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MTK Global signs amateur sensation

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

KO Boxing Forum

Azim will be entering the paid ranks when he turns 18 in July, leaving behind a sensational amateur career which saw him win a number of amazing accolades, including 10 National Titles, One European Championship and a European silver medal.

He also managed the superb achievement of winning every national title from Schoolboys to Youths, and was the number one ranked Youth Amateur in the world at welterweight.

Slough boxer Adam now joins his brother Hassan Azim at MTK Global, and he is extremely excited about what the future will hold with his new team.

Adam Azim said: “I am very excited by the opportunity to be working with MTK Global who will be managing my next stage of my career.

“By signing a management deal with MTK Global, I have sacrificed an amateur career with Team GB and would have been a favourite for the Paris Olympics in 2024, but I feel I have exhausted my time as an amateur and I am ready for the professional ranks.

“There is no better management organisation to manage me and to take me to the world titles at lightweight. I want to fight the best lightweights in the world and to be the best you have to be with the best in MTK Global.

“My brother has already signed with MTK and I feel I’m keeping it within the family by signing with MTK Global. I look forward to a fruitful relationship with MTK Global.”

MTK Global Vice-President Jamie Conlan said: “We are honoured to be welcoming Adam Azim to the team. He had an illustrious amateur career and we’re extremely confident he will replicate it as a professional.

“He joins his brother Hassan in the MTK Global stable, and it is going to be very exciting watching these two fantastic boxers develop their careers over the coming years.”

News on when Azim will be making his professional debut will be announced in due course.

Want to enter the world of boxing as a fighter, coach, referee, cutsperson, promoter, event coordinator, journalist and everything in between? Sign up for the #MTKAcademy now: academyse.co.uk/boxing

Stay up to date at mtkglobal.com and on social media @mtkglobal

Jessie Vargas believes he will become a three-weight World champion

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Jessie Vargas believes he will become a three-weight World champion and said on the latest episode of Matchroom Boxing’s podcast ‘The Lockdown Tapes’ that he’s ready to go all-out to make that a reality when boxing returns.

Vargas (29-3-2 11 KOs) has held the WBA Super-Lightweight and WBO Welterweight strap and last April, he signaled his intentions to rule the roost at Super-Welterweight when he dispatched Humberto Soto in Los Angeles inside six rounds.

The Las Vegas star returned to 147lbs to face Mikey Garcia in Frisco, Texas in February, getting off the canvas in the fifth round to push Garcia all the way to the end, but now the 31 year old looks set to stick his flag in the ground at 154lbs, targeting former champion Liam Smith as well as the belt holders in the division.

“I will become a three-division World Champion very soon, I am positive,” said Vargas. “I am hungrier than ever, and I feel very comfortable in this division. There are ways that we can line up the big fights for me to become champion again.

“I feel like I have something to prove now to myself and everyone, it’s now or never. I am going to push myself to be in a position where I am comfortable, and I have the right team around me to do so the future is exciting for me.

“The Liam Smith fight is one I am definitely interested in. I will speak to my promoters very soon and go from there. I will fight anyone in the 154lb division.”

Winning a World title at a third weight would be another fantastic chapter in a storied career, and as he approaches 12 years as a pro in September, Vargas looks back fondly on his days training with the late Roger Mayweather, his bouts on Floyd Mayweather’s huge fight nights and his clash with Manny Pacquiao.

“I trained with Roger for years,” said Vargas. “I had to move gyms because his gym was only for pro’s and I needed support from an amateur gym.

“I was 15 when I hooked back up with Roger and stayed with him right up until I was 23. He was sick so he wasn’t always at the gym which was the reason why I had to make a change. I got to spend a lot of time with him and learn so much from one of the greats, just being in that Mayweather environment was amazing.

“I was one of those kids that worked with Roger alongside Devin Haney. He was direct and always spoke his mind. He was a great guy.

“I was 23 and I remember seeing Devin in the gym and saw him always giving it his all and would encourage him. It’s a joy to see him succeeding the way he is. Now he’s working with Floyd which is great for him as he’s learning from the best.

“It was fascinating and having the opportunity to fight on the biggest stage in boxing told me I was on the right path.

“I was very young, but I made sure to shine and I won by knockout, it was electrifying and gave me a little taste of what was to come.

“I also boxed on Ortiz vs Mayweather and Mosley vs Mayweather cards. I have been blessed to fight on big platforms and then headline my own shows.

