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BERMANE STIVERNE SET FOR BATTLE WITH ALEXANDER POVETKIN, WBC INTERIM HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE CLASH,
SATURDAY DECEMBER 17 IN EKATERINBURG, RUSSIA

Las Vegas, NV (November 25, 2016) Former World Boxing Council (‘WBC’) Heavyweight Champion BERMANE STIVERNE (25-2-1, 21 KO’s), will battle #1 ranked contender ALEXANDER POVETKIN, (30-1-0, 22 KO’s) on Saturday, December 17 in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The winner of their highly anticipated clash will be the Mandatory Challenger to current WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder.

Currently ranked #2 by the WBC, Stiverne is deep in training at his home gym in Las Vegas, the Mayweather Boxing Club under the watchful eye of longtime trainer Don House.

“I feel great, this fight has been in the making for a while so I’ve been here training at home,” said the Haitian born Stiverne.

“I’ve got a great opportunity with this fight to get back what I had. Deontay Wilder has my belt, he beat me on my worst night. All I want is the chance to win the world title again and Mauricio and the WBC say I have to go through Alexander Povetkin and that’s what I’m going to do on December 17.”

Stiverne lost a 12-round unanimous decision and his heavyweight title to Wilder on January 17, 2015 in Las Vegas.

Continued Stiverne, “I’ve watched a few of Povetkin’s fight’s, he’s similar in size to Chris Arreola but also very skilled from his deep amateur background, solid puncher but not the tightest defense.”

On April 27, 2013, Stiverne won a unanimous decision over Arreola in Ontario, California to earn the WBC Silver Heavyweight Title.

With the retirement of long reigning champion Vitali Klitschko, the WBC ordered Stiverne to face Arreola once again for the WBC World Heavyweight Title which took place on May 10, 2014 in Los Angeles. Fighting on Arreola’s home turf for the second time, Stiverne was victorious with a brutal sixth round knockout.

Most recently Stiverne won a 10-round unanimous decision over perennial contender Derric Rossy on November 14, 2015 in Las Vegas.

“I’m always training so the time off isn’t a concern of mine,” said Stiverne. “I’ve fought everywhere and a ring is a ring, no issue at all going to Russia. I’ll be well prepared for victory over Povetkin on December 17th and then it’s onto Wilder.”

POVETKIN vs. STIVERNE is presented by World of Boxing in association with Don King Productions.


Andre Ward Defeats Sergey Kovalev in Close Decision
Results from T-Mobile Arena


Las Vegas, Nevada:
In front of a packed house at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and live on HBO Pay-Per-View, Andre "S.O.G." Ward (31-0, 15 KOs)* won a close unanimous decision victory over Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) to steal the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Titles in a decision that most ringside media thought went the wrong way.

Both fighters were feeling each other out in the first two rounds. The Krusher continued his come-forward attack and knocked Andre down in the second. Ward managed to get up quickly and took several hard shots from Sergey before the bell rang to end the second round. The next several rounds included heavy shots from both fighters and some wrestling-style moments. The majority of the rounds were hard-fought and close. Many writers had the decision going to the other way but all three judges scored the bout 114-113 in favor of Ward.

After the fight, Andre Ward said, "I was not surprised when I heard the decision I don't know where you got that from. I know it was a close fight. The crowd you can hear they thought I won. I have been a champ before. I knew it was going to be a tough fight. It was the first time in my career I was dropped. He did everything I expected him to do. He started to show up as I expected. My coach did a great job. It's hard for me to call myself great. At the end of the day I am a two-weight division champion. Of course I would do a rematch. I am not going to negotiate a fight right now. I will go home and relax and see what's next."

Sergey Kovalev replied, "It's the wrong decision. I don't want to say my opinion. The witnesses are here; they saw it. It's my job. It was a fight of my life. I am disappointed in the judges' decision. He got maybe a few rounds; I agree with that. I kept control. I lost maybe three rounds the whole fight. Of course I want a rematch and I will kick his ass. I want to show good boxing. I am against here, it is the USA, and all the judges were from the USA. He is a boxer. It's a sport. Don't make it politics; it is a sport and I won the fight."

