From the Alamodome in San Antonio & Presented by
Premier Boxing Champions
Click HERE for Photos from Their First Fight
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 10, 2018) – Unbeaten two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh will both look to kick off their new year with a world title victory when they meet in a rematch for a vacant 140-pound title Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME from the Alamodome in San Antonio in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast begins at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT and will be headlined by three-division world champion Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) taking on unbeaten 140-pound world champion Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KOs).
“Obviously the number one goal for 2018 is to bring home that belt on February 10,” said Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KOs). “Then I want to unify with all the other champions. My New Year’s resolution is to surround myself with good people and win multiple world titles.”
“First I have to win this fight in February,” said Relikh (21-2, 19 KOs). “But then I have hopes of a great year defending my belt against the mandatory and eventually a unification fight. This will be the year I reach a new level in this sport.”
Barthelemy and Relikh will fight for the WBA’s vacant Super Lightweight World Title after their title eliminator bout in May ended in a debatable decision for Barthelemy. This time the fighters will look to leave no doubt with the full title on the line.
“This is my second time fighting for a world title and it will be a second lesson for me,” said Relikh. “This is my time to become champion. I need to do much more during this fight.
“I have to be aggressive right from the start. I’m sure that I need a knockout to get the victory. He can try to run, but he won’t be able to hide from me.”
“Winning this title would be a dream come true for me,” said Barthelemy. “I’d be the first Cuban fighter in history to win a title in three different divisions. The last fight was very close and deserving of a rematch.
“I just need to stick to my game plan and show everyone that I’m the best 140-pound fighter in the world. The key will be to stay disciplined and land hard shots all night.”
Both fighters have sacrificed in training camp on the road to what they hope will be a celebratory moment on February 10, training hard through the holiday season to stay on target for fight night.
“My whole team has done a fantastic job so far in camp,” said Barthelemy. “Ismael Salas and Joel Casamayor are giving me great tips and keeping me focused on my goal. One new thing I’ve added this camp is Bob Santos for nutrition and strength and conditioning. It’s made a big difference over the holidays where I usually eat too much. He’s kept me on a strict diet and training has never been better.”
“These last few weeks through the holidays have been the hardest of my camp, so there was no room for distractions,” said Relikh. “I spent New Year’s with my family and then I was right back into training camp in the morning.”
With two belts in the 140-pound division on the line in the same night, the winner between Barthelemy and Relikh will be in a great position to begin a path toward unification after February 10.
“I will have my eye on the main event for sure,” said Relikh. “I’m focused on Barthelemy now, but I want to unify and if that means fighting Garcia or Lipinets, I will be ready.”
“Garcia vs. Lipinets is going to be a great fight and I definitely want the winner,” said Barthelemy. “Although Lipinets is the underdog going into this fight, I think he’s going to give Garcia all he can handle. But I still think Garcia will come out on top, setting up war between us in a unification bout.”
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Three-Division World Champion Garcia Faces 140-Pound World Champion Lipinets Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME®
From the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas &
Presented by Premier Boxing Champions
Click HERE for Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME
LOS ANGELES (December 18, 2017) – Undefeated three-division world champion Mikey Garcia and unbeaten IBF Junior Welterweight World Champion Sergey Lipinets went face-to-face for the first time Monday at a press conference in Los Angeles to discuss their main event showdown on Saturday, Feb. 10 live on SHOWTIME (10:15 p.m. ET/PT). The matchup of top-5 ranked junior welterweights will take place at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING coverage will also feature two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy in a rematch against Kiryl Relikh for the vacant WBA 140-pound world title.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, are priced at $250, $150, $75, $50 and $20. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow at 12 p.m. CT and will be available at Ticketmaster.com.
Lipinets will be making the first defense of his world title while Garcia looks to become only the third fighter in modern history to become a champion at 126, 130, 135 and 140-pounds, joining future Hall of Famers Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao*.
Here is what the press conference participants had to say Monday from the Conga Room at L.A. Live:
“A world champion like Sergey Lipinets is more exciting an opponent for me than an easy title defense. I wanted a challenge and this man presents that. He’s a bigger man naturally. He’s going to be very hungry and motivated. He knows a victory over me launches his career to the top. That’s going to make this an interesting fight.
