By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 17th to February 24th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Matthysse vs. Provodnikov Set for April 18th
Lucas Matthysse (35-3) and Ruslan Provodnikov (24-3) have agreed to meet in a twelve round welterweight bout set for Saturday, April 18th, 2015 at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY. This bout will be televised live on HBO’s Boxing After Dark beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT.
“I’m glad this fight is finally done,” said Ruslan Provodnikov. “This is the fight I have been waiting for a long time. I think that this fight will be nominated for either ‘Fight of the Year’ or ‘Knockout of the Year.’”
“I only want the biggest fights against the best fighters and this fight between Provodnikov and I, will surely be ‘Fight of the Year’,” said Lucas Matthysse.
“Provodnikov is a warrior that never stops throwing punches and his style suits me very well. I’m confident that I will win, and since Danny Garcia doesn’t want to fight me again, this fight will prove that I am one of the best fighters in the world.”
Freddie Roach Wins Trainer of the Year Award
It has just been announced that Freddie Roach has won a record seventh Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) Award as Trainer of the Year. Freddie Roach offered the following statement on the announcement of his award.
“Words cannot express how much winning an award with Eddie Futch’s name on it means to me. I’d like to thank the BWAA for this honor. My name may be on the plaque, but I am just a representative of the collective hard work and dedication from the most talented and hardest-working fighters and assistant trainers in the world. It is a privilege to work with them.”
Kovalev vs. Pascal Conference Call Quotes
Sergey Kovalev, WBO, WBA, and IBF Light Heavyweight Champion:
“I am waiting for March 14. This day for me mean a lot. This is the first time defending two of my titles. I am sure it will be a really great boxing date on HBO.”
“Pascal will be the hugest opponent in my career. I fought top guys.”
[On common opponents Darnell Boone and Bernard Hopkins] “Any fight is different because opponents are different on different dates. I can win somebody very easy but then can be very hard for somebody else. Pascal had problems with Hopkins but I beat him easy. It depends on the situation. It will be interesting what will happen March 14. Jean Pascal will see a problem.”
“My plan is, first of all, to defend my three titles against Pascal. It is the most important thing in my career for now. After the fight, my goal is to get all four titles in my division.
Jean Pascal, Former Light Heavyweight World Champion:
“This fight is going to be a great, classic fight of the best against the best. Sergey thinks he is the best. I think I am the best. It is going to be a big night in Montreal. It is like Rocky IV. East versus West. I am a huge underdog. The odds are four to one against me and I am going to be the black Balboa. The fans need to show up for this epic night. I think Sergey deserves way more money and I am very glad I am giving him this opportunity.”
[On his long layoff] “I don’t think it is going to affect me. I have been in this game for 18 years. I am not scared about the public. I am going to give 100%. I am going to be sharp. I have taken nine months layoff to hone my skills. I am going to be well-prepared.”
[On the common opponent in Hopkins] “Sergey had a great fight against Bernard. In my mind, I won both fights against Hopkins. Earlier in my career, I defeated Darnell Boone. I whooped him and it took Kovalev two fights to defeat him. He has been dropped twice but I have never been knocked down in my career. That is why I am calling for an epic night on March 14.”
[On achieving greatness] “Definitely in my country after this fight I will be recognized as the best ever in Canada. Every fight that I lost was a close fight, even though in my mind I won those fights. After March 14, I will be the best ever in my country and then I will go after the world.”
Statement from Oscar De La Hoya on Alvarez vs. Kirkland Fight
Oscar De La Hoya offered the following statement after it was announced that Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland would be fighting on May 9th instead of May 2nd after the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was made official.
“The week around Cinco de Mayo will be the biggest in years for boxing, bridging the present and the future as the three biggest stars in the sport all step into the ring in just a seven-day period. It is my hope and belief that this May week will usher in a new era of our sport, one in which we as a sport give fans what they want, the best facing the best.”
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Taps Go Fight Live for March 13 Live Stream of “Battle of the Belts.”
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing has announced that Go.Fight.Live.TV (gfl.tv) will live stream the March 13th “Battle of the Belts” fight card at We-Ko-Pa Resort and Conference Center.
