Boxing Insider Notebook: Ali, Cintron, Peralta, Bute, Clarkson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 6th to December 13th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
HBO Announces Multi-Part Muhammad Ali Documentary
An untitled HBO Entertainment multi-part documentary about the life and career of Muhammad Ali from LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and Antoine Fuqua’s Fuqua Films has started production and will debut on the network, it was announced today by Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and CINEMAX Programming. Directed by acclaimed feature-film director Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Southpaw,” “The Magnificent Seven”) the documentary will explore Ali’s greatest triumphs and comebacks, painting an intimate portrait of a man who, against all odds, dreamed and achieved the impossible, over and over again.
“Muhammad Ali is indisputably one of the most iconic and distinctive figures in the history of world sports,” said Antholis. “His impact resonates far beyond the boxing ring and is woven deep into the cultural and social tapestry of the second half of the 20th century. From the moment LeBron James told us of his deep visceral connection to Ali’s life and legacy, we were committed to helping him realize this film, and our enthusiasm has only grown as Antoine Fuqua has developed his compelling cinematic vision for telling one man’s incredible journey.”
“It’s tough to put into words how much it means to me to be a part of this project honoring the legacy and telling the extremely important story of the great Muhammad Ali,” says LeBron James. “He transcended sports and used his platform to empower people, which paved the way for all athletes and people of every race and gender that came after him, myself included. It’s important that his story continues for generations to come, and it’s an honor for SpringHill Entertainment and me to be a part of this.”
“Muhammad Ali meant many things to many people, and he is someone who had a deep impact on me from an early age,” says Antoine Fuqua. “Being given the opportunity to tell his story, both inside and outside of the ring, is a privilege, and a dream come true, and I couldn’t have found better partners than LeBron and HBO to help memorialize ‘The Greatest of All Time.’ ”
The story of Muhammad Ali is a study in greatness. A 1960 Olympic gold medalist from racially divided Louisville, Ky., and longtime heavyweight champion, he forged a long and tumultuous career inside the ring, and confronted a chaotic life outside the ring. Through it all, he continued to rise above his own imperfections, and challenge the imperfections of the world around him.
Ali never chose the easy path, and that fierce unwillingness to back down helped galvanize his greatness. It also contributed to his ultimate decline, both inside and outside the ring, as tragic and painful as it was to witness. His personality, his voice, his message and his legacy all endure.
Said Lonnie Ali: “We are at a perfect time in history, and in our lives as Americans, to welcome this special documentary on Muhammad with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and HBO. This documentary will have national and global appeal. I’m hopeful this documentary will engage the audience in a similar way Muhammad engaged his audience and fans. Without a doubt, Muhammad’s life journey provides simple yet extraordinary lessons for all of us, with perhaps the most important one being, to see and embrace the humanity in all people.”
The production team is highlighted by one of today’s most socially responsible and community-minded athletes, NBA superstar and three-time world champion LeBron James.
The film is being produced with full participation of the Muhammad Ali family estate coordinated through Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO of the Authentic Brands Group, the majority stakeholder of the Muhammad Ali Brand.
The documentary will combine archival footage and gorgeous, cinematic recreations that will transport viewers into the ring and at home with “The Greatest of All Time.” The production will also feature never-before-seen photos and footage from private collections of the Ali family and others.
The film is an HBO Entertainment presentation in association with SpringHill Entertainment and Fuqua Films; executive producers, LeBron James, Antoine Fuqua, Maverick Carter, Paul Wachter, Bill Gerber, Jamie Salter and Glen Zipper; directed by Antoine Fuqua; producer, Sean Stuart; written by Steven Leckhart.
Bute Set to Fight Alvarez on February 24th
Group Yvon Michel (GYM) and Gestev are very happy to confirm the Clash of Titans mega-event as former International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight world champion Lucian Bute (32-3-1, 25 KOs) will face World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver light heavyweight champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (20-0, 10 KOs), Friday, February 24, in a 12-round light heavyweight bout at Vidéotron Centre of Québec City.
