Notebook: Shakur heads home for lightweight eliminator vs. Yoshino
'Zurdo' return set against Rosado; iFL TV appearance; Tszyu-Harrison site update; Quick hits; poster milestone in show and tell
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Former featherweight and unified junior lightweight titlist Shakur Stevenson will fight Shuichiro Yoshino in a WBC lightweight title eliminator on April 8, Top Rank announced, having finalized a bout that had been expected.
The fight will headline a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN tripleheader (10 p.m. ET) and take place at Prudential Center in Stevenson’s hometown of Newark, New Jersey. It will be Stevenson’s second fight in a row there.
It was site of his decision win over Robson Conceicao in September, when Stevenson (19-0, 9 KOs), 25, failed to make weight and was stripped of his unified 130-pound titles. Now Stevenson will make his official debut at 135 pounds.
“I am taking over the lightweight division and my run will start on April 8 in Newark,” Stevenson said. “Shuichiro Yoshino is an undefeated fighter who was willing to step up and fight me when so many fighters were scared. My last fight at the Prudential Center was just the start of what I’m building in Jersey. We are going to pack the Prudential Center again and show the world who the future of boxing really is.”
Yoshino (16-0, 12 KOs), 31, of Japan, has scored notable wins in his last two fights, stopping Masayoshi Nakatani in the sixth round in November and winning by 11th-round technical decision over former junior lightweight titlist Masayuki Ito in April.
“I am very honored to be fighting in the U.S. for the first time,” Yoshino said. “I’m extremely focused and motivated. I’m looking forward to fighting the great two-division champion, Shakur Stevenson, in his hometown.”
The other televised fights will feature two of boxing’s elite prospects in 10-rounders against opponents to be determined: heavyweight Jared Anderson (13-0, 13 KOs), 23, of Toledo, Ohio, the 2021 Fight Freaks Unite prospect of the year, and lightweight Keyshawn Davis (7-0, 5 KOs), 23, of Norfolk, Virginia, the 2020 U.S. Olympic silver medalist and 2022 FFU prospect of the year.
Among those in preliminary action on ESPN+: Polish heavyweight prospect Damian Knyba (10-0, 6 KOs), 27, who recently signed with Top Rank, will box in an eight-rounder and Brooklyn, New York, featherweight Bruce “Shu Shu” Carrington (6-0, 3 KOs), 25, will be in a six-rounder.
‘Zurdo’ to face Rosado
Former super middleweight titlist and light heavyweight contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will return to headline a Golden Boy card on DAZN on March 18 (8 p.m. ET) at a site to be determined, Golden Boy announced on Tuesday.
But instead of facing a contender, Ramirez will face journeyman super middleweight Gabriel Rosado in a 12-rounder in which Ramirez will be a gargantuan favorite. The site is to be determined.
Ramirez (44-1, 30 KOs), 31, a Mexican southpaw, is coming off his first defeat, a lopsided decision in a mandatory shot at WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol on Nov. 5 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
“I’m glad to be back. I had a lot of time to reflect since my last fight and am looking forward to putting on a show against a very-game veteran like Gabe Rosado,” Ramirez said. “Just like everyone else, I have goals, dreams and aspirations to be on top and I feel more motivated today than ever. We may get knocked off our path, but my quest for greatness will never stop. I appreciate all the love from my fans and supporters and I promise to be back with vengeance.”
However, a win over Rosado (26-16-1, 15 KOs, 37, of Philadelphia, won’t mean much. Rosado has lost three fights in a row, four of his last five and five of his last seven at super middleweight and middleweight. Now he is moving up in weight.
“I have a great deal of respect for ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez,” Rosado said. “We’re friends, but come March 18, it’s all business. This is the kind of fight Gabriel Rosado shows up for! I will not let myself or the fans down.”
iFL TV appearance
I joined my friends at iFL TV to discuss the announcement that former two-time unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua will come off his back-to-back defeats to Oleksandr Usyk to fight Jermaine Franklin on April at The O2 in London on DAZN. We discussed the matchup and Joshua’s future in general. We also chatted about the long slog to try to get a fight between Tyson Fury and Usyk finalized. Check out the video here:
The Tim Tszyu-Tony Harrison fight for the vacant WBO interim junior middleweight title was always ticketed to take place in Tszyu’s home country of Australia. Now is it has a specific site.