“I looked over the ring to Manny and thought ‘let’s do it’. I was smiling inside. You have got to be confident in your own abilities and believe in yourself.

“The atmosphere was incredible, and I gave it my all. It was a great learning experience and now it’s about pushing myself to get to the top once again.

“His positioning and his speed are his main attributes. His speed was dangerous and if you don’t see it, he will take you down. He is for sure the best I have faced in the ring.”

Fans can find Vargas’ episode plus previous episodes with Joshua Buatsi, Devin Haney, Joe Cordina, Joseph Parker, Josh Warrington, Daniel Jacobs, Liam Smith, Demetrius Andrade, John Ryder, Dmitry Bivol, Cecilia Braekhus, Lawrence Okolie and Callum Johnson here:

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-matchroom-boxing-podcast/id1506174562

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5YRAWQS5JXB0OvM8vCqZxq

Matchroom Website: https://www.matchroomboxing.com/lockdown-tapes-podcast/

Buatsi And Johnson Star In ‘The Boxing Show’

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Matchroom Boxing Light-Heavyweight stars Joshua Buatsi and Callum Johnson will speak to each other for the very first time on ‘The Boxing Show’ – a new dynamic weekly show presented by Anna Woolhouse alongside Matthew Macklin on Sky Sports.

The British rivals will discuss the latest news and views from the world of boxing, with a focus on the thriving Light-Heavyweight scene and a potentially huge domestic clash with each other in the future.

Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Buatsi (12-0, 10 KOs) has already established himself as a must-watch fighter having scored a series of eye-catching stoppage wins so far in his professional career as he marches towards a World Title shot, most recently halting Ryan Ford in seven rounds at The O2.

Big-hitting Johnson (18-1, 13 KOs) fell short in his first World Title attempt in 2018 when current WBC and IBF ruler Artur Beterbiev inflicted his sole career defeat, but the Boston man is itching for another shot at the big time and believes that a meeting with Buatsi is inevitable down the line.

Buatsi’s manager, two-time Heavyweight Champion of the World Anthony Joshua OBE, was full of praise for the undefeated Croydon sensation as he spoke to Andy Scott in an exclusive interview: “I know Buatsi for the man he is. He gives me advice as well before my fights, he reaches out to me. I think with Buatsi, why he will do great things in boxing is because of his belief in god.

“He has a reason, and his reason is bigger than boxing. Through boxing, he will use his platform to go on and do great things after. That rugged edge is only to fulfil his destiny and purpose, and he has to do it through fighting.”

 

Burns: I Would Love To Finish My Career In Glasgow

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Ricky Burns says it would be fitting to draw the curtain on his illustrious career in Glasgow when the time is right, but the Coatbridge hero is confident he still has plenty more great nights left in the tank as he spoke with Chris Lloyd in the latest episode of Matchroom Boxing’s podcast ‘The Lockdown Tapes’.

Burns (43-8-1, 16 KOs ) created history by becoming Scotland’s first three-weight World champion in May 2016 when he added Super-Lightweight glory to his Super-Featherweight and Lightweight titles by stopping Michele Di Rocco for the WBA title at the SSE Hydro.

‘Rickster’ joined the paid ranks at the age of 18 in October 2001, decisioning Woody Greenway at Kevlin Hall in Glasgow, 51 fights and almost 20 years later the ultimate professional insists that he is still going strong following a close defeat to Welshman Lee Selby in London last October.

“I just felt as if I had done enough to win in that fight,” said Burns. “It wasn’t just the Selby fight but over the last year and on social media, I had lots of people asking me if I was still fighting. After the fight it was things like that going through my head but I’m not ready to retire yet. If I had went in and Lee had punched the face off me I would have said no more.

“As I say, I thought I had done enough to win and I do think I have a couple of good fights left in me so let’s see what happens! I was 36 at the time, I am 37 now and I don’t kid myself. I know I have got a year or two left of my career. I’ve always said I will decide when the time is right, I just don’t like it when people are trying to force it upon me.

“I started ticking over in the gym up here and had to shake off a few injuries after the Selby fight. All the scans have come back clear and I have been back to normal doing marathon runs, the body is all good.

“We’ve not spoken about dates or opponents yet but I would love to finish my career in Glasgow and have one more big night up here. Throughout my career the fans have always turned up and showed great support so I would love to put on one last show for them up here before I call it a day.

