Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Pacquiao, Ward, Vargas, Kovalev, Fury, Klitschko, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 6th to September 13th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Oscar De La Hoya Kicks Off Canelo vs. Smith Fight Week with Visit to AT&T Stadium
Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya, visited AT&T Stadium this Sunday, September 11 for the Dallas Cowboys vs. New York Giants NFL game in advance of Former Two-Division World Champion Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) fight against undefeated heavy-hitter Liam “Beefy” Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Championship on Saturday, September 17, 2016 fight at AT&T Stadium. The super fight will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Several fight week events, such as the weigh ins at AT&T Stadium on Friday at 2:30 PM, will be open to the public. The fight will also be available on a new website to stream at www.goldenboyppv.com.
Pacquiao vs. Vargas Tickets on Sale
Boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, will be campaigning to become the only sitting Congressman and Senator to win a world title when he collides with two-division world champion JESSIE VARGAS in a 12-round battle for Vargas’ World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight crown. While Pacquiao will be looking to become a three-time WBO welterweight champion, Vargas will be resolute in enforcing a term limit on the future Hall of Famer’s boxing career. Pacquiao vs. Vargas takes place Saturday, November 5 at the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Pacquiao vs. Vargas and its co-main event fights will be produced and distributed live by Top Rank® Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, and will be available on all conventional platforms, including all major cable and satellite systems, as well as Top Rank’s digital distribution via www.TopRank.tv and mobile devices.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions and Wynn Las Vegas, tickets to the Pacquiao vs. Vargas world championship event are on sale at 3:00 p.m. ET / Noon PT Today! Priced at $1,000, $700, $500, $300, $100 and $50, not including applicable service fees, tickets may be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center Box Office, online at http://www.unlvtickets.com/, at UNLVtickets Outlet Town Square Las Vegas and La Bonita Supermarkets. To charge by phone call 702-739-FANS (3267) or 866-388-FANS (3267).
“Public service is my calling but boxing is my passion. I realized this summer I was not ready to retire from the ring,” said Pacquiao. “I made history when I became the first congressman to win a world title and now that the good people of the Philippines have elected me to the Senate I want to make more history by becoming the first senator to win a world title. I promised the voters I would not miss a Senate session which is why I will be training in Manila until the Senate goes into recess in late October. I dedicate this fight to my fans and to my countrymen throughout the world who have kept me in their prayers. And as always, I fight to bring glory to the Philippines.”
“Last April, Manny proved against Tim Bradley that he still has great fights left in him,” said Pacquiao’s Hall of Fame trainer World-Famous Freddie Roach. “I’m looking forward to returning to Manila and training Manny for a very big challenge. Jessie Vargas has our respect. We saw what he did to Sadam Ali to win his second world title. Manny will be prepared to shoot the works against him to become world champion again. That’s our mandate.”
“When I was younger I watched what Manny did to my two boxing idols, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera — two great Mexican warriors. I told myself, someday I would get into the ring against Manny and avenge what he did to them. Now I will fight for them as well as myself. To me, this fight isn’t about a friendly ring rivalry between our countries. This fight is about payback,” said Vargas
“Jessie and I consider this fight the passing of the torch. We appreciate the body of work Manny has compiled in his illustrious career. However as we all know good things must come to an end and that will happen on November 5,” said Dewey Cooper, Vargas’ chief trainer. “This will be our moment, our time for a younger world champion to shine and earn the admiration of the fighting world. This moment is not too big for us. After this fight I will proudly hold up Jessie’s arm in victory. The torch will be passed.”
“I really believe, with all my heart, that Jessie will win this fight. All of the people saying otherwise are sure going to be surprised. This is, at last, Jessie’s time,” said Cameron Dunkin, Vargas’ manager.
“The fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas will be a real shootout. Jessie is not going to play around but will go after Manny in the kind of battle that Manny Pacquaio likes to engage in,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum .
Kovalev vs. Ward Press Conference Quotes
Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward recently held a press conference to discuss their upcoming HBO PPV bout. Below are a few select quotes from this press conference.
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev – WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion
“It’s a big moment in my career. I want to thank all of the people who are involved with this fight, my promoter Kathy Duva, Roc Nation and HBO Pay-Per-View. Thank you to all of my fans. It will be a fight to remember; one for the history books. I just want to give the fans a really great fight in Vegas and on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
Andre “S.O.G.” Ward – two-time super middleweight world champion
“I’m grateful to be here today. I want to thank everyone who is associated with this event-the good, the bad, the press, all of it. Obviously HBO, Peter Nelson, Roc Nation, Main Events, everyone who’s associated with it. It’s hard to thank everybody. It’s a lot of people that you guys know of that worked on this fight to get it done. There’s a lot of different nuances that go into getting a fight like this done, but it’s done. That’s what we should all focus on.”
