Deontay Wilder: "I like Joshua... But I'm confident I'll knock him out!"

  • By Behind The Gloves
  • 17 Aug, 2017

WBC World Heavyweight Champion Wilder Calls For Joshua Mega Fight

In the wake of Wladimir Klitschko’s recent retirement from boxing, WBC World Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder (38-0-0, 37 KO’s) has urged Eddie Hearn to strike a deal for a huge Las Vegas unification between the undefeated American and IBF/WBA ‘Super’ Champion Anthony Joshua (19-0-0, 19 KO’s).

In an interview with Michelle Joy Phelps of   Behind The Gloves , Wilder said of the proposed match-up: “ I was just putting out the idea: ‘Hey, it was going to be a megafight on November 11 in Vegas   [Joshua vs Klitschko II]   and we can still keep that date in Vegas. Let’s do it. The world is screaming for it   [Joshua vs Wilder] .”

Former unified Heavyweight king Klitschko had been pencilled in for a rematch with Britain’s Joshua, but the 41-year-old instead chose to hang up his gloves, leaving Joshua without an opponent and fans calling for a colossal bout between the two undefeated power-punchers.

However, the governing bodies were quick to pour cold water on any potential clash, with both the WBA and IBF ordering Joshua to face their respective mandatory challengers in Luis Ortiz and Kubrat Pulev.

Wilder had been scheduled to face former Champion Bermane Stiverne, in a rematch of their January 2015 contest – in which Wilder captured the title by resounding twelve-round unanimous decision – but ‘The Bronze Bomber’ appeared to disregard the Haitian-born contender, claiming that he feared for Stiverne’s safety should they meet in the ring for a second time.   “I’m not really worried about Stiverne. I really think Stiverne needs to fight someone else.”   Said Wilder. “ I’ve got great confidence that I am the hardest-hitting Heavyweight in the division. Stiverne trying to fight me after what I did to him in the first one   [fight] , putting him in the hospital for several days, gave him a concussion and him pissing blood and him almost losing his life. That’s something serious that should be taken into consideration.”   He added, referring to Stiverne’s stay in a Las Vegas hospital after suffering from serious dehydration in the aftermath of their WBC World title bout.

Wilder has turned his attention to IBF/WBA Super Champion Anthony Joshua, who stopped Ukrainian legend Wladimir Klitschko in April in one of the best Heavyweight title fights of recent years.

Wilder then turned his attention to British superstar Anthony Joshua, reiterating his confidence in inflicting a first professional defeat on the London 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist.   “That fight   [with Joshua]   would not go the distance. Both of us want the knockout: and I’m confident that I’ll be the one knocking him out.”   Wilder stated, before going on to praise Joshua. “ To be honest, I like Joshua. I like what he’s doing in his country. He’s winning and his country supports him fully and that’s a beautiful thing. And he’s a black man, so I love it.”   He continued.   “But there’s going to be a time when he’s going to have to face this black man over here in America   [Wilder]   and I’m going to overshadow some dreams, and it will be a knockout. This is what I’m confident about. But I don’t think Joshua is confident in himself facing me though. I really don’t.”   Wilder finished.

Despite his praise of Joshua, and apparent eagerness to step into the ring with the IBF/WBA ‘Super’ Champion, Wilder was in no doubt as to the reason that the fight had yet to happen, calling out Joshua’s promoter – Matchroom Boxing supremo Eddie Hearn – for a failure to come to an agreement for the fight. “ I don’t blame Joshua: I blame Eddie Hearn. Because Eddie knows what’s going to happen.”   He said.   “Eddie sees all of his fighters and he doesn’t want to get rid of the cash cow yet.”

When asked who he felt would command the greater share of the purse in negotiations for the money-spinning affair, Wilder was adamant about his own earning potential, stressing he felt the money should be split down-the-middle.   “I bring a lot to the table”   he said . “Whether people want to admit it or not. Of course he   [Joshua]   has the other belts, because of the opportunities that have been given to him. If you look at his resume, he ain’t fought nobody but one person   [Klitschko] .”   Wilder continued,   “At the end of the day, I want all of the belts and I will get all of the belts no matter how it may happen. He doesn’t bring no much more excitement than I bring. So it’s definitely 50-50.”