“I don’t really want to think about life after boxing until I’ve decided that’s it. I see myself staying within boxing and getting an amateur club started. Getting my pro license would be great and I think I would make a good coach and a good trainer.”

As well as reflecting on his glittering career and looking ahead to what comes next, Burns discusses his amateur days in Scotland, dealing with losses, what it takes to maintain his incredible fitness, as well as the future of Scottish boxing.

Fans can find Burn’s episode plus previous episodes with Joshua Buatsi, Devin Haney, Joe Cordina, Joseph Parker, Josh Warrington, Daniel Jacobs, Liam Smith, Demetrius Andrade, John Ryder and more here:

Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-matchroom-boxing-podcast/id1506174562

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5YRAWQS5JXB0OvM8vCqZxq

Matchroom Website: https://www.matchroomboxing.com/lockdown-tapes-podcast/

Jose Ramirez Headlines “Stars and Champions” Tonight on Impact Network

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Undefeated Super Lightweight Unified World Champion, Jose Ramirez (25-0, 17 KOs), who is promoted by Top Rank, will be the featured on “Stars and Champions”, airing tonight Friday, May 29, 2020, on the Impact Network. Veteran boxing writer Dan Rafael, will host the 30-minute broadcast beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT.

The Impact Network will air “Stars and Champions” across all major cable, satellite, and digital channels. Impact is now broadcasting 24-hours a day, seven days a week, on DIRECTV’s Channel 380 or Channel 268, DISH Network’s Channel 268, Fios TV Channel 787, and Comcast’s Xfinity TV’s Channel 400. In addition, Impact Network can be viewed digitally on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, and Sling. “Stars and Champions” can also be viewed on the Impact Network website and mobile app. Please check local listings in your area for more information.

About Impact Network: The Impact Network provides family friendly entertainment and educational themed inspirational content through its many distribution platforms. Broadcasting in over 88 million homes, Impact endeavors to be the foremost innovative inspirational network both locally and abroad. The Impact Network is the fastest growing and largest black owned faith-based TV network spanning across the united states, the Bahamian Islands and parts of Africa!

Former world champion Ricky Burns vows to fight on

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

Former three-weight world champion Ricky Burns 43-8-1 (16) wants to end his career on his own terms with a final fight in Glasgow, Scotland – when the time is right.

The 37-year-old from Coatbridge, who has held the WBO and WBA lightweight titles along with WBO super featherweight championship and the WBA junior welterweight belt, isn’t ready to hang up the gloves just yet.

Burns turned pro is 2001 and in his last outing dropped a close majority decision to former IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby 28-2 (9) at The O2 in London last October.

“I just felt as if I had done enough to win in that fight,” said Burns in the latest episode of Matchroom Boxing’s podcast ‘The Lockdown Tapes’.

“It wasn’t just the Selby fight but over the last year and on social media, I had lots of people asking me if I was still fighting.

“After the fight it was things like that going through my head but I’m not ready to retire yet. If I had went in and Lee had punched the face off me I would have said no more.

“As I say, I thought I had done enough to win and I do think I have a couple of good fights left in me so let’s see what happens.

“I was 36 at the time, I am 37 now and I don’t kid myself. I know I have got a year or two left of my career. I’ve always said I will decide when the time is right, I just don’t like it when people are trying to force it upon me.

“I started ticking over in the gym up here and had to shake off a few injuries after the Selby fight. All the scans have come back clear and I have been back to normal doing marathon runs, the body is all good.

“We’ve not spoken about dates or opponents yet but I would love to finish my career in Glasgow and have one more big night up here. Throughout my career the fans have always turned up and showed great support so I would love to put on one last show for them up here before I call it a day.

“I don’t really want to think about life after boxing until I’ve decided that’s it. I see myself staying within boxing and getting an amateur club started. Getting my pro license would be great and I think I would make a good coach and a good trainer.”

Mike Tyson expresses regret for biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

Mike Tyson has reflected on being the most hated man in boxing following his infamous ‘bite fight’ against Evander Holyfield in 1997.

Tyson, 53, became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history when he knocked out Trevor Berbick in two rounds in 1986, but it was his rematch with Holyfield that made him truly notorious.

Former undisputed cruiserweight and heavyweight champion Holyfield, now 57, stopped Tyson in 11 rounds in November 1996 before the duo rematched seven months later at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

A frustrated Tyson latched on to Holyfield’s ear, biting off a chunk of the cartilage before being disqualified in the third round.