“To win a world title in a fourth division is a big deal to me. My dad always wanted a three-division world champion, and now I have a chance to give him a fourth title. That’s something that really excites me.
“It’s been a great return to boxing since my layoff. When I came back, I wanted to move fast and take on big challenges. That’s what we’ve been doing so far. I want to take on any challenges that people think I can’t achieve. I think slowly we’re proving to everyone that I’m better than ever and I’m going to keep taking on the kinds of fights that will cement my legacy.
“It would be a great accomplishment to be in the discussion with guys like Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, that would be a win in itself. But it wasn’t on my mind when taking this fight. I just want to keep fighting the best out there. There’s still more for me to accomplish until I’m on the same level as Pacquiao and Marquez.
“It’s going to be a great fight. Like I’ve said, the challenge for me is that I’ll be fighting the bigger man. On fight night, that advantage he has on me might be enough to make it that much more exciting. It will be interesting to see how well I adapt to the size. I have to make adjustments to overcome those challenges. This should give the fans the excitement that we want to give them.
“My only focus is on February 10 against Sergey Lipinets. That’s my target throughout the entire camp. There may be more opportunities for me on the horizon, but you’ll see on fight night that I’m one hundred percent focused.
“I know that I have the possibility to be the biggest star in boxing like a Floyd Mayweather, and I think I’m on track to accomplish that. I don’t see a lot of guys in the sport with the resume of accomplishments that I have. I’m going to continue take on the best and beat my opponents convincingly.”
“Mikey Garcia is a great champion and I want to be in the position that he’s reached in this sport. The only way there is to go through him.
“I’m taking on a great challenge against Mikey Garcia, and many people think I’m not ready. This is the fight that I wanted. I’ve had many obstacles in my way throughout my career and I’ve overcome them all. I’m going to overcome Mikey Garcia just like that.
“Every time I have sparred with top fighters, like Terrence Crawford, I have learned more about what I need to improve to get to the next level in this sport. That kind of experience has helped my confidence increase and will help me when I face Mikey Garcia.
“A lot of things can happen when you move up in weight. Usually people use some pop. Whatever version of Mikey Garcia shows up; I’ll be ready for him.
“I believe I’m going to win, Mikey believes he’s going to win, and it will all unveil in the ring. One thing I can guarantee; it’s going to be a great fight.
“Every fight I’ve had has been against a tough opponent who has helped get me to this point. Now, I’m ready to fight the best, and Mikey Garcia is truly that.
“I had to work very hard to make the transition from champion kickboxer to a champion boxer. I did everything I had to do, moving from gym to gym and sparring everyone. I always aimed for the best and wanted to be the best at what I do.”
ROBERT GARCIA, Mikey’s Brother & Trainer
“We know that Sergey Lipinets is a very dangerous fighter. He’s a really strong champion. I know he’s going to be hungry because he wants to become a big name by beating Mikey.
“Mikey is very smart in the ring. We’re going to come in there with a good game plan. We’ll have some big sparring partners. Strong, heavy guys who will give Mikey a big challenge in sparring.
“Mikey has to be in great shape for this fight. You can easily win the first eight rounds, but there are still four left. You have to be able to finish the fight. A great power puncher like Lipinets can finish you in one round.”
BUDDY MCGIRT, Lipinets’ Trainer
“We will be prepared for any and every thing. This way, when fight night comes, we’ll have an answer for everything. The key is that we just have to be on point from the opening bell to the end. There’s no way around it.
“We’re going to cover everything in training camp. You have to have every option available to you on fight night. This way, you’re never surprised in the ring. Sergey won’t go in there swinging to get a knockout, he’s going to be disciplined and focus on getting the victory.
“I believe that Sergey is on a mission. I know Mikey Garcia is on a mission too, and I respect that. I respect that these two men are fighting each other. Champions do what Sergey is doing, and that’s fighting the best.”
RICHARD SCHAEFER, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports
“This is going to be a huge night for the 140-pound division. It will be another toe-to-toe showdown at the Alamodome in San Antonio, where so many great matchups have taken place before. Tickets start at just $20 so we expect another great crowd of fight fans down in Texas.
