Boxing kicks off the New Year with an Explosive Schedule
January 11, 2018
Anthony Saldana (139 articles)

Boxing kicks off the New Year with an Explosive Schedule

By Anthony “Stacks” Saldaña


2018 is set to open up with an explosive boxing schedule starting this Thursday night at the Tachi Palace in Lemoore, California as the former WBC/NABF Super Welterweight Champion Daniel “El Chapulin” Valdivia (14-1, 10 KO’s) goes into battle looking to avenge his only loss of his career in a rematch against Vladimir Hernandez (9-2, 6 KO’s) of Denver, Colorado. Last June in Arizona the then undefeated Valdivia took on an unknown fighter in Hernandez. From the start Valdivia looked sluggish and one step behind Hernandez. Valdivia never gained his composure and Hernandez pulled off a very shocking unanimous decision victory. Now this Thursday night in front of his Central California home crowd the Top Rank prospect Valdivia is confident he will even the score.“It’s been in my head every since it happened,” Valdivia said of his last fight. “For seven months it was in my head and this Thursday is going to be revenge. That’s exciting for me. I can’t wait to step into the ring.”


Then on Friday Two-time Olympic gold medalist and current WBC and IBF Super Middleweight World Champion Claressa Shields (4-0, 2 KO’s) will look to defend her WBC and IBF Titles against a 41 year old 12x champion, Tori “Sho-Nuff” Nelson (17-0-3, 2 KO’s) at the Turning Stone Resort in New York. According to a recent interview Shields conducted with WXYZ-TV Detroit, Shields is 100% confident that she will be victorious, stating, “Tori Nelson is an older woman. She reminds me of my grandma a little bit. I’ll give her to the seventh to be respectful.” The Shields vs. Nelson fight will headline the “ShoBox: The New Generation” card on Showtime (Friday, 10 p.m. ET/PT).


Then on January 20th Undefeated IBF Welterweight World Champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr. (22-0, 19 KO’s) will make the first defense of his title when he takes on former two-division world champion Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO’s). “My goal is to unify the welterweight division in 2018, but this fight is a true test and Lamont Peterson is a veteran that I definitely will not overlook,” said Spence. “I sparred him in the amateurs and I know what he brings to the table. I have to get through him to achieve my goals and that is what I plan on doing January 20th.” The Showtime telecast begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features lightweight world champion Robert Easter battling former champion Javier Fortuna in the co-main event.


A week later on HBO, Golden Boy Boxing brings fight fans a huge world championship double header from the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California headlined by the current WBA Inter-Continental and WBO International Welterweight Champion, Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (38-4, 35 KO’s) of Chubut, Argentina, as he goes up against the undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KO’s) in a 12 round matchup for the vacant WBA Welterweight World Title. “I’m happy to be back in the United States. We’re preparing well. I’ve had a great camp. I started camp early in Argentina, and now I’m looking forward to closing camp with Joel Diaz in Indio, California. I don’t train for the knockout, but if the knockout comes, I’ll welcome it. I fought everyone at 140. I want to do the same as I did at 140; I want to fight the best.” Stated Matthysse. In the Co-main event, Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KO’s) will challenge Venezuela’s Jorge “El Nino De Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KO’s) in a 12-round championship bout for Linares’ WBA, WBC Diamond, and Ring Magazine lightweight titles. The event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.


Other Bouts fans can look forward to in February include


February 3rd Corpus Christi, Texas (ESPN/ESPN Deportes):

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (36-0, 24 KO’s) vs. Habib Ahmed (25-0, 17 KO’s)  for Ramirez’s WBO super middleweight title and Jerwin Ancajas (28-1-1, 19 KO’s) vs. Israel Gonzalez (21-1-, 18 KO’s) for Ancajas’ IBF junior bantamweight title

February 10th, San Antonio (Showtime):

Sergey Lipinets (13-0, 10 KO’s) vs. Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KO’s) for Lipinets’ IBF junior welterweight title and Rances Barthelemy (26-0, 13 KO’s) vs. Kiryl Relikh (21-2, 19 KO’s) for the vacant WBA junior welterweight title


February 10th, Cancun, Mexico (beIN Sports):


Miguel Berchelt (32-1, 28 KO’s) vs. Cristian Mijares (58-8-2, 26 KO’s) for Berchelt’s WBC junior lightweight title


February 16th Reno, Nevada (ESPN/ESPN Deportes):

Ray Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KO’s) vs Paulus Moses (40-3, 25 KO’s) for the Vacant WBO World Lightweight Title.


February 17th, Las Vegas (Showtime):

Danny Garcia (33-1,19 KO’s) vs. Brandon Rios (34-3-1, 25 KO’s) in a 12 round WBC title eliminator and David Benavidez (19-0, 17 KO’s) vs. Ronald Gavril (18-2, 14 KO’s) in a 12 round rematch, for Benavidez’s WBC super middleweight title


February 17th, Paso, Texas (Fox):

Devon Alexander (27-4, 14 KO’s) vs. Victor Ortiz (36-6-2, 25 KO’s) in a welterweight matchup and Caleb Plant (16-0, 10 KO’s) vs. Rogelio “Porky” Medina (38-8, 32 KO’s)  in a 12 round, IBF super middleweight eliminator


February 24th, Inglewood, California (HBO): Superfly 2

Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (44-4-1, 40 KO’s) vs. Juan Francisco Estrada (36-2, 25 KO’s) for Sor Rungvisai’s WBC junior bantamweight title and Carlos Cuadras (36-2-1, 27 KO’s) vs. McWilliams Arroyo (16-3, 14 KO’s) in a 10 round junior bantamweight bout


February 28th, in Tokyo:

Danny Roman (23-2-1, 9 KO’s) vs. Ryo Matsumoto (21-1, 19 KO’s) for Roman’s WBA junior featherweight title






Anthony Saldana