Boxing Insider Notebook: McGregor, Mayweather, Golovkin, Jacobs, Crolla, Linares, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 14th to March 21st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Lawrence Lusting/Matchroom
TMZ Sports Reports that There’s Still Hope Conor Fights Floyd
Dana White Says Conor vs. Floyd is Still a Real Possibility—Telling TMZ Sports, “It doesn’t make a lot of sense for my business, but I would never keep Conor from making that kind of money.”
The UFC boss was out in Beverly Hills when he laid out Conor’s Opportunities…some real big fights. He also said Conor’s waiting for his kid to be born before his fights again.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/03/15/dana-white-conor-mcgregor-floyd-mayweather-nate-diaz/
HBO to Replay Golovkin vs. Jacobs
HBO Sports presents WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®: GENNADY GOLOVKIN VS. DANIEL JACOBS AND ROMAN “CHOCOLATITO GONZALEZ VS. SRISAKET SOR RUNGVISAI, the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated world championship title fights, SATURDAY, MARCH at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team, which was ringside at New York’s Madison Square Garden on March 18, called all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: March 26 (10:30 a.m.) and 28 (11:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdate: March 26 (3:45 p.m.) and 27 (11:20 p.m.)
The two-fight combo will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO® and HBO On Demand®.
Among the sport’s top pound-for-pound performers, Golovkin put his undefeated mark, extraordinary ring record and collection of 160-pound world title belts on the line against hometown hero Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn in a fight originally carried live on HBO Pay-Per-View®. The co-feature marked a super flyweight title bout between reigning champ and pound-for-pound ace Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand.
Mikey Garcia to be Guest Analyst for Linares vs. Crolla
WBC Lightweight World Champion Mikey Garcia will join the SHOWTIME announce team as a guest analyst for the rematch between WBA Lightweight World Champion Jorge Linares and Anthony Crolla on Saturday, March 25 live on SHOWTIME at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
Three-division world champion Garcia, (36-0, 30 KOs), will join host Brian Custer and analysts Al Bernstein and Paulie Malignaggi in New York for the SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® presentation of Crolla vs. Linares II, which will air live from Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
“I’m excited to participate as guest analyst for this rematch,” said Garcia. “These are two of the most competitive boxers in my division. Jorge Linares won the first fight, but Crolla can create a different outcome.
“Linares has good hand speed, timing, reflexes and has power in both hands. Crolla has a good right hand and has shown some solid body work in his recent fights. While Crolla is getting better with each fight, Linares is likely still the better boxer, and should edge him out in a close fight.”
Linares (41-3, 27 KOs) dethroned Crolla (31-5-3, 13 KOs) in a thrilling battle last fall in Manchester to capture the WBA crown. The Sept. 24 match was the first time the three-division titlist Linares, who also holds the WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine lightweight belts, was pushed the 12-round distance in his career.
The WBC has mandated that the winner of Linares-Crolla II must face the hard-hitting Garcia, who knocked out defending champion Dejan Zlaticanin on Jan. 28 on SHOWTIME in just his second fight back following a 30-month layoff.
Linares-Crolla II is the second lightweight world title bout on SHOWTIME in 2017 and an important fight toward potentially unifying the resurgent 135-pound division.
Jorge Linares vs. Anthony Crolla Media Workout Quotes
WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge Linares and former Champion Anthony Crolla partipicated in a public workout at National Football Museum in Manchester, England in preparation for their rematch on Saturday live on Showtime.
Linares defeated Crolla last September to capture the WBA crown. Below are some fight week quotes from Crolla and Linares.
“Crolla could come better prepared than last time. Maybe he will throw more punches, maybe he will box more, I don’t really know. The most important thing is I hope he has worked really hard and comes in great condition so there are no excuses and no doubts after the fight.
“I can fight even better this time. Before the first fight I had a broken right hand and I hadn’t fought for a while. That’s always a factor, you know? Inactivity. I haven’t had any issues physically or mentally, so the preparation has been great. We did 129 rounds of sparring and everything has gone well up to this point.
“I know he has been quiet in the build-up, I don’t mind if he hasn’t spoken much lately. Let’s just hope it’s a clean fight like the first one.”
“The plans are in the future to get the biggest fights. Obviously the priority right now is to stay focused on Saturday but then I’ll look towards the big fights like against Mikey Garcia.
“I really think coming to train with Ismael Salas made the difference. It’s what helped me really establish myself as a professional fighter and to gain more experience. We learn ‘old school’ as Salas always says. It really has worked well for me in the two years I’ve been with him.”
“I feel really good because this time we had a lot more time to prepare. We did some of the training camp in Japan and then eight weeks in Las Vegas.
“I’m happy to be back here in England again and have another opportunity. I get treated very well, I feel comfortable fighting here. The fans here have a lot of boxing knowledge and they know me well. It’s nice, I feel at home.”
“It will be another good fight, that’s for sure. Our styles gel really well and I don’t see how it can’t be another good fight, but this time I see a different winner. The key will be adapting. I might need to adapt a number of times in the fight but it is something I have trained for.
“I learned a lot from that fight. Linares has very good speed, very good ring craft and he used his big fight experience for when to take a rest, when to turn it on for the judges.
