Full Card Announcement

50 Cent’s Birthday Bash

Mark Davis vs. Michael Farenas

Billy Dib vs. Alberto Garza

ESPN FNF Special Edition, Wednesday, July 2 at Foxwoods Resort Casino




WHAT:            “50 Cent’s Birthday Bash”


WHEN:            Wednesday, July 2, 2014


WHERE:          Grand Theater at Fox Tower, Foxwoods Resorts Casino, Mashantucket, Connecticut



MARK “Too Sharp” DAVIS (18-0), Cleveland, Ohio


MICHAEL “Hammer Fist” FARENAS (38-4-4, 30 KOs), Paranaque City, Philippines


BILLY “The Kid” DIB (36-3, 21 KOs), Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


ALBERTO “Kichis” GARZA (26-7-1, 21 KOs), Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico


RYAN “Blue-Chip” MARTIN (6-0, 3 KOs), Cleveland, OH


MATTHEW “Champ” BACA (4-1-1, 2 KOs), Albuquerque, New Mexico



JIMMY WILLIAMS (6-0-1, 3 KOs), New Haven, Connecticut


STEPHAN OWUSU (8-6, 4 KOs), Bronx, New York



SHELLY “Shelito’s Way” VINCENT (11-0, 1 KO), Providence, Rhode Island


NYDIA “Da Phenomenal” FELICIANO (7-5-3, 0 KOs), Bronx, New York


NICK DE LOMBA (3-0, 0 KOs), Cranston, Rhode Island


EDWIN SOTO (9-1-2, 4 KOs), New Haven, Connecticut by way of Puerto Rico



LUIS CRUZ (7-0, 4 KOs), Bronx, New York


RYAN PICOU (1-2, 0 KOs), Las Vegas, Nevada



JUNIOR “Sugar Boy” YOUNAN (4-0, 4 KOs), Brooklyn, New York


AZAMAT UMARZODA (0-3-1), Las Vegas, Nevada



(all fights & fighters subject to change)


PROMOTER:   SMS Promotions


TELEVISION: Special edition of ESPN FNF


TICKETS:       $100.00, $75.00 and $45.00 on sale online at www.foxwoods.com, calling Foxwoods’ box office at (800) 200-2882, or in person at Foxwoods’ box office. Tickets are also be available to purchase through any Ticketmaster outlet and online at www.ticketmaster.com.

DBE Announcement









New York, NY / St. Charles, MO (6/25/14) – This Friday night, DiBella Entertainment and Rumble Time Promotions, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, will present that week’s edition of ESPN’sFriday Night Fights/ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates from the beautiful Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, MO.

Headlining the card will be red-hot lightweight contender Ivan “El Terribel” Redkach (16-0, 13KO’s) putting his undefeated record on the line against former title challenger Sergey “The Surgeon” Gulyakevich (41-2, 17KO’s) in the 10-round main event of the evening.

In the eight-round co-feature bout, WBA #11-rated junior lightweight Ryan Kielczweski (19-0, 4KO’s) puts his undefeated record on the line against once-beaten Ramsey Luna (12-1, 4KO’s).

Opening up the card will be promising hometown favorite Stephon Young (9-0, 4KO’s), from nearby St. Louis, MO, looking to improve to a perfect 10-0 when he squares off against Vicente Alfaro (6-3, 1KO) in a six-round junior featherweight showdown.

Also seeing action on the card in separate six-round middleweight bouts will be newly signed middleweight DBE prospects Eduardo Alicea (6-0, 3KO’s) and Paul Littleton (8-0-1, 4KO’s). Alicea, who is co-promoted by Rumble Time Promotions, is set to square off against Demetrius Walker (7-4-1, 4KO’s), while Littleton will take on heavy-handed Skylar Thompson (12-12, 10KO’s).

Making his much-anticipated pro debut will be DBE’s Ukrainian amateur superstar Ivan Golub in a special attraction four-round middleweight bout as he squares off against St. Louis-native Javon Wright (1-2). The 25-year-old Golub had an astounding amateur career, which saw him become a five-time Ukrainian National Champion, win a bronze medal at the junior world championships in 2006 and bronze at the world championships in 2009, amassing a record of 270-32 in the process. Now Golub is ready to his pro career underway when he takes on Wright.

Rounding out the card will be undefeated local favorites Derrick Murray, Kent Cruz and Samir Simpson Bey, all in separate four-round bouts. Murray (6-0-1, 3KO’s) is set to take on fellow St. Louis-native Joseph Mueller (pro debut) in a four-round featherweight matchup. Cruz (5-0, 3KO’s) squares off against the fellow undefeated Guy Smith Jr. (2-0) in a four-round junior welterweight showdown while St. Louis’ Bey (2-0-1, 2KO’s) takes on Devon Hostler (1-4) from nearby St. Joseph, MO, in a battle for neighborhood bragging rights.

The ESPN Friday Night Fights card is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and Rumble Time Promotions, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing.


ESPN will begin live coverage at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.

Tickets are currently on sale and are priced at $80 for ringside and $40 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling 1(800) 293-5949 or by visiting www.metrotix.com. Doors open at 5 p.m. CT with the first bout scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.

