth round, sending Hurd to the ropes with punch after punch to the body and head. Suddenly realizing he might be in trouble, Hurd of Accokeek, Md., countered back from sudden adversity in dramatic fashion and sent Welborn back-tracking before a devastating body punch sent him to one knee. He was counted out at 1:55 by referee Lou Moret, who was officiating the final fight of his 30-plus year career.
After the fight, undefeated super welterweight Jermell Charlo entered the ring to challenge for Hurd’s coveted belts. “We definitely want Charlo,” Hurd told SHOWTIME Sports’ Jim Gray, saying the matchup would likely occur after one more fight. “I’m calling the shots. I’m No. 1 right now. When I say answer the phone, answer the phone. I got the date.”
Charlo shot back. “This is easy money. I like those belts – they look real good on you. He said he wants another fight. I’m ready now.”
Hurd, who unified the WBA and IBF belts by beating WBA champion Erislandy Lara in April in Las Vegas, was returning with a surgically repair left shoulder. He threw 118 jabs, more than half of the 220 punches he threw in the fight.
“I’m just coming off surgery so I wanted to see how I worked off the jab,” Hurd said. “I felt good I was working behind the jab I got caught on the ropes and got caught with some shots and said ‘that’s enough. He got enough TV time.’ I heard the crowd and I didn’t want to get brave. So I turned it up and got the knockdown.”
Former Wilder foe and heavyweight southpaw Luis “The Real King Kong” Ortiz (30-1, 26 KOs) returned to STAPLES Center for a second consecutive victory with a resounding 10th-round TKO against Travis “My Time” Kauffman (32-3, 23 KOs) of Reading, Pa.
The 39-year-old Ortiz of Camaguey, Cuba, registered left-cross knockdowns in the sixth, eighth and 10th rounds before the final blow coming later in the 10th round against a gritty Kauffman. It was the 26th career stoppage for Ortiz, who lost to Wilder in a Fight of the Year candidate back in March.
The fight was officially called at 1:58 of the 10th round. “I’m a warrior,” Ortiz said. “Nothing contains me. We didn’t have to knock him out but we wanted to show everything we have in our repertoire, and we showed it tonight.”
Ortiz, who was warned twice for low blows, clipped Kauffman for a second time by a lethal left hand of Ortiz at 2:29 in the eighth round. But just like the first time he was send to canvas in the sixth round, Kauffman was able to get up and continue fighting.
The technically sound performance by Ortiz included 376 jab attempts to Kauffman’s 99 and out-landing him 66-7. That led to a 135-37 lead in total connects and a 69-30 margin in power connects against Kauffman, who SHOWTIME commentator Paulie Malignaggi called, “a stubborn guy who wouldn’t go away.”
“Of course I’ll fight the winner of this fight [Wilder-Fury],” Ortiz said. “I want that second fight with Wilder. I want to fight anybody.”
In the pay-per-view telecast opener, Joe “The Juggernaut” Joyce (7-0, 7 KOs) recorded a massive first-round knockout against Joe “The Future” Hanks (23-3, 15 KOs). A rising heavyweight, Joyce, from London, England, ended the fight officially after just 2:25 as he used a right jab to set up a near-perfect left hook sending Hanks to the canvas and down for the count.
Trained by noted trainer Abel Sanchez, Joyce told Gray he’s ready for anyone. “I want to get in some bigger fights,” said the former Olympic silver medal winner who recorded his fourth first-round KO. “I’ve been doing well so there is plenty more to come. All the support from back home in England, thanks for coming. I hope I put on something good to watch.”
It was the second win in the United States for Joyce, who also picked up the vacant WBA Continental heavyweight title. “I’m getting people out quickly,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of experience, I’m just going to improve on my strength and my speed. I’ve heard comments that I’m slow but I seem to land the shots and get the job done.”
It was the third time during his career that Hanks, from Newark, N.J., has been knocked down by a left hook.
Earlier in the night on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION Adonis Stevenson’s five-and-a-half year reign as the WBC Light Heavyweight Champion of the World ended as Oleksandr Gvozdyk dethroned boxing’s longest reigning champion with a devastating 11th round knockout from Videotron Center in Quebec City. VIDEO: https://s.sho.com/2BMNZIx. Saturday’s one-fight telecast from Quebec City will replay on Monday, December 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available on SHOWTIME ANYTIME® and SHOWTIME on DEMAND®. The SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION streamed live on SHOWTIME Sports social platforms and is archived on the SHO Sports YouTube channel and Facebook page.
