By: Kirk JacksonRoughly four years ago, Shakur Stevenson (13-0, 7 KO’s) was fighting for a spot on the 2016 United States Olympic team roster, facing off against and defeating the talented Ruben Villa to earn his position on the team. The U.S. Olympic Boxing Trials, held at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, was the first glimpse of greatness, audiences were able to witness on national level, for New Jersey native.After snatching a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics, fast-forward to present day with his quick ascension to world champion, the path has come full circle. https://youtu.be/Me5841kryu4Returning to Reno, Nev., this past weekend, Stevenson realized his dream, capturing the WBO featherweight title, defeating Joet Gonzalez (23-1, 14 KO’s) over the course of 12 rounds.“I came here to Reno, closer to his hometown, and wiped him out,” said Stevenson who went 12 rounds for the first time. “So, it’s an amazing feeling, being that I grinded for this my whole life.”What makes his performance even more impressive, is the emotional build up leading up to the fight. There was an ongoing clash between the two camps – much pertaining to Stevenson dating the younger sister of Gonzalez. Along with the drama comparable to Romeo and Juliet, Stevenson’s father recently passed away. To stay locked in and focused, in spite of all of the possible overwhelming emotions, says a lot about the character, resolve and concentration of Stevenson.During this one-sided affair, Stevenson displayed technical, defensive mastery, similar to previous pound-for-pound greats that dominated (and still dominate) boxing. Greats like the late Pernell Whitaker, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Andre Ward and Terence Crawford.https://youtu.be/0xQyNZDvuAAPerhaps this performance isn’t surprising; as noted previously, the talent and potential was always there. The application of hard work and willingness to learn helps harvest the product we see today. And as mentioned in previous interviews, Stevenson revealed he studies other boxers and patterns himself after Whitaker, Mayweather and Crawford. “I watch real defensive boxers who know how to get out of the way of punches and come back,” Stevenson said. https://twitter.com/champfasteddie/status/1188500089884557313?s=03Stevenson’s promoter Bob Arum, the CEO of Top Rank Boxing was impressed by the performance, comparing it to that of a fighter who used to fight under his banner. “I thought it was a really magnificent performance,” Arum told reporters post-fight. “In a lot of ways, it reminded me of a left-handed Floyd Mayweather.”Heralded as a young prodigy, under the tutelage of his grandfather Wali Moses, Stevenson is meeting benchmark after benchmark and the immediate question after this display of wizardry is what lies ahead progressing forward? Arum alluded to Stevenson moving up in weight in the near future, as the appears to be the natural progression for guys considered to be top pound-for-pound fighters. “I want him to fight a couple more fights before he moves up,” Arum said. But before Stevenson moves up in weight, hopefully the current trend of world title unifications continue and Stevenson can compete in unification bouts against the likes of IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington (30-0, 7 KO’s), WBC featherweight champion Gary Russell Jr. 30-1, 18 KO’s), WBA (Super) featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz (36-1-1, 19 KO’s) or against WBA (Regular) featherweight champion Xu Can (17-2, 3 KO’s). Standing firm as one of the youngest world champions in boxing, along with recently crowned WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney (23-0, 15 KO’s), 20-years-old, two-time WBC super-middleweight champion David Benavidez (22-0, 19 KO’s) 22-years-old, and 24-year-old Gervonta Davis (22-0, 21 KO’s), these fighters stand tall as pillars ushering in the new, great generation of talent moving forward.However, one distinction Stevenson has over the aforementioned fighters, is at age 22-years-old, he is the first male fighter from the 2016 Rio Olympics to win a world title.The first fighter from the 2016 Rio Olympics to win a world title is Claressa Shields (9-0, 2 KO’s). The current unified (WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF, The Ring champion) and undisputed female middleweight champion was in attendance to support her boxing family.https://youtu.be/0Kdo-BmQUeEAlso featured on the card, Olympic teammate and fellow Top Rank stablemate Mikaela Mayer (12-0, 5 KO’s), stopped Alejandra Soledad Zamora (7-4, 1 KO) in six rounds to retain her NABF title.