“I thank God for this opportunity. I thank God for my career and being able to compete at a high level through the peaks and valleys. Sometimes that gets overlooked, a veteran in the game. I’ve paid my dues and I continue to pay my dues. This is just another opportunity. I’ve been in this position before and so has my opponent. It doesn’t matter what the other side says, how they feel, what they say. He’s got to get it done and I’ve got to get it done. When those bright lights come on who it’s all about who executes and who gets it done. I don’t have to throw chairs. I don’t have to cuss. I don’t have to act crazy. I said let’s fight, lets fight. You’re selling yourself. I know that what I possess and what I have is in me, and not on me.”
Klitschko vs. Fury Officially Announced for October 29th
Hennessy Sports, K2 Promotions, Team Fury, Klitschko Management Group (KMG) and Frank Warren on behalf of BoxNation are delighted to announce Heavyweight Champion of the World Tyson Fury’s long-awaited rematch with Ukrainian boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko will take place at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 29th October, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
The giants of boxing collide again in the biggest and fiercest heavyweight rematch in recent memory. A bitter grudge match sees Fury, the linear, WBA Super, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine World Heavyweight Champion make the first defence of the titles against the man he took them from in an explosive blockbuster showdown.
Undefeated Fury (25-0 18KOs) shocked the sporting world last November when he sensationally dethroned long-reigning heavyweight icon Klitschko in one of boxing’s biggest ever upsets in recent years at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Klitschko is gunning for revenge after suffering his first defeat in over 11 years at the hands of the Mancunian. ‘Dr Steelhammer’ (64-4 54 KOs) is determined to recapture his belts from Fury and take his place back at the top of the world heavyweight scene.
Peter Fury, uncle and trainer of Tyson Fury, said: “I’m delighted that we can finally get the fight back on and in Manchester on October 29th. After hard discussions we can now focus on giving the fans what they deserve; another barnburner of a fight. Team Fury will ensure Tyson is in the shape of his life to successfully retain his World Titles.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy, CEO of Hennessy Sports, said: “Everyone involved has worked tirelessly to get the world heavyweight title rematch between Tyson and Wladimir back-on and I’m thrilled that it’s now officially confirmed. This is the rematch that the boxing world has been waiting to see and the anticipation is now at boiling point so expect a highly charged and explosive fight when the best two heavyweights in the world collide. As Tyson’s promoter I have 100 percent confidence that he will retain his titles in front of his fans and make it another memorable night for British boxing to remember.”
Bernd Bonte of KMG said: “Team Klitschko is very happy, that after Fury`s postponements, we finally have a new date. It is great that our event can stay in the Manchester Arena. This is one of the best venues world-wide and has already seen many great fights. We know that Wladimir will be in the best shape on October 29th and we are very confident that he will regain the Heavyweight Championships.”
Frank Warren, Chairman of BoxNation, said: “I’m delighted that we can finally announce the rescheduled date for the REAL Heavyweight Championship of the World. Fury vs. Klitschko II is by far the biggest fight in Europe so far this year. The addition of the fight to the channel is another fantastic acquisition following on from the recent capture of the blockbuster showdowns between Khan vs. Canelo and Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz. This yet again shows our commitment to bringing the biggest and best fights to our BoxNation customers. The night promises to be one of the biggest events in the UK for years and I’m thrilled our channel will be there as Fury looks to cement his place as king of the heavyweight division.”
Hughie Fury to Fight Andy Ruiz
Undefeated heavyweight sensation Hughie Fury will make the first defence of his WBO Intercontinental Championship against Mexico’s Andy Ruiz Jr on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s eagerly-anticipated rematch with Wladimir Klitschko at the Manchester Arena on Saturday 29th October, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Fury, 20-0 10 KO’s, has ripped through the heavyweight division, claiming his first professional title in the WBO Intercontinental against Fred Kassi at London’s Copper Box Arena back in April. Should he defeat the unbeaten Ruiz Jr, Fury will move into the number one mandatory position for the WBO World Heavyweight title – held by his cousin Tyson.
California resident Ruiz Jr holds an explosive record of 28 wins from 28 fights, with 19 coming via devastating knockout. The former WBO Intercontinental belt holder enjoys a No.3 ranking with the WBO and is sure to provide Fury with his toughest test to date.
“I am happy to be in such a big fight against a top heavyweight,” said Fury. “I will be giving my all to retain my WBO Intercontinental belt and I hope it is a fight that the fans enjoy. Out of all of the top up-and-coming heavyweights I believe I have fought the better men in my career so far. Being tested against tougher opponents will help me in this fight.”
Peter Fury, father and trainer of Hughie, said: “Hughie is a true fighting man who loves his sport. He trains hard & will need to be as prepared as possible as Ruiz Jr is easily one of the best heavyweights in the world right now.
“Hughie is ready to take this challenge and this once again proves we only want the best fights for him. He wants to earn his position, he doesn’t want to fight cherry-picked opposition like other heavyweights.
