Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, Canelo, Abraham, Juan Diaz, and More


By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 4th to March 11th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Mendez Defeats Salgado, Sosa Defeats Solis

Argenis Mendez (21-2) defeated Juan Carlos Salgado (26-2-1) in a junior lightweight title bout on Saturday in Costa Mesa, California. Mendez had previously fought Salgado in 2011 but lost by a unanimous decision. Mendez dropped Salgado once in the first round, and ended the fight in the fourth round with a left hook. The fight was called off at 0:45 into round two.

Edgar Sosa (48-7) knocked out Ulises Solis (35-3-3) in the second round of their flyweight bout in Guadalajara, Mexico. This was the third time these two have fought and Solis won the previous two matchups. Sosa ended the fight in the second round when he connected with a crisp straight right hand.

Barker and Groves Victorious in London

Darren Barker (25-1) stopped Simone Rotolo (35-4) in the fourth round of their middleweight matchup on Saturday in London. Barker dropped Rotolo once in the fourth round with body shots, and Rotolo quit before the start of the fifth round by claiming he had a right hand injury.

George Groves (17-0) remained undefeated on the same card with a third round stoppage over Dairo German Balmaceda (11-7-2).

Centeno and Santos Win in California

Huge Centeno Jr. (18-0) defeated Keandrae Leatherwood (17-3) by a unanimous decision on Friday night in Indio, California. The final scores were 100-89, 100-90, and 99-91. Braulio Santos (10-0) knocked out Kevin Hoskins (7-2) on the same card in the featherweight division. Santos ended the fight with a double left hook body head combination at 0:57 of the first round.

Former World Champion Juan Diaz Returns April 13th

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz will return to the ring for the first time since 2010 to face Pipino Cuevas Jr. on April 13th at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. It will be the main event televised on Fox Sports Networks, Fox Deportes, and Fuel TV. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com

Frank Warren Releases Statement on Ricky Burns

Frank Warren has released the following statement regarding Ricky Burns’ contract situation.

Since being promoted and managed by Frank Warren, Ricky Burns has earned just approaching three quarters of a million pounds and has had 7 world title fights in just over two years.

Ricky Burns is under binding promotional and management contracts.

Following the announcement by Eddie Hearn that Ricky Burns has signed with him, W. Promotions Limited and Frank Warren are suing Burns for substantial damages.

Mayweather vs. Guerrero is Official

Eight time, five division world champion and current WBC Welterweight Champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather will put his title on the line against six-time and four-division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on Saturday, May 4th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas live on Showtime PPV. The undercard will feature a WBC Featherweight title bout between Daniel Ponce De Leon and two division world champion Abner Mares.

Mayweather offered the following statement:

“My new deal with Showtime and its parent CBS is very thrilling for me and a motivation to fight more often starting with my May 4 fight against Robert Guerrero,” said Mayweather. “I know Guerrero has been campaigning to fight me for quite a while now and I am happy to give him his opportunity. His name is mentioned among the other great champions in boxing today and that means he has proven himself in the ring. He will now have to prove himself against me, which is a whole other story. I’m excited for the challenge and fully expect a good, tough fight from him. However, I do expect the same outcome for him as all of the others who have challenged me before…42 have tried, 42 have failed. He will be number 43.”

Gardner and Rodriguez Duel for Bragging Rights

Super middleweights Joe Gardner (10-5-1) and Reynaldo Rodriguez (6-5-1) are both from Woonsocket, R.I. and will face each other in a special attraction on March 15th, 2013 at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.

“The last few times I’ve seen him, he’s always looked different,” Gardner said of Rodriguez. “The first time he fought Keith [in the draw] he looked great, but then during the camp before the second fight he kept talking about how he was going to knock him out and how he felt stronger than ever, and he ended up fighting the wrong fight.

“I hope he brings that fight [Friday], but I doubt it.”

The main event will be between Contender Alumni Peter Manfredo Jr. (38-7) and Walter Wright (14-3).

Road to Rios vs. Alvarado II Premieres Saturday, March 16th on HBO

HBO Boxing will present “Road to Rios/Alvarado II”, an all-new special examining the upcoming junior welterweight rematch between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvardo. They engaged in an epic battle in October of 2012 and the rematch will take place on March 30th and will be televised on HBO Boxing After Dark.

The “Rioad to Rios/Alvarado II” special will premier on HBO on Saturday, March 16th at 12:15 a.m. or immediately following the live presentation of World Championship Boxing.

Cleverly Headlines Wembley Arena

Frank Warren’s Wembley Arena promotion on Saturday, April 20th will go ahead with WBO World Light Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly headlining the show in a title defense against Robin Krasniqi, televised live and exclusively on BoxNation. London star Kevin Mitchell makes his comeback in a ten round lightweight contest, and heavyweight Dereck Chisora will make his long-awaited return to the ring subject to him regaining his British Boxing Board of Control license.