The second fight of the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast was a battle for the NABF Light Heavyweight Title between undefeated prospect Oleksandr "The Nail" Gvozdyk (12-0, 10 KOs) and Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba (24-5-2, 10 KOs). Gvozdyk and Chilemba traded some heavy shots for eight full rounds. After the eighth round Chilemba's trainer, Roy Jones, Jr. stopped the fight because Chilemba had suffered a broken right hand. Gvozdyk retained his title and remains undefeated.

After the fight Gvozdyk said, "I'm very excited and happy. What more can I say? This is the best feeling!"

Chilemba had little to say after the fight because he was in tremendous pain and could barely speak. However, he did manager to add, "I am devastated. If I hadn't hurt my right arm in the third round it would have been a completely different outcome. I was in an incredible amount of pain from the third round through the rest of the fight."


Fan favorite Curtis "Cerebral Assassin" Stevens (29-5, 21 KOs) opened the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast against James "The King" de la Rosa (23-5, 13 KOs). Curtis knocked down de la Rosa in the first and immediately attacked again as soon as The King returned to his feet but the bell rang soon after to end the round. Stevens managed a cut over de la Rosa's left eye that began to impede his vision in the third. However, Stevens hurt his left hand in the fourth round and the momentum of the fight slowed as a result. Stevens continued to dominate the remainder of the fight despite the injury. A point was taken away from Stevens in the eighth for a low blow but in the end it did not matter as Stevens retained his WBC Continental Americas Middleweight Title with a unanimous decision victory. Two judges scored the contest 96-92 and one judge had the score 98-90.

After the fight Stevens gave an honest review of his performance when he said, "I give myself a C minus. Could have thrown my jab a little more. I am glad I got the W but I am a little disappointed in myself. The jab was good but I could have popped that shit a little more. Hurt my left hand in the fourth round. He's got a hard-ass head. But I am glad I got the win."

When asked about the fight de la Rosa simply said, "I don't have any comments. People saw what it was."

In the final bout before the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast began, heavyweights Darmani "Rock Solid" Rock (6-0, 4 KOs) and Brice Ritani-Coe (4-5-1, 3 KOs) fought in a four round bout. Rock walked away still undefeated with two judges scoring the contest 40-36 and one score care at 40-35 for a unanimous decision for the Philly native.

Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa "T-Rex" Shields (1-0) made her professional debut against her long-time amateur rival Franchon "The Heavy Hitting Diva" Crews (0-1) who also made her professional debut in a four-round action-packed super middleweight bout. All three judges scored the bout 40-36 in favor of Shields.

Featherweight Tyler "Golden Child" McCreary (12-0, 6 KOs) went the distance against Vincent "Pooh Bear" Jennings (5-3-1, 4 KOs) and earned a majority decision with the judges scoring the bout 57-57, 59-55, 58-56.

The free view opened with junior welterweights Sonny "Pretty Boi" Fredrickson (15-0, 9 KOs) and Gabriel Duluc (11-2, 2 KOs) squaring off for the full eight scheduled rounds before Fredrickson was declared the winner by unanimous decision 78-74, 77-75, 78-74.


Bakhram Murtazaliev
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events


Bakhram Murtazaliev (7-0, 5 KOs) made quick work of Botirsher Obidov (6-1-1, 2 KOs) with three knockdowns in the second round before the referee stopped the fight at 2:52 of the second round.


Beckford and Nursultanov
Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events


In the first fight of the evening middleweight Meiirim "The Sultan" Nursultanov (1-0) made his professional and Main Events' debut with a six-round unanimous decision victory against Henry Beckford with all three judges scoring the contest 60-54.


Featherweight World Title Showdown Headlines
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® Doubleheader Saturday, December 10 from Galen Center at USC in Los Angeles



Live on SHOWTIME®

LOS ANGELES (October 27, 2016) - Featherweight world champion Jesus Cuellar and former three-division world champion Abner Mares met face-to-face Thursday at a press conference at OUE Skyspace at US Bank Tower - the tallest building west of the Mississippi River - to discuss their world title showdown presented by Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Saturday, December 10. The event will be live on SHOWTIME from USC's Galen Center in Los Angeles.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader begins with super welterweight world champion Jermall Charlo defending his title against top contender Julian "J-Rock" Williams in a matchup of undefeated rising stars in their prime.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports and TGB Promotions, go on sale tomorrow, October 28 at 3 p.m. PT and are priced at $35, $50, $75, $150 and $200. To purchase tickets go to www.galentix.com.

