Title Fights for Shakur and Navarrete Cap a Hectic Three-Day Midweek Slate


By Arne K. Lang

What has been a relatively quiet November is about to burst wide open. This week, there are noteworthy boxing cards on three consecutive days bleeding into the weekend.

The action begins Tuesday, Nov. 14, with a card in Montreal that will air in North America on ESPN+ In the main go, Canada’s Steve Claggett (36-7-2) opposes Mexico’s Miguel Madueno (30-1, 28 KOs). At stake will be a pair of regional 140-pound titles.

Claggett, 34, is enjoying an impressive late career surge. He’s won seven straight, most recently a lopsided decision over Carlos Sanchez. In his bout before that, he scored a third-round stoppage of former 130-pound world title-holder Alberto Machado. The Calgary scrapper (pictured) has fought seven of his last nine fights in the province of Quebec where he has a developed a fan base among the region’s French-speaking population.

On paper, Madueno is Claggett’s toughest assignment. At age 25, the big banger will have youth on his side. In his only defeat, he went the distance with Panamanian southpaw Jezzrel Corrales, a former WBA super featherweight champion, in Panama City.

Montreal’s Steven Butler (32-4-1, 26 KOs) returns to the ring in the semi-windup with Mexican journeyman Ivan Alvarez (32-14-4) in the opposite corner. In his last start, Butler challenged WBO middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly. That didn’t go well for him. He was blasted out in the second round.

Also on the card is Imam Khataev, a light heavyweight on the fast track. The 29-year-old Russian, who has been living in Sydney, Australia, made his North American debut last month and made a strong impression, knocking out his Argentine opponent in the third round. With his thick torso hinged to his thick neck, the five-foot-10 Khataev has a physique reminiscent of Mike Tyson. At the pro level, the Olympic bronze medalist has knocked out all four of his opponents. Victim number 5 will be Fernando Galvan who is 8-8-1, but 1-6 in Canadian rings.


Garry Jonas, the founder of the ProBox TV website whose content includes real-time live-streamed boxing matches from the Jonas-owned Whitesands Events Center in Plant City, Florida, keeps his oddsmakers Melvin Rivas and Daniel Rubin very busy. Wednesday’s card is their 15th this year, the last nine of which were run when the ambitious Jonas switched from a monthly to a twice-monthly format.

The featured attraction this week is a 10-round junior middleweight match between Venezuela’s Johan Gonzalez (33-2, 33 KOs) and Argentina’s Guido Emmanuel Schramm (16-1-2, 7 KOs).

Gonzalez’s record invites suspicion. All 33 of his wins have come inside the distance, 18 in the opening round. However, unlike some boxers with similar records, he’s certainly no fraud. Last December he went 10 hard rounds with the formidable Russian, Magomed Kurbanov (#2 WBA), in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Schramm, a high-octane 27-year-old Argentine, has been training in Los Angeles.

Two 10-rounders top the undercard.

Houston lightweight Justin Pauldo (16-1-1 NC, 7 KOs) opposes So Cal’s Jerry Perez (14-3-1, 11 KOs). Pauldo is unbeaten in his last twelve. Perez has been repeatedly matched tough. His losses came at the hands of Frank Martin, Michel Rivera, and Jojo Diaz. The other co-feature is a middleweight affair between England’s Jimmy “Kilrain” Kelly (27-3, 10 KOs) and Argentina’s Juan Jose Velasco (24-5, 16 KOs). This is the third fight in Plant City for Kelly who scored his best win here, a 10-round decision over Kazakhstan’s 28-0 Kanat Islam. Velasco has been in with the likes of Regis Prograis and Mario Barrios.


It’s rare for Top Rank to promote a show on a Thursday, let alone a Thursday show in an arena as large as T-Mobile, but there’s a back story here. The Las Vegas Grand Prix, which culminates in the big race on Saturday night, is a four-day Formula 1 extravaganza. The city will be teeming with well-heeled visitors, many from overseas, and Top Rank hopes to capture many of the early arrivals before things heat up. They certainly couldn’t go head-to-head with the big race, not with the T-Mobile effectively inaccessible because of the inevitable mother of all Las Vegas Strip gridlocks.

The nine-bout card is headlined by a world championship doubleheader. In a battle of southpaws, Shakur Stevenson (20-10, 10 KOs) meets Edwin De Los Santos (16-1, 14 KOs) for the vacant WBC world lightweight title. Stevenson, whose defensive wizardry harkens to the legendary Willie Pep, has already cracked many of the pound-for-pound lists after winning world titles at 127 and 130.

In the co-feature. Mexico’s Emanuel Navarrete (38-1, 31 KOs) defends his WBO super featherweight tittle against Brazil’s Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs). Navarrete, a sure-shot future Hall of Famer, rides in on a 33-fight winning streak that includes a 12-0 mark in world title fights. Conceicao won a gold medal for Brazil in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The featured bouts will air on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at 10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT.

The seven-bout undercard, live-streamed on ESPN+, includes a very interesting 8-round fight for intra-city bragging rights between bantamweights Max Ornelas (15-1-1, 5 KOs) and Floyd “Cashflow” Diaz (9-0, 3 KOs). Several of Top Rank’s top prospects – e.g., Abdullah Mason, Emiliano Vargas, Troy Isley – are on the card, as is Hugo Micallef (8-0, 1 KOs) who will be making his U.S. debut.

Hugo Micaleff

Hugo Micaleff

Monte Carlo’s Micallef, a tall 25-year-old welterweight with an 8-0 (1 KO) record, is the only active professional fighter from Monaco. He signed with Top Rank in 2021, undoubtedly with an eye to deploying him on this card. Monaco may have the highest number of Formula 1 fans per capita of any place in the world.

Micallef, nicknamed the French Prince of Monaco, is a close friend of Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc. He opposes Austria’s Sergio Odabai (6-1-1) in a 6-rounder.
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