Archive for the ‘Boxing’ Category

Andy Ruiz had six weeks to prepare for the fight of his life.

He’ll have a lifetime to celebrate one of boxing’s biggest heavyweight stunners.

A massive underdog just like Buster Douglas, Ruiz knocked down British champion Anthony Joshua four times – four! – and the final two in the seventh round proved the decisive blows.

Ruiz, the first heavyweight of Mexican descent to win a heavyweight title, capped one of boxing’s epic upsets to win Joshua’s share of the heavyweight championship Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

”I just feel so good, man,” Ruiz said. ”This is what I’ve been dreaming about, this is what I’ve been working hard for. I can’t believe I just made my dreams come true.”

Ruiz etched his name in heavyweight lore at 1:27 by TKO in the seventh round to become the surprise champ in a bout that had shades of Douglas’ upset over Mike Tyson for the heavyweight title in 1990. Ruiz barely was on anyone’s heavyweight radar when he was summoned as a replacement to fight champion Joshua in front of a packed Garden.

Considered a joke by fans, all Ruiz did was dominate the British champion and used a TKO turn his life and the heavyweight division upside down. The 270-pound Ruiz knocked down Joshua twice in the third round and did it two more times in the seventh before referee Mike Griffin ended the fight.

He stepped in after fighting on April 20, when he stopped Alexander Dimitrenko. Jarrell Miller’s failed drug tests sent the challenger to the sideline and paved the way for Ruiz’s unexpected title shot.

Ruiz (33-1, 21 KO’s) seized the opportunity and made boxing history to win the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO championships.

Ruiz raised his arms in celebration and jumped around the ring as his corner quickly mobbed him and a wild celebration kicked off.

”I’ve got that Mexican blood in me,” he said. ”Talking about the Mexican style? I just proved it.”

When ring announcer Michael Buffer announced the name of the judges ”should this fight go the distance,” fans laughed at the ridiculous possibility as Ruiz was nearly a 30-1 underdog.

Joshua and Ruiz were both knocked down in an electrifying third round that had the sellout crowd of 20,201 howling with each heavy hit. Joshua knocked down Ruiz early in the round and the promise of an early finish seemed horizon.

Ruiz, his trunks a bit too low for his portly frame, came right back and used an overhand right that stunned the champ and sent him to the canvas. Joshua recovered only to get pummeled in the corner turns his legs to mush. Ruiz knocked him down again in the final ticks of the round as fans in a stunned Garden crowd screamed ”Oh my God!” Again, Joshua beat the count but the bell saved the Brit from a going a second longer in his weakened state. Had it not been a championship fight, perhaps Griffin would have stopped the bout.

Alas, for Joshua, it went on.

Ruiz, whose father, a native of Mexico, got him into the gym when he was 6 and had his son in bouts a year later, stunned the boxing world. Johsua was the fan favorite and had all the hype for his first fight in the United States.

”If it wasn’t for my dad, I wouldn’t be here,” Ruiz said.

NBA star Kyrie Irving and rapper Meek Mill were among the celebrities in the house expecting Joshua to roll to a win and set up more ambitious, lucrative bouts against the likes of Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and a few other potential opponents.

”Sorry I let my fans down, sorry I let my supporters down,” Joshua said.

Wilder, owner of the WBC crown, decided to give Luis Ortiz a rematch. Ortiz battered Wilder for parts of their fight in early 2018 before running out of gas and getting knocked out.

Wilder tried to steal the headlines this week when he announced his rematch with Fury was set for 2020. Wilder and Fury fought to a split draw in December in Los Angeles, with Wilder retaining his WBC heavyweight title after knocking down his British challenger twice.

Joshua instead heads toward a likely rematch against Ruiz later this year.

Former boxing world champion Paulie Malignaggi will make his debut for Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in June when he takes on Artem Lobov, a teammate of former UFC champion Conor McGregor. Malignaggi was brought in to help McGregor spar for his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, and the two camps have been at odds ever since.

Following a press conference to promote the June 22 BKFC 6 main event, Malignaggi took aim at the entire MMA community and not just McGregor for their actions in recent months.

