Vasyl Lomachenko, left, goes after Rocky Martinez during their super featherweight title fight in June 2016 at Madison Square Garden/Associated Press photo by Frank Franklin II
Champion Vasyl Lomachenko and challenger Miguel Marriaga on Friday successfully made weight for their super featherweight title fight Saturday at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles (on ESPN).
Lomachenko weighed in at the 130-pound limit and Marriaga came in at 129.8.
Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs), of Ukraine, will be looking to make the third successful defense of the title he won with a fifth-round knockout of Rocky Martinez in June 2016. Marriaga, of Colombia, is 25-2 with 21 knockouts.
Raymundo Beltran is introduced ahead of his fight against lightweight champion Ricky Burns in September 2013. The bout ended in a draw/Photo by Getty Images
Raymundo Beltran’s quest to obtain a green card has been ongoing, and has made for a fine story. But he is going to fight Bryan Vasquez on Saturday in the lightweight semi-main event at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, so he has to make sure he concentrates on that as well.
He assured reporters he was doing just that during a conference call Monday.
“He is a very tough opponent,” Beltran, of Mexico, said of Vasquez, of Costa Rica. “I know he is going to fight. We both have different goals. He’s got a big opportunity to fight me and I have a big challenge in front of me.
“My focus is also on the title and also on the green card situation, which is my big motivation to win the fight. He is a good fighter and I want to impress the people and I just can’t wait to get in the ring. But I am very confident by the way it is going in the gym and my mind is 100 percent right now.”
Beltran (33-7-1, 21 KOs) and Vasquez (35-2, 19 KOs) will tangle for a regional title underneath the super featherweight world-title fight between champion Vasyl Lomachenko and Miguel Marriaga (on ESPN).
Terence Crawford, left, lands a left cross on Viktor Postol during their title-unification bout in July 2016 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Crawford won a wide decision/AP photo by Chase Stevens
Junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford and Felix Diaz on Friday successfully made weight for their showdown Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).
Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs), of Omaha, Neb., weighed in at 139.2 pounds. Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, weighed 139.4; the limit is 140.
Manny Pacquiao, right, lands a left cross to the chest of Jessie Vargas during their welterweight title fight in November/Photo by Gene Blevins
Top Rank Inc. on Monday formally announced the welterweight title fight between champion Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn. They will tangle July 1 at Suncorp Stadium in Horn’s native Australia. (It will be July 2 in Australia, which is 17 hours ahead of California).
According to a news release, promoters are expecting a crowd of 55,000. Details on how it will distributed on television are forthcoming.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) most recently fought Nov. 5, when he took Jessie Vargas’ title via unanimous decision at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) is the No. 2 contender to Pacquiao’s title, but he has not fought anyone of note. He did stop former champion Randall Bailey after seven rounds a year ago this month, but Bailey was 41 at the time. At 29, Horn is nine years Pacquiao’s junior. His 17 bouts have been in either Australia or New Zealand.
Suffice to say, Horn will be getting most of the fan support, being the bout will be in his backyard.
“Manny knows who will be the crowd favorite on July 1, but he can’t wait to give Australia and the world a great performance,” Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, said. “It’s going to be unbelievable event.”
Manny Pacquiao/AP, Las Vegas Sun photo by Steve Marcus
Even though Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan both tweeted over the weekend that they will tangle with each other April 23, it is not official.
Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s longtime promoter, has to sign off on any Pacquiao fight and he has not done that as of yet, according to BoxingScene.com
“No,” was Arum’s response, when asked if the deal is done.
Arum said he will be meeting with Pacquiao’s adviser, Michael Koncz, on Tuesday.
Keep in mind that Pacquiao had previously said he would next fight Jeff Horn of Australia.
Vasyl Lomachenko celebrates after defending his super featherweight title with a 7th-round TKO of Nicholas Walters on Saturday in Las Vegas/Associated Press photo by John Locher
Making a fighter like Nicholas Walters quit is ultra-impressive. That’s what Vasyl Lomachenko did Saturday when Walters did not answer the bell for the eighth round of their super featherweight title fight at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Did Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) make his case for best pound-for-pound fighter in the world? Perhaps. The two-division champion wants that recognition.
“I had my plan,” said Lomachenko, of Ukraine. “I knew it would take four rounds and then I went to work on him. Walters said he would do this and that he would do that throughout training camp, and in the end, he just quit. I would like to fight (fellow super featherweight champion) Francisco Vargas next. My goal is to be the No. 1 pound for pound fighter.”
