Undefeated two-division world champion and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward will join ESPN’s coverage of two of the year’s biggest boxing events: the August 19th Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Terence “Bud” Crawford vs Julius Indongo and the August 26th pay-per-view Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor..
Ward, the current Ring Magazine number one Pound-For-Pound fighter and current Unified Light Heavyweight Champion of the World, will join ESPN’s Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas as a guest analyst for the August 19th Top Rank Boxing on ESPN “Unification” fight.
For the first time ever, the results of a match will recognize an undisputed king of the 140-pound division of the four-belt era. The fight will air live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, and stream live on the ESPN App on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 10 p.m. ET, from the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska.
On August 26th, Ward will also appear on numerous ESPN studio shows, including First Take, SportsCenter and other programs, during its extensive multiplatform news and information coverage leading up to the 12-round Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor pay-per-view event at 9 p.m. ET.
“It’s great to be back behind the mic and working for ESPN alongside Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas, two guys that I respect and who provide great commentary to the sport of boxing,” Ward said.
“I love stepping in to the broadcast booth because I have the best seat in the house, I’m not taking any punches, and I get to talk about the sport I know and love. Crawford-Indongo and Mayweather-McGregor are two of the biggest fights in the sport right now and I’m looking forward to providing my own unique insight and being an asset to ESPN’s boxing coverage.”
Lightning-quick Super-Bantamweight talent Lucien Reid insists he is ready to challenge for the British Title despite having only had six professional fights.
Reid, 23, aims to take his record to 7-0 on the Billy Joe Saunders vs. Willie Monroe Jr Copper Box Arena World Title bill before targeting the Lonsdale Belt currently held by Frank Warren stablemate Thomas Patrick Ward.
“Every time my name is mentioned to other fighters they don’t want to know,” said Reid. “I’m ready to fight anyone, me and Adam Booth have clicked perfectly. I’m getting the very best sparring and the very best training.
“I helped Ryan Burnett achieve his dream of becoming a World Champion and I've also trained alongside former Middleweight World Champion Andy Lee. I've seen the dedication it takes to reach the top of the sport and I feel like I am ready to start stepping up myself.
“Sparring regularly with a World Champion and a British Champion has improved my all-round game. I think I'm ready to move into the title mix and Adam thinks I’m ready too. I’m good enough to bypass the Southern Area and English titles; I’m ready for the British title now!”
Former Repton and West Ham amateur standout Reid believes his old gym mate Saunders has the beating of Monroe Jr on September 16th. Ilford man Reid says he learnt a lot during the time he spent with Saunders at Booth's gym.
“I always used to watch Billy train when he was at our gym. I definitely picked up a lot from him and I think he even picked up some bits from me as well. He was always impressed with my hand speed and movement.
“Monroe Jr is a very good fighter and looking at his Instagram page he seems to be training very hard for this fight. I just don’t see anyone in the Middleweight division beating Billy Joe when he is fully fit and on his game.
“I honestly think a fully fit and fully motivated Billy Joe would give Canelo and Golovkin serious problems. He’s one of the slickest fighters around when he is firing on all cylinders he’s got one of the best boxing brains in the sport.”
Rising Ilford Light-Heavyweight star Anthony Yarde takes on undefeated Canadian Ryan Ford for the Vacant WBO Inter-Continental Light-Heavyweight strap; teenage Heavyweight sensation Daniel Dubois faces Brixton Heavyweight A.J Carter for the Vacant Heavyweight Southern Area Title; Southampton knockout artist Joe Pigford squares up with unbeaten Scot Kieran Smith for the Vacant WBO European Super-Welterweight Championship.
Some of the very best up-and-coming prospects in the country including Welling Super-Featherweight Archie Sharp; Ilford Super-Bantamweight Lucien Reid; Fulham Super-Middleweight Zak Chelli and Erith Flyweight Jake Pettit feature. Ilford Welterweight Hamza Sheeraz; Tamworth Light-Heavyweight Ryan Hatton and Ilford Super-Middleweight Umar Sadiq all make their highly-anticipated pro debuts.
This Saturday night, Thomas LaManna will take on George Sosa in a ten-round bout for the WBC Silver Latino Welterweight bout that will headline a big 11 bout card at what is expected to be a sold out Calridge Hotel in Atlantic City.
The show, promoted by Rising Promotions, is the 9th card that will be staged before a capacity crowd.
Both main event fighters recently gave their final comments before Saturday's showdown.
" I'm just ready to fight and I hope he is too. I encourage people to come to this action packed, stacked event. 12 bouts featuring some of the hottest prospects and a title fight," said LaManna.
"I think LaManna is a boxer who has not fought anyone of my caliber yet, and unlike me, I have fought everyone," said Sosa. LaManna has been protected during his whole career, Do I think he will be easy? No. There is no such thing as an easy fight. He is his Mommy and Daddy;s baby. When he fought somebody with caliber, he lost."
Despite his 15-9 record, Sosa knows a win can change his whole career.
"This fight is for the WBC Silver title, and would definitely change my career. Before I would just take fights because I needed the money to take care of my family in Cuba. I was too busy partying, and not taking matters seriously. Like my last fight with Anthony Young, I arrived three days before the weigh-in, and I was 21 pounds over the weight. Not only did I make the weight, but I went the distance with a formidable opponent. Not this timeI went directly to Cuba to begin training."
In the eight-round feature, former cruiserweight world champion, Imamu Mayfield (26-10-2, 19 KOs) of Freehold, New Jersey battles Lamont Capers (7-10-2) of Hawley, Pennsylvania.
In six-round bouts:
Anthony "Juice" Young (17-2, 6 KO's) of Atlantic City, NJ battles Carlos Winston Velasquez (25-29-2, 14 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua in a welterweight bout.
Yurik Mamedov (6-0, 3 KOs) of Brooklyn. NY takes on Ariel Vasquez (12-18-2, 9 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua in a welterweight bout.
Frederick Julan (5-0, 2 Kos) of Brooklyn, NY battles Tahlik Taylor 2-7, (1KO) of Freeport, NY in a light heavyweight battle.
Alvin Vermall, Jr. (11-0-1, 10 KOs) of Catskills, NY will take on Tracy Johnson (4-5-4) of Boston, MA in a cruiserweight affair.
In four-round bouts:
Joshafat Ortiz (1-0of Reading, PA will take on Sidell Blocker (1-8-1) of Pleasantville, NJ in a lightweight fight.
Ronald Logan (0-1) of New York, NY takes on Nahir Albright (1-1) of Philadelphia in a battle of lightweights .
Emmanuel Rodriguez (1-0) of Newark, NJ will take on pro debuting Willie Anderson of Paulsboro, NJ in a bantamweight bout.
Marcos Lugo of Vineland, NJ will make his pro debut against Tomas Romain (3-1) of Brooklyn, NY in a lightweight scrap.
Vidal Rivera (6-0, 4 KOs) of Camden, NJ will fight Weusi Johnson (2-4) of Wilmington, DE in a featherweight bout.