News: Rios vs Sanchez; Taylor vs Wilson; Takam vs. Botha


LOS ANGELES, March 30 – Unbeaten junior lightweight favorite Ronny Rios will be put to the test at The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, California, on Saturday, April 7, when he squares off against tough Buffalo, New York native Guillermo Sanchez in the main event of TeleFutura’s “Sólo Boxeo Tecate.” The co-featured fight will see Oxnard’s Hugo “The Boss” Centeno battle Gerardo Prieto in an eight round junior middleweight matchup..

This night of world-class professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions and sponsored by Cerveza Tecate. Doors open at 6:00 pm, the first bell rings at 7:00 pm and the TeleFutura broadcast begins at 11:00 pm ET/PT.

Tickets, priced at $30 and $50, may be purchased online at

A National Golden Gloves and two-time United States amateur champion, 22-year-old Ronny Rios (17-0, 8 KO’s) is not only on his way to matching his amateur success as a professional, but surpassing it with stellar performances throughout his young pro career. A prospect on the verge of big things, Rios followed up a stellar 2011 that included wins over Georgi Kevlishvili and Roger Gonzalez with a rousing start to 2012 that featured an impressive knockout over then 9-2 Jeremy McLaurin in February

Born in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, but now making his home in Buffalo, New York, 23-year-old Guillermo Sanchez (13-5-1, 5 KO’s) is a talented southpaw and a former WBC Youth and New York State champion looking to make a statement against the highly-touted Rios. A veteran of nearly five years in the professional game, Sanchez has faced plenty of top-notch competition, including World Champion Adrien Broner and California standout Dominic Salcido. In February, Sanchez dropped longtime contender Edner Cherry, only to lose a razor-thin decision, but plans on getting back in the win column on April 7 against Rios.

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Taylor Will Have Support Against Wilson on April 14 at Bally’s Atlantic City

Atlantic City, NJ—Andres Taylor, who rarely fights far from his friends in his Johnstown, PA, backyard, is bringing his neighborhood with him when he boxes Garrett Wilson, of Philadelphia, PA, on Saturday evening, April 14, at Bally’s Atlantic City.

At stake in the scheduled 12-rounder will be Wilson’s United States Boxing Association (USBA) cruiserweight title as well as the vacant North American Boxing Federation (NABF) crown. The Wilson-Taylor championship contest tops a seven-bout card which begins at 7.30 pm. in the 1,500-seat Grand Ballroom.

Taylor (left) and Wilson met the first time on Sept. 11, 2010, in Johnstown, PA, in a scheduled eight-round fight which Wilson accepted on three days’ notice. The outdoor match was interrupted by rain after the fifth round and later resumed with one official voting for Wilson, one for Taylor, one for a draw.

Taylor, 33, has not lost since fighting Wilson, earning decisions over Rayshawn Myers, of Cleveland, OH; Kamarah Pasley, of Philadelphia, PA; Mike Alderete, of Albuquerque, NM, and Gary Gomez, of Salt Lake City, UT.

A pro less than four years, Taylor is 20-1-2, 7 K0s. and rated No. 33 by the WBC. His last fight was Nov. 23, 2010, in Pittsburgh, PA, when he out-pointed Gomez over eight rounds.

Of his 23 pro fights, Taylor has boxed 18 times in Pennsylvania in places like Johnstown, York, Erie, Altoona, Monroeville and Pittsburgh. None of his five road trips took him farther than 200 miles from home. He boxed four times in Ohio (Youngstown, Akron, Campbell, North Olmstead) and once in Maryland (Hagerstown).

When he makes the 300-mile trip to Bally’s Atlantic City, Taylor will be bringing busloads of supporters and sponsors, including Mike Adams, defensive corner for the Denver Broncos, and Artrell Hawkins, former corner for the New England Patriots and New York Jets.

“Taylor is very popular in his backyard,” says agent Chuck Bayley. “He’s bringing a ton of people with him to Atlantic City. After this one, we’ll be in line to challenge for the world title.”


The Wilson-Taylor fight tops a seven-bout card at Bally’s Atlantic City. First fight is 7.30 pm. Tickets priced at $50 and $75 are on sale at the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922) and all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000). Tickets also are on sale at and The card will be available on and is being promoted by Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., in association with Bally’s Atlantic City.

Takam vs. Botha For WBF International Crown

Former two-time Heavyweight Champion of the World Francois “White Buffalo” Botha, 48-6-3 (29), will return to action Saturday March 31 in Noisy-le-Grand, France, taking on hometown-hero Carlos Takam, 24-1 (19), for the vacant World Boxing Federation International title.

South African Botha lost his WBF World title to Evander Holyfield in 2010, but returned with a big victory last year when he stopped undefeated countryman Flo Simba. Last November he was ahead on all scorecards when American Michael Grant landed a big punch to finish things in the final round of their fight for the world title vacated by Holyfield, but Botha had showed up to that point that he still has plenty of skills and desire left at age 43.

A victory over Takam could pave the way for a rematch with Grant, but Botha has not by any means chosen a safe road back by agreeing to clash with the Cameroon-born banger in France. Twelve years younger, and with the crowd more or less exclusively cheering him on, Takam will see this as his first big opportunity to create a name for himself.

At the same time, Botha will without a doubt be his best opponent to date, and a victory would certainly bring his career to new heights. Sharing a ring with the likes of Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko and Mike Tyson, whom he was outboxing for five rounds before getting caught, gives Botha massive experience which makes him fearless of going to a heavy-handed opponent’s backyard for a fight.

Takam hit the scene with a splash in 2005 when he defeated a 6-0 opponent in his pro debut, and won his next seventeen bouts before suffering his first, and so far only, setback against another undefeated foe in Gregory Tony. He has since scored some good wins over decent opponents such as Roman Kracik, Levan Jomardashvili and Gbenga Oloukun, but none of those fighters really compare to Botha.

The Carlos Takam vs. Francois Botha WBF International Heavyweight title fight is a real crossroads encounter between a veteran former champion looking to get back on track, and a younger talented contender who is hungry to make a mark. This fact is interesting in itself, and the aggressive fighting-styles of both men only adds to the equation.