“This matchup features two undefeated fighters, two big punchers and 50 wins, 40 by knockout, between the two of them. These guys are both champions who are daring to be great. These are exactly the kind of fighters that the public likes. These fighters will push themselves to be great.
“These guys only know one thing, and that is winning. Sergey Lipinets is the biggest puncher at 140-pounds and it seems like Mikey Garcia always seeks out these big punchers.
“Mikey is looking to do something that only Manny Paccquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have done, in moving up from 126 pounds through 140 pounds winning titles at each division. It is very difficult to carry that power up from featherweight. You have to tune-in to see an exciting fighter like that trying to make history.”
STEPHEN ESPINOZA, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports
“What boxing needs are great fights. Good, high quality matchups like Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton, Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia and Errol Spence vs. Kell Brook. There needs consistently be good fights, and that’s what we have been doing at SHOWTIME for the last couple of years. No other network has done the quality of fights that SHOWTIME is doing. No other network is as committed to the sport as SHOWTIME has been.
“The best need to fight the best, and that is what Mikey Garcia has done. He came off of a two-and-a-half-year layoff and in 18 months he’s had four fights, two title fights and will be going for a title in a fourth weight class, something only Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have done before. That’s what great fighters do.
“Historically the fighters who separate themselves as legendary, are the ones who challenge themselves and travel across weight classes to seek these challenges. But there are two sides to this story. Those who have been paying attention have seen Sergey Lipinets make a lot of noise on SHOWTIME cards lately. He has risen very quickly.
“If you just look at Lipinets’ record, 13-0, and think about him fighting Mikey Garcia it would sound crazy. But if you look at the kind of competition he’s faced, his last seven opponents have a combined record of 163-15. That’s not something you usually see 13 fights into a career. Lipinets is a combat veteran, and whatever happens in the ring, he will be ready for it. It’s going to make for an exciting night.”
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*Pacquiao won lineal championships at 126 and 140-pounds, although he did not win alphabet titles.
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SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Tomorrow/Saturday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT
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LONDON (May 19, 2017) – America’s youngest world champion, Gervonta Davis, and undefeated No. 1 contender Liam Walsh both tipped the scale at the 130-pound limit during Friday’s official weigh-in at the 133-year-old Theatre Royal Stratford East for Saturday’s IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship on SHOWTIME.
On Saturday at the sold-out Copper Box Arena in London, the 22-year-old “Tank” Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) will attempt to become the first American to successfully defend his title on British soil in nearly a decade. The 30-year-old Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) will aim to dethrone a man labeled by Davis promoter Floyd Mayweather as “the future of boxing” in the first defense of his IBF crown.
The referee for Davis vs. Walsh is Michael Alexander, and the judges are Howard Foster (England), Robin Taylor (United States) and Deon Dwarte (South Africa).
With fans chanting “Walsh is gonna get you” as Davis stepped on the scale, the Baltimore native narrowly missed the 130-pound limit by two ounces. Per IBF rules, Davis was given two hours to shed the extra ounces and successfully made weight approximately 90 minutes later.
“I feel good,” Davis said. “I’m ready.”
After the weigh-in, Walsh downplayed the tense stare down and words exchanged during the faceoff.
“Tomorrow we’ll lay hands on each other for real and the best man will come on top. I’m gonna win. I’m going to give every last ounce of what I’ve got.”
Davis vs. Walsh is part of a split-site, four-fight SHOWTME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast that begins on Saturday, May 20, at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. In the main event, Gary Russell Jr. will make his second featherweight title defense and long-awaited homecoming against mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon live from MGM National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C.
Featherweight World Championship Showdown Headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING This Saturday, May 20from MGM National Harbor in Maryland
Click HERE for Photos Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
NATIONAL HARBOR (May 18, 2017) – Featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. and top challenger Oscar Escandon went face-to-face Thursday at the final press conference before they square-off in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING this Saturday, May 20 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Also in attendance at Thursday’s press conference and competing in action on SHOWTIME were super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and JoseUzcategui, who battle for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship, plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy and former title challenger Kiryl Relikh, who meet in a 140-pound title eliminator. The telecast begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT with Gervonta Davis putting his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh from Copper Box Arena in London.