Another One For The Records




Las Vegas (June 25) – Eleven-Time World Champion and boxing superstar Floyd “Money” Mayweather continues to rack up career accolades as it was announced yesterday that he has been nominated for the 2014 ESPY Awards for “Best Male Athlete” and “Best Fighter.”


While Mayweather has won the ESPY for “Best Fighter” five times, he is the first boxer in the history of the ESPYs to be nominated for “Best Male Athlete.” Mayweather is coming off of two wins in the last year, including a dominant, record-breaking performance against Canelo Alvarez last September and a thrilling victory in May against Marcos Maidana.


Fans can vote now at http://espn.go.com/espys/2014/. Voting closes on Wednesday, July 16 prior to the ESPYs telecast on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.


“It’s been a great year for me and I’m very excited to receive these nominations,” said Mayweather. “I know I wouldn’t be here without the fans and I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from them over the years. I appreciate everyone that has already voted for me and those that haven’t still have time.”


Mayweather is also nominated for the BET Award for Sportsman of the Year, which will be announced this Sunday, June 29 at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. In addition to being nominated for these prestigious awards, Mayweather was also recently named the highest-earning athlete in the world by Forbes and Fortune/Sports Illustrated magazines


“Floyd is at an incredible place in his career, both from a performance and recognition standpoint,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Winning the ESPY for ‘Best Male Athlete’ would be another indicator of Floyd’s stardom.He shows love to all the fans and now they have the opportunity to continue to show their support by taking the time to vote for him and once again prove that he is ‘TBE’.”


Mayweather is nominated alongside Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder) and Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos) in the “Best Male Athlete” category and Jon “Bones Jones”, Manny Pacquiao, Ronda Rousey and Andre Ward in the “Best Fighter” Category.

Air Times




            June 25, 2014 – HBO Boxing presents “Road to Golovkin/Geale,” an exhilarating special examining the upcoming  middleweight title fight between undefeated champ Gennady Golovkin and former two-time champ Daniel Geale.  In a highly anticipated 160-pound showdown set for the big stage at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, July 26, Golovkin and Geale will finally meet in the ring.  The encounter will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing ®.

            The “Road to Golovkin/Geale” special will premiere Saturday, July 12 at 12:05 a.m. ET/PT on HBO. It will preview the long awaited meeting between two accomplished warriors who have been on a journey to confront each other in the ring. The special will provide all-new content including portraits of both fighters’ path to this significant summertime showdown on boxing’s leading television platform.

        Golovkin, who had spectacular breakout year in 2013, brings a perfect 29-0 record with 26 KOs into the showdown.  Geale, enormously popular in his native Australia, sports a professional ring record of 30-2 with 16 KOs.  This marks his second fight in the United States.

      The 15-minute special will also be available on the HBO On Demand® service, HBO GO® and at www.hbo.com/boxing as well as various other new media platforms that distribute the series.

De Alba Looking To Continue Ride

De Alba ready for 11th straight victory this Saturday night in Reading
READING, PA (JUNE 25. 2014)-This Saturday night at the Santander Arena in Reading, rising Jr Lightweight Frankie De Alba will look for his 11th consecutive victory when he takes on Pablo Batres in a scheduled 8-round bout at the Santander Arena.
De Alba of Reading has a record of 12-1-2 with 4 knockouts and has not lost since his pro debut in 2011.  He has been unbeaten in 14 straight.
“Everything is good & I am anxious for Saturday,” said De Alba.
He faces Batres (7-9-1, 2 KO’s) of Nogales, Mexico, who himself has been on a roll as he has won three straight bouts.
“I don’t know much about Batres.  I know he is Mexican and I am sure like all Mexicans, he is tough and will come to fight with a lot of pressure.”
Despite having just nine amateur bouts, De Alba feels like he is just now coming into is own and his best boxing is still ahead of him.
“I have been learning more and more each fight.  Every fight I pick up something new and with the experience, my confidence keeps growing.”
De Alba knows that with a win on Saturday, big things are on the horizon.
“I am not looking past Batres.  If everything goes well, my next opponents will be tougher and stronger.  I do not care what they throw at me because I am ready for anything.”
De Alba’s popularity continues to grow and he excited to headline in a 10,000 seat Arena like The Santander.
“I feel blessed  and humbled to be the headliner.  I trained very hard for this fight to please the fans.  I just want to thank everybody for their support.  I will  put on a great show an d my fight my heart out like always”, finished De Alba.
De Alba is currently ranked number-11 by the USBA
In four round bouts:
Pat Kehoe (1-0) of Reading, PA will fight Danny Lugo (2-7, 1 KO) of Harrisburg, PA in a Jr. Middleweight bout.
Robert Ramos (1-2-1, 1 KO) of Allentown, PA will battle Rolnado Chinea (7-0-1, 4 KOs) of Lancaster, PA in a Lightweight bout.

Miquel Martinez (1-0) of Reading, PA will fight Alex Sanchez (3-4, 2 KO’s) of Canden, NJ in a Jr. Middleweight bout.

Christian Molina (1-0) of Allentown, PA will fight debuting Jordan Morales in a Jr. Welterweight bout.

Benjamin Burgos (1-6-1) of Mount Pocono, PA will box Antonio DuBose (4-0, 2 KO’s) of Philadelphia in a Featherweight fight.

