Does Lamont Peterson buy into the hype surrounding Errol Spence Jr.? Peterson calls in to share his thoughts this week on PBC Jabs.
Does Lamont Peterson buy into the hype surrounding Errol Spence Jr.? Peterson calls in to share his thoughts this week on PBC Jabs.
Undefeated contender Caleb Plant faces Rogelio "Porky'' Medina in a 168-pound title eliminator in the co-main event of the FOX-televised card from the Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus.
EL PASO, TEXAS — "Vicious'' Victor Ortiz and Devon Alexander "The Great'' headline a show topped by two USA vs. Mexico battles as the former welterweight champions meet in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, Feb. 17 from Don Haskins Center on the UTEP campus in El Paso, Texas with televised coverage starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
In the co-main event unbeaten contender Caleb "Sweethands'' Plant will battleRogelio "Porky'' Medina in a 12-round 168-pound world title eliminator.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $60, $40, $25 and will go on sale Friday. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Also on the card, Tony Harrison (25-2, 20 KOs) takes on Jorge Cota (27-2, 24 KOs) in a super welterweight showdown and Karlos Balderas, a 2016 U.S. Olympian, will appear in a lightweight special attraction.
"This is a classic crossroads match in the truest sense. Both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz are battle-tested in one of the toughest, deepest divisions in boxing," said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Alexander has overcome some serious health issues and is looking to regain the welterweight championship. Ortiz, also a former champion, has always come to fight and doesn't back down from anyone. It promises to be an entertaining match for the fans in attendance at Don Haskins Center and those who tune in on FOX and FOX Deportes."
Ortiz (32-6-2, 25 KOs), a former 147-pound champion, has split time between boxing and acting throughout his recent career and brings a certain flare every time he steps into the ring. The 30-year-old native of Garden City, Kansas who now lives in Ventura, California, has faced some of the top names in the 147-pound division during his career. Ortiz won the welterweight title with unanimous decision victory over Andre Berto on April 16, 2011. Five months later he lost the title to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. by knockout. Ortiz, 30, suffered a knockout loss to Andre Berto in 2016 on FOX and bounced back with a knockout victory over Saul Corral in his last fight on July 30 on FS1.
"I'm ready to give all I have to defeat Devon Alexander and get my crown back," said Ortiz. "My priority is to make a strong comeback and putting myself in a position to have my straps once again. I demonstrated what I was made of and did what I said I was going to do in my last fight. I'm facing a great fighter in Devon Alexander and someone I've known since we were kids. I don't hate him, but I will not be his friend on fight night and he won't be mine. I'm ready to prove everyone wrong starting on Feb. 17."
“ This is a classic crossroads match in the truest sense. Both Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz are battle-tested in one of the toughest, deepest divisions in boxing. ” Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions
Alexander (27-4, 14 KOs) emerged on the scene with a unanimous decision victory over Randall Bailey for the welterweight title in 2012. He defended the title once before losing it to Shawn Porter in 2013. Since then, the 30-year-old Alexander of St. Louis, Missouri has been on a mission to regain the title. After losing to Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez, Alexander suffered another setback when he sought treatment for an addiction to painkillers. Fully healthy for the first time in three years, Alexander returned to the ring with a unanimous decision victory over Walter Castillo on FS1 on Nov. 21.
"I'm excited to get back in there against a fighter like Victor Ortiz," said Alexander. "We've known each other a long time but never fought in the amateurs, so this should be interesting. My speed, quickness and smarts will win me this fight. Victor checks out sometimes when he can't hit you, so my skills will be the difference. I'm ready for any challenge that's brought my way. When I'm 100 percent, nobody can beat me."
Plant (16-0, 10 KOs) won eight of his first nine fights by knockout, demonstrating power in both hands to go along with his boxing abilities. The 25-year-old climbed into the top ten of the 168-pound rankings with his last victory — a unanimous decision over Andrew Hernandez in Las Vegas on Sept. 8. Medina represents a major step up for Plant and will give him an indication of just where the Ashland, Tennessee native stands in the division as he looks to become a mandatory challenger for the IBF title.
The 29-year-old Medina (38-8, 32 KOs) has squared off against some of the toughest boxers in the division, including current champion David Benavidez and former champions James DeGale and Badou Jack. Fighting out of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico lost by knockout to Benavidez on May 20, and bounced back with a knockout victory over Daniel Eduardo Yocupicio on Sept. 1.
