Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Cotto, Canelo, Judah, Klitschko, Broner, Joe Frazier, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 25th to September 1st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Pacquiao Retiring sOON
Bob Arum told TMZ.. “He’s gonna fight again next year but his goal is to become a senator in the Philippines, which he will be next year, and then to be president.”
Arum added, “I think Manny will retire once he’s elected to the Senate of the Philippines which is next year … he’s gonna hang up the gloves.”
Manny has been involved in politics for years in the Philippines — and as been elected to Congress twice before.
Santa Cruz vs. Mares Delivers Largest Boxing Audience on ESPN since February 1998
The third edition of ESPN’s Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN, headlined by Leo Santa Cruz’s majority decision win over Abner Mares, delivered the highest boxing audience on ESPN since February of 1998, when Mark Johnson faced off against Arthur Johnson.
An average of 1,217,000 viewers, up 30 percent from the average of the previous two PBC telecasts on ESPN. It peaked with a high of 1,641,000 viewers.
Cotto and Alvarez Close out Four City International Press Tour
“I’m going to get this victory for all Puerto Ricans around the world,” said WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion Miguel Cotto on Aug. 28 in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
“I am very grateful that I am always welcomed here in Mexico and shown great respect. The support of Mexicans is unmatched. It is an honor to fight Miguel Cotto,” said former Two-Time Super Welterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez on Aug. 25 in Mexico City.
Closing out a five-day, four-city international press tour which had already made stops in Los Angeles, Mexico City and New York City, WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Miguel Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) and former Two-Time Super Welterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) hosted a press conference on Friday, Aug. 28 in front of a hometown audience in Cotto’s native Puerto Rico. Hundreds of media members and thousands of screaming fans filled Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez to see Cotto and Canelo and their teams despite the area being hit by Tropical Storm Erika the night before.
The press conference audience was thrilled as the fighters made their entrance to an impressive pyrotechnic display. The excitement in the crowd continued as both fighters faced off and spoke about their upcoming 12-round fight for Cotto’s WBC and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Championships, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. In addition, Jose “Chepo” Reynoso, manager and trainer for Canelo Alvarez, serenaded the crowed with an a capella rendition of the favorite Puerto Rican tune “Que Bonito Puerto Rico,” in a show of respect to the fans in the audience.
The press conference stop in Bayamón, Puerto Rico capped a busy week for Teams Cotto and Canelo. By the end of the week, Cotto and Canelo visited four cities in two countries, spanning four time zones, traveling 9,500 miles and encountering thousands of screaming fans in five days. Wherever they went, fans and the media were a buzz about the anticipated showdown between Cotto and Canelo, with many making early predictions that the Nov. 21 middleweight championship will be crowned ‘Fight of the Year.’
Both fighters are now heading off to their respective training camps in Los Angeles at Wild Card Gym for Miguel Cotto and San Diego, Calif. for Canelo Alvarez to prepare for their epic showdown on Nov. 21.
McDonnell and Kameda Share Thoughts on Upcoming Rematch
Jamie McDonnell (26-2-1) and Tomoki Kameda (31-1) will square off again on Sunday, September 6th live on CBS from the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. This bout will be the lead in to the main event of Anthony Dirrell (27-1-1) and Marco Rubio (59-7-1) in the super middleweight division.
McDonnell and Kameda recently shared some thoughts on their rematch, in which both men combined to throw over 1,000 punches and nearly 800 power punches.
“I have a great engine and I always come on strong in the back end of the fight,” said McDonnell. “I think from round six on it was my fight. I started too slowly in the first fight but I worked hard and got the win.”
“I definitely think I won the first fight,” said Kameda. “I landed the much harder punches and built up enough of an early lead, but the judges saw what they saw. It was a close fight and I know I can change the outcome this time.”
“I have a completely different team now with Ismael Salas and Angel Heredia and ‘Stich’ Duran as cut man,” said Kameda. “I feel much better going into this fight with better sparring and preparation and it will show in the fight. Salas has a great game plan and I can’t wait to perform it.
