Boxing Insider Notebook: Dana White, Canelo, Stiverne, Peterson, Webster, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 14th to January 21st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Alvarez vs. Angulo Officially Announced
Canelo Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo held an international media conference today to officially announce and discuss their upcoming pay per view fight on March 8th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This event will be called “Toe to Toe” and it features a strong undercard. Carlos Molina and Jermall Charlo will lead the undercard in a junior middleweight bout, as well as a WBC Super Bantamweight title bout between Cristian Mijares and Leo Santa Cruz, and Omar Figueroa taking on Ricardo Alvarez, the brother of Canelo, for the interim WBC Lightweight belt.
Don House Comments on Bermane Stiverne
The impending World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight championship fight to determine the successor of recently retired Vitali Klitschko, matching the WBC’s top two contenders, respectively, WBC Silver champion Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (23-1, 20 KOs) against Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs), is extra special for Stiverne’s veteran head trainer, Don House.
“First,” he explained, “I’ve been with Bermane since the first day and that’s really why this is so special for me. It’s also special for me because I’ve been part of teams for world champions – Diego Corrales, Kevin Kelly, Joan Guzman, Frankie Liles and others – but I’ve never been the head trainer of the world heavyweight champion or a WBC world champion.
“Bermane has grown a lot since the beginning (pro debut July 29, 2005). He was young and a little immature back them. The first time I saw him hitting the heavy-bag I said I could make him a champ and give him the discipline he needed. He liked to say he was a boxer but the last couple of years he has believed he’d be world champion. There’s been no stopping him since the Arreola fight.”
“I’ve evaluated this fight and we have been going at this like Bermane hasn’t fought Arreola before, as if everything is brand new,” House noted. “Can Arreola bring anything into this fight differently? No. He may come to fight in the best shape of his life but he doesn’t have the skills to beat Bermane. He doesn’t have the power or speed that Bermane does. Arreola will be right there, Bermane won’t have to look for him, and he will be ready to fight 12 rounds.
“I never hear anything about injuries or illness from Bermane until after the fight in the locker-room. He keeps that stuff to himself and I didn’t know how badly he hurt his shoulder during training camp. And he hurt himself during the fight, too. This fight he is going to finish things. He fought sick in the Ray Austin fight (101 temperature in Stiverne’s first WBC eliminator win). It just shows how much heart and balls he has; no excuses, ever, from Bermane.”
The 34-year-old Stiverne, noted, “My injured right shoulder was the reason I had to go with plan B and why I didn’t throw a lot of right hands. I dropped him with the only right I threw with power that landed. I came out to finish him the next (fourth) round but slipped and pulled a muscle in my back. I wouldn’t let that bother me, though, despite how painful it was. I kept going and followed the plan to get a W and was rushed to the hospital right after the fight. I learned that, whatever the issue, I still fight like a warrior and that’s the real meaning of no pain, no gain.”
Dusty Harrison Gears Up For Big Opportunity on Friday Night Fights
Undefeated teenage welterweight phenom Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (19-0, 11KO’s), a fan favorite in his hometown of Washington D.C., has been tabbed to open a rare triple-header on ESPN Friday Night Fights, presented by Corona Extra, on January 31. The 19-year-old sensation is hoping to take advantage of this opportunity and show a nationwide audience that he is establishing his place as a top prospect in the welterweight division and a future world champion. He will be facing Tim Witherspoon Jr., 10-3-1 (2 KOs), the son of the former heavyweight champion, in an eight-round welterweight contest. The card, hosted by DiBella Entertainment, in association with GH3 Promotions and Greg Cohen Promotions, will be staged at the Richard J. Codey Arena, in West Orange, NJ, on the eve of Super Bowl weekend.
Headlining the show will be light heavyweight contender Blake Caparello in a 10-round bout against the always-exciting Elvir Muriqi. Junior featherweights Luis Rosa and Jorge Diaz meet in the eight-round co-feature, which is guaranteed to be a barnburner.