Wilder cut a frustrated figure when speaking about the criticism he has received for a perceived weak opposition since becoming Champion, but he left little doubt as to his feelings on his status in the division with an ominous warning to his potential opponent.   “These fights have not happened because of my opponents. Because of the other guy. It’s never been about me, it’s never been about my team. It’s been about the other side.”   He said.   “‘The Bronze Bomber’ is just plain and simple: don’t wait, make the date. This fight must happen. It’s gonna happen. There’s no way around it, and when it does happen: be ready.”   Wilder finished.

 

Please click below to listen to the full interview with Michelle Joy Phelps:

Article by: Rob Tebbutt

You can follow Rob on Twitter at: @RobTebbutt 

By Behind The Gloves 17 Nov, 2017

In just over three weeks’ time, boxing fans will be treated to a historic match-up. On December 9th in Madison Square Garden, New York, Vasyl ‘Hi-Tech’ Lomachenko will defend his WBO Super Featherweight title against Guillermo ‘El Chacal’ Rigondeaux; the first time in boxing history that two double Olympic gold medallists have faced each other in the professional ranks. 

The statistics attached to the impending matchup are impressive. Between them in the amateur ranks, the two pugilists went a mind-boggling 871 wins combined to only 13 losses. As professionals, they are multiple world title holders who share a combined record of 26 wins, 18 by way of knockout, with just a single loss. 

In view of the historical nature of the match-up and such figures, one would expect it to be one of the most heavily-hyped fights of the year. From Rigondeaux’s perspective: it has been anything but. 

Within the last 24 hours, Rigondeaux has taken to social media to express his dissatisfaction with what he perceives to be the under-promotion of the fight. Reading between the lines, it is a clear shot being fired at Bob Arum and Top Rank Promotions, the current promoters of Lomachenko and formerly of Rigondeaux, with whom he parted in 2014 in less than amicable circumstances. For Rigondeaux, the turning point was his decisive 2013 victory over the then-WBO Super Bantamweight Champion and '2012 Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year', Nonito Donaire, who he schooled in a fight which was far more one-sided than the scorecards suggested. Rigondeaux claims that Arum and Top Rank never forgave him for extinguishing the lights of one of the brightest stars in their stable. For Arum and Top Rank’s part, Rigondeaux’s defensive style of fighting made him a far more difficult sell to boxing audience, especially in comparison to the all-action style of the defeated 'The Filipino Flash'.

By Behind The Gloves 17 Nov, 2017

Carl Frampton returns to the ring at Belfast’s SSE Arena this Saturday, in what will be his debut under the guidance of new promoter Frank Warren and new trainer Jamie Moore. 'The Jackal' will be eager to close the book on a tumultuous period which saw him lose his WBA featherweight world title and have his homecoming bout cancelled at the eleventh hour, before going on to split from trainer Shane McGuigan and depart Barry McGuigan’s Cyclone promotions: all in the space of seven months.

With both camps remaining tight-lipped regarding the fall-out, little is known as to what triggered the Belfast fighters shock August split from the McGuigans. The news came on the heels of weeks of speculation surrounding Frampton’s future with the promotional outfit, triggered by the fighter's resignation from Cyclone’s board of directors on the 21st of July. 

The Belfast hero will be seeking to return to winning ways in his home city this weekend, having dropping a twelve round decision to Mexican three-weight World Champion Leo Santa Cruz in their Las Vegas rematch in January of this year. The disappointing reverse remains his last trip to the ring. 

In what will be his first non-title contest since April 2014, Frampton will look to unleash ten months of frustration upon featherweight contender Horacio Garcia, who faces the unenviable task of occupying the away corner in-front of a partisan crowd this Saturday. The Mexican enters the contest as a heavy underdog, with his thirty-seven fight record devoid of notable names barring 2012 US Olympian Joseph Diaz, to whom he succumbed to a lop-sided decision victory in December of last year. “Violento”, however, will be looking to seize the opportunity to enter the upper echelons of the 126 pound weight class with a shock-win over one of the division's elite, forcing himself into title contention for 2018.