Here is what the participants had to say Thursday about the highly anticipated night of action:

JESUS CUELLAR

"I've been wanting to fight Mares for about two years. It's finally going to happen. This is what I want. I'm going to make a statement.

"I'm very happy that this fight is finally here. I can't wait to get in the ring on December 10. I'm thankful for the opportunity. I know Mares is popular in Los Angeles, but I have a following as well and they will be there to support me.

"I'm training very hard and feeling physically strong. We never stopped training for this fight. Mares will come prepared for a war and I hope that's what the fight is like. It's going to prove who has the bigger heart.

"I've been training with Freddie Roach for about four months. It's been a great partnership and he will make me even better than I've been. We've been practicing really hard. Freddie is handing me the tools to go to work. You will see all my experience come together on fight night.

"Mares is a great fighter. He's been a champion for many years. He's never faced an opponent like me. This will be his hardest challenge.

"I'm sure Mares will give it his all, just like I will. I've been dreaming about this fight for years. This will be a great battle, but I am prepared to take my belt back to Argentina.

"This is the most important fight of my career. I'm planning on knocking him out. I know that big things are going to come my way after I beat Mares."

ABNER MARES

"This is going to be a smarter Abner Mares. I've been learning a lot with Robert Garcia. They gave us a year to train and learn together. He's a knowledgeable coach. He's not just a guy who works mitts. This is the real deal. He gets you better and I'm really happy with him.

"I want to thank Cuellar and his team for waiting for this fight to come to fruition. I really appreciate that as a person. It's finally here.

"I was actually commentating the Stiverne vs. Arreola fight at Galen Center and it was a great atmosphere. The environment there is incredible and I was just imagining being up in the ring as the main event.

"I want the winner of the Frampton vs. Santa Cruz rematch. I want to continue to fight the best. I want to be known as a guy who fights the best.

"Being on the big stage like this has made me what I am. Being on the bantamweight tournament on SHOWTIME really started to show people what my style is like. To be back for another world opportunity, it means everything to me. I'm hoping to give them another exciting fight.

"I never talk down about a fighter. We all deserve our respect. We all have the same desire to strive to be the best. Cuellar is a beast. He hits hard. The record speaks for itself and that's what has me so excited. This is the kind of fight I want to be in. It brings the best out of me.

"If I have to make it into a brawl, I will do that. I have the boxing abilities to be the smarter fighter and win by out boxing him. I learn from all of my fights, especially the losses. From the Santa Cruz fight I learned that I really need to listen to my corner. I let the crowd get to me and fought the wrong fight. I'm going to be ready for everything.

"This title coming home is going to be a nice Christmas present. It means the world to me. I'm going to add something to my trophy case.

"I'm a new man. I'm a grown man. I have two beautiful daughters. I like to learn something new every day. You will see a different Abner on December 10. This is going to end the year with the 'Fight of the Year.'"

ROBERT GARCIA, Mares' Trainer

"I'm thankful to Cuellar and his team for giving us this opportunity. He's a good person who trains very hard and gives 100 percent all the time.

"I've been working with Abner almost this whole year. The dates for the fight have changed but now we have had a lot of time to get to know each other. We've been working side-by-side and we've had a lot of time to learn about each other.

"I think everybody should come out to this fight or watch on SHOWTIME, because it's going to to be one of the best fights of the year. I guarantee it."

SEBASTIAN CONTURSI, Cuellar's Manager

"Here we go again. It's been a long process and there have been a lot of people who have helped get us to this.

"I want to thank Mares and his whole team for taking this fight. This is going to be a war. There's no doubt about it. We love Robert, but we will have our back and forth leading up to this one. These are boxing war times, but he is a great person. But now we are with another one of the best trainers in the world, none other than Freddie Roach.

"Cuellar doesn't live in Los Angeles. He actually still lives in Argentina. But he has stayed in Los Angeles throughout this whole process. He's been away from his friends and family for almost nine months, but he has not complained once or asked to go home. That just shows the kind of professional that Jesus Cuellar is."

RICHARD SCHAEFER, Chairman & CEO of Ringstar Sports

"I'm truly excited to be here with all of you. This night will feature two top-notch matchups and four guys who are at the pinnacle of their respective divisions. I'm really excited for this to be my first event back.

