Photos: DeGale Lifts Title from Dirrell. Rodriguez Destroys Baker.

wpid-wp-1432431507617.jpeg

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Photos From Suzanne Teresa/Premier Boxing Champions
 
BOSTON (May 23, 2015) – James DeGale (21-1, 14 KOs) narrowly defeated Andre Dirrell (24-2, 16 KOs) Saturday afternoon on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC from Agganis Arena in Boston to earn the super middleweight world title.
 
Degale had Dirrell in trouble early knocking him down twice in the second round to open up a lead on the scorecards. Dirrell fought back strongly throughout the rest of the fight by using his jab and a series of combinations to occasionally stun DeGale, but was unable to make up the gap on the scorecards. The judges’ scores were 114-112 twice and 117-109.
 
Worcester’s Edwin Rodriguez (27-1, 18 KOs) impressed the crowd at Agganis Arena with a dominant third round stoppage over the previously undefeated Craig Baker (16-1, 12 KOs). The ref stopped the fight at 2:22 into the third round because of unanswered strikes to the head.
 
Another local favorite, Framingham’s Danny O’Connor (26-2, 10 KOs) was determined to put on a show close to home and he delivered in a big way, stopping Chris Gilbert (13-2, 10 KOs) in the fifth round. O’Connor knocked Gilbert down in rounds two and three before getting the stoppage in round five.
 
Here is what the fighters had to say Saturday:
 
JAMES DEGALE
 
“I am speechless. In my whole career, what I have been building up to is winning a world title and I have finally done it. It is an unbelievable feeling. I have made history; I am the first British Olympic Gold medalist to become a world champion.
 
“I am back now and injury free. I will take on any super middleweight in the world. There is no other super middleweight in the world who will beat me. I am hard to beat when I am at my best.
 
“Let’s not forget Dirrell is a very good opponent who is very, very talented and hard to beat.
 
“I am super fit, feeling good and I am ready. I am a world champion.”
 
ANDRE DIRRELL
 
“They said I ran from Carl Froch and they took that fight from me. He ran tonight and they gave it to him.
 
“All he did was run, no way I lost this fight.”
 
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ
 
“I imposed my will and took him out.. I was hitting him with some hard rights and it was only a matter of time.
 
“I hit him with a lot of clean rights but I really wanted to knock him down.
 
“I’m ready for a title fight now, but maybe it will take one more fight. That’s up to my team.”
 
CRAIG BAKER
 
“I felt like it was stopped too soon but it’s done now and all I can do is go back to the gym and work harder and come back stronger next time.
 
“I commend Edwin and today I guess the better man won.
 
“My activity level wasn’t high enough that’s all.
 
“I’m a champion either way it goes, it’s time to get back in the gym.”
 
DANNY O’CONNOR
 
“The game plan was to be intelligent and use my skills. We didn’t think he was as skillful and I didn’t want to fight down to him. Luckily the body shots really affected him.
 
“As soon as Paulie Malignaggi got injured I turned my focus towards this fight. That’s all I thought about. I still want to fight Paulie.”
 
CHRIS GILBERT
 
“Danny O’Connor is a slick well rounded fighter. He just caught me with a great shot. I really appreciate the experience of fighting on this card but I feel like I have more to give.
 
“To improve on my performance in the future I just need more experience, I’ll be back.
 
“Danny is the best fighter I’ve fought so far.” 
 
# # #
 
The Saturday, May 23 edition of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC features Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) and James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round super middleweight showdown and Edwin Rodriguez (26-1, 17 KOs) vs. Craig Baker (16-0, 12 KOs) in 10-round light heavyweight match up.. Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, are priced at $250, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Live coverage of this special Memorial Day weekend afternoon edition of PBC on NBC starts at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT on NBC and goes until 6:00 pm. ET/3:00 p.m. PT when the action switches over to NBCSN from 6:00 p..m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT until 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT. 
 
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com www.nbcsports.com/boxing, www.AgganisArena..com and www.dbe1.com, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @AndreDirrell, @JamesDeGale1, @LouDiBella, @DropkickMurphys, @MurphysBoxing, @NBCSports and @AgganisArena and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/NBCSports, www.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/DropkickMurphys and www.facebook.com/MurphysBoxing. Follow the conversation using #PremierBoxingChampions and #PBConNBC

Edwin Rodriguez vs Craig Baker Set as Supporting Bout to Andre Dirrell vs. James DeGale May 23

wpid-wp-1431185973172.png

image

BOSTON (May 9, 2015) – Exciting light heavyweights Edwin Rodriguez (26-1, 17 KOs) and Craig Baker (16-0, 12 KOs) enter the ring on Saturday, May 23 in Boston as part of a special Memorial Day weekend edition of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC. 
 
The live PBC on NBC event starts at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT and goes until 6:00 pm. ET/3:00 p.m. PT when the action switches over to NBCSN from 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT until 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.
 
Further undercard action pits a pair of dangerous junior lightweights as Javier Fortuna (27-0-1, 20 KOs) and Bryan Vazquez (34-1, 18 KOs) do battle at Boston University’s Agganis Arena. These undercard bouts will support the super middleweight contest between Andre Dirrell (24-1, 16 KOs) and James DeGale (20-1, 14 KOs).
 
“I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity to be on this great card,” said Rodriguez. “I will show the world and all the top light heavyweights, especially Kovalev, Stevenson and Fonfara, that I am a force to be reckoned with by taking Craig Baker’s undefeated record in an entertaining fashion.”
 