Some of the best Amateurs in the area will be on display as there will be bouts the feature both male and female fighters.

Q & A With Shaw


On Dulorme, Golovkin-Geale, Jennings, More

By Ben Jacobs – BoxingScene.com


Gary Shaw may have had some setbacks over the years but he is working as hard as ever and he currently has a number of fighters who are in significant bouts over the next couple of months.   In addition, Shaw promotes some young talent who may not be far off challenging for big honours themselves.

The New Jersey based promoter took some time to speak to BoxingScene about the likes of Bryant Jennings and Daniel Geale who face Mike Pérez and Gennady Golovin respectively on July 26.  He also discusses future plans for Thomas Dulorme and José Pedraza, among others.

BoxingScene.com: How pleased are you with Thomas Dulorme’s progress since he lost to Luis Carlos Abregú?

Obviously in the fight that he lost I would have wished that the trainer had not stopped the fight, I think it would have brought out a lot more in Dulorme.  Since then he’s recovered, he had a great win over [Karim] Mayfield on HBO and I’m looking to get him into another big fight.

BoxingScene.com:  Is it true that Ruslan Provodnikov’s team turned down a fight with Dulorme?


Yes, it is true.  Rather than fight Chris Algieri, HBO said they’d like to see Dulorme and Provodnikov, and they turned down the fight, they said no.  They chose Algieri which in retrospect was not a good choice.   I don’t think Dulorme will fight for world title this year but I’d like to get him another big fight and fight for a world title in 2015.

BoxingScene.com: You also promote his countryman, José Pedraza, could you talk about his progression.

I believe José Pedraza, I’m not comparing him with Trinidad and Cotto, they’re at this point in a different class, but of the young guys I believe he’s the best on the island.  They’re making a big deal out of [Felix] Verdejo, believe me, Verdejo will never fight Pedraza.  Pedraza’s a much better fighter, he’s had better fights under his belt.  Verdejo is still fighting stiffs.  Pedraza is very good.  He holds the IBO title, he’s moving up in the rankings and you’ll see a lot more of him in 2015.

BoxingScene.com: Has Gennady Golovkin been overhyped at all and is Daniel Geale his toughest test?  Continue Reading…

News On Perez



 Photo Credit Tom Casino / Showtime

June 25, 2014 – Gary Shaw Productions and Thompson Boxing Promotions lightweight contender, Darleys Perez (29-1, 19 KOs) will fight for the interim WBA World title againstArgenis Lopez (19-0, 7 KOs) at the Sheraton Hotel in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, this Saturday June 28, 2014.


After suffering his first lost to Yuriorkis Gamboa over a year ago, Perez returned to the win column with a convincing victory against Dunis Linan back in December of 2013.  Perez who is ranked WBA #5 looks to position himself for a title shot with a victory against Lopez is rated WBA #4.


“I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on my defeat to Gamboa,” said Perez. “I’ve came back with a win against Linan and my confidence is where it needs to be moving forward.  Lopez is coming to fight as am I, so I’m expecting to face a fighter who is determined to take food off my table.  I’m not going to let it happen.  I’ve worked too hard get back in this position and Lopez better be ready to die in the ring because I am.”

“I’ve only fought once in the last twelve months but I’ve been training hard while I was on down time,” Perez continued. “I’m healthy, in great shape, and I’m ready to go the distance if need be.  I’m going to Lopez’s hometown so I’ll be gunning for the knockout as I don’t want to leave any doubt in the judges’ minds.”

“Darleys has a great opportunity to put himself in a great position to fight for another world title,” said Gary Shaw. “If he comes out victorious, which I believe he will, then I’ll be working to get him a title shot against the champion, Richard Abril.  Right now he must focus on Lopez and bring home the victory.”

Prospect News




PUERTO RICO (June 25, 2014) – Gary Shaw Productions, in association with Javier Bustillo’s Universal Promotions is happy to announce the return of Puerto Rican amateur stars, Luis Paredes and Jean “Chapito” Rivera, who are both (1-0).  The twosome will showcase their talents this Saturday, June 28 at the Mayaguez Coliseum, in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.


18-year old Jean Carlos Rivera, will square off against Jean Carlos Molina (0-4) in a 4-round bantamweight bout.  In his pro debut, Rivera won a unanimous decision, dominating every round with superior boxing skills.  In this fight, he’ll look to do the same.


“I just want to come out and dictate the fight,” said Jean  Rivera. “I feel I’m getting better in the gym and now I know what it’s like to fight with no headgear.  I’m happy that Gary Shaw is bringing my back to Puerto Rico where I can establish myself as a house hold name.  If I can get a knockout I’ll be very satisfied.”

After winning a unanimous decision in his pro debut, 20-year old Luis Paredes,will face Jesús Feliciano (Pro debut) in 4-round junior featherweight bout.  Paredes will be looking to make a statement against his opponent.


“Gary Shaw likes knockouts so I’m going to bring the heat in this fight,” said Luis Paredes. “I know I have the power to take out my opponents so we’ll see what happens this Saturday.  Sparring has been great and I’m looking forward to fighting in Puerto Rico for the second time.”

