Category: Top Rank Inc

Rob Brant Defends Title In Dominant Performance Over Khasan Baysangurov

On Friday, February 15, 2019, Rob Brant (25-1, 17 KOs) put on an absolute clinic as he dominated Khasan Baysangurov (17-1, 7 KOs) and stopped him in the 11th round in his home state of Minnesota.

For Brant, it was the first defense of his WBA regular Middleweight title.

Brant got off to a quick start to begin the contest. He put his hand speed on display in the opening round. The second round showed his power as he knocked Baysangurov down with a right hand that clipped him on the side of the head.

Brant looked much more confident in the ring in comparison to his opponent. He also connected with the more eye-catching shots as well.

Baysangurov began to find a bit of success in the fifth round. Brant began to lunge in and paid the price as Baysangurov began to land a few good shots. That round however was about as much success as Baysangurov had as Brant boxed circles around him. 

It seemed as though the champion was on his way to a clear decision victory. To Brant’s credit he wanted to put an exclamation point on his performance.

He did exactly that in the 11th. In what would end up being the final round, Brant let off a combination of punches that had his man badly hurt.

A few more punches followed and the challenger hit the deck. It seemed over, but somehow he managed to get to his feet. Brant wasted little time jumping back on his opponent. A right hand by the champion staggered Baysangurov to the ropes and the referee stepped in to stop the contest.

It was a terrific performance by Brant who fought like a man who wanted to prove he belongs among the elite of the Middleweight division. If he continues to string together performances like this, then he will make a strong case to be ranked higher among his peers.

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Jose Ramirez Retains Title via Majority Decision in an Entertaining Scrap

In what turned out to be a great fight, WBC Super Lightweight champion Jose Ramirez (24-0, 16 KOs) edged out Jose Zepeda (30-2, 25 KOs) by majority decision in the Top Rank on ESPN main event on Sunday, February 10, 2019.

Final scores for the contest were 114-114, 115-113 and 116-112, in favor of the champ Ramirez.

Zepeda came out of the gates very fast as he was landing a ton of shots early on. Ramirez just couldn’t get out of the way of the blows that were fired at him. Not only did Ramirez look poor defensively, but offensively he looked lackluster.

The champions signature pressure just didn’t have its normal effect. It was Zepeda who dominated most of the action for the first few rounds.

In the second half of the fight however, Ramirez got back to his normal self. Sensing he was down on the scorecards he began to land several hard shots on Zepeda that forced him back as the pressure he was trying to employ all night finally began to wear his opponent down.

Zepeda just couldn’t sustain his strong start and seemed to be fatiguing both mentally and physically as the bout continued.

The championship rounds is where Ramirez did his best work. The 12th and final round saw both men land plenty of heavy leather, but it was Ramirez who was clearly getting the better of the exchanges.

A combination by the champion pushed the challenger back to the ropes forcing him to hold on. Zepeda made it to the final bell and put up a great effort but it was the champion Ramirez who closed the contest extremely strong.

Zepeda came into this contest relatively unknown and really pushed the champion. Credit goes to Ramirez for weathering the attack of his opponent and coming alive in the end.

The post Jose Ramirez Retains Title via Majority Decision in an Entertaining Scrap appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

Jose Ramirez and Gabriel Flores Jr. Visit Community Cancer Institute

Ramirez-Jose Zepeda and Ray Beltran-Hiroki Okada to be televised LIVE on Sunday, Feb. 10 on ESPN and ESPN Deportes beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT

CLOVIS, Calif. (Feb. 7, 2019) — WBC super lightweight champion Jose Ramirez has fought for many causes near and dear to his heart and to the citizens of California’s Central Valley.

As he readies to defend his title against Jose “Chon” Zepeda on Sunday at Fresno’s Save Mart Center, Ramirez is using his platform to continue the fight against cancer.

Ramirez, along with undefeated prospect Gabriel Flores Jr., visited cancer patients and their families Thursday at the Community Cancer Institute, one of the nation’s premier cancer treatment facilities.

