Shields: Braekhus doesn't want to fight me
Weights from Philadelphia for Saturday night’s PBC on Fox card at the Liacouras Center: Julian Williams 153.4 pounds, Jeison Rosario 153.1 (for Williams’ unified junir middleweight world titles); Chris Colbert 129.8, Jezreel Corales 129.4 (for a vacant interim junior lightweight title); Joey Spencer 155.9, Erik Spring 155.
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman said Friday that the vacant cruiserweight world title bout between the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ilunga Makabu (26-2, 24 KOs) and Poland’s Michal Cieslak (19-0, 13 KOs), originally slated for Jan. 25, will instead be on Jan. 31 in Kinshasa, DRC. Sulaiman also said the “misunderstandings” between Makabu promoter Don King and the promoters in Congo that had threatened the fight have been worked out.
Strawweight world titlist Pedro Taduran (14-2, 11 KOs), a southpaw from the Philippines, will make his first defense against Mexico’s Daniel Valladares (22-1, 13 KOs) on Feb. 1 in Guadalupe, Mexico, Zanfer Promotions announced on Friday. Taduran survived a first-round knockdown to win a vacant 105-pound belt by fourth-round knockout of countryman Samuel Salva in September in the Philippines. Valladares has won 11 fights in a row since 2016.
Weights from Verona, N.Y., for Saturday night’s Top Rank Boxing on ESPN card at Turning Stone Resort Casino: Eleider “Storm” Alvarez 174 pounds, Michael Seals 173.5; Felix Verdejo 136.75; Manuel Rey Rojas 135.75; Victor Bisbal 272, Devin Vargas 223; Abraham Nova 132, Pedro Navarrete 133; Jonathan Guzman 122, Rodolfo Hernandez 122.25; Christopher Diaz 126.5, Adeilson Dos Santos 126.25; Jared Anderson 235, Andrew Satterfield 239.5.
Super middleweight Steve Rolls, coming off a third-round KO loss to Gennadiy Golovkin June 8, returns to top promoter Lou DiBella's first "Broadway Boxing" card in Canada on Jan. 28 (UFC Fight Pass) at Danforth Music Hall in Toronto. Toronto's Rolls (19-1, 10 KOs), 35, will face Shady Gamhour (12-0, 9 KOs), 29, of Pensacola, Florida, in a 10-rounder for two vacant regional belts. "Hot Rod" Radivoje Kalajdzic (24-2, 17 KOs), 28, of St. Petersburg, Florida, is on the undercard in his first fight since getting stopped in five rounds challenging light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev in May. He meets Mexico's Juan Carlos Raygosa (15-16-3, 6 KOs), 29, in an eight-round cruiserweight bout.
Heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba, a 2016 Nigerian Olympian, is due to face an opponent to be determined in the PBC on Fox co-featue on March 7, a source with knowledge of the plans told ESPN. The card, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. N.Y., is due to be headlined by Brooklyn-based Polish heavyweight contender Adam Kownacki against Robert Helenius.
When Chinese promoter Longjoy Sports recently defaulted on its $1.9 million purse bid that won promotional rights to the fight between light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and Meng Fanlong, it put up a non-fundable $190,000, as required by the IBF. Then it defaulted by failing to make another payment for $190,000 five days later. The fight rights fell to the other bidder, Top Rank, which offered $1.315 million and plans to stage the bout March 28 on ESPN. But what of the $190,000 in the IBF's hands from Longjoy? Per IBF rules, that money goes to the fighters. Beterbiev gets 75% ($142,500) and Meng gets 25% ($47,500).
WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman told ESPN two purse bids are slated for Tuesday at the WBC offices in Mexico City. One is for the vacant lightweight title fight between Javier Fortuna and Luke Campbell, a 50-50 purse split. The other will be for bantamweight titlist Nordine Oubaali’s mandatory defense against former four-division titlist Nonito Donaire, who is coming off a close decision loss to Naoya Inoue in a unification fight in the 2019 fight of the year. That's 60-40 in Oubaali's favor.
