Boxing Insider Notebook: Hurd, Herring, Joshua, Klitschko, Fury, Stevenson, Leo Santa Cruz, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 14th to June 21st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Jamel Herring to Face Denis Shafikov
Unbeaten lightweight contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel “Semper Fi” Herring (15-0, 8 KOs) will take on former title challenger Denis Shafikov (36-2-1, 19 KOs) in the 10-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN & ESPN Deportes Saturday, July 2 from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa.
The Fourth of July weekend action begins at 9 p.m. ET with undefeated Polish prospect Patryk Syzmanski (15-0, 9 KOs) taking on former title challenger “Silky” Wilky Campfort (21-2, 12 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout.
“I am just excited about the fight. I have been looking for a big step up to get me in title contention,” said Herring. “I started training before I got the call before the fight. I have been training in D.C. with Mike Stafford, Barry Hunter, Patrice Harris and Levi Smith and I feel after this fight, it will get me up to a championship fight. He is a tough guy. If you train hard and stay ready, you can make the fight a lot easier on yourself.”
“I am looking forward to facing Jamel Herring,” said Shafikov. “He is undefeated and a former Olympian. I have the experience of fighting for a title and I know with a win, it will get me another opportunity.”
Jarrett Hurd to Face Oscar Moline on PBC on CBS
An intriguing matchup between undefeated super welterweights Jarrett Hurd and Oscar Molina will open this Saturday’s Primetime CBS broadcast from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS broadcast, presented by Premier Boxing Champions, airs live at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is headlined by a welterweight blockbuster between undefeated champion Keith Thurman and once-beaten former titlist Shawn Porter.
The 10-round showdown between the 25-year-old Hurd (17-0, 11 KOs) and 26-year-old Molina (13-0-10 KOs) is a rare matchup between young undefeated prospects in one of boxing’s hottest divisions. The winner graduates to contender status in the stacked 154-pound class, a division featuring Erislandy Lara,
Jermall and Jermell Charlo, Demetrius Andrade and Julian Williams.
Hurd vs. Molina represents the toughest professional fight for either man.
“The dictionary definition of ‘Swift’ is to happen quickly or promptly,” said Hurd. “So just like my ring name, that’s exactly what you’ll see on Saturday night. I’m so grateful that this fight was made and that the whole world will be able to see my boxing skills on this highly anticipated card.”
“I’m excited for this fight and I’m grateful that it’s even bigger now that it’s on CBS,” said Molina. “I’ve seen Hurd fight. I know what he does well and what his weaknesses are and I’ll be looking to capitalize on them. It’s important for me to defeat the top guys and this is someone I have to beat to become a world champion one day. I’m excited about fighting in Brooklyn on the big stage, but my focus will be on my trainer’s game plan and coming out victorious.”
Stevenson vs. Williams is Announced
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and Gestev are proud to officially announce, “SHOOTOUT”, the next fight for power-punching Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, July 29 at Centre Videotron, a presentation of Videotron in association with Mise-O-Jeu. This event is presented as part of the prestigious “Premier Boxing Champions” (PBC) series, to be broadcast live in the United States, and on Canal Indigo in Canada.
Stevenson (27-1, 22 KOs), who established himself as one of the most powerful pound-for-pound fighters in the world, will defend his World Boxing Council (WBC) and lineal light heavyweight (175 pound division) title for the seventh time, against the dangerous, WBC No. 9 rated Thomas “Top Dog” Williams (20-1, 14 KOs).
“I am very happy to get back in the ring for my next fight, which will be held July 16 in the superb Centre Videotron of Quebec, against Thomas Williams Jr.,” Stevenson said. I will demonstrate that, like fine wine, I am even better with age. Even though I haven’t boxed for 10 months, I’ve never left the gym and I’m willing to defend my crown.”
Artur Beterbiev Won’t Compete in Rio Olympics
After careful consideration, rising Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) star and double Russian Olympian, Artur Beterbiev, will not take part in the qualifying process to earn a spot to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
An Olympic qualifying tournament for professional boxers will be held July 3-8 in Vargas, Venezuela, following the decision of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) to include professionals in the Olympic tournament.
However, Beterbiev (10-0, 10 KOs), who made a triumphant return to the ring after a one-year absence on June 4 at the Bell Centre in Montreal against Argentinian Ezequiel Maderna (23-3, 15 KOs), will not be there.
“After analyzing all situations, we came to the conclusion that the current situation was not favorable,” GYM president Yvon Michel explained. “The short-term goal for Artur Beterbiev is to become world champion in the pro ranks. He will be back in the ring in September.”