“I lost my grandpa to cancer a few months ago, and I saw how important it was that he had the love and support of his family,” Ramirez said. “If the patient is fighting, then the family should be there fighting as well. I think that’s what you are going to see on Sunday. The whole Central Valley community is also fighting with you guys and will be bringing that motivation and encouragement.”

More than 10,000 fans are expected to pack the Save Mart Center to watch Ramirez, who hails from nearby Avenal. Ramirez will auction off his fight-worn purple gloves and assorted fight night attire, with all proceeds benefitting the Community Cancer Institute. A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the Community Cancer Institute, and Ramirez and his manager, Rick Mirigian, will also donate 1,000 tickets to Community Cancer Institute patients and their families.

When Ramirez walks to the ring, everyone in the arena will hold up a special sign that reads, ‘”Let’s KO Cancer.”

Ramirez-Zepeda and the 140-pound showdown between former lightweight world champion Ray Beltran and Hiroki Okada will headline a special Top Rank on ESPN card beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. Flores’ bout against Alex Torres Rynn will be part of the ESPN+ undercard stream beginning at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.

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Teofimo Lopez’s The Takeover: The Break’s Over (For The Best At 135 Pounds)

Undefeated Lightweight Teofimo Lopez went third person and basically told his detractors, “It’s only entertainment!” 

Teofimo Lopez was absolutely right. Boxing, while violent and potentially life-threatening, is maddeningly entertaining. Fight fans tune in for the competition, all of the aesthetics and even the carnage.

Saturday night this writer was fully in his entertainment bag as the momentum of the landing from Lopez’s backflip carried him over to within feet of the back of badly hurt Diego Magdaleno. Once there, the prodigious Lopez ad-libbed a shoveling motion, signifying any one of today’s brazen phrases to caption defeat of an opponent.

The 21-yr old’s showstopping knockout and the images and energy of that moment immediately brought the words of A$AP Ferg briefly to mind.

I’m on a new level, I’m on a new level…

Bought me a new shovel, put these n___ in the dirt

Briefly because the fight was being watched while sitting on a couch far removed from the action, and this writer also realizes that at that moment Magdaleno was possibly severely hurt – if not irreparably damaged. Also, at 43-years old, cornerstone principles like sportsmanship, humility, respect for your opponent are all long-learned lessons.

Teofimo Lopez, whether you hate him or you like him, you’re still going to watch him – Teofimo Lopez

However, in a brutal sport like boxing fighters have to suspend their civility, and concern for the well-being of their opponent, in order to earn a living in the occupation they’ve chosen. One would have to be built and trained a certain way to have even thrown the second left hook at the defenseless Magdaleno in the final seconds of the fight.

But what is crossing the line in boxing?

Tough to say, and one may only know when they see it.

CLICK THE LINK TO CHECK OUT THE BITE DOWN BOXING RECAP OF TOP RANK’S KOVALEV VS ALVAREZ 2 CARD THAT AIRED THIS PAST SATURDAY ON ESPN/ESPN+. 

Ironically, this writer had just watched a FightHype interview of Lopez a week earlier, where he provided a lucid series of comments regarding the shortcomings often associated with one of boxing’s most flamboyant fighters in Adrien Broner.

After watching the clip it further cemented the belief that the kid might be the goods.

Now, after the kid’s creativity inside the ring ran afoul of what’s normally acceptable for KO celebrations, there’s no need to rush to throw him out with the bathwater. Despite the fact he doubled down on the shoveling move during the post-fight interview with ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna.

The move was crass, but Magdaleno invited the disrespect. Once the former two-time world title challenger realized Lopez was easily out-classing him, he elevated the level of machismo by trash-talking the youngster. Referee Gregorio Alvarez, in his most effective moment of the bout, could be heard when he admonished the fighters for the chatter, and instructed them both to knock it off and fight.

You know the rest of the story. But, once that switch is flipped, how does one shut it down within seconds when the adrenaline’s still flowing? Boxing rings don’t come with a tail-hook.

Professionals ought to figure this out. Boxing’s greatest champions learn this with time.

