Jamie Mungia Looks to Continue Ascent against Liam Smith on July 21

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Jaime Munguia (29-0, 25 KOs), the newly-crowned WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, will make the first defense of his title against former world champion Liam "Beefy" Smith (26-1-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round main event Saturday, July 21 at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10 PM ET/PT.

Munguia is a dangerous 21-year-old puncher who has ended 25 of his fights by knockout. Munguia has only fought twice in the United States, the second of which was for a last-minute title opportunity against Sadam “World Kid” Ali in May. Munguia used his enormous height and reach advantages to drop Ali several times before a thunderous left hook ended matters in the fourth round. The newly-crowned champion is excited to defend his new belt.

“I'm very excited and thankful with everyone that made this possible,” said Jaime Munguia. “I invite the fans to go and see me live or to tune in on HBO. I will defend my WBO title with pride and honor. See you in Vegas!”

Smith, the first of an impressive stable of brothers to win a world title, is a 29-year-old native of Liverpool, England. After scoring 20 victories as a professional, Smith defeated John "Apollo Kidd" Thompson via seventh-round technical knockout to capture the WBO 154-pound title. Smith then lost the title against Canelo Alvarez in front of over 50,000 fans at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas in an impressive show of heart. Smith has had three victories since, and after pulling out of his May 12 fight against Sadam Ali due to an illness, he is more than ready to regain the title that was once his.

“To go to Vegas and fight for a world title is every fighter’s dream,” said Liam Smith. “But it’s only an extra incentive to my main motivation – getting that WBO world junior middleweight title back around my waist.Munguia is obviously a dangerous puncher and I’ll have to be wary of him early on, but he’s never fought someone as good as me and a fully-fledged 154lb fighter. I can’t afford to look an inch past Munguia though. He’s world champion for a reason and with such a high knockout percentage, I’m going to have to be my best ever. Unfortunately for Munguia, that’s what I’ll be.”

In the co-main event, Alberto “Explosivo” Machado (19-0, 16 KOs) will put his WBA Super Featherweight World Title on the line as he faces undefeated No. 1 Contender Rafael “Sweet Pea” Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round battle.

Machado, a 27-year-old of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a big man for his division and boasts power in both hands. After unifying two regional titles with a dominant unanimous decision victory against Carlos "The Solution" Morales, Machado defeated Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales by way of eighth-round knockout to capture WBA Super Featherweight Title in Oct. 2017. The hard-hitting southpaw promises to retain his title on July 21.

“One as a fighter knows the sacrifices that are made to become world champion,” said Alberto Machado. “Because of that, I will defend my title with blood and honor this July 21. Rafael Mensah is the mandatory challenger, and he possess great credentials, including an impressive record. That’s why I’m preparing more than ever to walk away with my hand raise in my first defense.”

Mensah is a 27-year-old contender of Accra, Ghana who made his professional debut in 2010.

Since then he has steadily climbed up 130-pound rankings, earning his spot at the top of the WBA rankings and a shot at the title. Mensah is confident that he has the skills to outclass Machado.

“I know Machado and there is no doubt I can beat him,” said Rafael Mensah. “When I saw Machado, I said ‘Yes, I can beat you. You are not somebody that can beat me. You cannot beat Rafael Mensah.  I will come and maybe not knock you out, but I will beat you in boxing and teach you a good boxing lesson.’”

“We’re excited to bring two world title fights to Las Vegas on July 21,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Jaime Munguia exploded onto the championship scene last year in devastating fashion, and we’re delighted to showcase him once again on another HBO main event. The co-main event will also bring fireworks as Alberto Machado makes the first defense of what will be a very long reign.”

“I'm proud and excited that this Mexican Kid from Tijuana [Munguia], who's the hottest fighter in boxing today, will once again fight on July 21 against the tough Liam Smith,” said Fernando Beltran, CEO of Zanfer Promotions. “I know he will prevail again in spectacular fashion like he always does.”