This event is a presentation of Vidéotron, in association with Mise-O-Jeu.
Alvarez will put his WBC mandatory challenger position to champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) in danger with an end of April date for this world title fight having already been reserved.
Bute has also set his goal to challenge Stevenson. The veteran southpaw plans to clearly demonstrate that he deserves another wotld title shot, taking on the No. 1 conternder in undefeated Alvarez.
Whatever the final outcome, the winner will be the most popular and legitimate challenger for Stevenson, dramatically increasing interest and notoriety of a totally Québécois world championship showdown.
All the ingredients are gathered to heighten popular interest in this fight, which will prove to be one of the most significant in the history of Quebec.
It is a local confrontation between two athletes who chose Quebec as their adopted home, fully integrating in the loal culture and learning French, as well as where they’ve fought the vast majority of their bouts. The result of this major clash will also have enormous repercussions at the international level in the light heavyweight division.
In one corner is former world champion Bute, who has delivered many inspirational performances during his 13 world championship fights (10-2-1, 8 KOs) to become a great star and admired celebrity in Quebec.
The other corner finds unbeaten Alvarez, a world-class fighter for the past three years who has delivered his most brilliant performances abroad, albeit mostly in the shadows of other great stars of Quebec. The former Colombian Olympian wants to establish his true value after having prepared for Stevenson by fighting opponents for more than the past year. He will earn his highest purse, which is similar to what he would have received to fight Stevenson first.
“The last six months have been tough for me,” Bute explained. “After the Washington situation was settled, I was happy to finally sit down and discuss my next fight. I accepted as soon as I was offered the fight. We’re talking about an undefeated guy ranked number 1 by the WBC. It’s quite a challenge. I tip my hat to Alvarez for putting his position in peril.
“I was expecting the winner of the unification title fight between James Dégale and Badou Jack, but I had no guarantees and I could not afford to wait. My goal is to fight again for a world championship, whether it’s at 168 or 175 pounds, and I did not want to just take a meaningless preparatory fight.
Strongest Overall Card for “Knockout Night at the D” Set for Saturday
The strongest overall card of the highly acclaimed “Knockout Night at the D” series is set for this
Saturday night (Dec. 17), airing live (7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET) on CBS Sports Network from inside the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center indoor facility. FloBoxing.tv will live stream the undercard worldwide, starting at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET), in addition to three main card TV bouts – excluding North America – beginning at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET).
The “Knockout Night at the D” series, presented by the D Las Vegasand Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions.
Jim “J.R.” Ross and Joey Varner will call all the action live from ringside, while Jeff Huston will be the ring announcer and fight-week master of ceremonies.
The 10-round main event is a classic match-up of contrasting styles between undefeated Oscar Cantu (14-0, 1 KO) and Aston Palcite (21-2, 18 KOs) for Cantu’s North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super flyweight belt, as well as the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental super flyweight championship. Cantu is rated No. 4 (as a flyweight) by the World Boxing Council (WBC), while International Boxing Federation (IBF) Pan American super flyweight champion Palicte is ranked No. 11 by the IBF and No. 15 by the WBO.
Unbeaten Chilean junior middleweight champion Angelo Baez (15-0-1, 11 KOs) will make his U.S. debut against Jamaica-native Nathaniel Gallimore (15-1-1, 12 KOs), fighting out of Evanston, Illinois, in the eight-round co-feature.
Promising Los Angeles welterweight prospect Flavio Rodriguez (5-0, 4 KOs) faces Mexican foe invader Dilan “El Terrible” Loza (5-0, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout that will open the televised segment of the evening.
Las Vegas’ new Big 3 – welterweight Jeremy “J-Flash” Nichols (7-0, 2 KOs) and RJJ-promoted junior lightweight Randy “El Matador” Moreno (7-0, 6 KOs), and bantamweight Max “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Ornelas (6-0, 3 KOs) – will all be showcased this Saturday night.