“Paredes and Rivera are returning home to Puerto Rico and I’m confident they will shine this Saturday.” said Gary Shaw. “They’ve both be working hard in the gym and they are very sure of themselves.  My good friend Javier Bustillo and I see bright futures for these kids.  I’m looking forward to seeing them perform this Saturday.”

Under Card Transcript





Click HERE To Download An MP3 Of This Call


Kelly Swanson         

Thanks, everybody for joining us today on the call. We do have a super undercard to talk about, the undercard for Canelo vs. Lara PPV on Saturday, July 12th.   And we have four of the fighters on that card joining us today, along with Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions.

Before I get to that just a quick program note that I just got, Showtime’s All Access Canelo vs. Lara, the first segment will be Friday, June 27th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time and Pacific Time. So just please make note of that. And for this call today we are going to start with the opening Pay-Per-View bout, which is between Johan Perez and Mauricio Herrera.

I’m going to turn it over to Oscar to make the introduction, and then when we’re done with the questions for Perez and Herrera we will then move on to Juan Manuel Lopez and Francisco Vargas. So, Oscar, please.

Oscar De La Hoya   

Thank you very much, Kelly. Yes, we are getting closer to the major, major pay-per-view July 12th. And the fighters on the call today are exceptional fighters who I’m really thrilled to be announcing, obviously the main event, you know, Canelo Alvarez vs. Erislandy Lara, which will be a 12-round junior middleweight bout, we have the coming event with the Abner Mares and Jonathan Oquendo from Puerto Rico. Also Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Francisco Vargas, another Puerto Rico- Mexico duel there, which will be really, really exciting. And the opener, which I’m thrilled to be announcing, Johan Perez vs. Mauricio Herrera, that will be a 12-rounder for the WBA Junior Welterweight title.

This event is taking place at MGM Grand, and it is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Promotions. And I want to thank the sponsors, Corona and AT&T, thank you for all your activations and all the hard work that you do there. It’s distributed by SHOWTIME PPV, and tickets are on sale. They’re going really fast, obviously an indication of how great this whole card is. Tickets are still available but are going extremely fast.

And I’m really happy to announce, once again, a boxing event being shown across the country in movie theaters. If you haven’t experienced that experience of watching fights on a huge screen amongst friends and other fans and family, it really is quite an experience. And you can go to Fathom Events.com, which you can check your local listings on what movie screens you can watch that event live.

Let me introduce to you right now a fighter who I’m really, really fond of. He hails out of Riverside, California. He’s one of those fighters that he has that Rocky story once again, kind of like his neighbor, Josesito Lopez, he’s a hard worker, we witnessed him against Danny Garcia, which a lot of people, and I think most of the people thought that he won out in Puerto Rico. He’s a tremendous puncher, a great boxer. He is eager to get back in the ring. Obviously, July 12th he’ll be up against another superior boxer puncher in Johan Perez.

But let me introduce to you “El Maestro,” Mauricio “Maestro” Herrera, with a record of 20-4 and 7 KOs, out of Riverside, California. Mauricio, say a few words.

Mauricio Herrera    

Hello. I want to say thank you, Oscar. And I want to say thank you to all Golden Boy Promotions, and thank you for giving me all these opportunities having come my way. We are getting ready July 12th. I am, like you said, eager to get back in the ring and I’ve still got unfinished business, I’ve still got to show a lot, and show the fans that I am for real. So I want to thank everybody.

O. De La Hoya         

Gracias, Herrera. Also on the call I want to introduce to you, out of Caracas, Venezuela, he returns at 140-pound division, bouncing back from that very tough, difficult fight against Pablo Cesar Cano in 2012. He has a string of wins, including winning the WBA Junior Welterweight title in 2003 against Paul Spadafora, the undefeated Paul Spadafora at the time, also, going up against Kamegai, who is fighting this Saturday, beating Kamegai in a thrilling, exciting fashion.

Johan Perez 

Good morning everybody. Thank you for having me here. I’m very happy. I’m already here in the States, looking forward to giving a spectacular performance against Mauricio Herrera and to come out victorious come July 12th.


Mauricio, my first question is for you. You’re not known particularly as a knockout puncher; still, do you feel that you need a knockout in order to get the fights that you feel you deserve? It’s hard sometimes to get the big fights, so do you feel that you need a knockout in this fight in order to get a fight that you deserve?

M. Herrera   

I think so. We’ve been thinking about it a lot, and we’re looking for a stoppage, we want to maybe stop Johan if it’s possible. We are going to look to make an exciting fight. I know I can box all day, but I think in this fight I might switch it up at times and I may try to look for a stoppage of some kind. I’m not a real power hitter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t stop a fighter. Anything can happen in there. And, yes, I’m looking, if it’s not a stoppage or knockout, at making it an exciting fight.


That’s good. I heard you talking about stoppage, but what has been involved mentally in totally focusing on Herrera and in putting behind the frustrations of what would have undoubtedly been your greatest career victory had you gotten a victory over Danny Garcia, which surpassed really even the victory over Provodnikov. It would have surpassed that.

M. Herrera   

Yes, I’m not totally over it, with Danny Garcia. It was frustrating for a while. But I still think about that fight. It is still frustrating in my head. But I wasn’t surprised at the decision, either. Nobody ever expected me to do that well, so I have the mentality that I just have to keep going, keep going forward and keep proving myself. I think every fight I’ve always had to prove myself. It’s no different today. So, I have a strong mind and a strong character. As you see in my fights, I can take a good punch. I hold all that in, and I think with Johan Perez I think I might just, who knows, let it all out in that fight.


