Boxing Insider Notebook: Hopkins, Kovalev, Pacquiao, Rocky, Ali, Garcia, and more
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 4th to March 11th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Hopkins vs. Shumenov Officially Announced
Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins and Beibut SHumenov will host a Washington DC press conference on March 11th at 1:30 p.m. ET to officially announce their light heavyweight world championship unification bout. This bout is scheduled to take place on April 19th at the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. live on Showtime.
Director John Avildsen Reveals He Wanted to Kill Off Rock at the End of Rocky V
John Avildsen was the director of Rocky V and he recently revealed to Angelo Cataldi of 94WIP in Philadelphia that Rocky was supposed to die at the end of Rocky V. The original plan was to have Rocky Balboa die in Adrian’s lap following the beating he suffered at the hands of Tommy Gunn, but that idea was nixed by the studio two weeks into the shooting of the movie.
More can be found at: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/entertainment/movies/Director-John-Avildsen-wanted-to-kill-of-Rocky-at-the-end-of-Rocky-V.html
Danny Garcia Comes Home to Puerto Rico
Philadelphia native Danny Garcia will be fighting in Puerto Rico for the first time in his career on Saturday night against Mauicio Herrera on Showtime World Championship Boxing. Fighting in Puerto Rico means a lot to the Garcia family, and he explained it to the crew at Showtime at http://s.sho.com/1is5dYX
Garcia arrives in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, March 11th. He will also be participating in a fighter media workout that is open to the public on March 13th at the Amelia Municipal Boxing Gym Felix Pagan Pintor Calle E, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He is scheduled to work out at 3:40 p.m. The weight in will occur at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez- Clubhouse at 1:00 p.m. The weight in is also open to the public.
Tickets on Sale for Cunningham vs. Mansour
Tickets are now on sale for the Friday, April 4th heavyweight bout between Steven Cunningham (26-6) and Amir Mansour (20-0) for the USBA Heavyweight Title at the Liacouras Center on the Campus of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. The fight is the main event of NBCSN Fight Night beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Tickets are available online at www.comcastTix.com
Cotto vs. Martinez Officially Announced
Three division world champion Miguel Cotto will challenge the WBC Middleweight Champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez on June 7th at the “Mecca of Boxing”, Madison Square Garden. This bout was recently announced and Cotto will attempt to become Puerto Rico’s first four-division world champion. Tickets go on sale on March 12th and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com
“I am very happy to be back in my second home, Madison Square Garden in New York, to once again make history in front of my fans,” said Cotto. “I will be ready and prepared to do whatever it takes to bring the WBC middleweight championship of the world to my country of Puerto Rico”
“It has been my dream to fight in the big room at Madison Square Garden, a place where many great fighters have showcased their talents,” said Martínez. “It is the biggest stage in the world and the world will be watching this fight.”
The Trials of Muhammad Ali Airs on PBS 4/14
The trials of Muhammad Ali airs on PBS on April 14th and will feature never-before seen footage. This documentary explores the extraordinary and complex life of the legendary athlete outside the boxing ring. This documentary is directed by Academy Award nominated director Bill Siegel and examines how Ali risked fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience. The film premieres April 14, 2014 at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach Return to Los Angeles to Begin Phase Two of Training
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach broke camp in General Santos City and arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday night. They began training at the Wild Card Boxing Club on Monday as they prepare to recapture the WBO Welterweight Championship from Timothy Bradley.
“We had a great camp in the Philippines and Manny, as usual, is way ahead of schedule in his conditioning , and very motivated,” said Roach. “The real business begins for us on Monday at Wild Card. We have great sparring waiting for Manny. He wants that title back. If Bradley thinks he’s going to see the same compassionate Manny he saw the first time they fought he is in for a very big surprise.”
Huck Fractures Thumb
The Sauerland Event Show for March 29th at the Velodrom in Berlin, Germany has been cancelled.
WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco Huck has suffered a fractured thumb in sparring and is now unable to compete. Huck was originally a late addition to the show, stepping in for stable mate Yoan Pablo Hernandez, who was originally set to top the bill but had to withdraw due to a viral infection.
Agnew Not Distracted by Kovalev-Stevenson Hype
Boxing media and fans have been clamoring for a matchup between the two light heavyweight kingpings Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson, but have also seemed to have forgotten that Kovalev has to get past Cedric Agnew first. Kovalev and Agnew will meet on March 29th at the Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Agnew had a stellar amateur career and won gold medals at the 2003 United States National Junior Olympic and a silver medal at the 2004 National Golden Gloves.
Agnew is not bothered by the Kovalev-Stevenson hype; he said, “I try not to listen to the media. I’m just focusing on what I need to do come March 29th.” Malcolm Garrett, Agnew’s promoter, is hoping the hype will work to their advantage and that the media is not the only one overlooking Agnew, “I think all the media attention about Kovalev-Stevenson is great and I hope Kovalev is overlooking Cedric like everyone else and it will work to our advantage. This is a fight Cedric wanted. He knows he’s been overlooked – out of the limelight under the radar – but when the bell rings, we will all know.”
Bruno Escalante to Defend Title April 5th
Filipino IBA Super Flyweight Champion Bruno Escalante (12-1-1) will defend his title against Victor Ruiz (12-2) on April 5, 2014 at the Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks, California.
“Ruiz has a lot of power so I will have to be very alert with every punch he throws,” said Escalante. “These are the type of fights that bring out the best in me. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point and I’m not going to fail. I’m going to dictate the tone of this fight and show Ruiz that I mean business.”