“McDonnell is tall, so getting inside his jab took some extra work. He’s a good veteran but I will show I’m the superior fighter once again.”
“We knew he was going to be fast, he’s the fastest I have ever faced,” said McDonnell. “I got tagged with a right hand but in the rematch I know what to expect now. I’ve sparred against a lad that throws his right hand like Kameda does so I know how to keep out of range for that.
“I feel I am hitting harder. I’ve been working on my power in the gym and I feel it’s going to pay off. I’m always in great shape and I’ve been flying in the gym. I am really looking forward to this one.”
Quillin, Bundrage, and Charlo Card to Feature Some Top Northeast Prospects
Some of the top prospects from the Northeast, including undefeated super featherweight Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz (15-0) will be showcased on a stacked undercard for Saturday, September 12th live from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
The PBC on NBC card is headlined by undefeated middleweight Peter Quilling (31-0-1) taking on Michael Zerafa (17-1) in a middleweight bout and super welterweight world champion Cornelius “K-9” Bundrage (34-5) defending his title against Jermall Charlo (21-0) in the co-main event.
Top rated prospects such as 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne (15-0) will take on former world champion Gabriel Campillo (25-7u-1), and undefeated middleweight Hugo Centeno (22-0) will meet Poland’s Lukas Maciec (22-2-1).
Other prospects include New York City featherweight Gary Stark Jr. (24-3), Washington D.C. super featherweight Antonio Russell (3-0), and undefeated super bantamweight Shelly Vincent (14-0).
Tickets are available online at www.ticketmaster.com
Zab Judah Headlines Night of GCP Boxing On S-eptember 10th
On Thursday, September 10th, promoter Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions and Super Judah Promotions will continue GCP’s Championship Boxing” series with an event at The Space at Westbury in Westbury, New York.
The main event will be in the super lightweight division between Zab “Super” Judah (42-9) and Colombia’s Hevinson Herrera (18-11-1).
This will be Judah’s first fight under his new GCP co-promotional banner.
The co-main event will be between Amanda Serrano (24-1) and Angel Gladney (8-11) in a lightweight six round bout.
Wladimir Klitschko Discusses Heavyweight Champions Gathering at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
“I think it’s an amazing event that happens once in a lifetime,” said Klitschko following his workout at the Lucky Street Boxing Gym in Hollywood, Florida. “I’m not sure if an event like this has ever taken place in history of boxing when all of the heavyweights, former heavyweight champions, coming together. It’s something amazing.
“I’ve seen a picture of Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Norton together and it was an amazing shot – it was a great shot for history. I think this Friday and Saturday is going to be really exciting. It is going to be a time where everybody is going to get a piece of memory, and that is the reality. It is a tough event to put together, I am happy that it is taking place, where all of the heavyweights can come together, have conversations and ask questions – and get some answers.
“It shows that we are all one community – one family, actually. There are some times in history where we didn’t like each other because we were fighting in the ring, but in a way we respect and love each other. It is definitely something that is going to be an historic moment.”
And that’s at the top. (laughs) Maybe we’ll get there to watch him fight. Maybe not. It depends on my training schedule – but I definitely will enjoy the night when all of the heavyweights get together. I definitely have a couple of questions to ask some of them.
Joe Frazier Statue to be Unveiled on September 12th
XFINITY Live! Philadelphia is set to unveil a new 12-foot bronze statue commemorating Joe Frazier, one of the most iconic Philadelphia athletes in history, during a free, open-to-the-public ceremony at XFINITY Live! on Saturday, September 12 at 1 p.m. XFINITY Live! and Joe Hand Promotions were the lead contributors for this memorial.
Statue artist Stephen Layne recreated Frazier in mid-punch, depicting the moment after Frazier landed the punch that knocked down Muhammad Ali in the 15th round, on March 8, 1971. Frazier was the first fighter to defeat Ali.
“I found my inspiration in a photo of Frazier flooring Ali with his powerful left hook,” Layne said. “The moment captured in the sculpture reflects the work ethic of Frazier and the city he called home.”