ESPN will begin live coverage at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN.
Chisora, Buglioni, Skeete, and Conquest Show Their Support for the Army Boxers
London stars Dereck Chisora, Frank Buglioni, Bradley Skeete and Tony Conquestgave the Army boxers of the Second Battalion ‘The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment’, at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich a boost yesterday.
Chisora, Buglioni and Skeete are hard in preparation for title defences on the big Copper Box Arena show on Saturday 15th February, while Conquest is getting ready for a title challenge a week later at the York Hall – both shows will be live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546) – but they took time out to show their support to the Army boxers who are competing in the Army Major Unit Quarter Finals Championships tomorrow night in Hounslow.
Big-hitting Chisora, who defends his European Heavyweight title, said, “I respect anyone who steps into the boxing ring, but these soldiers put their lives on the line for us so if by me coming here to the gym and chatting to the lads and giving them the benefit of my experience helps them and inspires them then it’s something small I can give back.”
WBO European Super-Middleweight Champion Buglioni, who defends his title and his unbeaten record against Gaetano Nespro, said, “It’s an honour to be asked to come down here and meet the Army boxers. I respect them so much for the job that they do so I hope my advice and coaching tips help them tomorrow night and I’d be delighted to come and help them out any time for boxing advice.”
English Welterweight Champion Bradley Skeete, who steps up to meet former World Champion Vivian Harris, said, “It’s fantastic to meet these young boxers who may not go on to be professionals, but they love boxing and competing and are all hungry to improve and win which is great to see. They’ve got some cracking and talented boys and I hope that they do the business on Wednesday night.”
Vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight title challenger Tony Conquest said, “Meeting the soldiers is an inspiration to me so the benefits works both ways! I’ve always been a big admirer of the work these lads do here and abroad and I’m proud that they invited me down to the barracks to help out.”
Major Reg Hollis said, “It’s been fantastic for the young lads to see these professional champion boxers who they look up to and see them here in person at the gym training with them. The boys will never forgot this and really appreciate them taking the time out to come and support them ahead of our championships tomorrow night.”
Sergeant Tony Richardson, one of the coaches on the team, added, “Having top professional fighters like Dereck, Frank, Bradley and Tony come here and meet the boys has given them a real confidence lift ahead of the tournament tomorrow night. They don’t ever get to meet boxers of that calibre and to train alongside them so it’s a very special day for them and I’d like to thank them for taking the time to do that.”
Light Heavyweight Southpaw Williams to Meet White on ESPN Friday Night Fights
The Jan. 24 edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presented by Corona Extra will feature undefeated, up-and-coming Light Heavyweight southpaw Thomas “Top Dog” Williams Jr. (15-0, 10 KOs) and contender Cornelius “Da Beast” White (21-2, 16 KOS) in the 10-round main event.
Friday’s show from Little Creek Casino in Shelton, Wash., will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The card is presented by Goossen Tutor Promotions.
Washington D.C.’s Williams Jr. is coming off a November 10-round unanimous decision win over Yusaf Mack. Manager-trainer George Peterson, who also managed-trained former Welterweight titlist Paul Williams, said of Friday’s fight: “Cornelius White is rangy, he’s tall. He’s a good boxer. He’s got quite a bit of experience, and he’s somebody we’re going to have to contend with. We can’t look over him. But we’re going to prepare for it and we’re not going to have any trouble with him.”
White, who hails from Texas, is looking to rebound from a third-round TKO loss to current Light Heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev. “This is going to be my first test against a lefty,” White said of Friday’s fight. “I look at this fight as an opportunity for me to get to the next level. I wanted an opponent with an undefeated record, a young lion, somebody that didn’t want to lose that ‘0.’ My job is to take that ‘0.’ On the 24th, they’re going to see what I’m capable of doing. I’m coming prepared and am ready to go to war.”
Szpilka Clears Up Immigration Troubles, Fight vs. Jennings Is On
The United States Embassy in Poland has granted heavyweight sensation Artur “The Pin” Szpilka (16-0, 12 KOs) the proper visa to enter the United States, and he will be landing in Chicago this evening.
