Boxing Insider Notebook: Haney, Roach, Thurman, Cuevas, Pacquiao, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 2nd to July 9th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Devin Haney Gives Back to his Community, Volunteers to Feed Homeless Youth in Las Vegas
Yesterday, undefeated lightweight contender, Devin “The Dream” Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) was a volunteer at the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth (NPHY) in Las Vegas. Devin spoke with the youth that were present and served food during lunch.
Haney, who is coming off a “Knockout of the Year” performance against Antonio Moran, is on the cusp of fighting for his first word title and is considered one of the top fighters in boxing. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve his community by giving back.
“Thank you, Rachel and staff, at Nevada Partnerships for Homeless Youth for giving me the opportunity to meet so many strong and resilient teenagers. I’m truly inspired by all their stories and even more impressed by their smiles they maintain through all the adversity. There are some very beautiful and talented people there. Life for me will never be the same! I will continue to share for the rest of my life” – Devin Haney
About Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth
NPHY is the most comprehensive service provider for the thousands of young people experiencing homelessness in our community, providing access to life-changing services for homeless youth 24 hours a day at virtually every street corner in Southern Nevada. NPHY’s wraparound programs stabilize young people’s lives, meeting their immediate needs and providing a safe, supportive environment and a path to self-sufficiency. NPHY’s individualized, holistic services empower young people to not only achieve long-term independence, but to craft the futures they want for themselves.
Strengthening and complementing our high-quality direct services for homeless youth, NPHY is dedicated to advocating for the Vegas Valley’s homeless youth population and serves as a leader in systems-level efforts to eliminate homelessness among Nevada’s youth.
Uprising Promotions and the New Mexican Promotions Return to Club Amazura on July 12
Ronson Frank’s Uprising Promotions will be returning to Club Amazura on Friday, July 12, once again presenting an entertaining night of boxing in association with The New Mexican Promotion.
“We look forward to putting on another great night of fights alongside The New Mexican Promotion,” said Ronson Frank, President of Uprising Promotions. “We have a nice mix of local prospects and action fighters who should keep the fans on their feet throughout the whole card. We have received great support from the boxing community at each and every one of our shows at Club Amazura, and we do not expect July 12 to be any different.”
Long Island fan favorite Titus Williams (8-2, 3 KOs) will make his return to the ring on the card, facing Aaron Echeveste Lopez (6-3, 3 KOs) of Guanajuato, Mexico. Williams last competed this past March on an Uprising Promotions and The New Mexican Promotion show at Club Amazura, when he stopped Cristian Renteria in an exciting main event showcase. Just 22 seconds into the fourth round of that bout, Renteria stepped into a perfectly timed counter right uppercut from Williams that immediately sent him crumbling to the canvas. Referee Sparkle Lee never even started her count, waving off the fight to give Williams the knockout victory.
Undefeated super lightweight Mathew Gonzalez (8-0, 5 KOs) will also be back in action next Friday night. He will be looking to pick up the ninth consecutive win to start his professional career when he meets 30-bout veteran Federico Jesus Benjamin Malespina of Argentina. The Ridgewood, N.Y. native last fought this past March at Club Amazura as well, disposing of Gabor Kovacs in less than three frames. After putting Kovacs down in the second round, Gonzalez continued to overwhelm his opposition until the bout was halted with 34 seconds remaining in the third frame.
Two undefeated Brooklyn welterweights will also feature on this card. Cesar Francis (5-0, 4 KOs) looks to keep his perfect record intact by defeating 14-fight veteran Antonio Sanchez of Puerto Rico, while Paul Anthony (2-0, 1 KO) looks for his third consecutive win at Club Amazura when he steps into the ring opposite Earvin Young (1-0, 1 KO) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Rounding out the seven-fight show will be three professional debuts. Brooklyn native Raymond Wilburg will be making his first pro start at 147 pounds, while former New York amateur standout Hosam Abdeldayem will feature at 160 pounds. Additionally, Brooklyn lightweight Saul De Los Santos will begin his professional campaign when he meets Joseph Santana of Providence, Rhode Island.
Freddie Roach: The Dud Abides!
There are no holidays for the reigning Fighter of the Decade and boxer laureate Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs) as he continues to train for his upcoming challenge of undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida. The two warriors are just 16 days away from their world championship collision.
“The only hot dog Manny is thinking about is Keith Thurman,” said Hall of Fame trainer world-famous Freddie Roach. “Thurman talks a good game but we’ll see if he can cut the mustard with Manny on July 20. Manny is 10 years Thurman’s senior and yet this will be Manny’s third world championship fight over the past 12 months. Activity keeps fighters sharp. The lack of activity explains why Thurman has looked worse and worse over his last three fights. He’s like the Jeff Bridges character in The Big Lebowski. He just seems to be fighting as little as possible to keep his title. Only Thurman’s not The Dude, he’s The Dud. Manny will sizzle and Thurman will fizzle when they battle it out in the ring at the MGM Grand on July 20. After that, it will be champagne and Lobster Thurmandor for us. Happy Fourth of July!”
