Khan Gains Confidence From Working With Bomac, Crawford: I Can’t See Brook Beating Me!

Bolton star Amir Khan is training hard in camp with new coach Brian ‘Bomac’ McIntyre, who works with several boxers including WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford.

Khan is going to face career rival Kell Brook in a grudge match of former world champions at the AO Arena in Manchester. The fight will take place on February 19, live on Sky Sports Box Office and ESPN+.

Their bout sold out in ten minutes, as the British rivals have been trading words for several years. The loser will certainly spiral down into retirement.

Khan believes the ongoing work with Bomac has rejuvenated him as a fighter – and he expects a statement making performance.

“I’m more confident. The way I’ve gone into training camp, and had a few sparring rounds with Crawford, and my sparring work and pad work with Bo-Mac and everyone, it’s back,” Khan told Sky Sports News.

“I feel like when I was 25, 26, and at the peak of my career. I can’t see Kell Brook beating me. I’m a better skilled fighter, I’ve been in there with better opposition, but look, come fight night, it’s time to show my skills off. I’m just going to keep calm, I’m not going to think too much or get over confident, because at the end of the day you can’t get too confident about this because one punch can change a fight. I know what I’m doing. I’ve been in this position before. It’s all about staying focused and just sticking to your game plan.

“This talk about Kell Brook has been going on for so many years, and I think it’s a good time for me now to put it to a stop and show who the better fighter is. I know Kell thinks he’s the better fighter, but time will tell come Feb 19th.”

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Tyler Tomlin vs. Charlie Serrano Set Down For February 5 in Clarksville

CHEATHAM COUNTY, TN – On February 5, 2022, undefeated lightweight prospect, Tyler “Short Fuse” Tomlin (12-0, 8 KOs), of Cheatham County, TN, now has a dancing partner for his highly anticipated return to his hometown region, as he will face, Charlie Serrano (16-6-2, 5 KOs), of Tampa, Florida. The 10-round main event will take place in Clarksville, TN, at the Winfield Dunn Center at Austin Peay University. 

“Credit to my opponent for taking the fight as I had over a dozen other opponents turn me down,” said the massive ticket seller, Tomlin. “I know he’s coming to win, but I have other plans. I know what I have to do, and Charlie Serrano is just in the way of my goals for 2022.”

Tomlin is on a three-fight KO streak and looks to be in the running for the 2022 Prospect of the Year.”

“I want to make a big statement in this fight with a dominating performance,” said Tomlin firmly. “I have the support of my whole community who has believed in me since I turned pro. I’m hoping to get the recognition of some of the other top prospects in my division.”

Tomlin, a known ticket seller, is one of the biggest draws in the regional boxing scene and because of that, tickets are extremely limited given the high demand to this event. Tomlin partnering with promoter Lou Dibella now adds even more firepower to one of most dynamic young attractions in boxing business heading into 2022.

“Having Lou DiBella guide us is the last piece we needed to be on a world class level,” said his father and trainer, Darryl Tomlin. “We’re going to put on a show for our local fans, so show up, and we will show!”

“I am honored to Promote this show for Ty,” said One-One-Six promoter, Brandi Bowlin Mccain. “I am very excited we were able to get a venue so close to his hometown. Everyone is town is talking about his fight and this will, without a doubt, be the biggest show I have ever promoted.” 

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BoxingScene.com’s Prospect of The Year – Jared Anderson

He hasn’t made it to the Top Ten yet, but some of us are of the opinion that after just 11 pro fights, Jared Anderson is a heavyweight contender. Regardless of that opinion, the 22-year-old from Ohio is BoxingScene’s Prospect of the Year for 2021.

How does “Big Baby” stand on the whole prospect / contender debate?

“I’ll leave it up to the people, if you ask me,” Anderson laughs. “I know what I’m capable of, and people don’t know what I’m capable of yet, but I’m ready for whatever tests they have for me and whoever stands in front of me. I’m a fighter. I don’t get into the politics of it. I’m here to fight and win.”

That’s all we can ask from the former amateur star, and that’s everything he’s done since turning pro in 2019. In that debut against Daniel Infante (1-2), which Anderson ended in 54 seconds, it marked the first and last time he faced an opponent with a losing record. Since then, he’s steadily worked his way up the ladder under the guidance of his promoter, Top Rank, and in 2021, he stepped on the gas, fighting and knocking out four opponents who sported a combined record of 60-4-3.

“That’s why people like you consider me a contender already, because I didn’t fight anybody with a losing record and stuff like that,” Anderson said. “And yeah, that’s definitely a design and our game plan.”

In October, Anderson won the vacant NABF junior heavyweight title with a second-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Vladimir Tereshkin at T-Mobile Arena, and two months later, Oleksandr Teslenko suffered an identical fate in Madison Square Garden. In 2022, the stakes get higher.

“It (2021) was an excellent year as far as boxing goes,” he said. “And I definitely think this year will be the year to start getting in the rankings.”

It must be something in the water in Ohio, a state that has seen the emergence of not just Anderson, but Charles Conwell, U.S. Olympic bronze medalist Oshae Jones and Albert Bell, as well. 

“Iron sharpens iron,” said Anderson We all help each other out and we’re working for the same goal.”

That goal? World domination. Apparently the sooner the better for Anderson, the consensus pick as the United States’ future of the heavyweight division. But he’s in no hurry. He’s an old school fighter in a young man’s body, so he’s willing to get to the top by picking off everybody in front of him, one by one.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Runners-up (in alphabetical order): 

Keyshawn Davis

Keyshawn Davis had quite a year in 2021. Not only did he start off by turning pro and reeling off three wins, but then he took the summer “off” from the punch for pay ranks to go win a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics. Not satisfied, the 22-year-old finished the year with a second-round TKO of Jose Zaragoza in Madison Square Garden in December.

Yoelvis Gomez

Cuban southpaw turned pro in 2019, but it was in 2021 that he took off with a pair of first-round knockout wins – first over 21-4 Jesus Pina Najera in April and then an eye-opening stoppage of 2020’s boxing cult hero Clay Collard on Christmas Day that have all eyes on the 24-year-old this year.

Frank Martin

There’s always “that guy” among hardcore boxing fans who is like that band you watch every Friday night in the club and wonder why the world doesn’t know who they are yet. Frank Martin has been that guy, but his New Year’s Day blast out of Romero Duno took the 15-0 “Ghost” from the club to a major label deal from here on out.

Jose Valenzuela

The lightweight division keeps on giving in 2022 thanks to fighters like 22-year-old Jose Valenzuela. Perfect as a pro at 11-0 with seven knockouts, Valenzuela put five wins on the board in 2021, four by knockout, but one of the most impressive victories in that stretch was a decision over veteran Deiner Berrio in September.

Xander Zayas

If not for Jared Anderson, Xander Zayas would have likely wrapped this award up across the board. On track to becoming the next Puerto Rican star in the sport, the 19-year-old continued to roll in 2021, improving to 12-0 (9 KOs) thanks to six wins and four knockouts. Expect to see a step up in competition for him in 2022, as he’s proven to be ready for the next level at 154 pounds.

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IBA Renews Their Anti-Doping Partnership With International Testing Agency

The International Boxing Association (IBA) has signaled its continued commitment to sporting integrity in 2022 and beyond, by renewing its partnership with the International Testing Agency (ITA) for three years.

The agreement includes IBA outsourcing all anti-doping activities to the ITA, including testing, intelligence gathering, test distribution planning, education and Therapeutic Use Exemption handling, as well as result management and the handling of anti-doping rule violations. The full scope of the new agreement now also covers in-competition testing, long-term sample storage, intelligence & investigations, source handling and the administration of the Reveal platform, in strict adherence to the World Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA’s) International Standards.

The partnership agreement was previously signed in 2016, following the Rio 2016 Olympic boxing tournament, and has brought great progress and transparency to IBA anti-doping efforts in the years since.

“Through its work with many sports, the ITA has shown the usefulness of bringing in independent experts to help ensure sporting integrity. At IBA, we are committed to this approach. It is our duty to protect our athletes and reinforce the values of clean sport in boxing. Continuing our work with the ITA will ensure we do exactly that,” said IBA President Umar Kremlev.

Benjamin Cohen, ITA Director General shared: “By entrusting the full range of its anti-doping programme to us at the ITA, we hope in turn that we can enable IBA to focus fully on its core mission of developing boxing, in a transparent manner, worthy of wider trust. We look forward to continuing to provide IBA and boxers with our expertise and are fully committed to supporting IBA in its fight against doping.”

IBA will continue its work towards a better future for boxing and boxers in the New Year, following a roadmap to potential IOC reinstatement in 2023. Competitions that will fall under the renewed ITA partnership will include the IBA World Boxing Championships.

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Manager: Due To Injury, Luis Ortiz Was Unable To Fight Hrgovic By April

As BoxingScene.com previously reported, a hand injury has prevented heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz from accepted a potential fight against Filip Hrgovic, which would have been an IBF final eliminator for a mandatory crack at Oleksandr Usyk.

Ortiz, 42-years-old, injured his left hand in last Saturday’s fight at the Seminole Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, when he overcame two knockdowns to score a knockout of former world champion Charles Martin in the sixth round.

On Monday, the IBF gave Ortiz only a three day deadline to agree to take part in a fight with Hrgovic.

According to Ortiz’s team, there simply wasn’t enough time for Ortiz to be in top form for such a contest.

Hrgovic and his team were looking for the fight to take place on a date in March or April.

“Basically, Luis had a minimal fracture that he should being able to heal without issues, but with something like that he does not want to take any risk,” said Ortiz’s manager, Jay Jiménez, to George Ebro.

“He is being evaluated, but he cannot fight as early as April, because he would not be in [the best physical condition]. We are not against fighting against Hrgovic, or against anyone, but let it happen with the best conditions for Luis.”

Ortiz would like to secure a fight with his Premier Boxing Champions stablemate, former unified champion Andy Ruiz. Ortiz called for a fight with Ruiz last year, but it never came off.

“I’m not afraid of anyone and I’m ready to fight whoever it is,” Ortiz repeated on several occasions, after his victory over Martin.

“I would like Andy Ruiz to accept my challenge, but if not, I will be ready for whoever comes, because nobody wants to fight with a man they call ‘old.'”

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Chris Avila: Nate Diaz Would Beat Jake Paul, That’s Easy Money

Combat sports veteran Chris Avila, who recently appeared on Jake Paul’s undercard, believes the social media star turned boxer would make a very big mistake if he decided to face UFC veteran Nate Diaz.

Avila, who is teammates with Diaz, picked a decision win over Paul’s close friend, Anthony Taylor, on last month’s Showtime pay-per-view card that featured Paul’s brutal knockout of former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in the main event.

After his fight was over, Paul called for a boxing match with Diaz among other MMA fighters.

Diaz is very interested in having that fight – but it’s very unlikely that UFC President Dana White would allow him to face Paul.

In fact, White made it clear in a recent interview that he would not allow Diaz or any UFC contracted fighter to face Paul in a boxing ring.

If the fight ever happened, Avila believes Diaz would beat Paul easily.

“I’m down to see that fight. But when you fight Nate Diaz, you’re getting the realest fighter of all time right there,” Avila told MMA Fighting.

“So these guys are sitting here calling his name and eventually he’s going to get in the boxing ring and I’m excited to see it. Who he’s going to box is his choice. He’s going to make a stamp and a statement in boxing, easy.

“Jake Paul’s team is zero. We’re one up already [with me beating Taylor]. That last fight was a Paul-Diaz, team versus team, Jake Paul made that. They’re already down one. So if he wants to get in the ring with Nate or me, it would be fine with either of us. I know that’s a fight I can win. I know that’s a fight Nate would win, hands down. Easy money.”

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Wilfredo Mendez Plans April Return, Then Wants Taniguchi Rematch

Wilfredo “Bimbito” Mendez will not lose sight of reclaiming the 105-pound title of the World Boxing Organization (WBO).

After losing the world title a little less than a month ago, the former champion is preparing to return to the ring in April, in a fight that will prepare him to request a 2022 rematch against the Japanese slugger Masataka Taniguchi.

Mendez lost his championship by technical knockout to Taniguchi on December 14 in Japan.

“I have the option of fighting before asking for a rematch. That’s what I’m going to do,” Mendez, 25-years-old, told Giovanny Vega.

“I’m going to have that preparation fight in April, to get ready and [shake off more rust from] the two-years of inactivity. It will be a fight over eight or ten rounds to build strength for a rematch or against whoever has the belt.”

The Mendez fight will probably take place in the Dominican Republic.

“The opponent is still unknown. They have to be looking right now. It has to be an opponent that is on the map and that does not have a negative record, because then it wouldn’t do me any good to ask for a rematch,” said Méndez.

Taniguchi, meanwhile, will have to make a first defense this year.

Mendez – who is 16-2 with 6 KOs – aims to be far more active when compared to the past two years.

“I am going to be more active this year. I was inactive for two years. [My team] is focusing on that so when the world title opportunity comes – which is going to be soon – what happened to me this time won’t happen to me. Because of the inactivity I fell out of the fight, I didn’t have any rhythm,” said Méndez.

‘Bimbito’ fell into an inactivity spell of one year and ten months. Before his world title loss, Mendez fought on February 8 of 2020 – when he defeated Colombian Gabriel Mendoza by technical knockout.

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Mayweather Announces Dubai Exhibition On Feb. 20, Potentially Against YouTuber Money Kicks

Floyd Mayweather will be gloving up once again.

The 44-year-old Hall of Fame boxer announced in a press conference that he will be participating in an exhibition bout on a helipad at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah hotel in Dubai on Feb. 20.

“February 20th, we haven’t chosen an opponent yet, but I look forward to it and hopefully we give you guys something to see,” Mayweather said.

The frontrunner to face the boxing great apparently is Dubai-based, 19-year-old YouTube star Money Kicks (né Rashed Belhasa), according to Mayweather himself.

Money Kicks is the son of billionaire Saif Belhasa.

“I spoke with [my advisors] about Money Kicks. We don’t really know,” Mayweather said, adding, “Money Kicks is doing big things and I like what I am seeing.” 

Both sides have had discussions about a potential exhibition as early as October. Money Kicks told the Lovin Dubai Show at that time that “Talks are happening between me and Floyd Mayweather [for a bout] in the region, in Dubai.”

The announcement confirms the first event that Mayweather will be handling in Dubai. He has been hinting at ramping up his business ventures in the region for the past few months.

Mayweather, who will be 45 by the time of the exhibition, stated the event will be of an exclusive nature.

“Well, I don’t like to call what I’m doing a fight,” Mayweather said. “I like to call it a limited-edition boxing showcase. Because it’s bigger than just boxing.”

“It will be a very special crowd,” he continued. “Not too many people. So, if you get the chance to come here, you must know that you are very special.”

Although he officially retired from boxing in 2017, after his blockbuster against Conor McGregor, Mayweather (50-0, 27 KOs) has since then participated in several high-profile exhibition bouts.

Most recently, Mayweather engaged YouTube star Logan Paul in an eight-round bout on June 6 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The fight went the distance, but as it was an exhibition, a winner was not announced.  Mayweather’s guarantee was reportedly $10 million, including 50% of the pay-per-view profits; the bout, which was broadcasted on Showtime Pay-Per-View, reportedly generated upwards of $1 million buys.

In 2018, Mayweather flew to Tokyo to take on MMA star Tenshin Nasukawa in a three-round exhibition bout. Mayweather stopped Nasukawa in the opening round, and reportedly earned $88 million.

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Luis Ortiz Declines Invitation For IBF Eliminator, Hrgovic Awaits Next Ordered Opponent

Filip Hrgovic has once again reached familiar ground.

Efforts to stage a final title eliminator for the unbeaten Croatian will proceed to the next available ranked contender to determine the mandatory challenger for the IBF heavyweight title. As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, an invitation was submitted by the sanctioning body to Hrgovic and Luis Ortiz, the latter who declined the offer according to Hrgrovic’s team.

“It appears that Luis Ortiz just (withdrew),” Nisse Sauerland, Hrgovic’s co-promoter informed BoxingScene.com on Tuesday.

Messages for Ortiz and his team went unreturned as this goes to publish.

The invitation to enter talks for the final eliminator was submitted by the IBF on Monday, just two days after Miami’s Ortiz (33-2, 28KOs) earned a sixth-round stoppage of former titlist Charles Martin. The Cuban southpaw recovered from two knockdowns to score two of his own, the latter prompting a stoppage in the sixth round of their Fox Sports Pay-Per-View main event, which was billed as an IBF eliminator.

The sanctioning came with the understanding that the winner would next have to face Hrgovic (14-0, 12KOs). Ortiz and his team have since reversed course, likely with other plans already in place. There is speculation that the two-time title challenger—who turns 43 in March—will be steered towards a showdown with former unified heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22KOs) later this year, though such a matchup remains limited for the moment to loose talk.

Meanwhile, Hrgrovic is in a similar place as was the case a year ago—in need of a dance partner to move within one win of challenging for his first major title.

The next highest ranked contender after Ortiz and Hrgovic is Joseph Parker (30-2, 21KOs), a former WBO titlist from New Zealand who is riding a six-fight win streak. The last five have come since signing his original promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing in 2019. Matchroom also serves as co-promoter for Hrgovic, along with Wasserman Boxing who absorbed Sauerland Event and its fighters last March.

Both boxers are coming off wins in separate bouts last December.

Hrgovic—a 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist for Croatia who now trains in Miami—earned a third-round knockout of unbeaten but obscure heavyweight Emir Ahmatovic as part of a December 5 DAZN show from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout marked his second consecutive third-round knockout over an undefeated heavyweight, having done the same to Marko Radonjic last September 10 in Klagenfurt, Australia.

Parker scored a repeat win over Derek Chisora, looking far more impressive in their December 18 rematch than was the case when he barely edged the veteran gatekeeper last May. Both bouts took place at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.

If Parker accepts the forthcoming invitation from the IBF, a fifteen-day negotiation period will be granted between the New Zealand heavyweight and Hrgovic. Neither party can enter an agreement for another bout once the eliminator is formally ordered, per IBF rule 9.a.2 (Purse Bids—No Intervening Bouts).

Should Parker decline, the IBF is required to continue down the line until finding an available challenger. The heavyweight contenders ranked after Parker are a trio of unbeaten contenders: France’s Tony Yoka (11-0, 9KOs), the 2016 Olympic Gold medalist; England’s Joe Joyce (13-0, 12KOs), who lost to Yoka in the 2016 Olympic finals in taking home a silver medal; and Germany’s Agit Kabayel (21-0, 13KOs). 

The winner of the eventual IBF final eliminator will become the sanctioning body’s mandatory challenger to Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13KOs), who also holds the WBA “Super”/WBO/IBO belts. Ukraine’s Usyk obtained the slew of belts in a September 25 win over England’s Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22KOs), the now former two-time unified heavyweight titlist who ended Parker’s 15-month WBO title reign in their March 2018 unification bout in Cardiff, Wales.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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Luis Ortiz Injured,Declines Invitation For IBF Eliminator; Hrgovic Awaits Next Ordered Opponent

Filip Hrgovic has once again reached familiar ground.

Efforts to stage a final title eliminator for the unbeaten Croatian will proceed to the next available ranked contender to determine the mandatory challenger for the IBF heavyweight title. As previously reported by BoxingScene.com, an invitation was submitted by the sanctioning body to Hrgovic and Luis Ortiz, the latter who declined the offer according to Hrgrovic’s team.

“It appears that Luis Ortiz just (withdrew),” Nisse Sauerland, Hrgovic’s co-promoter informed BoxingScene.com on Tuesday.

A source familiar with the situation has informed BoxingScene.com that an injury is the cause for Ortiz not being available for this fight. Ortiz suffered a fractured hand in his win over Martin, with the time required to heal outside of the scope to negotiate terms for an eliminator with Hrgovic.

The invitation to enter talks for the final eliminator was submitted by the IBF on Monday, just two days after Miami’s Ortiz (33-2, 28KOs) earned a sixth-round stoppage of former titlist Charles Martin. The Cuban southpaw recovered from two knockdowns to score two of his own, the latter prompting a stoppage in the sixth round of their Fox Sports Pay-Per-View main event, which was billed as an IBF eliminator.

The sanctioning came with the understanding that the winner would next have to face Hrgovic (14-0, 12KOs). Ortiz and his team have since reversed course, likely with other plans already in place. There is speculation that the two-time title challenger—who turns 43 in March—will be steered towards a showdown with former unified heavyweight titlist Andy Ruiz Jr. (34-2, 22KOs) later this year, though such a matchup remains limited for the moment to loose talk.

Meanwhile, Hrgrovic is in a similar place as was the case a year ago—in need of a dance partner to move within one win of challenging for his first major title.

The next highest ranked contender after Ortiz and Hrgovic is Joseph Parker (30-2, 21KOs), a former WBO titlist from New Zealand who is riding a six-fight win streak. The last five have come since signing his original promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing in 2019. Matchroom also serves as co-promoter for Hrgovic, along with Wasserman Boxing who absorbed Sauerland Event and its fighters last March.

Both boxers are coming off wins in separate bouts last December.

Hrgovic—a 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist for Croatia who now trains in Miami—earned a third-round knockout of unbeaten but obscure heavyweight Emir Ahmatovic as part of a December 5 DAZN show from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout marked his second consecutive third-round knockout over an undefeated heavyweight, having done the same to Marko Radonjic last September 10 in Klagenfurt, Australia.

Parker scored a repeat win over Derek Chisora, looking far more impressive in their December 18 rematch than was the case when he barely edged the veteran gatekeeper last May. Both bouts took place at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.

If Parker accepts the forthcoming invitation from the IBF, a fifteen-day negotiation period will be granted between the New Zealand heavyweight and Hrgovic. Neither party can enter an agreement for another bout once the eliminator is formally ordered, per IBF rule 9.a.2 (Purse Bids—No Intervening Bouts).

Should Parker decline, the IBF is required to continue down the line until finding an available challenger. The heavyweight contenders ranked after Parker are a trio of unbeaten contenders: France’s Tony Yoka (11-0, 9KOs), the 2016 Olympic Gold medalist; England’s Joe Joyce (13-0, 12KOs), who lost to Yoka in the 2016 Olympic finals in taking home a silver medal; and Germany’s Agit Kabayel (21-0, 13KOs). 

The winner of the eventual IBF final eliminator will become the sanctioning body’s mandatory challenger to Oleksandr Usyk (19-0, 13KOs), who also holds the WBA “Super”/WBO/IBO belts. Ukraine’s Usyk obtained the slew of belts in a September 25 win over England’s Anthony Joshua (24-2, 22KOs), the now former two-time unified heavyweight titlist who ended Parker’s 15-month WBO title reign in their March 2018 unification bout in Cardiff, Wales.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox

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