The incident led to a $3million fine and the loss of his boxing licence in the state of Nevada for over a year.

Tyson has admitted his regret about the incident.

“I’m really very grateful that Evander forgave me for this,” Tyson said on Undisputed Truth, now available On Demand. “What was I thinking about?

“He lost a piece of his ear, I lost a piece of money. A lot of money and I lost my licence.

“All I could say is that I snapped. I went through pure hell. I went from the 10th hated man on the planet, which I can handle, to numero uno.

“Then I was forced to read this contrived apology letter at the press conference for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. To make matters worse, I had to read it on my birthday, June 30th, 1997.

“But now I really am sorry. Me and Holyfield became friends.”

Tyson has recently posted videos of himself hitting the pads on social media, teasing a comeback for a charity fight.

Holyfield has responded with his own training clips, saying he would be open to a third fight.

“I don’t know, you would have to ask him!” Holyfield told Sky Sports.

“I wouldn’t ask nobody to do anything they don’t want to do. But it’s for charity. If we can work something out that works for everybody then it’s a win-win-win.”

Dereck Chisora planning MMA bout ahead of Oleksandr Usyk fight

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

British heavyweight Dereck Chisora 32-9 (23) has revealed he wants to compete in a mixed martial arts bout while he waits for his fight against Oleksandr Usyk 17-0 (13) to be rescheduled.

Chisora was scheduled to face the former undisputed cruiserweight champion on May 23 in London before the fight was postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The 36-year-old has approached his manager David Haye to find him a fight with mixed martial arts promotion Bellator within the next two months.

“We are trying to sort dates for June or July,” Chisora told BBC Sport.

“I see others do it and say ‘I want to try it one day’. Since Usyk has been postponed for a while, then if there’s a way I can do that for the time being.

“We’re waiting to see the date they give us for Usyk but if there’s a bigger gap we’re going to jump into Bellator straight away.”

Earlier this week news broke that Chisora’s British rival Dillian Whyte is considering a mixed martial arts fight against UFC star Francis Ngannou this year.

Whyte 27-1 (18) was scheduled to face Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin 35-2-1 (24) before the coronavirus effectively shut down boxing worldwide. The fight is yet to be rescheduled.

“I never really thought we would take this too seriously, but in the last week we have to take this seriously,” Whyte’s promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports.

“The aim for Dillian Whyte is to become a world boxing champion, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Dillian Whyte against Ngannou towards the end of this year. Obviously we know Povetkin is next, but whether it’s October, November, December.

“I’m going to be reaching out to Dana White and saying: ‘Tell me how this works? Can we actually do this? Are we doing it in a ring? Are we doing it in a cage? Are we doing one round of each?’

“It’s really got a lot of momentum and a lot of promise. I think there’s a really good chance it could happen.”

CES Boxing offer Mike Tyson a seven figure sum to fight Juiseppe Angelo Cusumano

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Classic Entertainment and Sports (CES), founded and operated by veteran boxing promoter Jimmy Burchfield, Sr., is offering “Iron” Mike Tyson $1,000,000 to square-off with Juiseppe Angelo Cusumano, plus a percentage of closed circuit receipts to be negotiated, as well a $200,000 donation to whatever charity Tyson’s wife prefers.

Jimmy Burchfield, Sr., known as “The Hardest Working Promoter in Combat Sports”
“If Mike Tyson is serious about making a comeback,” Burchfield said, “we’re prepared to make him a legitimate offer to fight Cusumano in a 6 or 8-round fight, whichever Mike chooses. After three months of the COVID-19 pandemic, boxing fans are hungry to watch real fights, not exhibitions. Tyson is a boxer and a damn good one at that! He’s not a bare-knuckle fighter or wrestler. A real boxing match is what we’re interested in promoting!”

Tyson (50-6, 49 KOs) hasn’t officially fought since June 11, 2005.

The 6′ 4″ Cusumano (18-3, 16 KOs) is an Italian heavyweight who fights out of Carini, Sicily.

CES needs to make sure that Tyson is medically cleared before proceeding. His complete medical exam results are required by CES to be submitted with a June 25, 2020 deadline. The date and venue for Tyson vs. Cusumano is to be determined, but open to negotiations once CES has spoken to Tyson or his representatives.

