Teófimo Dominates the Most Talented Division of Boxing!
By: Jesús Milano
(January 19th) Lightweight is perhaps the hottest division today. Teófimo López is the most prominent name today among the large number of talented boxers, reflecting the outstanding career of the Honduran-born American, who is the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Champion.
Lopez’s name has long been at the top of the specialists’ lists, but his recent victory over Ukrainian phenomenon Vasyl Lomachenko propelled him to the top and gave a new dimension to the 23-year-old fighter’s career.
Teófimo fought the most difficult opponent so far and the possible best pound-for-pound boxer today in October last year. But beyond having beaten Loma, what stood out was his approach to the fight and his confidence in the ring, which gave the impression that he was the most experienced boxer and not the former champion.
“The Takeover” looked strong, dominant and is now also IBF, WBC, and WBO champion. That automatically made him the rival to beat and he enters 2021 with a higher hierarchy than he has had in the recent past.
More interesting yet, is what’s coming, his possible next opponent. Fans bet on seeing great names fighting each other. The eyes are on a possible fight against WBA champion Gervonta Davis, an orthodox vs southpaw fight that would be an interesting clash of styles worth watching.
However, there are also other names such as Devin Haney, Ryan García, Jorge Linares, Javier Fortuna and even a rematch with Lomachenko, all of them great fights that would be an excellent next step for Teófimo.
The year 2021 of “Teo” will be interesting and will pull the strings of the most talented division today. The public is anxious to witness his return and all the great fights he can make.
Ryota Murata Named WBA Middleweight Super Champion!
By: Jesús Milano
(January 7th) Ryota Murata was promoted to World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Champion in the Middleweight division by a resolution of the Championships Committee, issued on January 5, 2021.
Murata, who was the 160-pound champion since July 2019 when he defeated Rob Brant in a rematch, has an exceptional career and is one of the best Japanese fighters today.
Based on rule C.18, which states that the President and the Championships Committee may recognize a fighter as a Super Champion under special circumstances, the WBA considers Murata’s career and record as a meritorious circumstance for the appointment.
Murata’s appointment will not generate too many changes in the rankings and it is done to give dynamism and activity to the division. The only relevant change is that Murata’s 9-month mandatory defense period will be extended to 18 months.
Murata, who is 34 years old, has a record of 16 wins, 2 losses, and 13 KOs in his professional career.
Mexico Is Ready for the WBA’s
Centennial Year With Miguel Torruco!
By: Jesús Milano
(January 1st) Mexican boxing is one of the most important for the sport. The presence of its warriors always guarantees entertainment and for the World Boxing Association (WBA) it is a matter of pride to be able to contribute to its growth and development hand in hand with great personalities such as Miguel Torruco, Directorate member and an asset for the pioneer organization.
Torruco came to the WBA with great ideas and has launched several of his projects as a key link to Mexico. He is the National Commissioner and a true boxing man who day by day seeks to improve and make the whole team better.
The year 2021 will be important for the WBA since it will celebrate its 100th anniversary as the oldest organization to sanction boxing and Torruco wants to face it in a great way and be at the forefront in such an important challenge.
“The Centennial of the World Boxing Association will be a very significant, relevant and above all symbolic celebration; not only for boxing but also for professional sport. The WBA in Mexico symbolizes hope and most of all motivation for Mexican boxers who have the illusion of becoming world champions,” Torruco said.
In addition, the leader spoke about a great project that he has in mind within the celebration of the centennial of the WBA and it is related to the youth of Mexico.
“I want to create a new tournament, El Campeón del Barrio”. A tournament in which the champions can win a new WBA belt as “Campeón del barrio AMB” and motivate young people to stay away from the streets and dedicate themselves to sports,” the Mexican said.
Torruco assured that he felt at home being part of the WBA and was happy to be able to put his projects into action. “The WBA is a second family, a place where you are really part of the organization,” he said.
Alvarado and Gutierrez Will Fight
For the WBA Super Feather Title This Saturday!
(photo Tom Hogan)
By: Jesús Milano
(December 28th) René Alvarado and Roger Gutiérrez will meet this Saturday, January 2, at the American Airlines Center, in Dallas, Texas, to fight for the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Featherweight title, held by the former.
The fight will be a rematch, after Alvarado defeated Gutiérrez in July 2017 for the withdrawal of the fighter from Venezuela.
The Nicaraguan Alvarado will make the first defense of the belt he won last November 23, in Indio, California, when he dethroned the former champion, Andrew Cancio, in an overwhelming presentation.
The “Gemelo” is a veteran of a thousand battles who has fought against tough opponents and among victories and defeats always gives the public fights with good action, so this time is not expected to be different.
