Boxing Insider Notebook: Frampton, Briggs, Haye, Pacquiao, Bradley, Ali, Charlo, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 5th to April 12th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
HBO to Replay Pacquiao vs. Bradley III
HBO Sports serves up the exclusive replay of the highly anticipated third fight in the heated Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley Jr. rivalry when WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING:® MANNY PACQUIAO VS. TIMOTHY BRADLEY JR. is seen SATURDAY, APRIL 16 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). The HBO Sports team, which was ringside at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, called the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
Other HBO playdates: April 17 (10:30 a.m.) and 19 (11:00 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: April 18 (11:00 p.m.)
HBO Signature: April 17 (4:15 p.m.)
The two highly decorated welterweights who are among the sport’s top pound-for-pound performers came into the matchup with determination to score a convincing victory. Pacquiao and Bradley split the first two meetings with each winning by decision.
New Book About Muhammad Ali from Major Publisher
Running with the Champ: My Forty-Year Friendship with Muhammad Ali (Simon & Shuster; Hardcover; May 10, 2016) is a personal tribute to the remarkable friendship between author Tim Shanahan and legendary Muhammad Ali.
In 1976, Shanahan was a living in Chicago and was associated with a charity that arranged for athletes to speak to underprivileged kids. Ali was also living in Chicago—having just reclaimed his title as heavyweight champion of the world after defeating George Foreman and Joe Frazier—and was at the peak of his fame and athletic skill. Shanahan contacted Ali to ask whether he would participate in the program. Not only did Ali agree, he invited Shanahan to his home where the two then spent several hours talking.
It was the beginning of a forty-year friendship that continues today.
Shanahan and Ali’s relationship has always been personal: Shanahan never worked for Ali, preferring to remain a friend and get his paycheck elsewhere, but he was always there to play witness to the extraordinary life of the Champ. RUNNING WITH THE CHAMP gives readers an inside look at this extraordinary life, as Shanahan shares story after story of Ali’s interactions with various celebrities whom he met over the years, including Michael Jackson (who showed Ali and Shanahan his doll collection); Elvis Presley; John Travolta; Andy Warhol; and many others. Beyond the ring, Shanahan remembers numerous unpublicized incidents of Ali’s generosity to people in need.
Lara, Martirosyan, and Charlo Twins to Take Center Stage on Showtime
The 154-pound division will take center stage on Saturday, May 21 in a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader featuring three world title fights in the same division. In a rare showcase of the division’s elite, five of the top-six super welterweights* will square off live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. Venue and ticket information are forthcoming.
In the main event, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara—the consensus No. 1 fighter at 154 pounds—will defend his WBA Super Welterweight World Championship against U.S. Olympian and top contender Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan in a rematch of their 2012 bout that ended in a technical draw.
Brothers Jermall and Jermell Charlo will look to make history in co-featured bouts as the first twins to hold world titles in the same division. Unbeaten IBF Super Welterweight World Champion Jermall faces his toughest test when he makes the second defense of his belt against former world champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout. Jermell will take on exciting contender John Jackson in a bout for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Championship.
The event is being promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions.
With five of the top-six ranked fighters on the telecast, the May 21 matchups join an already stellar slate of recently announced boxing events on SHOWTIME. The super welterweights join the top fighters at featherweight, welterweight, super middleweight and heavyweight in a series of fights that features accomplished champions and young stars facing each other in the most significant divisional matches that can be made.
“This is yet another example of SHOWTIME Sports’ commitment to delivering the best lineup in boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President & General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “We’re featuring three important championship fights in one of boxing’s most intriguing young divisions – a tripleheader that will bring our 2016 tally of world title bouts to 14 – all free to SHOWTIME subscribers. We’re excited to offer this rare opportunity to see the top fighters in a division all on the same telecast.”
“Mayweather Promotions is thrilled to bring this fantastic tripleheader of super welterweight world champions to fight fans,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “The best of the 154-pound division will be on display on May 21 and we expect an action-packed night of drama.”
Star Boxing’s Joe Smith Jr. Set to Headline at the Paramount
Star Boxing’s Joe Smith, Jr. (20-1, 16 KOs) looks to continue his climb up the light heavyweight ladder when he faces tough and dangerous Brazilian Fabiano Pena (16-4-1, 12 KOs) in the main event in the 23rd installment of Star Boxing’s Rockin’ Fights series on Saturday night, April 23, at the Paramount in Huntington, New York.
