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Boxing

Alicia Napoleon (8-1, 5 KOs), from New York’s Long Island, will fight Belgium’s Femke Hermans (6-0, 3 KOs) for a vacant women’s super middleweight world title on March 3 on the Deontay Wilder-Luis Ortiz untelevised undercard at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, promoter Lou DiBella announced Wednesday. “This means so much to me and for women's boxing in the United States,” Napoleon said. “I've worked very hard for many years and dreamed of becoming a world champion and to have my Long Island fans see me challenge for the title makes it even more special.”

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Headlines

Tony Bellew vs. David Haye II

Boxing

Haye: Bellew is a beautiful man to beat.

David Haye insists his positivity will help him overcome Tony Bellew in their rematch and has praised the fighter for his 'great' hair.

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Boxing

Bellew: I will finish Haye's career.

Tony Bellew believes he will finish David Haye's boxing career whilst David Haye believes he has upgraded himself and is better than ever.

Mark Kerton/Action Plus via Getty Images
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Boxing

Viewership numbers are in for the weekend boxing shows with figures from Nielsen Media Research. Saturday’s night’s Showtime card averaged 412,000 viewers for the full telecast. Fight by fight, welterweight Danny Garcia’s ninth-round KO of Brandon Rios in a title eliminator averaged 516,000 viewers (558,000 peak). The co-feature, super middleweight titlist David Benavidez’s rout of Ronald Gavril in a rematch, averaged 458,000 (489,000 peak). Yordenis Ugas’ seventh-round KO of Ray Robinson in a welterweight eliminator that opened the card averaged 314,000 (487,000 peak). The start of Showtime’s card ran head-to-head with a chunk of a Fox Card headlined by the draw between ex-welterweight titlists Devon Alexander and Victor Ortiz. That telecast averaged 1.1 million viewers. Friday night, the Top Rank ESPN tripleheader (topped by Ray Beltran outpointing Paulus Moses for a vacant lightweight belt) averaged 703,000 viewers, about the same as the previous Friday night Top Rank ESPN card in September.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Divisional Rankings

Boxing

Beltran wins lightweight title with UD victory over Moses.

Ray Beltran picks up the pace in the later rounds against Paulus Moses and claims a vacant lightweight world title.

Photo provided by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
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Boxing

Former junior lightweight titleholder Gervonta Davis (19-0, 18 KOs) of Baltimore is slated to fight April 21 on Showtime. He doesn’t have an opponent but there have been talks for a title eliminator vs. ex-featherweight titlist Billy Dib (43-4, 24 KOs) of Australia. Their camps asked the IBF for extra time ahead of a Jan. 29 purse bid because they were close to a deal. It was rescheduled for Feb. 6 but still didn’t happen because the IBF was told there was a deal. But don’t count on it happening. Multiple sources told ESPN on Tuesday that Davis will instead likely face Argentina’s Jesus Cuellar in a fight for which the WBA would create a secondary world title -- even though it promised to end that practice. Cuellar, a former secondary featherweight titlist, has done nothing to warrant a title fight at junior lightweight. He's a career-long featherweight and has boxed only once December 2015, a decision loss to featherweight titlist Abner Mares in December 2016.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

France’s Tony Yoka (3-0, 2 KOs), 25, who won the 2016 Olympic super heavyweight medal in Rio de Janeiro, is due back in the ring on April 7 in Paris, Ringstar Sports CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN. Schaefer said that Yoka, whose first two fights were scheduled for six rounds and his third was scheduled for eight, will have his first scheduled 10-round bout. Yoka is due to fight Cyril Leonet (12-9-3, 4 KOs), 34, who is the former French national champion and a step up in competition for Yoka, who stopped Ali Baghouz in the second round in his last fight on Dec. 16.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

Super middleweight world titlist David Benavidez (20-0, 17 KOs) may have laid an absolute beating on Ronald Gavril (18-3, 14 KOs) in their one-sided rematch on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, but Benavidez, who won 120-108, 120-108 and 119-109, came out of the fight with a severely swollen right hand. He went to the hospital following the fight to have it examined and there is no break, promoter Sampson Lewkowicz told ESPN. Lewkowicz said that Benavidez, 21, of Phoenix, had an MRI exam on his hand and that it was just badly bruised. He said Benavidez will make his second title defense in July.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Weekend scorecard

Boxing

Garcia knocks out Rios with one punch.