Prior to the fight, The Ring had Lomachenko No. 7 in its pound-for-pound rankings. With his tremendous performance Saturday, it figures he’ll move up. Heck, it would be difficult to say any other fighter should be ranked ahead of him.
Vasyl Lomachenko, left, lands a punch to the head of Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez during the fourth round of their super featherweight title fight in June at Madison Square Garden. Lomachenko won via 5th-round TKO/Associated Press photo by Frank Franklin II
As good as Vasyl Lomachenko is, as much as his promoter Bob Arum touts him as the greatest he’s seen since a young Muhammad Ali, Lomachenko knows he is in for a real nasty time of it Saturday when he defends his super featherweight belt against hard-hitting Nicholas Walters. The two will square off at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (on HBO).
“This is a very important bout for me because many boxing experts and many people in boxing rank Walters as the highest-rated fighter in our division,” Lomachenko said. “He is a very hard puncher and a very good boxer and for me it’s a very important thing to me to fight the best and it’s very important for me because everyone says he is a very good fighter.”
As for the Ali comparison, here’s what Arum told reporters during a conference call: “I would like to say this; that Vasyl Lomachenko is technically the best fighter that I have seen since the early Muhammad Ali. There is nobody that I have seen, and there have been a lot of great technical fighters that I have seen – Alexis Arguello was one, Floyd Mayweather certainly, Manny Pacquiao – but there has been nobody with the skills that Vasyl Lomachenko has.”
Lomachenko, of Ukraine, is 6-1 with four knockouts. The two-time Olympic gold-medal winner has also held a major world title in the featherweight division.
Walters, of Jamaica, is 26-0-1 with 21 knockouts.
Vasyl Lomachenko will defend his title Saturday against Nicholas Walters in Las Vegas/Photo by Stephen Dunn, Getty Images
Vasyl Lomachenko (6-1, 4 KOs) of Ukraine on Saturday night at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas will put his super featherweight world title on the line against Nicholas Walters (26-0-1, 21 KOs), a mean, hard-hitting hombre from Jamaica.
Not only does this fight have tremendous potential for great excitement, it could be absolutely vicious.
Promoter Bob Arum explained the reasoning during a conference call Monday.
“Well, they call Walters the ‘Axe Man’ for a reason,” Arum said. “I mean, he searches and destroys, you know, he’s a tremendous puncher. And he’s in with a technician who has enormous ability in boxing not only defensively, but offensively. So I mean, this is a
can’t miss fight and I want people to realize that not only do I believe that it will be a Fight of the Year candidate, I believe that if Vasyl Lomachenko is successful, he should be right up there in the consideration for Fighter of the Year.”
Jessie Vargas works with trainer Dewey Cooper/Photo by Gene Blevins
Jessie Vargas is a welterweight world champion, but he’s not exactly a household name even though he’s from Las Vegas, the fight capital of the world. If he beats Manny Pacquiao on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, that will change.
“It would definitely put me on the worldwide stage, make me that boxing star that I have been looking forward to being,” Vargas said. “I have been waiting for this for a long time and I’m glad it’s here and I am going to take advantage of it.
“The only fighters to beat Manny Pacquiao have become legends themselves. So I plan to become one of the few to beat Manny Pacquiao and also become one of the legends.”
Bob Arum, whose Top Rank Inc. is producing the ($59.95) pay-per-view feed for the card, promotes both fighters. He agrees Vargas could alter how he is viewed by the boxing world.
“He becomes not just a champion, but a superstar,” Arum said. “I will deny to him that I said that because I will have to negotiate his next fight (laughing). He would be a superstar, there is no question about that, if he were to beat Manny Pacquiao. He has a hell of a shot to do that.”
Pacqujiao, 37, is 58-6-2 with 38 knockouts. Vargas, 27, is 27-1 with 10 knockouts.
Manny Pacquiao poses with Sylvester Stallone on Saturday at Wild Card gym in Hollywood/Photo courtesy of Miguel Salazar
Manny Pacquiao received a visit from a rather famous fictional fighter on Saturday at Wild Card gym in Hollywood. It was none other than Sylvester Stallone of “Rocky” fame.
The two posed for pictures after Pacquiao finished sparring in preparation for his challenge to welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on Saturday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view).
Pacquaio (58-6-2, 38 KOs) is hopeful he and Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) can put on a heck of a show.
“My first concern is for the fans; that the people who are going to watch the fight will be happy and satisfied,” Pacquiao said. “I want this to be a fight for fans to remember.”