Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Kovalev, Wilder, Berto, Verdejo, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 19th to April 26th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Adrien Broner Tells TMZ Sports that People Sent Him Money In Jail
TMZ Sports reported that Adrien Broner said he did get letters from pen pals while he was spending ten days behind bars in an Ohio jail, and that some people even sent him money.
Broner was also seen joking about his pending bowling alley assault charges against him, which Broner denies happened. He also told TMZ that he has the same jeweler as Fetty Wap.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/25/adrien-broner-money-jail-bowling-fetty-wap/
Kovalev to Return to Russia on July 11th Against Chilemba
WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) returns to his home country of Russia to defend all three of his belts against Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) on Monday, July 11 in Ekaterinburg. The fight will take place on the opening night of the International Industry Trade Fair “INNOPROM-2016” at the DIVS Palace of Sports and is sponsored by Russian Copper Company and Igor Altushkin and presented by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with German Titov Promotions.
Ranked as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Kovalev, 33, a native of Chelyabinsk, Russia has not fought in his home country since 2011. Sergey earned his WBO belt in 2013 when he knocked out then-undefeated champion, Nathan Cleverly, in Cleverly’s backyard of Cardiff, Wales.
After three consecutive successful title defenses, all knockouts, Sergey faced the legendary Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins in 2014 and unified his WBO belt with the WBA and IBF belts. After his unanimous decision win over Hopkins, Krusher had three more successful title defenses, all knockouts, of his three unified belts, including two knockouts of former WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal. This will be his first title defense in Russia.
According to Krusher, “I am so excited to fight in my home country of Russia. It gives me great pride to bring my titles home at last. I would like to thank my manager, Egis Klimas, my promoter, Kathy Duva and Igor Altushkin of Russian Copper Company for making this dream of mine a reality. Chilemba is a tough opponent and I will be ready for him on July 11.”
Chilemba said, “First of all I thank God for the blessings and opportunities. I thank my manager, Jodi Solomon, for standing up for me whether I’m on the top or at the bottom. I thank Main Events for yet another opportunity for me to redeem myself and I thank my trainer Buddy McGirt for believing in me. I have met a lot of obstacles and every time I think I’ve got it right, I fall again, but I know my goals and I never stop following my dreams. When I received a call from Jodi regarding this opportunity, I was over the moon. I thank Sergey and his team for putting their titles on the line to face me, all I want to say to them is: they are in for a surprise, they gave the wrong guy an opportunity. I’ll work my ass off and I’m in to win it! Russia here we come!”
Vasyl Lomachenko, Rocky Martinez, and Felix Verdejo to Take Part in Puerto Rican Day Parade Weekend Title Fights
World champions VASYL LOMACHENKO and ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ, the boxing gem of Puerto Rico and undefeated No. 2 world-rated lightweight contender FELIX “El Diamante” VERDEJO, and Hall of Fame promoter BOB ARUM will host a New York press conference Next Thursday! April 28, at Madison Square Garden’s Chase Square.
The participants will be announcing a Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend championship card on Saturday, June 11, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Lomachenko (11-1, 3 KOs), of Ukraine, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight world champion, will be moving up to challenge Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs), a three-time world champion from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, for his WBO junior lightweight world title. Verdejo (21-0, 14 KOs), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be defending his WBO Latino lightweight title. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Puerto Rican Best Boxing Promotions, both fights will be televised live on HBO®, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Deontay Wilder Media Workout Quotes
Deontay Wilder (36-0) will defend his title against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (30-1) on May 21st in Moscow, Russia. Wilder recently spoke to the media during a workout and offered the following:
(On his expectations going to Russia…)
“My expectation is, of course, to win. To come back with that victory for America. This is a big fight, not just for myself, for America. It’s like Russia vs. America. I’ve been getting nothing but positive feedback from fans all over. Even if they weren’t a fan of Deontay Wilder they are now for this very fight. Hopefully I can win them over to stay a fan of Deontay Wilder after this fight. I think it’s a great fight. I think it’s a great thing that we’re going over to Russia defending my title in somebody else’s backyard.
“Like I said before, it’s easier for me to fight here in American but that’s not what it’s all about to me. When I have a title that says the heavyweight champion of the world, I want to travel all over the world to defend my title. I’m living my dream, I’m getting an opportunity to do that with this fight.
I’m looking forward to Russia and I want to tell Russia,’Here I come.’ ”
(What it means to be the first heavyweight champion to fight in Russia…)
“It means a lot. It makes me even closer to my faith. God doesn’t make mistakes in lives. He doesn’t make a mistake in my life, your life or anybody else. Things happen for a reason and they happen at the right time in your life. Things may not come when you want it, but when they come it’s right on time. The things that have been accumulating throughout my career, it’s been amazing. How I’ve been able to make history, beat other records, and continue to make history. It’s amazing. I just want to know what else he has in store for my life. If it’s continuously history being made, what’s next? I’m excited.
“I can’t wait to see how my life unfolds at the end of my career. What happens at the end of Deontay Wilder when it’s time for him to say I’ve done all I’ve done in this sport and I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to see how much ground I can cover for those that have come before me.”
