Mattice Upsets Dutchover While Villa Wins in Texas

By: Ken Hissner

Thompson Boxing Promotions – Ken Thompson, Banner Promotions – Art Pelullo and Mikey Garcia Promotions Friday promoter a card from the La Hacienda Event Center on ShoBox The New Generation.

In the Main Event Lightweight Michael “West Texas Warrior” Dutchover, 13-1 (10), 134 1/4, of Sante Fe Springs, CA, was stopped by Thomas “Gunna Man, 15-1-1 (11), of Cleveland, OH, for the vacant WBO inter-continental title, at 1:33 of the eighth round.

Photo Credit Showtime Boxing Twitter Account

In the first round there was plenty of action in a close round. In the second round within 10 seconds Dutchover landed an overhand right on the chin of Mattice stopping him in his tracks. The local fans were loudly behind the Midland born Dutchover. In the final seconds Dutchover drove Mattice into a neutral corner with a solid left hook to the chin.

In the third round it was a good action close fight with both taking turns getting the better of the action. In the fourth round the action continued with Dutchover taking a slight edge. In the fifth round of another action round Mattice looked like he had the edge.

In the sixth round Mattice used his jab well. Inside the final minute of the round Mattice turned his head and got hit on the back of his head by Dutchover. In the seventh round the closeness of the fight continued with Dutchover busier while Mattice ended the round with a flurry.

In the eighth round Mattice started well cutting Dutchover along the left eyebrow.

The referee Robert Velez called the ring physician in who stopped the fight due to the cut.

Dutchover was ahead on two of the three cards while this writer had Mattice ahead 4-3 in rounds.

In the co-feature WBO Int’l Featherweight champion southpaw Ruben “RV4” Villa, 17-0 (5), 125 1/4, of Salinas, CA, defeated Jose “El Ejecutor” Vivas, 17-1 (9), 126, of Montebello, MEX, over 10.

In the first round Vivas pressed the action working the body of Villa. In the second round Villa moved well landing his jab landing a left on the chin knocking down Vivas after a minute of the round. Vivas was warned for hitting behind the head and hitting on the break by referee Robert Velez. The round went beyond 3 minutes going near 4 minutes.

In the third round Villa continued controlling the fight countering well. In the fourth round Vivas got away hitting behind the head and on the break without a warning in a close round.

In the fifth round Villa became the aggressor. Vivas continued his dirty tactics being frustrated with the quicker hands of Villa landing his punches at a high percentage. Prior to starting the sixth round the referee noticed one of the ring ropes broke causing a long delay of over 10 minutes to start the round.

In the sixth round Vivas again became the aggressor walking into counter punches by Villa. In the seventh round Vivas kept getting away with hitting behind the head and landing a low blow. The referee finally stopped the action warning Vivas of hitting behind the head which he has been doing the entire fight.

In the eight round Villa was landing quite a bit to the head with little return from Vivas during the first half of the round. Vivas did well in the second half continuing his rough tactics without warning. It was a close round.
In the ninth round Villa kept the jab followed by a left throughout the round. In the tenth and final round Villa kept boxing well despite the continuous dirty tactics by Vivas.

Scores were 100-89 by all three judges while this writer had it 98-91.

Super Lightweight Brandun Lee, 17-0 (15), 142 1/2, La Quinta, CA, knocked out Milton Arauz, 10-2-1 (5), 142, of Jinotega, Nicaragua, at 2:59 of the second round in a scheduled 8.
In the first round Lee had his left to his side using an effective jab. In the last 30 seconds of the round Lee landed half a dozen punches without return until Arauz grabbed him almost taking him to the canvas.

In the second round Lee continued to control and in the final minute a right to the chin of Arauz knocked out his mouthpiece. A right hand from Lee in the final seconds on the chin of Arauz and down he went. He struggled to get up but fell to the canvas forcing referee Daniel Sandoval to immediately wave the fight over.