For Gutiérrez it will be a very important fight. The Venezuelan prepared himself in Medellín in a hard training camp and has the objective of winning the championship he promised to his mother, who just passed away in November.
“The Kid” suffered the first professional defeat of his career against Alvarado when he was 22 years old, but since then he has made 11 appearances, of which he has won nine, including a first-round knockout against Mexican prospect Rocky Hernández.
The bout would be the co-main fight of the evening, which will feature a lightweight duel between Ryan García and Luke Campbell.
Alvarado arrives at his first defense of the belt with a record of 32 wins, 8 losses and 21 KOs, while Gutiérrez assumes this commitment with a balance of 24 wins, 3 losses, 1 draw, and 20 KOs.
Yoel Finol Showed His Best Version In Puerto Colombia!
By: Jesús Milano, WBA Press
(December 24th) Puerto Colombia witnessed the first flashes of excellence of Yoel Finol. Six rounds of impeccable boxing catapulted the Venezuelan’s third professional victory, in what was the best performance of his short career so far.
The comments around the ring were summarized to praise during the fight of the 24-year-old boxer, who used his tools to win all the rounds over Colombian Javier Martínez. His opponent never found him, Finol moved in the ring with overwhelming confidence and punched an opponent who at times looked defenseless despite his good record.
Opinions ranged from “he’s untouchable” to “the South American Lomachenko” as he taught his boxing class. Finol left the hotel with a prayer to God, as he said after his fight. He wanted to show what he is capable of and the best of his boxing, he felt ready to do it in his third presentation and clear up what he considers were doubts in his first fights.
His prayers were answered and Yoel showed his best version with an eye-catching style, the same style that led him to win a silver medal four years ago in Rio 2016, which he finally adapted to professional boxing.
He seems to have found the formula in this new field. He just needs to try it against tougher opponents and in longer fights, but he seems to have made the necessary adjustment to get his style on track and to be highly effective.
He was defined by Professor Jorge Ramírez, director of the WBA Academy, who has been following him since he was a child, as “a moving genius”. Finol seems to think before his opponents, as if a voice warned him of what they are going to do. The way he anticipates what his opponent will do is amazing, and he does it with a high volume of shots to punch and shine.
There is a detail that the Venezuelan wants to improve and that is to end the fights quickly. Finol knows how to move and that is exactly what prevents him from hitting hard and finishing his opponents before the limit. He said he will work on the rhythm and find the moment to plant his feet on the ring so that his punch hurts.
This is the goal he has set for the near future and people will be eager to see if he can achieve it. The truth is that fight after fight has been improving considerably and there is reason to believe what he has set out to do.
Finol is compared to the great historical fighters of his country, which seems premature. This is a story that is barely writing its first lines but whose beginning looks pretty good.
Veronica Zuluaga, The Iron Lady of Boxing!
(photo credit Josuar Ochoa)
By: Juan Francisco Arias
(December 22nd) Silence! Verónica Zuluaga is in the center of the ring, her index finger is on her lips (indicating silence) and her right hand is a clenched fist in sign of victory. The Colombian boxer has just won her first fight in professional boxing, and she does it with a resounding knockout. If you had any doubts, well, don’t, Veronica is here to close mouths blow by blow.
Minutes before, the scene was different, but it foreshadowed the end. Veronica was going through the arch of lights very seriously. Her steps were firm, her gaze confident, she threw punches at the camera and took off her hood. She is certain of her victory, a victory that is forged at the gym.
It is there, at the gym, during the training camp of the World Boxing Association (WBA), where she became the woman that was seen last Thursday, December 17, on the ring in Puerto Colombia, on the Atlantic coast of the country.
The challenges she was given in each training session were very hard. 200 burpees, running 5, 10 or 15 kilometers with a vest full of small weights that in total could add up to about 10 kg, hitting the pear, the punching bag, the mitts, lifting weights, rowing, running again, and a long etcetera. The sparrings were just as hard, sometimes she had to do 60 minutes without stopping and, in addition, face a former world champion like Alys Sanchez, who has had tough challenges like fighting Jackie Nava.
But this, instead of discouraging her, encouraged her. No matter what happened. Even if she did well, she always thought she could do more. It is her inner fire that tells her that in order to excel she has to give more. She gave more every day, especially the next day. Yes, she always came back. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t carry the cross of a difficult story, cliché, we could say, when telling the life of a boxer. She does not. She does this out of passion, out of self-love, and she reflected this with her effort.
