Boxing Insider Notebook: Joshua, Pulev, Jacobs, USA Boxing, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 19th to September 26th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Sport
Joshua vs. Pulev Heavyweight World Championship Fight to Air Live on Showtime on October 28th
SHOWTIME Sports® will close out a banner year of world-class boxing with back-to-back Saturdays featuring heavyweight world championship fights live on SHOWTIME. The network announced today coverage of unified heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua’s upcoming WBA and IBF world title defense against top-rated mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev on Saturday, October 28 live on SHOWTIME from Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.
The October 28 SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast will be the first of two heavyweight world title fights airing live on SHOWTIME on consecutive Saturdays, with WBC World Champion Deontay Wilder set to defend his title against undefeated contender Luis Ortiz on Saturday, November 4. Both main event bouts will air live on SHOWTIME as the network concludes a robust 2017 boxing campaign that will have featured 22 world championship fights, 16 bouts matching fellow undefeated fighters, three world title unifications, three world title rematches and the emergence of three bright young stars (Errol Spence Jr., Gervonta Davis and David Benavidez) as they earned their first world titles.
With the addition of Joshua vs. Pulev, four of the consensus top-five heavyweights in the world will compete on SHOWTIME in consecutive weeks. Joshua vs. Pulev and Wilder vs. Ortiz will be the ninth and 10th heavyweight world championship bouts to air live on SHOWTIME in the last two years.
“There’s so much to be excited about in the sport of boxing, and it all comes to a fever pitch on consecutive Saturdays this fall on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports. “This has been a great year for boxing. More specifically, it has been a great year for SHOWTIME boxing. There’s no better way to end it than with two major heavyweight world championship events. We are proud to be in business with the two biggest punchers in the sport, Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, and the rest of the talented and hungry heavyweight challengers of today.”
Joshua, the undefeated British superstar (19-0, 19 KOs), exploded onto the world stage in April when he defeated heavyweight legend Wladimir Klitschko via a spectacular come-from-behind knockout. In the year’s leading Fight of the Year candidate, a bout that aired live on SHOWTIME, Joshua picked up the vacant WBA heavyweight title to go along with his IBF belt. Now, Joshua returns to take on the top-ranked IBF challenger in Pulev (25-1, 13 KOs) at the 70,000 seat national stadium in Wales.
Joshua, 27, has remarkably knocked out all of his opponents since turning pro shortly after winning gold in the 2012 Olympics. The Watford, England native won his first title with a second-round KO of defending IBF Heavyweight Champion Charles Martin in April 2016, earning a heavyweight belt in the fewest number of fights in more than 20 years. He has since successfully defended the title three times – against Dominic Breazeale in June of 2016, Eric Molina in December and Klitschko in April.
Pulev, of Sofia, Bulgaria, will be making his second attempt at winning the IBF world championship, having lost to Klitschko in his first try in November 2014. After that, his lone loss, Pulev quickly rebounded and became a two-time European champion with a win over Dereck Chisora. He also holds wins over two former world title foes of Klitschko in Samuel Peter and Kevin Johnson.
Joshua vs. Pulev is promoted by Matchroom Sport. Fewer than 200 tickets remain on sale via www.StubHub.co.uk priced at £300.
Daniel Jacobs Signs with Matchroom Boxing, to Return to HBO
Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing are delighted to announce their first American signing as Brooklyn native Daniel Jacobs, (32-2, 29 KO’s) pens a multi-fight deal as part of Matchroom Boxing’s new venture in the US.
The former Middleweight World ruler will make his debut under the new banner in November live on HBO® as ‘The Miracle Man’ aims to reclaim his World champion status.
Jacobs’ last outing was against fearsome pound-for-pound king Gennady Golovkin in March at a jam packed Madison Square Garden in New York where ‘GGG’ edged the Brooklyn star out on points, and 30 year old Jacobs wants to get back into fights with the likes Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez as he kicks-off an exciting new chapter in his career with Hearn and Matchroom.
“I’m truly excited to be joining Matchroom Boxing and HBO,” said Jacobs. “This is a new beginning for my career and I get a chance to showcase my skills to the world. I can’t wait to return to the ring in November, being active and recapturing the World middleweight title.”
“It’s an honour to welcome Danny Jacobs to the Matchroom Boxing team and to join forces with HBO boxing to showcase his fights,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “I believe Danny has proved himself as the top Middleweight in World boxing and has one of the most inspirational stories you will ever see in the sport which must be told. We plan on keeping Danny nice and busy kicking off in November, then back in the spring with the obvious target of the Canelo vs GGG winner.