The FOX prime time broadcast will kick off a full night of boxing, leading into a doubleheader on SHOWTIME that features two-division world champion Danny Garcia versus Brandon Rios and 168-pound champion David Benavidez defending his title in a rematch against Ronald Gavril from Las Vegas.
For a complete look at Ortiz vs Alexander, visit our fight page.
PBC Jabs is back with our first episode of 2018! We've got a fantastic year of boxing ahead of us, and in this episode, Jordan Hardy previews the exciting matchups we've got lined up so far. Plus, 135-pound world champion Robert Easter Jr. checks in ahead of his January 20th title defense against former world champion Javier Fortuna.
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David Benavidez dominates 168-pound title rematch with Ronald Gavril
Boxing's youngest world champion, David Benavidez, left no questions in a rematch with Ronald Gavril, defending his WBC Super Middleweight World Championship with a dominating 12-round unanimous decision in Saturday's co-feature on SHOWTIME.
The 21-year-old Benavidez and Gavril had fought to a close split-decision in one of 2017's best fights that saw Benavidez drop to the canvas in the final minute of the 12th and final round. The Phoenix native had no trouble in the immediate rematch, utilizing a stiff jab and a steady diet of combo shots to win a near-shutout over the game Gavril.
Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) wore down Gavril with an intelligent body attack, pounding the midsection to open up power shots and jabs to the head. Benavidez had his best round in the fourth, connecting on a huge right uppercut that nearly floored Gavril - who appeared to be saved by the ropes - and then pounced with a series of damaging combo shots.
Benavidez appeared to hurt his right hand in the second half of the fight and stepped off the gas in the 10th, 11th and 12th. But Benavidez, who connected on 41 percent of his power shots, still landed the harder shots and utilized a stiff left jab to keep Gavril largely at bay.
"I knew he was going to come aggressive. He's a one-trick opponent," Benavidez said. "I knew I could jab and box him all day. When I saw the opening I took it. I didn't knock him out though - he's a tough son of a gun.
"Both my hands hurt but I have that warrior's mentality so I kept pushing.
"I want to be the best in division. So whoever they put in front of me that's what I want to do."
Gavril (18-3, 14 KOs) didn't make any excuses for dropping what was an action-packed affair that was scored 119-109 and 120-108 twice.
"He tried to box me on the outside," Gavril said. "It was good fight. He was the better man tonight. What can I say? I want to go back in the gym and come back stronger."
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Danny Garcia delivers early candidate for 2018 Knockout of the Year—stopping Brandon Rios via ninth-round TKO
Former two-division world champion Danny Garcia returned with a vengeance, knocking out Brandon Rios in a WBC Welterweight Title Eliminator in the main event on SHOWTIME from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
Returning for the first time since dropping a close split-decision to Keith Thurman in a welterweight world championship unification fight in March of 2017, Garcia reminded fans of his position amongst boxing's elite at 147 pounds with an early candidate for 2018 Knockout of the Year. VIDEO: http://s.sho.com/2HpwG0N
Garcia (34-1, 20 KOs) did his best work in the center of the ring, where he was able to box at a distance and fend off Rios' furious pace. Rios, who returned in 2017 from a brief retirement, was most effective against the ropes where he gave Garcia trouble with his constant pressure and his favorite weapon - a wide overhand right.
In the ninth round with the fight where Garcia wanted it - in the center of the ring - the Philadelphia native landed a huge counter right to the chin that sent Rios flat on his back. Rios beat the count, but was clearly wobbly on his feet, forcing referee Kenny Bayless to halt the contest at 2:25 of the ninth.
"I felt the ring rust a little bit in the beginning," said Garcia, who recorded the 20th knockout of his career. "He's a good inside fighter and he was giving me some good uppercuts. I felt good, it was a good nine rounds. He came to fight. I came to box, I did that. I came to bang, and I gave the fans what they wanted - a knockout.
"I just noticed when I was getting my punches off he was standing right in front of me and I just let it go. As soon as I got the fight in the middle of the ring where I wanted I landed good shots. I was just letting my hands go and the punch landed."
After the fight, SHOWTIME Sports reporter Jim Gray asked Garcia how the loss to Thurman affected him.