“This training camp gave me a lot of confidence, because I arrived about 5 months ago. One feels that it has been demanding, it has been very hard but I did it. Training like this gives you confidence,” says the Iron Lady, as some call her, because her character resembles that of Margaret Thatcher: she does not hesitate to make a decision and execute it.
Sports, television and graphic design
Veronica’s life goes beyond the ring. She is a graphic designer, which has given her a good sense of aesthetics when it comes to posting on social media, sharing quotes with eye-catching designs, and editing her own photos. She knows that these platforms are important to showcase herself and to let people know about her.
However, the biggest impulse to get her on the public’s radar was a Colombian reality show produced by the Caracol channel and called El Desafío. “It made people notice me more. My social media started to be more active. However, I try to make those networks complement what I am. If I am a boxer, I show boxing; and if I train, that’s what I show. I try to show what my life is about”.
She arrives at El Desafío as a result of her great love for sports and her good physical condition. Since she was a child, she liked to exercise and went through several disciplines. Seven years ago, she started Mixed Martial Arts. “At first it was a hobby, I went twice a week. Then I started going every day and training competitively, this was about 4 years ago,” says the boxer who already has a professional record in the MMA.
Boxing was a fundamental part of her preparation as an athlete within the MMA, but it was a year ago when she decided to dedicate herself completely to the sport of flat noses.
That decision led her to make her debut in professional boxing. Verónica is a woman of character who keeps her word.
Thus we arrive at Tuesday, December 15, two days before her fight, and she travels to Barranquilla to face the challenge. Her face says it all: she is making in the weight. She is alone, she doesn’t talk. She arrives at the hotel, checks in, and goes up to her room. She is not heard from again.
It’s Wednesday the 16th, time to face the first battle, the most difficult one, according to an endless number of boxers: making the weight. Verónica had to weigh 122 pounds just like her opponent, Mirledys Hoyos. The Iron Lady weighs 119.2 pounds and her rival 122.6. As it is a debut fight, the commission asks: “The teams are ready…”. “No! She has to lose weight,” says Zuluaga without a fuss, showing that he has come here to fight, even before entering the ring.
After her opponent made the weight, it was time to fight. The bell rang and Mirleydis started like a whirlwind, throwing punches from every angle. Verónica tries to overcome the storm by trying to impose her jab. However, the messiness of her opponent makes the job a bit complex.
A minute into the round, the situation was under control, Verónica exploding her left hand into a straight line and hook into her opponent’s face. The punishment was already evident on Hoyos’ face. The second round was a copy of the first one, but the only change was that in this one, the Iron Lady took even more advantage of her opponent’s messiness to land all the punches she threw.
Verónica was a crouching tiger waiting for her prey, her eyes were fixed on her, she was frowning, and her hands were two rocks. The boxer from Antioquia showed her beautiful and technical boxing style for which she wants to be remembered. Now she is on the ropes, she turns around and puts her rival against the ropes, jab and straight, jab and straight. She has her, she knows it, the referee knows it too, and intervenes at 1 minute and 32 seconds of the second round. Silence! It’s Verónica Zuluaga, the Iron Lady, who has come to boxing to shut mouths.
Katie Taylor Is WBA Female Boxer of the Month!
By: Jesús Milano
(December 1st) Katie Taylor was awarded the World Boxing Association’s (WBA) Female Boxer of the Month Award in November after retaining her lightweight title in her bout against Spain’s Miriam Gutierrez, while American Kali Reisse was given an Honorable Mention for her victory over Kandi Wyatt.
Women’s boxing is currently experiencing a great moment and the Irish boxer is one of the faces of the sport in the world. On November 14, Taylor defeated Gutierrez by unanimous decision to retain her WBA unified championship for the ninth time at Wembley Arena.
Despite the pause due to the pandemic, Katie has had a great year and has been able to fight twice to close the calendar as owner of the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO belts in a clear show of dominance at 135 pounds.
The 34-year-old fighter has been the monarch of the pioneer organization since October 28, 2017, when she won the black and gold belt against Anahí Sánchez. Since then, she has had a spectacular career in which she was able to make her debut in the United States and be recognized around the world.
As for Reis, she won the vacant super lightweight title on November 6, in Florida, by defeating Wyatt by decision, in a great fight. This is why the WBA awarded her an Honorable Mention.
Along with the awards, the November WBA female rankings have been published, which can be reviewed in the corresponding section of the website.
The WBA Mourns the Death of José Gregorio Oropeza!
By: Jesús Milano
(November 11th) The World Boxing Association (WBA) mourns the death of Venezuelan José Gregorio Oropeza, physical training coach of great fighters who sadly lost the battle against cancer.
