By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 28th to February 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Boxing Insider’s Kirk Jackson Wins First College Bout
Kirk Jackson has been a respected contributor for Boxing Insider the past few years, and he decided to recently compete in the sport that he loves so much. He had his first college bout at the Eldorado Hotel Casino and defeated Pedro Barrientes of the Air Force Acamdeny in a 150-pound bout.
Jackson stated that he wants to give himself more authenticity with what he is saying by doing the sport, and Boxing Insider fully supports him.
More can be found on Kirk’s debut at http://www.rgj.com/article/20140201/SPORTS06/302010019/Nevada-boxer-Jackson-s-passion-leads-first-win-season-debut?nclick_check=1
Barthelemy Vows to Destroy Mendez in Rematch
Crowned, and then uncrowned, IBF Junior Lightweight champion Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (19-0, 12 KOs) is having two reactions to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry’s decision to change his January 3 title-winning and devastating KO over former, and now current, champ Argenis Mendez to a “No Decision.”
“First off, I could not disagree more,” said Barthelemy. “This decision to take away my title is a terrible one. The referee did not call a foul that night, so how can a commissioner over-rule him by watching TV, weeks later? I am better stronger and more talented than him and I knocked him out. Now I have to do it again.”
But Barthelemy’s other reaction is just as significant: “If they put me in the ring with Mendez again, I will hurt him again. They haven’t done him any favors by making him fight me again. His legs were going weak with every punch I even touched him with. And now I know exactly how to get to him, so it’ll be even worse next time. I was glad he survived to fight another day, but he is making a mistake fighting me again.”
Danny Garcia to Defend World Titles in Puerto Rico
After a stellar 2013 that included impressive wins over Zab Judah and Lucas Matthysse, WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine Unified Super Lightweight World Champion Danny “Swift” Garcia will kickoff his 2014 campaign with one of the most important fights of his career as he pays homage to his Puerto Rican heritage on Saturday, March 15, live on SHOWTIME. Garcia will face the crafty contender Mauricio Herrera at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, in the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® doubleheader.
In the co-feature, heavyweight knockout artist Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder returns against longtime standout Malik “King” Scott. In the featured bout on the SHOWTIME EXTREME telecast preceding these fights, Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez and Daniel Ponce de Leónsquare off in a 10-round rematch for the WBO International Junior Lightweight Title.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2 Tickets Go on Sale
In a battle of pound for pound titans, undefeated two-division world champion TIMOTHY “Desert Storm” BRADLEY will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Fighter of the Decade Congressman MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO. This will be Pacquiao’s first fight in the U.S. since 2012. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions and Tecate, Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2 will take place, Saturday, April 12, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Tickets for Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2, priced at $1,000, $800, $600, $400, $250 and $150, not including applicable service charges, go on sale Tomorrow! Wednesday, February 5 at 1:00 p.m. ET/10:00 a.m. PT. There will be a total ticket limit of 12 per person with a limit of 10 per person at the $1,000, $800, $600, $400 and $250 price levels and a limit of two (2) per person at the $150 price level. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
When Pacquiao and Bradley rumbled the first time on June 9, 2012 at MGM Grand, Bradley’s hand was raised via a controversial split decision, ending Pacquiao’s welterweight title reign as well as his seven-year, 15-bout winning streak. Though both fighters claimed victory neither was satisfied. Destiny may have played a hand in their first battle but it will be survival of the fittest that determines the winner of this exciting rematch.
“I want my title back and I am prepared to endure my hardest training camp ever to win this fight against Tim Bradley,” said Pacquiao. “It is very exciting to be returning to Las Vegas. And as always, I dedicate this fight to my countrymen throughout the world and to bring glory to the Philippines.”
“This fight is to get the credit I did not get the first time,” said Bradley. “I must beat Pacquiao as convincingly as I beat Juan Manuel Márquez.”
Martirosyan vs. Cuello Set for March 21st
Recently signed former world title challenger Vanes ‘The Nightmare” Martirosyan will head back home to fight in front of his hometown fans on Friday, March 21 in a 10-round super welterweight clash against upset minded Argentinian veteran Luciano Cuello in the main event of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra at Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California, it was announced today by Goossen Tutor Promotions.
Tickets priced at $35 and $55 for “Goossen Tutor Promotions and Morongo Casino Resort & Spa Presents ESPN Friday Night Fights and presented by Corona Extra” can be purchased at the Morongo Box Office, by phone 951-755-5391, or through Ticketmaster.