“Liam Smith was very confident of beating Sadam Ali, but unfortunately the allergic reaction he suffered temporarily sidelined his plans,” said Frank Warren. “Munguia looked impressive beating the former champion, but Liam actually feels he is a better stylistic match up for him than Ali would have been. I’m very confident Liam will be recapturing the WBO Junior Middleweight Title and bringing it back to the UK.”

“When Jaime Munguia made his HBO debut this past May, he put the division on notice with a spectacular knockout and captured a 154-pound title”, said Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President, HBO Sports. “He looks to keep the momentum going on July 21 as he takes on his mandatory challenger Liam Smith, who hopes to take the title back to his native UK.”

The Greatest HBO Fighter of All-Time Round 1: Lederman Region

By Kieran Mulvaney

Inside HBO Boxing is crowning the greatest boxer ever to compete on the network, as determined by you, the fans. Among the countless icons and Hall of Famers who’ve battled on the HBO airwaves, we’ve selected an elite field of 32 fighters for entry in a bracket-style tournament. All matchups are previewed in depth on the HBO Boxing Podcast, and you can vote for the winners on Twitter (@HBOboxing). Who is truly the greatest? That’s for you to decide.

See the other regions: Lampley | Merchant | Kellerman

LEDERMAN REGION

Named after HBO Boxing’s long-standing, much-loved and award-winning “unofficial official” Harold Lederman, this region features a double dose of Sugars, three all-time-great middleweight champions and one of the best to reign one division higher, and two Latin legends whose ends came tragically soon. 

harold lederman region round 1

 

(1) Sugar Ray Leonard vs (8) Sugar Shane Mosley

Which sugar is the sweetest? The golden Olympian medalist, or his Golden State successor? Both these champions brought fast hands and fury as well as skill, so who has what it takes to move to the next round?

Sugar Ray Leonard
Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Middleweight/Super Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Champion
36-3-1 (25 KOs)
Years Fought: 1977-1997

Best Wins:
TKO 8 Roberto Duran 11-25-1980
TKO 14 Thomas Hearns 9-16-1981
W 12 Marvin Hagler 4-6-1987
 

Sugar Shane Mosley
Lightweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight Champion
49-10-1 (41 KOs)
Years Fought: 1993-2016
 

Best Wins:
W 12 Phillip Holiday 8-2-1997
W 12 Oscar De La Hoya 6-17-2000
TKO  9 Antonio Margarito 1-24-2009


(4) Salvador Sanchez vs (5) Alexis Arguello

A meeting between these two phenomenal Latin fighters – one from Mexico, one from Nicaragua – was once briefly mooted, only to come to nothing. What a clash it might have been, and what a fantasy matchup it makes between two practitioners of power and skill.

Salvador Sanchez
Featherweight Champion
44-1-1 (32 KOs)
Years Fought: 1975-1982

Best Wins
TKO 13 Danny Lopez 2-2-1980
TKO 8 Wilfredo Gomez 8-21-1981
TKO 15 Azumah Nelson 7-21 1982

Alexis Arguello
Featherweight/SuperFeatherweight/Lightweight Champion
77-8 (62 KOs)
Years Fought: 1968-1995

Best Wins:
TKO 11 Rafael Limon 7-8-1979
W RTD 7 Bobby Chacon 11-16-1979
TKO 14 Ray Mancini 10-3-1981


(3) Bernard Hopkins vs (6) Andre Ward

Although these two men’s weights and careers overlapped, they never faced off in the real world. Who prevails in the fantasy world, as Philadelphia’s Hopkins comes up against Oakland’s Ward in a battle of cerebral, crafty champions?