DEONTAY WILDER vs. TYSON FURY FINAL WEIGHTS, PHOTOS & COMMISSION OFFICIALS FOR BLOCKBUSTER HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN SATURDAY LIVE ON SHOWTIME PPV®
Tomorrow LIVE At 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles
All photos- Credit: Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
WBC HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – 12 Rounds
Deontay Wilder – 212 ½ lbs.
Tyson Fury – 256 ½ lbs.
Referee: Jack Reiss (Calif.); Judges: Phil Edwards (United Kingdom), Alejandro Rochin (Mexico), Robert Tapper (Canada)
WBA/IBF 154-POUND WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – 12 Rounds
Jarrett Hurd – 152 ½ lbs.
Jason Welborn – 152 ½ lbs.
Referee: Dr. Lou Moret (Calif.). Judges: Sergio Caiz (Calif.), David Sutherland (Oklahoma), Patrick Russell (Calif.)
HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT – 10 Rounds
Luis Ortiz – 241 lbs.
Travis Kauffman – 229 lbs.
Referee: Thomas Taylor (Calif.). Judges: Max DeLuca (Calif.), Esther Lopez (New Mexico), Zachary Young (Calif.)
HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT – 10 Rounds
Joe Joyce – 262 lbs.
Joe Hanks – 247 ½ lbs.
Referee Jerry Cantu (Calif.). Judges: Edward Hernandez Sr. (Calif.), Alejandro Rochin (Mexico), Danny Sandoval (Calif.).
Boxing’s Best Heavyweights Past and Present Give Their Thoughts and Predictions On Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury Blockbuster as Fight Week Begins in
Saturday, December 1 Live on SHOWTIME PPV® from STAPLES Center & Presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
LOS ANGELES (November 27, 2018) – As fight week in Los Angles kicks off, heavyweights of the past and present have spoken, and the majority believe Deontay Wilder’s pure punching power will be enough to defeat the highly-skilled Tyson Fury on Saturday, December 1 on SHOWTIME PPV®.
Some of the greatest heavyweight names in the history of boxing weighed-in on what will be the biggest heavyweight title fight in the U.S. since Mike Tyson took on Lennox Lewis in 2002. The SHOWTIME PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from STAPLES Center in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.
Here is what the current and former heavyweight greats had to say about the Wilder vs. Fury matchup:
“Although Wilder’s punch is strong, nothing can compare to the mental strength Fury has shown both in and out of the ring. It’ll be a close call, but I think Fury’s got a true fighting chance.”
“It’s a great fight. Fury’s got a lot of skills, he’s awkward and he has long arms. He has good reflexes and is a strong counter-puncher. Deontay needs to be first and he can’t wait on Tyson. Tyson’s always been the bigger fighter. In fighting Deontay it’s the same case. If things get difficult, he’s (Fury) got more experience and a lot of tricks. I think with Deontay’s power, he might be able to end it early, but if Tyson can frustrate him and it goes the distance, then it could go his way.”
“If it goes the distance then it belongs to Tyson Fury. If it’s a short fight it will belong to Deontay Wilder. This is an epic and most-unpredictable showdown. I can’t wait for this fight.”
“I am a big fan of Deontay Wilder and I was impressed with Tyson Fury and how he avoided the big shots against Wladimir Klitschko. I can see him going 12 rounds with Wilder because of his height and reach.
“The great thing about this fight is that we’re all talking about it. I think Wilder wins a close decision.”
“If Wilder comes out and means business then he should beat Fury with ease. My prediction is Wilder by knockout!”
“Deontay Wilder vs. Tyson Fury is a very interesting fight. I love Tyson Fury. I think he’s a remarkable self-promoter, and he did a great job with Wladimir Klitschko, using his feints and throwing Klitschko off his game plan. Deontay is a different kind of fighter, though. Fury fights at 30 miles per hour. Deontay fights at 100 miles per hour. So, when Deontay catches Fury and gets ahold of him I think it’s going to be over. I admire Fury, but I think he’s barking up the wrong tree with this fight. I think the bottom line is that Deontay is a whole different type of beast. He comes in aggressive and finishes his opponents. I hate to pick, but somebody has to lose. I’m picking Deontay by knockout and I think it ends inside of four or five rounds.”
