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Boxing Insider Notebook: Olympic Boxing, Pacquio vs. Rios, Daniel Geale, Pulev, and more….

By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 29th to August 5th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing.

Brooks Defeats Perez, Williams Fights to a Draw

On the undercard of the NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night, southpaw Michael Brooks (10-0) outworked Joseph “Chip” Perez (10-3) in a six round bout on Saturday night in the lightweight division. Perez stepped in the last minute to replace Karl Dargan and met Brooks in a catchweight of 134 pounds. The final scores were 57-56, 59-54, and 60-53. Perez was deducted a point in the sixth round for leading with his shoulder.

Jimmy Williams (4-0-1) also fought on the undercard against Greg Jackson (3-0-1) in the welterweight division. It was a close four round bout, but it resulted in a majority draw. The scores were 39-37 for Williams, 38-38, and 38-38.

Fortuna Draws With Franco On ESPN

Javier Fortuna (22-0-1) fought Luis Franco (11-1-1) on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights in what was supposed to be a tune-up bout for Fortuna in the junior lightweight division. Franco, however, had a different plan in mind. Fortuna is known as an action fighter who can deliver exciting knockouts, but that was not the case on Friday. It was a dull bout that didn’t deliver the action many expected. Franco was able to land his punches, but it was Fortuna who appeared to have delivered that harder punches. Most analysts had Fortuna winning the bout, but the judges saw it differently. The final scores were 96-94 for Fortuna, 99-91 for Franco, and 95-95.

Kermit Cintron (34-5) fought on the undercard against Jonathan Batista (14-2) in the welterweight division. This bout was another total snoozer which saw Cintron emerge as the victor with scores of 99-88, 98-89, and 98-89.

A Vision Drives Dierry Jean to Brink of First World Title Shot

Dierry “Doggy Style” Jean (25-0) is the number one ranked and mandatory light welterweight challenger for the IBF belt. He credits a vivid dream for driving him into a boxing career and on the brink of his first world title shot against IBF Champion Lamont Peterson (31-2-1).

“In that dream,” Jean noted, “I was a very good fighter. Now, I’m following a new dream to be world champion. It’s my time!”

Jean earned his title shot when he beat Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis (17-3-2) on ShoBox: The Next Generation back in May of this year.

Peterson had the following to say about Peterson: “He doesn’t compare to anybody I ever fought but I know I’m in his class. He can put pressure on and box, but he didn’t use the right strategy in his last fight and I don’t think he will against me. I don’t think he’ll have any respect for me. He’s going to come after me but I will make him pay. He’ll taste my power and then I’ll knock him out.”

John David Jackson Joins Iron Mike Productions

Two-division world champion John David “Action” Jackson, one of the most respected trainers in boxing today, has joined Iron Mike Productions as co-head coach of the promotional company’s stable of world-class fighters.

Acquinity Sports, under CEO Garry Jonas, partnered with Hall of Famer Mike Tyson to form Iron Mike Productions, whose inaugural promotion event is scheduled for August 23rd on ESPN Friday Night Fights.

“I’m very happy to be reunited with John David Jackson,” Iron Mike Productions COO Henry Rivalta said. “We worked together in 2008 at The Heavyweight Factory. He brings a lot to the table and is an incredible asset on our coaching staff. Our fighters are going to benefit from John David’s teaching.”

Daniel Geale Thrilled to be Fighting on US Soil

Ever since Daniel Geale (29-1) pulled off the unthinkable by defeating Felix Sturm on Sturm’s home turf of Germany in September of last year, Geale has essentially cemented himself as one of the elite 160 pounders in boxing. Geale is now thrilled to have his next fight scheduled on U.S. soil, and is adamant about growing his brand in America. On August 17th, he will be defending his middleweight crown for the fifth time against Darren Barker (25-1) at the Revel Casino-Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ.

“I’m extremely excited to be making my U.S. debut. I think it’s the next logical step for me right now. I know how talented I am and I know how great I can be, but sometimes winning fights isn’t enough. You have to be prepared to go the extra mile. Fighting in the U.S. has been on my radar for the past year or two, and now I get to fight in front of the great U.S. fans on the greatest boxing network in the United States against a truly worthy opponent.

Pulev to Collide with Thompson on August 24th

Kubrat Pulev (17-0) and Tony Thompson (38-3) will fight it out in an IBF final eliminator on August 24th with the winner to challenge for the world title.

Pulev is a heavily avoided fighter and made it to the top of the rankings in 2012 when he beat Michael Sprott, Alexander Dimitrenko and Alexander Ustinov inside the distance. However, attempts at negotiating a fight with Tomasz Adamek, Tyson Fury, and Ruslan Chagaev were unable to come to fruition.

“It seemed nearly impossible to find an opponent for Kubrat,” said Chris Meyer, general manager of Sauerland Event. “But thanks to Tony Thompson, that’s old news. The winner of Pulev vs. Thompson will be the new IBF mandatory challenger for champ Wladimir Klitschko.

Book on Tyson vs. Holyfield Coming Out

The Bite Fight: Tyson, Holyfield and the Night That Changed Boxing Forever is due to come out soon. It is written by George Willis with a foreword by Mike Tyson. This book will be a look at the infamous disqualification of the “Baddest Man on the Planet”. It examines the sensational events surrounding the legendary clash and includes more than 100 interviews.

The book is being published by Triumph Books.

Rustum Nagaev Vows to Impress Against Hernandez on ESPN

Gary Shaw Productions looks to put on a stellar edition of ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on August 9th at the Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California, when rising lightweight Rustum Nugaev (24-6) takes on Jose Hernandez (14-6-1) in the evening’s main event.

Nugaev recently had his two biggest wins in a row when he defeated Daniel Attah and Jonathan Maicelo. “I feel great right now, fighters always say these things but I can prove it on August 9th. I feel like for the first time in my career I’m going down the right path at the right time, I always believed in luck being a residue of hard work and my opponent is going to have to deal with both come fight night,” Nugaev said.

Final Pacquiao & Rios News Conference This Thursday in Los Angeles

Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios will host the final press conference of their seven-stop, 23,722 mile international media tour announcing their eagerly-anticipated welterweight collision, this Thursday, August 8th in the Crystal Ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The press conference will be held beginning at 12:30 p.m. PT.

The media tour began last week in Asia and included stops in Macau, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore. This week’s U.S. phase of the tour has a full-day of interviews at the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, and press conferences in New York and Los Angeles on its itinerary.

Super-Flyweight Paul Butler to Challenge for Vacant WBO Intercontinental Title

Super-flyweight sensation Paul Butler will challenge for the vacant WBO Intercontinental title at the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday, September 21st. The British and Commonwealth Champion from Ellesmere Port aims to add a third title belt to his collection- with the challenger to be announced shortly- and knows that a win will also get him an important ranking in the WBO as he continues his march towards a world title.

“I’m delighted that my promoter Frank Warren has got me on the Copper Box Arena next month after missing out on Wembley Arena due to my hand injury. I’m alongside the big names of British boxing like Dereck Chisora, Billy Joe Saunders, Frankie Gavin, and Liam Walsh so it’s set to be a great night showcasing the best in British boxing.” Said Butler.

Three Years to Rio 2016: AIBA Gets Ready

Today marks exactly three years until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. With the successful London games still fresh in our memories, work is underway to turn the Rio de Janeiro into one of the most exciting Olympic host cities to date.

Boxing fans will be concentrated around one of the pavilions in the Riocentro in the Barra Olympic Park, where all the action will get underway in the three years time. The next summer Olympiad will be the first Olympic Games in history to allow pro boxers to compete.

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