Szpilka had been denied entry on his first attempt to enter the country for his 10-round showdown against Bryant Jennings (17-0, 9 KOs) on January 25 in New York at Madison Square Garden Arena
Promoters Gary Shaw of Gary Shaw Productions and Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing are both breathing a sigh of relief, now that fight will proceed as scheduled.
The undefeated pair will both be making their HBO debuts in a televised doubleheader, headlined by “Mikey” Garcia’s first defense of his WBO Super Featherweight Championship.
Philadelphia’s Jennings is currently ranked #5 in the WBA and #4 in both the WBC and IBF. The wildly
Dana White’s New Reality Show About Boxing
Dana White used a reality show to turn the fortunes of the UFC around and now he has created a reality TV show about boxing.
He’s producing a reality show called “The Fighters,” and it will debut on the Discovery Channel on January 23rd at 9:00 p.m. The show is currently scheduled for eight episodes and will focus initially in the city of Boston.
More can be found at http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-ufc-dana-white-boxing-20140117,0,2820354.story#axzz2qg3VFcGB
Derrick Webster Press Conference Highlights
Highlights and an exclusive interview with undefeated super middleweight Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster at a press conference at 12 Steps Down in Philadelphia. Webster returns to the ring on January 31st when he meets Yasin Rashid at Harrah’s Philadelphia.
Tickets for Webster’s highly anticipated return to the ring on January 31st are available now by calling his team at (609) 680-7131. Seats range in price at $50 (General Admission), $75 (Ringside) and $100 (VIP).
New York State Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Announced
The first father-son combination of Floyd Patterson and Tracy Harris Patterson highlight the announcement of the Class of 2014 inductees heading into the third-year New York State Boxing Hall of Fame (NYSBHOF).
The third annual NYSBHOF induction dinner will be held Sunday afternoon (12:30-5:30 p.m. ET), March 30, at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach, New York. The NYSBHOF is sponsored by Ring 8
“This is another very strong class of inductees,” Ring 8 & NYSBHOF president Bob Duffy said. “We are honoring New York’s finest in our sport. This is all about recognizing great fighters, as well as others involved in boxing, from the state of New York.”
Two-time World Heavyweight Champion Patterson (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn, will be inducted posthumously along with his adopted son, boxing trainer Tracy Harris (63-8-2, 43 KOs), the former WBC/IBF Super Featherweight Champion from New Paltz.
Other living boxers heading into the NYSBHOF are former WBC/WBA Welterweight Champion Billy Backus (49-20-5, 23 KOs), of Canastota; former WBC Featherweight Champion Kevin Kelley, of Flushing, Queens; former WBC Featherweight Champion Juan LaPorte (40-17, 22 KOs), of Brooklyn; Huntington’s World Heavyweight title challenger Gerry Cooney (28-3, 24 KOs), Brooklyn’s two-time World Middleweight title challenger Mustafa Hamsho (44-5-2, 28 KOs) and Glen Cove’s Howard Davis, Jr. (36-6-1, 14 KOs), a 1976 Olympic gold medalist as well as Outstanding Boxer, and a three-time World Lightweight title challenger.
Other posthumous participants being inducted along with Floyd Patterson are World Lightweight Champion Lou Ambers (91-8-7, 28 KOs), of Herkimer; three-time World Welterweight Champion Jack Britton (239-57-44), of Clinton; and World Featherweight Champion Terry McGovern (55-8-1, 40 KOs), of Brooklyn.
Living non-boxer inductees are ESPN boxing commentator and trainer Teddy Atlas, of Staten Island; promoter Lou DiBella (DiBella Entertainment), of Brooklyn; boxing historian and Showtime analyst Steve Farhood, of Brooklyn; trainer and Sunnyside Gardens matchmaker Gene Moore, of Queens; and boxing writer/historian Angelo Prospero, of Rochester.