In Frampton, Garcia will face a fighter who has appeared reinvigorated of late, having rediscovered his love of the sport in working with new trainer Jamie Moore. The former two-weight king joined Moore at his Manchester training base, initially on a trial basis, after his aforementioned split with Shane McGuigan earlier this year. Following a successful inauguration, the Northern Irishman decided he need look no further, and subsequently announced that he would resume his career with the former European 154 pound champ in his corner. In just two short months, fighter and trainer appear to have struck up an almost-instantaneous chemistry, with Frampton making all of the right noises as he bids to make a successful return to the ring.

After piecing together the final parts of his new team in the ensuing weeks - with announcements that he had signed with boxing management outfit MTK as well as Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren - Frampton returns to the sport with a renewed sense of vigour, and will be hoping to recapture the form that made him 'Ring Magazine 2016 Fighter of the Year'.  

The move to the Warren stable opens up the possibility of future domestic clashes with both Josh Warrington and IBF World Featherweight Champion Lee Selby, with the latter scheduled to fight on the veteran promoter's December 9th card at the Copper Box Arena in London.

With a plethora of potential big fights on the horizon - both at home and across the Atlantic - the twenty-nine-year-old will look to put a stacked Featherweight division on notice with an emphatic victory over Horatio Garcia in front of his adoring public this weekend. 

Garcia will be joined at ringside by fellow Guadalajara native Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who will be hoping to see his Golden Boy stable-mate spring an upset victory. Most however, believe that Garcia would require the Mexican superstar to join him in the ring if he is to have a realistic chance of upsetting the local hero.

After proclaiming 2017 to be "the worst year of my career", Frampton has afforded himself every opportunity to ensure 2018 is, in fact, the exact opposite. While one would imagine sterner - and more lucrative - bouts are on the horizon, Frampton will undoubtedly have his eye fixed firmly on Horacio Garcia this weekend. With an adoring fanbase tuning in on an action-packed evening for Belfast boxing, Frampton will be keen to remind observers of the sport as to who the city's top dog is. 

'The Day of The Jackal' is Saturday evening, live on BT Sport and BoxNation...


Article by: Gareth Gonet

You can follow Gareth on Twitter at: @garethgonet

By Behind The Gloves 16 Nov, 2017

Emerging Super Bantamweight prospect Lucien Reid (7-0-0 4 KO's) has said he will challenge for titles at the beginning of 2018, after a ‘slow start’ since turning over in the professional ranks two years ago.

Reid - nicknamed ‘Lethal’ - established himself as a talented amateur, claiming a Senior ABA Elite 54kg title in 2013 and was a finalist at 56kgs the following year. Thus far as a pro, however, for reasons unknown to him, the East Londoner has struggled to gain momentum.

Following nearly one year of inactivity, Reid resumed his career when he returned to the ring to victorious against Michael Mooney in May, before beating Jose Aguilar in September on the undercard of former-stablemate Billy Joe Saunders' WBO World Middleweight title defence against Willie Monroe Jr. 

The 23 year-old looks to continue the reinvigoration process of his career on December 16th at the Brentwood Centre, where he will attempt to improve his record to 8-0 and put on another exciting show for the fans.

"I’ve got no opponent just yet, but I’ll be looking for a more game opponent and I’ll be boxing for titles early next year.” said Reid, in an exclusive interview with Behind The Gloves .

"I know I’m boxing for titles early next year. I’ve spoken to Adam [Booth] and he said when I had come off that long eleven month lay-off it wasn’t the right time to be going into hard fights. He wanted me to get more rounds underneath my belt and learn the trade more as we hadn’t been together that long."

Reid, who parted ways with his former trainer Peter Sims last November, is now - as mentioned previously - under the tutelage of esteemed and highly-respected coach Adam Booth, who he says says is having a massive influence in his corner.

”We’re starting to really bond and I’m really starting to take to the style." he stated. 

"He [Booth] wanted me to get more rounds, and December 16th we want a game opponent who is actually going to give me them: then when I fight for titles, I’ll know where my fitness is at over ten to 12 rounds."

