Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, Fortuna, Chavez, Lemieux, and more..
Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, Fortuna, Chavez, Lemieux, and more..
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 21st to March 28th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Gennady Golovkin’s Promoter Tells TMZ Canelo Alvarez Fight Needs to Happen
Gennady Golovkin’s promoter told TMZ that the Canelo Alvarez fight needs to happen and that both sides want it done and that there’s just way too much money to be made.
Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, says he’s been in serious talks with Golden Boy about a possible September date as long as Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. doesn’t beat Canelo in May.
He also indicated that there’s a lot of options for a venue, including Madison Square Garden and T-Mobile Arena.
Read more at: http://www.tmz.com/2017/03/25/gennady-golovkin-promoter-canelo-alvarez-fight/
Javier Fortuna Renews Promotional Agreement with Sampson Boxing
Former WBA Featherweight and Super Featherweight Champion Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna (31-1-1, 22 KOs) has renewed his long-term promotional agreement with promoter Sampson Lewkowicz and Sampson Boxing.
From La Romana, Dominican Republic, the 27-year-old Fortuna has won two straight since dropping his super featherweight belt in a shocker against Jason Sosa in June 2016. He came back with an impressive two-round blowout of fellow Dominican Marlyn Cabrera in September 2016 and then, in November took the undefeated record of Delaware’s Omar “Super O” Douglas by unanimous decision.
“Sampson Lewkowicz is and always will be my promoter,” said Fortuna. “He has done right by me and my career at every turn. I will be world champion again with Sampson in my corner.”
Lewkowicz, who says he’s working on a big fight for Fortuna, says Fortuna has become like family.
“Javier is a son to me. I am honored to be his promoter and look forward to continuing to work for him. He is a great champion with many great fights left. After he won his first title, he told me we would work together for his entire career and he has kept his word. I will do everything to make him a champion again.”
Hasim Rahman Jr. Pro Debut Moved to Friday, April 14th
When promoter Greg Cohen announced he had finalized arrangements for his next event, the decision to delay his promising heavyweight hopeful, Hasim Rahman Jr.’s, professional boxing debut two more weeks became an easy one.
Originally scheduled to turn professional on March 23, Baltimore native Rahman will now have his first four-round fight in front of a huge contingent of hometown family and friends on Friday, April 14, at MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md.
Rahman will face Kansas City’s Brian Imes (1-4, 1 KO) on the non-televised undercard portion of an event that features the live telecast of undefeated Dmitry Bivol defending his interim WBA Light Heavyweight title against Samuel Clarkson in the 12-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation tripleheader (10 p.m. ET/PT). In the co-feature, unbeaten welterweight prospects Juan Ruiz and Malik Hawkins will square off in an eight-round bout, and Baltimore’s undefeated featherweight Glenn Dezurn will open the telecast.
Tickets for the event, which is co-promoted by Greg Cohen Promotions and Banner Promotions in association with World of Boxing and Uprising Promotions, are priced at $103, $73 and $48 and can be purchased at www.TicketMaster.com.
“You only get one pro debut, so when Greg announced this show, he and I thought it would be a great idea for me to turn pro on this show instead, in front of my hometown friends and family,” explained Rahman.
The 25-year-old, son of Hasim “The Rock” Rahman, who famously knocked out Lennox Lewis in April 2001 to win the WBC and IBF Heavyweight Championships, says to being at home is a very important part of his mission.
“I’m doing this for my family and my friends and my city, so I think I should start right in front of them,” Rahman continued. “And someday I’ll bring them back the heavyweight championship. I can’t wait to fight on the same show as my brother with all my loved ones watching. It’s going to be a very big night.”
“We didn’t get the final word we were doing the Maryland show until a few days ago,” said Greg Cohen. “But once we knew it was happening, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to let Hasim Jr. turn pro at home. It just worked out perfectly.”
Barry Tompkins will call the ShoBox action from ringside with Steve Farhood and former world champion Raul Marquez serving as expert analysts. The executive producer is Gordon Hall with Rich Gaughan producing and Rick Phillips directing.
