Boxing Insider Notebook: Jones, Chilemba, Mayweather, Davis, Pedraza, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 8th to November 15th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Roy Jones Jr Prepares Isaac Chilemba to Face Oleksandr Gvozdyk on November 19
As Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) prepares to attempt to reclaim the NABF Light Heavyweight Title from Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) live on the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View undercard from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada he will have former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. in his corner for the first time. Below Jones assesses the match-up and his observations of the young Malawi native:
Question: Does Chilemba’s performance against Kovalev give him more confidence going into this fight?
Roy Jones Jr: “Oh yes, most definitely. Kovalev had been crushing everybody and he didn’t get crushed so it has to give him confidence.”
Q: Chilemba has almost three times as many fights as Gvozdyk. How big of an advantage is this?
RJ: “It’s not a big advantage because Gvozdyk probably has three times more fights than Chilemba does in amateurs. These Eastern European guys have so many more amateur fights than we do. They fight from when they’re small and they go through schools and everything. These guys are very, very high-tech when it comes to being skilled in the ring in the sport of boxing so he probably has a little bit more experience if you add up the fights over the years.”
Q: What must Chilemba do in this fight in order to win?
RJ: “He’s got to disrupt Gvozdyk. He can’t let Gvozdyk fight at his own pace. He can’t let Gvozdyk constantly push him backwards so he’s gotta make Gvozdyk change, make Gvozdyk do things he does not like to do.”
Q: What must Chilemba prevent Gvozdyk from doing or take away from him in order to win?
RJ: “Chilemba must prevent Gvozdyk’s control of the power of the jab and setting up the big right hand.”
Q: Do you think, now that you are working with Chilemba, if he defeats Gvozdyk he should be
entitled to a rematch with Sergey?
RJ: “Of course, of course he should. Chilemba deserves a rematch with Sergey.”
Q: What are Chilemba’s biggest strengths and weaknesses. How are you working to correct them?
RJ: “His feet are his biggest strength. His feet are very good, he can be very elusive. And his biggest tool is his straight right hand. His weakness is that he had a lack of punching power because he wasn’t turning his shoulder, turning his body with his punches. We are fixing that, working on it right now.”
Q: As a former light heavyweight world champion, what are your observations on the Kovalev Ward fight?
RJ: “Very good fight. Best fight of boxing today. I look forward to seeing it. To me it’s one of the best fights we had in boxing in years as far as guys being in their prime, being the two best in the division. That is just a great fight. A great fight for boxing.”
Q: How would you break down this match-up?
RJ: “No I don’t have a prediction. Andre Ward hasn’t been beaten in a long time, and if there was a guy that could beat him, there is the guy, so…”
Q: Which fighter, Kovalev or Ward, would have given you the best fight when you were 175-pound world champion?
RJ: “Both of them would be really good fights, very hard fights to fight. Very different fights to fight. My hand speed maybe would be better against both of them but they’d be tough guys to fight. Kovalev because of the power and Ward because of his mentality, he’s a very smart guy in the ring. Very hard fights, but speed factor is probably what I would use to get both of them beat.”
Floyd Mayweather to Attend Badou Jack and James DeGale Press Conference
Floyd Mayweather Jr., the President of Mayweather Promotions, will be on hand at the press conference at the Barclays Center Geico Atrium on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. ET to announce the upcoming Super Middleweight World Title Unification Fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale.
This bout will take place live on Showtime on Saturday, January 14th, 2016. Other people who will be present to announce this fight include Badou Jack, James DeGale, Leonard Ellerbe, Lou DiBella, Stephen Espinoza, Rosie Perez, Paulie Malignaggi, Daniel Jacobs, and Heather Hardy.
Bermane Stiverne Fails Drug Test
Bermane Stiverne has a scheduled interim heavyweight title fight scheduled for Alexander Povetkin. However, Dan Rafael of ESPN reported that Stirverne has failed a random drug test, but will be allowed to fight.
Deontay Wilder is scheduled supposed to face the winner of the bout.
Stiverne is scheduled to fight Povetkin on December 17th in Russia, but that bout is still scheduled to go on.
The WBC announced that Stiverne tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant known as DMAA and has been on the prohibited list of substances since 2010.
Salita Promotions and Forgotten Harvest Team Up to Fight Hunger in Detroit
Continuing with his pledge on Tuesday, to give back to the city in which he has dedicated himself to resurrecting professional boxing, promoter Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions joined a group of fighters and trainers to work as a volunteer for Forgotten Harvest, one of the nation’s largest food rescue organizations.
The group, (that included Salita, Sugar Hill Stewart (trainer), Zach Shamoun (fighter), Theotrice Chambers (trainer), Muheeb Fazeldin (fighter), and Andrei Saakyn (Salita Promotions) all involved with his latest “Detroit Brawl,” event at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, on Saturday, November 12, spent a day working in Forgotten Harvest’s Royal Oak, Michigan, warehouse packing food to be delivered to families in need.
Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” will be priced at VIP $123, Box Seats $100, Ringside $93, $63, $38, and $28 and available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
True to his word, Salita has incorporated a charitable element to every one of his Detroit shows. In addition to the time spent volunteering, he will be donating a portion of every ticket sold to provide thousands of meals to Detroit’s less fortunate. His last show was able to donate over 3000 meals to worthy families.
“We are so glad that Salita Promotions is in our corner and has joined us in the fight against hunger here in metro Detroit,” stated Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes. “We sincerely appreciate their help and community spirit.”
Salita says he’s happy his plans are coming together on both the boxing and charitable fronts.
“I am thrilled to be working with this wonderful organization that does so much for Detroit’s hungry,” he said. “And I will continue to make every show as much about boxing as it is about giving back to this wonderful city that has become my second home.”
Based in Oak Park, Michigan, Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to relieve hunger and prevent food waste throughout the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest “rescued” over 40 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from over 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources.
This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free of-charge to 280 emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest has been ranked as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years.
Jose Pedraza to Defend Title Against Gervonta Davis
ESPN also reported that Jose PEdraza will face Gervonta Davis of Mayweather Promotions on January 14th. It will be the main undercard bout on the super middleweight title fight between Badou Jack and James De Gale.
This will be Pedraza’s third world title defense, and he had to get an exception from the IBF in order to skip over his mandatory challenger and fight Davis.