"This is a statement fight for Jesus Cuellar. It's the biggest fight of his career. But he has passed every test so far. He's a true warrior, as all Argentine fighters are. He's a big puncher with a sterling record. This is a tough challenge, but he has every intention of keeping that belt.

"Abner Mares is a true warrior and you will all have the opportunity on December 10 to go after a fourth world title against a strong champion in Jesus Cuellar, who has defended his title five times. But that is the kind of person Abner Mares is. He's going to test himself against the best there is.

"I'm happy to be back and hopefully I'll be able to add to this great sport of boxing. We're here in a first class venue today and this is the kind of venue deserving of boxing. Boxing is about entertainment, and if you were to pick four boxers to put on an entertaining card, these would be them.

"These are going to be tremendous fights. Styles makes fights. Mares has been waiting for this opportunity and Cuellar is going to fight to keep his title. This is one of the most talked about fights around. It's going to be all toe-to-toe action from the start to the finish.

"Two of the best matches in the sport are happening right here in Los Angeles on the same night. This is the best fighting the best and Los Angeles will be buzzing.

"It's very special to be able to do my first event back in Los Angeles. To have two exciting, toe-to-toe battles on this card is great. Then the cherry on top is the opportunity to work with a man like Abner Mares. I met him at the 2004 Olympics and I was always impressed with his style and his personality and how he carries himself. "

BRITTANY GOOSSEN BROWN, TGB Promotions

"We're thrilled to be here working on another great night of boxing. Together, with the matchmaking expertise of my father, Tom Brown, and Richard's promotional talent, this has the makings of an excellent collaboration.

"We're especially looking forward to working with the great staff at the Galen Center. We were here once before, for the heavyweight world title fight between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne. That was a sold out night and I have a feeling this one will be too.

"Los Angeles has the best fight fans in the world and I know that they will be there to support these great fighters."

CHRIS DEBLASIO, SVP Sports Communications at Showtime Networks

"SHOWTIME continues to deliver the strongest lineup of any network in boxing, bar none. We recently announced a slate of upcoming events that is further proof that no one is committing more resources to move the sport forward than than Showtime. And the next great run of evenly matched, world class fights begins on Saturday, December 10 in Los Angeles. This card features four fighters ranked in the top-10 of their division taking the right fight at the right time. These men are as respectable and dependable outside of the ring as they are ferocious and talented inside the ring.
"We're proud to be showcasing these two world title fights on the network. These fights exemplify what SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING is all about.
"Mares and Cuellar might be the most evenly matched of the five featherweight championship fights we have presented on SHOWTIME this year. And we know that Jermall Charlo vs. Julian Williams, the latest in a series of fights at junior middleweight, will determine the future of the deep and talented division."


 

 

 

Le


Badou Jack & James DeGale Meet in Super Middleweight World Championship Unification Showdown Saturday, January 14 From Barclays Center in Brooklyn Live on SHOWTIME



Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose Pedraza
Battles Undefeated Rising Star Gervonta Davis in
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING Action

BROOKLYN (November 17, 2016) – WBC Super Middleweight World Champion Badou Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) and IBF Super Middleweight World Champion James DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) will look to stake their claim as the best 168-pound fighter in the world when they meet in a title unification clash on Saturday, January 14 from Barclays Center in Brooklyn and live on SHOWTIME as boxing returns to New York for the first time in five months.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXINGâ telecast will also feature undefeated junior lightweight world champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (22-0, 12 KOs) defending his title against up-and-coming Mayweather Promotions’ undefeated contender Gervonta “The One” Davis (16-0, 15 KOs).

“I’m expecting a very tough fight from James DeGale,” said Jack. “But I’m very confident that I’m going to win the fight and become the unified champion. This is an incredible stage to be at Barclays Center and on SHOWTIME and I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m ready to make my mark as the best in the division.”

“I am so happy that this fight has finally been made,” said DeGale. “This is the best fighting the best. This is what boxing is all about. Badou Jack is a very good fighter and he’s underrated. I am going to have to be 100 percent on my game to beat him, but I am confident I will deliver on January 14. I have already fulfilled my dream of becoming a world champion and now it is time to unify.”