By Behind The Gloves 16 Nov, 2017
Jono Carroll will be out to boost his World ranking when he fights for the vacant IBF Intercontinental Super-Featherweight title on Saturday’s big ‘Frampton Reborn’ fight card at Belfast’s SSE Odyssey Arena.

The undefeated Meath-based Dubliner (14-0) was set to clash with his old rival Declan Geraghty this weekend in a rematch of their dramatic 2014 tussle, which Carroll won via disqualification after a fiery four rounds.

However, Geraghty was forced to pull out of the bout last week due to a hand injury, leaving Carroll in search of a replacement opponent.

Mexican Humberto de Santiago (15-4-1) has answered the call and the pair will clash for the IBF stepping-stone strap and a top-15 world ranking this weekend, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

“I was gutted to hear Deco pulled out, but I wasn’t too surprised,”  said Carroll on his MTK stablemate and rival. “I never really thought he wanted the fight anyway.”

“But I’m buzzing to get another opponent sorted and to have the intercontinental  title on the line. It’ll help me jump up the rankings and get closer to that ultimate prize. I want a world title and this is just another rung on the ladder I have to climb.”

Limited remaining tickets for Frampton Reborn can be purchased via the SSE Arena Belfast Box Office, www.ssearenabelfast.com  and 028 9073 9074.

Source: Frank Warren PR [Press Release]
By Behind The Gloves 16 Nov, 2017

Throughout the years, boxing has seen many of its best known participants refuse to acknowledge their decline, instead stubbornly opting to remain in the sport well beyond their sell by date: more often ending in disaster than in glory.

Those in the boxing who reside outside of the ropes however, can enjoy a more substantial lifespan than the sports combatants. One such example is British Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren, who after almost forty years in the fight game is enjoying something of a career renaissance; in no small part due to the signing of his exclusive rights deal with broadcasting giant BT sport in November of last year. 

Throughout a stellar promotional career, the Londoner has been a leading player in the UK boxing market, having been responsible for promoting some of the sport’s most illustrious names including Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Prince Naseem Hamed. 

Warren would see his high standing in the UK market go largely unchallenged throughout the noughties, with main promotional rival Barry Hearn opting to scale down his involvement in boxing in order to focus on other sporting ventures. 

In 2011, the veteran promoters decision to leave Sky Sports for his own fledgling network BoxNation - coupled with the emergence of promotional upstart Eddie Hearn (son of the aforementioned Barry Hearn) - would bring an abrupt end to the dominance which Warren had enjoyed over the previous decade. The younger Hearn’s meteoric rise within the sport would see an exodus of top names from the Warren stable, including future world champions George Groves, Tony Bellew and James DeGale, all seemingly enticed by the effervescent Hearn’s bold plans for U.K. boxing.

Without the financial backing of a major broadcaster, the next five years would see Warren struggle to deliver major fights for his top fighters, who were failing to garner wider exposure: owing largely to the fact they were plying their trade exclusively on a subscription boxing channel, well beyond the view of the wider sporting public.

Throughout this period, Warren would lose out to Matchroom in the signing of several much sought after prospects, including 2012 Olympic gold medallists Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell. Warren would also watch from afar as his bitter-rival Hearn accomplished a landmark promotional feat, in selling out Wembley Stadium for the Froch vs Groves rematch in 2014. 

Evidently dismayed at losing his position atop the British boxing industry, the Queensberry boss would continually levy public criticism upon his younger rival at every opportunity. The subsequent discourse between the pair would result in a promotional cold war, akin to that seen across the Atlantic between Oscar De La Hoya and Top Rank supremo Bob Arum. The prospect of major inter-stable fights would resultantly enter the realms of fantasy, where it remains to this day. 

By Behind The Gloves 16 Nov, 2017
Paddy Barnes believes his elite amateur experience will be key when he takes to the ring on Saturday night at the SSE Odyssey Arena.

Belfast native Barnes features on a stacked undercard in support of his friend Carl Frampton, who returns to the ring in a headline featherweight bout against Mexico’s Horacio Garcia, live on BT Sport and BoxNation.

Barnes had hoped to defend his WBO European Flyweight title for the first time on the bill, but complications surrounding potential opponents has led to a change of plan and the three-time Olympian will instead fight for the WBO Intercontinental strap over 10 rounds as he bids to boost his World ranking.