Oropeza was an insignia of Venezuelan boxing during the last decades. He was a teacher specialized in sports who worked as a physical trainer and boxing coach, as well as giving talks and lectures on training and planning for fighters from various martial arts.
Among the great boxers who had Oropeza in their team, it’s worth mentioning Alexander Muñoz, Felix Machado, Alfonso Blanco, Juan Landaeta, and Gilbert Serrano.
In recent years, Oropeza was very close to the Talento Activo foundation and was in charge of the physical preparation of the fighters who today are part of the famous gym of Quinta Crespo, in Caracas.
The WBA sends its condolences to Oropeza’s family and friends during these difficult times. His death is an irreparable loss for boxing. May he rest in peace.
The WBA Mourns the Passing of Pepe Graglia!
By: Jesús Milano
(November 3rd) The World Boxing Association (WBA) is grieving the loss of one of the most important figures in Latin American boxing and a member of the family, José Emilio Graglia.
Pepe Graglia, a sports leader who worked for boxing for more than 50 years, died this weekend in his native Mendoza, Argentina. Born on March 28th, 1937, he was Vice President of the Argentine Boxing Federation, and President of the Cordoba Boxing Federation. He always showed his intention to make this sport a better discipline from every position he held, and worked for the benefit of the boxer and boxing.
He always said he was inspired by the WBA President Emeritus and was grateful to him for allowing him to be part of the family. Needless to say, the pioneer organization will forever thank Graglia for having put all his experience and knowledge into making the organization the best in the world.
He joined the WBA Directorate in 1988 and was Regional Vice-President for Latin America for four years. From 1992 to 1997 he was a member and then president of Fedelatin until 2004. Between 2005 and 2014 he was Continental Director and later Continental Assistant Director for America.
“Pepe”, as he was known among his closest friends, accompanied the oldest organization in the world in 32 conventions, promoted several “KO Drugs” programs in Mendoza, Argentina, and founded the gym under the name of “KO Drugs” in that location.
“Pepe”, we thank you for your effort, we celebrate your triumphs and we mourn your departure. Thank you, “Pepe”, thank you for everything you gave us as an institution and for what you gave to boxing. To your family and friends, we send our heartfelt condolences for a loss as great as that of José Emilio Graglia.
Gervonta Davis Is the WBA Boxer of the Month,
Naoya Inoue Gets Honorable Mention!
By: Jesús Milano
The World Boxing Association (WBA) published its monthly rankings and its October awards with Gervonta Davis as the Boxer of the Month, and Naoya Inoue as the Honorable Mention.
Davis delivered Leo Santa Cruz what could be the KO of the year this Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio. In a fight that looked an even match on paper until the KO came in the sixth round, Davis confirmed himself as one of the best young fighters in the world and won the WBA Super Featherweight Super Championship and the WBA Lightweight title.
A left uppercut brought Santa Cruz down dramatically for Gervonta to seal one of the most impressive victories of his career. Although the Mexican was unconscious for a few minutes, he made a satisfactory recovery, to the relief of the fans.
For his part, Inoue got the Honorable Mention thanks to his KO in seven rounds against Australian Jason Moloney this Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was the Japanese’s second appearance in the United States during his career and he demonstrated why he is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world today.
The WBA Mourns the Death of Miguel Ángel Castellini!
By: Jesús Milano
(October 29th) The World Boxing Association (WBA) mourns the death of former Argentine world champion Miguel Ángel Castellini, who was hospitalized in a Buenos Aires hospital with complications for several days.
Castellini left at the age of 73 and will always be remembered as a tough boxer. He fought from 1965 to 1980 and had more than 90 fights during his career.
The year 1976 was the best for him, as he traveled to Spain to fight and win the WBA Super Welterweight World Title against local José Durán, whom he beat in a great split decision in 15 rounds.
He lost that belt in his first defense in 1977 against the Nicaraguan Eddie Gazo and couldn’t get it back; however, he was able to get back at the Central American boxer in his retirement fight in 1980 by knocking him out in 9 rounds.
Castellini is part of the history of Argentine boxing and had an academy where he taught boxing. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, who worked with the youth and during his career made his way among great talents to achieve a world championship.
Today boxing is mourning the loss of such an important figure. To his family and friends, the WBA sends words of condolence at this difficult time. Rest in peace, Champion.
Brandon Figueroa: Excelling to Achieve One’s Dreams!
By: WBA Press, Yesica Palmetta
(October 23rd) With great simplicity and humility, the World Boxing Association 122-pound world champion, Brandon Figueroa, recounts moments from a childhood when he had to work hard to prove he was made for boxing.