“Davis is a great young fighter with an impressive record,” said Pedraza. “He is a complete fighter and I am very happy to fight a challenger of his caliber. However, I do feel that Davis has been protected so I plan to really show off in this fight and perform at my best. Defeating Davis will be a great start to 2017, a year I would love to unify my division. I am thrilled to be back on SHOWTIME and look forward to putting on a great show for all those in attendance at Barclays Center.”

“I'm excited for the opportunity to fight a respected undefeated world champion like Jose Pedraza,” said Davis. “I'm also ready to show the boxing world what I'm capable of doing. Boxing is searching for its next star and I believe that I'm the one. On January 14, I plan to show what over 200 amateur wins and 12 years of training with coach Calvin Ford looks like. Baltimore, we're here. Brooklyn, I'm ready to shine for you. Jose Pedraza, get ready. I'm coming to kick your a**.”

“Mayweather Promotions is pleased to have the opportunity to bring this huge event to Brooklyn and Barclays Center,” said Floyd Mayweather, President of Mayweather Promotions. “Badou Jack versus James DeGale is one of the best match-ups in the sport. It’s the best fighting the best. I believe that Badou Jack has what it takes to be a unified world champion. I’m also excited to see Gervonta Davis fight for his first world title. He has the skills to be a fighter who carries the sport. He has a tough, undefeated world champion in front of him and I am looking forward to seeing him perform on January 14. These are two evenly-matched fights that will bring a lot of explosive action to the ring on fight night, you don’t want to miss it.”

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, start at $25. Tickets are available starting Friday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

Both Jack and DeGale retained their titles on SHOWTIME in April. Jack kept his belt via a controversial split draw against Lucian Bute, a match in which many thought Jack had prevailed, while DeGale defeated mandatory challenger Rogelio Medina. Both fighters were sharp; each landed over 60 percent of his respective power punches to set up this showdown for the top spot in the super middleweight division.

"We’re looking forward to bringing our first boxing event to Barclays Center in Brooklyn on January 14, when Badou Jack will face James DeGale in a world title unification bout live on SHOWTIME," said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Badou has a tremendous work ethic and ability to stay focused and this has helped him get to where he is now in his career. He's prepared to keep putting the hard work in to stay on top. Every time he was counted out, it just made him work harder. He’s proof that if you stay focused and dedicated to your craft, you can reach your dreams. I’m also eager to see Mayweather Promotions’ own Gervonta Davis in his first world title fight. We believe there is a bright future ahead for that young man and this could be the first step on his way to a truly special career.”

“Boxing will return to New York in 2017 with a tremendous card at Barclays Center on January 14 featuring two high caliber championship contests,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “With Badou Jack and James DeGale facing off, you have champion versus champion, the best fighting the best in what promises to be an action-packed battle in a super middleweight unification. Puerto Rico’s only world champion, undefeated Jose Pedraza, will defend his junior lightweight title against a hungry, heavy-handed challenger in Gervonta Davis.”

“Jack vs. DeGale is a terrific start to 2017,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “I want to thank Floyd Mayweather for making this fight happen and to Lou DiBella for his continued support of BROOKLYN BOXING. In our fifth year at Barclays Center, we are committed to boxing more than ever before.”

“In 2016, SHOWTIME delivered more high-quality, competitive fights than any other network and 2017 will be no different. We’re thrilled to kick off the year with a true ‘50/50’ unification fight between two world champions in the prime of their career,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “Badou Jack vs. James DeGale is boxing at its best – a matchup between the No. 1 - and No. 2-ranked boxers in the division – the right fight happening at the right time. And the Jose Pedraza-Gervonta Davis co-feature, which features two of boxing’s rising stars, could have been a main event on its own. There is no better way to begin the year, as well as our tremendous run of four separate SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentations over a seven-week span.”

Jack, who fights out of Las Vegas by way of Stockholm, Sweden, captured the WBC 168-pound crown with a 12-round majority decision over previously unbeaten defending champion Anthony Dirrell last April 24. A former amateur standout who represented Gambia in the 2008 Olympics, Jack retained his belt against former world title challenger George Groves last Sept. 12 on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather’s final fight. Jack was an underdog against both Dirrell and Groves before retaining his title. The 6-foot-1, 33-year-old won four in a row leading up to his controversial draw against Bute in April.

