Boxing Insider Notebook: Ali, Provodnikov, Algieri, Lara, Smith, Kovalev, Hart, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 11th to November 18th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Chris Algieri Hits the Ground Running Kicking Off Fight Week Against Pacquiao at the Venetian Macao
Just one day after arriving in Macao, undefeated WBO Junior welterweight champion Chris Algieri resumed his promotional roadwork for the biggest fight of his life against WBO Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao. Algieri made a public appearance in the St. Mark’s Square section of the Shoppes at Venetian and was met and greeted by hundreds of fans.
“With one million square feet of retail space and over 250 stores at the Shoppes at Venetian I think I can get in my daily roadwork and my Christmas shopping, all at the same time,” said Algieri.
“I love Macao. It was great during my last visit on the promotional tour and it is even better this time. I am glad to be able to spend more time here.”
He went on to state, “I worked hard for over 10 weeks in the most strenuous and productive training camp of my career. I had a lot of different sparring partners, including Zab Judah, giving me different looks to prepare me for anything Pacquiao decides to throw at me. I’m 110% prepared for this fight.”
When asked how a fighter could be so handsome, Algieri responded, “Every time I enter the ring I look to improve and perfect my master-boxer style of fighting—utilizing the space inside the ring to my advantage. Good defense is the key to preserving my handsomeness.”
Algieri and Pacquiao will meet inside the ring on November 22nd on HBO PPV.
Mayweather Promotions Presents Erislandy Lara vs. Ishe Smith on Friday, December 12th
Mayweather Promotions and Showtime will bring boxing fans a super welterweight showdown between WBA Champion Erislandy Lara (19-2-2) and former IBF champion Ishe Smith (26-6) on Friday, December 12th in a special installment of Showtime Boxing. This bout will take place at the Illusions Theater at The Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas at 10:15 p.m. ET.
These two were originally scheduled to fight on Friday, May 2nd, but Lara withdrew from the fight to take on Canelo Alvarez.
Once-beaten Badou Jack (17-1) will take on Samuel Clarkson (12-3), and undefeated Chris Pearson (11-0) will face Steve Martinez (15-1) in a ten round co-feature.
“This is a fight I wanted and I’m happy that it’s finally going to happen,” said Lara.
“We’ve had words in the past but not it’s time to see who the better fighter is. I’m the champion and Ishe Smith is going to realize that I’m on another level once he steps in the ring with me. I have a great team behind me and you’re going to see the best junior middleweight in the world in the ring on December 12th. Make no mistakes about it I’m coming to dominate.”
Kovalev Returns Home as Unified Champion and New Dad
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1) returned home to his family after he added the WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight Championship belts to his collection and got to hold his newborn son, Aleksandr Kovalev, for the first time.
Baby Krusher was born on October 20th in Los Angeles after Sergey had already left California for training camp in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on October 12th. This was the first time father and son got to meet face-to-face. He was able to Skype with his wife Natalia and the baby just after she gave birth but he could not take time away from training camp with John David Jackson to fly back to Los Angeles.
When he was finally able to hold his son in his arms he said, “I was waiting for this moment for such a long time. The first night I met my son was sleepless but I didn’t think about that because I am just finally enjoying time with my family. My newborn son is healthy and that is most important thing to me. I am with my family now for the very first time.”
Before Kovalev went home, he was able to travel to Connecticut to visit his dear friend Magomed Abdusalamov. Mago suffered grave neurological injuries following his fight with Mike Perez earlier this year.
Andrade Pulls out of Title Fight Against Jermell Charlo, Beibut Shumenov Returns on December 13th
WBO Junior middleweight world champion Demetrius Andrade was scheduled to face Jermell Charlo on December 13th on the undercard of the Amir Khan vs. Devon Alexander fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, but Andrade and his management team decided to pull out of the fight.
There hasn’t been any reports of injuries and Andrade’s father, Paul Andrade, has been reported as stating that the money for Andrade to fight Charlo was unsatisfactory. Allegedly, there are discussions to have this fight made sometime in January.
However, former light heavyweight champion Beibut Shumenov (14-2) will return to the ring on the same card against cruiserweight Bobby Thomas Jr. in an eight-round bout. Shumenov last fought in a losing effort against Bernard Hopkins on April 19th in Washington, D.C.
I Am Ali to be Released November 28th
On November 28th a new documentary about Muhammad Ali titled, I Am Ali will be released by Universal pictures and directed by British director Clare Lewins.
This documentary takes a look at the man behind the legend and lets the viewer experience Ali’s story as a fighter, a lover, a brother, and a father from the inside for the very first time. This documentary will include stories from his daughters, son, ex-wife and brother, and legends from the boxing community including Mike Tyson, George Foreman, and Gene Kilroy.
It will be released in cinemas across the UK on November 28th, and will be available on the same date on Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital download.
Provodnikov to Face Jose Luis Castillo
Former WBO Junior Welterweight world champion, “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov (23-3) will be fighting former two-time world champion Jose Luis Castillo (66-12-1) on November 28th at the Luzhniki GCKZ “Russia” Arena in Moscow. Artie Pelullo’s Banner Promotions and World of Boxing LLC are the lead promoters for the fight.
Many consider this to be simply a “stay busy” fight for Provodonikov against a well past his prime, but well known opponent, but the promoters are currently looking for an American television outlet to broadcast this bout.
Jesse Hart Co-Headlines Against Samuel Miller with Felix Verdejo on December 13th
On December 13th at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia, undefeated super middleweight Jesse Hart will be fighting in his hometown when he takes on Samuel Miller in an eight round bout. Lightweight Puerto Rican sensation Felix Verdejo will face off against Karim El Ouazghari of Barcelona, Spain and will be televised as part of Top Rank’s Solo Boxeo Tecate series on Unimas. The delayed telecast will begin at 11:00 p.m. ET and the first bout will begin at 6:45 p.m.
Hart is 15-0 with 12 Kos. His father, Eugene “Cyclone” hart was one of the hardest-hitting middleweights of his time with a record of 30-9-1 with 28 Kos.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com
Jeter Defeats Lange to Win NABA USA Championship
Two years ago Tony Jeter upset former “Contender” participant Jimmy Lange by a controversial decision. They fought against this weekend at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia and Jeter again defeated Lange, but this time by a less controversial majority decision. The bout went all ten rounds but it was Jeter who landed effective uppercuts and body punches and was the aggressor throughout the bout.
Tori Nelson successfully defended her Women’s International Boxing Association belt against Victoria Cisneros. This bout also went all ten rounds but Nelson was able to sweep all three judges’ scorecards on her way to a victory.
CBS Sports Network to Premier Championship Boxing Series
Final Forum Boxing and the Gallery Studio Group LLC announced that CBS Sports Network will televise its premier “Ringside Red Carpet” Boxing series. The telecast will be two hours long and will feature at least two fights.
The first event will be held on Saturday, December 13th at 8:00 PM, ET. In the first event, NABO Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin is scheduled to defend his title and the opening bout is scheduled to include Irish Mike Lee.
“Ringside Red Carpet will feature high-level boxing, along with a spectacle and big-event feel to each event,” said twenty-year veteran boxing promoter Sal Musumeci. “We are thrilled to have CBS Sports Network showcase the action to a national television audience.”