Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo vs. Mayweather, Return of Yuri Foreman, Stevens, Kovalev and more..
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 1st to July 8th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Felix Sturm Stops Pedrag Radosevic
Felix Sturm (38-3-2) took on Pedrag Radosevic (27-1) in Dortmund, Germany on Saturday night. Sturm badly needed a victory to stay relevant in the middleweight division after two straight losses. Sturm was able to knock Radosevic down in the third round and two more times in the fourth round before the fight was stopped by Radosevic’s corner. The end came at 2:17 of the fourth round.
Thompson Ready for All Comers
Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (38-3, 26KO’s) fresh off his thrilling fifth round TKO victory over David Price (15-2, 13KO’s) is now looking to move forward with his career with a renewed sense of vigor. The heavyweight southpaw is now a free agent without a promoter and entertaining all serious offers at this time. Thompson has also turned the reigns of management over to his wife Sydnee Thompson, who will now serve as the fighter’s full time manager/adviser.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to let people know that I am ready, available and willing to listen to all serious offers at this time,” said Thompson. “Beating Price in his own hometown twice decisively in a span of 6 months should show the world that at 41 I still have a lot left in my tank.”
Stevens Aims for Another KO Against Roman on August 3rd
The last time middleweight Curtis “Showtime” Stevens was in the ring, something happened that he didn’t plan on. The hard-punching boxer from Brooklyn, NY was extended for the full 8-round limit. Although he won a unanimous decision that day, the result didn’t sit well with the hot prospect. If it was up to Stevens, 24-3, 17 KOs, every single one of his fights would end in a KO.
“I don’t get paid overtime,” Stevens recently said, summing up his boxing philosophy.
The exciting New Yorker gets a chance to register another knockout when appears in the 10-round main event on August 3rd at the Mohegan Sun, in Uncasville, CT. Stevens faces veteran Saul Roman, 37-9, 31 KOs, in the nationally televised contest.
The fight is the highlight bout of a triple header card on the next edition of Fight Night. The other televised bouts feature heavyweight Tomasz Adamek, 48-2, 29 KOs, and Tony Grano, 20-3-1, 16 KOs, in a 10-round heavyweight contest, and Eddie Chambers, 36-3, 18 KOs, in his first cruiserweight fight against Thabiso Mchunu,13-0, 10 KOs, also scheduled for 10 rounds.
Ishe Smith Injured: Title Defense Against Molina Postponed
Due to a cut sustained over IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Ishe Smith’s right eye while preparing for his title defense against Carlos Molina, their Friday, July 19 bout at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas has been postponed. The Showtime televised card will proceed as scheduled as a ShoBox: The New Generation televised event showcasing a doubleheader featuring undefeated prospect Mickey Bey against former world title challenger John Molina in a 10-round lightweight fight and unbeaten 2008 Olympian Badou Jack stepping up to face Philadelphia’s Farah Ennis in a 10-round super middleweight bout.
Sampson Lewkowicz to Sponsor Boxing Seminar in Uruguay
Continuing to be part of the development and growth of boxing in Uruguay, promoter Sampson Lewkowicz and Sampson Boxing will sponsor a boxing referee and judging seminar on the 18th and 19th of July in Paysandú, Uruguay.
The seminar will be conducted by well-respected and world-renowned official Raul Caiz Sr. of the United States, a man with a vast international and world championship experience as a referee and judge, and will consist of two intensive four-hour sessions on Thursday and one on Friday morning.
“We want to improve Uruguayan Boxing and cooperate with CUBAP (Uruguayan Amateur and Professional Boxing Commission), a commission with no prejudice and with interesting goals for the future,” stated Lewkowicz, the man behind the participation of Caiz Sr. in Uruguay.
Abraham Pushes Himself Hard for Shihepo
Arthur Abraham (36-4, 28 KOs) is convinced that soon he will be a world champion once again. But before he can even start to think about another crack at a world title, the 33-year-old has to get past his next opponent. The prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner takes on Willbeforce Shihepo (20-6, 15 KOs) at the Sport- und Kongresshalle Schwerin, Germany on August 24.
Abraham, a former Middle- and Super-Middleweight Titlist, is currently undergoing a tense preparation under the guidance of Wegner´s assistant Georg Bramowski. “I know that I have to look ahead and train as hard as I can. Shihepo is very uncomfortable to box and varies his style during a fight. He is a brawler, so I have to be on my toes”, said the super-middleweight. To make sure that he does not take his 30-year-old foe lightly, Ulli Wegner had some warning words. “Before Mr. Wegner went on holiday, he made it clear what I have to do during his absence. Therefore, I am giving it my all.”
But even from the sunny island of Gran Canaria, Spain Wegner has some words of advice. “There is a lot on the line. Shihepo will be highly motivated ahead of this fight. Although he doesn’t possess one particular strengths, he is physical strong and difficult to predict. He tries to overpower his opponents by constantly looking for the infight. If Arthur wants to crown himself as the world champion again in the future, he has to be focused on August 24. That is the only way back to the top.”
Tickets for the big fight night at the Sport- und Kongresshalle Schwerin, Germany are available at www.eventim.de and www.boxen.com.
Cleverly Out to Slay Kovalev
The Welsh ace defends his WBO World Light-Heavyweight title for the sixth time against the steel-fisted Kovalev live and exclusive in the UK on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) and in the US on HBO.
Cleverly met with the media at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena today to publicise his titanic clash along with the some of the other fighters on the card and says it will be a night to remember.