"The loss was tough. I have the mindset of a winner," Garcia said. "I hate losing. I took it like a true champion and I bounced back like a true champion.
"I would love the rematch with Keith Thurman. It's on him. Whenever he's ready we'll fight."
WBA and WBC Champion Thurman isn't the only potential blockbuster on the horizon for Garcia. Former welterweight champion and the WBC's No. 1 ranked contender Shawn Porter looms for what would be a massive showdown between the former champions.
Former two-division champion Jessie Vargas wants to prove he belongs with the welterweight elites, while Mexican veteran Aaron Herrera believes he has the power to foil such plans.
After more than a year on the outside looking in, former welterweight champion Jessie Vargas returns tomorrow night with an increased level of excitement and determination. And that could spell trouble for every top contender and titleholder in the 147-pound division.
Always a highly skilled, action-packed fighter, Vargas (27-2-0, 10 knockouts) will be making his Premier Boxing Champions debut against Aaron Herrera on the FS1-televised card (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) with a greater sense of urgency as well as a heavy heart—each of which is expected to fuel his drive toward another title bout.
Despite being out of action since November 2016, when he lost his welterweight title to Manny Pacquiao, Vargas is favored to leave the ring in Lancaster, Calif., victorious—notwithstanding the fact that Herrera will make his fifth ring appearance this year.
According to Vargas ring rust will not be an issue for him. His speed, activity level, superior overall skills and boxing know-how have all improved during his time away.
“I’m very happy with the position that I’m in now, and it couldn’t come at a better time,” Vargas said. “When you have good, honest people around you with positive vibes, it’s career refreshing.
“I come to the gym with a different mentality now. And, in my view, I’ve knocked out two of my last three opponents—Sadam Ali and Tim Bradley.”
If ever there was a time for a hiatus, the past year was it. However, the time away wasn’t completely without heartache. His longtime cornerman and father figure, Rafael Garcia, died in November due to Leukemia. Garcia was 88.
While Vargas witnessed firsthand Garcia’s deteriorating health, his passing was very difficult for the highly-rated welterweight to handle. Several weeks after Garcia’s passing, Vargas realizes that the best way to deal with the loss is to devote the rest of his career to the man who has been instrumental to his success inside and outside the ring.
“ People are going to be surprised at how enhanced my power will be now at 147. I’m already a well-established name in the sport with a great style, but fans want to see knockouts. I’m pushing for the stoppage in every fight. ” Former two-division world champion Jessie Vargas
This newfound career purpose, excitement over being part of the PBC team and an opportunity to face the best fighters in today’s welterweight division has Vargas eager to put on a dominating performance against Herrera. But Vargas has too much experience and too much at stake to look beyond any fighter, especially one who is equally determined to make a huge name for himself.
“You’ll see a more-experienced, mature fighter who knows exactly what it takes, that a knockout can come at any time, and who is working on his power,” Vargas said. “People are going to be surprised with the things I’m discovering about my body, at how enhanced my power will be now at 147. I’m already a well-established name in the sport with a great style, but fans want to see knockouts.
“I’m pushing for the stoppage in every fight from now on and beating Herrera the way I’m planning will provide a statement that puts me back in the public eye, letting them know that (I’m) back better than ever.”
Vargas’ intent to exchange power punches Friday night is music to Herrera’s ears. And while Vargas is the more-skilled, more-accomplished boxer, Herrera (33-7-1 with 22 KOs) is seen as the harder puncher—at least on paper. Fifty-four percent of his victories have come by an early finish.
“I’m going against a really good fighter, but he doesn’t punch very hard,” said Herrera, who has stopped four of his five most recent opponents. “I will go bombs away from the first round. He can’t hurt me. I’m confident I will win this fight.
“This is a great opportunity for me. I’ve got to start faster than I did against Brandon Rios and I can’t take anything for granted. The fans will get a great fight and definitely be winners on fight night.”
A toe-to-toe affair is certain: Vargas is determined to make sure fans demand that his next fight is against a fellow top contender or titleholder. An impressive knockout will surely help him achieve that goal.
Herrera, on the other hand, knows his best chance to upset the former champion is to end this fight early—a slugfest improves his odds. This is a career fight for Herrera and he refuses to let it slip away.