Bernard Hopkins
Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Champion
55-8-2 (32 KOs)
Years Fought: 1988-2016

Best Wins:
TKO 12 Felix Trinidad 9-29-2001
W 12 Antonio Tarver 6-10-2006
W 12 Kelly Pavlik 10-18-2008

Andre Ward
Super Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Champion
32-0 (16 KOs)
Years Fought: 2004-2017

Best Wins:
W 12 Carl Froch 12-17-2011
TKO 10 Chad Dawson 9-8-2012
TKO 8 Sergey Kovalev 6-17-2017


(2) Marvin Hagler vs (7) Gennady Golovkin 

Two middleweight champions. Two lengthy and dominant reigns. Two men who eschew the glamor for hard-nosed, blue-collar (but blue riband) boxing at its best. Who moves on? The middleweight champion of the 1980s? Or the middleweight champion of the 2010s?

Marvin Hagler
Middleweight Champion
62-3-2 (52 KOs)
Years Fought: 1973-1987

Best Wins
TKO 3 Alan Minter 9-27-1980
KO 3 Thomas Hearns 4-15-1985
KO 11 John Mugabi 3-10-1986

Gennady Golovkin
Middleweight Champion
38-0-1 (34 KOs)
Years Fought: 2006-present

Best Wins
TKO 5 Grezgorz Proksa 9-1-2012
KO 3 Matthew Macklin 6-29-2013
TKO 3 Daniel Geale 7-26-2014

The Greatest HBO Fighter of All-Time Round 1: Kellerman Region

By Kieran Mulvaney

Inside HBO Boxing is crowning the greatest boxer ever to compete on the network, as determined by you, the fans. Among the countless icons and Hall of Famers who’ve battled on the HBO airwaves, we’ve selected an elite field of 32 fighters for entry in a bracket-style tournament. All matchups are previewed in depth on the HBO Boxing Podcast, and you can vote for the winners on Twitter (@HBOboxing). Who is truly the greatest? That’s for you to decide.

See the other regions: Lampley | Merchant | Lederman

Named after HBO Boxing color analyst Max Kellerman, this region features four heavyweight champions – two of whom began their championship careers at lower weights – a legend apiece from Mexico and Puerto Rico, an undefeated American crossover star who dominated the sport for years, and a hyper-talented Ukrainian who may very well be the best of a new generation.

(1) Floyd Mayweather vs (8) Vasyl Lomachenko

Two men with otherworldly skills and extraordinarily precocious professional careers; will the Old Master reign supreme or will the usurper knock him off his perch?

Floyd Mayweather
Super Featherweight/Lightweight/Super Lightweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight Champion
50-0 (27 KOs)
Years Fought: 1996-2017

Best Wins:
TKO 10 Diego Corrales 1-20-2001
W 12 Oscar De La Hoya 5-5-2007
W 12 Manny Pacquiao 5-2-2015

Vasyl Lomachenko
Featherweight/Super Featherweight/Lightweight Champion
11-1 (9 KOs)
Years Fought: 2013-present

Best Wins:
W 12 Gary Russell, Jr. 6-21-2014
W RTD 6 Guillermo Rigondeaux 12-9-2017
TKO 10 Jorge Linares 5-12-2018


(4) Evander Holyfield vs (5) Michael Spinks

The greatest cruiserweight of all time, and one of the greatest modern light-heavyweights, both of whom moved up to grasp the mantle of lineal heavyweight champion of the world.

Evander Holyfield
Cruiserweight/Heavyweight Champion
44-10-2 (29 KOs)
Years Fought: 1984-2011

Best Wins:
W15 Dwight Muhammad Qawi 7-12-1986
W 12 Riddick Bowe 11-6-1993
TKO 11 Mike Tyson 11-9-1996

Michael Spinks
Light Heavyweight/Heavyweight Champion
31-1 (21 KOs)
Years Fought: 1977-1988

Best Wins:
W 15 Eddie Mustafa Muhammad 7-18-1981
W 15 Larry Holmes 9-21-1985
TKO 5 Gerry Cooney 6-15-1987

 


(3) Larry Holmes vs (6) Marco Antonio Barrera

A meeting across eras and weight classes, as one of the most technically proficient of all heavyweight champions meets one of the most exciting lower-weight fighters of his time.