“Cusumano will be a true gauge for Tyson’s first fight in 15 years,” Burchfield added. “This is a fight boxing fans want to see, not an exhibition, because it will let everyone know exactly where he’s at today and whether or not he can truly challenge a (Tyson) Fury, (Anthony) Joshua, or (Deontay) Wilder. We’re ready to negotiate in good faith right now.”

CES has been promoting boxing events for nearly 30 years and its stable of fighters has included 5-time world champion Vinny Paz, who was a very close teammate of Tyson’s when they were amateurs, 3-time world titlist Chad Dawson, Peter Manfredo, Jr., Ray Olivieria, Jason Estrada, Matt Godfrey, Gary “Tiger” Balletto, and Matt Remillard, among the more notables.

Live Boxing Returns in July

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

KO Boxing Forum

Live televised boxing events are scheduled to return on the Impact Network in mid-July as negotiations for fights in Las Vegas, Detroit, Chicago, and Florida for the Bahamas, are all underway as particular cities reopen up for business amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With social distancing guidelines still in effect, Impact will stage these live boxing shows without fans in attendance. The two-hour broadcast will feature relevant contenders and undefeated prospects who will be in step-up fights.

Impact senior management Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Terry Arnold, and Royal Jackson agree with their programming partner, Steven Marcano, that it’s time to return to work.

“I’m very excited about the return of boxing programming to Impact Network,” said Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, CEO, and president of the Impact Network. “Our network is growing immensely, and boxing will be a stable of our channel for years to come. These young men are eager to get back in the ring and we can’t wait to showcase their talent. In July we’ll be broadcasting our next live boxing event on Impact.”

“We are seeing great success with our “Stars and Champions” programming and we believe that momentum will continue forth when we resume live boxing events to Impact in July,” said Royal Jackson, Impact executive producer. “I’m excited about what the future holds for boxing on the Impact Network.”

“We are ready to resume live boxing events and programming on the Impact Network,” stated Steve Marcano of SMM Boxing, whose company is responsible for Impact’s admittance into the sport. “Right now, we are working closely with city officials to bring boxing back in certain states as the COVID-19 lockdown loosens up. If all goes as planned, we will have our next show back on Impact in July.”

“Our next card is being planned for July with several undefeated fighters set to make their Impact debut,” said Rick Torres, head of business and legal affairs for SMM Boxing. “Showcasing rising young stars in the sport is a feature we plan on emphasizing as we march forward with Impact.”

The Impact Network airs across all major cable, satellite, and digital channels. Impact is now broadcasting 24-hours a day, seven days a week, on DIRECTV’s Channel 380 or Channel 268, DISH Network’s Channel 268, Fios TV Channel 787, and Comcast’s Xfinity TV’s Channel 400. In addition, Impact Network can be viewed digitally on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, and Sling. All live boxing events can be viewed on the Impact Network website and mobile app. Please check local listings in your area for more information.

Split-T Management Signs Prized Amateur Omar Rosario

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Split-T Management has announced the addition of a second top amateur prospect this week, as 2020 Olympic hopeful Omar Rosario of Puerto Rico has signed with the company.

Rosario, of Caguas, PR, is the Puerto Rican Olympic Trial Champion at 152 lbs., and was the island’s favorite to win a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. However after many conversations with his coaches and family surrounding the uncertainty of the Olympic games due to postponement of the games due to COVID-19, Rosario has decided to make the transition to the pro ranks under the guidance of Split-T’s Tim VanNewhouse.

Rosario will campaign in the junior welterweight division.

“Although I am disappointed I won’t be able to compete for Puerto Rico in the Olympics this year, I feel that I am better able to represent my country in the pros. Puerto Rico is looking for their next superstar, and I am that guy,” said Rosario with a smile.

Rosario, 22, has come a long way since he began boxing at the age of seven after being inspired by the success of fellow countryman and fellow Caguas-native Miguel Cotto. Rosario has followed in Cotto’s footsteps ever since – winning six Puerto Rican National Championships and representing the National Team in various international competitions. In fact, Cotto’s father, Miguel Sr., was Rosario’s first trainer and Rosario describes him as being “like a second father” to him growing up.

“I am ready and working hard every day to build a great legacy in boxing and I know that Tim and the whole Split-T family will help me do that. I just want to make the people of Puerto Rico proud.”

Rosario’s current trainer, Joe Santiago, the coach of the Puerto Rican National Team and Miguel Cotto’s trainer for multiple world title bouts, commented that, “The Olympics are a myth right now and we are going to take advantage of this time to begin Omar’s journey into the pros. He has all the right tools and physicality to become a multi-divisional World Champ.”