In terms of saying you want to stop Perez, is that possibly kind of a layover from the way you feel about the way the Garcia fight went?

M. Herrera   

Yes, I think so. I want to put on exciting fights all the time for the people. I’m never in a boring fight. I am a boxer. I’m not a very, they say a hard puncher, so I sort of follow what my style is. But I know what I can do, and when I’m in great shape I know I can do better things and get that stoppage. So, I’m going to try really hard and give the fans what they want.



My last question for you would be, in terms of the stoppage, the caller before me referenced Perez’s height. How critical is a body attack going to be in a fight like this?

M. Herrera   

That’s going to be very important. Being that the people say I don’t hit hard, he’ll find out in there how I punch. But it doesn’t take that hard of a punch when you go to the body. Anybody can go down from a punch. It doesn’t have to be that hard. But a body attack is something we’re working on also. But we can shoot and fire punches and get stoppage as well, so I’m working on a lot of things like that. I think I do very well with tall fighters, and you’re going to see it that night.


Oscar, can you talk about Mauricio’s style a little bit? It’s obviously a throwback style, and I think more in the past that style was appreciated. It may not be as appreciated today. Can you just talk about what he does well, his overall ability?

O. De La Hoya         

Well, he does everything well. He can upset you. He can fight you. He can box you. But mentally he’s going to beat you, no matter what it takes. And he’s obviously proved it with Provodnikov, beating him, he’s proved it with Danny Garcia, it was a fight where a lot of people had Herrera winning. So, he’s on a mission, and his style is suited for any fight he’s in, whether he wants to box, whether he wants to brawl, whether he wants to do whatever he wants to do inside that ring. He’s in great shape and I think the fact that he’s on a mission, it just calls for an exciting fighter and an exciting fight come July 12th.


, I’ve just got the one question for you. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about your preparation in training camp and what you’re really working on and focusing on for the upcoming fight.

M. Herrera   

Well, we have a couple more weeks of time for this fight. We have enough time to train. What we basically do is we just refine everything, get the jabs faster and stronger, work on the defense more. Of course we’re always working on power, and it’s just being in shape. If I get in top shape I feel I can do anything, and that’s the main part. When I feel good, my body’s strong. I think you can see a little more power from me, and that’s what we’re expecting that night, we’re expecting to be fast, strong, and I want to be right there in the space all night.


Johan, how training is going and what are you really focusing on?

J. Perez         

Well, training’s been really good, sparring’s been good. The pads, everything’s been going perfect. I’m working a lot on the jab, defense. My opponent, Mauricio, throws a lot of punches, we’re aware of that, so we’re working on using a lot of jab and countering.


Okay, sounds great. Listen, I just had a question for Johan. Johan, really quick, your height advantage, how do you intend to use it? How do you intend to employ it during the bout? Are you going to use it to jab, or are you going to use it to keep your distance and possibly try to knock Herrera out Tommy Hearns style? What are you planning to do with, wow, what is it, I’d say five good inches of height?

J. Perez         

I’m a fighter that works round per round to see what he brings. We’re going to see what he brings. I can work all three distances, in short, mid, and outside. We’re going to see what he brings. But I will tell you this, I’m prepared to win and take the victory home.


Mauricio, normally you are the underdog, you’re always on the B side, but after the performance you had with Danny Garcia it doesn’t seem to be in this case. It seems like you are the fan favorite, and the favorite for the fight. But does that add additional pressure to have you go out and look for the knockout so that you can come out victorious with this fight versus Johan?

M. Herrera   

Yes. There’s no pressure, like I said, even with everybody expecting a lot of the Danny Garcia fight. But I’m ready. I’m always ready to give a great fight. I’ve got to fight a smart fight. But I know what the people want to see, and that’s what I’m going to try to give them. But I have to be smart in there. It’s an important fight and I don’t want to give it away, but I do have to take some risks and give a good action fight.


Did you see the fight with Mauricio and Danny? Did it surprise you on his performance? And will Mauricio, is he the fighter that’s going to put you to that next level so that people know who Johan Perez really is?

J. Perez         

Well, yes, it surprised me a little bit. I saw Mauricio winning the fight. I think Danny got the decision because obviously he was the local in Puerto Rico. And a victory over him, of course it’s very important because that will show the world who Johan is, and that’s what we’re working for. Most importantly, right now let’s give the fans what they want, a great fight, may the best man win, and I’m looking forward to it.


What did you learn from your fight with Pablo Cesar Cano, your only loss, in Cancun, Mexico? And how will you use that against Mauricio Herrera, who’s an aggressive fighter and he’s coming with a lot of hunger for victory?

J. Perez

I learned a lot. It gave me some experience. Obviously, it ended with an accidentally, the head butt, the injury, but I thought I was clearly going to win the fight. But it gave me experience, and you’ll see that coming up. With Mauricio I know I’m facing a fighter that’s very hungry for victory, but I’m very hungry for glory. I want to become the best 140-pounder in boxing, and that’s what we’re working on, to come out a victory.

