Arnold Barboza and Mike Alvarado Set to Rumble
At Staples Center On Lomachenko-Crolla Undercard
April 12th Streamed LIVE on ESPN+ Tickets on Sale!
(March 18th) Undefeated super lightweight Arnold Barboza Jr. is a young contender closing in on a world title shot. Mike Alvarado wants another taste of world championship glory. Barboza, from South El Monte, California, will take on former 140-pound world champion Alvarado in a 10-round super lightweight bout on Friday, April 12 at Staples Center as part of the Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla undercard.
Lomachenko / Crolla and the 10-round light heavyweight battle between longtime WBO super middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez and Tommy Karpency will stream live and exclusively in the United States beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+, the direct-to-consumer sports streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment and ESPN, which will mark its one-year anniversary since launching on the day of the fight. The entire undercard, including Barboza-Alvarado, will stream live on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing USA, tickets priced at $310.50, $207, $103.50, $77.65, and $51.75 (including facility fees) are available now and can be purchased by visiting AXS.com.
“I am excited for this opportunity. We know it’s a dangerous fight and that Alvarado possesses power in both hands, but we are going to be ready for whatever he brings,” Barboza said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve fought at home, but I am ecstatic to fight here at Staples Center. It’s a dream come true. We are also excited to fight a former world champion like Mike, and we know he is going to be at his best."
“Fighting on this card is an honor, and come April 12, the world is in for an exciting show,” Alvarado said. “I’m taking full advantage of this opportunity to bring me one step closer to securing my legacy as a champion.”
Barboza (20-0, 7 KOs), ranked No 3 by the WBO at 140 pounds, turned pro following a 95-fight amateur career and a stint as a fullback/linebacker at South El Monte High School. He went 3-0 in 2018, including a hard-fought 10-round decision over Mike Reed (23-1 at the time).
In Alvarado (40-4, 28 KOs), he is facing a modern-day action hero who has thrilled boxing fans with his willingness to go toe-to-toe. He was one half of the 2012 Fight of the Year versus Brandon Rios, won by Rios via seventh-round TKO. Alvarado scored a unanimous decision in the immediate rematch but proceeded to lose three in a row versus Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Rios in the rubber match.
After overcoming personal demons, Alvarado returned to the ring in March 2016 ready for one final run. Since then, he is 6-0 with 5 knockouts. In his previous bout, Oct. 13 on the Terence Crawford-Jose Benavidez Jr. undercard, he blasted out Robbie Cannon with a vicious overhand right in the second round.
Also on the card:
Top welterweight contender Alexander Besputin (12-0, 9 KOs) will defend his USBA title against Alfredo Blanco (20-7, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Besputin is currently ranked No. 1 by the WBA.
“I am a top welterweight, and now that I’m ranked No. 1 by the WBA, I can’t be avoided by the champions for long,” Besputin said. “I am ready to put the welterweight division on notice.”
Janibek Alimkhanuly (5-0, 2 KOs), a former amateur standout from Kazakhstan, will face the rugged Cristian Olivas (16-4, 13 KOs) in a 10-rounder for the vacant WBO Global and WBC Continental Americas middleweight belts. Two of Olivas’ four losses have come via split decision, and he has never been knocked out as a pro.
“I am training hard with Buddy McGirt, and I know that Olivas is a tough customer who will come forward and make for a great fight,” Alimkhanuly said. “It is a dream come true to fight at Staples Center, and I want to give all of the great fans in Los Angeles a spectacular show. I will show everyone what Qazaq boxing style is all about.”
Super middleweight contender and three-time Indian Olympian Vijender Singh (10-0, 7 KOs) will make his United States debut against Calvin Metcalf (9-1-1, 2 KOs) in an eight-rounder. Singh captured a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics, becoming the first Indian boxer to claim an Olympic medal.
Italian heavyweight Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (2-0, 2 KOs), who represented his homeland at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will fight Lawrence Gabriel (3-1-1, 2 KOs) in a six-rounder.
Los Angeles native Chris “The Boy” Zavala (3-0, 2 KOs) will face Sergio Gonzales (2-2, 1 KO) in a four-rounder at super featherweight.
Dominican-born bantamweight prospect Elvis Rodriguez (1-0, 1 KO) will take on Kevin Luna (1-2, 1 KO) in a four-rounder.
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Media Workout Notes & Quotes:
Lomachenko and ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez Prep for April 12th Card Lomachenko-Anthony Crolla and Ramirez-Tommy Karpency Head Evening of Boxing on ESPN+ from @ Staples Center!