The bout on March 12 (March 11 United States time) will take place at Qudos Bank Arena in Tszyu’s hometown of Sydney, promoter George Rose of No Limit Boxing on Tuesday.
The fight was made last month because Tszyu’s mandatory title shot against undisputed champion Jermell Charlo scheduled to take place on Jan. 28 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in the main event of a Showtime telecast was canceled after Charlo fractured his left hand in two places during a sparring session.
With Charlo due to be in a cast for two months, followed by rehabilitation and then another training camp, the WBO sanctioned the interim title bout with Charlo (35-1-1, 19 KOs), 32, of Houston, obligated to face the winner upon his return, which likely will be this summer.
Tszyu-Harrison will be on pay-per-view through Foxtel and Kayo Sports in Australia. There is no set U.S. broadcaster, although it could land on Showtime, which has featured both fighters.
Tszyu (21-0, 15 KOs), 28, the son of Hall of Fame former undisputed junior welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu, and former titleholder Harrison (29-3-1, 21 KOs), 32, of Detroit, who is the only man to defeat Charlo, met at a news conference on Tuesday with Tszyu on site in Sydney and Harrison in attendance via satellite.
“Tim Tszyu is the undisputed superstar of Australian boxing and I am delighted he gets to fight for his very first world title in front of his incredible hometown fans in Sydney,” Rose said. “Tony Harrison is Tim’s toughest test by a mile and he will no doubt be ready to bring his very best on what I expect to be a tough day down under for him.”
Heavyweight prospect Richard Torrez Jr. (5-0, 5 KOs), 23, the 2020 U.S. Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist, will face Willie Jake Jr. (11-3-2, 3 KOs) in the opening bout of the Jose Ramirez-Richard Commey junior welterweight fight that headlines a Top Rank Boxing on ESPN tripleheader March 25 (10 p.m. ET) at Save Mart Center in Fresno, California, Top Rank announced. Torrez, who is from nearby Tulare, California, will be back in action six weeks after knocking out James Bryant in the first round on Feb. 3. Torrez will also be boxing at the same arena where he made his pro debut last March.
Former junior bantamweight titlist Carlos Cuadras (39-5-1, 27 KOs), 34, of Mexico, returns to the ring to face Lamberto Macias (16-7-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round main event Friday night (Canela TV) in La Huerta, Mexico, promoter BXSTRS announced. Cuadras has lost two fights in a row, both WBC junior bantamweight title bouts, to Juan Francisco Estrada by 11th-round knockout in October 2020 and by unanimous decision Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez for the vacant belt last February.
Brooklyn, New York, junior welterweight Richardson Hitchins (16-0, 7 KOs), 25, has grand plans after battering, beating and twice dropping John Bauza (17-1, 7 KOs) in a shutout 10-round decision on Saturday night’s Amanda Serrano-Erika Cruz undercard at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. Hitchins manager Keith Connolly told Fight Freaks Unite they are hopeful Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn can put together a fight with Montana Love (18-1-1, 9 KOs), 28, a southpaw from Cleveland, for the summer and then, if Hitchins wins, they want to pursue a fight with Teofimo Lopez, the former unified lightweight champion. They believe it would be a major fight in New York as Lopez is also from Brooklyn. However, it’s a hard fight to make because Lopez is with Top Rank and fights on ESPN, and he will have options to face higher-profile 140-pounders on the Top Rank roster.
The Boxxer-promoted card headlined by exciting 20-year-old British lightweight prospect Adam Azim (7-0, 6 KOs) against Nicaragua’s Santos Reyes (12-0, 3 KOs) in a 10-rounder on Saturday at OVO Wembley Arena in London will be available in the United States. FITE will stream the event as a $9.99 pay-per-view beginning at 3 p.m. ET. Among other bouts on the card: super middleweight Zak Chelli faces Anthony Sims Jr. in a 10-rounder, 2020 British Olympian Caroline Dubois, the younger sister of WBA “regular” heavyweight titlist Daniel Dubois, faces Feriche Mashaury in an eight-round lightweight fight and cruiserweight up-and-comer Viddal Riley faces British countryman Anees Taj in an eight-rounder.
