Boxing Insider Notebook: Mansour, Sturm, Mayfield, Pacquiao, Tapia, Stevenson and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 4th to November 11th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Mansour Stops Kassi
Amir “Hardcore” Mansour (20-1) fought on the final showing of Main Events’ boxing series on the NBC Sports Network and he took on Frederic Kassi (18-3) at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mansour is known for his heavyweight power and he’s coming off of an exciting decision loss to Steve “USS” Cunningham, but he was able to come back in impressive fashion with a seventh round knockout. A left hook followed by a right hook dropped Kassi straight to the mat and the referee did not even need to count. The fight was waved off at 2:17 of the seventh round.
Stieglitz and Sturm Battle to a Draw in a Fight of the Year Candidate
Robert Stieglitz (47-4-1) faced Felix Sturm (38-4-3) in a super middleweight bout in Stuttgart, Germany this weekend in a major European bout. Both boxers are coming off of a tough loss and are looking for one more big fight before their careers come to an end.
This bout was filled with exciting moments and even had the media in Atlantic City covering the Hopkins vs. Kovalev fight excitedly talking about it. Unfortunately for both boxers, neither was able to get a clear advantage and sway the scorecards significantly in their favor in the minds of the judges. Stieglitz was the busier fighter, but Sturm’s turtle shell defense blocked many of his opponent’s attacks, while Sturm himself landed the cleaner, harder power shots.
The final scores were 115-113 Stieglitz, 115-113 Sturm, and 114-114.
Karim Mayfield Wins by Decision
Karim Mayfield (19-2-1) returned to his hometown of San Francisco, California on Saturday and dominated Michael Balasi (10-6) with a decision victory. Mayfield was landing his power shots at will and nearly stopped Balasi in the final round, but Balasi was able to make it to the final bell.
“Balasi is a very tough fighter and I give him props for being so durable.” said Mayfield.
“I hit him with a lot of hard shots and he stood his ground. I’m ready to my career to the next level. After losing a couple of fights, I went back to the drawing board and got a better understanding of what I need to do moving forward. I wanted to come out tonight and dominate and that’s what I did. I’m ready to fight any of the top fighters at 140 lbs. I have no problem working my way back up the rankings.”
The final scores were 79-73, 80-72, and 80-72.
Szpilka Defeats Adamek in Poland
Tomasz Adamek’s (49-4) career may be coming to an end as he lost to fellow Polish boxer Artur Szpilka (17-1) in the heavyweight division on Saturday in Krakow, Poland. Szpilka is a good fighter, but he won’t be fighting for a title anytime soon and he’s coming off of a sound defeat to Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant Jennings (albeit Szpilka spent most of fight week flying across the world due to visa issues and suffered from jet lag).
The arena had over 17,000 fans in attendance to watch these Polish heavyweights do battle, but Szpilka still has a lot of years left in his career while Adamek’s best years are behind him. Adamek had his moments, but Szpilka soundly outboxed Adamek for most of the fight. The final scores were 98-92, 96-94, and 96-94 for Artur Szpilka.
Adonis Stevenson-Dmitry Sukhotskiy Montreal Press Conference Quotes
On Friday, December 19th, Showtime will host a special edition quadruple header that include super middleweight Andre Dirrell, light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev, an IBF Welterweight elimination fight between Kevin Bizier and Jo Jo Dan, and Adonis Stevenson and Dmitry Sukhotskiy in a WBC Light Heavyweight bout..
A press conference to promote the card was recently held and some notable quotes from lineal light-heavyweight champ Stevenson about his upcoming bout with Sukhotskiy follow below.
“My hand has healed from the injury when I fought Fonfara. I’m healthy and I’m ready to go,” said Stevenson.
“Going 12 rounds was a good experience for me. I train for 12 rounds in the gym. Sometimes it’s good to go the distance and get the experience.
“Everybody brings their A-game because I’m the champ.
“I know I’m the king of the light heavyweight division and I know that everyone wants to take my belt. I’m going to train very hard.
“Sukhotskiy is a tough guy and he’s hoping to surprise me. I’ll prepare, my hands will be perfect and it will be a short night on SHOWTIME.”
HBO Sports Documentary Tapia to Debut December 16th
HBO Sports will present a compelling documentary about the talented but tormented world champion boxer Johnny Tapia on Tuesday, December 16th at 11:00 p.m. ET.
Tapia uses first-person narration and archival footage to explore the achievements, personal demons and ultimate redemption of the popular fighter, who died in 2012 at age 45. The film is executive produced by multiplatinum award-winning musician, entrepreneur and actor Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and sports promoter, producer and entertainment executive Lou DiBella.
“Johnny Tapia’s life story was an incredible journey, and we are eager to celebrate his biggest accomplishments and chronicle the toughest and most difficult moments of his turbulent life,” said Dibella.
“Tapia was so much more than just a world champion, and we want to share this gripping account with our subscribers, many of whom may have seen Johnny in his five fights on HBO, but may not know the amazing story behind the fighter.”
“This is not a boxing film, but a film about tragedy, triumph, demons and redemption,” says DiBella. “Johnny gives us an honest assessment of his strengths and frailties; he reminds us of the power and resiliency of the human spirit.”
“Johnny’s is a story that needed to be told,” says Jackson. “Everyone can relate to some aspect of it, which makes it that much more powerful. Personally, his journey is one that has touched me greatly.”
2014 Boxcino Champions to Willie Monroe Jr. and Petr Petrov to Return January 16th
On Friday night, January 16, 2015 the two champions from the Boxcino 2014 tournament will be featured in co-main events as part of an ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York.
Petr Petrov (35-4-2), the Boxcino 2014 lightweight champion, and Willie Monroe Jr. (18-1), the Boxcino middleweight champion, will be fighting in ten round bouts for their NABA and NABO titles.
Their opponents have yet to be announced, but tickets are available at the Turning Stone Box Office or online at www.ticketmaster.com
Kenneth Sims Jr. and Eduardo Martinez Return November 13th
Gary Shaw Productions undefeated prospects, light welterweight Kenneth Sims Jr. (3-0) and super bantamweight Eduardo Martinez (3-0) will return to the ring on November 13th at the Westbury in Westbury, New York. Sims Jr. will faced Francisco Lopez (2-1), while Martinez will face Jose Del Valle (4-8-3) in two four round bouts.
“I’m excited to be fighting in New York for the first time in my professional career,” said Sims Jr. “I feel like my power is starting to settle into my punches. I’m still learning on the job but I’m definitely getting better with each fight. I’m ready to show the fans in New York what I’m all about.”
“I’ve been working extremely hard in the gym and I’m looking to make a statement on Nov 13th, Martinez said.
“I like to throw a lot of punches and my goal is to always look for the knockout. Whether it comes or not, I’m going to put on a great show for all the fans in attendance.”
24/7 Pacquiao vs. Algieri Premiered on November 8th
HBO’s award winning 24/7 series will air several episodes before the November 22nd welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Chris Algieri. The first episode premiered on Saturday, November 8th at 1:00 a.m., immediately after the Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev bout. The series plans to visiting Algieri at his home in Long Island and in camp in Las Vegas as well as traveling to the Philippines to visit Manny Pacquiao as he trains for the fight.
The all-new special, Under the Lights: Pacquiao-Algieri debuts next Saturday, November 15th at 11:45 p.m. ET on HBO.