The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 26th to February 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Former three-division world champions Abner Mares and Fernando Montiel will square off in all-action co-feature on Saturday, March 12, live on CBS at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT.
In the main event of the first primetime boxing presentation on CBS in nearly 40 years, welterweight knockout artist Keith Thurman will defend his WBA Welterweight World Championship against former titlist Shawn Porter in a matchup of two elite fighters in boxing’s glamour division.
Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) and Montiel (54-5-2, 39 KOs) are two of the most accomplished and entertaining Mexican boxers in the sport today. Mares compiled a staggering resume over the past five years while earning titles at 118, 122 and 126 pounds. Montiel is one of the most skilled boxers of his generation having won championships at 112, 115 and 118 pounds over a 17-year career.
Canelo vs. Khan Announced
Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin are rumored to be fighting in the fall, but in the meantime both will take tune up bouts and Golden Boy Promotions has recently announced the next fight for Canelo.
Golden Boy announced that Alvarez, the WBC Middleweight Champion, will face Amir Khan on May 7th on HBO at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The contractual weight limit for this bout will be 155 pounds, five pounds below the maximum weight limit for a middleweight fight.
Ruslan Chagaev Defends WBA World Heavyweight Title Against Lucas Browne on March 5th
On Saturday, March 5th the number two ranked WBC Heavyweight contender Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (23-0) will take on WBA World Heavyweight Champion Ruslan Chagaev (34-2-1) for his belt. This bout will be broadcast live on AWE- A Wealth of Entertainment.
“Browne is arguably the top one-punch heavyweight in the world since Mike Tyson. Lucas has a perfect record and the power to end a fight at any time. It will make for an explosive day of world-championship boxing,” states AWE president, Charles Herring.
Legendary world champ Ricky Hatton, is the promoter of Lucas Browne. Hatton’s strategy for Browne is clear – a knockout finish. According to Ricky, “We don’t want the fight to go to the judges. Not that I’m saying they’ll be anything wrong with the judges the WBA chooses, it’s just that when you’re away from home you have the crowd against you and they cheer everything the fighter does, which can sway things.” Hatton added, “(Lucas needs to go) for what he does best, which is go for the knockout.”
A victory by Browne or Chagaev puts either man in a good position to challenge America’s WBC World Heavyweight Champ Deontay Wilder or Tyson Fury, who’s coming off a major upset over long-time reigning heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko.
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison Partners with Geico
Roc Nation Sports and Mills Marketing and Communications Inc. President Drew Mills are proud to announce a new partnership for Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (28-0, 15 KOs) and GEICO. This is the second national brand partnership Roc Nation Sports has secured for Hernandez-Harrison, including a deal last month announced with Fila. The new deal for Hernandez-Harrison and GEICO include the following deal points:
Company logo placement on athlete and his cornermen fight night attire (including trunks, robes and t-shirts) for all fights
Opportunity to collaborate with athlete on co-branded events at headquarters
Presenting partner for select Dusty Hernandez-Harrison fights on broadcast TV
Opportunity to collaborate and execute with company in a meaningful, philanthropic initiative in Washington, DC
Robert Guerrero Highest Viewed TV Fighter in Boxing
With the PBC (Premier Boxing Championships) debuting boxing back on NBC and FOX, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-4-1, 18 KOs) remains the highest viewed TV fighter in the sport. In fact, Guerrero’s fights with Keith “One Time” Thurman (26-0, 22 KOs) and Danny “Swift” Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) are two of the most watched boxing matches in the last 17 years.
In March of 2015, Thurman vs. Guerrero on NBC peaked at 4.2 million viewers, making it the most viewed fight telecast since 1998 when Oscar De La Hoya fought on the FOX network. This past weekend, Garcia vs. Guerrero on FOX peaked at 3.5 million viewers, making Guerrero the most watched fighter in boxing.
“Everyone knows when I step in the ring, I’m going to bring an exciting fight to the fans.” said Robert Guerrero. “Being a warrior is in my blood, it’s the meaning of my last name in Spanish. It brings me great joy to know that the PBC is generating a tremendous amount of new fans with all the fights they’re showing on network
Ceja and Ruiz to Rematch on Leo Santa Cruz Card
Mexican boxers Julio Ceja and Hugo Ruiz will compete in a rematch of their exciting 2015 Super Bantamweight World Title fight on Saturday, February 27th, live on Showtime from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
This card is headlined by a featherweight world title fight between Leo Santa Cruz and Kiko Martinez.