(March 11th) WBA/WBO lightweight world champion Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko and WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez came to Fortune Gym in Hollywood on Monday for a media workout as they prepare for their respective bouts, April 12 at Staples Center.
Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso, will defend his world titles in the main event against the hard-charging Anthony “Million Dollar’ Crolla, while Ramirez will dip his toe in the light heavyweight waters versus veteran Tommy Karpency in the co-feature.
Lomachenko-Crolla and Ramirez-Karpency will stream exclusively April 12 at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
In front of a packed media contingent, this is what they had to say.
On his weight
“Right now, I am a lightweight, but lightweight is not my ideal weight category. My goal now is to unify all four titles, and then, we’ll see. Maybe I’ll move back down to 130 pounds and win world titles there for a second time.
On Anthony Crolla as a fighter
“I don’t know too much about him. I know him from his two fights with Jorge Linares. I do know he is an aggressive fighter, and I like to fight guys who come forward.”
On preparing for Crolla
“I prepare like always. We are training hard. I’ve been training for a couple months already and will put on a great performance for my fans in Los Angeles and on ESPN+. I will show everyone my best style and hope everyone enjoys it.”
On future opponents
“I want to fight the best. But now, Crolla is the best choice. He is the mandatory challenger and wanted to fight me. That is why I accepted this fight.”
On whether he thinks he’ll dominate Crolla
“I don’t know. I can’t see in the future. It depends how he fights. We’ll see.”
On Teofimo Lopez
“I’m ready for everyone. I need the belts. If you have a belt, you can come in the ring and I’ll fight with you.”
“I made history when I became the first super middleweight champion in the history of Mexican boxing, and now I’m moving up to the 175-pound division to continue making history.”
“I want to face the best fighters and clean out the division. I want all the titles. I want to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. I’m ready to prove I’m an elite fighter.”
Vijender Singh Hires Freddie Roach as Head Trainer
Singh to Fight April 12th at Staples Center
On Lomachenko-Crolla Card LIVE on ESPN+!
(March 6th) Indian boxing sensation and undefeated super middleweight contender Vijender Singh is set to begin the next phase of his career with a new trainer — Hall of Famer Freddie Roach — in his corner.
The 33-year-old Singh recently relocated his training base to Southern California to work with Roach, a 2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) inductee.
Singh will make his ring return Friday, April 12 at Staples Center in a scheduled eight-round bout on the Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Anthony Crolla undercard against an opponent to be named. His bout will stream live in the United States on ESPN+ and will be featured on the undercard broadcast, which begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
“I am thrilled to start my training under such a legendary figure in world boxing,” Singh said. “It’s a great honor for me to train with Freddie, who has already trained the likes of so many world champion boxers. Professional boxing in the United States is of the highest level, and I believe Freddie is the right guy to bring the best out of me. I look forward to showing the boxing fans a new and improved Vijender Singh. I know that with Freddie’s guidance, I can become a world champion.”
“I believe Vijender has the talent and the dedication to become a world champion," Roach said. "He has a great amateur background, a style that will give any super middleweight in the world problems, and power in both hands."
"Vijender represents the most populous country in the world,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “We believe that with Freddie in his corner, Vijender will become a major star and open up the great country of India to boxing.”
Singh (10-0, 7 KOs), one of India’s most revered sporting figures, became the first Indian boxer to capture an Olympic medal when he took bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He has not fought since a unanimous decision win over Ernest Amuzu on Dec. 23, 2017, in Jaipur, India, and will be making his American debut on April 12. No Indian boxer has ever won a professional world title, and Singh, with Roach in his corner, hopes to make history yet again.
Lomachenko to Defend WBO/WBA Lightweight Titles Against WBA No. 1 Contender Anthony Crolla
April 12th, Exclusively on ESPN+
Tickets Go On Sale Tuesday, Feb. 26th 12pm PT!
(February 25th) After thrilling Big Apple audiences in his last three bouts, Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko is ready to bring his lightweight world titles to the City of Angels.
Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound Picasso and the WBA and WBO lightweight world champion, will defend his titles against former lightweight world champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla on Friday, April 12 at Staples Center. In the co-feature, longtime WBO super middleweight world champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will make his light heavyweight debut against an opponent to be announced in a 10-rounder.
Lomachenko-Crolla and Ramirez's fight will stream live and exclusively in the United States beginning at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on ESPN+ — the direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service, which will mark its one-year anniversary since launching on the day of the fight. The entire undercard will also stream live on ESPN+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
“Staples Center is the perfect venue to showcase one of boxing’s great fighters, Vasiliy Lomachenko, who will test himself against a top contender in Anthony Crolla of Great Britain,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.
