Boxing Insider Notebook: Alimkhanuly, Linares, WBSS, Top Rank, Gamboa, JuanMa, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider Notebook for the week of September 18th to September 25th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Gene Blevins-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Jorge Linares Los Angeles Media Workout Quotes
Former three-division world champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (44-4, 27 KOs) hosted a media workout at Westside Boxing Club today ahead of his 12-round bout against Abner “Pin” Cotto (23-3, 12 KOs) in the main event of the Sept. 29 edition of Golden Boy Fight Night on Facebook Watch at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. “Ruthless” Romero Duno (17-1, 14 KOs), who will fight in the co-main event, also attended.
Here is what fighters from the Sept. 29 card had to say at the workout:
JORGE LINARES, Former Three-Division World Champion:
“I’ve prepared very well for this fight. I’m training with Jorge Zerpa for this fight. He isn’t a new trainer. In fact, we were together 11 years ago when I fought for my first world title against Oscar “El Chololo” Larios in Las Vegas. We’re working on a lot of things, but mostly we’ve been reviewing and going back to an old school style of training. I’m not changing my style, just adding some things. I had been thinking about moving to 140 pound for some time. When the opportunity to fight Lomachenko came, I took the fight at 135 pounds even though it was already difficult to do so. If I were to get the opportunity to fight him again, I would drop to 135 pounds, but for now I’ll look for more opportunities at 140 pounds. A fight with Mikey Garcia or Jose Ramirez would be excellent, but I need to get stay focused on the opponent in front of me. I know Abner Cotto is tough. He knows how to fight on the inside and the outside. I know he will work hard to give a great fight this Saturday.”
ROMERO DUNO, Lightweight Contender:
“I’m happy to comeback and make my way to a title fight. I’ve been working very hard and I’m very prepared for the victory. I’m excited to come back to Fantasy Springs again to score a great victory.”
Briedis vs. Mikaelian, Glowacki vs. Vlasov Quarter-Finals in Chicago November 10th
Season I star Mairis Briedis vs. Noel Mikaelian and Krzysztof Glowacki vs. Maksim Vlasov are the two Quarter-Finals on an incredible doubleheader when the World Boxing Super Series comes to the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, USA.
“I am really looking forward to fighting in Chicago,” said Briedis (24-1, 18 KOs). The Latvian hero is undoubtedly one of the favourites to take home Season II’s Ali Trophy in the 200-lb division.
“I am happy to be back in the World Boxing Super Series, and I am looking forward to fighting in front of a U.S. crowd. I am sure there will also be a lot of Latvians in the arena to help create a fantastic atmosphere.”
Briedis’ opponent, Germany’s Noel Mikaelian (23-1, 10 KOs), is eager to perform on the biggest stage – only a split decision defeat, in an IBF eliminator against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, prevented him of participating in Season I.
“There are only world class fighters in this tournament, but I believe my ring IQ will give me the edge to win it,” said Mikaelian.
The second main event in Chicago on November 10 is a potent match-up between Poland’s former world champion Krzysztof Glowacki and Russia’s Maksim Vlasov.
“The plan is simple: take it all, give nothing back,” said Glowacki (30-1, 19 KOs)
The exciting southpaw fought Season I winner Aleksandr Usyk in 2016 – relinquishing the WBO belt over 12 rounds, he won the belt in 2015 via knockout against Marco Huck.
“I have been waiting for a long time for my chance, and I am full of power and great energy. I am going to win this tournament and become world champion again!”
Vlasov (42-2, 25 KOs), a fighter with success at multiple weights, likewise enters the quarter-final with great confidence after winning 12 straight fights since moving up in weight in 2015.
Tickets will be available to buy via TicketMaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000 on Monday 1 October. Fans can be alerted by email when tickets go on sale by signing up for Ticket Alerts here.
Ahead of Season 2, US-based boxing fans are able to watch Season I’s Ali Trophy Super Middleweight Final, George Groves vs Callum Smith on Friday, 28 September, LIVE on the global sports streaming platform. To sign up for a one-month free trial, fans can visit DAZN.com or download the DAZN app to their preferred connected device.
