Boxing Insider Notebook: Abu Dhabi Card Falls Through, Sturm, Arreola, and More…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 25th to March 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Injury to Chris Arreola Moves Salgado vs. Mendez to Main Event
The Heavyweight elimination bout scheduled for March 9th between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne has been postponed due to a bronchial infection sustained by Arreola. The remaining bouts will continue and the IBF Junior Lightweight Championship rematch between Juan Carlos Salgado (26-1-1) and Argenis Mendez (20-2) will now be the main event. The co-semi-main event bouts will feature twin brothers Javier and Oscar Molina. HBO Latino will telecast the Salgado-Mendez bout.
Malignaggi-Chaves Negotiations Fail, Scuppering Abu-Dhabi Flagship Event
Showtime Sports Events (SSE) announced that all negotiations for WBA Welterweight World Champion Paulie Malignaggi to defend his crownd against interim champion, Argentina’s Diego Chaves, at their inaugural event at Zayed Sports City, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on May 18th have been terminated.
Showtime Sports Events promoter, Johnny Eames stated the following:
“As much as we tried to get the Malignaggi-Chaves fight on, it seems this is now a non-starter. It’s a month since we had Paulie Malignaggi agree to the fight, but for some reason Chaves’ people have decided they don’t want the fight on our show, even though the offer we made is much higher than Chaves has had for his previous fights.
It’s so disappointing, Chaves is the #1 contender to challenge for Paulie Malignaggi’s WBA title. The WBA were happy for us to put it on, Golden Boy were happy for us to put it on, but it seems someone, probably not Chaves but someone in his camp, was holding out for more money because its in Abu Dhabi. Either that or they had no intention of signing and were holding out for the WBA to order purse bids, so they can have the fight on home turf. Either way, so it goes, they didn’t sign by yesterday and now we’re going to have to look elsewhere, hopefully though with Paulie Malignaggi still top of the bill, possibly against WBF World Champion Humberto Soto.
If it doesn’t work out that way, so be it and we’ll put Paulie on another of our shows later in the year, because he has been so easy to deal with and we don’t want him losing out on the big purse we offered him.”
Thomas LaManna Ready to Drop jaws at Resorts Casino on March 8th
New Jersey’s own Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna (10-0) will be stepping into the ring again on March 8th at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City on the undercard of the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights-televised night of boxing featuring Victory Cayo (31-3) and Emmanuel Taylor (16-1) in the main event.
“It is an honor to be fighting in front of Teddy Atlas, Joe Tessitore, and the ESPN crew. It motivates me to look even better,” said LaManna.
LaManna will be facing Joshue Snyder of Berlin, Maryland, (9-8-1).
“Everyone is telling me this is going to be a hard fight, but I am training hard to put on a good performance,” LaManna vows.
Paul Butler’s Commonwealth Title Challenge Rescheduled
Paul Butler’s Commmonwealth Super-Flyweight title challenge has been rescheduled and will now take place on Friday April 12th at the Liverpool Olympia. He was scheduled to face the champion, Yaqub Kareem, on Friday, March 8th, but visa problems have thrown doubt into the Nigerian’s arrival in the UK.
Joan Guzman & Vincente Mosquera Fighting for Interim WBA Super Lightweight Title
Acquinity Sports has announced that an agreement has been reached regarding an interim WBA Super Lightweight title fight between Joan “Little Tyson” Guzman (33-1-1)and Vincente “El Loco” Mosquera (32-2-1) for May 31st at a venue to be determined.
“I am happy to see Guzman get another shot,” Acquinity Sports Vice President of Operations Henry Rovalta added. “His fight with Allakhverdiev ended in an injury. Khabib won a split decision but there were still four more rounds to go. Guzman won’t be looking past Masquera . We know that he’s tough but Guzman will be ready.”
King Raheem Prepares for Comeback to Boxing at Battle at the Boat 91
Zahir Raheem will make his way into the ring when Halquist Productions brings Battle at the Boat back to the Emerald Queen Casino for the 91st time. In the main event, Raheem (31-3) is scheduled to fight Santos Pakau (28-7-2) in a ten round bout. Raheem recently signed a long term promotional agreement with Halquist Productions.
Raheem shook the boxing world in 2005 when he earned Ring Magazine’s “Upset of the Year” after defeating a prime Erik Morales. Raheem is coming off of a two-year layoff from his last professional boxing match.
Card Shaping up for King’s Boxing Promotions on March 15th at the Valley Forge Casino Resort
On Friday night, March 15th, professional boxing will make its maiden appearance at the Valley Forge Casino Resort as King’s Promotions presents a terrific night of action that will be headlined with an eight round lightweight bout between Naim Nelson (9-0) and Georgi Kevlishvilli (12-4).
In a ten-round co-feature, Harry Joe Yorgey (25-2-1) will take on Julius Kennedy (7-3-1) in a junior middleweight bout.
Victor Cayo Knows What’s at Stake Against Taylor
Dominican super lightweight Victor Cayo (31-3) knows the dire consequences on his boxing career another loss will have, and is training like his future as a top contender depends on it. He is in the final stretch of his preparations to meet once-beaten Emmanuel Taylor (16-1) on Friday, March 8, 2013 in the 10 round main event of Friday Night Fights in the Superstar Theater at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ.