“Vanes said he’s ready to go and we’re wasting no time,” said Dan Goossen, President and Founder of Goossen Tutor Promotions of his charge. “We’re excited to give boxing fans in Southern California and those watching on ESPN an opportunity to see Vanes come ‘Homeward Bound’ at Morongo against a very tough and experienced fighter in Cuello. There is a lot to gain for both fighters which always brings out the absolute best in them,” said Goossen.
Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II Premieres February 17th
HBO Boxing presents “Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II,” an exhilarating special examining the upcoming super middleweight rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera. The duo engaged in a no-holds barred battle last September, which emerged as one of the year’s most highly-debated outcomes. On Saturday, March 1, the Alamodome in San Antonio will showcase the hotly anticipated rematch, televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing ®.
The “Road to Chavez Jr./Vera II” special will premiere Monday, February 17 at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT on HBO. It will revisit the high drama from their first bout last September in Carson, CA, as well as providing all-new content, including portraits of both fighters’ journey to this significant showdown on boxing’s leading television platform.
Boxcino 2014 Matchups Announced for ESPN Friday Night Fights
Matchups for the Boxcino 2014 tournament, a new boxing tournament presented by Banner Promotions, that will air on ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presented by Corona Extra, were announced on this past Friday’s edition of Friday Night Fights and Noche de Combates.
The first of five shows will be held Friday, Feb. 21, at the Edgewater Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, and will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN. ESPN Deportes will televise the fights on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. The competition will be a single-elimination, two-weight class tournament that will feature eight fighters in both the Lightweight and Middleweight divisions. Full details and TV schedule on ESPN MediaZone.
Mayorga Makes Comeback in Rhode Island
For at least one night, Twin River Casino will turn into 19th century Spain complete with the crafty matador trying to tame the hard-charging bull.
Sticking to its promise of bringing bigger, bolder main events to its loyal fan base in 2014, Classic Entertainment & Sports will kick off its Twin River Fight Series with an old-fashioned bullfight as former two-time world champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KOs) faces Raul “El Toro” Munoz (22-16-1, 16 KOs) in the eight-round super middleweight main event Friday, Feb. 21st, 2014.
Mike Tyson Promotes at Sands Casino in Bethlehem on February 22nd
Hall of Famer “Iron” Mike Tyson is the youngest world heavyweight champion of all-time and in 1987 he was voted “World’s Most Popular Athlete.” The living legend became a boxing promoter last year, partnering with Garry Jonas to form Iron Mike Productions, which has announced its new monthly boxing series, “KO Kings of Tomorrow,” starting February 22, at Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Tyson, of course, isn’t the first world champion who turned to promoting after retiring from the ring. He joined a select list of fighters who became boxing promoters, including Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali (see photo gallery below), Roy Jones, Jr., Oscar de la Hoya, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
Tyson also announced that he will perform his acclaimed one-man show, “Undisputed Truth,” on Feb. 20 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center.
The IMP boxing series will be broadcast worldwide as low-cost pay-per-view events over Universal Streaming Network, live from Sands Bethlehem Event Center, for only $4.99 via http://www.ustream.tv/universalstreamingnetwork.
NBC Sports Upcoming Fight Night Replays
In the midst of NBCSN’s coverage of the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, NBCSN is airing a full night of boxing replays on February 11th beginning at 7:00 PM ET.
The night will begin with two episodes of Fight Night: Future Stars airing between 7:00 and 8:00 PM: a super featherweight bout between Jason Sosa and Chip Perez (which originally took place on January 19, 2013) and a lightweight match up between Alan Gotay and Michah Branch (which originally took place on February 23, 2013).
After Future Stars, the night of fights will continue with a replay of the exciting knockout of Patrick “The Machine” Majewski by Curtis “Showtime” Stevens and the skillful defeat of former Olympian Olanrewaju Durodola by Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu at 8:00 PM ET (originally aired January 24, 2014).
Finally, at 10:00 PM ET, NBCSN will re-air the action-packed card from December 14, 2013 featuring heavyweights Amir Mansour vs. Kelvin Price and light heavyweights Lionell Thompson vs. Ryan Coyne.
NBCSN will also re-air the Stevens-Majewski Fight Night card again on Saturday, February 8th at 1:00 AM ET.