“If Fury decides he wants to dip and dive and move, then he can extend the fight. But it’s all up to Wilder. If Fury decides he wants to come to the middle of the ring and fight, then it’s going to be over quick. Wilder is going to catch him. Prediction: Wilder by KO.”
“I think Wilder fighting Ortiz and now Fury back-to-back gives the fans exciting fights. I like both Wilder and Fury, but for this fight I am leaning slightly toward Wilder to win.”
Photos from Scott Hirmano/SHOWTIME
MIKEY GARCIA UNIFIES LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION WITH UNANIMOUS DECISION AGAINST ROBERT EASTER JR. SATURDAY ON SHOWTIME® FROM STAPLES CENTER IN LOS ANGELES
Luis Ortiz Registers Second-Round TKO of Razvan Cojanu in Co-Feature
Video HERE; https://s.sho.com/2mPpH8r
Mario Barrios Remains Undefeated With Eighth-Round TKO Against Jose Roman
Watch the Encore Presentation Monday at 10 P.M. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME®
LOS ANGELES (July 28, 2018) – Mikey Garcia became the 10th lightweight champion to unify the division with a unanimous decision against Robert Easter Jr. Saturday on SHOWTIME, and immediately afterward set his sights on boxing’s best, namely Errol Spence Jr.
Full fight highlights here: https://s.sho.com/2LzlnJ6
All three judges scored the fight in favor of Garcia,118-109, 117-110, 116-111, in an electrifying fight in front of 12,560 fans at STAPLES Center in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The four-division world champion Garcia (39-0, 30 KOs) – who was fighting in his native Southern California for the first time in seven years – keeps his 135-pound WBC title and also claims Easter’s IBF Lightweight belt
“I’m here for the biggest challenges,” said Garcia, 30, who unified a title for the first time in his career. “I don’t know if there is anyone that is a bigger challenge than Errol Spence. I know he’s up to fight everyone so let’s make it happen. I think it can be made. I think that’s the next big fight coming up.
“I feel I have the power and the skillset to compete in any division up to welterweight. He’s the toughest guy at welterweight so I want to face him.”
Garcia scored a knock down in the third round against Easter (21-1, 14 KOs) of Toledo, Ohio, who was sent to the canvas for just the second time in his career. A strong right jab put Easter out of position, immediately followed by a devastating left hook sent him down with 24 seconds remaining in the round.
Garcia got better as the fight progressed. In the final four rounds Garcia out-landed Easter 95-34 in total punches and ended the fight being the more active fighter throwing 555 punches to Easter’s 507. He connected on nearly 40 percent of his power shots while Easter landed at a 24 percent clip.
“It’s a great accomplishment being here in L.A.,” Garcia said. “I was in control most of the fight, and I did what I had to do. I knew he was a tough opponent. He’s a tough warrior. He gave a great fight but I was a better fighter. I was in control of the fight and I did what I had to do to win.”
Easter, who went into Garcia’s locker room after the fight to congratulate his opponent, was gracious in defeat.
“Whenever we step in the ring, we are both putting our lives on the line and tonight Mikey was victorious,” said Easter, who entered the fight as the longest reigning champion at 135 pounds. “I just couldn’t find the timing and I just couldn’t let my right hand go. He caught me with a clean shot and I went down, but I got up like a true champion.”
During an interview at the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING host desk, Spence, a fellow top-five pound-for-pound great, said he would “definitely” welcome a fight with Garcia. “I feel like that’s the best fight available for me right now with Shawn [Porter] and Danny [Garcia] fighting in September. Keith Thurman is still recovering and needs a tune up.
Full interview here: https://s.sho.com/2veXH1T.
“He’s daring to be great, he wants to be great, he wants to move up and dethrone me and it’s not going to happen. It’s definitely going to be an easy fight. [Garcia] will be pound-for-pound No. 1 if he beats me. He has great skills but I see myself winning. I don’t really see anything that concerns me. He’s technically good, but I don’t see him hurting me at 147.”
