Boxing Insider Notebook: Lara, Fury, Wilder, Povetkin, Canelo, Hagler, Leonard, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 10th to May 17th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Edward Jackson
Erislandy Lara Camp Notes
WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara is set to defend his world title and settle his score against Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan when the two meet in the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader featuring the top 154-pound talent in the sport on Saturday, May 21 from The Chelsea, inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Live televised coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features unbeaten IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo taking on former champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout and his twin brother Jermell Charlo battling top challenger John Jackson for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title.
Lara and Martirosyan will meet after their 2012 bout ended in a technical draw. See below for the Cuban-born champion’s thoughts on training camp, the rematch and more:
On his rematch with Vanes Martirosyan:
“This is a very important fight for me. Our last fight unfortunately ended in a draw because of a clash of heads so we have some unfinished business to take care of. This time I’m not going to leave any doubt on who the better fighter is. I’m coming to dominate and retain my world championship.”
On training camp:
“I’m taking this fight very seriously. I’ve been pushing my body to get in the best shape possible. My body feels incredible and I couldn’t ask for a better training camp. I’ve been sparring a lot and my timing is getting better with each session. Everything is going as planned.”
On the May 21 card:
“It’s great to be fighting on this card, especially when there is so much on the line while I defend my title. In addition, the Charlo brothers are fighting on the undercard, which makes for a great night of boxing for the super welterweight division. The landscape of the 154-pound division will be laid out after May 21.”
On the state of the super welterweight division:
“Honestly I believe the 154-pound division is one of the strongest in all of boxing. I feel I’m leading the pack and my goal is to unify all the belts. I’m going to take it one fight at a time with the mindset to clean out the division.”
On fighting in Las Vegas:
“Vegas is the boxing capital of the world and fighting there is unbelievable. The fans are very supportive. The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan is very intimate and every seat in the building is a good seat. I anticipate a lively crowd.”
On his relationship with Ronnie Shields:
“Ronnie is a great coach and his game plans are very well thought out. He keeps everything simple. If we have to make adjustments during the fight, he’ll be able to point them out. We both have a great mutual respect for one another.”
NextVR Delivers Virtual Reality Highlights of Canelo vs. Khan
Golden Boy Promotions and NextVR have teamed up to deliver virtual reality highlights from the May 7 WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight Championship fight between Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) and former two-time world champion Amir “King” Khan (31-4, 19 KOs), originally telecast live on pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The virtual reality highlights will be offered for free starting at 10:45 p.m. (ET) following HBO’s exclusive replay of the fight at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Saturday, May 14.
The virtual reality highlights of Canelo vs. Kahn will be available for 30 days on the NextVR app for Gear VR owners.
NextVR’s immersive virtual reality highlights will bring fans to the weigh-in, to the pre-fight training room with Canelo and ultimately into the ring to experience Canelo take down Kahn with a devastating right hand in the sixth round.
“Golden Boy Promotions is fully committed to giving fans the best possible experience, and our partnership with NextVR takes that experience to the next level,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Short of being in the ring with Canelo, Virtual reality offers the clearest picture of what it’s like to box the biggest star in the sport.”
“I worked with NEXTVR during my training camp for Canelo vs. Khan and the results were fantastic,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I am looking forward to have my fans witness what it feels like to be in the ring on a personal level and I trust NextVR to deliver an exciting and explosive experience.”
In addition to the VR boxing match, fans can watch a powerful training session in virtual reality as Canelo prepares for his fight from his gym in San Diego. The behind the scenes footage, released earlier this month, is also available on the NextVR app for 30 days.
Deontay Wilder’s Statement on Title Fight with Povetkin
In the wake of the news on Friday that Alexander Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder and his representatives have been made aware of the WBC’s decision on Sunday that the fight will not occur in Moscow on May 21.
“I’m very disappointed that due to Povetkin’s failed drug test the fight is not going to happen on May 21 in Moscow,” said Deontay Wilder. “I had worked very hard to prepare myself for this important title defense, spending the last two weeks training in England to get accustomed to fighting in Europe. I wanted to give the fans a great show, but we understand the WBC’s position that the fight occur on an even playing field.”
Povetkin, the WBC No. 1 heavyweight championship contender, tested positive for the substance in a urine test conducted by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) on April 27.
“Based upon Povetkin’s positive test for meldonium, and with the health and safety of Deontay Wilder the paramount consideration, this fight could not take place next Saturday,” said DiBella. “As a result of Povetkin’s use of a banned substance and breach of contract, Deontay Wilder was deprived of an opportunity to defend his title as he was prepared to – on an even playing field. He and his team have suffered substantial damages as a result. Any talk of rescheduling by Mr. Ryabinskiy at this point is unfounded and premature. Team Wilder will await further communications from the WBC and will weigh all our options given what has transpired.”
The 30-year-old Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) and his team were supposed to fly to Moscow on Sunday for a week of preparation and promotion leading up to the fight. Now, Wilder will return home to Tuscaloosa,
Alabama and await further information from the WBC.
“This is a huge disappointment and a setback to my goals in boxing. I want to be an active heavyweight champion and it is still my goal to collect all the belts and become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Wilder said.
Tyson Fury Issues a Statement
Tyson Fury, the Heavyweight Champion of the World, was interviewed last week by a video media outlet known as SportsView London. During the interview, Mr Fury made comments that have been viewed by some as offensive.
Mr Fury would like to apologize to anyone who may have taken offence to these comments.