“I am ready for the next challenge. I want a world title,” Mayer said post-fight. “I think for the past two years I have shown that I am ready for a world title. I have shown it by easily dispatching all the fighters that have been put in front of me.”Another fighter coming “Full circle” of sorts, also featured on the card this past weekend, is JJ Mariano. Around the time Stevenson was fighting at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Reno, Nev., Mariano was competing and winning two national titles for the University of Nevada Reno, boxing team. https://youtu.be/PZy_geKDBkIThe Sparks-Reno native Mariano, won his second pro fight, defeating Sean Cerveny by unanimous decision in their welterweight bout and improving to (2-0, 1 KO).Led by former super lightweight world title contender, and longtime trainer Pat “Paddy” Jefferson, along with fellow national champion Jarred Santos, Mariano aims to win world titles and blaze his own path in the boxing world. Much like Shakur Stevenson. The post Full Circle: From the Trials, to the Olympics, to the Title appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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During a recent interview with Boxing Insider Radio which can be heard on Spotify, iTunes and on Boxinginsider.com, undefeated boxer Michael Conlan took the time to discuss just how important a win against Vladimir Nikitin on December 14th, at Madison Square Garden is for his legacy, as well as future a future contest against WBO Featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QELud1DdAP0It was the middle finger that was seen around the world. During the 2016 Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro, Michael Conlan was running through his competition. It was becoming more and more clear that he was on his way to possibly bringing a gold medal with the display of skills he was putting on for everyone to see. Everything was going as he expected. He danced around his bigger opponents and punished the smaller ones. Conlan was on cloud nine and everyone could understand why. He entered his quarterfinal matchup against Russian opponent Vladimir Nikitin as a significant favorite. There in the crowd stood Conlan’s mother, father and fiancée. They expected Conlan to cruise to victory and that is exactly what he did. Credit: Top Rank BoxingConlan made it look easy against Nikitin. He was barely touched during the bout while Nikitin on the other looked as though he had been in a fight with a wild grizzly bear. Yet, for some inexplicable reason, Nikitin was given the victory. Much like Roy Jones Jr who was robbed at a chance of gold during the 1988 Olympics and Floyd Mayweather Jr in 1996, Conlan had his olympic dreams taken away from him in a contest in which he clearly won. Instead of going back to his locker room with pain and agony, Conlan let it all out as he flipped the middle finger to the judges that were scoring the bout. Fast forward nearly four years later, and Conlan will now get his chance for revenge as the two will face off on December 14th, at Madison Square Garden. This time, as professionals.“It’s been a long time coming,” said Conlan to Boxing Insider Radio. “The engine is warm and we’re ready to rock. I’m expecting a big, big performance.”This contest between Conlan and Nikitin actually won't be the second time they meet in the ring. It will be their third. Every and anyone who watched these two share the ring against one another during the Olympics in 2016 would rightfully have given the fight to Conlan, but the fact of the matter is, he did not officially come out with the win. For the Ireland born fighter who has a future just as bright as anyone else’s in the sport, he will now have one final time to prove something to not only his naysayers, but also to himself.“I’ve lost both times. It’s a chance for me to get my redemption. People may look at the 2016 fight and think that I won but let’s be honest, when the decision was called his hand was raised so I actually didn't win. I've got to go in there and prove to myself and to the rest of the world that what happened in Rio was an injustice and the wrong decision. But more than anything I have to prove to myself that I can beat this guy and I am better than him. I believe I want it more and I believe that I am the better fighter but I have to go out there and prove it.” Conlan isn't the only person who is motivated for their upcoming clash. So is Nikitin as well. Conlan may have something that he wants to prove but his rival will have a chip on his shoulders that will be just as enormous.“He’s obviously coming to prove a point that the decision in Rio was the right one. He probably has a lot of ill feelings towards me but I want to go in there with no emotions and treat this as a demolition job. I don’t want to leave this in the hands of the judges. I want to go out there and beat this guy and look good doing it.”On the surface level it may seem like a boxing match between two fighters who aren't exactly very fond of one another, but it isn't just about that. For Conlan, this contest stretches far beyond just the boxing ring.