Reloaded: Vasiliy Lomachenko!
The return of former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko in a 12-round lightweight bout against Masayoshi Nakatani, and a 10-round middleweight contest between unbeaten sensation Janibek “Qazaq Style” Alimkhanuly and former world champion Rob “Bravo” Brant will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Promoted by Top Rank, tickets priced at $400, $300, $200, $125 and $75 go on sale Friday, May 28 at 12 p.m. PT and can be purchased by visiting Etix.com.
Lomachenko vs Nakatani Official Trailer
Giovani Santillan-Cecil McCalla Welterweight Showdown Confirmed for Lomachenko / Nakatani
ESPN+ Undercard at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas!
(June 23rd) After a close call in his last fight, Giovani Santillan is set to add to his name to the ranks of the top welterweight contenders. Santillan will return from a yearlong layoff to fight seasoned pro Cecil McCalla in a crossroads battle scheduled for eight or 10 rounds this Saturday, June 26 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Santillan-McCalla will be among the undercard bouts streaming live and exclusively on ESPN+ at 7:15 p.m. ET/4:15 p.m. PT.
The San Diego-born Santillan (26-0, 15 KOs) developed his craft on the Southern California club show circuit, and the 29-year-old is now a welterweight contender closing in on a world title opportunity. He last fought on June 16, 2020, escaping via majority decision over former lightweight world champion Antonio DeMarco in a pitched two-way battle. It represented the closest call of the southpaw's career, and he hopes to put forth a more dominating effort against McCalla (23-4, 10 KOs), a 13-year pro who has never been stopped in the paid ranks. McCalla, from Maryland, has won two straight bouts since a decision defeat to Madiyar Ashkeyev.
In other undercard action on ESPN+:
Heavyweight knockout artist Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello (7-0-1, 7 KOs), a 2016 Italian Olympian, makes his return against Marlon Williams (6-1, 3 KOs) in a bout scheduled for four rounds. Vianello hopes to bounce back from last October’s draw to Bubble fan-favorite Kingsley Ibeh.
Bantamweight puncher Robert “Biggie” Rodriguez (9-0-1, 5 KOs), who shined with a pair of devastating knockouts last year inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble, will fight Mexican veteran Luis Fernando Saavedra (8-6, 3 KOs) in a six-rounder. Saavedra last fought in February 2019, when he bested the previously undefeated Mario Hernandez over eight rounds.
One of Japan’s most promising young fighters, Subaru Murata, will make his professional debut in a four-round junior featherweight tilt against Keven Monroy (1-1, 1 KO). Murata had a reported 68-12 amateur record and defeated the likes of undefeated bantamweight contender Lee McGregor.
Flashy bantamweight prospect Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (1-0), who turned pro in February, returns against fellow unbeaten Jaime Jasso (2-0) in a four-rounder. Diaz, from Las Vegas, was mentored by Floyd Mayweather Jr. as an amateur and is managed by James Prince.
Lomachenko-Nakatani and Brant-Alimkhanuly will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ (English and Spanish) at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
About Virgin Hotels Las Vegas
Virgin Hotels Las Vegas is a reimagined and re-conceptualized casino resort. The property is part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. The integrated resort intermixes a passion for food and beverage with music and culture and features three hotel towers totaling over 1,500 Chambers and suites; the 60,000 sq. ft. Mohegan Sun Casino, operated by Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment; a five-acre desert pool oasis including a multi-functional event lawn; live music and entertainment theater with 4,500 capacity; 24 Oxford showroom accommodating 650 guests; an exclusive portfolio of twelve food and beverage venues including Todd English’s Olives, Kris Yenbamroong’s Night + Market, the legendary Nobu, Michael and David Morton’s One Steakhouse, Kassi Beach House from restauranteur Nick Mathers, Casa Calavera by global hospitality company Hakkasan Group, the sports entertainment, daylife and nightlife venue Money, Baby! from Justin Massei and Mikis Troyan of Clive Collective, famous Afters Ice Cream, Pizza Forte by the Ferraro Family and signature Virgin Hotels restaurants and bars including The Kitchen at Commons Club, The Bar at Commons Club, The Shag Room and Funny Library Coffee Shop. The property is owned by JC Hospitality, LLC, in partnership with Juniper Capital Partners, Virgin Group, LiUNA, Fengate Asset Management, Dream and Orlando Development. The off-Strip playground is located at 4455 Paradise Road.
About Virgin Hotels
Virgin Hotels is a lifestyle hospitality brand that combines heartfelt service, straightforward value, and a seamless, personalized hotel experience with the track record of innovation and smart disruption that Sir Richard Branson's global Virgin Group has pioneered for 50 years. Each property intermixes a passion for food and beverage with music and culture, fusing with the local landscape and providing a vibrant and inclusive environment for travelers and locals alike. Virgin Hotels Chicago - named the "#1 Hotel in the United States" in 2016 and "#1 Hotel in Chicago" in 2016, 2017, and 2020 by the Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards - Virgin Hotels Dallas - named the "#16 Hotel in Texas" - Virgin Hotels Nashville and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas are now open. Locations in New York, New Orleans, Miami, Edinburgh and Glasgow to follow. Virgin Hotels continues to explore hotel and office conversions and ground-up development in Boston, Los Angeles, Austin, Seattle, and London.
