By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 25th to December 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Golovkin-Murray Press Conference is Called Off
Hennessy Sports recently sent out a press release to state that the planned press conference at the Hotel Café Royal had to be postponed due to Gennady “GGG” Golovkin’s unresolved visa issues.
The press conference was supposed to officially announce Golovkin’s WBA Super World Middleweight title fight with Martin Murray. This is the second postponement of the press conference to announce the planned world title fight.
Kovalev to Face Pascal on March 14th, 2015
An agreement has been reached between Main Events and Interbox for the WBO, IBF, and WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (26-0-1), to face former WBC and The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion, Jean Pascal (29-2-1).
The bout is scheduled to take place in Montreal or Quebec City on Saturday, March 14, 2015, provided Pascal wins his match against Roberto Bolonti on December 6th and the IBF grants Kovalev a special exception to postpone his mandatory title defense against Nadjib Mohammedi.
The bout is currently scheduled to be televised live on HBO.
“The negotiation with Main Events went quickly and smoothly, so I know we’ll be able to organize a high caliber fight and a great night of boxing. After a pretty mediocre 2014 so far, we’re preparing to offer Québec boxing fans one of the best fights we could make in the entire division,” said Jean Bédard of Interbox.
Kathy Duva said, “Sergey has made it very clear since the moment we signed him that he only wants to fight the best fighters. I promised after his demolition of Bernard Hopkins that the next one would be for the money. I’m thrilled to work with Interbox to bring boxing fans the Krusher versus Jean Pascal, which delivers on both fronts! The truth is that these fights are easy to make when both fighters want to be in the big fights and the promoters and managers are willing to be reasonable and work together.”
Pascal-Bolonti PPV Undercard Announced
On December 6, 2014 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, Jean Pascal (29-2-1) return to the ring to take on Roberto Bolonti (35-3) in the main event of a four fight PPV card.
The co-feature will be between Haitian super middleweight Schiller Hyppolite (13-1) and the Hungarian Norberto Nemesapati (15-1) for the WBC International Super Middleweight Title. Undefeated California prospect Joel Diaz, Jr. (17-0) will face Mexican veteran Pedro “Cowboy” Navarette (28-19-3) in an eight round super featherweight bout. The fourth fight on the PPV will be between junior middleweight Steven Butler (8-0) and Lyes Chaibi (12-7-2) in a 6/8 round match.
Highlights of three other fights scheduled for the live card, showcasing local fighters, may air pending time considerations: Montreal welterweight Yves Ulysse, Jr. (4-0, 3 KOs) vs. Poland’s Lukasz Janik (12-7-1, 2 KOs) and Montreal heavyweight Bogdan Dinu (11-0, 7 KOs) vs. France’s Mickael Vieira (14-1-1, 7 KOs) in a pair of 8-round fights; Sorel-Tracy super lightweight David Theroux (4-0, 3 KOs) vs. Poland’s Maurycy Gojko (22-44-3, 8 KOs) in a 6/8-round swing bout.
Lundy on HBO Debut: It’s My Time
Hank Lundy (25-3-1, 12 KOs) is set to debut on HBO on Saturday against Thomas Dulorme (21-1) and he seems more than ready.
“I was born to do this,” Lundy said. “This is no time to be scared.”
CES Boxing president Jimmy Burchfield Sr. stated, “This is a fight boxing fans want to see. ‘Hammerin” Hank comes to fight and when he fights on TV he brings exceptional ratings. He gives it everything he’s got. To fight on HBO at the Barclays Center, one of my boxing’s newest must-see venues, against a worthy opponent will no doubt bring out the best in Hank Lundy, as it always does. We’ve been in this business a long time and we’ve built champions, but no fighter is more deserving of this opportunity.”
With less than a week to go before his possible career-defining moment, Lundy finds himself in a familiar position as the underdog facing a bigger, taller opponent who’s already been on this stage before and subsequently absorbed all the glitz and glamour that comes with it.
“Me being the underdog, I like that,” Lundy said. “At the end of the day, I like when my back is against the wall. Everyone is counting me out. All I have to do is go in there and shock the world.”
Lundy’s not impressed with Thomas Dulorme.
“He’s basic,” Lundy said. “A lot of jabs. He likes to pump his jab and hook off his jab. Nothing special. He can’t fight on the inside and doesn’t have a chin. If he gets caught upstairs he falls apart.
“As far as him being a power puncher, I don’t see it. I’m not taking anything away from Mayfield, but Mayfield was right in front of him and he couldn’t stop him. If he’s such a puncher, why didn’t he knock out Mayfield? If you look at some of his knockouts, those were against lesser opponents. Who were they? They were nobody. Mayfield is a fighter that will be in your face. That’s what punchers want. They don’t want someone who’ll move around.”
Lundy doesn’t plan on standing still in the center of the ring, which could frustrate Dulorme the same way Lundy’s speed foiled Santana, Dannie Williams, David Diaz and others before him.
