The weather is heating up and so are this season’s matchups and events! In this section we dive into our top sporting events and films, including our upcoming boxing events guaranteed to take the world by storm. Many champions will be crowned this season! Don’t miss out on the action leading up to those key moments; take a look below for event details.
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios
Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, NV.
2-division world champion, Danny “Swift” Garcia re-established his reign as he knocked out Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in the ninth round of the headliner. Rios was able to gain control of the fight during round 7 but it was Garcia who continued to execute his game plan and walk away with a W. Earlier that night, a highly anticipated re-match took place between David “El Bandera Roja” Benavidez and Ronald “The Thrill” Gavril. Benavidez showed up as the aggressor early on working his jab, which he utilized to his advantage throughout the fight. Gavril held his composure and proved he wasn’t going down without an all-out brawl. At just 21-years of age David Benavidez remained the WBC Super Middleweight Champion after a unanimous decision from the judges. Yordenis Ugas put his words into action when he took on Ray Robinson. He scored a few knock downs over Robinson and it was clear Ugas was in control of the fight. In the end, Referee Robert Byrd called an end to the fight crediting Ugas with a 7th TKO.
Boston native, Edwin Rodriguez took on Buffalo, NY native Lionell Thompson in a bout that went the distance. Rodriguez stuck to his game plan and was able to pull away a unanimous decision victory over Thompson. Ladarius Miller has seen back-to-back victories dating back to 2016. The young talented fighter scored a second round KO over Carlos Padilla at 2:04. Andres Cortes went the distance with his opponent won a Fatiou Fassinou, but his dominant performance earned him a UD win. Sulaiman Segawa and Brian Gallegos boxed it out for a full six round super featherweight fight. Judges scored the bout a split decision in favor of Segawa. Jonathan Esquivel got a 2nd round stoppage over Cameron Burroughs and the opening bout saw Joe Spencer make his pro debut with a stoppage over Uriel Gonzalez.
Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd
The Joint, Las Vegas, NV
It was an overall spectacular night of boxing at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, as WBA Champion, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (25-3-2, 14 KO’s) went toe-to-toe with IBF Champion, “Swift” Jarrett Hurd (22-0, 15 KO’s) to unify the Junior Middleweight division in the main event on Showtime. 27-year old Jarrett Hurd, jumped out the gate applying pressure to Lara and continued that pace throughout the fight off-setting Lara’s game plan. Lara was able to catch Hurd with a 1st round knockdown, and it was war thereafter as both fighters exchanged rounds of punches and combinations. Both fighters fought a great fight and put on a tough performance, bringing fans from both sides to their feet. Chants echoed inside the sold out venue for each guy, but it was Hurd who pushed through with a 12th round knockdown to Lara that solidified the scorecards giving Hurd the edge he needed to win and unify the division. Hurd advanced his unbeaten record to 22-0, 15 KO’s) with a split decision victory over the now, former world champion, Erislandy Lara.
After an unbelievable upset overseas, Caleb Truax’s days as IBF Super Middleweight world champion were put on the line when he agreed to rematch the then, former champion James Degale. The co-feature of the night saw Degale get a great start. Truax showed heart trying to defend the title- he opened a cut over Degale’s right eye that bothered him throughout the fight but Degale pushed through to become a 2-time world champion as he reclaimed his world title. Nathaniel Gallimore and Julian Williams opened the Showtime broadcast in an exciting fashion. There was much trash talk outside of the ring but it was Williams who shut it down with a win over his opponent. 2 friends, Sergio Mora, a former world champ, and Alfredo Angulo were both coming of a 2 year layoff. Angulo was able to find a rhythm and apply pressure but that didn’t break the well-seasoned Mora who walked away victorious. Saul Corral fell short of a victory against Emanuel Medina who won by unanimous decision while Xavier Martinez breezed through Jairo Fernandez Vargas scoring 2 knockdowns followed by a 2nd round stoppage. Sharone Carter handed Ahmed Mahmood his first professional loss after the judges all scored in favor of Carter.
Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
The main event didn’t disappoint! Fans were given a full 12-rounds of action-packed boxing in the headliner of the SHOWTIME tripleheader that was broadcasted live from Barclays Center. The main event ended in a draw, although both fighters felt they out boxed the other. Jermall Charlo (27-0, 21 KO’s) remained undefeated when he dropped Hugo Centeno Jr. in just the 2nd round of the fight for the interim 160-pound world title. And Gervonta “Tank” Davis (20-0,19 KO’s) also ended things earlier than expected when he TKO’d Jesus Cuellar in round 3 and was crowned the WBA 130-pound Super World Champion. Davis also made history as the youngest 2-time world champion.
The undercard was stacked and featured former 3-time Olympian, Raushee Warren (16-2, 4 KO’s) who defeated Gabriel Medina by unanimous decision. Iranda Torres proved to be a problem for Heather Hardy in the early rounds, but Hardy was able to improve her record to 21-0 after a unanimous decision victory for the Brooklyn native. Shyngyskhan Tazhibay (6-0, 2 KO’s) dominated against Isaac Freeman and also scored an unanimous decision. Referee Arthur Mercante Jr. had to step in in the 3rd round as Gary Russell went head-to-head with Andrew Rodgers. This was the first time Rodgers had been knocked out as Russell advanced his record to 5-0, 5 KO’s. Bronx native, George Arias (11-0, 6 KO’s) scored a victory in front of his home crowd when he beat Tyrell Wright by unanimous decision.
Both Mayweather Promotions’ fighters on the undercard bought home victories. Dylan Price (6-0, 5 KO’s) defeated Edson Noria in each of the 6 rounds on all 3 scorecards, while Richardson Hitchins (5-0, 3 KO’s) KO’d Alexander Charneco in just 1:17 of the 1st round.