Dubbed the “Irish Bomber” because of his knockout power, Smith is highly-regarded among the light heavyweight prospects during a young career guided by promoter Joe DeGuardia. The local hero fighting, out of Mastic, will be making his fourth appearance on his home turf at The Paramount.
Smith, Jr. has reeled off 14 straight triumphs, including nine by way of KO. In his latest win, the Irish Bomber scored a thrilling, unanimous 10-round decision over Will Rosinsky, while showcasing his talents in the Barclays Center ring on December 5.
The native of Mastic is a Union 66 laborer (concrete) in between fights. Trained by Gerard Capobianco, a former light heavyweight contender himself, Smith fights out of the Heavyhitters Boxing Gym on Long Island.
“Joe has all of the tools to be a top light heavyweight,” says DeGuardia. “His power and strength, combined with boxing skills and stamina have him earmarked for a big fight.”
The co-featured attraction is a “Long Island Showdown” when two popular Paramount regulars – Alan Gotay (8-2, 4 KOs) and Anthony Karperis (11-2, 4 KOs) – clash for the New York State Junior Welterweight Championship. Gotay hails from Huntington, while Kaperis is a product of Hicksville, so it will be a true “Battle for Backyard Bragging Rights.”
Chad Dawson, Ryan Kielczweski, Antontio Russell to Highlight Undercard for Gary Russell Jr. vs. Patrick Hyland
A stacked undercard of action featuring former world champion “Bad” Chad Dawson (33-4, 18 KOs), featherweight contender Ryan Kielczweski (24-1, 7 KOs) and undefeated prospects Antonio Russell (5-0, 4 KOs) and Carlos Gongora (4-0, 3 KOs) comes to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT., on Saturday, April 16.
The event is headlined by a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader of world title fights: WBC Featherweight World Champion Gary Russell Jr. battles Ireland’s Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland and IBF Junior Lightweight World Champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza takes on top contender Stephen “Swifty” Smith from the UK, with televised coverage beginning live on SHOWTIME at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.
Dawson will face the veteran Cornelius White (23-4, 17 KOs) in a 10-round light heavyweight bout, Kielczweski enters the ring for eight rounds of featherweight action, Gongora competes in a super middleweight attraction while Russell takes on Leonardo Reyes (3-9, 1 KO) in a bantamweight fight.
Also entering the ring is popular super bantamweight contender Shelley Vincent (16-0, 1 KO) out of Providence, RI., who will have plenty of support behind her when she takes on New Mexico’s Elizabeth Anderson (4-7, 1 KO) in a six-round bout.
Rounding out the action are a pair of prospects making their pro debuts as Providence’s Anthony Marsella Jr. fights in a four-round junior welterweight match and Connecticut’s Mykquan Williams in a four-round welterweight contest. Williams is a highly touted local prospect who fought to a 45-13 amateur record including three gold medal performances at the Ringside World Tournament.
Briggs vs. Haye a Possibility
Forty four year old Shannon Briggs is more known for crashing press conferences than for actually fighting inside the ring, but it appears his mouth and antics have landed him a possible big money fight in the near future.
David Haye is set to fight at the O2 Arena on May 21st, and has recently stated that if Briggs is victorious on his undercard that he will fight him next. Briggs previously chased Wladimir Klitschko around the globe and showed up at several press conferences, and has done the same to David Haye.
David Haye (27-2) is scheduled to face Arnold Gjergjaj (29-0) on May 21st and Shannon Briggs (59-6-1) does not have a scheduled opponent yet.
Carl Frampton Stripped of WBA Junior Featherweight Title
Carl Frampton unified the WBA and IBF Junior Featherweight Titles when he defeated Scott Quigg on February 27th. However, it appears that he will not be fighting at the junior featherweight division anymore and has not agreed to fight the mandatory challenger for the WBA Junior Featherweight Championship. The WBA has since stripped Carl Frampton of his WBA Junior Featherweight title.
Broner v. Theophane Delivered Knockout Ratings for Premier Boxing Champions on Spike
Adrien Broner vs. Ashley Theophane delivered excellent ratings for Spike TV.
The main event drew 1,141,000 viewers (10:36pm-11:21pm) peaking with an impressive 1.3 million viewers at 11:11pm (with +3 DVR playback). This is the most watched PBC fight ever on Spike.
The entire card delivered 955,000 viewers, also a record for the PBC on Spike.
Also of note, 48 minutes of the broadcast were seen by 1 million or more viewers.