Danny Garcia sends Brandon Rios to the canvas in the ninth round with a strong right hand. Rios gets up before the count of 10, but the referee stops the fight.

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Chris Eubank Jr.

Boxing

Teiken Promotions on Monday added two more world title bouts to the card headlined by secondary middleweight titlist Ryota Murata’s defense against Emanuele Felice Blandamura on April 15 at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. Daigo Higa (15-0, 15 KOs), of Japan, who demolished Moises Fuentes in the first round two weeks ago, will defend his flyweight belt for the third time by facing Nicaragua’s Cristopher Rosales (26-3, 17 KOs). Also, Japan’s Ken Shiro (12-0, 6 KOs) will defend his junior flyweight title for the third time in a rematch with mandatory challenger and former titlist Ganigan Lopez (28-7, 17 KOs), of Mexico, whom Shiro won the belt from by majority decision last May.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

The purse bid for the fight between junior lightweight world titleholder Alberto Machado, of Puerto Rico, and mandatory challenger Rafael Mensah, of Ghana, which was originally scheduled for Feb. 19, has been postponed until March 2 at the WBA offices in Panama City, Panama. The minimum bid is $120,000 with 75 percent of the winning offer going to Machado (19-0, 16 KOs), who will be making his first title defense, and 25 percent to the unknown Mensah (31-0, 23 KOs), though Golden Boy Promotions, Machado’s promoter, and Don King, who represents Mensah, could still make a deal before the purse bid.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios

Boxing

Garcia knocks out Rios with one punch.

Danny Garcia sends Brandon Rios to the canvas in the ninth round with a strong right hand. Rios gets up before the count of 10, but the referee stops the fight.

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Boxing

The new season of “Boxeo Telemundo” kicks off on Friday night (Telemundo, 11:30 ET) at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida, where Mexico’s Ricardo Rodriguez (16-5, 5 KOs) and Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Gonzalez (19-2-1, 12 KOs) will meet in a 10-round flyweight fight in the main event of All Star Boxing promoter Tutico Zabala’s card. The undercard will feature a pair of 2016 Olympians, Antonio Vargas (5-0, 3 KOs), of Kissimmee, Florida, and Puerto Rico’s Jeyvier Cintron (2-0, 1 KO), who will both be in scheduled six-round bantamweight fights.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Devon Alexander-Victor Ortiz

World Boxing Super Series

David Benavidez vs. Ronald Gavril

Top Rank on ESPN

Boxing

Beltran wins lightweight title with UD victory over Moses.

Ray Beltran picks up the pace in the later rounds against Paulus Moses and claims a vacant lightweight world title.

Photo provided by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
1:05
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Boxing

Beltran gives his all against Moses for a world title fight.

Joe Tessitore, Timothy Bradley and Mark Kriegel break down why Ray Beltran staying busy against Paulus Moses helped him escape with a victory.

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Top Rank on ESPN

Boxing

Long-faded former welterweight and junior middleweight world titleholder Ricardo Mayorga, who got knocked out in high-profile fights by Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto, continues to fight way past his prime. Mayorga (32-10-1, 26 KOs), 44, of Nicaragua, who is coming off a ninth-round knockout loss to Andrey Sirotkin in November in Russia, is slated to fight Rodolfo Gomez Jr. (12-4-1, 8 KOs), 28, in a 10-round super middleweight bout at the Laredo Energy Arena in Gomez’s hometown of Laredo, Texas on April 7. The fight, announced Friday, is the main event of the first card being put on by the newly founded Lone Star Boxing Promotions.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

Happy Valentine's Day, from Chris Eubank Sr.