WHAT YOU NEED TO SEE:
Ishe Smith vs. Tony Harrison
TV: Bounce TV
Venue: Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas
Former super welterweight champion Ishe “Sugar Shay’’ Smith returns May 11th to headline the night against top 154-pound contender, Tony Harrison, for a scheduled 10-round match. The Premier Boxing Champions headliner will be broadcasted on Bounce Friday, May 11th live from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas. The co-feature will see top contender Andrew “The Beast” Tabiti vs. Lateef Kayode in a 10-round cruiserweight attraction. Smith and Tabiti, both Las Vegas residents, will be fighting on their home turf and looking to impress their hometown fans.
Tickets for the event, which is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions, begin at $25, are on sale Monday, April 23 at 12 p.m. PT.
Stevenson vs. Jack
Tickets: April 28, 2018
Undefeated knockout artist Adonis Stevenson, the longest reigning light heavyweight champion, will defend his title against two-division champion Badou Jack live on SHOWTIME Saturday, May 19 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
Stevenson (29-1, 24 KOs) owns one of the most powerful left hands in boxing and goes by the ring moniker of “Superman’’. The 40-year-old Stevenson has made eight successful defenses of his title since winning it with a knockout victory over Chad Dawson in 2013. The lineal 175-pound champion most recently defended his title with a second round stoppage of Andrzej Fonfara last June and delivered a third round TKO over Tommy Karpency in his most recent defense in Toronto in 2015.
The 34-year-old Jack (22-1-2, 13 KOs) relinquished his 168-pound world championship following a majority draw against James DeGale in 2017 to move up to light heavyweight. He made a successful debut at 175 pounds by knocking out Nathan Cleverly for the light heavyweight championship last August. Jack then relinquished that title to seek out this challenge against the division’s heaviest hitter. Born in Stockholm, Sweden, a 2008 Olympian for his father’s native Gambia and now residing in Las Vegas, Jack is looking to become a three-time world champion on his opponent’s home turf on May 19.
Stevenson vs. Jack is part of a split site broadcast with featherweight champion Gary Russell, Jr. defending his title against mandatory title challenger Joseph Diaz from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland on Saturday, May 19.
OTHER SPORTS NEWS AND EVENTS:
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
About: The Kentucky Derby is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky and is known as “The Most Exciting 2 Minutes In Sports” as the horse race features thoroughbreds that race for the championship which is a garland of roses.
IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship
Location: Copenhagen-Herring, Denmark
About: This championship is the best it gets in the sport on an international level. The audience for professional hockey is continuing to grow, with the National Hockey League (NHL), being the largest professional hockey league in the world. Canada was the tournament’s first dominant team but now in recent years there has been more competition between the teams to be #1.
South American Games
Location: Cochabamba, Bolivia
About: The South American Games is a regional multi-sport event held between the nations that make up South America. It’s organized by the South American Sports Organization and is formerly known as the Southern Cross Games. They’re held every four years, with the most recent Games occurring in 2014 in Santiago, Chile. With some similarities to the Olympics, the South America Games features 35 sports and 14 countries.
FA Cup Final
The semi-finals will be played on April 21st and 22nd at Wembley Stadium. As the road to the finals narrows, Chelsea will see Southampton and the winner will take on either Tottenham or Manchester United in the final at Wembley Stadium on May 19th. BT Sport and BBC are both scheduled to share coverage of the event. Additional event details are forthcoming.
Location: Paris, France
About: The French Open, also called Roland-Garros after French aviator Roland Garros, is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between. The championship event takes place at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France and takes place on a clay court. This event is the second of four annual Grand Slam tournaments, and is the only Grand Slam event held on clay.
Date: 5.31- 6.7*
The best of the West and East are dueling it out to make it the championship rounds. The conference semifinals series are scheduled for April 30th/May 1st but could be moved up to April 28th29th. The conference finals series will follow on May 15th/16th with the potential of being moved up to May 13th/14th. Check back soon for additional information as we get closer to the Finals.
Stanley Cup Finals
As the NHL playoffs kick-started earlier this month, the road towards the Stanley Cup Finals gets clearer. The Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for a 3-peat but have a tough road ahead that currently includes the Las Vegas Knights who are on a roll after ending their debut season with 47 wins. More information regarding the Stanley Cup Finals is forthcoming.
UPCOMING YOUTH EVENTS & CAMPS
Nike Basketball Camp- Las Vegas
Location: Sawyer Middle School, Las Vegas
Enhance your skills on the court at this Nike Basketball Camp composed of Complete Skills I & II and a Shooting camp. Beside the fundamentals, this camp will teach about technique, footwork, free throw shooting and more.
PGA Junior Golf Camp- Las Vegas
Location: TCP Las Vegas
PGA Junior Golf Camps – Full and half-day camps provide an excellent opportunity for youth of all ages and abilities to improve their technical skills, develop strong course management and learn golf in a fun, supportive and positive environment. Overnight camps for advanced players are held at nationally-acclaimed facilities and provide opportunities for serious game improvement. Every camp is designed to help your child become a leader on and off the course.
Location: Bandera, TX
Camp Shield is a character building amazing adventure for boys! Our strategy paintball games are infamous along with many other activities, but it is the life-skills training that changes lives at Camp Shield. Campers will learn how to make good decisions, gain leadership skills, build confidence, prepare for life issues, create quality friendships and appropriately interact with others, and learn to successfully handle many other specific issues facing youth today- all while having an amazing summer camp experience.
Sports Camps Aus- Soccer in Brunswick
Location: Brunswick, Australia
Experience the Sports Camps Australia difference. Their passionate, positive and professional coaches can help your child become a better player and a more inspired athlete. Plus their camps provide the perfect environment to improve your skills, meet new friends and have serious fun.
Nike Volleyball Camp- Las Vegas
Location: Sawyer Middle School, Las Vegas
This popular camp in Las Vegas, Nevada provides volleyball players with an opportunity to improve their game with individual instruction, position specific training, and full scrimmages all while having fun.
MUST SEE MOVIES:
A woman takes her two children on a weekend getaway to her late father’s secluded, high-tech estate in the countryside. She soon finds herself in a desperate fight to save all of their lives when four men break into the house in search of something.
Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool battles the evil and powerful Cable and other bad guys to save a boy’s life.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
Criminal mastermind Debbie Ocean and seven other female thieves try to pull off the heist of the century at New York’s annual Met Gala. Their target — a necklace that’s worth more than $150 million.
The Incredibles 2
Elastigirl springs into action to save the day, while Mr. Incredible faces his greatest challenge yet — taking care of the problems of his three children.
Located off the coast of Costa Rica, the Jurassic World luxury resort provides a habitat for an array of genetically engineered dinosaurs, including the vicious and intelligent Indominus rex. When the massive creature escapes, it sets off a chain reaction that causes the other dinos to run amok. Now, it’s up to a former military man and animal expert (Chris Pratt) to use his special skills to save two young brothers and the rest of the tourists from an all-out, prehistoric assault.
After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend UNCLE DREW (NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time. The two men embark on a road trip to round up Drew’s old basketball squad (Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, Nate Robinson, and Lisa Leslie) and prove that a group of septuagenarians can still win the big one.
The First Purge
Violence and mayhem spread across the nation when the New Founding Fathers of America test a sociological theory that allows citizens to vent their aggression for one night in an isolated community.
We have scoured the internet to bring you the hottest trends in sports, music, entertainment, and fashion so you don’t have to. Grab your passports and get ready to plan the perfect beach getaway in the hottest spring styles, while eating at the best restaurants around, plus, the latest in sports in this quarter’s, What’s Trending section.
EMBRACE YOUR 90’S INNER KID, WINDBREAKERS ARE BACK!
The retro fashion phase is still booming and more and more nostalgia is coming our way. Windbreakers are the latest item to hit the streets and backs of fashion wearers worldwide. We’ve compiled the best windbreaker combo’s for your styling pleasure.
MALE CELEBRITIES HAVE RECENTLY BEEN SEEN ROCKIN’ THIS SUMMER’S BIGGEST TREND
Designers look to the tropics for inspiration as we head into higher temps and sun shining weather. We’ve compiled the top trending styles celebs have been rockin’, emblazoned with palm trees and flowers by designers like Saint Laurent, Gucci, and budget friendly retailer, Zara.
The sun is always shining somewhere right? No matter if you’re planning an overseas vacation or hanging out poolside at a swanky hotel. These are the trends that are already making waves this season which include: one shoulder patterns, one piece high-cut, front tie styles, and for the guys, graphic prints, bright colors, and linen seem to be making a splash!
GRAB YOUR SWIMSUITS! THESE ARE THE TOP BEACHES IN THE COUNTRY
When you think of sun, beaches, and relaxation the first destinations that probably come to mind are Hawaii and California to name a couple. Surprisingly, 6 out the top 10 beautiful beaches hail from the sunshine state! Florida revolves around sandy white beaches and relaxation, so if that sounds like your much-needed vacation it’s time to book a flight south, to Miami! Fun fact: Florida also ranks top 10 for the country’s best airports for keeping your stress levels low according to Travel Advisor.
Clearwater Beach, Fl.
St. Pete Beach, Fl.
South Beach, Miami Fl.
50 BEST RESTAURANTS, 50 STATES: THE BEST AFRICAN AMERICAN-OWNED RESTAURANTS IN AMERICA
Lifestyle and travel website, Travel Noir, recently released their list of the best food in each state owned by African-Americans. Owning a restaurant is tough. It can be expensive just to get started and most restaurants fail within the first year. Black-owned restaurateurs face even greater challenges like lack of funding and resistance in certain neighborhoods, so when one does become successful, it deserves to be celebrated.
TN has set out to find the best restaurants in every state across America, including restaurants that were founded generations ago and many that have opened recently. The restaurants included were selected based on a variety of factors, including historical significance, consistency and quality of the food, the impact the restaurant has had on its neighborhood and the value for the price, but the goal of this list is to serve as a reminder that entrepreneurs are working hard across the United States to share their legacy and culture through food. Whether it’s through flavors rooted in the American south, cooking techniques from Ethiopia and Jamaica, or new culinary concepts, these restaurants have all earned support and recognition, and they’ve done so one plate at a time.
CARDI B ALONG WITH LATIN SUPERSTAR J. BALVIN ADDED TO BILLBOARD LATIN MUSIC AWARDS LINEUP
It’s safe to say, Cardi B had the best 2017 within the industry. The blessings continue to roll in as her record ‘Bartier Carier’ just went platinum, she just announced her pregnancy when she co-hosted Saturday Night Live, and she was just announced along with an all-star lineup of artists that she will be at the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards taking place, April 26th at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT in Las Vegas, NV.
This year, the BLMAs have moved to Las Vegas, and will be broadcasting live April 26 at 7 p.m. ET from Mandalay Bay Event Center. Cardi B, Martin, Balvin and Karol G now join Maluma, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, CNCO, Chayanne, Sofia Reyes and Christian Nodal as scheduled performers. As previously announced, legendary Mexican band Mana will receive the Lifetime Achievement Honor.
SPOTIFY MAKES IT’S STOCK MARKET DEBUT, HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Music streaming leader Spotify recently went public. A lot of questions follow this recent endeavor, will this impact the structure of the service, will pricing increase, and what about the effect it could possibly have on artists?
Major record companies are scratching their heads about whether to sell their Spotify shares and when, though Sony has already sold off 17.2 percent of its shares, netting around $260.5 million.
Spotify currently leads the market with 159 million monthly active users and 71 million paying subscribers. With numbers like that, Spotify is still itching for MORE. They have announced that they want to expand their catalogue of services to offer videos, podcasts, audiobooks, and news. Buzzfeed and Refinery 29 (non-music brands) have already joined in and The Weeknd & Taylor Swift both plan to launch exclusive vertical videos on the streaming platform.
Now let’s get down to how all of this could possibly effect you as a listener. Billboard recently released an article analyzing the possible outcomes that could be in store, and believe that if Spotify follows Netflix’s trajectory as a public company your monthly subscription price may increase in the long term. On the other hand, Spotify may have figured out a way to incentivize subscribers with the possibility of offering “bundles” with other products that could lower the monthly fee. Spotify already offers a $4.99/month discounted subscription for students and a $14.99/month family plan for up to six premium users. In order to stay ahead of the curb, Spotify’s newest rollouts could be the icing on the cake for users. If all goes well, fans can expect to see richer information and context around their favorite artists on the platform.
‘BLACK PANTHER’ MOVIE BEATS TITANIC’S TWO DECADE OLD BOX OFFICE RECORD
By now, you have seen the countless records the Marvel cinematic film, Black Panther has surpassed. Fans across the nation have contributed to the next milestones in the films repertoire, and now, Black Panther has officially beat out Titanic for the No. 3 spot on the Highest U.S. Earnings movie list! The film is high on a record-breaking streak. Here’s a timeline of the movie’s recently shattered records and accolades achieved, to become one of the greatest films of our generation and beyond.
- Highest-rated Marvel movie of all-time according to Rotten Tomatoes
- Presale tickets surpassed all Superhero films
- Opening Day gross tops all non-team-up films
- Sets February Opening Weekend Record, bringing in $192 million (domestic)
- Breaks record for biggest opening for an African American director
- Highest grossing first week domestic box office opening
- Reached 1 billion mark in its fourth weekend
- Saudi Arabia debuts Black Panther, breaking it’s 35-year cinema ban
- Highest-grossing solo superhero movie
- Most Tweeted about movie ever
- Top-Grossing Superhero movie domestically
- Becomes No. 3 Highest Grossing movie in the U.S.
The film needs another $100 million to match Avatar’s $760.5 million. The No.1 movie of all time currently, is Star Wars: The Force Awakens, released in December 2015.
HOT TOPICS IN SPORTS:
LAS VEGAS AS BORN NHL TEAM THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS IGNITES THE “GOLDEN” EFFECT
Image courtesy of Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Golden Knights’ have had an incredible debut year. Soon before the team was in existence, there were many talks about if this would be a good move for Sin City. The NHL and Bill Foley, the majority owner of the Golden Knights decided to take a gamble, which later proved to be a handsome payoff. Enter in The Las Vegas Golden Knights. Within 1 month of opening sales for season tickets, the Knights had already maxed out on 2017 season tickets holdings capping out at 16,000 (the initial goal was 10,000 deposits).
Golden is the right word for the Vegas born expansion team, as they became the NHL’s most successful first-year expansion team in the league’s history. This success has also helped Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Area sell itself as an entertainment destination on the strip. Posting one of the best records in the NHL and making its way to the playoffs, revenue came marching in as a result for team merchandise and memorabilia leaving the other teams in the league behind. The fan-friendly team consistently saw 90% of seats filled inside during their home games at T-Mobile Arena.
NHL expansion clubs can be among the worst in the league, according to an article posted by the Las Vegas Review Journal. Yet here we are in the midst of the playoffs as the Knights, who set a record for first-year victories and captured the Pacific Division title, faced and swept the 2017 NHL Champions, the Los Angeles Kings. Only time will tell what this all-star team has in store for the remaining playoffs and into the 2018 season! Go Knights Go!
Major League at Your Finger Tips
Facebook has come to terms on a deal to exclusively broadcast 25 MLB games on this season. The partnership is the first time a major North American sports league has aired games solely a social network. The games, which kicked off earlier this month, will be produced by MLB Network and shown via Facebook Watch. Last year Facebook was a part of a non-exclusive deal with the MLB but their recent deal replaces local coverage and out-of-market access.
Whoop Secures the Bag with Kevin Durant Along for the Ride
Kevin Durant is known for his skills on the court as he leads among his pack of Warriors. Off the court, he’s making major moves such as investing in Whoop a Boston-based company who create wristbands to track athletes biometrics. Whoop is a wearable fitness tracker that is popular with professional athletes, beyond the NBA. Through a NFLPA partnership, every known football player received a wristband last year.
Featured Fighter: Cameron Krael
Cameron “Suave” Krael has never let adversity get the best of him. As a young kid transitioning from Hawaii to Las Vegas he often found himself in trouble. His mother then introduced him to the sport of boxing at Boe’s boxing gym. Now, as a professional fighter, being humble and hungry are his keys to success. Learn more about this quarter’s featured fighter, Cameron Krael, below:
With your current record, do you feel as though your opponents underestimate you as a fighter? Do you view this as an advantage?
I do believe they underestimate me when they see how many losses I have, but at the end of the day I think I have the advantage because they assume I can’t fight and I prove them wrong.
What were your emotions when you received a call from Leonard Ellerbe about signing with Mayweather Promotions?
Actually, he came up to me right after my fight against Maurice Lee and took down my information. 2 weeks later, I received a call from him letting me know he had a contract waiting for me and I was shocked and excited like wow, I’m a part of Mayweather Promotions.
Are there any athletes that you look up to/have looked up to as you’ve progressed in the sport of boxing?
When I began boxing my favorite fighter was Manny Pacquiao because he’s Pilipino and also Miguel Cotto.
You consider boxing your full-time job. How do you balance work and being a parent?
I like to train in the morning while my son goes to school and I just pick him up when school’s out. It works out well for our schedule and us.
In boxing, where do you see yourself in the years to come and what is your game plan to reach those goal(s)?
In the next couple years I just want to win, win, win, I can’t lose. I definitely want to become a world champion so my focus is on winning.
Being a fighter is tough mentally and physically, what are ways that you stay motivated in the gym to become a better fighter?
My son and my family are my motivation. I don’t want to let them down and I don’t want to let myself down as a fighter. I want to take full advantage of this opportunity as a Mayweather Promotions fighter and continue to win and make everyone proud.
You faced many adversities as a child; from foster homes to a huge transition relocating from Hawaii to Las Vegas. How would you say those adversities have helped mold who you are today?
All of those things that took place when I was young, I don’t want to go back to that, but I’m happy I went through all of it because it has made me a strong-minded person.
Outside of boxing, what do you enjoy doing most?
When I’m not in the gym I like to play basketball and I also love being with my son and my family. I like having BBQ’s, those are the best because all my family comes together and we just have a great time.
Who’s your favorite basketball team and all-time favorite player?
I don’t really have a favorite team I just have favorite players. I would say my top favorite player is Russell Westbrook; he’s explosive and plays 110% every time he’s on the court.
Name your top 5 artists right now and your favorite hype song to listen to while you’re training.
My top artists would be: Tee Grizzley, Glenn Travis, J Cole, Drake and that’s about it. I like listening to First Day Out by Tee Grizzley to get hype.
Featured Trainer: Chris Ben-Tchavtchavadze
Chris Ben-Tchavtchavadze is known for his role as strength and conditioning trainer for the boxers under the Mayweather Promotions stable and has played an intricate role in the development of many of the fighters. We sat down with Chris who shared his experiences with us, from creating the UNLV boxing team, to becoming a trainer to rising champions, struggles he’s faced in his career, and how he disciplines his fighters. Chris does not hold back from revealing the ups and downs of his career and his ultimate goal with every fighter that he works with.
How long have you been a trainer and what led you to pursue this path?
It’s actually a bit strange how I got into training. I’ve been a trainer for 25 years, which includes: boxing, training, strength and conditioning. I have a fused hip with metal plate screws, and that’s what inspired me to get into the medical field (kinesiology). After that, I landed a job in a big gym in town called “The Sporting House”. There was a guy in the gym, Mitch Halper, he was a boxing referee and a really cool, nice guy. One day he invited me in a boxing class that they were teaching at the gym and I immediately fell in love with the sport and began incorporating boxing with my personal training clients. It snowballed from there and I began meeting more boxing people. Skip Kelp, one of my best friends, and I started the UNLV boxing team in 1998. UNLV did not have a collegiate boxing league at the time, so we started the boxing program and next thing you know I was coaching fighters.
Just by default, I told Skip that if I’m going to stand outside the ropes and tell someone what to do I have to get in there myself and know what it feels like to get punched. I did a few amateur fights, a few exhibitions against some pros, but because of my physical issues I was never trying to turn pro. That was never my goal, but it was my goal to learn everything I could about the sport. In 2006, Skip and I coached the UNLV team to national champions. It was the first time in 17 years that a non-military academy won the national title for collegiate boxing. We trained dozens of national champions. I had heavyweight, also a former UNLV football player, Brett Rather join the program and he went on to win big in the Olympic qualifying tournament. He became Olympic alternate, but unfortunately barely missed going to Olympics after losing to Dominic Breazeale in the 2012 finals. I have also trained a couple of female fighters as well, one of them I trained from the amateurs to a world title, Vaia Zaganaz.
How did you get introduced to the Mayweather Boxing Club?
I met Floyd about 20 years ago at the Nevada Partners Gym and he stayed in contact with me. From there we casually kept a relationship through the years. I started having some time off at UNLV and began coming to the Mayweather Boxing Club more often. One day Floyd had Leonard come talk to me about becoming a strength and conditioning trainer for the fighters who needed some extra help getting weight down, getting in shape, and consistency in their training. Some of the fighters realized that I was knowledgable about boxing and had been in the sport for 25 year. Since then we’ve done some good work here at Mayweather Boxing Club.
How has your move to Las Vegas impacted you and your career in boxing?
I was born in Canada and was 5 years old when I moved to Las Vegas. If I wouldn’t have moved to Vegas I probably would have ever been introduced to boxing. Vegas is probably what made it for me.
Who was the first Mayweather Promotions fighter you worked with and how did that relationship come about?
When I first started at Mayweather Boxing Club, J’leon Love and Ronald Gavril both had upcoming fights. I remember meeting the guys at the gym and them being a little skeptical, because strength & conditioning wasn’t a part of their normal training regimen or in boxing training in general. I started coming to the gym every day because I wanted everyone to know who I was and feel comfortable with me and I offered as much help as I could. I eventually started working with some of the fighters down there and here I am today.
Which fighters do you currently train?
The fighters I currently train are J’leon Love, Ronald Gavril, Sanjar Rakmahnov, Lionell Thompson, Latondria Jones, and Ava Knight. I also work with a few outside fighters that train at the gym as well, Charvis Holifield, Anthony Marsella, Quartavius Cash, Keandre Gibson, and Roscoe Hill.
What’s the biggest discipline that you feel a fighter must have?
I’ve learned that the most important thing that can make or break a boxer is your mental ability, mental toughness, mental discipline, the ability to not have things go your way and have things turn around, to have confidence in yourself and make adjustments and changes. If I see that a fighter can overcome adversity and has the mental toughness, then I am tool for them to use to help them blossom their career.
What is your biggest motivation as a coach?
My biggest motivation is to be as good as I can for my fighters. I don’t want to half step anybody, and I don’t want to not help them reach their full potential. One of the things you learn is that not every coaching style is the best for every fighter. There are relationships to be made, trust to be earned, different styles of coaching, and different styles of fighting. I’ve learned we have to consistently work as a team. If my fighters don’t perform well, I take it personally but I have to remember to be their coach first. It’s not always “hey you should’ve done this more,” “that wasn’t the game plan,” “it’s your fault you didn’t do what I told you to do.” I try to take accountability with my fighters, sometimes I think to myself, “well maybe it’s my fault, maybe I didn’t prepare them enough or communicate properly.” I always try to focus on what I can do better to help my fighters, because I want to leave a mark on the sport and do my best to turn these fighters into champions.
What is your biggest challenge as a trainer?
Management of time, focusing on the right things with the right fighters at the right time. Some guys are easier to hold their hand every step of the way, some guys you have to slow them down because their overworking, some guys you have to motivate them and push them harder. It’s all about timing and trying to find a balance with different individuals and to be there for all of them. The tough part is seeing what areas are going to make a difference with the fighter and facilitating those things.
What is the ultimate goal with every fighter you work with?
The ultimate goal for all of my fighters is to provide them with the tools so they can live up to their potential. I want them to do their best and succeed as far as they possibly can. I want the feeling of a team the whole way through.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to pursue a career in sports medicine?
Take as much science as you can in college. There are a lot of non-university certifications for personal training and different courses you can utilize. Study sports and learn as much as you can. In the university setting you need to do your schoolwork and learn but have a background in anatomy and physiology and there are a lot of good programs out there for that. Find out what sports interest you and how you can utilize what you learn in school to that particular sport that you enjoy.
When you can spend some time away from the gym, what are your favorite leisure activities?
My two main hobbies are off-shore deep fishing and I try to do a couple of big trips out in San Diego, get on three to four-day trip and then once a year I do a 10-day trip. I also go gold prospecting on Sundays. It is my one-day out of the gym and I go out to the desert with my metal detector and pan and find gold. That is my hobby and with the gold I’m collecting, that will go toward my retirement.
Featured Staff: Carla Reynoso
This quarter’s featured staff member is Carla Reynoso, who joined the team in summer of 2017. Although Carla isn’t new to the Las Vegas area, she admits that she was an amateur to the sport of boxing before joining the team in what initially started off as a summer internship. Determined to not let her inexperience in the boxing industry deter her from reaching her goals, Carla applied to join the Mayweather Promotions team on a full-time basis, and now enjoys her position as the PR/Marketing Assistant. Read on to discover how Carla has overcome her biggest challenges with working in the sports & entertainment industry, how she spends her off days, and what she envisions for the future of Mayweather Promotions.
Are you from the Las Vegas area? If not, how does your hometown differ from Sin City?
I was born and raised in Santa Monica, California. Santa Monica can be described as a small city where everyone knows each other, the weather is perfect, and most people move around on their feet or take public transportation. When I moved to Las Vegas eight years ago, prior to starting my junior year in high school, the most notable difference was the weather. Las Vegas weather is dry and hot. Santa Monica is sunny most of the time, and the ocean’s cool breeze is constant. Both cities are tourist attractions and that’s the most they have in common. Since my move in 2010, I have learned to adjust to life in Sin City.
Tell us your role at Mayweather Promotions, how you got started, and how long you’ve been with the company.
It was during my final semester at UNLV that an intern position opened at Mayweather Promotions. At the time I was working as an intern at a talent agency and had previously interned at a lifestyle PR firm the year before. I was hopeful that the skills I acquired working for those companies in conjunction with the knowledge from successfully completing a Bachelor’s degree in Communications would be beneficial to Mayweather Promotions. I jumped on the internship opportunity, went through the hiring process, and was later selected as a summer intern. After successfully completing my internship I was offered a permanent position as the PR/Marketing assistant. My roles include but are not limited to: digital marketing, social media research, event planning, Spanish translations, newsletter drafting, updating our website with fighter bio’s and records and other creative content, conducting interviews with fighters, and helping wherever else I’m needed with Mayweather Promotions and The Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation.
Complete the sentence. I am proud to be part of the Mayweather Promotions team because…
…I’ve felt a sense of accomplishment seeing the company grow throughout the year by experiencing larger crowds at our fights, greater interaction with our fans (ex. Facebook Live), and increased followers on our social media channels. If we continue to acknowledge the importance of our fans and show our appreciation for them, the fans will support our endeavors. It is also a great honor to play a role that impacts the community, especially through the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation. Although this is my first year with the foundation, my colleagues have also noticed an upswing in participation at foundation events this year. It’s always exciting to see the result of all the hard work and dedication that we put into our events from planning through execution. I am proud to be part of this growth and truly enjoy working to make each event a success for our community. I hope to be able to continue this growth into the next year and will set higher goals for myself and for our team because I know they will be attainable.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge and your biggest motivation in your career?
When I started at Mayweather Promotions, the biggest challenge was overcoming the thought that I was at a disadvantage because I didn’t have the boxing knowledge that my colleagues or others in the industry have. As a result, I wasn’t sure what to expect and didn’t know the effect it would have on me finding my place in the company. To combat that challenge, I have become fully engrossed in learning as much about boxing and the Mayweather Promotions’ fighters as possible, be it from books and articles, watching videos on YouTube, or through my coworkers, fighters, and trainers. Another challenge has been working as a female in a male-dominated industry and being unsure of how I would be accepted in my role. My biggest motivation is knowing that I am an example for other women who are traveling on the same career path, letting them know that anything is possible if you focus on achieving your goal.
Tell us about your experiences working the fights, what your role entails, and how you manage your workload?
Preparation leading up to a fight can be hectic. My responsibilities prior to fight week often include: updating fighter biographies on our website, conducting fighter interviews in order to complete their bios, planning marketing/social media opportunities for our fighters to engage with fans, and most importantly assisting with whatever needs as it relates to fight week. The week of a fight I am hands on with helping to ensure the marketing & PR tasks are completed and things run smoothly. I communicate with fighter camps to ensure that they are aware of the details for each event, live post on social media, translate for Spanish-speaking fighters, log weights at the weigh-in, verify credentials for the media, and work the crowd to give away prizes. A sizeable amount of work is required to get ready for a fight, so I make sure I utilize our Basecamp website which allows me to plan and prioritize my duties. I also use my planner as a backup because the last thing I want to do is rush to complete tasks during an already hectic time. During fight week, I’m also always prepared for the unexpected.
When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your off days?
When I’m not working, I love to hang out with my two dogs Queenie and Princess, shop, enjoy a trip to the nail salon, and workout at the gym. I also love volunteering around the Las Vegas area and will often go back to Santa Monica during a 3-day weekend to visit friends and family.
Being newer to this industry, what words of advice would you share with someone who might be contemplating a new career path?
My advice to anyone contemplating a new career path would be stay positive and focused, and remember that things may take time so patience is essential. Never lose confidence in yourself or your abilities, even if the road may seem difficult. A good idea is to find a mentor that is in the same career-field; a mentor will provide you with guidance but more importantly offer you support when you need it most.
What do you envision for the future of Mayweather Promotions, and how do you fit in the picture?
I envision nothing but growth for Mayweather Promotions. I’m confident that we will continue to dominate as a promotional company, and spark new ideas in the sports & entertainment industry. I see myself helping in all the aspects to help the company reach new heights, specifically by helping to implement new ideas, continuing to engage with our fans and entice them to support our events, perfect old ideas and grow together on a business, promotional, social, community, and world-wide level.
What is the best advice you’ve received from an executive or colleague of Mayweather Promotions?
The best advice that I’ve received came from Nicole Craig, the VP of Marketing & Operations. Nicole is always reminding me that it is imperative to work efficiently and effectively, and she has instilled in me the importance of prioritizing my duties. My colleagues have also offered good advice, like remembering to stay calm and patient when I may feel overwhelmed during fight week.
What is the best MP fight or fight card that you’ve experienced since joining the team, and why?
The Mayweather vs. McGregor fight was the most memorable fight card for me. Not only was it the last fight of Floyd’s career but also one of the biggest fights in boxing history. I learned to test my own strengths and weaknesses during the planning and execution of this huge event. It was amazing to be part of the journey and is definitely a career highlight that I will never forget.
We pride ourselves in staying connected with our fans around the world! We couldn’t choose just 1 fan to highlight for this quarter’s newsletter, so we selected 3. Read below to learn more about some of our biggest fans, as they open up about their favorite Mayweather Promotions’ fighter.
A 26-year-old boxing enthusiast from Salt Lake City, Utah. Although Ted spends quite a bit of time playing sports and collecting Funko Pop! vinyl figures, his weekends are comprised of watching boxing matches and learning about the sweet science, and listening to boxing podcasts. #BoxingIsLife for Ted, so much so that he is preparing to launch a boxing website soon. We hope that his first piece will feature Badou Jack, his favorite fighter. As Jack has proven himself worthy of the top spot in Ted’s list of boxers and in the sport of boxing. Read on to see why.
What earned Badou Jack the top spot on your list of Mayweather Promotions’ boxers? What is it about him that you like?
Badou Jack is one of the most underrated boxers of today’s era. I truly believe that he has the most potential to become a household name. Badou showed us in August that he can hang in his new weight class by arguably having the most exciting bout (and win) on the Mayweather vs. McGregor card. Prior to that, Badou’s brawl vs. James DeGale won PBC’s 2017 Fight of the Year award, and I personally thought he deserved the decision in that fight. Badou Jack is at a very exciting point in his career and he’s about to partake in the biggest fight of his life. Taking on Adonis Stevenson, in Canada, for a title that he’s held for 5 years and is what hardcore boxing fans would consider a mega-fight. If he wins, he will without a doubt be the face of the light heavyweight division. Badou Jack has progressed immensely with each fight since his only loss, allowing the fans to witness firsthand his growth and road to becoming a better boxer.
Do you remember the moment when you first became a Badou Jack fan, tell us about that experience.
It didn’t sink in that I was a true fan of “The Ripper” until he fought George Groves. The buzz was great for that fight, and everyone knew Groves was a powerful force to recon with. That is until he met Jack, who was ferocious in that fight and proved he could take a few punches. It was a great night for Mayweather Promotions boxing.
What was the first Badou Jack fight you watched?
The first fight I caught of Jack’s was his loss to Derek Edwards. For me, watching him bounce back has made his successes since bittersweet.
Have you seen Badou Jack fight live? If so, how was that experience.
Unfortunately, no. Salt Lake City isn’t very close to any of the boxing hot spots, but I would love to see Badou fight Adonis Stevenson in Canada on May 19th.
Which fight was your favorite Badou Jack fight? What made his performance stand out?
My favorite Badou Jack fight is definitely his fight against James DeGale. I was gutted after hearing the scores from the referees. Badou put on a thrilling display of boxing and had James on the defense. Between that final knock down, knocking out his tooth, and James’s face during the post-interview, it was disappointing to see Badou go home without unifying the titles.
Finish this sentence: I am the best Badou Jack fan because…
…I’m genuinely interested in Badou Jack’s career. While people are waking up and checking their stocks, I am checking various social media platforms to see what news may have surfaced about Jack’s next fight. I also interact with Badou on Instagram and Twitter; he reads my comments and recognizes that I am a true fan, which is pretty cool. When people spot me in my TMT gear, I tell them “I’m a huge Badou Jack The Ripper fan!”
In your opinion, how has Badou Jack positively impacted the sport of boxing?
Badou Jack’s resilience has made an impact on the sport of boxing. He’s learned to overcome a loss and bounce back in epic fashion. A boxer shouldn’t lose the spotlight forever because he loses once, but how he grows from that experience is the most important.
If you could spend the day with Badou Jack what would your day consist of?
If we kicked it in Vegas, I’d love to go to the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame and Mayweather Boxing Club gym because I’ve never been to either. I would love to witness sparring in the dog house. Badou Jack is always spotted with dope sunglasses so I would love to go shopping for sunglasses with the Champ too.
What advice would you give Badou Jack as he prepares for his next fight?
I’m not one to give in-the-ring boxing advice; I’m sure Team Jack has it covered. But before he fights Adonis, I would like to remind him that Adonis is older and has been inactive, which Badou should use to his advantage. Badou should come out firing from all cylinders and remember his own advice “You can’t leave it in the hands of the judges.”
J’Leon Love is one lucky fighter because his reach spans the globe. In fact, J’Leon’s favorite fan is Zain Moolla of South Africa. Zain prides himself on being a funny character who studies law, is hard-working, and lives his life to the fullest. Follow along as Zain expresses in detail why J’Leon Love should be a fan favorite.
What earned J’Leon Love the top spot on your list of Mayweather Promotions boxers? What is it about him that you like?
J’Leon Love earned the top spot on my list because his greatness extends beyond the ring. He’s a great fighter and person who takes the time to show love to his fans using platforms like Instagram live that make being a fan worth it.
Do you remember the moment when you first became J’Leon Love fan, tell us about that experience.
Yes, I do. The first time I became a fan of J’Leon was his fight with Marco Antonio Periban on the undercard of Mayweather vs. Maidana. I was amazed at the amount of talent J’Leon possessed and was happy that he came out victorious against Periban, keeping his perfect record intact. I remember staying up until 5am watching that fight card because of the time difference but it was worth it.
What was the first J’Leon Love fight you watched?
J’Leon’s fight with Marco Antonio Periban was the first fight I watched.
Have you seen a J’Leon Love fight live? If so, how was that experience.
No, I haven’t had the opportunity to watch him fight live, but I hope to change this in the near future.
Which fight was your favorite J’Leon Love fight? What made his/her performance stand out?
In South Africa only a selected few fights are shown live so I’ve had to resort to watching most of his fights on YouTube, but my favorite is still Love vs. Periban. My love for this fight can only be explained by the fact that it was my first encounter with J’Leon fighting, and for that reason it will always be my favorite. His ability to control the fight while also staying one step ahead showed his level of Boxing IQ and made for an exciting fight to watch.
Finish this sentence: I am the best J’Leon Love fan because…
I am the best J’Leon Love fan because he interacts with his fans and he follows me back on Instagram.
In your opinion, how has J’Leon Love positively impacted the sport of boxing?
J’Leon’s desire and determination is unmatched. He’s a great example of someone who sets goals and works diligently to achieve them. When you have a goal in life you should never let others bring you down and stop your progress, instead keep grinding and pushing forward until your dreams become reality. J’Leon is inspiring us all by breeding such determination and positivity in the sport.
If you could spend the day with J’Leon Love what would your day consist of?
First, I would love to get to know J’Leon a bit more. Then I figure we can listen to music and chill, get something to eat at his favorite spot in Vegas, visit the Mayweather Boxing Club, and maybe even get a visit from Floyd Mayweather if he’s around that day. Later, J’Leon and I can play each other on the PS4, take some pics for Snapchat, and at the end of the day say our goodbyes and wish each other well in the future.
What advice would you give J’Leon Love as he prepares for their next fight?
J’Leon is already a strong-minded person and I doubt he needs any advice from me. However, I would just like to tell him to keep pushing toward his full potential, don’t allow any setbacks to stop him from achieving his goals, I support him 100%, and he’s my Champion.
Justin Curbeam, of Port Richey, Florida is a 19-year old amateur boxer who used the sport of boxing, to fight his way through the pain of losing his mother. Since then, Justin’s passion has become so strong that his goals now include winning a Golden Gloves Championship title and participating in the Olympics. Justin lists Gervonta Davis as his favorite fighter. Learn more about how Davis became his favorite boxer and how he’s inspired him to keep going when he needed it most.
What earned Gervonta Davis the top spot on your list of Mayweather Promotions boxers? What is it about him that you like?
Gervonta has earned the top spot for me because he’s talented and determined. His skills are ferocious and he’s crafty in the ring.
Do you remember the moment when you first became a Gervonta Davis fan, tell us about that experience.
Yes, I was introduced to Gervonta through YouTube and Instagram. The videos of Gervonta’s ring work, his interviews with the media, and his overall demeanor made me an instant fan. Not only do I understand what he’s been through, but I’ve experienced it as well. I can relate to many of the struggles he had prior to boxing.
What was the first Gervonta Davis fight you watched?
The first fight I watched was when Gervonta fought Jose Pedraza for the IBF Super Featherweight title back in January, last year. Gervonta was determined to win that belt and make history as the youngest American champion; he came with a ‘I will not lose’ mindset and it showed in his performance.
Have you seen Gervonta Davis fight live? If so, how was that experience.
I have not seen any of Gervonta’s fights live, but thanks to social media I have been able to catch the action shortly afterward via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
Which fight was your favorite Gervonta Davis fight? What made his performance stand out?
My favorite match is Gervonta vs. Francisco Fonseca. He persevered despite being stripped of his title and that made me appreciate Gervonta more. Gervonta proved that we must learn from our mistakes, move forward, and try harder. Gervonta defeated Francisco with his timing, great defense strategy, and punching power; he channeled his anger and used it as fuel to KO his opponent.
Finish this sentence: I am the best Gervonta Davis fan because…
…I have been inspired by Gervonta to keep my head up, focus, and dedicate myself to my craft despite the struggles and hardships I may be facing. A true champ works hard with no days off, is committed to giving 100% effort daily, and is willing to fight through pain and exhaustion.
In your opinion, how has Gervonta Davis positively impacted the sport of boxing?
Gervonta is reaching out to kids in his hometown and across the world with his words of motivation and his actions in and out of the ring. He’s showing us that we can be world champions and accomplish our goals as long as we have a vision; we just need to put in the work to accomplish those dreams.
If you could spend the day with Gervonta Davis what would your day consist of?
If I could spend a day with Gervonta we would train and hang out at the Upton Boxing Gym, while I share with him what an inspiration and role model he truly is for me.
What advice would you give Gervonta Davis as he prepares for their next fight?
I would remind Gervonta of his past struggles, the naysayers, what he’s fought to overcome, and suggest that he use those things as motivation to work harder to prove everyone wrong.
Thank you to all Mayweather Promotions fans for your overwhelming support!