“August 17th can’t come quick enough for me. Kovalev has built this reputation of fear for his devastating knockouts, which to anybody looks pretty impressive. When I saw the KO’s it excited me and I said I’ve got to have this guy,” Said Cleverly
“I’m actually looking forward to getting in the ring with him and seeing what he’s got. He’ll be looking to take my head clean off and I Iove that feeling of having the adrenalin surging around my body,”
“He won’t be able to hit what he can’t see and I’ll be throwing five, six, seven punches to every one punch he throws. One things for sure this will be an exciting fight and I’ll have a new army of fans on both sides of the Atlantic after it.”
Fortuna to Face Franco in Featherweight Bout on ESPN
On Friday, August 2, at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, Oklahoma, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing and Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing (in association with Tony Holden Productions and the Buffalo Run Casino) will proudly present an ESPN Friday Night Fights-televised night of boxing featuring a high-octane featherweight explosion between two of the best fighters in the 126-lb. division.
In a 10-round main event with Fight of the Year potential, former interim WBA Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (22-0, 16 KOs) of the Dominican Republic will face Miami via Havana’s Luis “La Estrella” Franco (11-1, 7 KOs).
And in the televised 10-round welterweight co-main event, former world champion Kermit “El Asesino” Cintron (33-5-2, 28 KOs) will take on tough Dominican Jonathan Batista (14-1, 7 KOs).
Frampton Defends Against Briceno
Belfast’s Carl Frampton will defend his IBF Intercontinental Super-Flyweight title against Everth Briceno on Saturday 20th July at Wembley Arena. Unbeaten Frampton features alongside British stars Dereck Chisora and Billy Joe Saunders on a big night of boxing live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
His challenger, big-punching Briceno from Chinandega, Nicaragua, has plenty of experience in a 13-year career in which he has stopped 26 of his 35 wins.
He took hard-hitting world star Leo Santa Cruz to eleven rounds in a WBC Youth Bantamweight world title fight two years ago with Cruz later going on to capture a world title who could be a potential opponent for Frampton down the line.
Frampton, 26, is heading into the fight in hot form with stoppage wins in his last two fights against Kiko Martinez to win the European title and Steve Molitor to defend his Commonwealth and IBF Intercontinental title.
“Everth Briceno is a great fighter. The guy has fought for the World Title on two separate occasions. He also boxed Leo Santa Cruz who is a future rival of mine, so I aim to do a better job on Briceno than Cruz did. I am in the best shape of my life right now. I am improving in training every day, sparring great, and I’m looking forward to showcasing my skills at Wembley on the 20th.” Said Frampton.
Mayweather vs. Canelo Press Tour Attracts 10,000 Fans
“THE ONE: MAYWEATHER VS. CANELO” press tour came to a spectacular conclusion Tuesday night before 10,000 energetic and enthusiastic fans at Nokia Plaza at L.A. LIVE.
Tempers didn’t exactly flare between Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez and their camps during the lively festivities that included loud music, a mariachi band and colorful streamers shot into the air, but, for the first time during the enormously successful nine-day, 10-city tour, the respective teams were less than completely complimentary of each other on stage.
Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya, who was seated next to Canelo at the dais, told the pro-Canelo crowd that he was “convinced Canelo will win.” Fans, who had chanted “Ca-nel-o” throughout, often drowning out the speakers, erupted in cheers. Moments earlier, De La Hoya said he “believed this event will break all the (pay-per-view) records” and that “this will be the best fight in the history of the sport.”
When it was his turn to speak, Canelo reiterated what he had said throughout the tour, that he fully appreciated the fans’ support, that this was “his time and we’re going to win this together.”
Mayweather, who took a verbal shot at De La Hoya at the podium while comparing his (Mayweather’s) resume to Canelo’s, told reporters afterward that “this was the only time on the press tour that there was trash talk.”
“They never said a word in the first nine cities,” Mayweather said. “They were totally quiet. Now, all of a sudden we’re in L.A. and they’re talking big like, Canelo is the king. Well, as you saw, if you shoot shots at me, I’ll shoot shots back. How you react to me is how I’ll react to you. You show me respect, I show you respect.
“Every time they give a fighter a huge buildup, I bring them down. It’s so crazy. Canelo is a great, young, strong champion, but he’s never fought on pay-per-view unless he’s been on one of my undercards. I’ve been here before, done it all for 17 years. Does he belong in the ring with me? We’ll just have to see, but I haven’t seen it yet.
“I’m young, strong and rich. He may be number one in his division, but I’m number one in boxing. You’ll see on September 14.
Yuri Foreman Returns to Broadway Boxing on July 24th
On Wednesday, July 24, DiBella Entertainment (DBE) and 50 Cent’s SMS Promotions will return to Roseland Ballroom for the latest installment of the Broadway Boxing series. Former junior middleweight champion Yuri Foreman (30-2-0-1NC, 8 KOs) will headline this card that also includes the popular and undefeated female junior featherweight, Heather Hardy (5-0).
Foreman won the WBA junior middleweight championship by stopping Daniel Santos in the ninth round, on November 14, 2009, before losing the crown to Miguel Cotto at Yankee Stadium in 2010. Ending a nearly two-year layoff, Foreman returned to the ring in 2013, looking to regain his lofty status and put himself back into the world rankings. He has thus far won two bouts by unanimous decision. On January 23, Foreman shook off the rust and outboxed Brandon Baue over six rounds, at BB King Blues Club, and on April 4, he defeated Gundrick King, at Roseland Ballroom. Up next on July 24, Foreman is slated to take on the experienced Jamaal Davis (14-9-1, 6 KOS), of Philadelphia, who has faced the likes of Patrick Majewski, Gabriel Rosado, Joel Julio, Ossie Duran, and Peter Quillin.