“I’m very happy to fight again in Southern California on such a fantastic card,” said Ceja.
“In the first fight with Hugo Ruiz we had a sensational battle which ended with me coming out victorious and I’m very confident that I will win again. I look forward to putting on another great show on February 27.”
“I’m excited for the immediate rematch with Julio Ceja,” said Ruiz. “I know that I had him badly hurt during our first fight and that I will be victorious on February 27. I’d like to thank everyone involved for this great opportunity to avenge my loss.”
Ceja (30-1, 27 KOs) and Ruiz (35-3, 31 KOs) met on August 29, 2015, in Los Angeles, with Ceja winning the WBC 122-pound world title via a fifth-round stoppage in a wild back-and-forth brawl. Ruiz struck the first big blow in round three when he connected with a sharp left hand that floored Ceja. The fireworks continued into round five when Ceja unloaded a powerful left hook that put Ruiz on the mat. Ceja saw his opening and used a flurry of punches to close the show and take home the world title.
Former Cruiserweight World Champion Imamu Mayfield Ready for Comeback after 8-year Hiatus
Imamu Mayfield won the IBF Cruiserweight World Championship nineteen years ago when he defeated Uriah Grant in Las Vegas.
The 43 year old native of Freehold, New Jersey hasn’t fought in eight years and is now looking to make a comeback.
“I own a gym and have been training fighters for the most part,” said the well-spoken Mayfield.
“After being away from the ring, I feel now that the time is right. I have had enough time to realize this is what I want to do. Now I am back with the people who started with me and took me to the title.”
“Those people are manager Vinny LaManna and trainer Charles Johnson.”
“Imamu and I have had great success together, when Mayfield and I got together it was from the untimely death of his longtime trainer manager Curtis Ford,”stated manger Vinny LaManna.
“Curtis did all the work, I just happened to have the relationship with then power house promoter Don King. I take no credit for any of Curtis great efforts , and it’s a shame Curtis couldn’t see all of his hard work that came together when the opportunity presented itself. I have always believed in Imamu’s skills , I truly believe he will be a force in the cruiser or heavyweight division.”
There were various times in the last 8 years that Mayfield was close to returning, but the timing just wasn’t right.
“I reached out through the years to make a comeback, but I could not make it happen. Different people inquired, but now I am back with the people who I trust and am Comfortable with.”
“I could have continued in 2008, but I wasn’t taking the right fights for the right reasons. I was being used as a steppingstone and I felt I was better than that.”
Mayfield is now fighting for different reasons.
“I am fighting for the love of boxing and want to get back to the position of being on top of the mountain.”
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and Claridge Hotel Looking to Bring Boxing Back to Boardwalk
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is proud to announce it’s alliance with with the Claridge Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ that will constitute bringing 6 events to the Historic Hotel in 2016.
Four of the events will be fight nights promoted by Rising Promotions, in the Celebrity Theatre venue with the first event being held on Saturday March 19, 2016.
Two other major events are being planned which includes the inaugural induction class set for this fall as well as signature events that will appeal to boxing fans around the world.
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame has assisted various promoters over the past two years in securing events and venues and will continue it’s effort to restore the shore community to being a mecca and destination for future boxing events.
Said Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame President & Founder Ray McCline, “It’s been a pleasure working with the entire Claridge Hotel team. Their commitment and support has been greatly appreciated. We’re looking forward to great things in 2016, at this historic Hotel their 650 seat Celebrity Theatre has proven to be the perfect venue to showcase young local boxing talent”
“The Claridge Hotel is happy to have created a relationship with the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame over the past year to bring boxing events to the property. A. Cem Erenler V.P. of Hotel Operations & Business Development further stated that we’re very excited to announce that we have agreed to collaborate on a series of boxing events for 2016 and look forward to what this year will bring as we develop these fantastic events.”
“It’s such a pleasure to be in a joint venture with the Claridge Hotel and to bring boxing to Atlantic City, ” Said Roy Foreman, Senior Vice-President of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. “The Claridge has such a historic background that it almost seems a natural fit that the shows will be taking place there. The Atlantic City boxing hall of Fame is indeed grateful to partake in this venture.”