“This time I know I need to deal with the flashy combinations better, cut the ring off better and capitalize when he is open for shots.
“He has said he will come with another game plan but so will we. Last time I gave it everything, left it all in the ring, but I came up short. The right man won on the night and now I have a second chance at winning back the belt and beating a great fighter.
“I was disappointed I lost – you should never be happy with losing – but I was satisfied I gave everything on the night. When I watched it again there were things in the fight where I thought, ‘why didn’t I do this, why didn’t I do that’, but that is what I did do in the heat of the battle.
“You see people online saying Linares is a level above and that he outclassed me – he obviously didn’t outclass me because two of the judges only had a point in it. The right man won and now I need to show my improvements and make sure the result is different.
“Last time out in Manchester I lost a close fight but with the improvements I have been making in the gym I believe this time it will be a different result.
“The rematch was always top of my list. Linares is top of the pile in the lightweight division and if there was a chance of having a rematch that was always more important to me than any other fight. I want to fight the best and be involved in the big fights and that’s what this is.
“I want the chance to stake my claim as the best lightweight in the world by going out there and beating him.
“I wasn’t going to turn down a rematch to try and ease myself back into title contention. I want these big fights; these big nights in Manchester are what I thrive on.
“I feel better than I have ever felt. Camp has gone really well and there will certainly be no excuses. I have had no distractions outside of camp and everything is good. It is a matter now of showing in the ring tonight the improvements I have been showing in the gym.
“I have had no social life for the past few months and I will walk to the ring knowing that, knowing I have prepared in the best way I possibly can. There will be no ‘what if I had done this’, ‘what if I had done that’ – I have prepared the best I possibly can.”
Josesito Lopez to Battle Saul Corral in Main Event of PBC on FS1
Former world title challenger Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez (34-7, 19 KOs) will face Mexico’s Saul “Navajo” Corral (22-8, 13 KOs) in the 10-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes Sunday, April 9 from The Novo at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.
Televised coverage begins at 9:30 p.m. ET/6:30 p.m. PT and features unbeaten lightweight contender Alejandro “El Charro” Luna (21-0, 15 KOs) battling former title challenger Andrey Klimov (19-3, 9 KOs) in a 10-round bout plus the pro debut of 2016 U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas in a six-round super featherweight fight.
“I’m excited to get back in the ring as the main event and put on a show for the fans in Los Angeles,” said Lopez. “I’m looking for a world title shot and I believe I have the skills to beat any welterweight out there. This is going to be a great night of fights from start to finish. I’ve been training like never before and I can’t wait to show everybody.”
“I can’t wait to get in the ring and make the most of this opportunity to make a name for myself,” said Corral. “I’ve been training hard to be ready for anything Josesito brings. It’s going to be an exciting fight but I’m prepared to leave everything in the ring and get the victory.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Ringstar Sports, are priced at $30 general admission, $60 balcony reserved, $100 VIP balcony reserved and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased through AXS.com.
“I’m thrilled to be able to promote a great night of California-based PBC action here in Los Angeles headlined by the return of a local fan favorite, Josesito Lopez,” said Richard Schaefer, Chairman and CEO of RIngstar Sports. “Also we have Alejandro Luna, who is in a tough fight with his sights set on a world title and I can’t wait for U.S. Olympian Karlos Balderas to make his pro debut in what will be the start to a great career. This is a night at The Novo that you don’t want to miss.”
Always in action-packed fights and known for his exciting style and ability to triumph against the odds, Lopez is coming off of a dominant decision victory over Todd Manuel in December 2016. Proudly representing Riverside, California, Lopez has fought at the highest level of competition for years including challenges of Andre Berto, Canelo Alvarez and Marcos Maidana plus triumphs over Victor Ortiz, Mike Arnaoutis and Mike Dallas.
Representing Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, Corral is the winner of 10 of his last twelve bouts entering April 9. The 30-year-old has fought professionally since 2006 and most recently went the distance in a 10-round decision loss to U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali. He won a Mexican title in July 2016 with a fifth-round stoppage of Francisco Medel and also challenged former champion Mike Alvarado amongst his 30 career bouts.
At just 25-years old, Luna has already put together an impressive 21 professional wins since turning pro in 2010. Fighting out of Bellflower, California he began his 2016 campaign by stopping veteran Alan Herrera before dominating previously once-beaten Naim Nelson on his way to a 10-round decision in August. He had previously defeated former world champion Cristobal Cruz and veteran Sergio Lopez on the way to amassing his perfect record.
Originally from Russia but now living and training in Beverly Hills, Klimov was unbeaten in his first 16 pro fights as he climbed up the world rankings. After dropping a decision to Terrence Crawford in 2013, he won three straight fights to earn his world title opportunity against Jose Pedraza. Klimov owns victories over John Molina Jr., Gabino Cota and Guillermo Avila.
Fighting out of Santa Maria, California, the 20-year-old Balderas is the son of Mexican parents who immigrated to the United States to give their children a better life. Balderas had an impressive amateur career that included a 2014 Youth National Championship, four National PAL championships and an impressive run in the World Series of Boxing. His amateur career culminated in a trip to the 2016 Olympic Games where he represented the U.S. and defeated fighters from Kazakhstan and Japan before a decision loss in the quarterfinals.