Welterweight Vito “White Majic” Mielnicki, Jr., 2-0 (2), of Roseland, NJ, knocked out Caleb Bailey, 0-2 (0), of Salisberry, NC, at 1:00 of the first round.

In the first round a left hook on the chin from Mielnicki dropped Bailey. A bit later a right hand on the chin put Bailey down for the count. The 17 year-old Mielnicki had quite an outstanding amateur career.

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Hearn asks Gervonta Davis to tell him how much he wants to fight Tevin Farmer

Gervonta Davis Eddie Hearn Mayweather Promotions Tevin FarmerBy Matt Lieberman: Promoter Eddie Hearn wants to know Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis’ asking price for him to agree to a unification fight against IBF super featherweight champion Tevin Farmer on DAZN. Hearn is asking the unbeaten Tank Davis (22-0, 21 KOs) to Tweet a number that he wants in the millions for him to come […]

Read full article: Hearn asks Gervonta Davis to tell him how much he wants to fight Tevin Farmer @Boxing News 24

Angelo Leo wins unanimous decision over Mark John Yap in Las Vegas

Angelo Leo is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the junior featherweight division.

The unbeaten Leo was victorious again Friday night, defeating veteran Mark John Yap of the Philippines at the Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Leo’s hometown of Las Vegas.

With the victory, Leo improves to 18-0 (8 knockouts).

Leo was impressive in his last bout on Apr. 5, which also took place at the Sam’s Town and Gambling Hall. Leo was dominant over 10 one-sided rounds, defeating Neil John Tabanao by decision, a fight which aired on Showtime’s ’ShoBox’ series.

The 25-year-old Leo was the more-effective fighter throughout the fight. Yap attempted to mount an offense, but Leo quickly put him on the defensive by throwing and landing two-three punch combinations.

Scores were 99-91, 99-91, and 98-92 for Leo, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.

Yap, who is originally from the Philippines and now resides in Osaka, Japan, drops to 30-14 (15 KOs).

In the co-feature bout featuring welterweights who live in Las Vegas, undefeated Keith Hunter (11-0, 7 KOs) scored an impressive unanimous decision victory over gatekeeper Cameron Krael.

Hunter was coming off an upset victory over former amateur standout Sanjarbek Rakhmanov on Apr. 5. A victory over the more-experienced and ring-savvy Krael would solidify his standing as a prospect to watch.

The 26-year-old Hunter used his three-inch height advantage and reach to keep Krael at the end of his punches. Hunter mixed his attack to the head and body of Krael, who began letting his hands go during the middle rounds.

Hunter began to tire by the seventh round, but seemed to get a second wind by round nine, even though he was mostly throwing arm punches and was stunned by a Krael right cross. Hunter was deliberate with his attack and always kept his hands moving during the final round.

Scores were 98-92, 98-92, and 97-93 for Hunter.

Krael, who entered the bout having won eight of his last 10 bouts, drops to 16-14-3 (4 KOs).

Junior lightweight prospect and Las Vegas resident Andres Cortes knocked out veteran Sergio Lopez of Mexico in the third round.

The 22-year-old Cortes (12-0, 7 KOs) broke Lopez down in each round, mixing his attack and landing combinations onto Lopez, whose punch out dropped with each passing minute. Cortes stunned Lopez with a barrage of punches late in round, following up and landing at will before Lopez took a knee. Referee Kenny Bayless counted Lopez out at 2:53.

Lopez, who is originally from Ensenada, Mexico and now resides in the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina, falls to 22-15-1, 15 KOs.

Super middleweight Kevin Newman II (10-1-1, 6 KOs) of Las Vegas stopped Ramon Aguinaga in round four.

Newman dropped Aguiniga with a right uppercut to the chin about a minute into round four. Aguinaga beat the count, but was dropped again by a barrage of punches from Newman again the ropes. Referee Robert Byrd administered an eight-count, but waved the fight off at 1:19.