Greg Cohen Promotions Signs Undefeated Welterweight Reshard Hicks to a Promotional Contract
Greg Cohen Promotions proudly announces the signing of Killeen, Texas-based welterweight Reshard “Too Quick” Hicks to a promotional contract.
A naturally talented athlete from Tampa, Fla., Hicks was an All-American cornerback and long jumper at Fordham University before enlisting in the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division as a mechanic and serving in Iraq. A successful recovery from stomach cancer led to Hicks’ retirement from the forces and his entrance into boxing at age 25.
Wasting no time, the gifted Hicks was the Texas Regional Golden Glove Champion and State Champion in 2012 at 165lbs, finishing with a record of 21-6. He turned professional in 2013 and has already held several regional and state championships.
Hicks is trained by Jesse Ravelo, the 1996 Olympic Boxing, All Marine Boxing Team and International Boxing Team Head Coach out of JR Boxing Club in Killeen. He is managed by Michael Cameron of the Cameron Management Team.
“I am extremely excited to become part of the GCP stable and I look forward to displaying my skills on the big stage,” said Hicks. “I’ll be working my way to the top and bringing more straps to the GCP family. I’d like to personally thank Greg Cohen, my promoter, and Mike Cameron, my manager, for believing in me. Let’s gets to work! I will not disappoint.”
“I am very happy to have GCP and my good friend Greg Cohen as Reshard’s promotional company,” said Cameron. “I’m very confident that this is the right move to get him to the top of the 147-lb division. I look forward to a long and successful journey together.”
“We are going to keep Reshard as busy as possible,” said Greg Cohen. “He’s been having trouble getting fights because he’s so talented and yet unknown, so that’s where Mike Cameron and I come in. We are going to get him the exposure he deserves and the fights he can win all the way to the championship.”
Co-Main Event and Undercard Announced for Cuevas vs. Beltran
Miami via Cuba prospect Livan “Machine Gun Kid” Navarro’s eight-round welterweight showdown against Mexico City veteran Diego “Demoledor” Cruz will serve as the televised co-main event for the Friday, July 12, “Championship Fight Series” boxing event at Hard Rock Event Center at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.
Former amateur standout and undefeated Navarro (11-0, 7 KOs) and Cruz (19-7-2, 15 KOs) will meet as the chief supporting bout when WBA #13-rated welterweight Derrieck “Pretty Boy” Cuevas (21-0-1, 14 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, defends his WBA Fedelatin Welterweight Championship against Los Mochis, Mexico’s Jesus Alberto “Barretero” Beltran (17-2-2, 10 KOs) in the 10-round “Puerto Rico vs. Mexico” main event.
Championship Fight Series is presented by Kris Lawrence and The Heavyweight Factory, in association with All Star Boxing, and will be televised live on the most popular boxing series on Hispanic television, Boxeo Telemundo, at 11:35 p.m. EST.
Tickets for “Championship Fight Series” are on sale now and cost $60, $100, $150, $250 and $500. Tickets are available through ticketmaster.com.
As is custom for these jam-packed events, the exciting undercard features many South Florida and international fighters.
Headlining the undercard, two-time Olympic medalist and undefeated heavyweight KO artist Ivan “The Kazakh Giant” Dychko (8-0, 8 KOs) of Boca Raton, Florida, via Rudniy, Kazakhstan, will face former ESPN 2015 Boxcino Tournament Quarterfinalist Nate Heaven (9-2, 7 KOs) of Ocala, Florida.
In an eight-round super featherweight battle, Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan’s Mussa “Warrior” Tursyngaliyev (9-0, 6 KOs) will face Panama City, Panama’s Ricardo “El Matematico” Nunez (29-9, 23 KOs). In a four-round light heavyweight contest, Miami via Cuba’s wildly popular Ulysses Diaz (10-1, 9 KOs) will look to return to the win column against Winter Park, Florida’s Mike Sawyer (8-12, 6 KOs).
In a special eight-round super featherweight attraction, Miami via Cuba’s Jessy “Beast Boy” Cruz (16-7-1, 7 KOs) will look to continue his four-fight winning streak in an all-action punch-out with Mexico City’s Isao Gonzalo “Kato” Carranza (15-14-1, 9 KOs).
Also featured will be an eight-round super bantamweight slugfest between Miami’s Jorge De Jesus Romero (14-0, 10 KOs) and Mexico City’s Szilveszter Kanalas (14-8, 9 KO); as well as a four-round light heavyweight matchup featuring popular Fort Lauderdale warrior Blake Davis (2-0, 1 KO) and Jefferson City, Missouri’s Armando Reeves (2-3).
Opening up the action will be a four-round featherweight bout between Miami’s Luis Melendez (4-1, 3 KOs) and Ponce, Puerto Rico’s Eduardo Melendez (5-26, 1 KO).
On fight night, the Hard Rock Event Center doors open at 6 p.m., and the action starts at 7 p.m. Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood is located at 1 Seminole Way in Hollywood, Fla.