Brandon grew up with Omar Jr., the older brother who has been a natural at the ring. When the little boy with the oceanic blue eyes was six years old, he was constantly trying to catch Omar Sr.’s eye, who didn’t think he could make it in boxing because he considered him to be more fragile due to his physical build, since Brandon was really skinny back then. Also, because of his pretty face, he was often pushed to the runways or to acting.
That underestimation led Brandon to make double efforts until his father trusted him and realized that he did have the strength and courage to box, as he demonstrated in that great show he gave against Mexican Julio Cejas in Las Vegas in November 2019.
Brandon Lee Figueroa is 23 years old and has earned the nickname of “heartbreaker”, which apparently had something to do with his amateur stage when his female followers would gather in the events he performed, but he tells us that in reality: “My dad heard that nickname and gave it to me for my looks, that’s how it got it. I know it doesn’t sound very intimidating but inside the ring I can be”.
He was born in Weslaco, Texas: “My parents are Mexican, they grew up in Rio Bravo here at the border and I grew up there too. My first language was Spanish, I didn’t learn English until third grade and since then they have seen me more American than Mexican, but I think my roots make me more Mexican”. He tried to be part of an Olympic Games but since his record as an amateur did not accompany him, he decided to jump to jump to the proffesional field. At 18 years old, he achieved the goal of becoming world champion.
Being with the family, with friends, and spending time at home playing video games, are part of the Heartbreaker’s favorite things to do, who also forms a great professional team with his family: “My sister takes care of my meals, she studied to be a nutritionist and trains me in the mornings since she knows the physical workouts that a boxer must do, she is also a personal trainer. My brother is my mentor, my idol, he helped me quite a lot mentally in how to cope with many things and he taught me the lifestyle of a boxer”.
In addition to boxing, Brandon and his sister are developing a noble project: “I want to invest my money in a gym here where I live, for my community, and to be able to help the children of the Valley, because boxing has helped me in many ways. I went to a school to talk to the children where maybe they don’t have the best education, or they don’t follow the good paths and they are in trouble, so I would like to be able to help. First, it will be for the children to have toys for Christmas, for example, so that they don’t have to go through a window and not be able to have those toys that they want, like it happened to me when I was a child. We’ll also be doing events for them”.
Brandon adds with excitement, “As a trainer I want to help others follow their dreams. I know that boxing is not for everybody but it can be helpful for health, to take things off your mind, to keep you out of danger, because kids will be able to come and train and get rid of the negative things, the bad things. For me, boxing was more like therapy, like an escape. I want to teach children that they can do it. I’ve been dreaming big since I was little and now, I’m living my dreams”, and as a good dreamer, imagine how exciting it is to be part of a movie.
The World Boxing Association 122-pound champion left a great inspiring message and said that “when I won the title last year I was very happy and thankful because without God, without my team, without my family, I wouldn’t have been able to make it. But as my dad says, the hardest thing is to keep it up and now I just think about continuing to work hard to keep myself ready for any opportunity”.
Omar Jr. Figueroa stood out among the lightweights, a sister as a personal trainer who was also an amateur boxer, a father who is also a trainer, and a mother who was also involved in boxing. How could they not feel passionate about this sport!
Santa Cruz: “I’m Going to Prove
That I’m Not Afraid of Anyone”!
(photo credit Esther Lin/ Showtime)
By: Jesús Milano
(October 21st) Leo Santa Cruz is facing the most important fight of his career. The World Boxing Association (WBA) Featherweight and Super Featherweight Super Champion will face Gervonta Davis, the WBA Lightweight Champion, on October 31st, in a bout where the 130 and 135-pound belts will be at stake.
The Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas, will host one of the most anticipated bouts of the year and, in the days leading up to it, Santa Cruz held an online open workout session in which he did some basic exercises and spoke to the press and fans who connected via YouTube for Showtime.
“I’m looking forward to being the featured PPV event. We are going to put everything on the line and offer a great show for the fans”, said the Mexican.
The specialists see an even fight with certain advantages in favor of Davis, a situation that Santa Cruz is aware of and uses as motivation.
“People think I’m the smaller guy, but I asked for this fight for a reason. I’m ready to prove everyone wrong”, said Santa Cruz, who could make history by becoming champion of three different divisions at once.
“People thought I didn’t want to fight big names or challenging opponents, so who’s better to fight than Gervonta Davis? He has great skills and great power. I’m going to show everyone that I’m not afraid of anyone”, he continued.
Santa Cruz highlighted what he thinks he has in his favor to win the fight, and also warned what he expects will happen in the ring: “Gervonta doesn’t have the experience I have. I have to be attentive during the first rounds and be careful. In the end, I know I have to do everything I can to win the fight”.