“Lobov and the mixed martial arts community have really disrespected my sport in a lot of ways; boxing, saying that we fight with pads on and it’s not a real fighting sport and what not, but we have all the deaths,” Malignaggi said in an interview with FightHype. “We have more of the deaths by a long shot. We have more of the permanent damage by a long shot. This is not to diminish the danger of mixed martial arts or any other combat sport, but there is a reason why boxing has more deaths and more traumatic brain injuries in one night, because we are the most dangerous combat sport.”

Malignaggi and Lobov were separated after Malignaggi spit in the direction of his opponent. He also verbally went after McGregor once more.

“In MMA, Mr. Tap Machine Conor does it every fight,” he said. “He’s tapout McGregor but at the end of the day, he’s still the biggest star there. It’s more accepting to save your life. In MMA, they praise these guys. He’s over there selling whiskey and people are buying it. 

“In boxing, if a guy quit as much as this guy quit and he tried to make any product, they’d kick him in his (expletive) and say get the (expletive) out of here with your bum product.”

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Mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor is facing a civil lawsuit after being charged in South Florida with stealing the cellphone of someone who was trying to take his photo.

Miami-Dade County court records show that 22-year-old Ahmed Abdirzak filed a lawsuit seeking more than $15,000 on Thursday, accusing 30-year-old McCregor of battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Miami Beach police say McGregor was leaving the Fontainebleau Miami Beach early Monday morning when Abdirzak attempted to take a picture of McGregor. Police say McGregor slapped the phone out of Abdirzak’s hand and then stomped on it several times. Investigators say McGregor then grabbed the phone and left the area. McGregor was later arrested on robbery and criminal mischief charges.

McGregor’s criminal defense attorney called the lawsuit ”a quick effort seeking a payday.”

 

Well, that escalated quickly.

One day after Dana White called Oscar De La Hoya a “cokehead junkie” for making the Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz trilogy, the retired boxing champion’s personal publicist released a statement on his behalf in response to the UFC president’s rant.

“Dana is so small and threatened by our success with DAZN and now in MMA that he is bringing up news from a decade ago to try to stay relevant,” De La Hoya said, according to a statement, sent by Stefan Friedman. “Boxing has entirely rejected him. And MMA fighters are now realizing they don’t have to risk their lives just so he can get rich.

“Golden Boy and I are moving forward and are bigger than ever. Dana should shut the (expletive) up and try to figure out how to save his own company.”

This past week, De La Hoya told MMAjunkie he’d apologized and made peacewith White after attacking “The Money Fight” between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.

White agrees the beef started there, but apparently he didn’t get the olive branch. In a 10-minute rant, he put De La Hoya on blast for allowing Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 to happen this past Saturday in the headliner of Golden Boy’s MMA debut. Ortiz, 43, defeated the 48-year-old Liddell by first-round knockout.

Triggered by De La Hoya’s opinion that he had no right to tell Liddell to retire, White went straight for the jugular, referring to his rival as “the cokehead, Oscar De La Weirdo” and “Oscar De La Dummy” and mocking a claim that the UFC underpays its fighters.

“Oscar (expletive) De La Hoya says, ‘Oh, come over to Golden Boy where we respect the fighters,’ and it makes me sick what these fighters were paid and all this (expletive),” White said. “Out of 14 fights on the card, five bouts were amateur fights, which means he didn’t pay them jack (expletive). And 12 of the professional fighters on the card made less than ($3,000 and $3,000). What the (expletive) are you talking about, you cokehead junkie? And some of the guys on the card made $1,000 and $1,000. And he respects the fighters so much, he couldn’t remember their names at the press conference.

“I hope somebody talks De La Hoya into fighting again. I hope the state of California makes the fight, and I hope he gets knocked out just like Chuck Liddell in the first round. (Expletive) cokehead nutball.”

Ortiz, who hopes to take a promotional job with Golden Boy after announcing his re-retirement from MMA, stepped to De La Hoya’s defense, writing on Instagram, “This is not about you, it is not about me… I want it to be about the fighters & giving them the opportunity to share in all the rewards this business has to offer to where they don’t have to fight when they are 43 (and) 48.”

