Boxing

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 12, 2018) – The "Red River Rivalry" — the pugilistic version — has kicked off. WBO junior welterweight champion Maurice Hooker, from Dallas, Texas, will defend his world title Friday evening against Oklahoma City native Alex Saucedo at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, home of the NBA's Oklahoma City Thunder.

This will be the first title defense for Hooker (24-0-3, 16 KOs), who won the belt June 9 when he traveled to Manchester, England, and defeated Terry Flanagan via split decision.

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BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif. (Nov. 8, 2018) — Alex "El Cholo" Saucedo grew up in Oklahoma City, a short bike ride from the Chesapeake Energy Arena. It was called the Ford Center back then, but Saucedo always dreamed of headlining a world title fight in his hometown.

Saucedo will get that chance on Friday, Nov. 16 when he challenges WBO junior welterweight champion Maurice Hooker at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. This special one-fight Top Rank on ESPN broadcast begins at midnight ET.

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Tony Bellew is predicting blood & pain for his opponent IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk this Saturday night at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

Beating Usyk is going to a tremendous boost to Bellew’s legacy in the sport. It would be icing on the cake of his career. Bellew is one of those fighters that did nothing for most of his career. It’s only now in the twilight of his career that he’s accomplished a great deal, made good money and shocked a lot of boxing fans that thought he was little more than a crude domestic level slugger. Bellew still hasn’t beaten a top level cruiserweight, but that may change after Saturday if he can take Usyk’s scalp.

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Tokyo—Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr said Monday he will come out of retirement to fight a Japanese kickboxer half his age, Tenshin Nasukawa, on New Year’s Eve in Saitama.

US boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., shown here posing during a weigh-in a day before his fight with MMA fighter Connor McGregor at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, said he will come out of retirement to fight a Japanese kickboxer half his age, Tenshin Nasukawa (inset), on New Year’s Eve in Saitama. AFP

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NEW YORK CITY (Nov. 5, 2018) - Teofimo Lopez is determined to take over the lightweight division. Italian heavyweight and former amateur standout Guido Vianello, who recently signed a multi-year professional contract with Top Rank, is hoping to make a statement in his scheduled six-round pro debut against Luke Lyons (5-1-1, 2 KOs).

Lopez (10-0, 8 KOs), who hails from Brooklyn, will battle Mason Menard (34-3, 24 KOs) for the vacant NABF lightweight title in a 10-rounder on the undercard of the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Jose Pedraza lightweight world title unification bout, Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. revealed at a news conference on Sunday that he’ll be fighting on December 31 against Tenshin Nasukawa in the Rizin Fighting Federation at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. This a place near Tokyo, Japan.

Mayweather and his opponent Tenshin Nasukawa were both announced during the Sunday news conference. Mayweather is 21-years older than the 20-year-old Nasukawa.

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Light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera (22-2, 14 KOs) looked good in beating Seanie Monaghan (29-2, 17 KOs) by a 10 round unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, New York.

The fight was highly competitive with both guys trading big shots for the full 10 rounds. Barrera had the better power of the two, and his punches were landing cleaner with more precision. Monaghan did a good job of getting out of the way of a lot of Barrera’s big power punches, but not enough for him to get the victory.

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EL PASO, Texas (Nov. 1, 2018) – WBC super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt and challenger Miguel "Mickey" Roman stood nose to nose, two days away from what is expected to be a phone booth battle at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas (ESPN+, 9:30 p.m. ET).

Berchelt (34-1, 30 KOs) is the 26-year-old champion looking to make the fourth defense of his world title. Roman (60-12, 47 KOs) is the 32-year-old veteran from Juarez, Mexico, making his third attempt at a world title.

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