Finally, the 32-year-old man spoke about the benefits of fighting with an audience in the ring. The fight, officially scheduled for October 24th at first, was postponed and moved to San Antonio with the intention of having fans in the stadium.
“Listening to the fans in the crowd lifts me up. It’s an additional motivation. They are the ones who put me in this position. I’m preparing hard to give everyone their money’s worth. I’m going to take the chance”, said “El Terremoto”.
Barrios and Karl Predict a Texas War
On the Undercard of Davis-Santa Cruz!
(photo Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions)
By: Marcelino Castillo, WBA Press
(October 15th) Gervonta Davis and Leo Santa Cruz will unify the titles of two divisions in their next fight, which has been scheduled to take place on October 31st at the Alamodome in San Antonio, in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC).
The main attraction, as far as undercard is concerned, will feature World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Lightweight champion Mario Barrios (25-0, 16 KOs), vs. fellow Texas native Ryan Karl, who is facing his first title shot opportunity after a run of three victories, two of which were won by KO.
Given the importance of this fight, both fighters appeared in a virtual press conference. Barrios was the first one to talk, and he promises to give the show that the fans want to see.
“I know that come fight night I’ll be facing the best version of Ryan Karl that we’ve seen. He’s training the same way and expecting that from me. So it’s going to be an action-packed fight and the fans will not be disappointed”, he said. “I’m super amped for this type of fight. Ryan and I have known each other forever and we know the style that the other person will bring to the ring”.
Next, the “Azteca” said that the study of his recent fights has helped to improve on defects exposed in the ring.
“We’ve watched my fight against Batyr Akhmedov a couple times. I’m a warrior and I showed that in the fight. We made all the changes we needed to in this camp and I’m going to show them on October 31”, he said.
In turn, Karl, who has a record of 18 victories, 12 of them by KO, and 2 defeats, said that the previous knowledge his now opponents have is a special incentive to develop the best weapons in the camp.
“This fight is going to be a big deal. It’s really surreal, to an extent. We’re very excited and working really hard and putting in the work. It couldn’t be better that it is taking place in Texas with fans. It’s going to be a big Texas showdown”, he concluded.
Krasniqi Makes History
As the First World Champion Born In Kosovo!
By Jesús Milano - WBA Press
(October 11th) Robin Krasniqi made the most of his experience and surprised the world by becoming the first Kosovo-born world champion with a third round KO over Dominic Boesel to secure the World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Light Heavyweight Championship this Saturday at the GETEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany.
Krasniqi was a tough challenge in what was Boesel’s first exhibition. The Kosovo-born German fighter already had experience in big fights and had faced renowned opponents like Arthur Abraham and Juergen Braehmer.
In that third round, an exchange of blows allowed Krasniqi to place a right to Boesel’s face, who fell with delayed action so he did not get the count. However, the former champion looked very dizzy after he got up again and Krasniqi finished him with another wild right hand that sent him back to the canvas with no chance of recovering.
Krasniqi, 33, had been in two previous championship fights without success, but this third time he was able to make his dream come true. In addition, he also won the IBO belt that Boesel had.
The champion’s record is 51 wins, 6 losses and 19 KOs, while Boesel now has a record of 30 wins, 2 losses and 12 KOs.
Contreras Beat Up Flores
Retains His WBA-Fedecentro Title!
By: Jesús Milano, WBA Press
(October 4th) Dennis Contreras retained his World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedecentro Featherweight title this Friday night with a six-round KO to Carlos Efrain Flores during the All Star Boxing event at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida.
In a great clash between Mexicans, the regional champion of the pioneer organization used all his experience to demolish a much younger opponent who had been undefeated in his career until now.
“El Martillo” (The Hammer) dominated with the power of his right hand from the first moment and forced “Stich” Flores to retreat, who made a brave fight but was overcome by the power of Contreras.
With a considerable accumulation of punishment, Flores received a resounding right hand from the champion in the sixth round and fell to the canvas without any possibility of getting up, and the referee gave him the 10-count to decree the triumph of the Guadalajara native.
Contreras, 28, made the first defense of the Fedecentro belt and now has a record of 23 wins, 10 losses, 1 draw and 21 KOs; while Flores left his record at 20 wins, 1 loss and 11 KOs.
Jermell Charlo Is the WBA Boxer of the Month!
By: Jesús Milano
(October 1st) The World Boxing Association (WBA) released its September Rankings, as well as the monthly awards in which Jermell Charlo won the Boxer of the Month and Yordenis Ugás won the Honorable Mention.
