Art Hovhannisyan wants to put on show Friday in main event at Belasco Theater

Art Hovhannisyan addresses reporters at this week’s media workout in Los Angeles/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions


If Art Hovhannisyan of Glendale stays true to his credo, fans could be in for a good time when he takes on Diego Magdaleno in the junior welterweight main event Friday at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles (on Estrella TV).

“I started my boxing career when I was 12, and was inspired by my favorite boxer, Mike Tyson,” Hovhannisyan said. “I’m the type of fighter that loves to put on a show in the ring.”

Hovhannisyan could have his hands full with Magdaleno, a southpaw out of Las Vegas who is 29-2 with 12 knockouts.

“… I have watched him fight a few times,” Hovhannisyan said. “I know what I have to do in the ring to earn the victory.”

Magdaleno is the older brother of Jessie Magdaleno, who Nov. 5 will challenge Nonito Donaire for his super bantamweight title on the undercard of the Jessie Vargas-Manny Pacquiao welterweight title fight at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95.

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Bernard Hopkins will decipher recent fights of Golovkin, Canelo on Wednesday’s episode of ‘The Fight Game with Jim Lampley’

Gennady Golovkin lands a punch to the chest of Kell Brook during their Sept. 10 fight in England/Associated Press photo by Nick Potts


Future Hall of Fame fighter Bernard Hopkins on Wednesday night will decipher the recent performances of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and now-junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on the next “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley,” on HBO.

Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) on Sept. 10 stopped Kell Brook in the fifth round of their title fight in England. A week later, Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) knocked out Liam Smith in the ninth round in Arlington, Texas. Boxing fans remain hopeful Golovkin and Alvarez will tangle next September.

There will also be a feature on manager Egis Klimas, who manages light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.




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Rancho Cucamonga’s Daniel Franco will look to get ranked when he tangles with Jose Haro in Washington D.C.


Daniel Franco, left, will take on Jose Haro on Nov. 10 in Washington D.C./Photo courtesy of


Daniel Franco is not yet ready for the big time. But the featherweight prospect from Rancho Cucamonga is definitely looking to get there, and next month he’ll try to take another step in that direction.

Franco (14-0-3, 9 KOs) on Nov. 10 will tangle with Jose Haro (13-1-1, 7 KOs) of West Jordan, Utah, at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C.

A minor title will be on the line.

“Jose and I have been on a crash course for the last year and I’m glad we can finally settle this in the ring with a title and a world ranking at stake,” said Franco, 24. “My goal is to become a world champion and this opportunity for fight for a top-15 world ranking is the next crucial step.”


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Petr Petrov, a 16-year veteran, earns his second shot at major world title


Petr Petrov, right, lands a punch to the face of Michael Perez/Photo by Kyte Monroe, Banner Promotions


Petr Petrov of Russia has been a professional boxer for nearly 16 years, but he has never held a major world title. Petrov should now get his second opportunity to fight for one.

Petrov on Friday night stopped Michael Perez (24-2-2) of Newark, N.J., after six rounds of their lightweight main event slated for 12 rounds at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio. It was a title-elimination bout, which means Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs) could get a shot at WBA champion Jorge Linares.

“This victory is what I have been working for, to be so close to a world title shot,” said Petrov, 33. Petrov previously fought for a super lightweight world title, but was stopped in the fourth round by Marcos Maidana in September 2011.

Petrov’s promoter, Artie Pelullo of Banner Promotions,  liked what he saw.

“Petr looked sensational,” Pelullo said. “He has been getting better every fight, and this is the best he has looked. He has really earned his title opportunity. … Now we will look to make the WBA world title bout as quickly as possible.”
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Andre Ward’s preparation for a fight is unmatched, trainer Virgil Hunter says

Andre Ward celebrates his lopsided unanimous decision over Alexander Brand in August at Oracle Arena in Oakland/Associated Press photo by Eric Risberg


Training camp can be a grind. But Andre Ward of Oakland seems to embrace it.

Ward on Nov. 19 will challenge Sergey Kovalev of Russia for his three light heavyweight championship belts at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). Ward on Monday officially began training camp for the biggest fight of his career, but his head was already there.