DeGale won the vacant IBF belt in his U.S. debut last May by dropping Andre Dirrell twice on his way to a unanimous decision. The 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist from London then successfully defended it last November in a thrilling shootout with the hometown favorite and former titlist Bute. The 30-year-old, who’s only blemish came in a majority decision in his 11th bout against the then-unbeaten Groves, will make his fourth consecutive start outside his native England as he looks to become a global power and a unified champion at 168 pounds.

The switch-hitting Puerto Rican Olympian Pedraza backed up his “The Sniper” moniker against Andrey Klimov, picking apart the Russian with superior speed and accuracy on his way to a world title win last June. Pedraza earned a shot at the title in his previous bout with a career-best victory over former world title challenger Michael Farenas. The 27-year-old then went on to defend his title successfully against Edner Cherry last October and most recently against Stephen Smith in April. This fight marks the fourth consecutive time that Pedraza has fought on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.

A highly regarded prospect that won the 2012 National Gloves championship, the 22-year-old Davis recorded five victories inside of the distance in 2015. The Baltimore native, who Floyd Mayweather has called “the next big star in boxing,” kept his momentum going into 2016 as he recorded a sixth-round stoppage of Guillermo Avila in April and a first round knockout of Mario Macias in June. Davis enters his first world title showdown with seven straight victories by stoppage.


Featherweight World Championship Rematch Between
Carl Frampton & Leo Santa Cruz Headlines
Premier Boxing Champions Event Saturday, January 28
From MGM Grand Garden Arena
in Las Vegas Live on SHOWTIME



PLUS! Lightweight World Champion Dejan Zlaticanin Battles Undefeated Former Two-Division Superstar Mikey Garcia


LAS VEGAS (November 23, 2016) - Undefeated featherweight world champion Carl "The Jackal" Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) and former three-division world champion Leo "El Terremoto" Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) will meet again in a world title rematch that headlines a Premier Boxing Champions event Saturday, Jan. 28 live on SHOWTIME from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader will also feature lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs) making his first title defense against fan favorite and former two-division titlist Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs).

Frampton and Santa Cruz are set to clash in a rematch of their July "Fight of the Year" candidate that saw tremendous back-and-forth action throughout the 12-round fight that ended in a majority decision for the Irish fighter. Frampton drew significant Irish support in Brooklyn and will now bring his legion of fans to Las Vegas for the first time in an arena where Santa Cruz has fought six times. Just a few hours from Santa Cruz's home of Los Angeles, the electric atmosphere is sure to be buoyed by two men who combined to land 402 power shots out of the 497 punches landed in their first fight.

To kick off the promotion, Frampton and Santa Cruz will be holding open-to-the-public press conferences in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Tuesday, Nov. 29 and in Los Angeles on Thursday, Dec. 1 with more details to be announced shortly.

"The rematch is the fight we wanted," said Frampton. "I enjoyed our first fight in New York. The atmosphere was fantastic and the fight lived up to the hype. On January 28th I will be better and I will win more convincingly. I know the way Leo fights, he throws a lot of punches and he is brave, but his style suits me. It has always been a dream of mine to headline in Las Vegas and I cannot wait to get out there and put on a great performance for the American boxing fans and the travelling support from Ireland and the UK."

"From the moment our last fight ended, when the decision came and I lost the fight, I knew my only goal was to get my belt back," said Santa Cruz. "When I sat in the locker room afterward, I felt more motivated than ever to get back in the gym. All I've thought about since the fight was this rematch. There won't be any distractions in this camp. I'll be heading into the fight with a better game plan. I'm putting in 100 percent in training and I'm excited to get in the ring on January 28 to get my belt back."

"This is the most important fight of my career," said Zlaticanin. "I expect a tough and ruthless fight. I know how good Mikey Garcia is, but I also know how good I am. The fight is not going to reach the final bell; one of us will be knocked out, and I believe it will be Mikey. Garcia has never fought a good and strong fighter like me before. He will feel my power on January 28."

"I'm very happy and excited for my upcoming fight," said Garcia. "This is a chance to claim a third world title in my third division. Zlaticanin is tough, strong and dangerous but I feel confident in my abilities. I'm planning on giving the fans in Las Vegas a great show. 2017 will be a great year for me and it all starts January 28!"