Larry Holmes
Heavyweight Champion
69-6 (44 KOs)
Years Fought: 1973-2002

Best Wins:
W 15 Ken Norton 6-9-1978
TKO 11 Earnie Shavers 9-28-1979
TKO 13 Gerry Cooney 6-11-1982

Marco Antonio Barrera
Super Bantamweight/Featherweight/Super Featherweight Champion
67-7 (44 KOs)
Years Fought: 1989-2011

Best Wins:
TKO 12 Kennedy McKinney 2-3-1996
W 12 Naseem Hamed 4-7-2001
W 12 Erik Morales 11-27-2004


(2) George Foreman vs (7) Felix Trinidad

Two of the most destructive forces of their times face off in this clash, as the heavy-hitting heavyweight preacher from Houston meets Puerto Rico’s favorite son.

George Foreman
Heavyweight Champion
76-5 (68 KOs)
Years Fought: 1969-1997

Best Wins
KO 2 Joe Frazier 1-22-1973
TKO 2 Ken Norton 3-26-1974
KO 10 Michael Moorer 11-5-1994

Felix Trinidad
Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Middleweight Champion
42-3 (35 KOs)
Years Fought: 1990-2008

Best Wins
W 12 Pernell Whitaker 2-20-1999
TKO 12 Fernando Vargas 12-2-2000
TKO 5 William Joppy 5-12-2001

The Greatest HBO Fighter of All-Time Tournament Round 1: Merchant Region

Inside HBO Boxing is crowning the greatest boxer ever to compete on the network, as determined by you, the fans. Among the countless icons and Hall of Famers who’ve battled on the HBO airwaves, we’ve selected an elite field of 32 fighters for entry in a bracket-style tournament. All matchups are previewed in depth on the HBO Boxing Podcast, and you can vote for the winners on Twitter (@HBOboxing). Who is truly the greatest? That’s for you to decide.

See the other regions: Lampley | Kellerman 

MERCHANT REGION

Named after Hall of Fame HBO Boxing color analyst Larry Merchant, this region features a trio of Mexican legends, a pair of power-punching heavyweights, and a matchup as loaded with star power as any in the first round of the tourney.

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(1) Roberto Duran vs. (8) Erik Morales

If you’re into grunting, sneering bad-assery, there is no better matchup for you than “Manos de Piedra” vs. “El Terrible.” Latino pride is on the line when arguably the greatest lightweight ever takes on the newest Hall of Famer in a battle of four-division champions.

Roberto Duran
Lightweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Middleweight Champion
103-16 (70 KOs)
Years fought: 1968-2001
Best Wins:
KO 11 Esteban De Jesus, 3-16-1974
W 15 Ray Leonard, 6-20-1980
W 12 Iran Barkley, 2-24-1989

Erik Morales
Junior Featherweight/Featherweight/Junior Lightweight/Junior Welterweight Champion
52-9 (36 KOs)
Years fought: 1993-2012
Best Wins:
KO 11 Daniel Zaragoza, 9-6-1997
W 12 Paulie Ayala, 11-16-2002
W 12 Manny Pacquiao, 3-19-2005


(4) Julio Cesar Chavez vs. (5) Juan Manuel Marquez

Viva Mexico! In a showdown that arguably determines the best fighter in the nation’s history, it’s JCC vs. JMM, a battle of versatile boxer-punchers—one a stalk-forward body-banger, the other a clever counterpuncher—who provided fans with countless thrills.