(How you predict the fight going…)
“I predict the fight as being a punishment in the first round and then knocking him out. All heavyweights want to knock somebody out so we have to say we’re going to knock them out. This is the cream of the crop division. The heavyweights. The hard-hitters. The heavy hitters, as they say. When we step in that ring, nothing is acceptable but a knockout. And I’m looking to knock him out.”
(On if he’s reached his peak…)
“Not at all and that’s the scary part about it. I haven’t even reached my peak yet and I’m still learning on the way up. I want to always learn. Each and every fight brings experience to me. It brings something that I’ve taken away from that fight and that I’ve added to the next fight. Looking forward to being very crisp and very good in this fight and showing people a little bit more of what Deontay Wilder is capable of. Especially those who haven’t seen anything thus far yet, stay tuned to this fight. This is one you don’t want to miss.”
(On unifying the titles in the future…)
“Most definitely. I really feel when I say that I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, I don’t just say it to say it, but I also feel it inside me, deep inside me that I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and add my name to the few undisputed champions that have come before me. My name will be placed in history on that. Why wouldn’t it? All the things I’ve done up to now, that will be the icing on my cake to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I won’t stop, no matter how many hours I have to put in. No matter how many fights that I have to take. No matter how many countries I have to visit to defend my title. I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”
(On concerns about going to Russia…)
“I don’t have any concerns. I don’t let my brain sit back and think about if I don’t knock him out or are they going to rob me, or anything like that. I just don’t want my mind to be on that when I’m in a fight. I want to have a clear mind. I want to go in there and do what Deontay is capable of doing. Like I said, all things are in God’s hands and if it’s in his will for me to win, it’s going to happen. If not then, I don’t stop there. My legacy is not going to stop there. But I’m very confident in what I’m about to do and what I’m going to do, and we all know that if we knock him out then we don’t have to worry about that. So of course that’s going to be my priority on my list – to knock him out.”
Canelo vs. Khan Closed Circuit Tickets on Sale
Tickets for the closed circuit telecasts of Canelo vs. Khan are priced at $60, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and are ON SALE NOW at each individual property’s box office outlets or by phone with a major credit card at 866-431-7111.
Additionally, the premier of Canelo v. Khan 24/7 took place on April 23rd with Part 2 to take place on April 30th.
Andre Berto Training Camp Notes for Bout with Victor Ortiz
Andre Berto recently gave some statements during his training camp in preparation for his upcoming bout with Victor Ortiz.
On his improvements since his first fight against Ortiz:
“I’ve improved tremendously. Mentally and all the way around the board. There was so much that went into that fight and that camp the first time. I shouldn’t have fought that fight, but being who I am, I wanted to get in there. I was just a young fighter who didn’t take the fight seriously. I overlooked my opponent. Now I’m a much more mature fighter. I’ve pushed myself for this camp.
This fight has always been on my mind. Even when I tried to move on, other people continued to remind me about it. Everyone said I needed to get him back. That’s the fight everyone has wanted to see and that everyone deserves. I’m going to give everyone the fight they deserve.
“I believe that coming back from my shoulder surgery that I’ve been more motivated and improving as a fighter. Everyone has seen the improvements. We’re definitely ready for anything he wants to bring. If he’s aggressive we’re ready and everyone knows I can stand there and punch”
On this training camp with Virgil Hunter:
“Everything is going great. It’s been a long, tough camp. I’m excited and ready to close it all in. We’ve done all the work. We’re in great shape. No stone was left unturned. It’s been a great eight or nine week camp.”
On sharing training camp with Amir Khan and Andre Ward and the motivation it provides:
“We all feed off of each other. All of us have pretty much been in camp together leading up to and through all of our fights. Even now Andre is there to watch us spar and work. It’s great motivation for all of us to be there. We’re all pushing each other to get better every day.”
On how Virgil Hunter has helped him improve as a fighter:
“I call Virgil the professional because he’s a teacher. He works you mentally. Each and every day. It’s like being in school. He drills it in your head over and over. He doesn’t let you go through the motions. You have to stay on track mentally to work on all of the things that you’ve been working on. He’s more of a teacher than a trainer.”
On what he learned from his fight against Floyd Mayweather:
“A lot of people can’t handle the atmosphere and the buildup of that magnitude. I got the chance to really find out how to handle it all. I think I surprised a lot of people around me with how easy I was taking it. I think Floyd was surprised too, he thought I would get shaken like other guys. But I felt like I was supposed to be there. I wasn’t going to be the guy who stands there in shock.”
On preparing for Ortiz:
“You have to be prepared for whatever he brings to the table. You don’t know how Victor is going to fight and if he’s going to do his extra stuff. Or if he’s going to try to box. Who knows? Maybe you hit him two or three times and he feels like he doesn’t want to be there. I’m prepared for the Victor of five years ago.”
On Ortiz’s claim that he will knock out Berto:
“That’s what he said the first time. I’ve made it evident as well that I’ll finish him and finish this chapter. I want it to be over. Still for some reason my name comes up. People continue to cross us together. I just want to finish this chapter and finish in style.”
On what fans can expect Saturday night:
“The fans should expect an exciting fight. They might see the start of round 13 from the first one. It’s going to be extremely exciting. I doubt it’s going the distance. This is the fight the people deserve.”