About Curio Collection by Hilton
Curio Collection by Hilton is a global portfolio of nearly 100 one-of-a-kind hotels and resorts. Curio Collection properties offer travelers authentic, curated experiences through distinctly local offerings and elevated amenities, while providing the benefits of Hilton and its award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors. Read the latest brand and hotel stories at newsroom.hilton.com/curio, and connect with Curio Collection on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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 Top Rank
Innovation has been the standard at Top Rank since it was established in 1966 by Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. The boxing industry’s leading promotional company, Top Rank has shaped, developed, and promoted the careers of top international pay-per-view superstars and Hall of Famers, including Muhammad Ali, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Aaron Pryor, Alexis Arguello, Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erik Morales, Terence Crawford, and Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Top Rank has promoted some of the most memorable fights in the sport’s history, including 26 Ali events, Leonard vs. Hearns, Pryor vs. Arguello, Duran vs. Leonard, Hagler vs. Hearns, Leonard vs. Hagler, Foreman vs. Holyfield, Morales vs. Barrera, De La Hoya vs. Trinidad, and the most lucrative fight in boxing history, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao. In addition to the previously mentioned super fights, Top Rank possesses one of the largest sports libraries, which includes nearly 10,000 fights.
Known for creating strategic collaborations between athletes, sponsors, and television networks, Top Rank has been an architect of boxing’s global growth by staging high-profile events in landmark settings around the world, including Madison Square Garden, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Staples Center, Wembley Arena, Araneta Coliseum, The Venetian Macao, Yankee Stadium, Radio City Music Hall, The “Fabulous” Forum, and AT&T Stadium. Top Rank has also been the leader within the boxing industry in creating unforgettable in-arena experiences for fans and embracing 21st century technological advancements to distribute world-class fights and shoulder programming across a variety of platforms.
June 26: Rob Brant vs Janibek Alimkhanuly
Set for Lomachenko-Nakatani
Co-Feature at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas!
(May 27th) Janibek Alimkhanuly, the middleweight phenom who once ruled the amateur ranks, is ready to bring his patented “Qazaq Style” to Las Vegas. Alimkhanuly, an unbeaten 28-year-old, will step up against former middleweight world champion Rob “Bravo” Brant in a 10-round showdown Saturday, June 26 at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
Brant vs Alimkhanuly will serve as the co-feature to the 12-round lightweight main event between former pound-for-pound king Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko and Japanese contender Masayoshi Nakatani.
“This is a fantastic doubleheader featuring a living legend in Lomachenko and a pair of middleweights who are closing in on a world title opportunity,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Janibek is relatively young in the pro ranks, but he has long wanted to fight the best available opposition. Rob Brant didn’t hesitate when offered this fight.”
Brant (26-2, 18 KOs) won the WBA middleweight belt in October 2018 with a one-sided decision over Ryota Murata, but in their rematch less than nine months later, Murata stopped Brant in a two-round barnburner. Brant returned last August and stopped Vitaliy Kopylenko in five rounds. Alimkhanuly (9-0, 7 KOs) dominated the field en route to winning the 2013 World Championships and represented Kazakhstan at the 2016 Olympics, where he advanced to the quarterfinals. A five-year pro, Alimkhanuly made his Top Rank debut in 2018 and most recently knocked out Gonzalo Coria in two rounds last October inside the MGM Grand Las Vegas Bubble.
“I am very excited to be back in the ring under the Top Rank banner against a formidable opponent in Janibek,” Brant said. “I am excited to showcase all the hard work I have put in with a victory on a stacked card.”
Alimkhanuly said, “For the fans who don’t know about me, you will be introduced to ‘Qazaq Style’ on June 26. Rob Brant is a former world champion who demands respect, but I am coming to Las Vegas to put on a spectacular show. My time has come. I will beat any of the middleweight champions. You will see it soon."
Loma" Is Back June 26th Versus Nakatani!
(April 28th) “Loma” is back. The Ukrainian superstar and future Hall of Famer fights for the first time since last October’s showdown against Teofimo Lopez for the undisputed lightweight world title. Lomachenko’s return comes against Nakatani (19-1, 13 KOs), a longtime Japanese contender who most recently knocked out Felix Verdejo in one of the best fights of 2020. Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) won a pair of Olympic gold medals before turning professional in 2013, and he then proceeded to win world titles in three weight classes in his first 12 fights. The “pound-for-pound Picasso” will be giving up roughly five inches in height and six inches in reach to the naturally bigger Nakatani.