By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 27th to November 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Roc Nation Sports regretfully announces that due to an injury sustained while training, Andre Ward will be unable to participate in his previously scheduled Saturday, Nov. 21 bout at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas. A replacement fight for the HBO Pay-Per-View produced and distributed event is currently being worked on.
Ward has been suffering from significant inflammation and constant pain in his right knee that is severely restricting his mobility. He has been advised by his physician to immediately rest and begin rehab on the knee to reduce the inflammation.
“I’m extremely disappointed that I’m missing this opportunity on November 21, but at the same time, I’m encouraged,” said Ward. “Anytime I have had a minor or major setback in my career, by the Grace of God, I’ve come back stronger and this will be no different. I’m looking forward to a big 2016. Thank you to all my fans for your support and patience.”
“Andre’s injury is a huge disappointment not only to him, but all of us involved with this promotion,” said David Itskowitch, COO Boxing of Roc Nation Sports. “We have no doubt that Andre will come back stronger than ever once his knee heals and that he will be a force in the light heavyweight division. We are working diligently to make an intriguing fight that will deliver a level of excitement commensurate with this great event.”
“While we feel terrible for Andre that he has encountered this setback, we have no doubt that Andre will return stronger than ever in 2016,” said James Prince and Josh Dubin, Ward’s management team.
Ken Hershman Steps Down from HBO Sports
Ken Hershman, who has led HBO Sports since 2012, will step down from his current role as President of the division at the end of the year. The announcement was made today by HBO.
Hershman, who will remain in his role through the end of December, will work with Mike Lombardo, President, HBO Programming, on a smooth transition of the leadership role in the sports division.
“Ken’s dedication and commitment to our sports division is deeply appreciated,” said Lombardo. “His approach to rebuilding our boxing franchise was strategic and creative which led HBO Sports to great success. All of us here are grateful and proud of the success Ken and the HBO Sports team have had over the past four years in delivering unparalleled sports programming to our subscribers. We wish him all the best in his next challenge.
With nearly a quarter-century of television experience, Hershman departs HBO with the sports division enjoying a record-setting year.
“I am particularly proud of what I accomplished and believe now is the perfect time to hand over the reins to someone new,” said Hershman. “I’ve had the distinct privilege of having been involved in many of boxing’s biggest and most thrilling moments, including the Mike Tyson era, creating the Super Six Tournament, and, staging the biggest pay-per-view event of all-time this past May in Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao. I have also had the privilege to steward over some of the best sports shows on television, including 24/7, Real Sports and Hard Knocks, and to work with some of the best talent in television, both behind and in front of the camera.”
“HBO Sports is well positioned for the future, especially in the boxing arena, with nine of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today, including the world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, Canelo Alvarez, Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev, Miguel Cotto, Andre Ward, Terence Crawford and many others. I cannot wait to watch these great fighters exhibit their skills, but from the vantage point of a passionate boxing fan,” said Hershman.
Hershman joined HBO from Showtime, where he had been Executive Vice President, General Manager, Showtime Sports & Event Programming since October 2003. He developed the innovative “Super Six World Boxing Classic” and spearheaded the acquisition of the NFL franchise “Inside the NFL,” which won the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Studio Show in its first year under Hershman’s administration.
Hershman joined Showtime in July 1992 as Counsel, and was elevated to a senior programming role in January 2001. Prior to Showtime, Hershman was an associate at the law firm of Shearman & Sterling in their Corporate Finance group. Hershman is a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the International Law Journal and received his B.A. degree With Distinction from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1985.
Andre Ward and HBO Reach Multi-Fight Agreement
Roc Nation Sports announced that two-time world champion Andre Ward (28-0) will return to the ring on November 21st as the co-feature to the Miguel Cotto vs. Canelo Alvarez middleweight world championship fight being distributed by HBO.
Ward has signed an exclusive multi-fight agreement with HBO that will commence with Ward’s November 21st fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
“All of us at Roc Nation Sports are thrilled to partner with HBO as we embark on the next chapter in the storied career of Andre Ward,” said David Itskowitch, COO Boxing Roc Nation Sports. “Starting this multi fight agreement with Andre’s quest to conquer the light heavyweight division with a fight on the highly anticipated Nov. 21 pay-per-view event is a fitting way to kick things off. We are hopeful that Nov. 21 is the first step toward a 2016 showdown with Sergey Kovalev.”
Wach vs. Povetkin to be Available Online
Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd. and promoter World of Boxing have announced that boxing fans around the world will be able to stream the November 4th card, from Kazan, Russia headlined by Povetkin versus Wach and Lebedev vs. Kayode.
The card will be priced at $9.99 and the stream will be made available at many boxing websites.
The PPV will be widely available in many major markets where the telecast is not available from a local broadcaster, including USA, Argentina, Canada, Germany and many more. The PPV will not be available in regions that are being served the telecast by major sports channels such as Russian Federation (Match TV), United Kingdom (BoxNation), Middle East (beIN Sports) and more. A full list of available and unavailable territories is provided below.