Tickets for the live event at MGM National Harbor, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go tohttp://mgmnationalharbor.com/.
Russell Jr. was joined by his brothers, 2016 U.S. Olympian Gary Antuanne Russell and unbeaten prospect Gary Antonio Russell, as the trio of brothers look to pick up a hat trick of victories in their hometown Saturday night and on the birthday of their father and trainer, Gary Russell Sr.
Here is what the participants had to say Thursday from MGM National Harbor:
GARY RUSSELL JR.
“I never magnify an event, even though it’s at home. The end objective is still the same. But I think it’s cool that everyone in our neighborhood has the opportunity to be in the arena and see what we do.
“I’m 100 percent physically and mentally ready for the challenge and I’m on top of everything I can be.
“When you get caught up in the hype, it’s a deficiency in yourself. You have to be able to focus on the objective over everything else.
“I believe in my ability but also the ability of my brothers. So I’m not nervous for them. I know what they’ve been taught. They conduct themselves like young men in and out of the ring.
“I want a unification bout after this. I’m ready for any of the other world champions. We can line them all up in the same night if you want. If I can’t get those fights, I’m going to move up in weight and bully around these bigger guys.
“I look at each fighter as their own individual. We don’t prepare the same way for every opponent. He’s a tough fighter who comes forward. He’s very physical and I expect him to be at his best on Saturday. It’s up to me to counteract what he does.
“I love this sport. I love what I do. I love being able to prepare for no one else, but the person across the ring and then dismantling him.
“We worked on versatility most. We believe in the sweet science. A lot of these guys just win because they’re stronger and faster. We want to be more technically sound too.”
“This is a very important fight for my career. This is going to elevate me to where I want to be and give me the platform to do anything in the sport. I’m very well prepared for this.
“I feel strong and healthy at 126-pounds. I’m focused on this fight Saturday night. I’ll fight anyone but right now I have to get past Gary Russell Jr.
“In my last fight I was the underdog. People counted me out. Same thing applies here. I’ve done the work and I’m confident that I’m going to win.
“I didn’t have complete training camps with my past trainers, but now I’m with Ruben Guerrero. I’m learning so much. You can look at me in my previous fights and you’ll see a vast improvement now.
“I want that green (WBC) belt a lot. Green is my favorite color. I want to be the best and to me, winning that title signifies that I am the best. To do that I have to beat the best, and that is Gary Russell Jr.
“I don’t like to talk much but I will say that I’m coming to bring this world title back to Colombia. I respect Gary but my mindset is that I’m taking this title home.”
“It’s been a long hard journey for me. But I’ve always managed to climb back on top. The hard work that I’ve put in will make Saturday night easy work.
“My opponent is a fantastic fighter. If anyone should be in line for a title it’s this guy. He has the the power and he has the skill. I just believe he’s up against a better and tougher opponent.
“I’m going to get in the ring and display all of my abilities. I’m very confident and ready. It’s time for Andre to get on top and stay on top.
“I’ve been out of the ring for a while but most importantly, I’ve stayed in the gym in training the whole time. I’ve kept positive mentally as well. Everything is going upward right now and I’m going to take advantage.
“Uzcategui has everything a world champion needs to get to that title, but he’s facing a more skilled competitor on May 20. He’s deserving of the opportunity and that’s why I trained so hard for this fight.
“The title means the world to me. We fight for the titles first. We’re all coming from the amateurs where we got trophies. My love will always be here with the sport until the day I retire.”
“You won’t want to miss any of these fights on Saturday night. It’s a great card and I’m planning to steal the show.
“I like when my opponent talks a lot. None of the stuff my opponent says can help him in the ring. It’s just me, him and our fists.
“It’s a lot of responsibility to be the top contender for the belt. I have to make it clear that we deserve this so that I can move on to bigger and better things.
“People are going to get to see my power on display Saturday night, but also my other skills. I can do it all in the ring and I’m going to prove it.
“After this I want to take on James DeGale and Gilberto Ramirez. I’m coming to clean out this whole division and be undisputed. It starts on Saturday.”