The sky’s the limit for Lopez, and a performance such as Saturday night’s win only expedites the pace of his takeover movement. The path to a Lightweight crown looks difficult at the moment with new IBF champion Richard Commey expected to fight WBA and WBO champion Vasiliy Lomachencko this spring.

Perhaps even more difficult is WBC champion Mikey Garcia’s relationships with Showtime and Premier Boxing Champions. Sorting all that out allots time for some folks to forget about Saturday night’s lapse in decorum (heard anything about Jermall Charlo spurning Julian Williams’ handshake after stopping Williams in 2016?), and for the takeover to reexamine everything at stake.

Boxing is absolutely thriving right now! Some fight fans may have more fights to watch than they have free time in which to watch them. At a moment fraught with an abundance of opportunity, why would a 21-year old with the total package want to risk ruining what could soon become a lucrative brand to go full-on heel? Because, the kid is definitely on a new level.

Brooklyn ambassador Jay-Z – the all-time great rapper/entrepreneur renowned for his successes with many a “Takeover” – once rapped about the benefits of letting the right person upgrade you, so maybe when Lopez’s takeover happens it can ultimately be “…high level not eye-level.”

Protect yourself at all times.

This article originally appeared at bitedownboxing.com

All photos by Mikey Williams/Top Rank 

All lyrics verified with genius.com

The post Teofimo Lopez’s The Takeover: The Break’s Over (For The Best At 135 Pounds) appeared first on Round By Round Boxing.

After Another Spectacular Knockout, What’s Next for Teofimo Lopez?

Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs) continued his streak of eye-catching knockouts this past Saturday night as he completely pummeled and ultimately stopped two-time title challenger Diego Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KOs).

Lopez may only have 12 fights in his pro career, but he feels like he is on the brink of a title shot. It’s not just that he’s winning these fights, but also how he’s winning them. Although everyone is impressed with him, some reservations are in order.

A title shot is in his future, but not his near future. Lopez has gradually stepped up his level of competition, but now it’s time to go to another level. Let’s take a look at who Lopez should be matched up with next.


Ricky Burns

Teofimo Lopez looks like a rising star. There have been boxers that have had the look of a future champion, only to fizzle out. Lopez seems to be legit, but a fight against Ricky Burns (43-7-1, 16 KOs) will allow us all to find out just how legit he truly is.

To this point Lopez has been matched up with fighters who have fallen short in their chase for a title. In Burns however, Lopez will be taking on a legit former world champion in three different weight divisions. Burns isn’t quite the fighter he once was, but he would represent the toughest challenge of Lopez’s young career by far.

Lopez has generated a lot of buzz for his spectacular knockouts and rightfully so. Burns has never been knocked out in his career and he has fought a ton of big punchers. A fight with Burns would be a massive step up for Lopez, but it will tell us just how good he really is.


Luke Campbell

Luke Campbell (19-2, 15 KOs) is sneaky good and a true title challenger in the Lightweight division. In his matchup against Jorge Linares in 2017 he lost a close split decision all while suffering an early knockdown in the bout.

Campbell is an excellent boxer and has more than respectable power. Outside of his professional accomplishments he is also a 2012 Olympic gold medalist as well.

Lopez would be at a height, reach and experience disadvantage against Campbell. If Lopez wants to continue to climb up the ranks then he will have to add a name the caliber of Campbell to his resume.


Jose Pedraza

A fight against Jose Pedraza (25-2, 12 KOs) seems like it would be premature for a talented, but young fighter in Teofimo Lopez. However Lopez has said on many occasions that he wants a showdown with pound-for-pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko.

If that is the fight he truly wants then a matchup with Pedraza should be on tap for him.

Pedraza is coming off a tough fight against Lomachenko. One which resulted in his defeat, but not without giving a very good account of himself. Pedraza is no push over, he is a real fighter who has the capabilities of winning another world title.

Is a fight with Pedraza a bit premature in the career of Lopez? Yes. Be that as it may, Lopez wants to be fast tracked to stardom. A matchup with Pedraza is the right one to make.

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