Experienced Nicaraguan Eliecer Quezada(21-6-3) will be the man in the opposite corner and Barnes admits that he faces a tough test in only his fifth professional bout since turning over to the paid game last year.

“I’ve had a look at him [Quezada] and he’s very, very good,” said Barnes. “My original opponent fell through, so that’s changed everything. I was training for a small come-forward fighter and now I’m fighting a taller opponent, so that’s changed a lot.”

Quezada twice defeated compatriot Yader Cardoza, who pushed Jamie Conlan to a split decision last March. That marked Conlan’s last ring outing ahead of his first world-title shot against Filipino IBF Super-Flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas on Saturday night.

However, the 30-year-old Barnes – a two-time Olympic medallist and European amateur champion – insists that his amateur pedigree will stand to him this weekend.

“But in the amateurs you’re fighting different styles every day at major tournaments so I’m used to it. I haven’t thought too much about it, I don’t really mind, I’m just looking forward to the fight. I can’t wait, I’m very excited and I’m flying fit, so it should be a good night.”

Barnes is back in action just a few weeks after recording his fourth pro win in Edinburgh when he claimed a six-round points victory over Peruvian Juan Hinostroza.

“That helped me shake off the ring rust coming into this fight,” explained Barnes. “That’ll stand to me. It’s still a bit of a struggle to get the weight down, but I’ve been on a strict diet and I feel sharp and strong and fit.”

Limited remaining tickets for Frampton Reborn can be purchased via the SSE Arena Belfast Box Office, www.ssearenabelfast.com  and 028 9073 9074.

Source: Frank Warren PR
By Behind The Gloves 15 Nov, 2017

 In recent days, former lineal heavyweight champion of the world, Tyson Fury, released a video on social media of his pad workout at the Hatton Gym, as he continues to talk up a boxing comeback in the near future. Fury, of course, has not been seen in the ring since November 2015 when he sensationally dethroned Wladimir Klitschko on a famous night in Düsseldorf, Germany: rendered inactive by a combination of anti-doping and mental health issues. 

In that time, we have been subjected to a painfully predictable and, quite frankly, tiresome trend of Fury vacillating between announcing his permanent retirement from the sport and, alternatively, vowing a comeback to rival Muhammad Ali.

Let me make things clear from the outset: mental illness is a terrible affliction which I would not wish upon anyone. 

In this respect, Fury deserves our full sympathy and well wishes. The racism which he has been subjected to by members of the public on account of his Irish Traveller heritage is despicable and must be condemned unequivocally. Moreover, as a boxing purist, I regard him as a talented and heavily underrated exponent of the sweet science. In fact, I would favour a  mentally focussed  and  in-shape  Fury to outpoint current WBA 'Super' and IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, should the two ever meet in what would be a blockbuster domestic clash. It would, however, seem that we are still a long way away from both presumptions.

By Behind The Gloves 15 Nov, 2017

Unbeaten Irish star John Joe Nevin can’t wait to return to the ring on Friday 24th November and kick-start his career as aims to make 2018 his year.

The 2012 Olympic Silver medallist has his first fight in Britain as a professional at the Tolworth Recreation Centre on the undercard of female World Champion Pink Tyson, alongside Lenny Daws, hot prospect Yusuf Safa and many more.

Nevin is heralded as one of the most decorated amateur boxers ever with an illustrious record that reads: Double Olympian, 2012 Olympic Silver, 2 World Bronze, European and European Union Champion, 15 times All Ireland Champion; a staggering 255 amateur contests - of which 210 were Internationals - with just 15 losses.

The Mullingar ace has had various problems from physical, personal and promotional issues since turning professional, but the 29-year-old has put together a solid eight-fight unbeaten record that has seen him campaign in American and Ireland.

His last fight was on 26th August 2016 at the Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia when he defeated Jesus Lule, winning every round in the six-round contest. He was scheduled to fight in September this year, but medical licensing and opponent issues meant that that it had to be postponed.