Gamboa and JuanMa Marlins Park Tickets on Sale 10AM Tomorrow
In the “REDEMPTION IN MIAMI” main event, former four-time world champion in three weight divisions and Olympic Gold Medalist YURIORKIS “El Ciclon De Guantánamo” GAMBOA will battle two-time world title challenger MIGUEL “Barreterito” BELTRAN, JR. in a ten round lightweight bout. In the co-feature, former three-time world champion in two weight classes JUAN “JuanMa” LOPEZ will clash with CRISTIAN RUBEN “Piedrita” MINO, also in a ten-round lightweight bout. “Redemption in Miami” will take place Saturday, November 10 at Marlins Park on the West Plaza in Miami, Florida and will be available live on pay per view, distributed by Integrated Sports Media, beginning at 9 pm ET / 6pm PT at a retail price of $24.95
Tickets, priced at $400, $250, $200 $100, $75 and $60, go on sale Wednesday, September 26 at 10:00 am ET and be available at the Marlins Park ticket office and on line at www.marlins.com/boxing.
“Redemption in Miami” is promoted by New Champions Promotions in association with Marlins Park. Fight night doors will open at 6:00 pm and first bout will begin at 7:00 pm.
Gamboa (28-2, 17 KOs), from Guantanamo, Cuba now living in Miami, Fla., won Gold as a Cuban in the 2004 Olympic games and is a former featherweight world champion; former super featherweight world champion; former lightweight world champion and former unified world champion.
Miguel Beltran, Jr. (32-6, 21 KOs) hails from Los Mochis, Mexico, a boxing hotbed that has produced no less than five world champions. Miguel won twenty-six of his first twenty-seven fights and has fought for a world title twice.
Puerto Rico’s “JuanMa” Lopez (35-6, 32KOs) from Caguas Puerto Rico, was his country’s Olympic representative in 2004. He made his professional debut in 2005 and in his twenty-second bout won the WBO super bantamweight title, and made five successful defenses before moving up to featherweight and winning the WBO featherweight title
Cristian “Piedrita” Mino (19-2, 12 KOs) from Tigre, Buenos Aires, Argentina made his professional debut on December 19, 2014 and fought an incredible number of bouts, ten in his first calendar year, sinning all but one by knockout. He followed that up with nine more bouts in his second year – winning all by knockout.
The pay per view show will include four bouts in all.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “Redemption in Miami” in the USA on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV and DISH; and live-streamed worldwide on the FITE.TV app and website www.fite.tv, each way for a suggested retail price of only $24.95.
Jean Pascal to face Gary Kopas
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) has reached an agreement with MG Ring Productions last Friday to hold a fight between former WBC and The Ring light heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal (33- 5-1, 20 KOs) and Canadian cruiserweight champion Gary Kopas (10-11-2, 5 KOs). The 12-round cruiserweight (200 lbs) fight will be held November 9 in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.
It will be a second consecutive cruiserweight fight for Pascal, the Laval, Quebec fighter, and this time he will try to get his hands on the CPBC Canadian cruiserweight belt.
APOLLO (PASCAL) vs ROCKY (KOPAS)
The Jean Pascal vs Gary Kopas fight is like a real-life remake of the original Rocky movie. In one corner there is a blue-collar road warrior, Kopas, who has fought in everybody’s hometown and not always given a fair shake, yet, he still pulled himself up to be the CPBC Canadian cruiserweight champion.
Now, he’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime to fight one of Canada’s best and most notable fighters of his generation, Pascal. In the other corner is the former undisputed lineal WBC and The Ring Magazine light heavyweight champion, Pascal, who has fought some of the all-time bests.
This fight gives a local blue collar worker a chance to prove his worth in a battle called: ‘‘The Match!’’
The President of MG Ring Productions, George Reynolds, and the President of Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM), Yvon Michel, negotiated for a little more than a month to come to an agreement. GYM represented Jean Pascal and his advisor, Greg Leon, for this fight.
The clash, entitled “The Match of The Year”, will be featured on pay-per-view in Canada. A press conference will be held soon to reveal more details.
“Kopas has not lost in a few years and I will not take him lightly,” Pascal said. “I know he will come to surprise the world and try to ruin my career, but everyone who knows me knows that his career will end on November 9.”