Billy “Bronco” Wright (46-4) will defend his WBC Heavyweight Latin America and FECARBOX titles against Gilberto Matheus Domingo (22-2) in the main event of the night. Milorad Zizic (11-0) will face off against Louis Rose (11-2) in the co-main event for the vacant NABF Middleweight belt.
The live stream can be purchased at gfl.tv for $14.99.
Fedosov, Dennis, Thomas and Cojanu Advance in Boxcino Heavyweight Tournament
Andrey Fedosov, Donovan Dennis, Lenroy Thomas and Razvan Cojanu all scored victories in their quarterfinal bouts in the Boxcino Heavyweight tournament at the Turning Stone Resort Casino.
Donovan Dennis stopped previously undefeated Steve Vukosa at 2:52 of the fourth round and dropped him twice in the process.
Andrey Fedosov stopped Nate Heaven in the first round at 2:53 and scored two knockdowns before the fight was stopped, and looked by far the most skilled heavyweight in the tournament.
Razvan Cojanu won with a lackluster drawbreaker decision over Ed Fountain. This bout had to go to a 7th round tiebreaker after the judges scored the bout a draw after six rounds.
Lenroy Thomas also won a drawbreaker decision over former U.S. Olympian Jason Estrada. Estrada, called in on one week’s notice, was visibly tiring as the fight went on and looked drained by the seventh and final round.
Thomas will now face Fedosov in one semifinal bout, while Dennis will battle Cojanu in the other. The semifinals are scheduled to take place on Friday, April 10th at the Sands in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston Gloves Sell for $956,000
The boxing gloves worn by Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston during their 1965 bout and a rare autographed picture of Shoeless Joe Jackson sold for more than $1.1 million at an auction.
The two pairs of gloves were bout for $956,000 and they were worn by the boxers during their heavyweight championship rematch. More information can be found at http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/sports-auction-sells-memorabilia-article-1.2124527.
AIBA World Series of Boxing Results
AIBA World Series of Boxing Season V featured the USA Knockouts against the Rafako Hussars Poland.
This tourney took place in Miami at the Miccosukee Sports & Entertainment Dome. The USA Knockouts won their match 4-1.
Brent Richard Venegas (USA Knockouts) defeated Hamza Touba (Rafako Hussars Poland) 3-0 in the flyweight division.
Carlos Zenon Balderas Jr. (USA Knockouts) defeated Dawid Michelus (Rafako Hussars Poland) 3-0 in the lightweight division.
Steven Gerard Donnelly (Rafako Hussars Poland) defeated Brian Ceballo (USA Knockouts) 3-0 in the welterweight division.
Steve Nelson (USA Knockouts) defeated Jerzy Mateusz Tryc (Rafako Hussars Poland) 3-0 in the light heavyweight division.
Cam F. Awesome (USA Knockouts) defeated Roger Hryniuk (Rafako Hussars Poland) by TKO in round 3 of the heavyweight division.
LA Fight Club Premiere Headlined by Joseph Diaz Jr. Sold Out
Golden Boy Promotions has announced that the premiere event of LA Fight Club on Friday, March 6th at the Belasco Theater sold-out in one week. The live telecast will be on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes.
Upcoming events for LA Fight Club are scheduled to take place the first Thursday of every month on April 2, May 7, and June 4.
The March 6th card will be headlined by 2012 U.S. Olympian Joseph “Jo Jo’ Diaz Jr. in a ten round super bantamweight bout. Other boxers on the card include Christian Gonzalez (8-0), Santiago Guevara (8-0), and Jason Quigley (3-0).
Spike TV Announced Their Color Analysts for Premier Boxing Champions
Spike TV has announced that five time two-division world champion boxer Antonio Tarver and Bellator announcer and former professional MMA fighter Jimmy Smith will serve as color analysts for Spike TV’s inaugural season of Premier Boxing Champions.
The first episode of the Premier Boxing Champions event will take place on Friday, March 13 at 9:00 pm ET/PT from the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The card will feature a matchup between Andre Berto and Josesito Lopez, as well as between Shawn Porter and Robert Garcia.
Dana Jacobson will serve as the host and Scott Hansen will be the blow-by-blow announcer.