According to VanNewhouse, Rosario is a complete fighter with good fundamental skills – honed by over 200 amateur bouts – with a particular fondness for attacking the body like his idol, Cotto.

“I’m really excited about adding Omar to our growing roster of young talent. He’s from a deep boxing culture in Puerto Rico that has great love and pride for the sport. Omar’s an outstanding talent and he can easily be described as a boxer-puncher with a beautiful, precise left hook – similar to Cotto’s when he was an amateur. With Omar’s ability and experience he has a maturity about him that should help him make a flawless transition to the professional ranks,” stated VanNewhouse.

Rosario enjoys a strong support system at home that includes his brother Jose, a 2015 Pan-Am Games Bronze medalist boxer for Puerto Rico, and is in the process of completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing & Finance at Ana G. Méndez Universidad.

Wayne McCullough says he won’t be making any major changes to Dennis Hogan’s fighting style

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

Former world champion Wayne McCullough is excited about the opportunity to train fellow Irishman junior middleweight contender Dennis ‘Hurricane’ Hogan 28-3-1 (7).

“I am thinking is this real because I have reached out to so many Irish fighters in the past. I have trained a few guys for a couple of days and then they’d have to leave the country,” McCullough said on the Endswell Podcast to Al Rich.

“Dennis is the first guy that is actually going to come and train with me. I don’t think it’s real until he is actually going to be in front of me.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I came over here and learnt from Eddie Futch. It’s an honour for me to do it. I would love to train a bunch of Irish guys, but it never happened.”

Known as the ‘Pocket Rocket’, McCullough won over fans with his all-action style during his 15-year pro career. He retired in 2008 with a record of 27-7 (18) after facing such greats as Erik Morales, Prince Naseem Hamed and Danial Zaragoza.

The Belfast banger says some of his countrymen were reluctant to train under him because they mistakenly thought he would force them to adopt his aggressive style.

“I will give everything to it. As a trainer I am going to try and make the best of my fighters. I think that was part of the problem. Irish fighters thought ‘Wayne McCullough he just walks forward and throws punchers’,” the former WBC bantamweight champion said.

“They thought I was going to train them to be like me. But if you look at my amateur days I had to go backwards as well.

“When I was thought by Eddie, he said you don’t train people the way you fought. He said everybody is different.”

Hogan lost a debatable decision to Jaime Munguia for the WBO 154-pound title in Mexico a year ago before moving up to middleweight to face Jermall Charlo for the WBC crown. The hard-hitting proved too big and powerful for Hogan, stopping him in seven.

The 35-year-old Hogan praised McCullough for his boxing IQ.

“Eddie Futch was Wayne’s coach and I think he gained a lot of experience there,” Hogan said to the Kildare Nationalist.

“Futch said that of all the fighters he had that he felt Wayne could train a world champion. That says a lot about Wayne and his way of thinking.

“What I’ve heard from Eddie and what Wayne has learned from him is that it is about looking at a fighter’s strengths and tweaking them, making adjustments rather than just changing the style.

“There were American coaches and Mexican coaches, but I felt they might try change my style completely where I feel like what I am doing works. It’s just about maximising a couple of things, doubling down on my strengths and looking to see if there are any weaknesses.”

McCullough doesn’t believe Hogan needs to make any major changes, just a few minor tweaks.

“With Dennis he is aggressive, he is elusive and he is fit – and all those things together make a hard fighter to beat,” he said. “Defence he could tidy up a bit, sit down his punches more and the guy is going to be unstoppable. I’ll work on things like that.”

Anthony Joshua could face Kubrat Pulev in front of a small crowd in the UK

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

Follow Anthony Cocks on: Twitter | Facebook
KO Boxing Forum

Unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) will make his mandatory title defence against Kubrat Pulev 28-1 (14) in front of a small crowd in the UK, predicted promoter Eddie Hearn.

Before the global coronavirus pandemic shutdown boxing, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion was set to face Bulgarian challenger Pulev at the 62,000-seat Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium in London.

Hearn says rescheduling the fight in the UK is an “absolute priority”.

“We’re working on the assumption that AJ vs Pulev will not be able to take place in a venue the size of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium,” Hearn told Sky Sports.

“Our absolute priority is to stage the fight in the UK.