“Los Angeles boxing fans are passionate and knowledgeable, and I look forward to putting on a spectacular show for them at Staples Center,” Lomachenko said. “Crolla is my mandatory challenger, and I like that he always comes to fight. He’s going to make the most of this opportunity.”
“I cannot wait for this. These are the fights you are in the sport for,” Crolla said. “People will say that I have got nothing to lose, but I am genuinely going over to LA to shock the world. I will concentrate on me. Firstly, I have to make sure the best Anthony Crolla turns up that night. I'm not worried about that. Preparing for Lomachenko is hard because he's so unorthodox. He's that good that when he does something wrong he gets away with it. You wouldn't teach some of the things that he does. He's so unique in that respect."
"I’m delighted that Anthony gets another chance at a world title, this time against pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. "After losing his world title to Jorge Linares, Anthony has fought his way back into the mandatory position, and he is more than ready for the challenge. It’s been a fairytale story for him and now he gets another big chance on the big stage in a fight that means everything to him.”
Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) entered the professional ranks following an amateur career that included a pair of Olympic gold medals for his native Ukraine and an unprecedented 396-1 record. He set a boxing record by winning world titles in three weight classes in 12 fights, shattering the previous mark of 20 set by Jeff Fenech 30 years prior. He was named 2017 Fighter of the Year by most boxing outlets after forcing all three of his opponents — Jason Sosa, Marriaga and fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux — to quit on their stools.
In May 2018, he moved up in weight and captured the WBA lightweight title when he rebounded from a torn labrum and a sixth-round knockdown to stop Jorge Linares at Madison Square Garden with a body shot in the 10th round. That December, in front of a sold-out Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden crowd, he scored a pair of knockdowns and won a wide unanimous decision over WBO lightweight champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza to unify titles.
Crolla (34-6-3, 13 KOs), from Manchester, England, turned pro in October 2006 and won the British lightweight title in 2011. He won the WBA lightweight title with a fifth-round knockout over Darleys Perez in November 2015, knocking Perez out for the count with a vicious left hook to the liver. Crolla defended the belt with an upset seventh-round knockout win against Ismael Barroso, scoring the finishing blow on a right hand to the body. He lost the title via competitive unanimous decision to Linares in September 2016, then lost the immediate rematch by unanimous decision the following March. Crolla earned another world title shot by authoring three consecutive decision wins, including a unanimous decision over former three-weight world champion Ricky Burns in October 2017.
Ramirez (39-0, 25 KOs) is ready to make his mark at light heavyweight after making five successful defenses of his WBO world title. The native of Mazatlán, Mexico, is a 10-year pro who won the world title in April 2016 with a shutout unanimous decision over two-weight world champion Arthur Abraham. In his last bout, Dec. 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas, he closed the show strong and defeated Jesse “Hollywood” Hart via majority decision. Ramirez, who has not ruled out returning to super middleweight to defend his title, also has his sights set on the light heavyweight division’s leading names.
“I am very motivated because of all the new things I have been doing to advance my career,” Ramirez said. “I am very excited to fight at Staples Center for the first time, as I consider Los Angeles my second home. I knew there will be many Latino fans supporting me. I want to become an idol of Mexican boxing, and nothing will stop me as I work to fulfill my dreams. I am also working with a new trainer, Julian Chua, who is pushing me to become the best fighter possible.”
Lomachenko / Crolla
Headed to the Staples Center April 12th!
(February 20th) Reports out of the UK and the West Coast have Oxnard, California, based Ukrainian top tier pound for pound fighter Vasyl “Hi Tech” Lomachenko set to defend his WBA and WBO Lightweight titles against Manchester, UK’s former WBA Lightweight World Champion, Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla, April 12th at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, California.
The 31-year-old former WBO and Super Featherweight Champion, Lomachenko 396-1 as an amateur, claiming Gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics 12-1, 9Ko’s in the pro ranks moved to lightweight to became a three-division champion stopping Venezuelan veteran Jorge Linares in ten rounds. Loma would go onto unify the WBA and WBO belts scoring a decisive twelve round unanimous decision over Cidra, Puerto Rico, “Sniper” Jose Pedraza in his last outing December 8th at Madison Square Garden Theater in New York.
The 32-year-old, Crolla, 34-6-3, 13Ko’s having claimed the World Boxing Association World Lightweight Title with a majority decision over Darleys Perez, July 2015 would surrender the strap to dropping a twelve round unanimous decision to common opponent Jorge Linares in 2016. Crolla losing an immediate rematch in similar form a year later comes in off point wins over former three-time world champion Ricky Burns, Edson Ramirez and Daud Yordan in his last bout this past November.
The official announcement, ticket and undercard information is expected to be announced soon.