‘‘My last fight was a bout in my hometown (Saskatoon) against a guy from Mexico,” Kopas noted. “Besides that, I’ve been staying in the gym, learning new skills and enjoying life. When I first heard I was fighting Jean, I was shocked… happy, but shocked. Getting the opportunity to make history and show the world the best me is an insane feeling.
“This is a huge fight for me. Pascal has done great things and I’m really looking forward to showing my best against a former world champion. This fight will change my life, but I want Pascal to understand that his life is going to change too, after his defeat. I hope he stands toe-to-toe with me like he did his last fight. He will not last long.
‘‘I want to thank all my family, friends, and fans for all the crazy support already and thank my management, MG Ring Productions, for this opportunity. It’s going to be a hard eight weeks of intense training, but knowing I have the support of such awesome people really helps.’’
“Jean Pascal is a man of challenges and when he realized the seriousness of Kopas and his organization, he decided as usual to take it,” Michel commented.
“At this point in my career,” Pascal added, “it’s very important for me to stay active. We had other plans that, unfortunately, fell at the last minute but, fortunately, the fight with Kopas came.”
In the co-Main Event, undefeated Cody “The Crippler” Crowley, who is the current CPBC International Jr. middleweight champion and current CPBC Canadian middleweight champion, will defend his titles. On the undercard, Quebecker Eric Barrak (8-4-0, 7 KOs) will fight for the North American CPBC heavyweight title, while Mario Perez (19-7-5, 11 KOs) of Toronto, will do the same for the CPBC International super featherweight (130 lbs) belt. Five championship fights will be presented on this spectacular boxing card. Others to be named.
Kazakh Firepower: Alimkhanuly and Ualikhanov to Make Top Rank Debuts on September 28th
A pair of former amateur stars from Kazakhstan, Janibek Alimkhanuly and Askhat Ualikhanov, will make their Top Rank debuts in separate bouts on Friday, Sept. 28 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. Alimkhanuly will face Carlos Galvan in a super middleweight contest, while Ualikhanov will take on Angel Hernandez in a super lightweight showdown on the undercard of IBF super middleweight champion Jose Uzcátegui’s 10-round non-title bout against Ezequiel Maderna and Jerwin Ancajas’ IBF junior bantamweight title defense versus Alejandro Santiago (ESPN+, 10:30 p.m. ET).
Alimkhanuly-Galvan, Ualikhanov-Hernandez, and other undercard bouts will stream live at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+ — the new multi-sport, direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service from The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer & International segment in conjunction with ESPN.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Joven Sports and MP Promotions, tickets for this all-action card are on sale now. Priced at $105, $78.75, $52.50, and $26.25, including facility fees, tickets can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com or at the Oracle Arena box office. The Oracle Arena box office is open Monday-Friday from 12-5 p.m.
Alimkhanuly and Ualikhanov are managed by Egis Klimas, the Boxing Writers Association of America’s two-time reigning Manager of the Year.
“Janibek and Askhat are sensational talents who will be contending for world titles sooner rather than later,” Klimas said. “I am happy that American fight fans will be able to see them fight on ESPN+.”
Alimkhanuly (2-0, 1 KO), a southpaw who is trained by former world champion Buddy McGirt, represented Kazakhstan at the 2016 Olympics and advanced to the quarterfinal round. He fought roughly 300 times as an amateur, winning gold medals at the 2013 AIBA World Championships and 2013 Asian Championships. He made his pro debut on Oct. 29, 2016 with a first-round TKO against Milton Nunez. Alimkhanuly last fought in September of last year with a six-round unanimous decision against Gilberto Pereira. He promises to be more active under the Top Rank banner, and if all goes well against Galvan, he will fight at least one more time in 2018. The plan is for Alimkhanuly to eventually challenge for a world title at middleweight.
Ualikhanov (3-1, 2 KOs) suffered the only blemish on his record in his pro debut. He was controversially disqualified in the third round against Daniel Bastien for landing a punch on the break. In his last bout, on July 14 in Hollywood, Calif., he won a four-round unanimous decision against Darel Harris.