A Premier Boxing Champions fight multiple sources have told me is in the discussion stage is a junior welterweight match between former lightweight world titlist Robert Easter Jr. and former junior welterweight world titlist Chris Algieri. Easter moved up to 140 pound for his most recent fight and outpointed Adrian Granados in October. Algieri has won three fights in a row since losing to Errol Spence Jr. at welterweight in 2016 and taking off 2½ years.
Former junior featherweight titlist Scott Quigg and former junior lightweight title challenger Jono Carroll will square off in an England vs. Ireland showdown March 7 (DAZN) at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, Matchroom Boxing announced Friday. Quigg (35-2-2, 26 KOs) will be fighting for the first time since October 2018, a layoff caused by an arm injury. Carroll (17-1-1, 3 KOs) lost a decision challenging world titlist Tevin Farmer last March but rebounded for a win in August.
Golden Boy on Thursday announced its first “Thursday Night Fights” card for 2020. Super middleweight Jason Quigley (17-1, 13 KOs) will face Oscar Cortes (27-5, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super middleweight bout in the main event on Jan. 23 (DAZN/RingTV.com, 10 p.m. ET) at the Hangar at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif. In the eight-round co-feature, junior middleweight Ferdinand Kerobyan (13-1, 8 KOs) will fight Azael Cosio (21-8-2, 18 KOs).
Golden Boy announced a “Thursday Night Fights” card on Wednesday. It will take place on Feb. 6 (DAZN and RingTV.com, 10 p.m. ET) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, and will be headlined by Riverside, California, junior bantamweight Ricardo Sandoval (17-1, 12 KOs) taking on the Philippines’ Raymond Tabugon (22-11-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. In the co-feature, Colombia’s Oscar Negrete (18-2-2, 7 KOs) will face Argentina’s Alberto Melian (6-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round bantamweight bout.
According to Premier Boxing Champions, it is has signed junior featherweight world titlist Rey Vargas. Golden Boy, which promoted Vargas for all of his five title defenses, recently parted ways, according to Golden Boy president Eric Gomez. “We had an option to re-sign him and we decided not to,” Gomez said. He said Vargas’ contract expired following a July defense against Tomoki Kameda and that while they spent time discussing a new deal they remained far apart on money.
Golden Boy announced a "Thursday Night Fights" card Wednesday. It will take place Feb. 6 (DAZN and RingTV.com, 10 p.m. ET) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif., and will be topped by Riverside, California, jr. bantamweight Ricardo Sandoval (17-1, 12 KOs) against the Philippines' Raymond Tabugon (22-11-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. In the co-feature, Colombia's Oscar Negrete (18-2-2, 7 KOs) will face Argentina's Alberto Melian (6-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round bantamweight fight.
Golden Boy announced a "Thursday Night Fights" card on Wednesday. It will take place Feb. 6 (DAZN and RingTV.com, 10 p.m. ET) at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif., and will be topped by Riverside, California, jr. bantamweight Ricardo Sandoval (17-1, 12 KOs) against the Philippines' Raymond Tabugon (22-11-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. In the co-feature, Colombia's Oscar Negrete (18-2-2, 7 KOs) will face Argentina's Alberto Melian (6-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-round bantamweight fight.
Welterweight Vergil Ortiz Jr., 21, the undefeated 2019 prospect of the year, who is coming off a fifth-round destruction of Brad Solomon on Dec. 13, will make his 2020 debut in March, Golden Boy president Eric Gomez told ESPN. “We’re trying to nail down the date. DAZN threw a couple of dates at us and we’re trying to see what works,” said Gomez, adding that Ortiz could fight as many as four times this year.
Promoters Lou DiBella and Dino Duva are in talks to make a spring fight between former junior welterweight world titleholders Regis Prograis and Maurice Hooker, both of whom lost their belts in all-action unification bouts, Hooker to Jose Ramirez, and Prograis to Josh Taylor in the World Boxing Super Series final. DiBella, who represents Prograis, told ESPN that he and Hooker co-promoter Duva have talked to Eddie Hearn, Hooker's co-promoter, and DAZN about the fight and said "they like it. What boxing fan wouldn't love that fight? Anyone who knows boxing knows it's a can't-miss fight."
