By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider Notebook for the week of January 27th to February 3rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Klitschko Press Conference Set for February 4th, Gary Shaw Splits with Roc Nation
It was announced a few weeks ago that Gary Shaw Productions had been purchased by Roc Nation Sports, but that deal did not work out and Gary Shaw will return to running his own promotional company and will keep his fighters under his control.
However, one of Gary Shaw’s most prized boxers, Bryant Jennings, is scheduled to face world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on April 25th at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The official press conference to announce the fight will be held on February 4th, 2015 at Madison Square Garden at 1:00 P.M.
This bout will be televised in the United States on HBO.
Thurman vs. Guerrero, Broner vs. Molina Jr. to Fight on Premier Boxing Champions NBC Debut
The Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) Series is set to debut on Saturday, March 7th on NBC live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The main event of the evening will be between Keith Thurman (24-0) and Robert Guerrero (32-2-1) in a welterweight showdown.
The co-main event of the evening will be between Adrien “The Problem” Broner (29-1) versus John “The Gladiator” Molina Jr. (27-5) in a super lightweight bout.
“The team and I are extremely excited and we are all looking forward to this opportunity to fight on NBC. A lot of what my team keeps saying is that this is going to change the sport. It reminds me that my late trainer Ben Getty used to tell me, that all I needed to do was get on a big stage,” said Thurman.
“I’m truly looking forward to headlining the first show. I’m happy to be back at MGM Grand and looking forward to a great knockout. This is the start of creating a household name.”
“It’s very refreshing to know that NBC is bringing boxing back to primetime television,” said Guerrero.
“It’s an honor to be part of the first show, especially against an undefeated champion like Keith Thurman. Everyone knows I always come to fight. Let’s hope Thurman has the same mindset. He claims that he’s going to knock me out, but I see a totally different outcome.
“When this fight is over, everyone tuning in will know why boxing is one of the most exciting sports to watch, that I can guarantee.”
Shiming and Ruenroeng Set for March 7th
Two time Olympic Gold Medalist Zou Shiming (6-0) will challenge IBF Flyweight World Champion Amnat Ruenroeng (14-0) of Si Racha, Thailand in the main event of The Showdown at Sands on Saturday, March 7th at the Venetian Maco’s Cotai Arena. The bout will be televised on HBO2 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Shiming and Ruenroeng had competed against each other as amateurs. Ruenroeng won their first bout but Shiming won the next two times they competed against each other.
Provodnikov Arrives in the United States
“The Siberian Rocky,” former WBO Junior Welterweight Champion Ruslan Provodnikov, arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday night to begin preparations for a major bout in the spring. This bout is rumored to possibly be against Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse, but nothing official has been announced as of yet.
Provodnikov will begin training at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Hollywood.
Rigondeaux Encouraged by De La Hoya Comments About Santa Cruz Fight
WBA, WBO, and Ring magazine super bantamweight world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0) is encouraged by reports that WBC title holder Leo Santa Cruz promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, believes a Rigondeaux-Santa Cruz unification fight has to happen.
“It’s good to know that Santa Cruz’s promoter has stated that our unification fight has to happen,” an ecstatic Rigondeaux said.
“I want to add his (WBC) green belt to my WBA and WBO championship collection. I’ve wanted this fight for some time. Let’s hope this is not just idle talk. Let’s do it!”
“I have contacted Golden Boy Promotions many times to ask about making a fight between ‘Rigo’ and Santa Cruz,” Rigondeaux’ manager Gary Hyde added.
“They always answered by saying they were interested in making this fight but not at that time. Yesterday, after learning Oscar said this fight has to happen, I reached out to Golden Boy and can confirm that negotiations have commenced. Myself and Caribe Promotions, ‘Rigo’s’ promoter, will endeavor to make this fight happen as soon as possible.
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Presents Battle of the Belts on March 13th
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing will present the “Battle of the Belts” on March 13th at the We Ko Pa Resort in Arizona. Billy “Bronco” Wright (46-4) will defend several regional heavyweight titles against Gilberto Matheus Domingos (22-2) and Milorac Zizic (11-0) will take on Louis Rose (11-2) for the NABF middleweight belt.
More information can be found here.
Goossen Promotions Presents “The Pride of Pittsburgh III” on February 20th
Undefeated welterweight Sammy Vasquez Jr. (17-0) will return to action on February 20th when he takes on Emmanuel Lartey (17-2) in the ten-round main event of ShoBox: The New Generation live on Showtime from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
The co-feature will feature longtime Cuban amateur star Humberto Savigne (12-1) and undefeated Craig Baker (15-0) in a light heavyweight bout. Claudio Marrero (17-1) will open up the night’s broadcast.
“Lartey is a good, tough fighter and it’s going to be a good fight,” Vasquez said.
“I know I’m going to keep my KO streak going. Whether it’s in the first or the 10th, it will happen. He’s never been knocked out and I like those kinds of challenges.”
Ahmed Albiali Looks to Extend Knockout Streak
On February 6, 2015, undefeated light-heavyweight prospect Ahmed Elbiali (8-0, 8 KOs) will be competing on ESPN Friday Night Fights against Dustin Craig Echard (10-0, 7 KOs) at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
“I want to continue to get better with each fight,” said Elbiali.
“I’m always throwing hard punches and the knockouts are happening. I don’t want to rely on my power every time I step in the ring. I know if I start head-hunting, then I’ll be doing myself a disservice.
“I want to keep improving on my body punching and head movement. If I see my opponent is in trouble, then that’s when I’ll try to end the fight.”
Elbiali is advised by Al Haymon.
Gary Stark Jr. and John Jackson Headlines February 13th Uprising Promotions Show
Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin and Uprising Promotions have announced a fight card for Friday, February 13th at the Five Star Banquet Hall in Long Island City, Queens.
The main event will be between John Jackson (16-3-1) and Rafael Gonzalez (8-2). Super featherweight Gary Stark Jr. (23-3) will also be on the card to face Jose Roberto Gonzalez.
Angel Luna (9-0-1) versus Ronald Ellis (10-0) will appear on the undercard. For more information visit www.uprisingpromotions.com.