“I’ve been in pre-camp mode for weeks now following my last fight, and have been mentally preparing for the work ahead of me,” said Ward, who will train in Hayward. “It’s an exciting feeling to be in full camp mode, where I can dedicate 100% of my mind, body and soul to the battle I am about to face. This is a fight that we have been working up to since last spring. The game plan hasn’t changed. I am here and I am ready.”

Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, said this attitude is what separates Ward from others.

“No one beats Andre Ward when it comes to training camp,” Hunter said. “We’re going into camp with the mentality of ‘Another day, another fight, another win.’ His strive for perfection, work ethic and consistency is what makes him a champion.”

Ward, a former super middleweight champion, is 32. He is 30-0 with 15 knockouts. Kovalev, 33, is 30-0-1 with 26 knockouts.





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Frank Espinoza believes Oscar Valdez could move up to as high as lightweight

Oscar  Valdez

Oscar Valdez/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


Making a splash in more than one weight class is popular is this day and age. Apparently, Oscar Valdez of Mexico is no different. Valdez on Nov. 5 will make the first defense of his featherweight world title when he takes on Hiroshige Osawa of Japan underneath the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas welterweight title fight at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95). But there is no telling how long Valdez will remain at 126 pounds.

“I think he is going to move up when it’s time,” said Valdez’s manager, Frank Espinoza. “I think his body will tell us when he’s ready to move up. But, yeah, I see him going to 130 (junior lightweight), 135 (lightweight). He still has youth on his side; we’ve got time.”

Interestingly, Espinoza said Valdez, 25, recently discussed a different idea with him.

“He’s even telling me, ‘What do you think? What about making 122?’ ” Espinoza said. “I go, ‘I don’t know. Can you really do that?’ But he’s a comfortable 126. So right now we’re enjoying the ride right here at 126. When it comes time to move up, we’ll talk and then
we’ll move him up.”

Valdez is 20-0 with 18 knockouts. Osawa, 31, is 30-3-4 with 19 knockouts.

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Jessie Magdaleno looks for first title, but will have hands full with Nonito Donaire

Jessie Magdaleno

Jessie Magdaleno/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


World-class boxer Jessie Magdaleno was born in Pomona, but he moved away at age 4 and has since called Las Vegas home.

“Vegas, it’s been good to me,” Magdaleno said. “It’s been a great city and I just have so many kid memories from there.”

It is therefore appropriate that Magadaleno will fight for his first world title in his backyard. He’ll challenge Nonito Donaire for his super bantamweight belt on the undercard of the Manny Pacquiao-Jessie Vargas welterweight title fight Nov. 5 at Thomas & Mack Center.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me,” Magdaleno said this week at an L.A. news conference.

That’s for sure. Donaire, of San Leandro via the Philippines, has won world titles in four weight classes. He’s more than likely going to one day be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Nevertheless, the undefeated Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) speaks in undaunted tones about this shot.

“It’s a big challenge for me, but like I tell everybody, I have this vision and I feel like my age and my speed and my power is really going to overcome him,” Magdaleno said. “I take nothing from him. He’s a great fighter. He’s accomplished what he’s accomplished in the sport.

“But I believe it’s time there’s a new champion and I believe it’s me.”

Magdaleno, a southpaw, is just 24. Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) is 33 and has been in plenty of ring wars. Frank Espinoza, Magdaleno’s West Covina-based manager, intimated his fighter has to go hard all the way through to take full advantage of his youth.

“We’ve gotta look to go all 12 rounds and wear him down because we are the younger fighter,” Espinoza said. “I think it’s his time and I believe Jessie Magdaleno is going to become a world champion Nov. 5.”

For Donaire, he’s stoked about fighting on the same card as Pacquiao for the first time. He also likes where his head is at, and he figures that’s bad news for Magdaleno.

“Most of all, I’m very excited for the mind-set that I have,” he said. “The person that’s within this ring, that’s going to be in that ring is a man who’s a king. And whoever steps in that ring, it’s my ring.”

