Boxing Insider Notebook: Holyfield, Nova, Martin, Hurd, and more…


The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 14th to January 21st; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Promotions

Abraham Nova Scores 4th Round Knockout Over Navarrete

This past Saturday night, Split-T Management’s world-ranked junior lightweight contender Abraham “Super” Nova was explosive in stopping veteran Pedro Navarrete in the 4th round of their scheduled eight-round bout at The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.



In round two, Nova landed a perfect left hook to the body that sent Navarrete to the canvas.  In round three, it was an overhand right to the head that put Navarrete to the on the deck.  In the opening seconds of round four, Nova landed three left hooks that dropped and eventually stopped Navarrete at 35 seconds.

Nova, of Albany, New York, is ranked number-seven by both the WBA and WBO  is 18-0 with 14 knockouts.  Navarrete, who has fought three future world champions and five more foes that competed for world titles, is now 30-25-3.

Nova was making his Top Rank debut and is co-promoted by Murphy’s Boxing and 12 Rounds Promotions.   

Jarrett Hurd Training Camp Quotes

Former unified 154-pound champion “Swift” Jarrett Hurd shared his thoughts on his ring return taking place Saturday, January 25 against Francisco Santana live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event.

“This fight isn’t about making a statement,” said Hurd. “I just want to get the win and fight a great fight. I’m going to remind the boxing world what it’s like when I bring a storm to Brooklyn.”

The January 25 co-main event will be Hurd’s first fight with new trainer Kay Koroma. While Koroma trains fighters at the Alexandria Boxing Club in Virginia, not far from Hurd’s Maryland home, he is also an assistant coach for the USA amateur boxing team, having helped various boxers win Olympic medals. 

“Camp has been going great with my new trainer Kay Koroma,” said Hurd. “We’ve been working on a lot of head movement and jabs. We’re strictly focused on boxing and working on all the areas where I have room to grow. He’s really opened my eyes to a lot of things.”

For the Accokeek, Maryland native, this will be his first fight training outside of his home area as a pro fighter. He has been in Colorado Springs training since January 2 and has experienced both the positives and negatives of camp away from home.

“The positives are that there’s literally nothing to focus on out here except boxing,” said Hurd. “No distractions at all. The only negative is you can get homesick. I miss my girlfriend and my family. Also, I just got a new puppy named ‘Bolt’ and I miss my little guy too.”

Hurd will be fighting again after losing his WBA and IBF 154-pound titles in May 2019 against Julian Williams. It was one of the most exciting fights of last year, and one that Hurd will hope to be running back soon, after a victory on January 25. 

“The rematch with Julian Williams is what I always wanted,” said Hurd. “I had no intentions of moving up in weight. Unfortunately, the rematch just couldn’t happen sooner because of my circumstances.”

For his first fight back, Hurd will be facing a tough veteran in Francisco Santana, one who has faced other top 154-pounders, including Williams and Jermell Charlo, and who always comes forward and brings the fight to his opponent. If Hurd is unprepared, it will show against his hard-charging opponent. 

“We just wanted a matchup to get back in the groove of things,” said Hurd. “I’ve been inactive for the better part of the last year. Santana being a smaller fighter, he will stay close and try to outwork me. I know he’s coming to win, so I’m not thinking about anyone but Francisco Santana. We’re going to work behind strategy and skills to get the victory.”


Cletus Seldin to Headline Rockin Fights on February 28th

Boxing fans have been calling for it, Long Island has been waiting for it, and CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (Shirley, Long Island 24-1 20KO’S) couldn’t be more ready to make his ring return, back where it all began, at The Paramount, on February 28, at “Rockin’ Fights.” 

Seldin is coming off the biggest win of his career, when he stopped boxing legend, and multi-time world champion, ZAB “SUPER” JUDAH (Brooklyn, NY 44-10 30KO’s) in June of 2019 at Turning Stone Resort Casino during the coveted Hall of Fame boxing event. Over eleven dominating rounds, Seldin hurt Judah badly in the third, finding success in relentless pressure, culminating in an eleventh-round stoppage as Seldin, an underdog to the former world champ, earned the NABA Super Lightweight Title.  With the victory Seldinentered back into the World ratings (#11 WBA, #12 IBF). 

