Boxing Insider Notebook: McGregor, Mayweather, Canelo, Khan, Velasquez, Diaz, and more.
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 3rd to May 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor a Possibility
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has made it known that he may come back for his fiftieth fight if the money is right, and has stated several times that he will not come back to boxing unless it’s for six figures.
Very few opponents will be able to draw that kind of money so that Floyd Mayweather will make that kind of money. Manny Pacquiao might, but his recent election to the Philippine Senate makes that bout unlikely.
However, both Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor have expressed interest in fighting each other and members from both of their camps have indicated negotiations are ongoing. If the fight were to happen, the odds would be as follows:
Floyd Mayweather Jr -2000 (1/20)
Conor McGregor +900 (9/1)
Ruslan Provodnikov Hits Camp in Preparation for John Molina Jr. Bout
Former WBO Junior Welterweight World Champion, “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov is currently training in Indio, California with his trainer Joel Diaz for his June 11th main event with John Molina Jr. at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York live on Showtime.
“Knowing exactly the date and the opponent makes me unstoppable and mentally confident in training,” Provodnikov said. “This fight will start a new page in my career. I want to show the people that have already written me off the books what I can do in the ring.”
“I will be ready for another war on June 11. I am very happy with the way training camp is going. Joel Diaz is a great trainer and is helping me correct some of the bad habits that I had in previous fights”
Provodnikov-Molina will headline a tripleheader live on Showtime (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) that will also feature a WBC Super Welterweight Elimination bout between Demetrius Andradeee annnd Willie Nelson, plus a WBC Lightweight Title bout bbbetween Dejjjaaan Zlaticanin and Emiliano Marsili.
Olympic Gold Medalist Felix Diaz to Face Miguel Vazquez
Olympic Gold medalist Felix Diaz (17-1, 8 KOs) and former world champion Miguel “Titere” Vazquez (35-5, 13 KOs) will meet in a 10-round battle of super lightweight contenders that headlines Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on FS1 and FOX Deportes from the Dancehall in San Antonio on Saturday, May 28 with televised coverage beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. This marks the first Saturday primetime PBC card on FS1 and FOX Deportes and anchors an action-packed memorial day weekend.
“This is a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Diaz. “Miguel Vazquez is a great former champion and I’ll have to be at my best. I’m very thankful to be the main event again and I’m thrilled to fight in San Antonio for the first time.”
“I’m very excited for this opportunity to face a skilled Olympic Gold medalist like Felix Diaz,” said Vazquez. “He’s a good fighter, but he’s never faced someone as experienced and talented as I am. I look forward to a great victory in front of the great fight fans of San Antonio as I march towards becoming a world champion again.”
HBO to Air Replay of Canelo vs. Khan
HBO Sports will present the World Championship Boxing Bout between Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan, the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated world middleweight title showdown, on Saturday, May 14th at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team, which was ringside at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on May 7th, called the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: May 15 (9:00 a.m.) and 16 (11:40 p.m.)
HBO 2 playdates: May 15 (4:00 p.m.) and 17 (11:30 p.m.)
Brooker Decisions Aikens; Cintron Decisions Flores in Philadelphia
Christopher Brooker won a 8 round unanimous decision over Antowyan Aikens that headlined a 10 bout card at a nearly sold out 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia. Brooker won with scores of 80-71, 79-72, and 79-72 to raise his record to 9-1, Aikens dropped to 12-2.
Kermit Cintron returned to action on the same card and won a six round unanimous decision over Eduardo Flores in a Junior Middleweight bout. Cintron won all six rounds on all three cards and won with scores of 60-54. Cintron improved to 36-5-2 and Flores dropped to 23-21-3.
Naim Nelson also fought on the same card and won with scores of 60-54 on all three cards over Carlos Velasquez. Nelson improved to 13-1 and Velasquez dropped to 24-24-2.
USA Boxing’s Elite Women Ready to Compete in Kazakhstan
USA Boxing’s elite women are preparing to take on the best female boxers in the world May 16-28 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Ten American women will compete in the biennial event, which will also serve as the final Olympic qualifier in the three women’s Olympic weight divisions. Flyweight Virginia Fuchs (Kemah, Texas) will look to qualify her spot for the 2016 Olympic Games, joining lightweight Mikaela Mayer (Los Angeles, Calif.) and reigning World and Olympic middleweight champion Claressa Shields (Flint, Mich.). The top four finishers in the three women’s Olympic weight divisions – flyweight (112 lbs), lightweight (132 lbs), and middleweight (165 lbs) will qualify berths in the 2016 Olympic Games. Mayer and Shields clinched their 2016 Olympic berths at the Americas Qualifier in March.
2012 Olympic bronze medalist Marlen Esparza (Houston, Texas) will vie for her second straight world title when she competes at her new light flyweight division in Astana. Former world championships medalists Christina Cruz(New York, N.Y.) and Franchon Crews (Baltimore, Md.) will both compete for additional hardware, boxing at the bantamweight and light heavyweight divisions respectively. Light welterweight Jajaira Gonzalez (Glendora, Calif.) owns junior and youth world championship titles as well as Youth Olympic Games gold and she will make her first foray in to elite international competition in Kazakhstan.
Fuchs, featherweight Stalacia Leggett (Quartz Hill, Calif.), welterweightNaomi Graham (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and heavyweight Shadasia Green(Newark, N.J.) will all compete in their first World Championships tournament in Kazakhstan.
Shields has dominated her opposition since winning gold at the 2012 Olympics and she will look to defend her 2014 world title in her third world championships. Mayer secured her berth in the 2016 Olympic Games with a gold medal finish at the Americas Qualifier in March in Argentina but she will vie for her first world championships gold at the Olympic lightweight division when she competes in Kazakhstan.
The team has been in training camp at the Olympic Training Center for the past few weeks and will depart for Astana on Sunday for a final acclimation camp in Kazakhstan. The official tournament draw will take place on May 18 prior to the start of competition on May 19. Quarterfinal competition will be contested on May 24 before all of the competitors enjoy a rest day on May 25. Action will resume with semifinal competition on May 26 and the event will conclude with gold medal bouts on May 27.
While only three women’s weight divisions are contested in Olympic and Pan American Games competition, the full 10 women’s weight divisions will be on display in the Women’s World Championships. The final rosters have not yet been released but approximately 300 athletes are expected to compete in the ninth edition of the Women’s World Championships.
106 lbs/48 kg: Marlen Esparza, Houston, Texas
112 lbs/51 kg: Virginia Fuchs, Kemah, Texas
119 lbs/54 kg: Christina Cruz, New York, N.Y.
125 lbs/57 kg: Stalacia Leggett, Quartz Hill, Calif.
132 lbs/69 kg: Mikaela Mayer, Los Angeles, Calif.
141 lbs/64 kg: Jajaira Gonzalez, Glendora, Calif.
152 lbs/69 kg: Naomi Graham, Colorado Springs, Colo.
165 lbs/75 kg: Claressa Shields, Flint, Mich.
178 lbs/81 kg: Franchon Crews, Baltimore, Md.
178+ lbs/81+ kg: Shadasia Green, Newark, N.J.
Head Coach: Billy Walsh, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach: Benny Roman, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Coach: Israel Acosta, Milwaukee, Wis.
Physician: Dr. Larry Lovelace, Oklahoma City, Okla.
Team Manager: Matthew Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
ATC: Dana Johnston, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Strength and Conditioning Coach: Paul Titus, Colorado Springs, Colo.