However, Nevin is now thrilled to return to London where he celebrated the pinnacle of his amateur career by winning Olympic Silver alongside a standout Irish team that included Michael Conlan, Katie Taylor and Paddy Barnes.

“It’s fantastic to return to London where I’ve had so many amateur fights and great memories, but of course the highlight was lifting silver for myself and the Irish team, that is something I will never ever forget,” Said Nevin.

“The Irish team was packed with so many talented fighters like Michael, Katie and Paddy and they’re all doing amazing in the pros. I’ve had my troubles, but through all of that I’m proud to hold an undefeated record and there is so much ahead of me now,”

“I feel that in a way, the rest has made me stronger and maybe that is for the best. Remember, I had 255 amateur fights with almost all of those at a high level over 20 years and I’ve had no real breaks, so now I feel strong again and I just can’t wait,”

Nevin will step up to super-lightweight and take on Killamarsh’s Lee Connelly over six-rounds at the Tolworth Recreations Centre and then look for some big fights next year."

He added, “I wanted a heavier opponent and to get some more rounds in and I didn’t want someone who was going to tumble over so boxing at super-lightweight is where I see myself being most effective from now on,”

“I’m in the gym every day with my trainer Jim McDonnell, he’s a tremendous coach and along with his sons they form a top team and now it is up to me to become a champion,”

“For now I’m focusing on the 24th November and then looking at a big 2018 when I know some exciting opportunities are going to come my way. Long term the aim is to become a world champion and I believe I can do that.”

Female World Champion Pink Tyson, real name Kallia Kourouni, from Sparta, Greece, headlines the show, promoted by Hennessy Sports in association with Joey Pyle and John Edwards.

Morden’s favourite fighting son, “Lightning” Lenny Daws makes his long awaited return to the ring. Daws looks to return to winning ways as he targets a third shot at the European Super-Lightweight crown and win it for a third time following his close attempt in February this year against Anthony Yigit.

Undefeated Bexleyheath Super-Featherweight prospect Yusuf Safa returns to action following his win on the Hughie Fury-Joseph Parker undercard and aims to target his first professional title shortly.

Two-time Olympian John Joe Nevin from Mullingar, Ireland, has his first in Britain as the supremely talented 28-year-old continues to build on his unbeaten record.

Heading up an exciting undercard will be: Iver Heavyweight Naylor Ball; Mitcham Super-lightweight Cheznie Hawkins; Farnborough’s George Lamport, Camberley Lightweight Jonny Phillips; Chertsey Lightweight Tony Vincent makes his highly-anticipated professional debut and Mitcham Super-lightweightZahayr Al Quahtani.

 

For tickets information, contact Joe Pyle on 07572733339  or John Edwards on 07883317538 .

Doors open at 5:30pm with boxing commencing at 6pm.


Source: Hennessy Sports [Press Release]

By Behind The Gloves 14 Nov, 2017
King's Promotions is deeply saddened at the passing of Desmond Hammond.

Hammond of Reading, Pennsylvania passed away on Monday morning at the age of 35. He was at his home and surrounded by his family.

Hammond was the Director of Operations for King's Promotions for the better part of the last three years. He was the nephew of King's Promotions CEO Marshall Kauffman.

"This is such a sad day for my family and for everyone who knew Desmond," said Kauffman.

"Desmond was like a son to me. He is my sister's son, and he is basically the same age as my children so we are extremely close. Desmond came to boxing just a few years ago and he picked up the business so fast. We have run more shows then anybody in the country, and they all have come off so smoothly. That was because of Desmond. He was on top of every detail, which made the events go off without a hitch. But most of all he was very selfless and caring. He was always there for someone in need. He was a great young man, who was very smart, and he was always joking. It was such an honor for me to have him on board with King's Promotions. He was such a special person who was loved and will be missed so much."

Besides Kauffman and his family, Hammond is survived by his mother Sheri Clark, sisters Lynchel Hammond and Raven Hammond, brother Steven Brandon, his daughter Dayana, newborn son Donovan and his girlfriend Alisha.