O. De La Hoya         

Thank you very much. Thank you to all the press for your patience, and thank you for being on the call. The next bout that I’m really excited about to introducing at this moment will be a fight that pits Mexico vs. Puerto Rico, you know, those rivalries are just exciting rivalries that both fighters will be giving it their all. It’s a high stakes match, and we’re really excited to be presenting this fight to you.

He’s made his mark at 130-pounds. He’s coming off some great wins versus Jerry Belmontes and Abner Cotto. He’s ranked No. 2 in the world by the WBO, and obviously facing his toughest fight to date. Let me introduce to you, Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas?

Francisco Vargas     

Thank you, Oscar. Thank you very much. I’m here in training camp in Mexico City, very, very focused, and very motivated for the fight. And we’re getting ready.

O. De La Hoya

Thank you. Gracias. And now also I would like to introduce to you the fighting pride of Puerto Rico. He’s undergoing a career reassurgence, with three wins in the last four bouts. He is a fighter who is very exciting, stopping on March 15 Daniel Ponce De Leon in the second round. He’s obviously very confident about a victory come July 12th.

Juan Manuel Lopez

Good afternoon everybody. We’re very happy and motivated to be on this great card, and working really hard to take the victory back to Puerto Rico.


How are you focusing, how are you preparing for this fight for JuanMa? You’re fighting an undefeated fighter. You have a lot more experience.

J. Lopez         

I’m very motivated to put on a great performance, a great fight, and obviously looking forward to winning the World Title again, to being a three-time champion. And obviously winning this fight will put me there, so that’s where the focus is.


The same question to Francisco, how are you focused and how are you looking forward to fighting a fighter with so much experience.

F. Vargas       

I’m working very hard here in Mexico City in the altitude. I’m very motivated. I know he has tremendous experience and I know that he’s a great fighter. But that’s what we’re working on. We’re working with the sparring partners, working very hard, because I know a victory here will get me ready for the World Title, and that’s what we want.


Obviously you say a victory here will put you in the world title spot, fight for the title. Puerto Rico just recently had Miguel Cotto as a champion, do you want to follow those steps and become champion again?

J. Lopez         

Yes, obviously my goal is to become world champion again. I’m very proud of what Miguel has done, gave Puerto Rico a title. And I’m looking forward to doing the same. But for me to do that I have to beat Francisco Vargas, and that’s where my goal is right now, that’s where my focus is, on Francisco Vargas and to beating him.


Francisco, obviously there’s a rivalry between fighters from Mexico and fighters from Puerto Rico. How do you take this?

F. Vargas       

Yes. No, definitely, and that gives me an additional motivation. It makes for som great fights in history, Mexico against Puerto Rico, and that gives me that extra motivation. And I know this won’t be an exception. I’m coming with everything, he’s coming with everything, and I’ll tell you what, the fans are the ones that are going to come out very happy.


What does it feel like, what does it mean to be fighting on a big card where Canelo Alvarez is the main event? JuanMa?

J. Lopez         

No, it’s obviously a great opportunity. Not everyone gets it, to be on a pay-per-view card of this magnitude. And I’m just very fortunate, I’m very motivated, and I’m grateful.

F. Vargas       

Yes, it’s very motivating to be on a card of this magnitude, where millions of people are going to be watching all over the world. And that gives you that extra, because we know they’re going to be watching us, and want to perform.


First, Francisco, how do you see this fight going? It seems as though your strengths are to box, as I don’t think you want to go toe-to-toe.

F. Vargas       

I’m working for 12 rounds, working really hard. I know how dangerous he is, and I’m working for the 12 rounds. I’m working for the distance. But we’re going to see what he brings, and we’ll take it round by round.


And a question for JuanMa. I’m trying to get a sense of the supreme satisfaction you must have felt after his last victory over Daniel Ponce De Leon, because at that point it seemed as though virtually everyone was counting you out. We did a poll where only two of 20 voters thought that you had a shot to win. So, I wanted to get a sense from you how great you felt after proving so many people wrong.

J. Lopez         

I felt very good. I felt very happy. Unfortunately, boxing is that way, you’re only as good as your last fight, and I was coming off a loss to Mikey Garcia, so a lot of people didn’t give me the opportunity. But I didn’t listen to them. I didn’t listen to any of them. I only listened to my team. And we knew what we had to do, and obviously we came out with a spectacular victory. And that’s what we look forward to doing this coming fight too.


And my last question for him is piggybacking what I just asked him. How rejuvenated is he in the fact that he won convincingly after being on the canvas? And what are his hopes of winning another title?

J. Lopez         

Well, obviously the victory did a lot for me in motivating me extra, it gave me that extra push that I needed to show everyone, me personally, that the hard work, yes, he dropped me, I was off balance a little bit, he dropped me, but I got up and I showed my power’s still there and got the victory. And as far as winning another title, yes, of course, that is the goal. And that’s what we’re working on, but obviously first is Francisco Vargas.


The question for JuanMa is, you’re going to be fighting Francisco Vargas, who’s ranked No. 2 in the WBO, and No. 1 is Salido, do you think a victory over Vargas can put you in line to fight for a third time against Salido for the World Title?