If Tapia Wants a War I’ll Give Him a War, States Jason Quigley
The long awaited debut of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN is nearly here. On Thursday, March 23, Irish middleweight contender Jason “El Animal” Quigley (12-0, 10 KOs) will showcase his skills against the hard-punching Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (23-3, 15 KOs) in a 10-round main event battle for the vacant NABF middleweight title. In the co-main event, Coachella’s Randy “El Matador” Caballero (23-0, 14 KOs) will campaign to become a two-division world champion as he combats for the NABF super bantamweight title against Jesus “Estrella” Ruiz (35-7-5, 24 KOs) in a 10-round affair; and making her pro-debut on the national TV broadcast, 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist and highly decorated amateur Marlen Esparza will participate in a four-round flyweight fight against Rachel Sazoff (0-2).
The fighters shared their final thoughts ahead the fights, which will air live from Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
Below is what the fighters had to say:
Jason “El Animal” Quigley, Middleweight Contender:
“I’m delighted to be headlining on ESPN on Thursday; it’s a great honor and opportunity. My camp has been amazing – all the hard work has been put in, and I’m ready. I plan on putting on a great show for my American audience and my friends, family and fans back home in Donegal, Ireland.
“If Tapia wants a war, I’ll give him a war…I’m prepared for anything. Winning this fight brings me one step closer to my dream, winning the NABF title will be fantastic, I still have a long way to go, and am dedicated to making my dream of being a world champion come true.”
Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia, Former WBO NABO Super Welterweight Champion:
“I’m honestly really excited for this fight. Not only because it’s a televised ESPN fight for the NABF title but because it’s been a tough couple of years for my career. People are looking at this like this a make or break fight for me, and even though most people would hate to be in this position, I look at it as an opportunity to bounce back and show the world who Glen Tapia really is!
“I have a lot of fans that believe in me and have been waiting for my return, but I also have a lot of critics that question if I can do this, and that’s a challenge that I’m more than ready to take. My job is not to listen to the critics; my job is to handle my business in that ring and show them why I belong here.At the end of the day, I can sit here and talk about what I’m going to do to Quigley, but the truth is you guys don’t want to hear that. Actions speak louder than words so I’ll just show you guys on March 23rd.”
Ringside Network to Begin 24/7 Television Network Dedicated to the Sport of Boxing
Ortiz Media Group, Inc. has signed an agreement with RingSide Network to Provide on-air operations, cable representation and distribute its signal through Cable, Satellite, OTT, Set Top Boxes, Smart devices, and other platforms throughout the United States and the world.
RingSide Network is an American specialty sports channel headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) with programming devoted exclusively to the sport of boxing. Ortiz Media Group will operate the channel 24 hours per day and 7 days a week with programming featuring up-to-date boxing news, one-on-one interviews, highlights, talk shows featuring sport celebrities, expert boxing analysis, documentaries, pre-fights and post-fight press conferences, live weigh-ins, round table panel discussions, skills instructions, and classic professional fights from 1920’s to the present.
RingSide Network programming will include local, regional, national and international content from today’s and tomorrow’s contenders and champions.
“We are excited to bring RingSide Network from Philadelphia, PA, known as the boxing capital of the world. We will play a pivotal role in bringing world-wide boxing to our cable and satellite homes as well as all platforms available directly to our consumers,” said Mr. Alex Hamer, CEO of Ring Side Network.
RingSide Network plans to cover amateur events include Olympic boxing, Olympic boxing trials, National Golden Globes, National Police Athletic League Championships and U.S. Collegiate Boxing Championships, as well as boxing related movies.
Boxing is gaining popularity in the United States. Statista.com reported that in 2015 the number of people in the United States who watched pro boxing amounted to 20.29 million within a period of 12 months.
“Ortiz Media Group is a leader in operations and cable/satellite distributions and we are very excited to be expanding our relationship with RingSide Network with operations, distribution, branding, and revenue generation,” said Mr. Clark Ortiz, President and CEO of Ortiz Media Group.
The sport of boxing makes a great impact in the U.S. economy. Over 54 million Americans paid gym/fitness membership fees in 2014, and for the second year in a row actual visits to the gyms exceeded 5 billion. In 2014, the annual review of $24,2 billion was also a sharp 7.5% increase of $22.4 billion in 2013.
According to the Bureau of Labors Statistics, fitness and recreation sports centers employed 533,200 in 2014, and jobs are expected to grow 8% by 2024.
In 2010, wholesale sales of boxing equipment amounted to about $106 million in the United States. The Title Boxing Clubs grew from 10 locations to more that 100 between 2011 and 2013 and is part of the fitness industry that has approximately 60 million customers in the United States. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association there were over 5.1 million boxing for fitness participants in the US in 2014 and according to Statista that number grew to 6.39 million in 2015. In 2016, 5.9% of respondents who came from a household where the annual income was $200,000 or more stated that they are a fan of boxing.
Ring Side Network’s website is www.ringsidenetwork.tv