“I know Hughie can become a great fighter. To do that he must do what other heavyweights won’t; fight top drawer opponents.”
Javier Fortuna’s Comeback Begins September 23rd
The comeback of one of boxing’s most exciting fighters, former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna, will begin on Friday, September 23, 2016.
Fortuna (29-1-1, 21 KOs) of Braintree, Massachusetts, via La Romana, Dominican Republic, will take on fellow Dominican Marlyn “Maravilla” Cabrera (22-0, 10 KOs) of Santiago de los Caballeros in a 10-round super featherweight battle to top promoters Sampson Lewkowicz’s (Sampson Boxing) and Cesar Mercedes’ (Manguita Promotions) night of world-class boxing at the Sambil Ballroom in Sambil Plaza in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and live on Dominican TV RNN.
27-year-old southpaw Fortuna won the WBA World Super Featherweight Championship in May 2015 with a 12-round decision over Bryan Vasquez and made a successful defense in September 2015 against Carlos Ivan Velasquez (TKO 10). But then in June of this year, Fortuna suffered a surprise TKO 11 defeat at the Capital Gym in Beijing, China, to unheralded challenger Jason Sosa of New Jersey. Winning fairly easily on all three scorecards, a tiring Fortuna was surprised and dropped by a spirited late-fight rally.
Undefeated and untested 29-year-old Cabrera will be coming to the ring with pulling off an upset on his mind. In his six-year professional career, he has already held the WBA Fedecaribe and Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) InterContinental Featherweight Championships.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring,” said Fortuna. “I lost my championship and I’m going to beat whoever I have to beat to get it back. Cabrera is my countryman and I wish him a long successful career, but right now he is in my way. He has to go.”
Marcos Hernandez Training Camp Quotes
Unbeaten prospect Marcos “The Madman” Hernandez is set to put his undefeated record on the line against Detroit’s Antonio Urista in an eight-round bout featured on Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Tuesday, September 13 from Robinson Rancheria Resort and Casino in Nice, California.
Here is what Hernandez had to say about the fight, his camp and more:
On fighting in his second televised bout on FS1…
“To be fighting on FS1 for the second time in my career is a dream come true. I’ve worked extremely hard to get these types of opportunities and I want to take full advantage of the situation. Just like my last fight, you can expect me to come out firing hard shots. I’m here to give the fans a great show.”
On his recent training camp…
“Training camp has been hard as usual. Just like the last camp, we traveled to many different gyms to get the best possible sparring. Everyone was a top level guy. My conditioning is right where I like it. Most importantly, I feel I’m getting better with each training camp.”
On his matchup with Antonio Urista…
“I really don’t know much about him expect that he only has one loss on his record. I’m sure he’s going to be looking to take advantage of this opportunity, so I’m expecting a very tough fight. The fans are in for a big treat.”
On fighting at the Robinson Rancheria Resort & Casino..
“I’ve only fought there once and it was a great experience. The venue is very intimate and the fans are on top of you so you can feel the energy when you’re in the ring. Because I’m from California, the fans seem to take a liking to me, so I’m excited to be fighting there again.”
On fighting out of his hometown of Fresno, Calif…
“Right now Fresno has a lot of good fighters coming up. I just want to do my best to put Fresno on the map as far as boxing goes. There’s a lot of talent coming out of Fresno and the fans really support their fighters. I know everyone back home will be tuning in. With a great performance, I’m hoping my hometown fan base will continue to grow.”
Pasciolla Sees Bout with Edwards as Gateway to Bigger Fights
Heavyweight Dan Pasciolla is not surprisingly excited about his national television debut, which will come Thursday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, when he takes on undefeated Ray Edwards in the co-featured bout of a card on CBS Sports Network.
In the main event, Dustin Hernandez-Harrison takes on Thomas LaManna for the USBA Welterweight title.
Pasciolla of Brick, New Jersey has a record of 8-1-1 knows that a win over the former star NFL defensive end, could catapult to big fights in the heavyweight division.
“I think it’s a great opportunity to fight on television and be part of a great promotion in Philadelphia,” said the 31 year-old Pasciolla.
Pasciolla, who already has wins over undefeated Bill Marks (1-0) & Donnie Edwards (6-0-1) plus triumphs over John Lennox (13-2) and former world champion Imamu Mayfield, and is not in awe of the 6’5: 255 pound Edwards.
“Edwards is a big tall guy and I respect him as an athlete, But I feel that I am more that ready for this fight. Edwards has no amateur experience and his record has been built up. Not only does my resume of wins look more impressive then his, but I have fought bigger guys.”
Pasciolla believes a win over Edwards will catapult himself into higher profile bouts.
“I am hoping with a national broadcast win will move me up the national rankings. I won the New Jersey state belt when we beat a former world champion in Imamu Mayfield. That tile has lineage back to Chuck Wepner, so we have the confidence as I progress up the rankings.”