“This signing marks the first of many in the US market as we look forward to building on our success in the UK, raising fighters’ activities levels and profiles and providing fans with atmosphere and drama from this great sport.”
“Inspiring and electric in the ring, Daniel Jacobs is a true ambassador for boxing,” says Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “Daniel is a force to be reckoned with in the stacked middleweight division. We look forward to watching his exceptionally bright future unfold as part of the HBO family.”
USA Boxing Launches Alumni Association
USA Boxing announced the official launch of the USA Boxing Alumni Association today during a press event in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Alumni Association was created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relationship between USA Boxing and its alumni, including boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans. The membership, which costs $40/year, allows members to relive amateur boxing experiences with former teammates, opponents, coaches and other members of the USA Boxing community.
“The Alumni Association will be looking to connect generations of champions of the sport,” said Mike McAtee, USA Boxing Executive Director. “This association will bring former boxers that reached all levels of success in amateur boxing, as well as coaches, officials and people who have a love for Olympic-style boxing together.”
“The ability to connect, reconnect and interact with former participants and lovers of our sport is exciting,” stated USA Boxing President John Brown. “This association has been talked about for over 30 years and will allow us to accomplish goals only previously dreamed of.”
The Alumni Association will be open to anyone possessing a love for the sport and looking to stay connected with amateur boxing. Becoming a member will grant members access to a variety of special events hosted by the Alumni Association, including the first annual USA Boxing Alumni Association Hall of Fame reception. The reception will be held on December 8 in Salt Lake City during the USA Boxing Elite and Youth National Championships & Junior and Prep Open.
The USA Boxing Alumni Association will begin taking registrations on November 1, with the Alumni Association website launching in the coming weeks.
For more information on the USA Boxing Alumni Association follow USA Boxing Alumni Association on social media (@USABoxingAlumni) or call (719)-866-2778.
Jeff Horn Backs Dennis Hogan to Win World Title
World Boxing Organisation (WBO) number six ranked junior middleweight Dennis “Hurricane” Hogan has received support in his bid for a world title shot from Australia’s only current world champion ahead of the WBO eliminator that could decide his future.
WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn says there is no reason Hogan can’t emulate his performance when he ripped the world championship belt from the waist of eight-division world champion and pound-for-pound stalwart Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last July.
“Dennis impresses me with his work ethic and his strength as a boxer,” says Horn, who trains alongside “The Hurricane” at coach Glenn Rushton’s Stretton Boxing Club.
“He can definitely emulate what I have done, being ranked number six himself.
“Dennis just needs to fight hard and win every round as it goes. Hard work and belief was my key to success.
“It is extremely important to have a strong team behind you who you can trust.”
But first Hogan is going to have to get past world number seven Yuki Nonaka from Japan who he faces in a decider for the number two spot at the Convention & Exhibition Centre in Brisbane on 14 October.
“Nonaka is a slick, elusive counterpuncher, but I’m used to that style,” says Hogan, who has a professional record of 25-1-1 with 7 knockouts. “I do very well against guys like that so I’m very confident going in.
“As an amateur I was light heavyweight champion of Ireland so I got used to boxing guys taller than me. It’s all about nullifying him, frustrating him, breaking him down and making him do what we want him to do, then we’ll catch him.”
Nonaka comes highly credentialed and is ranked in the top 15 of all four major sanctioning bodies. The Osaka southpaw is undefeated in eight years but he has never fought outside of his native Japan.
“This is one of the biggest sporting events to be held in Australia this year and the second biggest fight behind only Horn and Pacquiao,” says Paul Keegan of DDP Sports Management who are promoting the event.
“We want to bring arena style boxing back to Australia and encourage all sports fans to get along to see what all the hype is all about.
“Dennis is set to be Australia’s next world champ and we want to give Aussie sports fans the chance to see this kid fight live and be part of his journey.”
Hogan says that he has left no stone unturned in his preparation and is looking forward to doing his fans across two countries proud.
“I’ll have youth on my side, I’ll have aggression on my side and I’ll be ready to go all out for the full ten rounds,” says Hogan.
The 32-year-old Hogan moved to Brisbane from Kildare, Ireland seven years ago to pursue a professional boxing career when the Irish economy was tanking due to the fallout from the global financial crisis.
DENNIS HOGAN QUOTES
On training at the Stretton Boxing Club: “We know all the ingredients are there, it’s just about doing everything that we need to do. The gym is structured really well, it’s a really good set-up. You manage to get all the stuff done in a good way and it’s actually enjoyable going up there to train, even though it’s tough work. You can go years smashing out sessions and you very rarely get to see things changing because of the intense nature of the work. But when you get to see big changes on a regular basis and stuff that really works to your advantage when you’re in the ring, you start to realise this stuff is working. It gives you a lot of confidence and more motivation to come back and do it all again.”