Aguinaga, who is originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico and now resides in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista, drops to 13-3, 9 KOs. Aguinaga has lost his last three bouts.

In the opening bout of the Mayweather Promotions card, junior welterweight prospect Maurice Lee defeated Jonathan Steele (9-4-1, 6 KOs) of Duncansville, Texas by majority decision.

One judge scored the bout 76-76, while the other two judges scored the bout 77-75 for Lee, who improves to 11-1-2, 5 KOs. Lee resides in Woodland Hills, California.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper,, and He can be reached by email at or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing 

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The Travelin’ Man goes to ‘ShoBox’ at Sam’s Town: Part Two

Please click here to read Part One.



Friday, April 5 (continued): In a year that has produced its share of surprises, the most surprising result occurred on this “ShoBox: The New Generation” tripleheader: The expected.

All three perceived “A-side” fighters won as Mayweather Promotions stablemates Andres Cortes, Xavier Martinez and Angelo Leo prevailed over Jahmal Dyer, John Vincent Moralde and Neil John Tabanao, respectively, in impressive fashion. CompuBox colleague Dennis Allen and I predicted that we would see 22 rounds of action and we were treated to 21. Even the nature of the results was well within conventional wisdom – Cortes UD 8 Dyer, Martinez TKO 3 Moralde and Leo UD 10 Tabanao. The only wrong guess I made was that Martinez would take four rounds to stop Moralde and he ended up doing it one round sooner.

ShoBox analyst Steve Farhood accurately stated at the top of the broadcast that the trio of prospects shared many similarities beyond their promotional company, such as their undefeated records, their frequent appearances at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall and the fact that Cortes and Leo campaigned in the same weight class and, because of that, there is a temptation to see them as a group rather than as individuals. For that reason, the trio’s objectives for this evening were expanded beyond winning their fights; each needed to create the most positive impression possible while also separating himself from his colleagues. While I liked what I saw from all three prospects, one achieved these tasks better than the others – Xavier Martinez.

Xavier Martinez (left) vs. John Vincent Moralde. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Xavier Martinez (left) vs. John Vincent Moralde. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Martinez said before the bout that he wanted to steal the show and, against Moralde, he delivered in a big way as he hammered the Filipino from start to finish. A crunching hook to the jaw scored a knockdown in the third, after which a power flurry prompted referee Tony Weeks to intervene at the perfect moment. The CompuBox numbers further illustrated the degree of his dominance inside the ring: Averaging 94.1 punches per round to Moralde’s 56.9, Martinez prevailed 91-20 in overall connects, 13-3 in landed jabs and 78-17 in power connects, as well as 40%-15% overall, 15%-6% jabs and 56%-20% power. In the two completed rounds, Martinez recorded 37 and 43 connects to Moralde’s seven and nine and he exploited Moralde’s vulnerability to sustained body punching by leading 31-4 in body connects. Above all that, Morales displayed confidence, ferocity and power that proved far too much for Moralde. A strong case could be made that the first and second rounds merited 10-8 scores even without a knockdown; Martinez landed nearly as many power punches in the first round (31) as Moralde tried to throw overall (32), while round two saw Martinez prevail 43-9 in overall connects and 40-8 in landed power shots. Finally Martinez closed the show in emphatic fashion, after which he triumphantly pointed at analyst Raul Marquez, who predicted during the opening segment that Martinez would shine brightest among the three prospects. Granted, Moralde had lost two of his last four fights but in those defeats against Toka Kahn Clary and Jamel Herring, he went seven and 10 rounds, respectively, while Martinez destroyed him in more than half the time.

In Part One, I said the result of the TV opener between Cortes and Dyer would be determined by distance and volume; Cortes would win if he could force a firefight in the trenches, while Dyer needed to impose a modestly paced thinking man’s match. Dyer couldn’t have asked for a better round one as he out-landed Cortes 8-6 overall (including 6-0 in landed jabs) while throwing 48 punches to Cortes’ 29 and keeping the power punch attempts way down (16 for Cortes, 14 for Dyer). Starting in round two, however, Cortes imposed his kind of fight as he closed the gap, escalated his work rate while forcing Dyer to increase his (Cortes threw 67 punches to Dyer’s 75) and induced more power punch attempts (32 for Cortes, 35 for Dyer). Yes, both men landed 16 total punches and 12 power shots but Cortes succeeded in flipping the script, so much so that even when Dyer scored a flash knockdown in round four, Cortes appeared to have won the rest of the round convincingly enough to merit a 10-9 deficit instead of the usual 10-8. The evidence: Cortes out-landed Dyer 29-9 overall, 9-4 jabs and 20-5 power and created accuracy leads of 32%-14% overall, 21%-12% jabs and 43%-17% power. Cortes earned scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 78-73 from Patricia Morse Jarman, Glenn Trowbridge and Kermit Bayless, respectively, and, as is usually the case, the stats backed up the scores. Cortes was the busier man (65 punches per round to Dyer’s 59.8), the fighter who landed more in all phases (159-72 overall, 45-35 jabs, 114-37 power), the fighter who created the better accuracy gaps (31%-15% overall, 19%-13% jabs, 41%-19% power) and, despite his height and reach deficits of three inches and seven-and-half inches respectively, the better jabber as he averaged 24.1 attempts and 4.5 connects per round to Dyer’s 27.9 and 3.5. The CompuBox round-by-round breakdown of total connects – relevant because clean punching is a key judging factor – saw Cortes ahead 6-1-1, thanks to his sweeping the final six rounds.

Andres Cortes (right) vs. Jahmal Dyer. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Andres Cortes (right) vs. Jahmal Dyer. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

The main event saw Leo rise to a trio of challenges – being the main event fighter in his national TV debut, going the 10-round distance for the first time in his pro career and doing so against his best opponent to date. Had it not been for Martinez’s lights-out performance, Leo would have been the fighter everyone would have been talking about the following morning because there was much to like about his performance. Statistically speaking, he controlled the pace by averaging 54.9 punches per round to Tabanao’s 33.5, neutralized the taller Tabanao’s jab (he averaged just 11.1 attempts and 1.6 connects per round), out-landed him 168-66 overall and 159-50 power to offset Tabanao’s slim 16-9 lead in landed jabs, connected more accurately (31%-20% overall, 42%-22% jabs to counterbalance Tabanao’s 14%-5% edge in jab precision) and limited Tabanao to single digits in total connects in every round, while also prevailing 76-22 in landed body punches. To me, however, the most encouraging sign of Leo’s progress was how strong he finished the fight against a man who had gone 10 or more rounds six times, including three 12-rounders. In rounds eight through 10, Leo out-landed Tabanao 81-20 overall and 79-17 power while averaging 80.3 punches per round to Tabanao’s 35.3. His ninth-round performance was especially productive as he led 38-5 overall and 38-3 power while landing 44% overall and 53% power to Tabanao’s 16% and 11% respectively.

However while Leo shined in the late rounds, it also brought up the possibility that future stoppages may result more from attrition than blunt force trauma because, despite his great numerical success in the late rounds, he was unable to floor Tabanao. To be fair to Leo, however, it must be pointed out that all of Tabanao’s five losses were by decision, including a 12-round loss to confirmed puncher Isaac Dogboe in August 2016. For those reasons, the jury is still out on whether Leo can add sock to his science as he moves up the ladder.

Angelo Leo (left) lands a left hook on Neil John Tabanao. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Angelo Leo (left) lands a left hook on Neil John Tabanao. Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

Thanks to CompuBox’s association with the new “Showtime Pick ‘Em” game linked with Draft Kings, my night’s work was nowhere near over. I needed to get the stats into the master database as quickly as possible and I managed to get the main event numbers uploaded before my internet connection to the truck was cut. After grabbing a quick post-fight sandwich, I zoomed to my room to complete the task, after which I notified everyone that the numbers were ready to use.

Once my work was finished, I wound down by catching up on all the news and sports I missed, then turned out the lights shortly after 11 a.m.


Saturday, April 6: What mattresses and pillows are being used inside the hotel rooms at Sam’s Town? If it weren’t for the fact that stealing is wrong and that neither would fit inside my luggage, I would take them home with me because, for the second straight night, I slept extremely well and restfully. Longtime readers of the Travelin’ Man Chronicles know of my struggles to sleep both at home and on the road and it’s the rare night when I get one night’s worth of good sleep, much less two in a row.

I learned upon checking out that the hotel used Serta mattresses and that while they aren’t contracted to “My Pillow,” the pillows they do use apply the same principles of head and neck support and of keeping its shape no matter what. Yes, the right quad muscle strain I incurred bowling the other night was still there but I was otherwise bright and chipper.

I had planned to awaken at 5 a.m. with an eye on leaving the hotel by 6 and arriving at the airport by 6:30 but after checking out, I learned that taxis don’t usually hang out outside off-Strip properties like Sam’s Town. As a result, one of the hotel employees called a taxi, which arrived shortly after 6:30.

Pranjit, my taxi driver, told me in unaccented English that he was from India and the only Indian boxer I could think of in terms of a conversational ice-breaker was three-time Olympian Vijender Singh, a 33-year-old welterweight currently 10-0 (with 7 knockouts), whose anticipated April 12 U.S. debut was pushed back due to an injury he suffered during sparring in Los Angeles. Pranjit knew nothing of him but his interest was piqued when I told him I worked with CompuBox. When he asked how I was able to get a job with CompuBox, my answer (contained in the following link took me the rest of the ride to explain. I never tire of telling this story because (1) it is so improbable; (2) it illustrates the power of faith, self-belief, hard work and opportunism and (3) it marked the end of a decades-long pursuit of a boxing-only professional existence, an existence that I hope will continue until my final days on Earth.

I arrived at the airport at 7 a.m., and my first order of business was to secure a Business Select upgrade. Even though my frequent flier number was on the boarding pass and despite the fact I checked in precisely at the start of the 24-hour window, I somehow drew position “C-38” in the boarding line, which meant that I was ahead of only 21 other passengers. How could this be?

I had hoped to rectify this issue at the Southwest counter because there I could pay in cash but the shortest line still would have required a lengthy wait. So in the interest of saving time, I decided to go through security with my current boarding pass and hoped the issue could be addressed at the gate.

Thankfully it was: For a $50 charge on my credit card, I moved up from C-38 to A-10. I learned that Business Select seats are sold in sequence and because seats are sold up to A-15, I realized that I had comfortably gotten under the wire.

We passengers are sometimes asked to look after one another and one such example took place just after I walked through the metal detector and waited for my bags to emerge from the X-ray. For whatever reason, the boarding pass for the man two places ahead of me in line fell out of his luggage during his bag search and was on the conveyor belt apart from everything else. As it rolled out the other side, the man to my right asked if that pass was mine. It was not but another person said it might belong to the man standing 15 feet beyond us. I grabbed the pass, called out the name printed on it and, wouldn’t you know it, that man turned around and said it was his. “Thank yous” were passed all around and, at least for a moment, all of us were linked by circumstance. Once that moment passed, however, we split up and proceeded to our various gates. It’s extremely likely that none of us will see each other again and, even if we do, none of us will recognize any of the others. But for that slice of time at least, we were involved in an episode of benevolence.

Once I settled my business at the gate counter, I found an empty seat and asked the two young women occupying the other two if it was taken. When they said no, I gladly settled in. Oddly the discussion was about Arizona’s unique time zone situation (some parts of the state stay on the same time throughout the year while others shift from Standard to Daylight Savings and back) and the confusion that comes from it. Having known the late Joe Carnicelli (a Brooklynite who moved to Phoenix), I offered my thoughts on the subject and hoped I offered some clarity for them. That led to another conversation in which I learned they were three members of a six-woman bachelorette party and that the young woman to my immediate left (a lovely redhead) was the bride-to-be. The big day will be May 25 – a date which virtually everyone else associates with Memorial Day weekend but I, as a boxing historian, instantly linked it with the anniversary of the controversial Muhammad Ali-Sonny Liston rematch. A bad omen? I hope not but, in any case, given the audience and the situation, I refrained from mentioning the link.

I used my vastly improved place in line to grab a window seat in row eight and was soon joined by two male passengers, one in his 30s and one in his 60s. Both were friendly and talkative but we retreated into our own little worlds once the final safety instructions were read over the intercom. As was the case two days earlier, we were told about the possibility of turbulence upon takeoff and landing but, in reality, it occurred throughout the flight, especially the middle portion where it was so severe that the flight attendants twice suspended their food and beverage service. The pilot later told us that the bobbing and weaving was unavoidable because “bad air” was present at all altitudes.

Still, we landed in Pittsburgh ahead of schedule, and my drive home was pleasingly uneventful. I pulled into the driveway shortly before 6:30 p.m. and, after checking my email, I learned that three fights on the April 13 FS1 show had changes in opponents and would require me to work up new statistical packages. Last-minute fallouts have long been par for the course in boxing, so all I could do was get as much of the job done as I could and move on to the next task. For most of us, this is what life is about and if you can enjoy it along the way, all the better.

I only have a few days to chip away at the “to do” list before preparing for my next journey, which will take me to Atlantic City to chronicle the card topped by the historic showdown between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer for the undisputed female middleweight championship.

Until then, happy trails!




Lee Groves is a boxing writer and historian based in Friendly, West Virginia. He is a full member of the BWAA, from which he has won 16 writing awards, including two first-place awards, since 2011. He has been an elector for the International Boxing Hall of Fame since 2001 and is also a writer, researcher and punch-counter for CompuBox, Inc. He is the author of “Tales from the Vault: A Celebration of 100 Boxing Closet Classics” (available on Amazon) and the co-author of the newly released book “Muhammad Ali: By the Numbers” (also available on Amazon). To contact Groves about a personalized autographed copy, use the email or send him a message via Facebook.




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Angelo Leo dominates Neil Tabanao in ShoBox debut, wins shutout decision

Angelo Leo handled his first national TV headliner with pizzazz, shutting out Neil Tabanao over ten rounds at Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas on Friday night in his ShoBox debut.

The scores were 100-90 on two cards, and 100-89 on the third, meaning one of the judges saw it fit to score a 10-8 round without a knockdown. If that’s the case, one of those rounds would likely have come from the eighth round on, when Leo’s relentless body punching and physicality had worn down the durable Filipino and the fight’s competitiveness had disappeared.

The win elevates Leo, 24, of Albuquerque, New Mexico to 17-0 (8 knockouts) in what was the junior featherweight’s first ten-round scheduled assignment. Tabanao (17-5, 11 KOs) of Panabo City, Philippines snapped a four-fight winning streak with the loss.

While Leo didn’t have explosive power, he utilized creative angles in close to open up shots in close, and never allowed his punch count to drop. The most trying time of the fight came in the fifth round, when an accidental butt started some swelling on Leo’s eye. Though no cut opened up, Leo was buzzed and Tabanao, whose biggest win was an upset knockout of Ibrahim Balla in Australia, tried to capitalize.

The persistent work to the body resulted in a few warnings for low blows but referee Jay Nady never saw fit to take a point as the Mayweather Promotions-handled Leo cruised to victory.

Martinez blasts out Moralde

It was hard to get an accurate picture of just how good Xavier Martinez is: he didn’t have a whole lot of resistance coming his way from John Vincent Moralde. Martinez, a 21-year-old junior lightweight, ran his record to 14-0 (10 KOs) with a third round stoppage of the Filipino Moralde, who dropped to 21-3 (11 KOs).

Photo by Esther Lin/SHOWTIME

It isn’t often that a referee will tell a fighter after the second round that he’s watching him closely, but it was an appropriate exhortation from Tony Weeks after Moralde failed to mount a meaningful retaliation to the opening onslaught from the Sacramento native.

The ending came at the 1:11 mark of the following round, after a short left hook beat Moralde to the punch and dropped him on his back. Moralde rose up, but was met by a follow up attack which sent him into the ropes and earned Martinez the victory.

In the televised opener, Andres Cortes (11-0, 6 KOs) climbed off the canvas in round 4 to outpoint Jahmal Dyer (9-2, 5 KOs) over 8 rounds in a junior lightweight bout. Scores were 79-73, 78-73, 78-74.

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Leonard Ellerbe talks Angelo Leo, upside of ‘ShoBox’ cards

It has come to this for Angelo Leo tonight. Headlining a significant fight card that will air on a premium network, the unbeaten featherweight could generate buzz among fight fans with a statement win at the expense of his opponent.

If Leo looks average or sub-par, another opportunity might not come his way.

Mayweather Promotions is very high on the 24-year-old Leo and believes he can make a lasting impression that can carry over into the future.

Leo will face Neil John Tabanao at Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 10-round bout will headline a “ShoBox” tripleheader (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

At Thursday’s weigh-in, Leo weighed in at 123 pounds. Tabanao weighed 122.25 pounds.

Leo (16-0, 8 knockouts), who resides in Las Vegas, last fought on February 9, dropping Alberto Torres twice en route to a unanimous decision victory.

Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions, believes Leo is just scratching the surface of his potential as a prizefighter.

“Leo has a tremendous work ethnic,” Ellerbe told over the phone on Thursday afternoon. “He has really benefited from the sparring he gets in the gym. He faces the best and he works alongside talented fighters. He’s patient and he has come along very well thus far. Leo will get to display his skills on ShoBox and we’ll see how he will step up from there.”

Tabanao (17-4, 11 KOs), who resides in Mandaue City in the Philippines, has won his last four bouts. His most notable bout was a unanimous decision loss to former WBO junior featherweight titlist Isaac Dogboe in August of 2016.

Two other unbeaten fighters under the Mayweather Promotions banner will also appear on the ShoBox telecast in separate bouts.

Undefeated junior lightweight Xavier Martinez (13-0, 9 KOs), of Sacramento, California, will square off against John Vincent Moralde (21-2, 11 KOs), of the Philippines, in a 10-round bout. In lightweight action, unbeaten Andres Cortes (10-0, 6 KOs) will face Baltimore’s Jahmal Dyer (9-1, 5 KOs) in an eight-round bout.

“We have six of the top prospects in boxing, including the three on the ShoBox telecast,” said Ellerbe, who was also referring to welterweight Sanjarbek Rakhmanov, Kevin Newman II and Maurice Lee, all of whom also are promoted by Mayweather Promotions and will fight in preliminary action. “Leo, Martinez and Cortes are all exciting fighters that will showcase their skills.”

With Ellerbe at the helm, Mayweather Promotions has been a part of major fight cards over the years that have generated millions of pay-per-view buys and grossed millions of dollars. As Floyd Mayweather Jr. has faced Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez or Manny Pacquiao, Ellerbe has seen it all.

The smaller-scale fight cards, including the ShoBox series, are where Ellerbe has enjoyed watching the development of young prospects.

“I love these shows. There is nothing like a young fighter and watching their development at that stage of their career. I actually prefer these type of shows over some of the major fight cards. You can watch how far these fighters can go and how they can take advantage of these wonderful opportunities.

“Tonight should be no different.”



Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, and He can be reached by email at or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.




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Robert Easter Jr. to face Rances Barthelemy on April 27

Robert Easter Jr. will face Rances Barthelemy in a clash of once-beaten lightweight titlists on Apr. 27, it was announced by Premier Boxing Champions.

The 12-round bout will take place at The Cosmopolitan at Las Vegas and will headline a Showtime tripleheader telecast (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

The clash between Easter and Barthelemy places two of the top lightweights in boxing in a compelling crossroads bout.

Easter (21-1, 14 knockouts) has not fought since losing to WBC lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia by unanimous decision in a unification bout, on July 28, in Los Angeles. Easter, who resides in Toledo, Ohio, lost the IBF title belt in the process.

Mikey Garcia (right) vs. Robert Easter Jr.

Mikey Garcia (right) vs. Robert Easter Jr.

The 28-year-old Easter defeated Javier Fortuna by split decision in his previous fight on January 20 of last year. Easter, who believes a victory over Barthelemy would place him among the elite in the division, is convinced his physical attributes will make the difference in the fight.

“I’ve wanted to fight Barthelemy since he had the (IBF) lightweight title and vacated it and now I have the chance,” said Easter, who has victories over Richard Commey and Denis Shafikov. “He has an awkward style and I’m up for that challenge. I am still coming in as the taller fighter with a reach advantage and I’ll use it to make this fight go how I want it. He is a former world champion and he is coming to bring it just like I am.”

Easter is ranked No. 3 by

Barthelemy (27-1, 14 KOs) is originally from Havana, Cuba and now resides in Miami, Florida. The 32-year-old two-division titleholder is coming off a third round stoppage victory of journeyman Robert Frankel on December 22.

Rances Bathelemy (right) vs. Robert Frankel. Photo: Premier Boxing Champions on Twitter

Rances Bathelemy (right) vs. Robert Frankel. Photo: Premier Boxing Champions on Twitter

In his previous bout on March 10 of last year, Barthelemy lost by unanimous decision to Kiryl Relikh, who won the vacant WBA junior welterweight title with the victory.

Barthelemy believes he is at his best fighting at 135 pounds and cannot see himself losing on April 27.

“I’m looking forward to a great fight against Robert Easter Jr.,” said Barthelemy. “I know I have what it takes to beat him and capture another world title. My best performances have come at 135 pounds. Both of us are former world champions who are hungry and will give the fans a sensational night of boxing. I’ve never lost at lightweight and that will continue on April 27.”

Leonard Ellerbe, the CEO of Mayweather Promotions, agrees.

“Two former world champions looking to reclaim their championship status speaks for itself, in terms of the action and will to win that Easter and Barthelemy will bring on April 27. Both guys have already proven that they have what it takes to take care of business at this level.”

In the co-feature, junior welterweight contender Viktor Postol (30-2, 12 KOs), who is originally from Ukraine and now resides in Los Angeles, will square off against Mohamed Mimoune in a 12-round title eliminator.

Postol last fought on November 3 in Glasgow, Scotland, defeating Turkey’s Siar Ozgul by decision. In his previous fight on June 23, Postol lost by unanimous decision to contender Josh Taylor.

Viktor Postol vs. Josh Taylor (right). Photo by Shabba Shafiq

Viktor Postol vs. Josh Taylor (right). Photo by Shabba Shafiq

Postol’s other defeat came at the hands of then-junior welterweight titleholder Terence Crawford in July of 2016.

Mimoune (21-2, 2 KOs), who resides in Toulouse, France, has won his last 10 bouts, which includes victories over Sam Eggington and Ceferino Rodriguez.

In the opening bout of the Showtime telecast, heavyweight prospect Efe Ajagba (9-0, 8 KOs) of Nigeria will face Germany’s Michael Wallisch (19-1, 12 KOs) in a 10-round bout.



Francisco A. Salazar has written for since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, and He can be reached by email at or on Twitter @FSalazarBoxing.




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The post Robert Easter Jr. to face Rances Barthelemy on April 27 appeared first on The Ring.