Tim VanNewhouse of Split-T Management has signed Plainfield, New Jersey's Kahshad Elliott, 19, a standout amateur, who recently competed at 165 pounds in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials but plans to fight at 154 pounds as a pro. Boxing since he was 6, Elliott, who switches between righty and left stances, won a variety of national tournaments. His pro debut has not been set and he has not signed with a promoter. He owns two wins over top prospect Diego Pacheco, who is also with Split-T Management.
Middleweight contender Matt Korobov, who has a torn left rotator cuff, has opted for rehabilitation over surgery after getting three medical opinions over the past month, adviser Mike Borao told ESPN. Korobov suffered the tear in the second round of an interim title fight vs. Chris Eubank Jr. on Dec. 7 and couldn't continue. Borao said the first doctor recommended arthroscopic surgery that would require 12 weeks of healing followed by five months of therapy. The second recommenced no surgery but four weeks of passive therapy then three months of aggressive rehab. The third doctor also said rehab was the way to go and that because of the location of the tear it would heal well but Korobov would still be out at least four months. Borao said Korobov can begin rehab in about two weeks.
Fury vs Wilder II: Real Time - Episode 5
On Episode 5 of Wilder vs. Fury II : Real Time, Tyson Fury stretches out his vocal chords for the media, makes the rounds at ESPN studios and lets his hands fly for the camera.
The IBF has ordered a purse bid to determine promotional rights for the mandatory bout it recently ordered between unified junior welterweight titlist Josh Taylor and Apinun Khongsong, sending a letter via email its registered promoters Monday informing them that Khongsong and promoter Sampson Lewkowicz were no longer willing to negotiate with Top Rank, Taylor's new promoter. According to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, the purse bid is scheduled for Jan. 24 at 12 p.m. ET at the IBF offices in Springfield, N.J. The sides can make a deal up to 15 minutes before the auction. Taylor is entitled to 65% of the winning bid and Khongsong 35%. Given the turn of events it's likely Khongsong will be Taylor's spring foe in his first bout since signing with Top Rank last week.
With the teams of lightweight George Kambosos Jr. of Australia, and ex-featherweight titlist Lee Selby of Wales, unable to make a deal by the deadline for a title eliminator, the IBF on Tuesday notified its registered promoters via email the fight would be put up for a purse bid. According to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, the purse bid is scheduled for Jan. 28. The sides could still make a deal until 15 minutes before the auction. Kambosos gets 60% of the winning bid, Selby 40%. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for 135-pound titlist Teofimo Lopez.
Fury vs Wilder II: Real Time - Episode 4
On Episode 4 of Wilder vs Fury II : Real Time, Tyson Fury descends on Los Angeles for the formal press conference. Tyson has a few choice words for Deontay Wilder as they square off for their rematch.
All Star Boxing promoter Felix “Tutico” Zabala announced Monday that he has signed lightweight Luis Angel Cabrera, 2016 Venezuelan Olympian, to a multi-year agreement. Cabrera, 24, owns an amateur win over lightweight world titlist Teofimo Lopez, whom he defeated during the 2016 Olympic qualifier finals in Argentina. Cabrera’s pro debut is scheduled for Feb. 21 (Telemundo, 11:35 p.m. ET) at the Miccosukee Resort in Miami.
Want to know what fights are on the horizon? Check out the boxing schedule for 2020.
Who is the world's best fighter regardless of weight class? Check out ESPN's latest top 10.
Check out boxing senior writer Dan Rafael's rankings within each division.
All boxing champions and titleholders for the four major organization.
The junior middleweight battle between Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara was a memorable world title unification battle and the fight of the year.
Remembering Muhammad Ali, one the greatest athletes to ever live.