Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev/Hopkins, Crawford, Groves, Huck, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 1st to July 8th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Terence Crawford to be In-Studio Guest on ESPN Friday Night Fights!
Undefeated WBO Lightweight Champion Terence Crawford, fresh off his victory over Yuriorkis Gamboa, will be joining Doug Kezirian as the in-studio guest on this week’s edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights which will air live this Friday, July 11th at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.
Topics Crawford and Kezirian will be discussing will most certainly include a recap of Crawford-Gamboa, arguably the Fight of the Year at the midpoint of 2014 as well as making Crawford (24-0), the pride of Omaha, a serious consideration for Fighter of the Year.
George Groves Returning September 20th
George Groves (19-0) returns on September 20th in a final eliminator for the WBC World Super Middleweight Title against European Champion Christohper Rebrasse (22-2-3). Rebrasse’s European title and the vacant WBC Silver Super Middleweight Title will also be in the line when the pair meet at the SSE Arena in Wembley.
‘’It is great to be back here in Wembley and back to world-class boxing,’’ said Groves at
today’s press conference. ‘’Last time I was here it didn’t go the way I had hoped but I showed that I belong at the top level. In boxing sometimes all it takes is one punch, and it took just one punch to derail my world title ambitions in May. But we are back on the road and the journey will continue on 20th September at the SSE Arena in Wembley.
Kovalev Responds to Bernard Hopkins
Sergey Kovalev (24-0) is preparing to defend his WBO Light Heavyweight World Title on August 2nd, but recently had to respond to comments made by IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins (55-6-2).
Hopkins recently called out Kovalev by saying, “I got two titles and a legacy. What’s Kovalev got? A punch and a WBO title- let’s do it.” He added, “the perception is, is that Kovalev is a killer and Stevenson doesn’t want to fight him, he wants to fight an old man. If that’s the case, I’ll knock off Kovalev first, because I believe I can beat him. I believe that he’s a tough fight, but I believe that I can beat him. It’s a fight where if I make a mistake I can get knocked out. And yeah Bernard Hopkins can get knocked out too, and so can Kovalev and so can Stevenson, who’s been knocked out once in his career.”
Kovalev responded by stating, “ All I want to do is fight the best. I wanted to fight Stevenson but he ran away. I would get in the ring with Bernard Hopkins right now! Any time, any place! But who knows? Maybe he’s just trying to get more money from Showtime? So, I am focused on preparing for my fight on HBO on August 2nd and after we’ll see if Hopkins will really get in the ring with me.”
Chazz Witherspoon Talks About his Return this Saturday at Riverwinds in West Deptford, NJ
This Saturday, July 12th, heavyweight contender Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon (30-3) returns to the ring after a two year absence when he takes part in an eight round bout against Tyabb Beale (9-4-1) of Newark, NJ at the Riverwinds Community Center in West Deptford, New Jersey.
Huck Defends WBO Crown vs. Larghetti on August 30th
Mike Larghetti is unbeaten in twenty one fights with thirteen knockouts. He’ll be facing Marco Huck (37-2-1) for his WBO Cruiserweight World Championship on August 30th at the Gerry Weber Stadium in Halle/Westphalia, Germany. This will be Huck’s 13th defense of the title he acquired in August of 2009.
They were supposed to face each other on March 29th, but that bout was cancelled due to Huck injuring his thumb. Larghetti stated, “I was ready back then and I am even more ready now.” He went on further adding, “Hopefully, Huck is more careful with his hands this time. I want to show him and the boxing fans that I am a better fighter and the man to put an end to his title reign.”
Huck countered,” This will be Larghetti’s first and last world title fight. When I am done with him he will wish not ever having shared the ring with me. I will make spaghetti out of Larghetti!”
WBC and Boxing Community Give Back to the Youth
On July 2, 2014 in Big Bear Lake, California the WBC Cares along with Supreme Boxing and Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department, held an event at the United Peace Officers Committee annual camp for at risk youth and called it “Training with the Champions.” The goal was to inspire the youth whether it was in the sport of Boxing or any dream they had.
In attendance was legends like Israel Vazquez, Julian Jackson and champions like Leo Santa Cruz, Armando Santa Cruz, Julius and John Jackson and trainers such as Zar Roman, Rodney Cruz Hunt, Abel Sanchez, and others.
During camp the youth had the opportunity to train with the champs, hit the mitts, shadow box, and all the boxing fundamentals. WBC Cares and Supreme Boxing also taught the business side of boxing like promoting, public relations, contracts, photography, production, press conferences, reporting, writing, and they even held a ring announcer contest.
More information and pictures can be found at www.facebook.com/supremeboxing
ESPN Friday Night Fights Heats up With Two Crossroad Bouts
Gary Shaw Productions, ESPN “Friday Night Fights” is heating up when main event fighters Tureano Johnson (14-1, 10 KOs) and Mike Gavronski (14-0-1, 10 KOs) battle in a 10-round middleweight showdown for the Continental Americas USNBC Title. Also, in the 10-round co-feature, lightweights, Art Hovhannisyan (17-1-2, 9 KOs) and Jonathan Maicelo (20-1, 12 KOs) will go to war for WBC International Silver Title.
The ESPN “Friday Night Fights” telecast begins this Friday July 11 at 9:00 p.m. EST / 6:00 p.m. PST from the Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, WA.
Johnson vows to make a statement in this fight being that he his last bout against Curtis Stevens was stopped early.
“I can’t let this fight go the distance,” said Johnson, “I don’t want to leave this fight in the judges hands. The goal is to throw hard shots all night and take him out. Gary Shaw said this is a big opportunity for me to get back into the mix at middleweight so I’m coming to put on a show. Everyone should be tuning in this Friday.”
Mike Gavronski knows he’s in a tough fight and promises to be victorious agains Johnson.
“Johnson is a good fighter, but I don’t think he has the talent to be,” said Gavronski. “I’ll be fighting in front of my home town fans and I’m not going to let them down. I will be victorious on Friday night.”
In a crossroads bout, Jonathan Maicelo and Art Hovhannisyan will put everything on the line to advance their careers.
“The time is now for me to step up my game,” said Maicelo, “Shaw said the winner this fight will move on to bigger and better things, so I must win. I will do whatever it takes to get the victory.”
“I’m at a point in my career where I can’t look back, said Art Hovhannisyan. “There is no room for error and on Friday night I’m coming to win. I will break the will of Maicelo to come out on top.”
“The main event and co-main event fighters are at a crossroads in their career,” said Gary Shaw. “I can guarantee the fans watching in attendance and all around the world will see an amazing night of boxing. Whoever comes out on top will be rewarded with the big fight. All the fighters understand the significance of what’s on the line, so I expect to see a tremendous effort from everyone.”
2 Days: Sergey Kovalev Premieres Saturday, July 26th
HBO Sports debuts an all-new installment of “2 Days” when the feature segment returns Saturday, July 26th at 11:45 p.m. (ET/PT) with a behind the scenes look at world light heavyweight title-holder Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev, one of boxing’s fastest rising stars.
“2 Days” is a revealing and intimate look at a 48 hour span in the life of a boxer in the lead up to one of his fights and the next edition will focus on Russian native Sergey Kovalev. HBO followed Kovalev prior to his fight against Cedric Agnew on March 29th in Atlantic City.
The show will debut on July 26th at 11:45 p.m. on HBO.