The Viewing will be held next Monday, November 20th between 9 am and 11 am at St. John Baptist Church, 436 South 7th Street, Reading, Pa.19602

Flowers and gifts can be sent by clicking this link

Source: King's Promotions [Press Release]
By Behind The Gloves 14 Nov, 2017

Top Rank on ESPN  will kick off its 2018 season with a sensational Super Bowl weekend world championship event. GILBERTO "Zurdo" RAMÍREZ , Mexico's super middleweight champion with the matinee idol looks, defending his world title.  Ramírez (36-0, 24 KOs), from Mazatlan, Mexico, will make his third defense of his World Boxing Organization (WBO)  super middleweight title against Top-Five world-rated contender HABIB "Wild Hurricane" AHMED (22-0, 17 KOs) from Accra, Ghana.  The fight will take place on Saturday, February 3,at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, TX, and will be televised live and exclusively at 10:30 p.m. EST on ESPN  and   ESPN Deportes  and stream   live   on the  ESPN App.       

Ramírez and Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum  will announce the fight at a  press conference on Thursday, November 16,at 11 a.m. CST, in the Henry Garrett Ballroom C, located inside the American Bank Center(1901 North Shoreline Blvd., Corpus Christie, TX 78401).  

Promoted by Top Rank ®, in association with Zapari Boxing Promotions, ticketsto the Ramírez-Ahmed world championship event will go on sale This Thursday, November 16,at 10 a.m. CST-- the perfect fistivus holiday gift for your favorite boxing fan!  Priced at $152, $102, $62, $42, and $27, including facility fees, tickets may be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com , at the American Bank Center Box Office, Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT, or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

"Gilberto Ramirez has proven that he is the best of the super middleweights  All you have to do is look at his world championship victories against Arthur Abraham and Jesse Hart," said Arum.  "Gilberto has quickly become the face of boxing on both sides of the border.

“Habib Ahmed is an undefeated fighter with a good knockout record.  He is fighting outside of his home country for the first time and that makes him a very dangerous fighter,’ said Ramírez.  “He knows that he has a great opportunity in front of him.  I’m going to train even harder than for my last title defense.  I think this will be a very good fight.  My world title and our undefeated records will be on the line.  I’m very motivated and focused on defending and retaining my title for the third time against a good opponent.  I want to show the world why I’m the champion in the super middleweight division.”

“I have an important message for Gilberto Ramirez,” said Ahmed.  “I am coming to America to take your title.  I am going for the knockout.  All of Ghana and all of my fans are going to be so proud, so happy.  This is the opportunity I always wanted.  I am taking Ramirez’s title with me to my homeland.”

Ramírez, a two-fisted super middleweight wrecking machine, made history in the co-main event to the Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley welterweight pay-per-view on April 9, 2016, when he became México's first fighter to win a super middleweight world title.  Entering the fight as the top world-rated contender, Ramirez gave a virtuoso performance over the defending WBO champion Arthur Abraham, a-three-time world champion in his own right..  All three judges scored it as a 120-108 blitzkrieg.  "I took him to Méxican boxing school," a jubilant Ramírez boasted as he put on the world championship belt .  A sensational young champion, Ramírez had been scheduled to make his first title defense in July 2016, but a training camp injury to his right hand followed by surgery and rest sidelined him for the remainder of the year.  He returned to the ring on April 22, winning a unanimous decision over Top-10 contender and one-time world title challenger Max "Tiger" Bursak and followed that up with another impressive unanimous decision victory, this time over undefeated No. 1 contender and mandatory challenger Jesse "Hard Work" Hart  on September 22.

A former Ghanaian super middleweight champion, Ahmed has won eight of his last nine fights by knockout, including the six-bout victory-by-knockout streak he is currently enjoying.  In his most recent fight, on March 17, Ahmed stopped Philip Kotey in the 11th round to capture the vacant WBO Africa super middleweight title.  This will not only be Ahmed's U.S. debut, it will be his first professional fight outside his native Ghana.


For more information visit:   www.toprank.com , www.espn.com/boxing ; Facebook: facebook.com/trboxing ,   facebook.com/trboxeo , facebook.com/espndeportes ; Twitter: twitter.com/trboxing , twitter.com/trboxeo , @ESPN   @ESPNBoxeo  

@ESPNDeportes .


Source: Top Rank [Press Release]

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