By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 23rd to March 30th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Amir Khan Targets Kell Brook
Amir Khan has been recorded stating that he wants to fight Kell Brook at Wembley Stadium within the next twelve months. Khan and Brook are not only two of the best welterweights that live in England, they are also two of the best welterweights in the world and would have a legitimate shot at selling out Wembley Stadium.
Khan’s statement can be heard here.
Nonito Donaire Returns to the Philippines with a 2nd Round KO
Nonito Donaire (34-3) returned to the Philippines this weekend to face William Prado (22-5-1) of Brazil at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City, Philippines. Prado was clearly overmatched from the opening round on, as Donaire landed heavy punches at will in the opening round and had Prado badly hurt in the second round with a left hook and several uppercuts.
Prado had offered little to no offense by the time the referee stopped the bout at 2:16 of the second round.
WBC Purse Bid for Stevenson/Kovalev Set for April 17th in Mexico City
The WBC has ordered a purse bid to take place on April 17th in order to determine the promoter of a WBC, Ring, WBA, IBF, and WBO Light Heavyweight bout between Adonis “Superman” Stevenson and Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev.
This bid was originally requested by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) to ensure the required time to prepare for a major event like this bout and the WBC has agreed to host the purse bid on April 17th in Mexico.
However, before the bid can happen, Stevenson has to successfully defend his titles against Sakio Bika and Kovalev has to execute a mandatory defense of his IBF belt against Nadjib Mohammedi.
Golden Boy Files Suit Against Jhonny Gonzalez and his Mexican Promoter
Boxer Jhonny Gonzalez and his Mexican promoter Promociones del Pueblohave been sued by Golden Boy Promotions.
They claim that Gonzalez and his Mexican promoter Promociones del Pueblo conspired with manager/promoter Al Haymon to violate Golden Boy’s exclusive rights to promote Gonzalez in a bombshell complaint filed by Golden Boy.
Golden Boy claims that despite their repeated attempts, Gonzalez, Promociones del Pueblo and Haymon repeatedly refused to put on the fight between Gonzalez and Gary Russell Jr. until they cut Golden Boy out of the process, violating the agreement by the boxer and promoter.
“Golden Boy’s contract with Jhonny Gonzalez couldn’t be clearer – the company has exclusive promotional rights for two years or four fights, and neither of those milestones has been reached to date,” said Golden Boy Spokesman Stefan Friedman. “Furthermore, the motive behind the defendants adamant and longtime refusal to match Gonzalez with Gary Russell, Jr is now plain for the world to see. We will vigorously fight to ensure our contract is enforced.”
Golden Boy is seeking damages of no less than $1 million and for the court to enforce the company’s existing contract with Gonzalez.
Top Rank Teams Up with Tru-TV for New Series
World Championship Boxing will be shown at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas the day before the highly anticipated Mayweather-Pacquiao bout. A new boxing series promoted by Top Rank, it will be shown on Tru TV and the first telecast will feature a WBO Lightweight World Title Bout between Takahiro Ao and Ray Beltran. The opening bout will be between NABF Welterweight Champion Mikael Zewski against world rated contender Konstantin Ponomarev.
Omar Figueroa to Announce Showdown with Ricky Burns
Undefeated former world champion Omar “Panterita” Figueroa will host a press conference in Hidalgo, Texas to officially announce his fight with two-time world champion Ricky Burns that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on CBS on Saturday, May 9th from the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.
Tickets will go on sale for this bout on Wednesday, April 1st at 3:00 p.m. at ticketmaster.com.
Stacked Undercard Comes to Brooklyn on April 11th
The main event at the Barclays Center on April 11th will be between Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, but the undercard features several up and coming prospects who could be world champions one day.
The undercard featured Olympic Gold Medalist for the Domincan Republic, Felix Diaz, battling Gabriel “Tito” Bracero in a 10 round super lightweight contest, as well as the return of Brooklyn’s own Luis Collazo in the welterweight division.
2012 US Olympians Marcus Browne and Errol Spence Jr. will also be fighting on the card against Aaron Pryor Jr. and Samuel Vargas respectively. Additionally, Viktor Postol, Prichard Colon, and Heather “The Heat” Hardy are scheduled to compete on the undercard.
Final Tickets Released for Matthysse vs. Provodnikov
The Saturday, April 18th fight between Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse and “The Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov at the Turning Stone Resort Casino has seen unprecedented demand for this possible Fight of the Year candidate. Ringside seats sold out in only fifteen minutes and the entire event is now near a sellout as Turning Stone has released the last group of tickets. Limited $35 and $25 seats are still available for this bout.