“It just lets me close a chapter in my amateur career and how it finished and the controversial saga. I think for me and many people around the world, if you have been screwed over whether it was in sports or in life, everybody has had that feeling of injustice against them. The fact that I have a chance to rewrite a wrong that should have never been written, I think a lot of people can feel that. A lot of people never get that chance to right a wrong so this is bigger than me and it’s bigger than just this fight. It’s about righting wrongs and injustices that should have never happened. It’s more than a boxing match. It’s like history being rewritten.”For as badly as Conlan wanted to bring home the gold in 2016, his career has seemingly not suffered in the slightest. Not only is he undefeated in 13 professional contest, but he was also arguably the hottest amateur prospect with a seemingly endless amount of promoters who were vying for his services, including Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions.“It would not have been beneficial for me because I’m an Irish guy and the time zone differences with where he is located. With Top Rank they put me in Madison Square Garden and have promoted me really well so it was a no brainer for me to sign with Top Rank.” The promotion and hype surrounding Conlan has been unbelievable since day one. Top Rank has continuously placed him in the limelight where he has shined. For the budding star, he has countless supporters in Ireland but he has grown a fan base in New York that rivals the love and affection he receives in his native land.“I Can't really compare them because Ireland is my home but fighting in New York is my home away from home. It’s where I have boxed the most as a professional and the atmosphere’s are actually pretty similar. In my last fight I boxed in August it was in Belfast and it was very special to me, so it would be very hard top that one but the two best places that I am supported in the world is New York and Ireland.”At the age of 28, Conlan isn't your typical boxing prospect. Young fighters who are fighting their way up are typically in their early 20s. With 30 coming right around the corner, Conlan won't be afforded the same time frame that many of his younger counterparts are given. In comparison, Conlan’s fellow stablemate Shakur Steven is only 22 years of age, but he has already captured a world title and is widely regarded as a future pound for pound level fighter. The accomplishments of Stevenson haven’t gone unnoticed by Conlan. The Ireland born fighter would be willing to face not just Conlan in the near future but against any world champion.“Fantastic matchup and a fantastic fighter. He has answered every question that has been placed in front of him so far. If that is a fight that is going to happen next year, I’m ready. I see myself fighting for world titles. Fighting against a specific opponent doesn't matter but I see myself fighting for multiple world titles. If he is the champion then I’m ready for anything but I am focused on December 14th, so I can't even take a peek ahead of what’s to come.”The future of Conlan is undoubtedly a bright one, but at the moment it is stuck in the past. He can take his first step forward if he manages to defeat Nikitin on the 14th of December. With as much history as the two have, a simple win for Conlan won’t be good enough. He intends on putting on a show.“You can possibly expect a war or you can expect a masterclass. I can out box the guy completely if I want. Whether it lasts three rounds, seven rounds or ten rounds it will be a statement and it will be exciting.” As for the now infamous middle finger that propelled Conlan to national notoriety might also make an appearance when this fight is set and done as well.“I’ll start it off by giving him a middle finger and then I’ll give him a thumbs up at the same time.”The post Michael Conlan Speaks With Boxing Insider Radio About His 2016 Olympic Redemption and Shakur Stevenson appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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Sorge um Ulli Wegner. Die Trainerlegende zog sich am Mittwoch einen Oberschenkelhalsbruch zu und wird derzeit im Krankenhaus behandelt.Das gab das Box-Team Sauerland auf seinem Instagram-Account bekannt.SPORT1 erreichte den 77-Jährigen telefonisch. Dort gab der Coach, der unter anderem Sven Ottke, Arthur Abraham, Marco Huck und Markus Beyer zu Box-Weltmeistern formte, leichte Entwarnung.DAZN gratis testen und Kampfsport-Highlights live & auf Abruf erleben | ANZEIGEEs gehe ihm den Umständen entsprechend gut, sagte Wegner. Wie lange er im Krankenhaus verbleiben muss, wisse er im Moment aber noch nicht.  