“I know what’s at stake,” said Cayo through an interpreter.
“I have to beat this guy and look good if I’m going to fight for a world title. I have trained like everything I worked for is on the line in this fight and in many ways it is.”
Former Unified World Champion Amir “King” Khan to Face Julio Diaz on April 27th
It has been announced by Golden Boy Promotions that Amir “King” Khan takes on former world champion Julio “The Kidd” Diaz in his return to England on April 27th at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England and 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Anthony Ogogo and Haroon Khan will make their professional debuts on the same card.
“April 27th is going to be a special night,” said Khan.
“It’s been two years since I last fought in the United Kingdom and I can’t wait to get in the ring in front of my fans. Julio Diaz is a former World Champion and a very dangerous opponent who is coming off of an impressive performance in his last fight. I know he will be coming with guns blazing and I’m ready for whatever he has to throw at me.
“With my speed and boxing skills, and his power and experience, it makes for a really exciting matchup. He may have other ideas but I’m adamant that my return to the British shores is going to be a very successful one.”
Sutor Announces Friday Night Fights With Unbeaten Heavyweight Amir Mansour April 12th
Ed Sutor, president and CEO of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, announces the next Friday Night Fights series event will take place on April 12th in the Rollins Center in at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. Amir Mansour (17-0) will defend his World Boxing Foundation Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship title.
“We feel very fortunate to have witnessed the growth and success now coming to Amir Mansour since his first appearance here in August 2010,” said Sutor. “Because of his continued outstanding, awe-inspiring performances in the ring, Amir is seeing his horizons and opportunities expanding beyond the East Coast. It is his goal to fight the world’s best to prove he is capable of becoming world heavyweight champion.”
Walter Wright Replaces Joey Spina in Bout Against Manfredo Jr.
Joey Spina was scheduled to face Peter Manfredo Jr., but had to withdraw due to an injury. Instead Manfredo Jr. will now face fellow Contender alum Walter Wright (14-3) in the 10 round main event of Unfinished Business on Friday, March 15th. Manfredo stated the following:
“I like Walter from The Contender Season 2, and I’m also glad he’s stepping up on just two weeks’ notice,” said Manfredo Jr., who rose to fame in 2005 when he reached the finals of the show’s inaugural season. “That’s why he’s a true contender.”
Kendall Holt Moves to Welterweight
Former junior welterweight world titlist Kendall Holt will be moving up to 147lbs after spending the majority at or around the 140lb weight limit. The move to welterweight is coming at a time in Holt’s career where he is in search for the biggest fights he can possibly get. With a division like welterweight filled with named opponents and the name Holt recognized in boxing circles across the world, it is fitting that the move be made now.
Holt will prepare his body for the change and he believes that it should come more naturally than most; he feels that his body and boxing desires are directly synced up at this stage in his career.
“The time is right for me to make this transition to welterweight, I feel like I’ve still got a lot of fight in me and what better way to exercise it than to be in a division with so many interesting match ups. It isn’t just what I want, it’s also what my body is telling me to do and my body is telling me that I’m going to be a physically better fighter in the move up,” Holt explained.
Ricky Burns vs. Miguel Vazquez Rescheduled
Promoter Frank Warren’s show at Wembley Arena on Saturday March 16th has been postponed and will not take place on Saturday, April 20th. WBO World Lightweight Champion Ricky Burns and IBF World Lightweight Champion Miguel Vazquez were set to unify their bouts, but Vazquez has been suffering from a severe viral infection caused by food poisoning. Vazquez has been advised to rest and rehydrate before starting to train again which means the fight has had to be delayed.
Soliman Tests Positive for Banned Substance, Sturm Tweets Response
It has also been reported that Sam Soliman tested positive for a banned substance after his shocking upset over middleweight champion Felix Sturm. A livid Sturm then tweeted the following:
Felix Sturm Twitter Statement:
“This feels like a movie to me. In my opinion Soliman should do himself a favour, stop lying and confess his wrongdoing. His A-sample was positive and that was confirmed by both the NADA and the WADA. Come on, Sam, stop lying. Or a you trying to tell me that someone slipped you a drug? One that’s difficult to find? That makes no sense to me. No sense at all.
“He had a doctor at his side, who was specialized in doping. He told my team about all those different tests I had to do. He knew everything about the matter. I never saw a fighter bringing a doping expert to a fight.
“Soliman has asked his lawyer to look into this. Why does he do that? If he is so sure about his innocence, why doesn’t he open the B-sample instead? Come to Germany, Sam, and monitor the procedure. And take your doctor with you, I figure he is an expert on the topic.
“I took so many blood and urine tests throughout my career and they were always negative. I’m a clean fighter and make my tests available for research purposes.
“Sam took a substance that is really hard to trace. That is not something an amateur does. You, or someone close to you, has to know exactly how and what to take.
“In the end, I took all their tests – and he is positive. This is sad for boxing. I hope the IBF does the right thing and that would be to declare the fight a No Contest.”