This bout will be televised on HBO Boxing After Dark and tickets are available online at ticketmaster.
Tony Harrison to Headline ESPN Friday Night Fights
ESPN Friday Night Fights on Friday, April 17th at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut was originally scheduled to feature a main event between Sergey Derevyanchenko (4-0) taking on Elvin Ayala (27-6-1). However, Ayala is facing a legal situation and the scheduled main event had to be scrapped.
Instead, undefeated junior middleweight Tony Harrison (20-0) will face off against Pablo Munguia (20-6) in the feature bout of the evening. The co-feature stays the same, as undefeated super featherweight Ryan Kielczweski (22-0) wll face off against Danny Aquino (16-2) in an eight round contest.
The opening bout of the telecast is scheduled to be between Tevin Farmer (18-4-1) and Gabriel Tolmajyan (14-4-2).
“I want to thank Al Haymon and Lou DiBella for giving me this fight and I also want to thank ESPN for giving me another opportunity to display my talent to the world,” Harrison states.
“Come April 17th, you are going to see another great performance by Tony Harrison. I am coming to put on a heck of a show and display my full arsenal. I know my opponent is tough and he has been in there with some pretty good guys, but I am coming in there in top shape. This is going to be an exciting fight for as long as it lasts, so get there early, get your popcorn ready, and don’t blink,” stated Harrison.
Bob Costas, Al Michaels, and Marv Albert to Work Together for First Time on PBC on NBC
It has been announced that Bob Costas, one of America’s iconic big-event broadcast voices, will serve as a special contributor for NBC’s Saturday, April 11th primetime telecase of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on NBC.
Costas will join host Al Michaels and blow by blow announcer Marv Albert for the PBC on NBC show from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
“While I have done many broadcasts with Al and with Marv, this is a one-time opportunity to work on the same broadcast with two of the all-time greats, plus it’s a chance for me and Al to renew our ongoing debate with Marv as to which was the greater cinematic achievement – BASEketball or The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh,” said Costas, who at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games became U.S. television’s first 10-time Olympic primetime host (Jim McKay hosted eight times for ABC).
“I never could have imagined this,” said Michaels, who in 2015 on Sunday Night Football begins his record 30th consecutive season as the play-by-play voice of the NFL’s premier primetime broadcast package. “And to have it all happen close to where we all grew up makes it that much more special. Very, very cool.”
“It is an honor to be a part of this group,” said Albert, who has been the most recognizable national voice of the NBA since 1990, in addition to his 37 years as the radio and TV voice of the New York Knicks.
“I’ve always had great admiration for the work that Al and Bob have done through the years, and I’m proud to call them friends.”
Povetkin to Fight Mike Perez on May 22nd in Moscow for shot at Deontay Wilder
Alexander Povetkin is set to face Cuban Mike Perez on May 22nd in Moscow, Russia for the chance to challenge WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. This will be a WBC Heavyweight Title eliminator bout as Povetkin and Perez are currently number one and two in the WBC rankings. Tyson Fury is the WBO mandatory and is ranked third in the WBC and Bermaine Stiverne is ranked fourth.
The Povetkin vs. Perez bout will serve as the co-feature to the WBC Cruiserweight Title rematch between Grigory Drozd and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk.
Roc Nation Sports to Present Next Throne Boxing Event on April 17th
Roc Nation Sports has announced that the second edition of Throne Boxing is set for April 17th, 2015 at the Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut and will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 at 10:00 PM ET/7:00 PM ET.
The main event will be between undefeated Russian cruiserweight Murat “Iron” Gassiev defending his IBF Intercontinental Cruiserweight Championship against Felix Cora in a twelve round bout. Several fighters will be featured on the undercard, including Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, Junior Younan, and Wellington Romero.
Roc Nation also plants on offering a live musical performance and a name DJ to keep the energy at a high level throughout the event.
“All of us at Roc Nation Sports are extremely excited to continue our throne boxing series on FOX Sports 1 on April 17 at Foxwoods,” said Roc Nation Sports’ COO of Boxing David Itskowitch.
“We plan to continue where we left off with our premiere Throne Boxing event in January by bringing great fights, a unique musical performance and an unparalleled fan experience which we know will capture the attention of both avid boxing fans and a new fans alike.”