J. Lopez         

Well, obviously a champion at 130 pounds right now is Mikey Garcia, I don’t know what he’s going to do. It all depends on that. But I’d welcome a third fight with Salido. Salido, I feel I was dominating, I was winning, we had a little problem there, and he got it. But I’m now with a new team, we’re focused, we’re working hard, and, yes, I’d welcome it.


The question is for JuanMa. In boxing terms we say that a lot of the fights are won obviously in the gym, but a lot as well psychologically, and how are you right now mentally, psychologically feeling after the win over Ponce De Leon?

J. Lopez         

I’m very confident. This fight, as I said, I mentioned the way it ended, the way I won gave me that extra push in my career, in my life. And I’m very focused and I feel very confident and very hungry to win the World Title once again.


Vargas, How are you preparing to fight a fighter as strong and good as Juan Manuel Lopez? What are you doing?

F. Vargas

I’m preparing myself real strong mentally, physically. I’m working really hard. And we’re getting ready so we can win on the 12th.


JuanMa, you’ve told us what you’ve done and how you felt in the win over Ponce De Leon, but what is it that you did to make that turnaround? You were looking almost at retirement and now all of a sudden there’s a possibility of another world title fight.

J. Lopez         

Well, obviously we made a total change. We have a brand new team, and concentrating a lot on conditioning. But most importantly, I’ve matured. I know what I want, I’m working very hard, I’m focused, working hard for my family, for my wife and kids.


The question is for Francisco, obviously going back to JuanMa’s fight with Ponce, do you think it was just a flash that we saw, or if there’s really that power in his hand and that could put you in a lot of danger come July 12th?

F. Vargas       

We know JuanMa’s a very strong fighter, he got Ponce and knocked him out. But that doesn’t worry me at all. I’m working really hard. I’m working on my defense. I know what I have to do. This is a different fight, and I know what I’ve got to do so I can come out victorious come the 12th.


The question’s for Francisco, do you see it very close, do you smell it coming up that obviously winning on the 12th you can add your name to the list of the former Olympians that went on to become World Champions and give Mexico another world title?

F. Vargas       

Yes, definitely. We’re very happy how things have been working out, how my career’s going. We’ve been working very hard. And obviously we know what the significance of a victory would be here, and then fighting for a World Title to add my name to that list of former Mexican Olympians that went on to win the World Title.


Yes, I just have a question for Oscar. Oscar, do you have any input with your brother, Joel, who manages Francisco? I was just curious when this fight was presented what his thoughts were on Francisco fighting JuanMa, and what your thoughts were on your brother bringing a fight like this to the table?

O. De La Hoya         

Well, it was very interesting, because Francisco Vargas is a fighter who has the amateur experience, he’s been stepping up in competition, he’s moving in the right direction, and obviously this is the fight of his career. JuanMa is a fighter who is serious about getting back on track to win that World Title, and it was a fight that he jumped on right away, because, first, the fact that it would be an exciting fight for the fans. And second, because the tradition and the rivalry that has been inside the ring, you know, Mexico, Puerto Rico, makes it that much more compelling. So, he understood the fact that all of Puerto Rico will be watching because of JuanMa, and he understood the fact that all of Mexico will be behind Francisco Vargas. And so it was easy to convince him.


Juan, I have a question for you. Given your name value it seems like any time you want a title shot at this stage of your career you could just pick your opponent and get it. Why would you go after an undefeated fighter like Francisco Vargas?

F. Vargas       

No, it’s not as easy as that. Obviously, the organizations require a process. The process is being done. I leave it in the hands of my team. They bring me a fighter, they bring me an opponent, it’s a great opportunity, I take it. I don’t choose my opponents. I leave that to my promoter, my manager. This is a great opportunity and we’re going to take it.


Okay. And I have a question, Robert Diaz, maybe you can answer it, or Oscar. Is this fight actually a sanctioned eliminator, or is it on just the regional titles that are at stake?

Robert            Diaz

They’re both putting their titles, they both have titles that are on the stake, and obviously because of the high ranking they will become a big player to fight for the World Title. Obviously, the winner of this fight deserves it. It’s not sanctioned as a title eliminator, no.

O. De La Hoya         

I think that’s all, everyone. Thank you. Thank you very much to everybody. We greatly appreciate it. We’ll see you at the Kamegai-Guerrero fight this weekend. If not, then we’re looking forward to all the other calls and activities we have in store for July 12th. Thank you.

It Is Test Time For Youngbloods


6-27-14 ShoBox LH1


 Friday, June 27, LIVE On SHOWTIME® (9:30 p.m. ET/PT)
Immediately Following The Premiere Of ALL ACCESS: CANELO vs. LARA
From Hard Rock Hotel & Casino In Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (June 25, 2014) – Two undefeated rising stars will face what should be the toughest tests of their careers this Friday, June 27, onShoBox: The New Generation live on SHOWTIME (9:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).

In the ShoBox main event, Errol “The Truth” Spence, Jr. (12-0, 10 KOs), of Dallas, Texas, will face young veteran Ronald Cruz (20-3, 15 KOs), of Bethlehem, Pa., in a 10-round welterweight bout.  In the co-feature, Dominic “Lights Out” Wade (15-0, 11 KOs), of Washington, D.C., takes on New York’s Nick “The Machine Gun” Brinson (16-1-2, 6 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight clash.

