Today’s BIG3: 3/11

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MTK Global and Top Rank are proud to announce an exclusive multi-year licensing agreement that will bring MTK Global events to fans in the United States on ESPN platforms, including ESPN+. The agreement calls for approximately 30 more shows a year live from the United Kingdom. This is 30 cards in addition to all of the boxing content ESPN already offers. No initial card has been announced yet but an announcement is expected to come soon. Bob Arum said, “MTK Global manages a vast number of A-list fighters from around the globe This deal will enable Top Rank, through the ESPN family of networks, to afford viewers in the United States the opportunity to see these great fighters perform.” MTK Global CEO’s Sandra Vaughan doubled down on the excitement saying “This is a very proud day as MTK Global partners with the biggest and best in the industry to expand the audiences for our incredible fighters,”

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Maurice Hooker successfully defended his WBO 140-pound strap against Mikkel LesPierre in the co-main of the Bivol-Smith card Saturday night at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY. After picking up a lopsided decision against the overmatched LesPierrre. Hooker said he was open to everyone including Regis Prograis and any of the world champions at 140. Hooker also wants the fight in his hometown of Dallas. Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that his champ will defend his title in his hometown and they have looked at a couple of difference venues including American Airlines Center and the star and they are looking to bring him back in late June or July. Hearn noted his fighters desire to unify and said a Jose Carlos Ramirez (the only other fighter not in the WBSS tounrmanet) was of interest but did not say they were in negotiations or closing in on any name in specific.

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Showtime Shawn Porter defended his title in very controversial fashion against Yordenis Ugas in Carson, California. Porter received the benefit of a very questionable decision and got away with a “slip” call not ruled a knockdown that replays clearly showed was a knockdown. Often times the sanctioning body, the WBC in this case, will order a mandatory rematch when there is this much controversy around a given fight (ie. Wilder Vs Fury) they are unlikely to do so, as Ugas, unlike Fury, doesn’t offer a big name and big dollar money fight. Porter has now issued a statement saying he has no interest in a rematch saying “I don’t want a rematch with Yordenis because I am looking at Errol Spence, I am looking at Manny Pacquiao, and I am looking at Keith Thurman. You know, obviously if this fight didn’t go our way then those plans would be spoiled and I would have to revisit that lane. But we got this win — I personally think we got it decisively.” Thinking Porter won isn’t outrageous, what is outrageous is anyone thinking he won “decisively”. Cuban boxers have an extensive recent history of coming off on the short end of highly questionable decisions, Saturday nights fight at the Dignity Health Sports Park.

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