“It would be great for sports coming back, and businesses coming back, to have a world heavyweight title fight taking place on these shores.

“We’ve had interest from the Middle East, the Far East, yet to receive anything official from Croatia but they have shown interest too.

“But we’d like to do it [in the UK]. We are starting to look at venues that are smaller.

“There is the possibility of us staging the AJ fight in the UK. I don’t think it will be behind closed doors.

“If we can get some kind of number together [for a potential crowd] we can create an exclusive event to keep this fight in the UK.”

Hearn is aiming to promote his first post-coronavirus show behind closed doors in July. The card is expected to feature Dillian Whyte vs Alexander Povetkin and Katie Taylor vs Amanda Serrano.

Hearn previously said that Joshua would only fight once this year.

“Given the current uncertainty, I would expect to see him in the ring again end of September at the earliest, but more likely October or November as the restrictions hopefully start to ease,” he said.

Sampson Lewkowicz Re-Signs Dominican Two-Time World Champion Javier Fortuna to a Long-Term Promotional Contract

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The article that you're about to read is an official announcement issued to Ring News 24 to publish as a press release.

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Sampson Boxing proudly announces the re-signing of two-time former world champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna to a promotional contract.

From La Romana, Dominican Republic, Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs), the former WBA Featherweight and Super Featherweight Champion, has fought under the Sampson Boxing banner from his pro debut and has gone on to have one of the greatest careers in history for a Dominican boxer.

The 31-year-old is currently the world’s #1 WBC lightweight contender and, upon the end of the pandemic’s halt of professional boxing, will next face England’s Luke Campbell, for the interim lightweight championship.

The winner of that match will go on to face current Regular Champion, Devin Haney.

“If I were to die and be born again, I would re-sign with Sampson to do it all over again,” said a happy Fortuna. “I will become the first three-division world champion soon and I have my promoter Sampson to thank for all the opportunities he got for me throughout my career.”

Lewkowicz, best known for having helped discover and bring Manny Pacquiao to the United States, currently handles two-time super middleweight world champion David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez, 6’ 7” super welterweight contender Sebastian “The Towering Inferno” Fundora and unified WBA and IBF Welterweight Champion Jeison “Banana” Rosario, among others.

“I have been working with Javier Fortuna since his pro debut and he has always been a joy to work with him and his team,” said Lewkowicz. “Soon he will wear the championship belt in his third division and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of all his success. My fighters are like sons to me and I laugh and cry with them through the good times and the bad.”
About Sampson Boxing

Sampson Boxing has promotional partners all over North and South America, Africa, Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and Central America. Sampson Boxing events have been televised on such premiere networks as HBO, Showtime, ESPN, ESPN+, DAZN, VS., FOX, Fox Sports and several international networks. For more information, visit sampsonboxing.com.

Froch And Barker Talk Fighting On The Road ‘In The Rounds’

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Carl Froch and Darren Barker own some of the best wins on away territory by British fighters, and the duo talk about fighting on the road with Chris Algieri on the latest episode of ‘The Rounds’.

Froch began life as WBC World Super-Middleweight champion with a thrilling final round win over Jermain Taylor in Connecticut in April 2009, and then in 2010-11, ‘The Cobra’ went on the road during the Super Six series to face Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson and Andre Ward.

Barker’s first World title action saw him face the formidable Middleweight king Sergio Martinez in Atlantic City in October 2011 and then returned to the same city in August 2013 to achieve his World title dreams in dramatic fashion against IBF king Daniel Geale.

Both men open up on those trips and more, including great stories on their sparring sessions together.

Carl Froch: “I enjoyed being on the road. When we boxed for England we were going to hostile environments and fighting top fighters back-to-back in nations tournaments, but I was always a nervous fighter. So, when I defended my title against Jermain Taylor in Connecticut, I was nervous about it all.

“Not so much boxing abroad, but more that it was Taylor, a former undisputed Middleweight World champion. I saw him get out of this limousine for the press conference in NYC and he just looked like the don, he had this nice suit on and looked crisp and clean. I was just there with a hoodie and t-shirt and I was thinking ‘do I belong here?’ It was quite a daunting thing for me, and I was always quite nervous and apprehensive as a fighter, I was unsure of myself, and I was a new World champion and making my first defense. I didn’t really know if I belonged at World level and here I was fighting Taylor in America. I look back at that fight now and think how naive I was at that level and I just had to put all my trust in Rob McCracken and my fitness, my refusal to quit and my competitive nature, I like to win.