This card will be available on Top Rank pay-per-view for $59.95.

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Vasyl Lomachenko, Nicholas Walters set for what could be Nov. 26 barnburner

Vasyl Lomachenko

Vasyl Lomachenko/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.


When talk of a fight between super featherweights Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters began, the thought of it happening was enticing because these two guys are both mean hombres in the ring.

Well, an accord for the fight came to fruition Wednesday and the two will square off Nov. 26 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (on HBO).

Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs), of Ukraine, will be looking to make the first defense of the super featherweight world title he won from Roman “Rocky” Martinez via 5th-round knockout in June in New York City.

Lomachenko, who has also won a title at featherweight, said he’s stoked to be getting the opportunity “to test myself in the fight with the best.”

Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs), a former featherweight champion who lost his belt on the scales prior to what would have been his fourth defense – against Miguel Marriaga – had a similar reaction.

“Any fighter can be knocked out no matter who he is,” said Walters, of Jamiaca. “I like fighting the best and I like fighting against great technical fighter like Lomachenko. Look at what happened when I fought a great technical fighter like Nonito Donaire. Lomachenko is great, he knows what he is doing in the ring.  But I always look for a knockout against whomever I fight.  If I can do it quick, I will.  This is the best fight out there in boxing today. It will be the Fight of the Year.”

Walters stopped Donaire in the sixth round of a featherweight title fight in October 2014 at StubHub Center in Carson.


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Cuban Yordenis Ugas dedicates win to late Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez

Yordenis Ugas punches to the body of Bryant Perrella on Tuesday in New Mexico/Photo by Jane Phillips, Premier Boxing Champions


Yordenis Ugas of Cuba may have three defeats, but he’s starting to make some noise in the welterweight division. Ugas on Tuesday night stopped previously undefeated Bryant Perrella in the fourth round at Buffalo Thunder Casino in Pojoaque, N.M.

It’s the second consecutive undefeated welterweight Ugas has beaten since his move up from junior welterweight. Ugas won a unanimous decision over Jamal James in August; James was 20-0.

Ugas (17-3, 8 KOs) decked Perrella (14-1, 13 KOs), of Fory Myers, Fla., in the first and fourth rounds.

Afterward, Ugas said he dedicated the victory to fellow Cuban Jose Fernandez, the late Miami Marlins pitcher who was killed Sunday in a boating accident.

“The right hand was there early and all night long,” Ugas said. “I was able to land it from the beginning. Then I went to the body. Before I left my corner to start the fight, I said a prayer for Jose, and for sure that was my motivation. I felt his spirit throughout the fight.”


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Longtime promoter Bob Arum shoots down foolish notion that boxing is dead


Bob Arum/Getty Images file photo


Longtime promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday played host to a news conference in Los Angeles to formally announce the undercard for the Nov. 5 welterweight title fight between champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95).

Not one to miss an opportunity, Arum closed the proceedings by talking about how alive and well boxing is – contrary to what some think. It wasn’t long ago that an L.A.-area columnist (not from this newspaper) who doesn’t even cover boxing said boxing was dead.

“Boxing not only isn’t dead, but it’s on the cusp of a great resurgence,” Arum said on the dais at the Conga Room. “You have all of these great, young fighters from the United States, from Mexico and from all around the world who are coming to the world stage.”

While pondering that, just think of all the terrific fighters not from the U.S. or Mexico making a big splash here these days. We’re talking the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, Sergey Kovalev, Kell Brook and Carl Frampton to name just five.

“We are on the cusp of really a time in boxing where people all around the world will join together to watch our great athletes perform,” Arum said.

The main undercard fight for Pacqjuiao-Vargas will have Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) of San Leandro via the Philippines defending his super bantamweight belt against Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) of Las Vegas.

Also, newly crowned featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (20-0, 18 KOs) of Mexico will defend his title against Hiroshige Osawa (30-3-4, 19 KOs) of Japan.

Finally, Zou Shiming (8-1, 2 KOs) of China and Prasitsak Papoem (39-1-2, 24 KOs) of Thailand will duke it out for a vacant flyweight world title.


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