"Frampton-Santa Cruz II is truly the best that boxing has to offer, an immediate rematch of a leading Fight of the Year candidate between the two top-rated fighters in the division," said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. "And Zlaticanin vs. Garcia is a '50/50' fight between two undefeated champions and a main event in its own right. The Jan. 28 telecast is the cornerstone of four upcoming SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING presentations that feature the best matchups in boxing's deepest divisions. Events like this one are proof that SHOWTIME delivers the strongest boxing line up of any network in the sport today."

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports in association with Cyclone Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $504, $404, $304, $204, $104 and $54, and go on sale Tuesday, November 29 at 9 a.m. PT. Tickets are available at www.AXS.com.

"I am looking forward to a terrific event in Las Vegas," said Barry McGuigan of Cyclone Promotions, a former world champion and Hall of Famer. "The first fight between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz was sensational and I truly believe that the rematch will be even better. I'm convinced that Carl will win the rematch more convincingly and beating someone like Leo Santa Cruz a second time will define Carl as true great of Irish boxing. I know everyone at Cyclone Promotions is proud to deliver a great night of boxing at MGM Grand where there will be a full action packed card of championship fights."

"It's a thrill to promote another fantastic night of boxing featuring two evenly matched world championship showdowns," said Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of Ringstar Sports. "These are the kinds of cards that Ringstar is all about. Frampton and Santa Cruz put on a memorable performance in July and battled from the opening bell. It was Frampton who took home the belt last time, but I expect that Leo will train to be 100 percent and do everything in his power to get his title back. I believe this could be an even better fight than the first one. We also have Mikey Garcia, who shook off the ring rust in July and will challenge the most dangerous lightweight champion in the world, Dejan Zlaticanin, in the co-main event. This is a fight that looks destined to end by knockout. The perfect stage for this great night of action is the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and I anticipate a huge crowd on hand to support these outstanding fighters."

"The first fight between Frampton and Santa Cruz was action packed from start to finish and I guarantee the rematch will be the same," said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. "Along with the Zlaticanin-Garcia bout, as they battle for a world title, you have another can't miss night of boxing from the MGM Grand live on SHOWTIME."

Frampton's all-action style has made him a firm favorite with boxing fans all around the world. The record breaking Northern Irishman is currently one of the best pound-for-pound boxers on the planet and on January 28 will, for the first time, take his legion of fans to the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas. The 29-year-old defeated Santa Cruz after conquering rival Scott Quigg in their 122-pound unification bout in February. Fighting out of Belfast, the Irish national amateur champion (in 2005 and 2009) became a world champion in 2014 when he defeated Kiko Martinez to earn a super bantamweight title. He made his U.S. debut in July 2015 when he defeated Alejandro "Cobrita" Gonzalez Jr. in Texas before unifying the title against Quigg.

The popular Mexican-American Santa Cruz fights out of Los Angeles and won a 126-pound title in a "Fight of the Year" grudge match against former three-division champ Abner Mares in August 2015 at STAPLES Center. He followed that up by stopping former world champion Kiko Martinez before taking the Frampton challenge. Prior to that, Santa Cruz won belts at 118 and 122 pounds while earning a reputation as one of boxing's most active and exciting fighters. The 28-year-old also holds victories over Cristian Mijares and Eric Morel and has competed in world title bouts in 12 of his last 14 fights since 2012.

The first world champion ever from Montenegro, Zlaticanin will be putting his belt on the line for the first time since earning a third-round stoppage of Franklin Mamani in June to pick up the vacant title. The 32-year-old put himself in position to fight for the title in his U.S. debut by dominating then unbeaten Ivan Redkach on his way to a third-round TKO. A hard-hitting southpaw, Zlaticanin also has victories over Ricky Burns and Petr Petrov.

A popular fighter on both coasts, Oxnard, California's Garcia returned from a two and half year layoff in July to dominate former champion Elio Rojas on his way to a fifth-round stoppage in Brooklyn as the co-main event of the first Santa Cruz vs. Frampton fight. The 28-year-old is ready to resume his promising career that already saw him pick up world titles at 126 and 130 pounds. Trained by his brother Robert, he owns impressive victories over Roman Martinez, Orlando Salido, Juan Manuel Lopez and Bernabe Concepcion.