Making his seventeenth appearance at “Rockin’ Fights,” Seldinholds the record for most wins at The Paramount, the first of which came in 2011 with a quintessential KO over Rashad Bogar.  Seldinwent on to have tremendous success at the Paramount, ultimately winning the WBC International Silver Super Lightweight Title in 2014, which he successfully defended three times. 

In November of 2017,  Seldin would display his world class power on the national stage in a featured fight on HBO against ROBERTO ORTIZ (then 35-1-2 26KO’s). Seldin pounced on Ortiz from the opening bell and knocked knocked him out in the 3rd round in front of an electric crowd of his “Hamma Heads” fans at the Nassau Coliseum.  Just one month later Seldin would make history as the only the third boxer to appear on HBO in back-to-back months, joining boxing legends MIKE TYSON and ROY JONES JR.. 

Seldin has fully recovered from a surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder which he suffered in the Judah fight in June.   Riding a three-fight knockout streak, Seldin looks to continue his rise in the world rankings in his return to The Paramount.  Seldinhad this to say about his return home, “It feels great to be home where it all started. There is no venue like The Paramount, and I cannot wait to be back. I feel healthy and plan on putting on a show for all the ‘Hamma Heads’ who come out on February 28.”

Blair Cobb Battles Samuel Kotey on Valentine’s Day on DAZN

Prince Ranch Boxing’s undefeated welterweight contender, Blair “The Flair” Cobbs (13-0-1, 9 KOs), who is by promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, faces Samuel Kotey (23-2, 16 KOs) of Ghana, Africa.  The 10-round bout will take place on February 14, 2020, as part of the of Ryan Garcia versus Francisco Fonseca card at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA, which will air live on DAZN at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.

“I am excited to return on such a great card,” said Blair Cobbs, who is managed by Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing. “I have been training very hard and know that all my hard work is about to pay off. My body feels great and I’m looking sharp in sparring. I’m ready to take this dude out.”

“We’re thrilled with how Blair Cobbs’ career is progressing” stated Hannely, Cobbs’ manager. “He has an incredible resume and has defeated some of the best unbeaten fighters already.  He keeps getting better and better with each fight.  I expect big things from Cobbs this year, and it all starts on Valentines day.”

Cobbs had a phenomenal 2019 defeating unbeaten fighters Ferdinand Kerobyan and Steve Villalobos as well as Robert Redmond Jr and Carlos Ortiz Cervantes. Cobbs’ last four opponents have had a combined record of (40-5-3, 32 KOs), making Cobbs one of the most battle-tested contenders in the welterweight division.

“Blair has all the tools to be a world champion,” stated Brandon Woods, Cobbs’ trainer, “He has defeated great opponents and done it in a style that is very entertaining.  I see Blair accomplishing some incredible goals in 2020, and I know he’s done everything in the gym to be at his best come fight night.”

“I love what I do,” Cobbs continued. “I am ready to have another great year and continue to put on a great, entertaining show for the fans. It’s Blair “The Flair” time baby, WOOOO!

Evan Holyfield Gets Visit from Christy Martin

Evan “Yung Holy” Holyfield’s (2-0, 2 KOs) next fight will take place on a Christy Martin Promotions card at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona on Saturday, February 8. 

Boxing legend Christy Martin stopped by Holyfield’s Houston Training Camp to look in on Four-Time World Heavyweight Champion Evander Holyfield’s son and came away impressed. 

“Most importantly he is a great young man,”said Christy. “He has great speed and power. His work ethic looks unbeatable.”

“It was really great that Christy came by and she gave me some psychological tips to use during my training,” Evan said. “Right now we are in the middle of camp – sparring just started and things are getting more intense, which I like. I enjoy when things are hard.”

This Daytona Beach is about a six hour drive from Atlanta, where Evan grew up. “I am excited to fight in Daytona – it’s a little closer than my two previous fights. Mom says she is coming with some of the fam. My amateur coach plans to make the drive down, and so are a few friends. I also have a couple of friends in the military that are based in Daytona that will also be there.”

Holyfield announced himself to the professional boxing world on the Canelo-Kovalev November 2 fight card at MGM Grand with a spectacular seventeen second stoppage (TKO 1), which you can watch HERE His second fight took place in Houston on November 23, stopping his opponent with a vicious body shot (KO 4). Watch the viral body shot KO HERE  

The event will be live streamed via Facebook and YouTube on Payne Boxing Television channels. More information will become available as we get close to the event.

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