“[Kessler and the volcanic ash cloud] On Tuesday of fight week we had Sky News on and they were saying all the flights we grounded so I am thinking I am definitely not going, the US broadcasters aren’t going to be able to make it over, so it’s definitely off. We had a barbecue in the garden, I had a couple of cans of Guinness; I don’t drink much, and I had a couple of them in fight week! The next day my promoter rang me and said that the Sauerlands’s were sending a private jet and the flight was at 2pm. Private jet sounds glamorous but it wasn’t, it was a five-seater, it was bumpy all the way and Rob doesn’t like heights so he was white all the way and didn’t say a word, hanging onto the seat and looking at me, and I was winding him up saying ‘I think we’re bang in trouble here this plane is all over the place!’

“I crashed the weight which I never do, and at the weigh-in I felt weak. It’s the first and only time I ever did that, but I don’t want people to think I’m making an excuse, I felt good to fight and had a great 12 rounds against a brilliant fighter and I just didn’t quite do enough. But going over on the Wednesday under that ash cloud in fight week and being overweight, switching off, it was horrible. I believe that things happen for a reason though and in boxing you don’t win or lose, you win or learn. I learnt how to come back and in my next fight I fought Arthur Abraham and the WBC title was back up for grabs, that boosted my spirits and that loss then didn’t feel as bad.

“The loss with Andre Ward felt worse. Andre is a fantastic fighter, very skillful, fast, hard to hit, good with his jab. I remember getting out of the fight thinking, I had a decent rounds in 10, 11 and 12, and I was getting into it and I thought, why didn’t I start earlier, why didn’t I get into it, why didn’t I believe in myself? But that’s what we do when we lose, we look for reasons.”

Darren Barker: “I never felt more nervous or under pressure in the States and I think a big part of that was the experience of fighting all over the world as an amateur.

“I flew into New York with Eddie Hearn and we were in and out for the Martinez press conference, I remember the American’s almost laughing at me for showing any confidence, even though I was undefeated and European champion, I just hadn’t fought anybody. I was confident in my ability, but it was the unknown, I had sparred hundreds of rounds with Carl, an elite level fighter, but it’s still sparring. I knew I was capable of being in there with elite fighters, but I didn’t quite understand where I was at the time.

“I don’t have any regrets looking back at my career, but I have a slight one looking back at that fight because I think if I had believed in myself a little more, been more aggressive and forced the action more, then potentially I could have caused a huge upset. I’m not saying that it would have happened, I just wished I gave it a bit more. But the whole unbuild up was just the reason I chose boxing, I was on top of a huge skyscraper in New York for the presser and thinking, ‘this is it, I’ve made it’. I was walking up fifth avenue with Eddie and we walked past a shop with bright green trousers in the window and Eddie said: ‘you should buy them and wear them at the press conference for a laugh!’ I said: ‘no chance, I wouldn’t be seen dead in them!’ We got to the press conference and Sergio was wearing that exact pair of trousers!

“The Repton club had a knack of churning out top quality Southpaws so I was never fazed at fighting them, I knew I would be able to compete with him and it was a great experience for me and one that was massively valuable going onto the Geale fight.

“I’d been to Atlantic City for the Martinez fight, so it wasn’t alien to me and I was driven to right that wrong. We had a similar game plan, to be aggressive but smart, on the front-foot and hold center of the ring. It wasn’t until I got in there that I realized how awkward he was, he had a knack of getting out of range, I was falling short and adopted a different plan to get on his chest and outwork him.

“The moment I got put down in the sixth round, a lot of people know my brother Gary passed away, he was a very good fighter and if I had have lost that fight I would never have fought again, it would have been a box that hadn’t been ticked and it would have eaten away. So, I was just so prepared to leave everything in the ring that night that a body shot was never going to keep me down, fast-forward to the 12th round and hearing Michael Buffer say, ‘and the new’, I still can’t believe it. I achieved what I set out to do.

“There were a lot of question marks over my toughness, but I always knew I was tough. You don’t do 12 rounds of sparring with Carl and not be tough! I always knew there was a fight out there to show everyone I was mentally and physically tough.”

Froch and Barker star in the second episode of ‘The Rounds’ and the first episode, featuring Mikey Garcia, Devin Haney and Daniel Jacobs talking about the highs and lows of boxing, can be found on Matchroom Boxing’s YouTube channel.

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