Julio Cesar Chavez
Junior Lightweight/Lightweight/Junior Welterweight Champion
107-6-2 (85 KOs)
Years fought: 1980-2005
Best Wins:
KO 11 Edwin Rosario, 11-21-1987
KO 12 Meldrick Taylor, 3-17-1990
W 12 Hector Camacho, 9-12-1992

Juan Manuel Marquez
Featherweight/Junior Lightweight/Lightweight Champion
56-7-1 (40 KOs)
Years fought: 1993-2014
Best Wins:
W 12 Marco Antonio Barrera, 3-17-2007
KO 11 Joel Casamayor, 9-13-2008
KO 6 Manny Pacquiao, 12-8-2012


(3) Joe Frazier vs. (6) Aaron Pryor

You aren’t going to need ringside judges for this one. When “Smokin’ Joe” squares off with “The Hawk,” it’s a guaranteed brawl. Both men were defined by one rivalry, ruled a single division, and burned out quickly after about a decade of shining brightly. Who’s left standing when this slugfest is over?

Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Champion
32-4-1 (27 KOs)
Years fought: 1965-1981
Best Wins:
KO 7 Jerry Quarry, 6-23-1969
KO 4 Jimmy Ellis, 2-16-1970
W 15 Muhammad Ali, 3-8-1971

Aaron Pryor
Junior Welterweight Champion
39-1 (35 KOs)
Years fought: 1976-1990
Best Wins:
KO 4 Antonio Cervantes, 8-2-1980
KO 14 Alexis Arguello, 11-12-1982
KO 10 Alexis Arguello, 9-9-1983


(2) Manny Pacquiao vs. (7) Mike Tyson

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You won’t have any trouble selling tickets or pay-per-views for this clash between two of the most popular, truly global superstars boxing has ever known. Non-stop action is assured when the spellbinding speed of “Pac-Man” meets the bone-crunching power of “Iron Mike.”

Manny Pacquiao
Flyweight/Junior Featherweight/Featherweight/Junior Lightweight/Lightweight/Junior Welterweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight Champion
59-7-2 (38 KOs)
Years fought: 1995-present
Best Wins:
KO 11 Marco Antonio Barrera, 11-15-2003
KO 10 Erik Morales, 1-21-2006
KO 8 Oscar De La Hoya, 12-6-2008

Mike Tyson
Heavyweight Champion
50-6 (44 KOs)
Years fought: 1985-2005
Best Wins:
KO 2 Trevor Berbick, 11-22-1986
KO 4 Larry Holmes, 1-22-1988
KO 1 Michael Spinks, 6-27-1988

The Greatest HBO Fighter of All-Time Tournament Round 1: Lampley Region

By Eric Raskin

We’re crowning the greatest boxer ever to compete on HBO, as determined by you, the fans. Among the countless icons and Hall of Famers who’ve battled on the HBO airwaves, we’ve selected an elite field of 32 fighters for entry in a bracket-style tournament. All matchups are previewed in depth on the HBO Boxing Podcast, and you can vote for the winners on Twitter (@HBOboxing) or the article below. Who is truly the greatest? That’s for you to decide.

1920-greatest-boxing-tourny.png

LAMPLEY REGION

Named after longtime HBO Boxing blow-by-blow announcer Jim Lampley, this region features a pair of three-time heavyweight champions, a pick-’em matchup of power punchers, and a potential second-round showdown that would determine who goes down as the best boxer of the 1990s.


(1) Muhammad Ali vs. (8) Miguel Cotto

It’s the ultimate personality clash, pitting the soft-spoken, stoic Puerto Rican against the godfather of modern trash talk, the man who dared to declare himself “the greatest of all-time.” And you won’t find two bigger hearts anywhere. You could knock Ali or Cotto down, but you couldn’t keep them down.

Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Champion
56-5 (37 KOs)
Years fought: 1960-1981
Best Wins:
KO 6 Sonny Liston, 2-25-1964
KO 8 George Foreman, 10-30-1974
KO 14 Joe Frazier, 10-1-1975

Miguel Cotto
Junior Welterweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Middleweight Champion
41-6 (33 KOs)
Years fought: 2001-2017
Best Wins:
W 12 Shane Mosley, 11-10-2007
KO 9 Antonio Margarito, 12-3-2011
KO 10 Sergio Martinez, 6-7-2014


(4) Thomas Hearns vs. (5) Lennox Lewis

Whose corner would Emanuel Steward work? The Kronk Gym legend’s two greatest students — one he trained from the start, the other a mid-career reclamation project — make for a slam-bang matchup of two of the most explosive pure punchers the sport has ever known.

