Boxing Insider Notebook: Crawford, Fox, Bejenarus, Bordoy, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 3rd to December 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Terence Crawford Hosts Packed Grand Opening Event for his Store, the TBC Shop
Three-division World Champion Terence “Bud” Crawford put on a new hat this weekend, officially becoming a retail store owner. Crawford opened his long-awaited TBC Shop on Saturday in the heart of north Omaha, near his childhood stomping grounds. Fans lined up around the block to get in to the newly renovated space, which features all of Crawford’s signature apparel. Crawford certainly felt the love and support of his fans, who came from near and far to purchase the latest merchandise and get a moment with their champion. The TBC Shop is located in north Omaha, an area of the city that once housed the historic district and is now enjoying a revitalization. The building was previously owned by the father of a childhood friend and Crawford has strong memories of the store that once sat in that location. “I remember going to the store and buying chips, pops and candy on my way to play basketball. It was the neighborhood store,” Crawford said. “When the building came up for sale, I thought I want to buy that building. I want to leave a legacy and help my community.” He hopes that his TBC Shop will create another bright spot in north Omaha and provide inspiration for the youngsters that now reside in the same neighborhood he grew up in. Even before Saturday’s successful grand opening, Crawford has enjoyed solely positive feedback, particularly once he hung up the sign outside the building. “I’ve had all positive reactions. Everybody’s really pleased with what I’m doing. They’ve been asking about it for awhile,” he said. “When I put the sign up, everyone knew whose building it was because they saw my logo.” A proud Omaha native, Crawford has consistently brought a positive spotlight to his hometown. A recipient of the Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Headliner Award, Crawford has brought the city more than one billion dollars of publicity through his six Nebraska fights and showcasing OMAHA across the waistband of his trunks in all of his bouts. Crawford and his team will depart for New York this evening ahead of his December 14 bout with two-time Olympian Egidijus “Mean Machine” Kavaliauskas at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be Crawford’s third defense of his WBO welterweight title, and will headline a stacked card airing immediately following the Heisman Trophy presentation on ESPN.
Mykal Fox Defeats Johnny Arellano in Philadelphia on Friday
World Ranked welterweight Mykal Fox won a eight-round unanimous decision over Johnny Arellano in the main event of a seven bout show at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The card was promoted by King’s Promotions. Fox of Forestville, Maryland, controlled the action by keeping his jab in the face of Arellano. Arellano tried to get inside, but it was the experience of the fighter known as “The Professor” that was able to thwart the offense of Arellano. In round five, Fox was able to score a knockdown on shot that landed while both fighters were on the inside. The number-14 ranked welterweight in the world by the IBF and number-15 by the WBA, Fox won by scores of 80-71 twice and 78-73 to run his winning streak to three in a row and raise his overall mark to 22-1. Arellano of Conroe, Texas is 10-2. “Johnny is tough. He was awkward. He has some height on him presented some challenges, but we made the adjustments like we are supposed to,” said the 6’4″ Fox. “In 2020, we are looking for good fights, and just keep moving forward. That’s the biggest thing. We are going to go back to the gym, and work on the things we need to. I am going to work on what we did bad, and improve on what we did good, and look for a big 2020. We are going to keep working.” Kalvin Henderson and Genc Pllana battled to an eight-round majority draw in a super middleweight bout. Pllana took a card 79-73, while two cards read even at 76-76. Henderson of Fayettville, AR is 12-0-1. Pllana of Hagerstown, MD is 7-1-2.