BELLATOR MMA RETURNS TO KANSAS WITH LIGHTWEIGHT CLASH FEATURING DAVID ‘THE CAVEMAN’ RICKELS AND AARON DERROW INSIDE KANSAS STAR ARENA ON JANUARY 27

PAIR OF UNDEFEATED PROSPECTS CHRIS HARRIS AND JORDAN YOUNG ALSO SLATED FOR MAIN CARD ACTION

SANTA MONICA, CALIF. (November 28, 2016) – A lightweight bout pitting Kansas’ most popular MMA fighter David Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) against Aaron Derrow (14-8) and a middleweight bout featuring undefeated phenom Chris Harris (7-0) versus Jordan Young (5-0) are the first two fights announced for “Bellator 171” which will take place inside Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas, on January 27.

“Bellator 171,” which airs live on Spike at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT, is expected to have a main event announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the event starting at just $24, go on sale Saturday, Dec. 3 with an exclusive two-day Bellator Nation pre-sale beginning November 30, and can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or KansasStarEventCenter.com. The event takes place one week after the extremely anticipated “Bellator 170: Ortiz vs. Sonnen” in Inglewood, Calif.

“The King of Kansas” will once again compete on the Spike-televised main card of Bellator MMA’s return to Kansas Star Arena. A 17-fight veteran of Bellator MMA, Rickels will return to action for the first time since competing against Melvin Guillard this past summer. “The Caveman” has strung together an impressive career, totaling 11 wins over his seven years with the promotion, including four of his five career knockouts. A native of Derby, Kansas, Rickles recently delivered a brutal first round knockout in his co-main clash with Bobby Cooper at “Bellator 150: Kongo vs. Spartan.” The 27-year-old Rickels now prepares for Aaron Derrow, who enters the bout undefeated since joining Bellator MMA in 2014.

A native of Blue Springs, Missouri, Derrow has made an immediate impact on the promotion, collecting victories in each of his first two fights under the Bellator MMA umbrella. Following his hot start, “Daddy Long Legs” will now be tasked with one of the lightweight divisions most proven veterans in David Rickels. Of his 14 career wins, Derrow has finished his opponent in 12 of them, including 10 of the submission variety. The 29-year-old Derrow has scored two knockouts, each of which came in the first twenty seconds of action. Derrow will have his hands full with Rickels and the raucous hometown crowd that follows him when the two enter the cage on January 27.

With an unblemished mark of 7-0, Harris enters the cage riding an impressive string of success to begin his professional career. Fighting out of Wichita, Kansas, Harris will have the luxury of competing in front of his home crowd as he prepares to make his third appearance under the Bellator MMA banner. Harris has a knack for finishing his opponents early and often, recording six wins by way of knockout or submission, including four in the first round. The 26-year-old knockout artist will look to build off of a commendable 2016 campaign that saw him emerge victorious in each of his three contests, including a pair of wins with the Scott Coker-led promotion.

Also boasting an undefeated record through five career bouts, the 22-year-old Young will make his promotional debut against the equally impressive Harris. Of his five career wins, four have come by way of submission, with each of the four finishes occurring in the opening round of action. Prior to making his professional debut in 2014, the submission specialist had similar success on the amateur circuit, where he collected four submission victories over a five-fight span. Fighting out of Urbandale, Iowa, the 6’4’’ Young will also hold a significant height advantage over the 5’11’’ Harris as he prepares to challenge one of the most aggressive opponents of his career.

Updated “Bellator 171” Main Card:
Lightweight Feature Bout: Dave Rickels (17-4, 2 NC) vs. Aaron Derrow (14-8)
Middleweight Feature Bout: Chris Harris (7-0) vs. Jordan Young (5-0)

About Bellator MMA:
Bellator MMA is a leading Mixed Martial Arts organization featuring many of the best fighters in the world. Under the direction of veteran fight promoter Scott Coker, Bellator is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide in over 140 countries. In the United States, Bellator can be seen on Spike, the MMA television leader. Bellator MMA is comprised of an executive team that includes top industry professionals in television production, live event orchestration, fighter development/relations, venue procurement, sponsorship creation/development, international licensing, marketing, advertising, publicity and commission relations. Bellator is based in Santa Monica, California and owned by entertainment giant Viacom, home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms.

About Spike:
Spike is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike's Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike's press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.


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