By: Robert Aaron Contreras It is never easy to decipher what Golden Boy Promotions is up to.This weekend, on Dec. 13, De la Hoya and Co. put their premier prospect Vergil Ortiz Jr. (14-0, 14 KO) up against a tricky veteran in Brad Solomon (28-1, 9 KO), to be aired by DAZN. It is either a case of inexplicable matchmaking, setting up their young puncher to meet his stylistic foil, or perhaps the case of an aging welterweight in perfect position to finally be stopped inside the distance which would do wonders for a surging tyro like Ortiz.Ortiz is is one of Golden Boy’s remaining commodities. Still just 21, the Texas-born welterweight could be helping bolster shows headlined by more established company men like Canelo or Jaime Munguia. But considering the tension brewing between Oscar de la Hoya and Canelo Alvarez, and given Ryan Garcia’s mixed reception, talent is being spread thin to fill the schedule, leaving no choice but to again push Ortiz to the top of the bill. This weekend represents his second headliner in a row.In August, Ortiz destroyed former world champion Antonio Orozco, scoring three knockdowns, and punched in a vicious sixth-round knockout. The KO bought one name to mind, that of Jose Ramirez, who went 12 strenuous rounds with Orozco and was unable to close the show. In fact Orozco had never been stopped until he met Ortiz, who barely old enough to drink conceivably one up’d a unified beltholder. In all it was Ortiz’s third win of the year.Earlier in 2019, Ortiz backed up both Canelo and Munguia, competing on their undercards. He was successful in orchestrating knockouts each time. The knockouts have been rolling in for Ortiz ever since turning professional. Yet to go to the cards since his amateur days. He sparked Jesus Vargas in February. Valdez, of Mexico, had only been stopped once before in almost 30 fights. Months later, Ortiz’s opponent was better known, one Mauricio Herrera, who had previously never come unstuck in his lauded career. Ortiz changed that with a right cross from hell that ended Herrera’s night in the third round. This one of the division’s most avoided boxers for having outboxed Danny Garcia, Jose Benavidez Jr. and others, slumped in under nine minutes by a kid.Technically Ortiz was an adult, just 18, when Golden Boy Promotions picked him up—opting for De la Hoya over Top Rank who also had immense interest. His talent would soon match the hype surrounding his remarkable ammy record of 140-20. Ortiz linked up with Robert Garcia by 2018. And his first fight training out of Oxnard was on national TV, where he took apart former titlist Jose Carlos Salgado.For Ortiz’s prodigious ways, a fight with Solomon may seem like a step backwards from a tested warrior like Orozco. After all the American Solomon is unranked and relatively inactive, fighting just twice since the Spring of 2016. However a close examination of his record reveals the fruits to bear for Ortiz if he can impose real punishment onto his older opponent. Solomon, 36, is probably best known for his appearance on the star-studded undercard in support of Manny Pacquiao’s third engagement with Tim Bradley, battling the touted Konstantin Ponomarev. The welterweight out of Georgia had climbed his way out of the regional ranks, defeating a handful of names that do not look so bad in hindsight: divisional spoiler Ray Robinson, network drudge Freddy Hernandez, former title contender Demetrius Hopkins, and PBC’s resident brawler Adrian Granados.Never knocked out, the only loss to Solomon’s name came that night to Ponomarev, by split-decision. He racked up a few rounds early on. And while he was severely outworked down the stretch, he utilized a brand of awkward positioning to stick his man with some hard shots.Most recently, Solomon took part in the Sulaiman World Invitational welterweight tournament. In the opening round he got off the canvas against Belfast popularizer Paddy Gallagher to win on points. Too bad that was 19 months ago because while Solomon waited for the tourney to continue, the operation ultimately collapsed. Closer to 40 than 30 now, Solomon’s time has passed. His duty to the sport is of a stern test to its hottest up-and-comer.Championship castaways and championship hopefuls fill undercardSquash matches are nothing strange for boxers and Alberto Machado (21-2, 17 KO) is taking advantage of the concept. Coming off two disastrous losses, dropping his championship belt in the process, the Puerto Rican sharpshooter is taking on former Olympian Luis Porozo (14-1, 7 KO) in desperate need of a win.Machado could use a pick-me-up after two beatings from Andrew Cancio. He entered their first