Currently world ranked in the top 10 of the light heavyweight division — IBF # 2, WBC and WBA #4, WBO #7 and The Ring magazine #9 — Beterbiev has already participated in the Olympics twice: 2008 in Beijing (178 lbs.) and 2012 in London (201 lbs.).
“Regardless of my boxer’s objectives, ” Beterbiev’s head trainer Marc Ramsey said, “I’m behind him 100-percent. However, the main goal remains the conquest of a World title.”
Mario Barrios to Face Devis Boschiero on PBC on ESPN
Undefeated rising super featherweight contender Mario Barrios (15-0, 8 KOs) will take on former title challenger Devis Boschiero (39-4-1, 21 KOs) in the 12-round main event of Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN & ESPN Deportes Saturday, July 9 from Sun National Bank Center in Trenton, New Jersey.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features an exciting battle of undefeated super lightweight prospects as Los Angeles-native Kevin Watts (11-0, 4 KOs) takes on Chicago’s Eddie Ramirez (13-0, 9 KOs) in a 10-round fight.
“This will be a great opportunity to showcase my talent to the world on ESPN,” said Barrios. “The time is now to take the super featherweight division by storm. A victory will put me one step closer to fulfilling my dream of becoming a world champion. I will not be denied.”
“I look forward to making my American debut on July 9 in New Jersey,” said Boschiero. “I know a win over Barrios will take me towards a world title shot. I plan on coming to America and putting on a great performance and bringing a great victory back to Italy.”
Sullivan Barrera to Pascal: “Keep Your Word, Fight Me Next!”
Former Cuban amateur standout Sullivan Barrera (17-1 12 KOs) is training hard with new trainer Derik Santos. The Florida-based duo have gelled and can’t wait to show off the new and improved Barrera in the very near future.
With Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson already locked into their next bouts, Barrera wants to face former champion Jean Pascal in a high stakes showdown. With both fighters coming off of losses, the heavy handed fighters are sure to produce fireworks in what would be the definition of a crossroads roads battle. The winner would be in a great position for several major fights in the winter and spring of 2017.
Pascal in fact has already agreed to the bout, displaying his desires on his verified Twitter timeline. Barrera intends to take him up on his offer and has no problem traveling to Canada to make the fight happen.
“I’ve been trying to get a fight against Pascal since last year,” Barrera stated. “I have power and he has power. I need a win and he does too, so let’s do it. You already agreed to the fight so stop ducking me. You’ve been all talk so be a man of your word and make it happen. I am ready to fight you now. Let’s give the fans a great fight.”
With Barrera coming off his first career loss and Pascal losing 2 of his last 3, and all three losses between them coming against elite competition, there is no better time than now for these heavy hitters two face each other.
Leo Santa Cruz Set to Face Carl Frampton
Undefeated featherweight world champion Leo “El Terremoto” Santa Cruz (32-0-1, 18 KOs) and fellow unbeaten Irish star Carl “The Jackal” Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) will meet with a world title and two perfect records at stake on Saturday, July 30 in the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions event from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. This bout will be shown live on Showtime.
Breazeale Confident Ahead of Fight with Joshua
Undefeated World Ranked Heavyweight Contender and 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale (17-0, 15 KOs) arrived at London Heathrow Airport on Thursday afternoon ahead of his world title challenge against IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua (16-0, 16 KOs) on Saturday, June 25 on SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL® from The O2 in London, live on SHOWTIME.
Confident as he’s been since the fight was announced, Breazeale was met by the local media upon his arrival.
“We’re two knockout artists so whoever lands first is going to win,” Breazeale said. “I know I got under his skin at the first press conference. He was rattled when we met and he knows I’m not some pushover like he’s had in the past.
“I am an opportunist and if I see an opportunity, I am going to take advantage of it. If he exposes something or shows a weakness of some sort, I plan to take advantage of it.
“I’ll go with the game plan, of course. My trainer, Manny Robles has done a great job developing a game plan during our training camp.
“I’ll hit him hard, hit him strong, hit him with everything, just be ready. We’ve had a great camp and it’s the most exciting part about camp is getting to the finish line and I am excited. I am ready to be victorious on June 25.”
HBO Boxing Preview of Klitschko vs. Fury
Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury are set to rematch on Saturday, July 9th at 5:00 P.M. exclusively on HBO. They will be fighting in England in a rematch that saw Fury dethrone the heavyweight champion. HBO has posted the following video preview in anticipation of their bout.