As a man of Traveller heritage, Mr Fury has suffered bigotry and racial abuse throughout his life and as such would never wish anyone to suffer the same. He has many friends of a wide range of backgrounds and races and wishes no ill to anyone of any race, religion or sexual orientation.
Mr Fury is a devout Christian and a family man, however he accepts that in the past he has said things publically which are misrepresentative of his beliefs and usual good character. He appreciates he has a duty as the Heavyweight Champion of the World. He knows it comes with certain responsibilities and anything he says publicly will be heavily scrutinized.
Mr Fury now wishes to move past this and instead concentrate on what he does best, which is boxing, starting with his defence of the Heavyweight Championship of The World in the rematch against Wladimir Klitschko on July 9th at the Manchester Arena.
Mr Fury said: “I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence at any of my comments. I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do.
Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public. I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in no way a racist or bigot and I hope the public accept this apology.”
Gorman Added to Klitschko vs. Fury Undercard
NANTWICH heavyweight Nathan Gorman has been given the opportunity to appear on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s mammoth heavyweight title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.
Fights are coming thick and fast for the Ricky Hatton-trained 19-year-old as he has racked up four victories with three knockouts since turning professional in December.
This past weekend Gorman floored Poland’s Kamil Sokolowski three times en route to a fifth round stoppage in Walsall and just two weeks earlier he wiped out Hrvoje Kisicek in just one session at London’s Copper Box Arena.
The opportunity to feature on the Fury v Klitchsko 2 card is huge for a boxer at this early stage in his career and Ricky Hatton believes fight fans will be pleased with what they see in Manchester on July 9.
“For a young prospect, things don’t get any bigger than this,” Hatton said. “The chance for a teenage heavyweight to box on the same bill as a world heavyweight title fight is massive.
“Nathan only started boxing around three years ago and he had to pinch himself when we told him where his next fight would be.
“I expect Nathan to shine on the night regardless of who he’s in with. In his last couple of fights he’s shown the power and shot picking we’ve been working on and I believe fans at the Manchester Arena will be very impressed with what they see from him.”
Like Tyson Fury, Gorman comes from proud travelling stock. His uncle, Bartley Gorman, was a legend of bareknuckle boxing and was often referred to as ‘The King of the Gypsies’ thanks to an unbeaten run that lasted more than 20 years.
In fact, respect between the Gormans and the Furys played a part in getting young Nathan this chance.
“We have to thank Tyson and Peter Fury for getting Nathan on this card,” Hatton explained.
“The Fury family are close to Nathan’s and they’ve seen him in action since he first put on a pair of gloves.
“Tyson said he wanted Nathan on his undercard and Peter put the wheels in motion to make it happen. After training Tyson and Hughie, Peter knows a good heavyweight when he sees one and he was instrumental in pushing for Nathan to be included on the bill because he thinks he’ll had some excitement to the bill.
“We really can’t stress how grateful we are to Tyson and Peter for their belief in us and their support.”
Boxcino Champions and World Title Challengers to Face Off
It will be a battle of the Boxcino champions when former world title challengers, Willie Monroe Jr. and John Thompson, square off in a 10-round middleweight bout in the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME on Saturday, June 11, live 7 p.m. ET/PT from The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
In the SHO EXTREME co-feature, Boxcino 2015 heavyweight champion Andrey Fedosov (28-3, 23 KOs) will face Mario Heredia (11-1, 9 KOs, 1-2 in WSB) in a 10-round heavyweight bout.
The SHO EXTREME bouts will precede a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader that will feature Ruslan Provodnikov taking on John Molina Jr. in what should be an action-packed junior welterweight bout for as long as it lasts.
“I am glad to be back, and I look forward to fighting in front of my loyal fans who will come from Rochester to see me fight,” Monroe said.
“I have been training hard, and I look forward to fighting another Boxcino champion like Willie Monroe,” Thompson said. “It should make for a great fight.”
“I am glad that I will finally be getting back in the ring,” Fedosov said. “I got some time to rest and now I feel better and stronger than ever. I just want to get in that ring on June 11. I am looking forward to putting on a great show as I look for a major fight.”
Derrick Webster to Headline D&D Promotions on June 4th
On Saturday night June 4th, a brand new boxing series will be launched as D and D Promotions presents its inaugural “Rumble at the Rink” Boxing series that will take place at The Grundy Arena in Bristol, Pa.
Scheduled to appear in the six-round main event will be super middleweight Derrick Webster.
Webster of Glassboro, New Jersey has a record of 19-1 with 10 knockouts and will be looking to get back in the win column after an eleven-month layoff.
Webster won his first nineteen bouts, which was highlighted by a 22-second knockout over 23-1 Obodai Sai. He is coming off his first professional blemish when he was stopped by undefeated Arif Magomedov on July 17, 2015.
Also scheduled to appear will be super welterweight Elijah Vines (1-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia; super bantamweight Vidal Rivera (3-0, 3 KO’s) of Camden, New Jersey and two-time National Golden Gloves champion Mike Hilton (1-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia.
Marvin Hagler Jr. to Face Ray Leonard Jr.
On April 8, 2017, Feldman Brothers, Ritesh Parikh and former Heavyweight champion of the world, Larry Holmes will present a special night that will feature a bout 30 years in the making.
Marvin Hagler Jr. and Ray Leonard Jr. will square off in a battle for legacy in a contest that will come exactly 30 years after the Father’s squared off in a memorable fight.
The third man in the ring will be the same referee that officiated Leonard Sr’s win over Hagler Sr. That being Richard Steele.
The event will distributed worldwide live on Pay-Per-View.