“Once I get in that ring, I’ll see what he will give me and that’s what I’ll take,” Lundy said. “Everyone knows ‘Hammerin” Hank can box, and if I want to come get you, I’ll come get you.”
“There’s no time to be shy in front of the lights,” he said. “I played high school football. I played in front of a lot of people. When the lights are on, you don’t have to worry about me freezing up. I’m going to perform.
“This is my just due,” Lundy continued. “I really felt I should have been here. I’ll put it like this — everything happens at the right time. I feel good. There’s no pressure on my shoulders. I’m going to show the world what they’ve been missing.”
“This is my championship right here,” Lundy said. “I’m just prepared to do what I have to do.”
LaManna Responds to Sanchez’s Remarks
Unbeaten middleweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna warned Alex Sanchez that words won’t help him when they collide over six rounds on Saturday evening, Dec. 13, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
“Martin (Sanchez trainer Martin Diaz) or his words can’t save Alex,” LaManna said. “They don’t know what they got themselves into. That’s all I have to say.”
LaManna was responding to words spoken earlier this week by Diaz, who claims LaManna has been afforded and easy road to 15 straight wins while Diaz’ fighter, Sanchez, had had to fight tougher opposition.
Topping the Dec. 13 card are a pair of eight-round fights featuring lightweight Felix Verdejo, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, vs. Karim El Ouazghari, of Barcelona, Spain, and super middleweight Jesse Hart, of Philadelphia, vs. Samuel Miller, of Arboletes, Colombia.
Those two matches will be televised as part of Top Rank’s Solo Boxeo Tecate series on UniMas. The delayed telecast will begin at midnight (EST). First of seven prelims begins at 6.45pm.
Sanchez, 31, of Camden, NJ, is only 4-5-1 as a pro with two knockouts, but Diaz says the road Sanchez has taken has been much harder than the one taken by LaManna, whose 15-0 record includes seven K0s.
Managers need to manage their fighters, not talk for them,” said Vinny LaManna, father and manager of Thomas.
“What people don’t understand about Cornflake is that he wants to become world champion and I have never seen a harder worker. I have managed and advised world champions (Ray Mercer, Imamu Mayfield, Shannon Briggs) and no one worked harder than my son.
“Sanchez’s trainer disparaged Jamaal Davis, the guy Thomas beat in his last fight. He said Davis didn’t come to fight. Well, if Davis didn’t come to fight, then he would have quit in the fight, especially in the last two rounds when he was getting beat up. Nobody would have complained if he had quit then, but he didn’t and he kept trying. Davis had seven weeks to train for that one, unlike most of his fights which he took on short notice. Davis took that fight to get his career back on track. He shouldn’t be disrespected by anyone.
“On December 13, Cornflake will do what he always does—win.”
International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame Announces 2015 Inductees
The International Women’s Boxing Hall of Fame has announced the eight women who will be inducted into the 2015 Hall of Fame class.
The IWBHF induction will be held on July 11, 2015, 1:30-4:30 PM in the Panorama Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty-Six Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale, FL., in conjunction with the 2015 National Women’s Golden Gloves Tournament, the finals of which will be held that evening.
The eight honorees include: Laura Serrano of Mexico, whose 18 year, 25-bout career included wins over Chevelle Hallbeck and Kelsey Jeffries along with her debut bout, in 1994, against Christy Martin, judged a draw but a bout many ringsiders considered a win for Serrano; Dierdre Gogarty of Ireland, who compiled a 16-5-2 record over a seven-year career and was a participant in what is often considered the first “major” female bout, a six round loss to Christy Martin in Las Vegas in 1996; and Jeannine Garside, a hard-punching Canadian, who compiled a 10-3-1 record, capping her six year career with a 2010 win over Ina Menzer for the WBC featherweight title.
The five Americans being honored are: Laila Ali, who carried a revered name into the sport of female boxing and lived up to that name with a record of 24 wins without a loss, including 21 KOs; Terri Mosswho, who had 18 bouts during a busy five-year career and, following her retirement, has stayed involved in the sport outside the ring as a highly regarded trainer, the force behind one of the most successful “white collar” boxing programs in the country in Atlanta, and as a documentary filmmaker and author effectively depicting and advocating for the sport of Women’s boxing; Ann Wolfe, a hard-punching middleweight who has surely set the sport’s record for You Tube views of her spectacular one punch KO of Vonda Ward.
In an eight year career, Wolfe, ranked close behind Laila Ali in the middleweight ranks, put up a record of 24 wins, one loss, generating 16 KOs. Following her retirement, Wolfe has had a successful managing career, most notably guiding middleweight James Kirkland; Sparkle Lee (non-boxer category) progressed from refereeing in the amateur ranks to become the first female referee appointed to the NY State Athletic Commission, where she has been arbiter in several world championship bouts; Phyllis Kugler(posthumous pioneer boxer category) compiled a reported 55-1 record during the 1950s, her lone loss coming against Barbara Buttrick in a return bout following a four round draw with Buttrick, last July’s IWBHF pioneer boxer inductee.