Heavyweight southpaw Luis Ortiz (29-1, 25 KOs) returned to the ring with a resounding victory, scoring a devastating second round knockout (2:08) of former world title challenger Razvan Cojanu (16-4, 9 KOs)
Ortiz landed 42 percent of his power shots (eight of 19) while Cojanu landed just two of 13 (15%) in the short fight.
Ortiz was emotional after the fight. He told SHOWTIME’s Jim Gray that just five days ago he learned doctors have found a cure for Epidermolysis Bullosa, a disease his daughter suffers from.
“Thanks to God they found a cure for my daughter’s disease,” Ortiz said. “My wife told me while I was boarding the plane to get here. It’s been hard to be away from them. I’m happy I won, but it’s been really hard to be away from them.”
Both fighters were coming off losses in heavyweight world title fights. Ortiz was fighting for the first time since challenging Deontay Wilder in a 2018 Fight of the Year candidate. The 6-foot-4 Ortiz wasted little time knocking out the 6-feet-7½, 269-pound Cojanu, returning for his first fight since challenging then-WBO Heavyweight Champion Joseph Parker.
“In my mind, King Kong has not been defeated. I don’t feel I lost against Deontay Wilder. I want to fight [Anthony] Joshua, but he only fights boxers he’s sure he can defeat. I’m going to ask the government to put me on disability, maybe that way Joshua will fight me.”
In the telecast opener, Mario Barrios (22-0, 14 KOs) remained undefeated recording his sixth straight stoppage with an eighth-round TKO of Jose Roman (24-3-1, 14 KOs) in a scheduled 10-round welterweight match. Each of the judges, as well as SHOWTIME expert scorer Steve Farhood, scored the fight 80-70 in favor of Barrios at the time of the stoppage as Roman’s corner didn’t answer the bell for the ninth round.
San Antonio’s Barrios relied on effective body work in dominating the fight, connecting on 61 of his 133 body shots. He connected on 44 percent of his power punches (104/239) compared to 26 percent for Roman (34/132), who had just five body shots on the night.
“[Body work] is something I’ve been able to work on,” Barrios told Gray in the ring. “You put the body work in early and by the end of the fight they have nothing left. That worked perfectly for this fight. This was the farthest I’ve gone in a while. It was great work and I feel like I’m transitioning to the fighter that I always thought I’ve be.”
Barrios, who suffered a cut above his left eye in the first round, sent Roman to the canvas at 1:15 of the fourth round with a strong right that dazed Roman, then a left hook that put Roman down for the seventh time in his career. Barrios ended the round with a flurry of punches that left Roman stunned.
The 23-year-old Barrios sent Roman down again with 1:38 remaining in the eighth round. Roman survived the round, but his corner refused to answer the bell and the fight was over.
“I feel I’m ready [for a title shot)],” Barrios said. “I feel strong. I feel fast. I’m young, but whatever my managers throw at me I’m ready. If I could get it tomorrow, I’d take it.”
It was a star-studded night at Staples as current and former world champions attended the fights, including Jarrett Hurd, Errol Spence Jr., Leo Santa Cruz, Abner Mares, Gervonta Davis and Adrien Broner.
Shawn Porter was also in attendance. It was recently announced that Porter and fellow former 147-pound world title holder Danny Garcia will square off against one another for the vacant WBC Welterweight World Championship live on SHOWTIME Saturday, Sept. 8 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
“I’m just a different type of athlete,” Porter told SHOWTIME’s Brian Custer. “When you talk about having the tools to become a two-time world champion; I have the tools, the athleticism, the tenacity the ring generalship. You will see all of that on Sept. 8.
“We always say that the business has to make sense [to make fights], And it sounds to me like the business has played its part. I win the WBC Championship and you’ll get Shawn Porter vs. Errol Spence.”
In streaming coverage of live undercard fights on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING COUNTDOWN, undefeated super lightweight prospect Fabian Maidana (16-0, 12 KOs), the brother of former champion Marcos Maidana, recorded a seventh-round stoppage (2:32) against former world title challenger Andrey Klimov (19-5, 9 KOs).
Also on the live stream, 2016 U.S. Olympian and unbeaten prospect Karlos Balderas (6-0, 5 KOs) dominated 54-fight veteran Giovanni Caro (27-24, 21 KOs) scoring a stoppage at 2:09 of the fourth round in a scheduled six-round super featherweight bout.
Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader will replay on Monday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME.