Linger Kept Vargas Cornered for Two Rounds

New York City – Junior Welterweight Dakota Linger (13-5-3, 9 KO’s) scores the TKO upset at 2:06 seconds of round two over Josue Vargas (20-2, 9 KO’s)
West Virginia native Linger refused to read the script, shocking Vargas with a brutal display of power punching. Early in the second Linger landed an overhand right that dropped Vargas, although the referee did not rule it a knockdown. Sensing the end was near, Linger pressed forward and floored Vargas with an uppercut. Vargas rose gingerly, and following a barrage featuring dozens of winging blows, the bout was stopped.

Almestica Setting Everyone Straight

New York City – Lightweight Armani Almestica (6-0, 6 KO’s) gets the last round stoppage over Eliseo Villalobos (2-2,1 KO)
End comes at 1:40 seconds of round six by TKO victory for Almestica.
Southpaw puncher Almestica kept his perfect knockout rate alive with a one-sided drubbing of Villalobos, a native of Simi Valley, California. In the sixth round, Almestica landed a straight left hand that forced Villalobos back a step. Due to the accumulation of punishment, referee Shadi Murdaugh stopped the contest.

Press Conference Notes: Edgar Berlanga Set to Bring KO Power to Puerto Rican Day Parade Eve Extravaganza in NYC 🗽

Berlanga-Alexis Angulo goes down SATURDAY (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT) at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden LIVE on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+

Courtesy: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images 📸

NEW YORK — “The Chosen One” is back home. NABO super middleweight champion Edgar Berlanga takes center stage Saturday eveningagainst two-time title challenge Alexis Angulo in the 10-round main eventat Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Berlanga, born in Brooklyn and whose family hails from Puerto Rico, takes the top spot on the eve of New York’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. A popular ticket-seller with fearsome knockout power, Berlanga (19-0, 16 KOs) hopes a win over the crafty Colombian gets him closer to a world title shot.

The winner of this fight will be the first recipient of Madison Square Garden’s Miguel Cotto Trophy. Puerto Rican icon Cotto, who is being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame this weekend, headlined five MSG fight nights on the eve of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Four-division world champion Cotto, from Caguas, will be ringside Saturday night.

In the eight-round co-feature of this all-Puerto Rican card, Henry Lebron (15-0, 10 KOs) and Luis Lebron (18-3-1, 11 KOs) will battle for the vacant WBO Latino junior lightweight belt. This fight was elevated to the co-feature after junior middleweight sensation Xander Zayas dropped out of his bout with a viral infection.

Berlanga-Angulo and Lebron-Lebron will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.Undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively on ESPN+ (7:10 p.m. ET) and includes junior featherweight contender Carlos Caraballo (15-1, 14 KOs), junior welterweight prospect Omar Rosario (6-0, 2 KOs), comebacking featherweight Orlando Gonzalez (17-1, 10 KOs), and junior welterweight Josue “The Prodigy” Vargas(20-2, 9 KOs).

At Thursday’s press conference, this is what the fighters had to say.

Edgar Berlanga

“I’m excited. It’s Puerto Rican Day {Parade} Weekend. {The first one} since the pandemic, two years. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid. I feel like I spoke it into existence. My hard work paid off and now we’re here.”

“To be honest, my team and Top Rank felt like he was the perfect opponent for Puerto Rican Day Weekend. He’s the type of fighter that comes forward. Hopefully, he does that this Saturday. He’s a tough, rugged fighter. He makes it look ugly, comes forward. He has power just like me. He’s powerful, so it’s going to be an amazing night. And I’m excited to perform on Puerto Rican Day Weekend.”

On three straight fights without a KO

“It’s part of the process. I’m young, 25 years old. What can I say? I have 16 first-round knockouts, so I didn’t really gain the experience I needed. Definitely, these last three fights, I got the experience I needed. That’s the most important thing to make yourself a real professional athlete. But not only that, at that top level, you need those rounds. You need that feeling of what it’s like to get in the eighth, 10th round, and we got that done. This Saturday, Puerto Rican Day Weekend, I’m looking for a huge victory. I’m ready to go all out.”

“A lot of people don’t understand the last two years of not having a Puerto Rican Day Weekend and actually having a fight on that weekend… I’m just looking forward to performing, exploding like I always do and bringing back the old Edgar Berlanga.”

Alexis Angulo

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it. We’re going to put on a good presentation for everyone.”

“I see my two losses as big lessons, and we’re going to see what kind of result we get in this fight.”

“Part of the training camp we did in Colombia, part of the training camp we did in Miami. We have been trying different training techniques and things like that, so let’s see what kind of result we get in this fight.”

Henry Lebron

“I’m very happy with this opportunity. This is my first press conference. I’m happy that it’s just before the Puerto Rican Day Parade at Madison Square Garden, and I’m here to represent with a lot of pride.”

“My last fight propelled me to do even better and to keep showing that I’m a complete fighter. It motivates me even more, and I’m going to show the same Henry Lebron for a very long time.”

“I have been under the radar for a long time, but that motivates me even more. I’m thankful for this opportunity. I’m going to take full advantage of it. I’m going to put on a show.”

Luis Lebron

“I’m thankful to Top Rank and ESPN, and I’m here to represent my countrymen and put on a good show for the fans.”

“I am going to take full advantage of this opportunity. I have faced a lot of undefeated fighters, and like I said, this is a blessing for me and I’m going to put on a show for the fans.”

Saturday, June 11

ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+ (11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT)

Edgar Berlanga vs. Alexis Angulo, 10 rounds, Berlanga’s NABO Super Middleweight Title

Henry Lebron vs. Luis Lebron, 8 rounds, Vacant WBO Latino Junior Lightweight Title

 ESPN+ (7:10 p.m. ET/4:10 p.m. PT)

Carlos Caraballo vs. Victor Santillan, 8 rounds, junior featherweight
Josue Vargas vs. Dakota Linger, 8 rounds, junior welterweight

Armani Almestica vs. Eliseo Villalobos, 6 rounds, lightweight

Orlando Gonzalez vs. Pablo Cruz, 8 rounds, featherweight

Omar Rosario vs. Julio Rosa, 6 rounds, junior welterweight

Frevian Gonzalez vs. Refugio Montellano, 4 rounds, junior lightweight

Christina Cruz vs. Maryguenn Vellinga, 4 rounds, flyweight

Event Name: Edgar Berlanga. vs. Alexis Angulo



KISSIMMEE, Florida – Former world title challenger Axel “Mini” Vega (15-4-1, 8 KOs) returns to the ring to take on undefeated Venezuelan knockout artist Angelino “Huracan” Cordova (16-0-1, 12 KOs) in the co-main event of “Bomba” Gonzalez vs. “Baby Boy” Barriga. The 10-round fight, which will be for the WBO Latino Junior Flyweight Title, tops off a stacked undercard of rising prospects that will be announced shortly.

The event takes place on Friday, June 24 at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida and will be streamed live on ProBox TV beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

Vega is a 22-year-old contender of Mexico City, Mexico who debuted as a professional in October 2016. After only three years, Vega earned his first world title opportunity in a rematch against Wilfredo Mendez for the WBO Minimumweight World Title. Though unsuccessful, Vega would get another title opportunity in 2021 at 108 pounds against WBA champion Hiroto Kyoguchi. Vega came up short in that fight, but returned quickly that year with a 10-round decision win over Armando Torres. With two title opportunities under his belt, Vega is prepared to make another run, but first he needs to get past a hard-hitting puncher.

Cordova is a native of Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela who has developed a 70% knockout ratio across 17 professional fights. The 26-year-old has never fought outside of his home country, but he’s ready to make his United States debut on one of the biggest stages in the world.

Light Work: Devin Haney Dominates George Kambosos Jr. to Win Undisputed Crown

Jason Moloney KOs Aston Palicte in bantamweight co-feature

Photo from Mikey Williams / Top Rank via Getty Images

MELBOURNE, Australia (June 5, 2022) — Devin “The Dream” Haney(28-0, 15 KOs) became the undisputed lightweight champion of the world by outclassing George “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr. (20-1, 10 KOs) en route to a 12-round unanimous decision in front of 41,129 fans on Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Haney unified his WBC championship with Kambosos’ WBA/WBO/IBF and Ring Magazine lightweight titles. With two scores of 116-112 and one score of 118-110, he became the eighth fighter in history to capture all four major championship titles in the four-belt era and the first to do so at 135 pounds.
Prior to the fight, Haney felt as if all the odds were stacked against him. He came in as the challenger, fighting on enemy territory in a stadium full of people wishing and hoping to see him lose. It even appeared as if his father would not be able to be in his corner for the fight.
But, if Bill Haney’s eleventh-hour entry into Australia indicated anything, it was that today belonged to Devin, and nothing would prevent his victory.

Indeed, though both men initiated the bout with firm, confident jabs, it was Haney’s superior boxing skills that allowed him to find his rhythm by the third and fourth rounds. Kambosos’ right hand seemed to be a factor early, but Haney’s footwork, his ability to smother and clinch on the inside, and even the way he would stop the former champion in his tracks with a stiff jab, prevented Kambosos from landing any significant punches.
By the final rounds, Haney had nullified Kambosos’ offense to such a degree that he could even take the gas off the pedal in the 12th round and cruise to a decision win.
Haney said, “This is a dream come true. I was going through it without my dad being here because I knew it was a big moment for us. We both dreamed of this. Since we started out, we said we wanted to be the best. It would have hurt me to accomplish this without him. I’m so thankful that we were able to accomplish this together.
“I was comfortable. I was just sticking to the game plan. The game plan was to go there and hit and not get hit, and I did that for the majority of the fight. I took the last round off just because I knew I was comfortably ahead, but I fought a good, smart fight.”
“I handicapped him of his best things. He wanted to land the overhand right, and he wanted to land the big left hook. I handicapped him. I was fighting both ways. When I would go to the left, I would fight his right hand. When I would go to the right, I would fight his left hook. And he couldn’t hit me with neither one of them.”
“I want to thank George Kambosos and all of Australia for coming out. Thank you, George, for giving me the shot. All of these so-called champions would not give me my shot. But George was a true champion, and he gave me my shot. Thank you for this.
Kambosos said, “This was amazing for the sport. It was amazing for the country. At the end of the day, I wanted to take the best and hardest tests. I’m going to give him full respect after his victory today. Let him have his time, and we’ll do it again. I have to implement a few things, but I thought the fight was very close. I’m not going to wreck his moment. I’ll let him have his moment. Last November, my moment was wrecked, so let him have his moment, and I’ll see you again real soon.
“I landed the right hand a few times. I worked it to the body, but he had a smart game plan. He grabbed and held a lot and did what he had to do to win. That’s what it’s about. You do what you have to do to win, and today they gave him the decision, but I’m sure it will change when we get it on again. Respect to him, and respect to boxing. This is boxing. You fight the best. Win, lose or draw. This is what it’s all about. F*** protecting records.  I’ve always been about fighting the best. I gave him a shot, and we’ll do it again.”

Moloney Crushes Palicte

Two-time bantamweight title challenger Jason “Mayhem” Moloney (24-2, 19 KOs) delivered a spectacular third-round technical knockout victory against rugged Filipino Aston “Mighty” Palicte (28-5-1, 23 KOs). Moloney, inspired by the cheers of his countrymen, initiated the bout with a firm jab in the first round before finding his rhythm and attacking the body in the second. By the following round, Moloney had his target set and landed a perfectly-timed one-two combo that sent Palicte to the canvas. Moloney then ended matters with a quick flurry that forced the referee to put a halt to the fight at 2:35 of the third. Moloney retained his WBC Silver Bantamweight Title and added to his collection the vacant WBO International belt. 

In other results:

BANTAMWEIGHT: Andrew Moloney (24-2, 16 KOs) TKO 2 Alexander Espinoza (21-4-2, 8 KOs). Time: 3:00.

CRUISERWEIGHT: David Nyika (3-0, 2 KOS) UD 5 Karim Maatalla (2-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 49-46, 48-47 and 49-46

HEAVYWEIGHT: Hemi Ahio (19-0, 14 KOs) TKO 1 Christian Ndzie Tsoye (5-5-2, 4 KOs)

HEAVYWEIGHT: Lucas Browne (31-3, 27 KOs) KO 1 Junior Fa (19-2, 10 KOs). Time: 1:58.

JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT: Terry Nickolas (2-1-1,  2 KOS) DRAW 6 Lachlan Higgins (7-4-2, 2 KOs). Scores: 58-56 Higgins, 57-57 2x.

FLYWEIGHT: Taylah Robertson (5-1, 1 KO) UD 5 Sarah Higginson (3-1-1, 1 KO). Scores: 50-45 3x

WELTERWEIGHT: Yoel Angeloni (1-0) UD 4 Ken Aitken (3-1, 1 KO). Scores: 39-37 2x and 40-36.


David Morrell Jr. Retains WBA Super Middleweight Title Via Fourth-Round TKO in Co-Main Event

Photos from Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

MINNEAPOLIS – WBC and WBO 122-pound world champion Stephen Fulton Jr. displayed his full complement of skills and made his case as a top pound-for-pound fighter in adominant unanimous decision win over former unified champion Danny Roman Saturday nightin the main event of action live on SHOWTIME in front of a sold-out crowd at The Armory in Minneapolis in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

“I made a hell of a statement tonight,” said Fulton, who improved to 21-0 with eight knockouts. “I prepared for this and I told y’all I was going to make it easy and fight depending on how I wake up, and I woke up feeling good.”

The Philadelphia-native closed out the bout in impressive fashion, moving to the inside for the final three rounds as he continued to batter and frustrate Roman. Overall, he held a 218 to 113 lead in punches landed according to CompuBox, including 112 to 68 in power shots. In addition, his nine jabs landed per round was more than double the average for the weight class. After 12 rounds, all three judges were in agreement on Fulton’s dominance, with final scores of 120-108 twice and 119-109.

“There’s no excuse,” said Roman, who dropped to 29-4-1 with 10 knockouts. “I think this fight proves who the best 122-pound fighter in the division is. Fulton did that tonight. He proved it. I wish him the best and I hope he goes and achieves what I couldn’t achieve. Go become undisputed. Like I said, this fight proved who is the best in the division. Fulton was the better man tonight.”

Known as “Cool Boy Steph”, Fulton was in control throughout the action, showing off expert movement against an aggressive opponent, while consistently finding openings for his offense. Roman pushed the pace early and often, initiating offense with power and body shots, but Fulton effectively countered him repeatedly and removed himself from danger.   

“It was very important to control the distance tonight,” said Fulton. “Like I said before, in the last outing with Brandon Figueroa, I didn’t have the energy because I didn’t make the weight the right way. So shout out to my dietician. Any moment he had, I took it right away from him. I neutralized the threat.”

“Fulton knew how to use his distance,” said Roman. “It was hard for me to adjust to his distance because he was boxing. He came in and came out. He changed his style so it was hard for me to adjust.”

After unifying titles last November in an all-action showdown against  Figueroa, Fulton used more movement on his way to a wider decision in his first defense as unified champion. Fulton’s accuracy was a key throughout, as he held a 36% to 17% edge in connect percentage.

“I started walking him down because I saw that he had been slowing down,” said Fulton of the final rounds. “I feel like the more I kept boxing, the more I just got a little tired of boxing. Me trying to walk forward to him wasn’t going to happen all the time, but I definitely saw him slowing down. I wanted to stop him but I didn’t get that.”

In his post-fight interview with SHOWTIME’s Brian Campbell, Fulton set his sights on an undisputed 122-pound title fight against fellow unified champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev.

“You already know what’s next,” said Fulton. “I want M.J. I got to finish this up. But much respect for Danny Roman. Much respect.”

In the co-main event, WBA Super Middleweight Champion David Morrell Jr. (7-0, 6 KOs) delivered a bruising fourth-round TKO over Kalvin Henderson (15-2-1, 11 KOs), thrilling the fans in his adopted hometown.

“I’m excited,” said Morrell. “Thank you everyone for coming out to The Armory. I’m just happy, man. I’m happy. I’m so excited every time I fight in my new home in Minnesota. I made this place my home.”

Competing in his third-straight bout at The Armory, Morrell gave his fans what they came out to see, stepping to Henderson early and often and putting his opponent on the defensive. Morrell showed a dedicated intention on attacking his opponent’s body, racking up a 26-3 edge in body punches landed, before mixing it up with hooks and uppercuts.

Henderson was game for the challenge, hanging on the ropes and slinging counters to try to deter the charging Morrell, but was overwhelmed by the punching accuracy of Morrell (37% to 11%). Late in round three, Morrell broke through for the first time, connecting on a right hook that left Henderson visibly hurt on the ropes.

“We knew that he wanted to come out strong like he did, but we wanted to show that his punches weren’t doing anything,” said Henderson. “We were picking off most of those shots. We were trying to wear him out, and the game plan was working but he landed some shots and the referee called it.”

Morrell continued to swing aggressively throughout the final moments of the round, although Henderson was able to withstand the punishment and stay on his feet until the bell rang. While Henderson made it out for round four, Morrell remained patient until he found an opening and landed his right hook, hurting Henderson again and eventually forcing referee Luis Pabon to waive off the contest 2:35 into the frame.

“I want to thank my trainer Ronnie Shields, who did an excellent job today,” said Morrell. “That’s what our game plan was, to be concentrated and if I didn’t get him by the end of the first round, I was looking to get him in the later rounds.”

“I’m a fighter at heart and I compete so when he stopped the fight, I was upset,” said Henderson. “But I understand, the referee is just doing his job.”

After the fight, Morrell declared his intention to face the best at 168-pounds.

“It’s David Benavidez, it’s Caleb Plant, it’s Anthony Dirrell, it’s whoever wants to get in the ring with me,” said Morrell. “I’m ready for any of them.”

Saturday’s SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will replay Sunday, June 5 at 9 a.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME and Monday, June 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME®. Versatile combat sports voice Mauro Ranallo hosted SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® and handled blow-by-blow action alongside Hall of Fame analyst Al Bernstein and three-division world champion Abner Mares. Noted combat sports authority and SHOBOX® analyst Brian Campbell served as the ringside reporter while two more Hall of Famers rounded out the most decorated telecast team in the sport: Boxing historian Steve Farhood as unofficial scorer and world-renowned Jimmy Lennon Jr. as the ring announcer. The executive producer was four-time Emmy® award winner David Dinkins, Jr. and the director was Chuck McKean. Sportscaster Alejandro Luna called the action with former junior middleweight world champion and SHOBOX analyst Raúl “El Diamante” Marquez serving as expert analyst in Spanish on Secondary Audio Programming (SAP).

The event was promoted by TGB Promotions and Warriors Boxing. The Fulton vs. Roman fight was promoted in association with Thompson Boxing.