Madison Square Garden and Boxing: A Miracle on 34th Street


Madison Square Garden and Boxing: A Miracle on 34th Street

By Xavier Porter –

November 23, 2017

Brooklyn, NY – It’s the holiday season and the WBO (World Boxing Organization) is giving fight fans three gifts of great proportion. While people are shopping for holiday presents to give to loved ones, boxing fans will be purchasing tickets, clamoring in front of their televisions, anticipating live-action that will surely reshape the history of boxing and for the next year coming.

WBO (World Boxing Organization)

WBO (World Boxing Organization)

November 25, 2017

WBO Light Heavyweight Title – 12 ROUNDS (HBO)

photo courtesy od David Spagnola

Sergey  Kovalev, Chelyabinsk, Russia (30-2-1, 26 KOs) vs. Vyacheslav Shabransky, Kiev, Ukraine (19-1, 16 KOs)

First up, on 11/25, live at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, we have former World Light Heavyweight Champion Sergey Kovalev (30-2-1, 26 KOs) taking on Vyacheslav Shabransky (19-1, 16 KOs). Nicknamed “The Krusher”, Kovalev (the former WBO Light Heavyweight Champion) first won the title on 8/17/13 against the United Kingdom’s Nathan Cleverly. Kovalev defended the title eight times, during which time he won the IBF, WBA (Super), and Ring Light Heavyweight championships.

With his back to back losses to Andre Ward (retired), Kovalev, standing at 6’0 and thirty-four years of age will be looking to regain his title and status as the best light heavyweight in his division. He must first get past a younger (30), taller (6’3), and well-equipped fighter in Shabransky (current WBC USNBC Champion) who is also ready to make a mark in the division and become a world champion.

The fight between the hard-hitting Russian superstar Kovalev and top-rated contender SHABRANSKYY, from the Ukraine, for the vacant WBO Light Heavyweight World title, will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT and is presented by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with Golden Boy Promotions. The undercard of this bout features Former unified featherweight champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantanamo” Gamboa (27-2, 17 KOs) taking on Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 15 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight and Sullivan “Sully-B” Barrera taking on Felix Valera in a 10-round light heavyweight fight. Tickets range from $50 to $350 and available online at, at the MSG box office or Main Events’ office by calling (973) 200-7050 or emailing

December 2, 2017

WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship – 12 ROUNDS (HBO)

Miguel Cotto, Puerto Rico (41-5, 33 KOs) vs Sadam Ali, Brooklyn, New York (25-1, 14 KOs)

When describing the career of the great and future “International Boxing Hall of Fame” inductee Miguel Cotto, the list of accolades will go on and on. But to truly describe a man of Cotto’s stature in one phrase is simple for this writer: he faced all opponents, never ducked anyone, and he always comes to fight. Cotto is a national star and quite possibly the greatest fighter in the history of fighters from Puerto Rico. His wins and losses against the elite of the sport defines his ultimate greatness.

His vicious body punches, countless left hooks, and supreme respect for the sport is what makes Cotto and all-time great in the history of boxing. He is a true professional, inside and outside of the ring. With his announcement of his last fight against Ali, many have asked and wondered why he would face an opponent of Ali’s caliber. Reason being: Ali can fight. Ali is a proven opponent, a title contender, and a former United States Olympic boxer.

Cotto, at 5’7 and now thirty-seven years of age will be facing a younger (29), taller (5’9), and bigger fighter in Ali. Both men have made their careers fighting inside Madison Square Garden and on fight night it will be a battle between older, more experienced lion, who’s ready to ride off into the sunset with a lasting victory against a young lion, who’s also experienced, ready to his career to the next level.

Cotto vs. Ali, a 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBO World Junior Middleweight Championship, which is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions. Vargas vs. Negrete is a 12-round fight for Vargas’ WBC World Super Bantamweight Title and is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions in association with Promociones del Pueblo. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING,” “Hennessy: Never Stop. Never Settle,” and Casa Mexico Tequila. The event will take place Saturday, Dec. 2 at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The livestream of the undercard bouts will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.

December 9, 2017


Vasyl Lomachenko, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, Ukraine (9-1, 7 KOs) vs Guillermo Rigondeaux, Miami, Florida (17-0, 11 KOs)

Top-rated pound-for-pound fighters and Olympic legends VASILY “Hi-Tech” LOMACHENKO and GUILLERMO “El Chacal” RIGONDEAUX will go mano a mano in a collision of world champions, Saturday, December 9, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. This historic battle will mark the first-time two-time Olympic gold medalists have fought each other professionally at the highest level. Lomachenko will be defending his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight world title against the reigning World Boxing Association (WBA) super bantamweight champion Rigondeaux.

Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Roc Nation Sports and Madison Square Garden, tickets to the Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux world championship event sold out two months in advance! This is Lomachenko’s second advance sellout in his past three fights.

This is a good mark, a great selling point, and a matchup that boxing fans have been eager to see ever since both men became professional fighters. It is finally taking place, inside the “MECCA OF BOXING.” Lomachenko is finally facing in who many would call his arch nemesis, Rigondeaux. Both men are southpaws, equally skilled, and equally of Olympic and championship pedigree. Never, before in boxing history, have two boxers, each the winner of two Olympic gold medals, faced each other in a professional boxing match.

For the first time ever, two-time Olympic gold medalists, Lomachenko and Rigondeaux, will go head-to-head to show boxing fans from around the world, a huge battle of maximum potential. At the end of the night, there will be one winner, one dominating southpaw, one “KING’ of the Junior Lightweight/Super Featherweight division.

The fight, which will headline a spectacular all-action card, will be televised live and exclusively at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and streamed live on the ESPN App.