The trilogy fight drew almost 8,000 fans to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. The card underwent multiple changes before its final confirmation, and the pay-per-view purchase of $49.95 was discounted by $10. A Black Friday offer of $19.95 was canceled due to “contractual restrictions.”

Ortiz knocked out Liddell inside one round, avenging a pair of losses to his fellow UFC Hall of Famer over one decade ago. The matchup was roundly criticized in the wake of Liddell’s performance, and the California State Athletic Commission indefinitely suspended “The Iceman.”

Dana White says the only way Floyd Mayweather Jr. will get his desired nine-figure paycheck from fight Khabib Nurmagomedov is if they square off in the Octagon.

Mayweather told TMZ Sports earlier this week that a potential crossover fight against Nurmagomedov would have to be under his terms, and he’s only interested in a boxing match. However, White isn’t willing to give into Mayweather’s demands.

“The answer is ‘no.’ He’s gonna have to come here and get his ass whoopin’,” White told TMZ Sports. “We did that last time. You gotta come here this time.

“Every time he wants to box. You wanna fight? Want to make 150 million? Come over here and get your ass whooped.”

Mayweather is scheduled to face Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in an exhibition fight on Dec. 31. He has also teased a rematch against Manny Pacquiao.

Floyd Mayweather denied that he ever agreed to fight kickboxing superstar Tenshin Nasukawa in a lengthy Instagram post Wednesday.

“Now that I am back on U.S. soil after a long and disappointing trip to Tokyo, I now have the time to address you, my fans and the media in regards to the upcoming event on December 31 that was recently announced. First and foremost, I want it to be clear that I, Floyd Mayweather, never agreed to an official bout with Tenshin Nasukawa. In fact (with all due respect) I have never heard of him until this recent trip to Japan,” the boxer wrote.

The Rizin Fight Federation announced Sunday that Mayweather would fight Nasukawa on Dec. 31 in Japan.

Mayweather said he was under the impression that he would participate in a private three-round, nine-minute exhibition against an opponent of Rizin’s choosing for a “small group of wealthy spectators.” After arriving at the press conference, Mayweather said he and his team were “derailed” by the way the event was being characterized.

“For the sake of the several fans and attendees that flew in from all parts of the world to attend this past press conference, I was hesitant to create a huge disturbance by combating what was being said and for that, I am truly sorry,” Mayweather wrote. “I am a retired boxer that earns an unprecedented amount of money, globally, for appearances, speaking engagements, and occasional small exhibitions.”

Mayweather (50-0) has yet to fight since defeating Conor McGregor in an August 2017 bout that was dubbed “The Money Fight.”

Nasukawa remains unbeaten in mixed martial arts and kickboxing.

Conor McGregor is expressing interest in a rematch with Floyd Mayweather and an eventual meeting with Georges St-Pierre once UFC 229 is in the rearview mirror.

“The Notorious” will step into the Octagon on Saturday for the first time since Nov. 2016. He’ll take on Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight championship, a belt McGregor was previously stripped of due to inactivity.

“I would like to box him again,” McGregor said of another matchup with Mayweather on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

McGregor fought Mayweather in the ring last year, losing via TKO in the 10th round. The Irishman added he’d gladly welcome Mayweather into the Octagon, but doubts the 50-0 boxer would jump over into the MMA world.

When asked about other potential bouts, McGregor admitted he’s open to a clash with St-Pierre.

“I don’t think next though,” he said, noting that St-Pierre doesn’t have a title for him to take or a personal score with him to settle.

St-Pierre previously revealed he’s interested in fighting the winner of McGregor-Nurmagomedov. St-Pierre and McGregor represent two of the five fighters in UFC history to win a championship in multiple weight classes.

“I’m gonna do fights that interest me or that have meaning,” McGregor said.

As for a possible rubber match with Nate Diaz, the 30-year-old said a third fight will happen at some point.

“I will always give that man his rematch,” he told the show. “He gave me a rematch, I give him a rematch, that’s the way it is. When it will happen, I don’t know. … We will complete that trilogy, no doubt about it.”

McGregor holds a 10-1 record in UFC action heading into his blockbuster title fight with Nurmagomedov, who boasts a spotless 26-0 professional record.