Main Events announced it has signed super middleweight Shawn McCalman (12-0, 6 KOs), 29, of Aurora, Colorado, who turned pro in 2018 after a 65-7 amateur career. A notable aspect of the signing is that McCalman is managed by Jolene Mizzone of Fighters First Management. Before founding the management company last year Mizzone spent years as a vice president of Main Events. “I couldn’t be happier to be working with (CEO) Kathy Duva and (director of boxing operations) Joseph Rotonda again, only on the other side of the table,” Mizzone said. “I know with Main Events in our corner Shawn will become a world champion.”
Former heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers (43-5, 24 KOs), 40, of Philadelphia, who retired after an eight-round decision loss to Gerald Washington in April 2016, returned for his first fight in nearly seven years on Tuesday night at the Texas Troubadour Theater in Nashville. Chambers knocked out 44-year-old Torrington, Wyoming, native Corey Williams (6-14-2, 4 KOs) in the third round. It was Williams’ fourth KO loss in a row. In Chambers’ biggest fight he got knocked out in the 12th round of a one-sided loss challenging then-unified champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2010 in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Show and tell
Whenever I get posters, programs or tickets for my collection it usually takes some time before I officially catalog them into my data base. I have four site posters from the Gervonta Davis-Hector Luis Garcia fight that I covered on Jan. 7 in Washington, D.C., and I finally got around to adding them to my list. Now, I have probably a couple of hundred posters that I have not updated the list with, but in adding the four from Davis-Garcia, one of which is below, it brought me to a ridiculous milestone in my poster collection. I now have officially cataloged exactly 5,000 posters. Absurd? Yes. But I love ‘em! It was sometime in the late 1980s — I was in high school — when I bought my first few boxing posters and the obsession has grown since. Around 35 years later it has come to this: 5,000. Don’t judge me.
Tszyu photo: Gregg Porteous/No Limit Boxing
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" So Sure Shakur" might just be in for a fight when he steps in the ring. The Japanese fighters are the modern day "Mexican Fighters" of the past. The have a certain style and never give up or in attitude. So we will see a fight for sure with Shakur.
#2 - Zurdo v Rosado man I thought there was another Rosado out there in fight land. Really that is his next opponent ? Well it proves what I always said about him he is not on the level that demands so much respect as other guys in his division. Leave it at that. And do not give me all that Rosado is or was junk, you guys will be the first to complain if he gets beaten down for seven rounds so Zurdo the Zero can look good in the ring after being exposed.
# 3 - Quadman, remember Quad stereo ? Well it faded out as has Cuadras v Maias bout. I thought Quadman had left the building or at least tuned the turntable off. Everybody has got to make a living i get it, just dont tell me it is a exciting fight. Hope I am proved wrong but only if Maicais is some big secret weapon or has the fiht of his life in there.
# 4 - Harris (the one fluke fight) v Zoo could get interesting it is a fight that will both man the exposure they need but both are going in dif directions it will help Zoo who needs all the help he can get in the fact that he is trying to move too fast too soon. Not with Harris but anyhow interesting very interesting.
# 5 - The Hitcher is he a hitch hiker going to keep moving along slowly and an easy steady pace or will he take his last fight as a " I have arrived" sign. He has not arrived just surprised and impressed some folks who did not know him yet is all. He is good can become even more fan friendly as the time goes on if he learns how to develop the finisher style he possess just not unleashed yet. We will see, keep on the side of the road for a while "Hitcher" you time will come naturally not fabricated.
Thanks Raffy got my mind on the fights this morning. keep putting the word out there.
Whats the word ? Thurderbird -- What's the price 30 twice.. Ha Ha.
Your a dickhead Barry having a go at dan Rafael the best boxing writer around