“I’m well prepared to seize the opportunity that this fight presents,” said Baker. “A win on May 23 puts me closer to a world title fight and I’ve only dreamed of actually accomplishing something that big. I’ve seen Rodriguez in action before and he’s a good fighter, but I’m working to be in great condition so that I can put on a show for the fight fans in Boston. We’re having a great camp and making major accomplishments, things should be pretty interesting.”
 
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Murphys Boxing, are priced at $250, $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35, not including applicable service charges and taxes, and are on sale now. Tickets will be available at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000.
 
An accomplished amateur who won a 2006 National Golden Gloves gold medal and a 2005 U.S. National Championship gold medal, the 29-year-old Rodriguez enters this fight as the winner of his last two bouts. Born in the Dominican Republic but fighting out of nearby Worcester, Mass., Rodriguez’s lone loss came to undefeated star Andre Ward in 2013 and he owns victories over previously undefeated fighters Will Rosinsky, Jason Escalera and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna.
 
An undefeated fighter who turned pro in 2008, Baker enters this fight having stopped his last four opponents inside the distance. The 31-year-old took home victories over Anthony Greeley and Sergio Cordoba in 2014 and kicked off 2015 by knocking out Umberto Savigne. Fighting out of his hometown of Baytown, Texas, Baker will look for a big victory as he takes a step up in competition.
 
Undefeated and owner of a 4-0 record in 2014, the 25-year-old Fortuna is a prospect on the rise looking to make an impression on May 23. After a split draw decision against Luis Franco in 2013, he has bounced back to win five straight fights. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Fortuna owns victories over Abner Cotto, Miguel Roman and Patrick Hyland.
 
A former world title challenger whose only loss came to Takashi Uchiyama in 2012, Vazquez comes into this fight on an impressive five fight-winning streak. The 27-year-old began his career with 29 wins and has recently added victories over Sergio Thompson, Jose Feliz Jr. and Rene Gonzalez. Fighting out of Costa Rica, Vazquez has a big chance for a signature victory on May 23.
 
*     *     *
 
For more information visit www.premierboxingchampions.com, www.nbcsports.com/boxing, www.AgganisArena.com and www.dbe1.com, follow on Twitter @PremierBoxing, @AndreDirrell, @JamesDeGale1, @LouDiBella, @DropkickMurphys, @MurphysBoxing, @NBCSports and @AgganisArena and become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PremierBoxingChampions, www.facebook.com/NBCSports, www.facebook.com/DiBellaEntertainment, www.Facebook.com/DropkickMurphys and www.facebook.com/MurphysBoxing. Follow the conversation using #PremierBoxingChampions and #PBConNBC

Sampson Boxing Inks Karim Martinez and Craig Baker

Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing proudly announces the signing of 23-year-old junior welterweight Karim “KC” Martinez (15-1, 7 KOs) and 30-year-old light heavyweight Craig “El Gato Negro” Baker (14-0, 10 KOs), both of Houston Texas, to promotional contracts.
 
Southpaw Karim Martinez is blessed with natural athletic ability that helped him win the Texas State Golden Gloves Champion in 2008, as well as to become runner up at the National PAL Tournament in 2007. A slick, pure-boxing technician who uses angles and can fight moving forward or back with equal effectiveness, Martinez mixes offense and defense with amazing smoothness and fluidity.
 
A natural to the sport, Baker entered Lopez Boxing Club in 2005, weighing a whopping 293 lbs and looking to cut weight. Baker lost his amateur debut and then went on to win the Texas State Golden Gloves and the Texas State USA Championships in both 2007 and 2008. Baker was also runner up at the National PAL Tournament in 2007, a quarter finalist in both the National USA Championships Tournament and the National Golden Gloves, which earned him a USA boxing national ranking of #3. As a professional, the undefeated Baker has become a seasoned pressure fighter who wears opponents down intelligently.
 
I’m really excited to have signed with Sampson,” said Martinez. “In my career, I haven’t had much exposure or chance to show everybody what I can do. Now that I have Sampson, I’m really excited and ready to perform to the best of my abilities and see where it takes me in boxing.”
 
“It feels great to be working with Sampson,” said Baker. “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to actually be able to be successful. All I needed was a shot. I’m going to make the most of it.”
 
Trainer of both fighters, Juan Lopez of Lopez Boxing in in Bay Town, Texas, says he brought his two star pupils to Sampson based on word of mouth.
 
“I met Sampson when Chris John fought Rocky Juarez in Houston. I was the one that coordinated the training camp for John. Everything I heard about Sampson from John’s people, Craig Christian and Tony Tolj, I liked. Craig gave him the nickname ‘The Picasso of Boxing’ because he paints the game of boxing, and I always thought to myself that if I ever have a kid good enough to fight at the international level, I would go to him. Well, now I do. I have two. And that’s why I took them both to Sampson. Thanks to Sampson for giving us the opportunity. Staying active is very hard here in Texas and he’s going to really help us with that.”
 
“Both of these fighters have tremendous potential,” said Sampson Lewkowicz. “I have already started work to put them in important fights and show off their talent. I expect both will be established contenders within a very short time. I’m looking forward to working with Juan and Karim and Craig and helping them get the most of their careers.”
 
Martinez will make his Sampson Boxing debut on October 3 in Buenos Aires against Nazareno Ruiz (29-15, 9 KOs) from Argentina. Baker’s debut will be announced shortly.