Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev, Bradley, Shabranskyy, Oscar, and more…
Compiled by: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 7th to November 14th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Kovalev-Shabranskyy Media Conference Call Recap
Below are some select statements from the recent Sergey Kovalev-Shabranskyy Media Conference call.
Sergey Kovalev, former unified light heavyweight world champion: Yes, I’m really good. My training camp is going really good, like always, and I’m happy to work right now with my new coach Arbor Tursunpulatov. He’s doing a great job and we understand each other because we speak and understand one language. We understand each other and I feel comfortable.
Question: Sergey, can you describe what it was like for you to put the losses to Andre Ward behind you? This is like a new beginning for your career. Can you talk about that?
SK: All life is like a lesson for me. After my last three fights, some felt that I should get more physically into my work life with my boxing again. But right now, I feel all bad things are gone from my mind. Right now I concentrate, and I focus for the future of my boxing career. I’m ready to be again a world champion and collect my belts if somebody will be ready to unify the title.
Question: Sergey, when this fight was made with Shabranskyy you did not know it was going to be for the title. Andre Ward hadn’t retired, I don’t believe, when this fight was put together and you were going to go in and fight him to get back in action, score a win and get back on track. Can you tell me what it was like for you, as far as how excited you were that when you found out that it was going to be for one of the titles that Andre vacated when he retired? That you’d have a chance to regain one of your belts in your first fight coming off of a defeat?
SK: My next fight without the belt was going to be discouraging, because I must come back.(It) should be very exciting. I’m really excited and ready to get my belts back. It would be really interesting and really exciting, and I would fight anybody.
I was ready to fight Sullivan Barrera, but he didn’t approve the fight and we got Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. And, after this, Andre Ward vacated the title; it’s additional motivation. It’s like the most important (in) how my future boxing career is going to be. I’m really happy that this fight will be for the title and for the WBO, because this was the first title that I had already., But now this is like a new chapter in my boxing career. I am recharged. I am much stronger than last three fights and you will see November 25 in New York.
RIP Desmond Hammond of King’s Promotions
King’s Promotions is deeply saddened at the passing of Desmond Hammond.
Hammond of Reading, Pennsylvania passed away on Monday morning at the age of 35. He was at his home and surrounded by his family.
Hammond was the Director of Operations for King’s Promotions for the better part of the last three years. He was the nephew of King’s Promotions CEO Marshall Kauffman.
“This is such a sad day for my family and for everyone who knew Desmond,” said Kauffman.
“Desmond was like a son to me. He is my sister’s son, and he is basically the same age as my children so we are extremely close. Desmond came to boxing just a few years ago and he picked up the business so fast. We have run more shows then anybody in the country, and they all have come off so smoothly. That was because of Desmond. He was on top of every detail, which made the events go off without a hitch. But most of all he was very selfless and caring. He was always there for someone in need. He was a great young man, who was very smart, and he was always joking. It was such an honor for me to have him on board with King’s Promotions. He was such a special person who was loved and will be missed so much.”
Besides Kauffman and his family, Hammond is survived by his mother Sheri Clark, sisters Lynchel Hammond and Raven Hammond, brother Steven Brandon, his daughter Dayana, newborn son Donovan and his girlfriend Alisha.
The Viewing will be held next Monday, November 20th between 9 am and 11 am at St. John Baptist Church, 436 South 7th Street, Reading, Pa.19602
Flowers and gifts can be sent by copying and pasting this link:
Tim Bradley Jr. Presents $5,000 to Elementary School to Launch Book
Palm Desert-based Back Story Publishing has released its inaugural book entitled “Hard to Heart: How Boxer Tim Bradley Won Championships and Respect,” a biography geared to middle-grade readers about five-time World Champion boxer and Palm Springs, CA, resident Tim Bradley. As an element in the standard agreement with a book’s subject, Back Story Publishing makes a $5,000 contribution to the charity of the subject’s choice. Bradley and his wife, Monica, selected the library at Amelia Earhart Elementary School of International Studies in nearby Indio as the recipient of this contribution. Today, “Hard to Heart” author Bill Dwyre and Brady presented a $5,000 check to Earhart principal Ann Morales and Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent Scott Bailey in front of the 900+ students at the school. Each of the students also received a copy of “Hard to Heart: How Boxer Tim Bradley Won Championships and Respect,” and each teacher received a classroom copy of the book autographed by Bradley and Dwyre.