If Vargas and Herrera remain true to their words, this fight won’t go the distance.
For a complete look at Vargas vs Herrera, visit our fight page.
Newly crowned 168-pound champion Caleb Truax checks in following is victory upset over James DeGale. Plus, we preview our final final card of the year.
Voting for or Best of PBC 2017 Fan Poll ends soon! Cast your votes now and tune into PBC Jabs next week, December 21, 2017, to see the results of the poll!
Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal is looking to end his career on a high note Friday night, while unbeaten contender Ahmed Elbiali prepares to make a statement during his first main event on FS1.
Former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal is hoping to end his career a winner on Friday night. Unbeaten contender Ahmed Elbiali stands in his way and is hoping to keep his perfect record intact.
Fighting in the main event of the FS1-televised card (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) from Hialeah Park in Miami, Florida, Pascal has already said that at age 35, it will be the last match of a solid, distinguished career.
Pascal (31-5-1, 18 knockouts) has been in a couple of Fight of the Year candidates, most notably 10 years ago against Carl Froch in a unanimous decision loss for a 168-pound belt. He beat Chad Dawson at the peak of his powers, tangled with Bernard Hopkins a couple of times, and seems content with what he's accomplished.
Elbiali (16-0, 13 KOs) is on the other end of the career pendulum. He's a 27-year-old unbeaten fighter living in Miami but hailing from Egypt without a signature victory yet to his name. Elbiali has barely fought more rounds than Pascal has fights, and he's hoping a win over Pascal could up his experience in a big way. He knows what he's up against in Pascal.
"Pascal is a very experienced fighter who knows what it's like to win a world title," said Elbiali, who is headlining his first main event.
"He's a former world champion who's fought at the elite level. He's a dangerous puncher with a lot of skill. I'm taking this fight seriously and I feel this will be a defining fight in my career. I'm happy to have this opportunity and may the best man win."
Pascal is committed to thwarting Elbiali's plans on using his name as a way to climb the rankings and land bigger bouts.
“He thinks I’m going to be his stepping-stone to get known in the world,” Pascal told the Montreal Gazette. “He’s going to be ready. He’s young and hungry. At 27, I was hungry as well. With my experience, I’m better right now. I’m going to use my knowledge, skill and experience to win the fight. I have more experience. Like I’ve said, been there, done that already. I’m going to show him who’s the boss in the ring."
“ He thinks I’m going to be his stepping-stone to get known in the world. I’m going to show him who’s the boss in the ring. ” Former 175-pound World Champ Jean Pascal
The fight takes place in Elbiali's adopted Miami home, but Pascal is used to fighting on his opponent's home turf. His loss to Froch was in Nottingham and could have gone either way. He also knows what it's like to have the pressure of fighting at home, having built a large following in Montreal for years, winning many of his biggest battles there.
Pascal's biggest issue throughout his career has been conditioning. He starts quickly in fights but has a penchant for fading down the stretch. But how much will that matter against Elbiali, a fighter who has only ever gone eight rounds, in their ten-round bout?
In Elbiali's most recent eight-round decision, he won on close scores against the unheralded Andrew Hernandez. Elbiali faced adversity as he fractured his hand early in that fight and seemed to tire down the stretch. What will happen if he goes past the eighth round against Pascal, who has been past that point in a fight 18 times?
A win for Elbiali in emphatic fashion over Pascal could have him knocking on the door for a world title shot in 2018. He knows he must be on top of his game to get the win.
"A victory against Pascal will catapult my career to heights I've never seen," Elbiali proclaimed. "A win will lead to a higher ranking and one step closer to a world title shot. Everything is riding on this fight. Victory is a must!"
It's a real pick em fight and a fun main event between two fighters (who each tipped the scale at 178 pounds at Thursday's heated weigh-in) whose careers are headed in opposite directions. Can Pascal halt Elbiali's trajectory? We'll soon find out.
For complete coverage of Elbiali vs Pascal, visit our fight page.
This week on PBC Jabs, Ahmed Elbiali checks in ahead of his December 8th light heavyweight bout against Jean Pascal on FS1 and we preview the rest of that stacked fight card.
This episode also marks the official announcement for the PBC merchandise online store! Visit PBCMerch.com to browse our selection of shirts, hoodies and hats. Order now to receive your purchase before the holidays.
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