Charlo defeated Jeison Rosario with a knockout to the middle zone last Saturday in Uncasville, Connecticut, to win the WBA Super Welterweight Super Championship, in addition to the IBF and WBC world titles, to profile himself as one of the best fighters in the world in the 154 pounds division.
The American boxer had a strong challenge against the Dominican and came from being behind in the fight to knock down the Caribbean boxer three times and win a convincing victory that is worth the award.
For his part, Ugás won the vacant Welterweight championship after defeating Anel Ramos by split decision on September 6th in Los Angeles, California. The Cuban boxer made history to become his country’s first 147-pound World Champion in almost 40 years and now wants to face all the major opponents in the division.
The WBA had five championship fights in total during the month, four of them held in the United States and one in Russia.
Charlo Dethroned Rosario
With a Body Shot and Is the New WBA Super Champion!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 27th) Jermell Charlo became the new World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Welterweight Champion after knocking out Jeison Rosario with a body shot in the eighth round and winning a sensational fight at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
Charlo, who now has three of the four most important body belts in the world, was very patient until he finished off Rosario in an impressive way in what was the most curious knockout of the year.
The American came out cautiously, walking the ring and trying to counterattack a Rosario who was very aggressive and who carried the pace of the fight in many moments. In the very first move, Charlo hit Rosario’s face and sent him to the canvas for the first time, although the Dominican got up in good condition and continued with his attacking work.
Rosario improved as the rounds went by and dominated in most of them. However, Charlo reconnected him strongly in the sixth round and sent him to the canvas with a left hook almost to the sound of the bell.
The most dramatic moment of the fight came at the beginning of the eighth when Charlo connected the jab to Rosario’s abdomen, which fell dramatically onto the canvas. The third man on the ring counted while the Caribbean man was breathless and squirming, making unsuccessful attempts to get up.
In the end, the injured Rosario was unable to regain his footing and had to be treated for lack of oxygen.
Charlo is the new super champion of the pioneer organization and improved his record in 34 wins, 1 loss and 18 knockouts. Rosario now has 20 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw and 14 knockouts.
Figueroa Overwhelmed Vazquez and Retained
His WBA Belt In Connecticut!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 26th) Brandon Figueroa promised his punches would be too much for Damien Vazquez and won by TKO in the tenth round on Saturday night to retain his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Bantamweight title at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“The Heartbreaker” was true to his style throughout the bout and from the first bell he came out with his characteristic aggressiveness. Figueroa attacked Vazquez with everything but he did not find an easy opponent as the challenger worked well in the first rounds and was able to connect good hits on the champion.
Vazquez’ boxing style was important to face the champion and fighting toe-to-toe for most of the fight. However, as the rounds went by, Figueroa diminished his physical condition with punches to the body and face in a great demonstration.
By the ninth round, the Champion was hitting a brave Vázquez, who was trying to stay in action but was overwhelmed by Figueroa’s momentum. When the punishment increased in the tenth round, the referee had no other choice but to stop the actions and Figueroa kept the victory.
The 23 year old Mexican fighter defended his crown for the third time and got his 21st victory, while he has one draw and no losses; he also got the 16th KO of his career.
For his part, Vazquez left his record at 15 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw and 8 KOs.
Boesel-Krasniqi Confirmed for October 10th In Magdeburg!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 24th) World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Light Heavyweight Champion, German Dominic Boesel, will face his countryman Robin Krasniqi on October 10th at the METEC Arena in Magdeburg, Germany.
The fight was announced on Tuesday at a press conference in which both fighters and their teams talked to the journalists and shared their impressions of the match.
It will be Boesel’s first defense of the title after defeating Sven Fornling in November last year to earn the crown. The 30-year-old fighter wants to retain in front of his people and give a great performance.
In Krasniqi’s case, he is a veteran of a thousand battles who has been WBA Continental Champion and has faced tough opponents such as Arthur Abraham and Juergen Braehmer. In his 33 years, he has a new title opportunity that he wants to take advantage of.
Boesel has a record of 30 wins, 1 loss and 12 KOs, while Krasniqi has a balance of 50 wins, 6 losses and 18 KOs.
Chris Eubank Jr. Wants “Canelo” or Murata!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 18th) World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim Middleweight Champion Chris Eubank Jr. hopes to return to the ring soon. The Briton boxer is one of the strongest fighters in the 160-pound division and knows exactly who he wants to fight, as he detailed in an interview with Badlefthook.
Eubank explained that he wants the big names and that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Ryota Murata are his first choices.
“I am WBA Interim world champion, so those are the fights that make sense. I want those belts, all these guys with belts in my division”, he said in the interview.