Robinson vs. Kozaev for NABO Welterweight Title at Dover Downs
Dover Downs Hotel & Casino with Champ’s Management announce a championship boxing event scheduled for Friday, Feb. 21 featuring a headline bout between “The New” Ray Robinson (16-2-0, 7 KOs), of Philadelphia, Pa., fighting for the NABO Welterweight Championship Title against Aslanbek “The Warrior” Kozaev (25-0-1, 7 KOs), of Vladikavkaz, Russia.
In his last three fights, Robinson picked up as many titles — the vacant USBA, interim NABA and vacant USA Pennsylvania State welterweight titles. “I put in 110% every fight and that’s what sets me apart from other fighters,” said Ray Robinson. “I not only work hard but I got the heart too. Come February 21st everyone will see me in my element. This is what I was born to do and this is why I work so hard — so I can be on to top. This other guy may be a good fighter. I don’t doubt that at all, but no one wants this as bad as me. It’s my time and when we step inside that ring Kozaev will regret the day he signed that contract.”
This will be the ninth title shot for Kozaev, and with the exception of a 12-round, split decision draw last March for the WBC Baltic and WBC CIS and Slovenian Boxing Bureau titles against David Avanesyan, Kozaev has won them all and remains undefeated. He agrees fans should expect a great fight for this title. “I am very excited to come to Delaware and showcase my talents. Ray Robinson is a very talented fighter, but he has never been punched in the face by someone like me and he will realize that immediately — and often. I have been coming to the U.S. for several years to train hard for an important opportunity like this one, and I am happy that it has finally arrived. I am undefeated for a reason and I plan to stay that way on February 21st. Fans at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino should expect a great fight. I promise to take pictures and sign autographs with all of them after beating Robinson.”
The undercard features undefeated super featherweight sensation, Omar “Super O” Douglas (11-0, 9 KOs), of Wilmington, Del., featherweight Cornelius Lock (21-6-2, 13 KOs), of Detroit, Mich., lightweight “Jolt’n” Joey Tiberi (11-1-0, 5 KOs), of Newark, Del., light middleweight Anthony Miller (1-0, 1 KO), of Wilmington, Del., super middleweight John “Church Boy” Bowman (8-0-1, 1 KO), of Dover, Del., cruiserweight David “One Two” Murray (1-0, 1 KO) of Pennsylvania.
Undefeated Featherweight Logan Cotton McGuinness is a Free Agent
Undefeated North American Boxing Association (NABA) featherweight champion and world title contender, Logan Cotton McGuinness (20-0-1, 9 KOs), is a promotional free agent.
The 26-year-old, fan-friendly McGuinness fought only once in 2013, capturing the vacant NABA featherweight title by way of a unanimous 12-round decision over South American champion Sergio Carlos Santillan (30-12-3). The rugged Irish-Canadian boxer has been mourning the recent death of his manager, Stephen den Elzen.
McGuinness had been rated as high as No. 4 in the world, however, his lack of activity currently finds him rated No. 14 in the World Boxing Council (WBC). A huge draw in Ontario, McGuinness has also been the NABA super featherweight and lightweight champion during his 5 ½ year professional career.
“I’m confident of winning a world title, hopefully as soon as this year, with the right promoter in my corner,” McGuinness said. “I’m thrilled to announce that I have an experienced boxing manager, Attorney Larry Army, Jr., as a new member of my team. I was deeply saddened by the loss of my good friend and manager, Stephen den Elezen, who I’m sure would be happy with my selection of Larry as my advisor. I’m sure that Larry will connect me with the right promoter to help me realize my dream of becoming world champion.
Wladimir Klitschko to Defend Heavyweight Title Against Leapai
Wladimir Klitschko will defend his heavyweight titles against Australian challenger Alex Leapai in Oberhausen, Germany on April 26th. Leapai defeated Denis Boytsov in order to become the mandatory challenger and has a 30-4-3 record since turning professional in 2004.
More information can be found at http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/feb/03/wladimir-klitchko-alex-leapai-boxing-heavyweight-title
Knockout Reality Television Show Wraps up in Las Vegas
Filming for NUVO TV’s new reality boxing series, Knockout finished up on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas. The series will begin to air in April and will culminate with a fight card in Las Vegas in May. The show stars world class trainers Floyd Mayweather Sr, Ruben Guerrero and Yoel Judah as they compete with fighters in the 140, 147 and 154 pound weight class. Knockout had numerous appearances by some of the sport’s best fighters. The series premiere is scheduled for early April.
Friday’s wrap up included a media day that was attended by several members of the press. Heavyweight contender Marsiusz Wach and world class trainer Kenny Adams also stopped by the set.