Strictly Business Boxing
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Storm Is Back: Eleider Alvarez Knocks Out Michael Seals, Felix Verdejo Scores Decision Win Over Manuel Rey Rojas!

(January 18th) The first man to land his Sunday punch was going to win the fight. Former world champion Eleider "Storm" Alvarez returned from a nearly one-year layoff to knock out Michael "Cannon Handz" Seals with a single overhand right at the end of the seventh round Saturday evening at Turning Stone Resort Casino.

 

Alvarez (25-1, 13 KOs) is back following a disappointing decision defeat to Sergey Kovalev last February, the man he knocked out to win the WBO light heavyweight world title. Seals (24-3, 18 KOs), one of boxing's biggest punchers, saw his four-bout winning streak come to an end.

 

“During training camp, we practiced {the right hand} over and over. My trainer was mad at me at first because I wasn’t doing what he was asking. Finally, we got the knockout," Alvarez said. “I was out of the ring for 11 months. I wanted to come back as the fighter that beat Kovalev, and this is what we practiced for.”

 

Verdejo Back in Lightweight Mix

Felix "El Diamante" Verdejo 2.0 is off to a smooth start. Verdejo (26-1, 16 KOs), in his first fight since linking up with noted trainer Ismael Salas, outboxed Manuel Rey Rojas (18-4, 5 KOs) over 10 rounds in the lightweight co-feature by scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93.

 

Verdejo has now won three in a row since the lone defeat of his career and, at 26 years old, is entering what should be his physical prime.

 

“I give myself a ‘C.’ I want to keep working hard and keep developing because I want to look like an ‘A’ fighter," Verdejo said. “I have the desire. I have the hunger. I’m going to keep working hard for all the Puerto Ricans and all the Boricuas.”

 

Abraham "El Super" Nova (18-0, 14 KOs) had a dominant Top Rank debut, knocking out Mexican veteran Pedro Navarrete (30-25-3, 19 Kos) in round four of a scheduled eight-round lightweight bout. Nova has now won four in a row via stoppage.

 

“I knew I had to be patient in there because he’s a tough, awkward fighter. I also wanted to be patient because I hadn’t fought in a bit and wanted to get some rounds in," Nova said. “I could’ve taken him out a little earlier, but I needed the rounds. When my trainer told me to knock him out, I went out there and ended the fight.”

 

Former junior lightweight world title challenger Christopher "Pitufo" Diaz (25-2, 16 KOs) shut out former junior featherweight world title challenger Adeilson dos Santos (19-8, 15 KOs) in an eight-round featherweight bout. All three judges scored it 80-72.

 

“I am very happy to have returned to the winning route," Diaz said. "I showed that I don't only know how to brawl. I also know how to box very well. Before, what I wanted was to give fans wars to entertain them, but I learned that I can also give good, entertaining fights by boxing well.”

 

In a heavyweight fight featuring a pair of 2004 Olympians, Devin Vargas defeated Victor Bisbal by disqualification in the eighth and final round. Referee Mike Ortega, who had taken a pair of points from Bisbal earlier in the fight, ended the proceedings after Bisbal landed a low blow. Vargas led on all three scorecards at the time the fight was stopped: 67-63 2x and 66-64.

 

In a back-and-forth super bantamweight battle, former world champion Jonathan Guzman (24-1, 23 KOs) survived a hellacious second-round knockdown to KO Rodolfo Hernandez (30-10-1, 28 KOs) with a left hook to the body in the third.

 

Heavyweight phenom Jared "The Real Big Baby" Anderson (3-0, 3 KOs) scored the third straight first-round stoppage to begin his career, knocking down Andrew Satterfield (5-4, 3 KOs) twice en route to the TKO victory.

 

About ESPN+

ESPN+ is the multi-sport, direct-to-consumer video service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International (DTCI) segment and ESPN. It reached 2 million subscribers in less than a year and offers fans thousands of live events, on-demand content and original programming not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks, along with premium editorial content.

 

Programming on ESPN+ includes hundreds of MLB and NHL games, exclusive UFC, Top Rank boxing and PFL fights and events, top domestic and international soccer (Serie A, MLS, FA Cup, UEFA Nations League, EFL Championship, EFL Carabao Cup, Eredivisie, and more), thousands of college sports events (including football, basketball and other sports), Grand Slam tennis, international and domestic rugby and cricket, new and exclusive series, acclaimed studio shows and the full library of ESPN’s award-winning 30 for 30 films. Fans subscribe to ESPN+ for just $4.99 a month (or $49.99 per year) and can cancel at any time.

 

ESPN+ is available as an integrated part of the ESPN App (on mobile and connected devices) and ESPN.com.

 

About Turning Stone Resort Casino

Host of the January 18th event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year caliber boxing. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including The Lounge with Caesars Sports, its new sports book in partnership with Caesars Entertainment, four hotels, more than 20 signature dining options, two spas, a 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, multiple entertainment venues, five golf courses, and several bars and lounges offering live entertainment every weekend.  Additionally, Turning Stone and the International Boxing Hall of Fame announced a multifaceted partnership to spotlight boxing throughout the entire region. The program includes a series of boxing events at Turning Stone, culminating every year in June with an elaborate and bigger-than-ever International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend celebration. International Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend will be held June 11-14, 2020.

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