No Reward If No Risk for Connecticut Super Lightweight Prospect Omar “The Beast” Bordoy
Unlike most boxing prospects, super lightweight prospect OMAR “THE BEAST” BORDOY (9-1, 3 KOs) is always willing to take risks, even fighting undefeated opponents, instead of simply padding his record. Bordoy, fighting out of Danbury, CT, meets undefeated Irish sensation “SLICK” VICTOR RABEI (8-0, 2 KOs) on December 13 in an 8-round bout on a stacked “New England Explosion” card, at MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. “New England Explosion,” presented by JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING and sponsored by MGM Springfield, will air live from Mass MutualCenter in a first for New England Sports Network (NESN), starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT. As the home of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox, NESN is available nationally on a sports subscription basis. “I fought an undefeated fighter before and it was cool to give him (3-0 Terell Bostic) his first loss,” the 24-year-old Bordoy said. “An undefeated record could be padded. Rabei is a good fighter and I expect a very good fight. He’s a good fighter who is good defensively. He’ll want to be fighting on the outside because he’s 5′ 9″ and I’m 5′ 5”. But he’s coming down in weight and we’re fighting at my natural fighting weight. I’ve fought taller opponents before. It looks like he has a little power. We’re both stepping up. “I’m excited to be fighting on live television for the first time. I’m a kid who came from nothing and now I’m fighting on TV. I’ve fought in pre-recorded fights before, but this will be my first on live television. It makes everything even more exciting. I’m glad to be fighting on this NESN platform.” Bordoy has won two in a row since losing a disputed 6-round split decision last April to Romain Tomas (7-2). “I didn’t get into boxing to go undefeated,” remarked Bordoy, who will be fighting in his first scheduled 8-rounder. “Only a few fighters have ever retired undefeated. A loss doesn’t bother most greats. It’s part of my developmental stage. I’d rather suffer a loss early in my career than later. I certainly don’t feel like a defeated fighter going into this fight. I learned a lot about myself and what to do better from that loss.” Cutting weight for this fight, Bordoy didn’t really enjoy Thanksgiving. In fact, he ate alone because it was too difficult dieting and eating with others. So, he had brown rice and baked chicken. “Yeah,” he added. “I didn’t get to eat much. I’m going to splurge this fight. And I’ll get an early Christmas present when my hand is raised at the end of the fight.”
Bejenarus Vows to be Ready for Fight of his Life Against WBA Champ Goulamirian on December 28th WBA #8 cruiserweight Constantin Bejenaru says he’s ready to go in and do the job he set out to do when he started boxing. Bejenaru (14-0, 4 KOs) will challenge WBA cruiserweight champion Arsen Goulamirian (25-0, 17 KOs) on December 28 at the Palais Des Sport in Marseille, France. “I have been working my entire career for this opportunity,” said Bejenaru, “…the chance to win a world title; the chance to show myself on the biggest stage with the highest stakes.” A tricky southpaw from Ungheni, in the Republic of Moldova and now living in Brooklyn, Bejenaru was a 10-time Romanian champion, a Bronze Medalist at the European Amateur Boxing Championships in 2006, a Finalist in the European Union Championships in both 2006 and 2007, and a Gold Medalist at World Combat Games in 2010. After turning professional in 2012, Bejenaru went on to score wide decision victories on ShoBox: The New Generation over previously undefeated Alexey Zubov (10-0, 6 KOs) and Stivens Bujaj (16-0-1, 11 KOs), as well as a decisive points victory over previous world title challenger Thabiso Mchunu (18-3, 11 KOs). Bejenaru’s career was stalled for nearly two years by what he called “promotional problems,” but he is now realizing his dream fight in just his second under the Salita promotional banner. “I love the sport of boxing. I am always working to develop my craft, my skills, my fitness and my mind. It is ultimately the mind that makes a champion. The intelligence and creativity that are necessary to succeed in the ring. The mental discipline that allows a boxer to persevere at the hardest moments. Goulamirian recently defended his belt for the first time by KO 4 over Australia’s Kane Watts on November 15 in Paris. “Goulamirian has made a mistake taking this fight against a fighter of Constantin Bejenaru’s caliber so quickly after first defense,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “Constantin has incredibly high boxing intelligence and he’s been waiting for this fight his entire life. I look forward to having a new world champion in the Salita Promotions stable.”