David Lemieux and Joseph Diaz Added to Canelo vs. Chavez Jr. HBO PPV Telecast
Less than two months after delivering the top knockout of 2017, Canadian knockout artist David Lemieux (37-3, 33 KOs) will return in a 10-round fight against Marco “Dorado” Reyes (34-4, 25 KOs) as the chief support to the highly anticipated battle between Canelo Álvarez and Julio Cesar Chávez, Jr. on Saturday, May 6. The mega-event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Opening up the stacked Cinco de Mayo weekend card at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, former U.S. Olympian and current undefeated NABF Featherweight champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (23-0, 13 KOs) will face perhaps his toughest challenge to date when he defends his title against the undefeated Manuel “Tino” Avila (22-0, 8 KOs) in a 10-round battle.
These two fights along with the main event and the previously announced brawl between Argentinian slugger Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (37-4, 34 KOs) and Emmanuel “Tranzformer” Taylor (20-4, 14 KOs) will round out the pay-per-view telecast on Saturday May 6.
“With three of Golden Boy Promotions’ most exciting contenders appearing on the pay-per-view, as well as the biggest star in the sport, Canelo Álvarez, the Cinco de Mayo card can be described in one word, ‘stacked’,” said Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “I fully expect four action-packed fights that will have fans out of their seats for the entire evening.”
The hard-hitting Lemieux is riding a three-fight winning streak and was last seen delivering a thunderous third-round knockout of the highly touted Curtis “Cerebral Assassin” Stevens that has put the Canadian directly back into the title picture.
“I’m thankful to have the opportunity of being part of this event during the Cinco de Mayo celebrations,” Lemieux said. “I think I was able to send a clear message on March 11 with my performance against Stevens and I intend to do the same on May 6. I want to make sure that everyone understands that David Lemieux is making his way towards the top and that he intends to stay there.”
Reyes, a 29-year-old former WBC FECOMBOX middleweight champion, has knocked out 25 opponents and went toe-to-toe with Chavez, Jr., in a unanimous decision defeat that many spectators had closer than what came up on the scorecards.
“I know everyone is talking about the Lemieux knockout, but I’m ready to take him out,” Reyes said. “With my Mexican fans supporting me on Cinco de Mayo weekend, I’m ready to turn Lemieux’s lights out.”
“Following his performance against Curtis ‘The Cerebral Assassin’ Stevens at Turning Stone Resort Casino, fight fans wanted to see David in the ring again as soon as possible,” said Eye of the Tiger Management President Camille Estephan. “Being part of such a tremendous card that will be featured on May 6 with eyes on us from all around the world represents an incredible showcase opportunity. We are convinced that David will shine. He is in great shape and is more motivated than ever to conquer the top of the middleweight division,”
In the opening battle of the HBO Pay-Per-View telecast, two undefeated fighters will go toe-to-toe with both Joseph Diaz, Jr. and Manuel Avila risking their undefeated records for a chance at greater glory.
“I’m excited to return for the first time in 2017 and put my title on the line against such a tough competitor,” Diaz, Jr. said. “This fight will put me one step closer to a world title shot.”
“This is a golden opportunity to move myself into world title contention, and I’m not planning to let that chance slip away,” Avila said. “I know all about JoJo’s undefeated record, but he’s never faced anyone like me, and at the end of the night, my hand will be raised in victory.”
Preliminary bouts for the May 6 show will be announced in the coming weeks.
Tickets for a closed circuit viewing of the fights at the Grand Ballroom at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino are on sale for $75, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and can be purchased at the MGM Grand box office or by phone with a major credit card at 800-745-3000.
Helenius and Chisora Set for Huge Heavyweight Rematch
Robert Helenius (24-1, 15 KOs) and Dereck Chisora (26-7, 18 KOs) are set for a huge heavyweight rematch on May 27 at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland.
There is a lot of the line for both men, in what promises to be the biggest fight on Finnish soil in recent history, with both the WBC Silver World Heavyweight title and a shot at the current WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder up for grabs.
Helenius holds a controversial split decision win over Chisora from their all action showdown in December 2011, which many believed the British boxer did enough to win. However, the Finnish fighter says this time the decision will be left in no doubt.
‘’Chisora is a good fighter and I’m expecting a tough fight, but I’m very confident I will win,’’ said the 33 year-old. ‘’Before our first match, I injured my right shoulder and had to fight for twelve-rounds with just one arm. If I was able to beat him with one arm, I don’t see any problems beating him when I have two.
‘’I am in great shape now, and I feel stronger than ever. It’s been a long road back since my shoulder operation, and I’ve been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this. I believe I am ready, and after I beat Chisora, I will be in a good position to challenge for the World title.’’
‘’I’m looking forward to going back to Helsinki and putting on another great show for the fans,’’ said Chisora. ‘’It’s a beautiful city with a lot of beautiful people. We had a lot of fun last time, and everyone knows who really won that fight. He can make all the excuses he wants, but that won’t help him on May 27.
‘’I feel like this is my time, I’m in my prime, and I can’t wait. I might be relaxed now, but when I leave London, I’m going to war. When I get on that flight I become a different person. Mr. Nice Guy is gone. It brings the vicious side out in me, and he’d better be ready!’’
‘’We’re delighted to be bringing this huge heavyweight attraction to Helsinki,’’ said promoter Nisse Sauerland. ‘’The first fight between Robert and Dereck was something special, and this promises to be even better. They’ve got unfinished business, and on May 27, they’ve finally got the chance to settle the score.’’
Tickets for the WBC Silver World Heavyweight Championship clash between Robert Helenius and Dereck Chisora will go on sale Monday, March 27 at 9.00 (EET) and are available online via www.ticketmaster.fi or by calling the ticket hotline on 0600 10 800.
Life Saving Brain Scanners Debut at Exclusive Boxing Event in Malta
Last Friday evening the cream of Maltese Glitterati descended on the Le Meridien Hotel in St Julian’s, Malta, for a rather exclusive Professional Boxing event, sanctioned by the British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) in conjunction with the Malta Boxing Commission (MBC).
With tickets priced at almost ten times the normal for a boxing event in the Mediterranean haven, joining the rich and famous from the Islands were in excess of sixty international high rollers, each and every one of them attending to support Damon Booth as he made his professional boxing debut, against Ireland’s Marty Kayes, as well as to watch the highly decorated multi-World Champion Scott Dixon in action against England’s Will Cairns
However, those in attendance for the swanky event were totally unaware that in the background was an historic event also taking place, as for the first time on the Islands and only the second time ever at a professional boxing event anywhere in the World, the ground breaking hand held Infra-Scanners, that can detect bleeds to the brain of the combatants, were in action both pre and post fights.
The Infra-Scanners, that were successfully introduced by the BIBA just two weeks prior, at an event in Paisley Scotland, following a number of high profile life changing head injuries incidents at professional boxing events in the UK last year, most notably the death of Scottish Boxer Mike Towell, even though these tragic incidents were on events sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) and not by themselves.
The Infra-Scanner is a hand held brain scanner that is designed to detect bleeding on the surface of the brain inside the skull, so epidural and subdural bleeds, which are the common bleeds associated with an impact to the head, ones that can commonly cause life changing injuries or in the worse case scenario, death, in a short space of time.
Within Boxing, the Infra-Scanner is not intended to replace an MRI scan, which is required annually for Professional Boxers, but allows Doctors at Ringside to undertake a two or three minute scan, to determine if as a result of the boxing match that a boxer may have sustained an epidural and subdural bleed to the head.
Should the scan produce a positive result this will enable the Ringside Doctors to ensure that the Boxer is admitted immediately to the nearest specialist unit, where the appropriate care can be undertaken.
Malta Boxing Commission (MBC) Chief Medical Officer and British & Irish Boxing Authority (BIBA) Medical Advisory Committee Member Dr Mark Xuereb spoke briefly after the successful introduction of the Infra-Scanners at the special event.
“My comments as a Boxing Doctor for both the MBC & BIBA and having been in this profession for in excess of ten years, I can say I’ve seen a lot of boxers and sometimes as a clinician the team has a dilemma do you refer to hospital or don’t you, which is a crucially important decision because you are potentially toying with death.
Without wanting to dramatize, this is a fantastic tool, the Infra-Scanner is a crucial tool to aid in that decision process. It’s easy, it’s simple, any paramedic or doctor can be trained to use it and it helps with the triage system, which is crucially important decision, because we decide what is current urgent versus future important.
We have guidelines for head injuries charting, whether to refer or not refer, as always this will not replace clinical assessment, however shall we say it fortifies and confirms your clinical hunch.
So easy to use, perfect, would I use in the future, absolutely, the research results are undeniable, and it’s making waves all over the world, so I would really like to thank whoever invented it because it is really going to help us as health & safety in any sport is first and foremost, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, five stars and hopefully as it develops it will get smaller and lighter, although saying that must say it is already lightweight and reasonable in size, so brilliant all round.”
Maltese Heavyweight Billy Corito, who had attended the event became the first Maltese boxer to be scanned, even though he wasn’t boxing on the event had this to say about the technological breakthrough.
“I was overwhelmed to be asked by Dr Xuereb to be the first Maltese boxer to have a Brain scan using the infra-scanner.
Could not believe this little remote looking device can save a boxers life! It was so quick and easy to detect if I have an injury or blood on my brain or anyone else’s.
It was over in just a couple of minutes, so just imagine if all boxing federations have one of these on every boxing event how quick lives would be saved.
As the saying goes, boxing saves lives, well now its Infra-scanners who are saving lives”
Scott Dixon, who was the actual first competitor to be scanned post fight at the event also spoke about the infra-scanners and the positive effect he believes having them ringside will have on the sport.
I think it’s an absolute revelation that BIBA have now bought in the head scanners to Malta, before and after every contest, this is the way forward, the only way forward.
There have been a few fatalities in the ring and most notably when I had my first fight on Friday the 13th October 1995 my best friend James Murray died in the boxing ring.
It took me a long time to get over that and I always hoped and wished that the rules would become more stringent. Back then it was British Boxing Board of Control, but hey now the British & Irish Boxing Authority are ruling the waves now with their pro-active approach to boxer safety.
BIBA make it their number one priority to look after the fighters and that’s the way it should be, their regulations are amazing, so I’m delighted to be a BIBA license holder and to be the first boxer to undertake a scan after my fight here in Malta, forget the rest BIBA’s the best.
I came to Malta eleven years ago and when I came here boxing was virtually nonexistent, they never knew a left hook from a fishhook, but now they’ve progressed and moved forward, so much so that having the scanners here are leading the charge in boxer safety.
Scott then went on to praise the BIBA on their professionalism with regard to another of their procedures, this time regarding dope tests, particularly due to an unsavory brush with the local doping authority, who not only failed to follow correct procedures at one of his previous fights that was sanctioned by the Malta Boxing Association (MBA), but then decided to charge him with failing to undertake a doping request, which is currently under appeal.
“I’m also delighted that tonight BIBA even regulated the doping screening, I volunteered to take the tests as they were going to pick them at random which is standard procedure, but I volunteered as I have nothing to hide.
The true procedure is that you are notified before that you will be subject to dope testing, obviously like I said, I volunteered, I done one test before the contest.
After my fight I was escorted, to the dressing room, by BIBA officials, to make sure there was no dodgy business, I went straight to the dressing room and was observed and did another doping test.
Obviously both were clear, as always, because I’m a professional athlete, I’ve been a professional 23 years now.
Now I’ve done thirty dope tests during my career in total, the correct procedure is you be notified and like I said BIBA followed the correct procedure and in an appropriate manner.
I’m so pleased to be part of this set-up, I mean listen there are so many cowboys in this sport, let’s be honest you have the MBA here in Malta for an example, so if you want to join a circus you go with them, if you want to be part of a truly professional set up you go with MBC or BIBA, as they look after the fighters safety first and foremost and that’s the only way forward and that’s why we’ve gone with the top of the chain.”