In a pair of scheduled six-round fights, flashy 26-year-old Nichols meets another undefeated opponent, San Diego’s Kevin “KO” Ottley (3-0, 2 KOs), in an interesting match of unbeaten prospects that should propel the winner to the next level of the welterweight division, and constantly improving 21-year-old Moreno takes on Milwaukee’s Mike Fowler (5-3, 2 KOs) in the former’s eighth fight since turning pro March 20th. Fan favorite Ornelas, 18, will square off in his seventh the eighth fight of his six-month pro career against California bantamweight Jorge Perez (6-4-1, 3 KOs) in a four-rounder.
Ft. Worth, Texas junior featherweight Jessie Hernandez (7-1, 6 KOs) is also fighting on the undercard against Sharone Carter (6-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round match.
Additional fights will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Abreu Upsets Peralta, Cintron Wins
Berlin Abreu won a 10-round split decision over David Peralta to capture the WBC Latino Welterweight bout this past Saturday at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center.
The bout headlined a nine-bout card, which was promoted by GH3 Promotions, King’s Promotions and Sampson Boxing.
It was a terrific back and forth battle that produced action throughout the fight. Abreu used his quickness to fire off rapid fire combinations. Every time it seemed that Abreu was seizing control of the bout, Peralta would would storm back with a hard flurry of his own.
Both guys had a lot of swelling on their faces. In the final-third of the contest, Abreu landed more, and even had Peralta backing up and holding on.
The bout could be a breakthrough performance for Abreu, who sprang the upset over Peralta. Peralta came into the bout ranked number-15 by the WBC, and was coming off a possible career making victory over former world champion Robert Guerrero.
Abreu of Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic won by scores of 97-93 and 86-94, while Peralta took a card 97-93.
Abreu is now 14-1. Peralta of Cordoba, Argentina is now 26-3-1.
In the co-feature, former two-time welterweight champion Kermit Cintron was sharp in taking out Rosemberg Gomez after the 3rd round of their scheduled 8-round welterweight bout.
Cintron was dominant throughout as he showed signs of the fighter, who won the world welterweight title on two occasions. He had Gomez hurt in round three as he divided up his attack to the head and body and finally floored the native of Managua, Nicaragua with a combination. Gomez best offense was a tackle of Cintron as he fell to the canvas on the knockdown. Cintron was alright and after the round, Gomez and his corner pulled the plug on the contest.
Cintron of Reading, PA is now 39-5-2 with 30 knockouts. Gomez is now 19-6-1.
Samuel Clarkson Finishes Year with One Round Destruction of Larry Pryor
Uprising Promotions light heavyweight Samuel “Main Event” Clarkson (19-3, 12 KOs) finished off 2016 with a bang on Friday night at the aptly titled Bomb Factory in Dallas, relentlessly pounding on veteran Larry Pryor until earning a TKO stoppage at the 2:59 mark of the opening round. The victory is the second for Clarkson over the past six weeks and extends his current winning streak to nine consecutive contests.
From the onset of this bout, Clarkson was methodically headhunting, blasting vicious hooks to the body and following them with hammering shots up top. It did not take long before Pryor got a taste of his power, and it quickly became evident that the 11-year pro was in trouble. Defensively, Clarkson looked very sharp as well, stalking Pryor with his hands high while doing a very nice job of slipping punches as he worked his way inside.
Midway through the first frame, Clarkson bullied Pryor onto the ropes and started switching levels so he could not avoid his attack. After unloading a flurry with both hands, Clarkson then crumbled Pryor with a right hook to the body for his first knockdown of the evening.
A second knockdown appeared to come shortly after the first one when Clarkson was again hammering Pryor on the ropes. The Maryland native looked to lose his legs and go down for a second time, but the referee in charge ruled it a push. However, the writing was already on the wall.
As soon as action resumed, Clarkson led with a brutal right uppercut that snapped Pryor’s head back before following that up with a powerful overhand left that put Pryor in a world of trouble. Not letting him off the hook, Clarkson pounded out a violent flurry before finishing off Pryor with another right hook to the body. Pryor again went to the canvas, and that would be the end of the fight.
The official time of the stoppage came at 2:59 of the very first round.