Thomas Hearns
Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Middleweight/Light Heavyweight Champion
61-5-1 (48 KOs)
Years fought: 1977-2006
Best Wins:
KO 2 Pipino Cuevas, 8-2-1980
KO 2 Roberto Duran, 6-15-1984
W 12 Virgil Hill, 6-3-1991

Lennox Lewis
Heavyweight Champion
41-2-1 (32 KOs)
Years fought: 1989-2003
Best Wins:
KO 2 Razor Ruddock, 10-31-1992
KO 4 Hasim Rahman, 11-17-2001
KO 8 Mike Tyson, 6-8-2002


(3) Roy Jones vs. (6) Oscar De La Hoya

It’s time to settle the primary pound-for-pound debate of the latter half of the ‘90s, a clash between the most talented fighter and the most popular fighter of a generation. If there was one man who could go left hook for left hook with 1988 Olympian Jones, it was 1992 Olympian De La Hoya.

Roy Jones
Middleweight/Super Middleweight/Light Heavyweight/Heavyweight Champion
66-9 (47 KOs)
Years fought: 1989-2018
Best Wins:
W 12 James Toney, 11-18-1994
KO 1 Montell Griffin, 8-7-1997
W 12 John Ruiz, 3-1-2003

Oscar De La Hoya
Junior Lightweight/Lightweight/Junior Welterweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight/Middleweight Champion
39-6 (30 KOs)
Years fought: 1992-2008
Best Wins:
KO 2 Rafael Ruelas, 5-6-1995
W 12 Ike Quartey, 2-13-1999
KO 11 Fernando Vargas, 9-14-2002


(2) Pernell Whitaker vs. (7) Roman Gonzalez

It’s “Sweet Pea” vs. “Chocolatito,” a tasty pairing of two pound-for-pound kings. Do you prefer the relentless offensive fire power of Gonzalez or the unsurpassed defensive mastery of Whitaker? Either way, the skill on display in this matchup is off the charts.

Pernell Whitaker
Lightweight/Junior Welterweight/Welterweight/Junior Middleweight Champion
40-4-1 (17 KOs)
Years fought: 1984-2001
Best Wins:
W 12 Greg Haugen, 2-18-1989
W 12 Jose Luis Ramirez, 8-20-1989
W 12 Azumah Nelson, 5-19-1990

Roman Gonzalez
Strawweight/Junior Flyweight/Flyweight/Junior Bantamweight Champion
46-2 (38 KOs)
Years fought: 2005-present
Best Wins:
KO 4 Yutaka Niida, 9-15-2008
W 12 Juan Francisco Estrada, 11-17-2012
KO 9 Brian Viloria, 10-17-2015

Dmitry Bivol to Battle Issac Chilemba on Kovalev-Alvarez Card on August 4

 Photo: Ed Mulholland

Photo: Ed Mulholland

WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (13-0, 11 KOs) of St. Petersburg, Russia will make his third title defense against light heavyweight contender Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (25-5-2, 10 KOs) of Blantyre, Malawi as the co-main event on the Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev vs. Eleider “Storm” Alvarez card at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City on Saturday, August 4. The event will be presented by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Groupe Yvon Michel and World of Boxing. The double-header will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10 PM ET/PT.

Bivol, 27, made his professional debut in 2014 with six straight knockouts. In 2016, he defeated Felix Valera to secure the Interim WBA Light Heavyweight Title. After the retirement of Andre Ward in September of last year, the WBA elevated Dmitry to WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion. In November 2017, he made his first successful title defense against Trent Broadhurst in Monte Carlo with a first round knockout. In March at Madison Square Garden, Bivol handed Sullivan Barrera his second defeat and first career knock out loss with a thrilling 12th round stoppage. This will Bivol’s first fight in Atlantic City and mark his third appearance on HBO.