Chris Eubank Sr. delivers his own unique Valentine's Day poem for all the lovers out there…

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Boxing

Boxing

Junior welterweight contender Antonio Orozco (26-0, 17 KOs), who twice missed weight for televised fights in the past year and hasn’t fought since last April, is returning but in an untelevised undercard bout. He’ll fight an eight-rounder at 140 pounds – if he makes it – against an opponent to be determined on March 16 on Golden Boy’s first “LA Fight Club” card of the year at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. Golden Boy announced the card on Wednesday with the main event being Seniesa Estrada (11-0, 2 KOs) against Sonia Osorio (8-5-1, 1 KO) in an eight-round women’s bout. Lightweight Oscar Duarte (12-0-1, 8 KOs) and junior lightweight Jousce Gonzalez (6-0, 6 KOs) will fight six-rounders on the telecast against opponents to be announced.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

England’s Hughie Fury, the cousin of former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, is getting back into the ring for the first time since losing a decision challenging heavyweight world titleholder Joseph Parker on Sept. 23 in Manchester, England. Fury (20-1, 10 KOs), 23, will challenge British champion Sam Sexton on May 12 at Macron Stadium’s Premier Suite in Bolton, England, Hennessy Sports announced on Tuesday. The fight will be televised on free-to-air Channel 5 in the United Kingdom. Sexton (24-3, 9 KOs), 33, will be making his first defense since winning the vacant title against Gary Cornish in October.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

Boxing

On This Date: Douglas KOs Tyson.

Check out Buster Douglas' 10th-round knockout of Mike Tyson in their heavyweight title fight in Tokyo on this date in 1990, which is considered one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

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Boxing

Wilder's blueprint for Parker to beat Joshua.

WBC Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder believes Joseph Parker will have to knock Anthony Joshua out if he is to be victorious.

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Boxing

Oscar De La Hoya, the Golden Boy promoter and owner of The Ring magazine, the 96-year “bible of boxing,” announced Monday that Stefan Friedman, a former journalist and one of his closest advisers, has been named publisher of the print and online publication. Friedman, a longtime public relations executive, will fill the vacant position immediately and take a step back from his duties with Golden Boy. “As a longtime fan and ardent supporter of boxing, I am humbled to be the next publisher of the legendary Ring magazine and entrusted with leading the publication's business,” Friedman said. De La Hoya bought the magazine in 2007.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

Heavyweight division

Boxing

Joshua prepares for Parker title fight.

Heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua undergoes training to fight fellow titlist Joseph Parker.

0:39
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News

Boxing

With production soon to begin on “The Contender” reality series reboot -- 12 hour-long episodes on Epix in late August or early September -- the show is filling its cast. It will include 16 middleweights, two trainers (one for each team of fighters) and a host. One role is close to being set as Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach is in the process of finalizing a deal to join the cast, multiple sources told ESPN on Friday. The show will film in Southern California, making it logistically easy for Roach, whose Wild Card Boxing Club is located in Hollywood. “The Contender” initially ran from 2005 to 2008 with the first season on NBC, followed by two on ESPN and a fourth on the now-defunct Versus.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

Former strawweight world titlist Byron Rojas (24-3-3, 10 KOs), 27, of Nicaragua, who lost his belt to Knockout CP Freshmart (16-0, 7 KOs), 27, of Thailand, by unanimous decision in Thailand in June 2016, will get another shot at the 105 pound belt after the WBA installed him as the mandatory challenger on Friday. CP Freshmart has an optional defense scheduled against Toto Landero (10-1-2, 2 KOs), 22, of the Philippines, on March 6 in Thailand. The winner of that fight is obligated to make his next defense against Rojas. The sides will have have 30 days to make a deal or a purse bid will be ordered.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

The fight between light heavyweight world champion Adonis Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs), of Montreal, and former two-division titlist Badou Jack (21-1-3, 13 KOs), of Las Vegas, on May 19 on Showtime now has a set venue. Stevenson’s ninth title defense will take place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, promoter Yvon Michel told ESPN on Thursday. While the fight always was being planned to take place in Canada there had been talk that sites in Quebec City and Toronto were also possible. The fight will be Stevenson’s second in a row and 13th overall at the Bell Centre, which is where he won the title by first-round knockout of Chad Dawson in 2013.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer

Boxing

Tyson Fury

Gilberto "Zurdo" Ramirez vs. Habib Ahmed

Boxing

Ramirez stops Ahmed, retains belt.

Gilberto Ramirez dominates Habib Ahmed and wins via TKO after the referee stops the fight in the sixth round. Ramirez retains his super middleweight title.

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