Tim Bradley perfectly fit Dwyre’s vision of a first subject for a book developed by Back Story. From being a combative child growing up in Palm Springs, to channeling his love of boxing into a successful career, and from being down to his last $11 before he won his first world title, to becoming what he is today: a five-time World Champion boxer in two weight classes (retired); a volunteer football coach at La Quinta High School; a board member for a youth football program for underprivileged children; father to five busy children with wife Monica; and a businessman working alongside Monica who owns a healthy-options, quick-service restaurant – Haus of Poké — in Rancho Mirage, CA, with two additional restaurants in the works. He and Monica also manage/mentor two up-and-coming local boxers: Edgar Alfredo Martinez and Dominic Serna, Jr. In the Coachella Valley of Southern California, Bradley is seen as an inspiration for perseverance over challenges and for giving back to the community.
“I never, ever expected to have a bio written about me,” said Bradley. “It’s a double thrill that one has been and that it’s for young people. I believe in reading, education and pursuing your dreams, and I hope the lessons I learned the hard way, and that Bill talked about in the book, will help other kids find a smoother path.”
Newly launched Back Story Publishing is the brainchild of Dwyre, award-winning former sports editor and later columnist of the Los Angeles Times. Dwyre envisioned a company that produced books about athletes who contribute to their sport and their community, and who have a compelling personal story demonstrating perseverance and success over life’s challenges. Dwyre also hoped that kids – who spend much of their time on electronic devices using their thumbs – would be inspired to pick up a book and read. “Hard to Heart” is available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble in paperback and e-book formats, and from the Apple iTunes store.
Oscar De La Hoya Presents New, State of the Art Boxing Equipment to Garden Grove Boxing
Olympic gold medalist and 10-time world champion Oscar De La Hoya presented new, state-of-the-art boxing equipment valued at thousands of dollars today at Garden Grove Boxing. De La Hoya was joined by dozens of excited youth who gathered together to receive gloves, hand-wraps, mouth guards, headgear and other state-of-the art boxing equipment. Also during the giveaway, De La Hoya honored Ben Barker and the California Municipal Finance Authority as the 2017 Corporate Partner of the Year in recognition of their commitment to serving youth in Southern California.
“This event is about giving back, about giving a helping hand,” said Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “This is about giving kids hope. When I was a kid, I used to love it when people would stop by the gym to give words of encouragement. It was inspiring. So if we can change and inspire and help families and kids out–then we’ve done our jobs as human beings.”
“I want to thank our partners at California Municipal Finance Authority, Garden Grove Boxing and the entire staff at Golden Boy Promotions for making this event possible. As long as I can give back, I’ll do it for the rest of my life. When you accomplish something in life and you have the opportunity to give back, then do it. It’s my motivation and my way of saying thank you.”
This was the fifth annual boxing equipment giveaway the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation has hosted for after-school youth programs. The Foundation, with the support of its corporate partner of the year California Municipal Finance Authority, is donating new, state-of-the-art boxing equipment to five gyms in Southern California that serve youth in economically disadvantaged communities. The equipment will help these local gyms to provide children and teenagers in their communities with an opportunity to practice the sweet science during their respective after-school programs. Recipients of the Foundation’s boxing equipment donations this giving season include Garden Grove Boxing in Garden Grove, Eddie Heredia in Los Angeles, Westside Boxing Club in Los Angeles, Azteca Boxing Club in Bell, and Duarte Boxing Club in Duarte.
Angel Luna Going Up in Weight to Face Bryant Cruz
Uprising Promotions featherweight Angel “El Gato” Luna (11-3-1, 6 KOs) will go north in weight to battle Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz (17-2, 8 KOs) at 135 pounds, with the bout occurring this Saturday at Resorts World Casino in Queens, N.Y.
“We are excited about this opportunity for Angel,” said Ronson Frank, President of Uprising Promotions. “We know that Pee Wee Cruz presents a very difficult challenge, but Angel has never been one to back down from anyone. He has been fighting a lot of tough fighters over the past few bouts, and he always goes out there and gives 100%. Angel stays in great shape, and we are focused on coming out victorious on Saturday night.”
As mentioned by Frank, Luna has faced extremely tough competition over the past couple of years. His last three opponents had a combined record of 50-1-1 with the fourth being Tevin Farmer, who is fighting for a world title in December.
The most notable win for Luna came over Jose Lopez, who was previously undefeated in 16 fights before the two met at Barclays Center in 2015. In that bout, Luna floored Lopez twice as he cruised to a six-round unanimous decision. As a professional, Luna fought his first nine contests in his native country of the Dominican Republic before moving to Brooklyn in 2014.