When asked about his upcoming bout with Chilemba, Bivol said, “I am glad that my next opponent will be a tough and well-known boxer in Chilemba!  I will do my best to put on another exciting performance for all my fans!”

Bivol’s promoter, Andrei Ryabinskiy, of World of Boxing added, “Looking forward to another great event with Main Events! I believe Dmitry Bivol is a star in the making; he is very impressive!”

According to Bivol’s manager, Vadim Kornilov, “We are glad another great event will take place on the East Coast featuring two great Russian champions on one card. We had to go through many different opponents and finally were in a tough position trying to find an opponent that would fight Bivol. Happily, Chilemba is a good opponent who has proven to be tough in his previous fights. I’m looking forward to another great event!”

Chilemba, 31, who is from Malawi and fights out of Johannesburg, South Africa is no stranger to tough competition. After making his professional debut in 2005 at the age of 18, Chilemba quietly worked his way through the light heavyweight rankings. In 2013, he traveled to Liverpool, England to face Tony Bellew in Bellew’s backyard for the WBC Silver Light Heavyweight Title. The bout ended in a draw and less than two months later Chilemba returned to the UK to face Bellew again in a hard-fought loss. Then in 2015, Chilemba travelled to Quebec City, Canada to face Eleider “Storm” Alvarez to be the mandatory challenger for WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson. Alvarez defeated Chilemba in a close majority decision.

In Chilemba’s next fight, he travelled to Ekaterinburg, Russia to challenge then unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev in Kovalev’s backyard. Chilemba stood toe-to-toe with the Krusher for 12 rounds, but lost via unanimous decision. After suffering an arm injury in his next fight against Oleksandr Gvozdyk that forced his trainer, Roy Jones, to stop the fight, Chilemba took nearly a year off to recover from the injury. In his most-recent bout, he defeated former world title contender Blake Caparello in Caparello’s backyard.

Chilemba said, “Firstly, I thank God for always watching over me. I thank my manager for never giving up on me, Roy Jones Jr. for all his knowledge and support and I thank Main Events for this opportunity. 2017 was a bad year for me, recovering from surgery and thinking that my career was over, but I'm a fighter; I couldn't give up and I won't give up. I'm going to take this opportunity and give it everything I have. A big thanks to the rest of my team and all my supporters.”

Chilemba trainer, former world titleholder Roy Jones, Jr., said, “So happy to have this fight for Isaac. It’s a great opportunity at a great time. I look forward to a great night for Isaac.”

PODCAST Ep 253: Micky Ward

HBO Boxing Insiders Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney interview legendary warrior Micky Ward on the 15th anniversary of his final fight, discussing his trilogy with Arturo Gatti, what it's like to become the subject of an Academy Award winning movie, his health and daily life after boxing, and why he plans to donate his brain to science.

American Dreamscape

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By Carlos Acevedo

In his heyday, Muhammad Ali, who died on June 3, 2016, after a lifetime of top billing on the gaudy marquee of sports celebrity, was a walking jamboree. Although he was one of the most polarizing figures to emerge from the delirious vortex of the 1960s, Ali would eclipse every fighter in history when it came to recognition. But one of the most interesting American lives of the last half century did not begin with coast-to-coast adoration. In fact, for the first half of his career, which included his exile of over three and a half years in the late 1960s, Ali was loathed by more than the so-called “White Establishment.” Early on, Americans of all stripes were appalled by his rage, his ties to the Nation of Islam, his nasty edge in the ring, and his refusal to serve in Vietnam.

A quirky young man when he returned from Rome in 1960 with an Olympic gold medal, Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) would soon become flamboyant, then defiant, before settling somewhere on the verge of megalomania en route to becoming one of the most cherished celebrities in the world.

Read the rest here