On his fight with Jack Culcay for the WBA world title: “I learned a lot about what happens when you’re the away fighter. And what that means is that you can’t leave anything to chance. You have to make sure every little thing is spot on. Even if you’re winning the rounds you can’t relax for a second, you’ve got to stay on for the whole lot and you can’t even give those guys an inch. I used to give people an inch and now I’m working on not giving them nothing. That fact that I’ve been there and done that, now I know I can be there and win that.”
On his Australian and Irish supporter base: “In this fight I’m going to make a statement. And after this people are going to know we mean business. After this I look forward to gaining more momentum with the crowd and hopefully getting more Queenslanders and Aussies behind me, along with the Irish. I have great support from the Irish community here and just want everyone to come together and support me, together we can make it work. I will be the world champion and with the support of those people, it’s only going to help.”
On the keys to success: “If you believe in yourself and keep pushing yourself to keep going, good things will come to you. I really believe that. There were days when you didn’t know whether you were national level, regional level or world level. It seems like it’s so far away, the goal of being world champion. But I kept saying to myself ‘I’m going to be world champion and I’m going to do whatever it takes to get there’. And I showed up every day and put in the work and here I am. I’m on the cusp of it now, I’ve already had a world title fight, I’m close to having one again and I’m here to put it right.”
On a world title shot in Australia: “If we can bring that a world title fight here and in some way replicate the atmosphere and the crowd that Jeff Horn had for his fight with Manny Pacquiao, it would just be phenomenal. It would be phenomenal for me, it would be phenomenal for the fans, and it would phenomenal for the country. It would really bring big time boxing back here. I know it was a dream of Jeff’s before, a dream of Glenn’s, and I want to be a part of that too. That’s another goal of mine too, to make that happen. I’m under no illusion that I have to put in a big performance here if I want to get the support needed to bring a world title fight to Brisbane.”
On moving to Australia: “I boxed on the Ireland amateur team for a few years and travelled the world with them. We came through Brisbane and I met a guy here who had a professional set up and stuff, so three years after that I was starting to think about going pro. Back then I had a bit of an offer from Boston and I had an offer from here. I remembered being here and it was beautiful and I had a cousin living here as well. I thought about the beautiful weather, the beautiful people here, and I just said ‘you know what, I’ll go back there and try that’. I thought it might only be for a year or something, but I just loved it here, I just loved it here and decided to stay. And even when I have had training camps and in Miami and Florida I kept coming back because I love it here.”
Barthelemy-Ramirez Ends in Dubious Draw
A loud chorus of boos rang out as another controversial Las Vegas decision was rendered in tonight’s Leduan Barthelemy vs. Eduardo Ramirez featherweight battle at the Cannery Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Ramirez, of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, seemed to have done more than enough to deserve the nod over a listless Barthelemy in the 10-round featherweight main event of a Premier Boxing Champions “Cuba vs. Mexico” TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAY event, televised nationally on FS1 & BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes.
After 10 rounds of pounding and chasing the exhausted Cuban around the ring, often landing multi-punch combinations to the head and body, Ramirez and corner rightfully celebrated their well-deserved upset victory… But in Las Vegas boxing, nothing is certain, especially scoring.
While Judge Glen Trowbridge was able to pick the right winner at least (but by too tight a margin) at 96-94, the other two inexplicably scored the lopsided beating (Tim Cheatham) 95-95 and an unbelievable 97-93 Barthelemy from Patricia Morse Jarman.
This controversial scoring is the second time Las Vegas judges have made major blunders on national television in a short time, as it comes less than two weeks after the Canelo vs. GGG scoring debacle.
It is also not the first time Morse Jarman has been involved in controversial and highly questionable scoring.
Her decades of head-scratching scores include having Fernando Vargas ahead of Oscar De La Hoya at the time of De La Hoya’s 11th round stoppage victory, as well as having Beibut Shumenov winning 117-111 in a fight against Gabriel Campillo that Campillo clearly dominated and was robbed. Also among her long list of missteps, Morse Jarman had Marco Antonio Barrera beating Nasim Hamed by a mere three points in a fight regarded by all (except Morse Jarman) as a one-sided beating.
With the “draw” Barthelemy escapes to 13-0-1, 7 KOs. Ramirez undeservedly sinks to 20-0-3, 7 KOs.