The 31-year-old fighter beat Mary Korobov last December and won the pioneer organization’s Interim belt. Now, he wants bigger challenges and bigger fights at 160 pounds.
Buatsi Will Defend His
WBA-International Title Against Calic!
By: Jesús Milano, WBA Press
(September 16th) Joshua Buatsi will make the fifth defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) International Light Heavyweight Belt on October 4th against Mario Calic in London, England.
The fight for the WBA belt between two undefeated fighters will be very interesting. Buatsi, a British national, is of Ghanaian descent and will face one of the most important challenges of his career at the age of 27.
He will fight Croatian Mario Calic, who at 33 is facing a great opportunity to move up in the division. He has had a good career in Europe, where he has fought in Sweden, Hungary, Albania and Croatia.
Buatsi won the belt in July 2018 by knockout in one round to Latvian Andrejs Pokumeiko. Since then, he has defended four times against France’s Tony Averlant, Australia’s Renold Quinlan, Mexico’s veteran Marco Antonio Peribán and most recently against Canada’s Ryan Ford.
The fight was confirmed this week and the event will be hosted by Matchroom Boxing in the English capital.
Buatsi has a record of 12 wins, no losses and 10 KOs, while Calic has 11 victories in the same number of fights, 6 of them won by KO.
Jeison Rosario Only Thinks About Defeating Charlo!
By: Jesús Milano, WBA Press
(August 10th) Dominican Jeison Rosario has more achievements in mind. Despite having won the World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Championship in January against Julian Williams, all the champion has in mind is to keep on climbing and he knows that to do so he needs to beat Jermell Charlo on September 26th, in Connecticut.
The Caribbean native spoke about his preparation and how this camp has been carried out in Miami before the fight.
“The best I have ever had. I’m in great condition, I feel super good. I am motivated, determined, very hungry and, really, very eager to see my opponent’s face in the ring”, Rosario said in his interview with the Miami Herald.
Charlo’s speech, on the other hand, was focused on the fact that the WBA champion is not at his level when it comes to boxing and that that is why he will win the fight that will have the titles of three organizations at stake. However, Rosario dismisses his statements.
“Well, on the 26th we will know if it’s true that I’m not at his level or if it is as I say. I say I’m at his level and at anyone’s level. I prepare myself for victory. Whatever he says doesn’t have any effect on me’’, said Rosario to the Florida media.
Rosario has a string of victories since 2017 and has changed significantly thanks to his work with coach Chiro, but beyond his boxing adjustments, he highlights those he has had on a personal level as responsible for his evolution.
The first thing that I left behind was my ego. Humility came, along with real faith in God. When I lost, I told myself I had to trust God more and trust myself less. I trusted myself so much that I forgot everything around me. I didn’t care about anything”, he said.
Rosario has great goals and dreams, but his main objective right now is to defend his black and gold belt in a fight in which the bets are not in his favor. Despite that, his status as a champion and his progress make him a fighter that can never be underestimated.
Figueroa: “It’s the BiggestOpportunity
Of My Career and Vazquez Is In the Way”!
By: Jesús Milano
(September 4th) Brandon Figueroa will step in the ring on September 26th to face Damien Vazquez and during an online press conference from the gym, he talked about the third defense of his World Boxing Association (WBA) Super Bantamweight Championship at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The Mexican-American boxer talked about his expectations for the fight, his career in the recent past, and what he hopes for the future.
“I see this as the biggest opportunity of my career and Vazquez is standing in my way. This is my chance to show everyone why I am one of the best fighters in the world. I’m ready, I’m focused on September 26th and I can’t wait to show my skills”, said the 23-year-old fighter.
His last fight was a tough one against Julio Ceja that ended in a draw and allowed him to retain his crown, but Figueroa is aware that he was far from his best potential for that fight.
“Heading into my last fight, I had some injuries that I was dealing with. However, I don’t take anything away from Ceja. He came to fight. But we learn from every fight. What I took away from it was that even at the worst moment of my career, I didn’t lose. I’m a different fighter now, though. I’m healthy heading into this upcoming fight and I feel like everyone is going to see a different type of Brandon Figueroa”, he said.
His challenger, Damien Vazquez, has said that he wants a toe-to-toe fight in what he calls “a Mexican war”. Figueroa had his opinion on his rival’s comments.
“I feel that action fight has always been my style and my fight plan since day one. But obviously I think I would also have an advantage if I were to box from a distance. You can say what you want, I don’t think you want to come face to face with me. I can guarantee you he’ll regret it”, said one confident Figueroa.
The WBA Champion also said he wants to fight against the best boxers in the division and that defending his crown on September 26th is a test he plans to pass with flying colors.