fight having twice defended his super featherweight strap and was a huge favorite to spin a third. Listed as high as -2000 to retain his title, Machado found out Cancio had his own plans and punched holes into the defending champion’s midsection en route to a fourth-round knockout. The two did it again and the results only got worse for Machado, this time losing in the third period. He’s wise not to waste anymore time on the sidelines, embarking on his third fight of the year. The weekend also represents Porozo’s third bout of 2019. First, in May, he picked up a routine win over a palooka with a record of 8-3. Those were the kind of nobodies he ran up his perfect record against. So when Porozo next found himself fighting against a live body on ShoBox in American Giovanni Mioletti, he was seen outworked, visibly gassed, and despite his Olympic background, refused to employ a jab. Mioletti earned a clear decision victory.Further down the card, undefeated Canadian-transplant Erik Bazinyan (18-0, 7 KO) is back in action. His name was in the news a few months ago when the WBO positioned him to fight in a title eliminator for a shot at super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. But it never materialized as a shoulder injury kept him from the ring. So to shake the ring rust off, Bazinyan as a tuneup with Mexican veteran Saul Roman (45-13, 37 KO).Younger by over a decade, the 24-year-old Bazinyan entered the pro ranks off a remarkable amateur record, supposedly losing just once in 109 fights in headgear. He is a proud Armenian by birth before migrating to Canada and fighting through Montreal’s regional circuit. In May, Bazinyan got his first opportunity under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, when he faced another Mexican boxer, Alan Campa, and while he took a major welt on his head for his trouble he was ultimately awarded a wide unanimous decision victory.Roman took this fight on days notice. He picked up two knockouts this year against the lowest reaches of the talent pool—for example his last opponent had a record of 1-12. He is a serviceman of nearly 60 fights, plying his trade since the turn of the millennia—turning pro at welterweight, too boot. All told it is not likely Roman hears the final bell. The post Ortiz vs. Solomon Fight Preview appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

By: Sean CroseDiego De La Hoya was supposed to win when he stepped in between the ropes to face the 31-3 Ronny Rios last July in Carson, California. Instead, it was the 21-0 rising star out of Mexico that found himself stopped in the sixth round. Yet De La Hoya, a member of a royal boxing family if ever there was one, indicated he sees the loss as a positive. “With this loss,” he recently said to me over the phone, “I'm going to gain a lot of experience.” Like Anthony Joshua recently proved, a single defeat does not a career take. “I've learned a lot from this,” the 25 year old told me.De La Hoya returns to the ring this weekend when he takes on the 16-6 Renson Robles in his native Mexico. “I'm very happy,” De La Hoya said, “we're only days away from fighting in Mexicali.” With his single loss behind him, De La Hoya feels that “things will go well” when he faces Robles on Saturday. Although not a household name, Venezuela's Robles, who is on a three fight win streak, would clearly love to make his mark against a fighter as well known as De La Hoya, who shares his cousin Oscar's last name. “He's a very valiant fighter,” De La Hoya said of his foe. He's not lying. Although Robles has lost six fights, he'll be fighting for the fourth time this year this weekend – an oddity in the modern fight game for a boxer who isn't just starting to get his feet wet. “This is a fight,” De La Hoya told me, “that's been brewing for a while.” Not that he comes across as uneasy. When we spoke last week, De La Hoya had just finished up camp, and was sounding confident and energetic. Now entering his seventh year as a pro fighter, the former standout amateur is clearly eager to get back on track in the loaded featherweight division. De La Hoya has already bested the likes of Estrella Ruiz and Randy Caballero. With names like Warrington, Russell, Stevenson, and Frampton on the featherweight roster, the sky's the limit for any fighter on the rise. By fighting in his hometown this weekend, De La Hoya has the chance to impress. “They can believe in me,” he says of the local fans, indicating that he's a fighter who obviously believes in himself. The post Diego De La Hoya: “I’ve Learned A Lot” appeared first on BoxingInsider.com.

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