In a night of “step-up” fights from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the talented prospects will look to prove that they are destined to be world champions, while their opponents look to continue a trend on the popular developmental series by handing them their first loss.  To date, 121 boxers suffered their first defeats on ShoBox since the series premiered in July 2001.

Spence, who was considered by many to be the best Olympian on the 2012 team, holds amateur victories over several fighters who have appeared on ShoBox and SHOWTIME EXTREME, including Sammy Vasquez, Amir Imam, Antoine Douglas, Chris Pearson, Julian Williams, and Glen Tapia.

In 12 professional fights, Spence has shown he has the skills and ability to get to the next level, but he is now facing the toughest test of his career in Cruz, an experienced fighter coming off a hard-fought decision loss to former world champion Kermit Cintron.  Spence, who is fighting in just his second scheduled 10-rounder and has not been past the eighth, has been training at Maple Avenue Boxing Gym in Dallas as he prepares for theShoBox main event.

“This is a 10-rounder, so I’m just doing a lot more rounds of sparring now, like 10 or 12 rounds,” the 24-year-old Spence said.  “I think Ronald Cruz is a good, durable boxer.  He comes forward with his hands up, tries to counter a little bit. But I fight guys like that all the time, I spar guys like that all the time.

“I won’t have to look for him because he’s going to be right there in front of me.  I’ll just counter off his shots and look for openings.”

Cruz, 27, has stepped up his class of opposition in the last few years and is 3-3 in his last six fights.  But those losses came against accomplished fighters with a combined record at the time of 80-11-3.  Spence will represent the first southpaw Cruz has faced, a matchup that Cruz believes tilts in his favor.

 “I actually don’t mind sparring with them,” Cruz said.  “I’ve got a good trainer that has shown me all the tricks to beat a southpaw, so it’s no big deal – I actually like it better. Not only my right hand, but my left hook works better on a southpaw.

“He’s young, he’s obviously hungry and he’s on his way to being a world champion.  I just feel they took this fight at the wrong time.  It’s too soon, too early for him.”

A prospect at 160 pounds, the 24-year-old Wade was an accomplished amateur who had 160 bouts and faced some top names.  He is also fighting in his first 10-rounder in a quintessential ShoBox fight – an extremely important fight for both boxers at this point in their career with just one loss between them.

The aggressive Wade, who has been boxing since he was nine years old, is not concerned about moving up to 10 rounds or facing the more experienced Brinson.

“I think he has a wild style, but I can get him,” said Wade, who has been training at Sugar Ray Leonard’s gym in Palmer Park, Md.  “I don’t think too highly of him. He just throws those little punches in bunches, but they are all wild. I plan on keeping it short and simple.

“I’ve never fought anybody that fights like him, but I’ve been sparring guys that do the same crazy stuff and I have it down pat.  I can bang and box.  Mainly, I’m going to pressure you and I’m going to come.  I’m going to give the people want they want to see.  I keep coming.”

Like Wade, Brinson was also an accomplished amateur career with close to 90 bouts.  He holds amateur victories over Errol Spence in the 2008 National Golden Gloves and defeated U.S. Olympian Shawn Estrada.

The 26-year-old Brinson is 9-0-1 in the 10 fights since his only loss in November 2010, and has not lost with his current trainer, Hector Bermudez.  Brinson, who recently sparred with Peter Quillin and Edwin Rodriguez and is just one fight removed from a career-best win on ShoBox on June 7, 2013 over Jorge Melendez , is also more experienced.  No stranger to going the distance, Brinson has been eight rounds six times and 10 rounds twice.

“I think Dominic is a really good fighter,” Brinson said.  “I think he’s very talented – he has fast hands, throws a lot of combinations and has a great amateur background. But there are a lot of things he doesn’t do that I do well.  He’s the favored fighter and I don’t want to take anything from him because I want all the credit when I beat him.”

Bermudez agrees: “Dominic Wade is a hot prospect.  He’s talented, but I think it’s a little too early for him to fight with Nick.  I think Wade is an excellent fighter, but I think I’ve got a more experienced fighter on my hands. My guy’s boxing IQ is a little better,

“We’ve got to pull out all the stops to win – but I think Nick will do well.”

# # #

Spence vs. Cruz is a 10-round middleweight bout presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Corona.  Doors open at 2 p.m. PT on fight night with the first bell sounding at 2:30 p.m. PT and the first televised bout starting at 6:30 p.m. PT. The ShoBox: The New Generation telecast will air live on SHOWTIME beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast), immediately following the premiere of ALL ACCESS: Canelo vs. Lara.

Tickets priced at $100, $75, $50 and $25, plus applicable taxes, fees and service charges, are on sale now at The Joint Box Office, online at AXS.com or by calling 888-9-AXS-TIX

"From the Root to the Fruit" is a boxing blog created by Mike's Night at the Fights for boxing fans to continuely admire, keep updated & discuss the latest news in the sweet science of boxing. "From the Root to the Fruit" will cover all corners of the sport from clubs shows to the prizefight wars! Please provide us with opinions and feedback! Talk boxing with "Sweet Science Scribe", Michael Natalino from Mike's Night at the Fights 24/7 here on "From the Root to the Fruit"