“I’m living a dream right now that I myself never in a million years imagined. Every time I get to speak with my mother in Cuba, I tell her of this dream that I am currently living and how it is still surreal to me. To be able to fight on these big cards in the U.S. after the long journey, after all the setbacks, I could not be any more grateful.
“Being a world champion in two different weight divisions is something still unreal to me after people doubted whether I would even become a world champion one day. But this journey does not stop here for me. I have the urge to keep on going, make history for my people, and fight the big names in boxing.
“Everyone in my team supports and motivates each other because we know we as Cubans have to work twice as hard as everybody else. There is an unfair representation of Cuban boxers among the press and fans here in America. We are misconstrued as being boring fighters therefore we are determined to erase that stigma and prove to everyone that we can brawl and put on a good show just as much as we can box.
“I have been working on some new and different things to add to my arsenal this training camp. My whole team has been incredible and pushed me every day.
“Don’t miss this fight on Saturday night. It’s going to be eventful and exciting. I’m coming to get a spectacular win.”
“I’m very happy to be here and be a part of this great show. I will do my best to give a great fight on Saturday.
“Camp was perfect. I have a great team and I’m ready for anything. We worked hard and it’s going to be a great performance.
“I’m ready for any style that that Rances Barthelemy can bring into the ring. We thought that we got the win in Scotland against Ricky Burns, but it is very hard to win on points on the road.
“I always fight in different countries so this is just another one on my list. It’s normal for me. I’m very ready for the challenge and I’m expecting a great fight.
“I hope that people like my style. I’m going to entertain the fans and get a victory over Rances Barthelemy on Saturday night.”
GARY ANTUANNE RUSSELL
“I get to pick up right where I left off after the Olympics. I’m fighting on the same night with my brothers for the first time in so long. It was one of my first amateur fights when we last did it.
“I’m feeling really good. We’re making a statement and we’re making history. What’s not to be excited about?
“Mentally and emotionally the Olympics really helped me for the pros. You have to develop over time. We’re constantly training and sharpening our tools. This is a different stage, that’s all.
“I hope everyone is ready for Saturday night. There were some mishaps at the Olympics. Life is going to throw you bumps to get over, and that’s what I’m going to do. Everyone better keep their eyes open Saturday, because it might be quick.”
GARY ANTONIO RUSSELL
“I’m really excited about this fight and competing alongside my brothers. It feels good to come home and fight. My family and friends will be in the building.
“I can’t wait to get in the ring and show what we’ve been working so hard on. All the hours in the gym with my dad and brothers is going to pay off on fight night.
“I’ve seen some video of my opponent. I know his weaknesses and strengths. We’re going to come exploit it on fight night.”
GARY RUSSELL SR., Father and Trainer of the Russells
“We work hard in the gym. Everybody has a plan until they get hit. We know that he’s going to bring pressure and we’ll be ready for it.
“I’m really happy about this opportunity. We can get it all done in one night and put on a great show for everyone.
“I’m definitely in fight mode. There are no extra nerves at all. I just want to get this done and get it done right.
“I can’t really put Escandon in the same category with the top guys we’ve faced. He’s a short fighter. Most people in these weight classes are taller than Gary. At that size, the only way you can fight is straight forward. He’s not going to out box us.”
RUBEN GUERRERO, Escandon’s Trainer
“We’re ready over here. We’re going to do what it takes. We know what we’re up against. He’s one of the best. We’ll prove who is the best on Saturday. This is going to come down to a war. Gary knows what he’s going against.
“I helped Escandon set up a camp in Las Vegas for this fight because this was a huge opportunity. We were up in the mountains and that’s where I wanted him. He’s going to be great on fight night. He’ll be ready to go. It’s not easy to train in Vegas.
“We’re coming to win. We can’t control the judges but we know they’re fair. We’re expecting a fair shake. We’re going to control what we can.”
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ABOUT RUSSELL JR. vs. ESCANDON
Gary Russell Jr. vs. Oscar Escandon is a featherweight world championship showdown that headlines SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, May 20 from MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Televised coverage begins on SHOWTIME at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and features super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui in a matchup for the Interim IBF Super Middleweight World Championship plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy in a WBA 140-pound world title eliminator against Kiryl Relikh. In the telecast opener, from Copper Box Arena in London, Gervonta Davis puts his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh.