Top Rank lays out early schedule for June boxing return

Top Rank have been getting set to resume boxing action on June 9 in Las Vegas, and we now know that the company’s shows will be taking place at the empty MGM Grand Conference Center, with no fans allowed, only fighters, their teams, officials, and production personnel and whatnot, the people who have to be there for the shows to go on.

Top Rank has worked with the Nevada State Athletic Commission in putting together the plan to get rolling again, and they’ve got their June lineup in place, mostly, with some fights in July also looking like they’re set or close to it.

The company will be running Tuesday and Thursday night broadcasts on ESPN, for the most part, with two shows per week.

Here’s the full rundown of the featured bouts (all cards will have a couple more prelim fights, too):

June 9 (Las Vegas)

  • Shakur Stevenson vs Felix Caraballo: Featherweight titleholder Stevenson (13-0, 7 KO) looks like he’ll return at 130 pounds for this non-title tune-up fight. Rafael Rivera was the original opponent, but visa issues have put Caraballo into the B-side role instead. Caraballo (13-1-2, 9 KO) is pretty untested, and lost a fight in 2018 to Pedro Marquez Medina in Mayaguez. This will be his first fight outside of Puerto Rico.
  • Mikaela Mayer vs Helen Joseph: Mayer (12-0) is a 29-year-old former Olympian and emerging contender at 130 pounds. She’s had some back-and-forth with WBC titleholder Terri Harper, but Harper’s in the UK and Mayer is in the US, so that’s not happening yet. The 31-year-old Joseph (17-4-2, 10 KO) is a Nigerian-born fighter based in Connecticut, and lost last November to Delfine Persoon via decision in Belgium, her last outing. Joseph has fought between junior bantamweight and featherweight in her career.

June 11 (Las Vegas)

  • Jessie Magdaleno vs Yenifel Vicente: Former 122-pound titlist Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KO) is looking to get into title contention at 126 pounds, and really he’s already a contender in a division that has been somewhat depleted by various top fighters moving up to 130. This fight will also take place at junior lightweight instead of featherweight, though that’s really more timing and everything than anything else. Vicente (36-4-2, 28 KO) can bang some, but the Miami-based Dominican has lost to all of his best opponents.
  • Adam Lopez vs Luis Coria: Lopez (13-2, 6 KO) was last seen in late November, stepping in on short notice to challenge Oscar Valdez, and the 24-year-old from Glendale, Calif., gave a pretty good accounting for himself, dropping Valdez in the second round before getting stopped in the seventh. He was very game in the fight. Coria (12-2, 7 KO) is a 21-year-old from Moreno Valley, Calif., who has been fighting mostly 4- and 6-round bouts, with one fight that went an eight-round distance in 2018, a loss to Thomas Valdez in Tucson.

June 16 (Las Vegas)

  • Joshua Greer Jr vs Mike Plania: Greer (22-1-1, 12 KO) is a 25-year-old Chicago bantamweight hoping to graduate into world title fights, but he’s struggled in his last two fights, too. Last July, he got a very debatable majority decision win over Nikolai Potapov, and followed that up with a razor-thin unanimous decision over Antonio Nieves in October. In other words, Greer has looked vulnerable despite the TV push. Plania (23-1, 12 KO) is a 23-year-old Filipino who has really fought absolutely no one save for a bout with Juan Carlos Payano in 2018, which resulted in his only loss, though he did score a knockdown and wasn’t totally blown out over 10 rounds. Plania could be a live dog here.
  • Giovani Santillan vs Antonio DeMarco: The 28-year-old Santillan (25-0, 15 KO) is an unbeaten southpaw welterweight, but at 28 the San Diego native is a bit old for a serious prospect. DeMarco (33-8-1, 24 KO) is a former lightweight titlist, but at 34 his best days are definitely behind him. That said, don’t count him out here at all; when he fought unbeaten prospect Eddie Ramirez in 2017, he stopped the younger man in under two minutes. He’s lost his last two fights to Maxim Dadashev and Jamal James, but figures to be a step up for Santillan all the same.


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