Frazier won the 1964 Olympic gold medal in Tokyo and later finished with a professional record of 32-4-1, with 27 knockouts. Two of the losses were epic rematches with Ali, including the “Thrilla in Manila” in 1975. Frazier also participated in the first sporting event ever at the Spectrum, on October 17, 1967, winning with a knockout over Tony Doyle.
The City of Philadelphia commissioned Layne as the sculptor of the Joe Frazier Memorial Statue. He began with a 12-foot tall clay model, and upon approval, constructed a silicone mold. He then began the highly skilled bronze foundry work, finishing the over 1,200-pound bronze monument in 14-months. The process was proudly produced, created and constructed in the United States by Stratton Sculpture Studios of Philadelphia.
The new Frazier statue joins five other iconic Philadelphia sports moments, including Philadelphia Flyers’ Gary Dornhoefer’s overtime playoff goal against the Minnesota North Stars in 1973; longtime Flyers’ good luck charm Kate Smith singing her iconic version of God Bless America; 76ers legend Julius Erving taking a signature shot, Flyers’ greats Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent hosting the Stanley Cup commemorating of the team’s 1974 and 1975 championships, and Flyers all-time winningest coach Fred Shero.
Adrien Broner Returns
Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-2, 22 KOs)returns to his hometown looking for a fourth world title as he faces fellow former world champion Khabib “The Hawk” Allakhverdiev (19-1, 9 KOs) for the WBA Super Lightweight world title on Saturday, October 3 live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT) from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-feature, undefeated IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose “The Sniper” Pedraza (20-0, 12 KOs) will defend his belt against veteran former world title challenger Edner “Cherry Bomb” Cherry (34-6-2, 19 KOs).
“I’m excited to be back in Cincinnati taking on a tough world class fighter who is going to bring it,” said Broner. “This fight means the world to me. It’s a huge deal to have the chance to be a four-division world champion at 26 years old.”
“Broner is a good boxer, he is a fast and talented guy, but as a man I don’t have anything good to say about him,” said Allakhverdiev. “I am looking forward to a world championship winning performance and I know that if he tries to do something to get in my head, to approach me or to push me that I will be as restrained as possible and save my anger for fight night.”
Roman “Rocky” Martinez and Jonathan Oquendo Puerto Rico Media Day Quotes
Román “Rocky” Martínez
“I’m preparing for a big fight on September 12. Everyone saw that the first fight against Salido was a true ‘War.’ This time around, I’m planning to give my fans the same type of fight. I predict a non-stop action slugfest.
“My team and I are working and have been working really hard in training camp. I believe that we are doing everything that needs to be done. I’m in the best shape of my career and I’m planning to win once again, either by knockout or decision, but I’ll win.
“We have worked more on side-to-side and in-and-out movement. If I see him hurt early I’m going to finish him.”
“This is very important fight for me. This is my opportunity to put myself in the world title landscape. I’m not going to let this opportunity slip away from me.
“Jhonny Gonzalez is a veteran of 60 fights, so you can’t take him lightly. Preparation is key.
“This will be the first fight at 130 pounds for me and I can say that the training camp has been very good, better than expected.
“I’m feeling strong. I think this is a good weight for me, I’m comfortable because I don’t have to lose much weight and can train better.”
On September 26, Paul Malignaggi wil fight in Italy
Former two-time world champion Paul Malignaggi will make one of his dreams come true on September 26 when he fights in the main event of a show at famed Principe theater in Milan. That’s what the Magic Man says about it: “Fighting in Italy has always been my desire as I was born in New York from Italian parents, I lived the first six years of my life in Italy and I visited my ancestral country (whose language I speak perfectly) countless times.”
Malignaggi (33-7) will fight on the six rounds distance; the opponent will be announced soon.
On the undercard, two fights involving former Italian champions: welterweight Antonio Moscatiello (18 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw) and super lightweight Renato De Donato (15-3) will fight on the six rounds distance against two opponents to be announced.
The September 26 show is co-promoted by Principe Boxing Events led by Alessandro Cherchi and OPI 2000, the company led by Salvatore Cherchi (Alessandro’s father).