The undefeated Cesar Rene Cuenca (48-0, 2KO) defends his IBF World Super Lightweight Title for the first time after capturing the title in Macau over Ik Yang. The elusive and technical Cuenca will have his hands full against massive power puncher Eduard Troyanovsky (22-0) who looks to make it 13 straight stoppages en route to claiming the world title.
In the co-main event, Denis Lebedev (27-2) the fearless makes his third straight defense of the WBA World Cruiserweight Title. Lebedev looks to make his claim as the best Cruiserweight in the world after impressive victories over Kalenga and Kolodziej, when he takes on the always controversial and undefeated Lateef kayoed (21-0), fighting outside of the USA for the first time in his own quest to capture a world title.
And in the highly anticipated main event, Olympic Gold Medalist Alexander Povetkin, who has only lost to Wladimir Klitschko, continues to hunt down his world title shot against Deontay Wilder, but must first defeat the 6’7″ Polish giant Mariusz Wach (31-1, 17 KO), who has won four straight after his sole defeat to the reigning champion Klitschko. Povetkin has been on an absolute tear with KOs of Manuel Charr, Carlos Takam and Mike Perez.
Zab Judah Returns November 13th
Grego Cohen Promotions, Roy Jones Jr. Promotions, and Roy Engelbrecht’s Promotions in association with David Schuster’s Winner Take All Productions, will proudly present Super Showdown at the DLVEC, a night of world-class professional boxing at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center and live on CBS Sports Network.
Headlining the card will be five time world champion and former undisputed world welterweight champion Zab Judah (42-9) in the ten round main event. Former world champion Juan Carlos Salgado (26-5-1) will take on Judah in this fight.
Joseph Agbeko (30-5), Jesus Gutierrez (14-0-1), and Ava Knight (13-2-3) are also scheduled to be on this card.
Yuri Foreman Returns to the Ring on Quillin vs. Jacobs Undercard
Former world champion and Brooklyn-native Yuri Foreman (32-2) will return to the ring for the first time since 2013 as part of a stacked undercard on Saturday, December 5th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Other talented fighters on the undercard include Marcus Browne (16-0), Heather Hardy (14-0), and Will Rosinsky (19-2). Chris Algieri (20-2) is also scheduled to fight on the undercard.
The main event will be between Peter Quillin (32-0) and Daniel Jacobs (30-1), while the co-feature will be between Jesus Cuellar (27-1) and Jonathan Oquendo (26-4).
“Fans will want to arrive at Barclays Center early on December 5th as we have a tremendous undercard on hand for the live audience featuring neighborhood rivalries and talented fighters of multiple nationalities and backgrounds,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “Polish-American Will Rosinsky, of Queens, faces off against Irish-American Joe Smith, of Long Island. Former champion and Italian American top-rated contender Chris Algieri, of Huntington, Long Island challenges tough Ecuadorian Erick Bone.
“The popular Irish-American Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy has become a staple at Barclays Center and will compete in her fifth appearance at the venue. Another former champion and an ordained Orthodox Rabbi, Yuri Foreman will make his long awaited ring return following the completion of his rabbinical studies. Staten Island’s unbeaten light heavyweight prospect and former Olympian ‘Sir’ Marcus Browne will look to continue his streak of impressive performances as well.”
Katie Taylor and Jennifer Chieng Honored at ANOC Awards
Thursday night saw the second edition of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) Awards in Washington D.C. Held to recognise the achievements of the biggest stars from the five Continental Games that have taken place over the past 14 months, two greats of women’s boxing were among the athletes to receive awards.
Irish hero Katie Taylor and Jennifer Chieng from the Federated States of Micronesia received the Best Female at the European Games in Baku and Best Female at the Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea awards respectively, underlining the huge impact women’s boxing has had since AIBA introduced it into the Olympic program at London 2012.
“These awards are a recognition of how far women’s boxing has come in the short time since we introduced it to the Olympic program at London 2012″ said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu. “The women’s events have proved to be as competitive as they are impressive and a fantastic addition to the world of boxing, thanks in no small part to these two great athletes that I would like to vividly congratulate for their accomplishments”
Taylor’s gold in Baku was her 18th major international title, underlining a dominance of women’s boxing since bursting onto the scene in 2005 that she will be hoping to continue with a second Olympic gold next year.
“It was amazing to compete at the first ever European Games in Baku and to become the first ever women’s European Games lightweight champion. This recognition is extremely humbling and I am very grateful to ANOC for awarding me this honour. I am looking forward to travelling to Rio with the OCI and bringing home some more medals for Ireland.”
Chieng has made a huge impact since her debut in 2013, and after an outstanding Pacific Games campaign that culminated with a gold medal, she now has her own sights set on qualification for Rio 2016.
“I am still finding it hard to come to terms with the incredible opportunities that have been presented to me in the past few years through the NOC of the Federated States of Micronesia, including this evening and receiving an ANOC Award. It was amazing to represent my country at the Pacific Games. I’ve only had a short sports career so far, but winning that gold medal was certainly a highlight, and this ANOC Award will be equally treasured.”