Tickets on Sale for 88th Annual BWAA Awards Dinner April 11th

Tickets are on sale for the 88th annual Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) awards dinner on Thursday night, April 11 at Capitale in New York City.

Tickets are priced at $200.00 per person, $150.00 for BWAA members. Tables of 10 are available to purchase for $2,000.00. A limited number of special VIP tickets are also available for $400.00 per person and $4,000.00 for a table of 10. VIP tickets include premium seat at dinner, photo opportunity with honorees, and a special VIP gift. Credit card (Mastercard, Visa and American Express), PayPal, check and money order payments must be received no later than March 31, 2013. Checks should be payable to the BWAA and mailed to Boxing Writers Association of America, PO Box 153, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

‘The response to the upcoming banquet has been great,” BWAA President Jack Hirsch said. “By now people understand that the BWAA dinner serves as the Academy Awards of our sport. We have an exceptional list of honorees, but our list of presenters is awesome as well. That will be made public before the dinner. Everyone attending the dinner receives a gift bag which has a total value close to the price of the dinner ticket. From a social perspective, the annual BWAA dinner is by far our sports best social evening of the year. We always sell out in New York. I strongly advise anyone planning to attend to buy their tickets early.”

Former Philadelphia Welterweight Tony Martin Shot to Death

Former welterweight contender Tony Martin, 52, was shot and killed on Friday March 8th in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park neighbordhood. Martin had a record of 34-6-1 and was sthe USBA and NABF champion. More information can be found at http://articles.philly.com/2013-03-11/sports/37626392_1_kip-diggs-welterweight-postal-worker

Canelo Alvarez and Austin Trout Head Deep Into the Heart of Texas

WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez and WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Austin Trout have officiall announced their unification bout on Saturday, April 20th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The bout will be televised live on Showtime and is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Canelo Promotions, and Lelia Battah Promotions.

Spadafora vs. Frankel Headlines Saturday, April 6th

Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in association with 8-Time World Champion Roy Jones Jr & TNT Promotions presents “Live Championship Boxing” at the Harv on Saturday, April 6th, 2013. The ten round main event will be undefeated former IBF & IBC World Champion Paul “The Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora when he steps into the ring with “Red Hot” Rob Frankel. Spadafora is looking to claim his 48th victory with a loss and climb back into the World’s Top 5 of the junior welterweight division. Tickets can be purchased at www.etix.com

Van Heerden Set for Big Run, Returns in Early June

Chris “The Heat” Van Heerden (19-0) won the IBO World title in 2011 and is coming off of a March 2nd decision victory over Matthew Hatton.

An early to mid-June return is currently penciled in for the hopingly active Van Heerden, likely in his
native South Africa. But a venture across the pond to the United States or to Europe is going to be strongly contemplated if he continues his impressively lopsided winning ways.

Van Heerden is hoping to land a highly intriguing bout with Ukrainian Vyacheslav Senchenko, But will
face anyone for the proper money and creditability. He would hope a victory over Senchenko earns him a lucrative bout with WBA champion Paulie Malignaggi or IBF beltholder Devon Alexander. One can be
assured any of those three contests would provide a war between highly distinguished styles.

Match-ups Still Being Made for Historic White Sox Stadium Card

Responding to rampant speculation over who will appear in their historic August 16boxing event at the Chicago White Sox’ U.S. Cellular Field stadium, Chicago-based boxing promoter Dominic Pesoli and his partners, Frank Mugnolo of Round 3 Productions and Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, say fans are going to have to wait.

“We don’t know who is on the show. We know it’ll be incredible and we’re working on several blockbuster match-ups, but it’s still very much in the air,” said Dominic Pesoli.

The event will be the first of its kind in 50 years, since Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson in 1962. Margules says he’s aware of the importance of making it something unforgettable for fans.

Ishida Banking on Skills to Upset Superstar GGG

Nobuhiro Ishida’s trainer admits that his boxer will be facing the toughest middleweight in the world in Gennady Golovkin, but he has every intention of winning when they fight in Monaco on March 30.

The pair headline the “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four” tournament with Golovkin, the WBA and IBO middleweight champion, a favourite against the Japanese.

“He’s the toughest middleweight out there, the best in the world, but we intend to go there and win,” says Rudy Hernandez, one of boxing’s finest trainers and cutman.

He has had Ishida (24-8-2, 9 KOs) in camp at the Maywood Boxing Club in California and says that preparations are on song.

“Ishida brings great height and reach and very good skills. He’s not that easy to hit. He’ll be very competitive.”

But Hernandez, brother of the late world champion Genaro and trainer to the likes of Marcos Maidana, Mike Alvarado and WBC junior-flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez, is under no illusions about the challenge.

“Golovkin (25-0, 22 KOs) sits down on his punches and he’s very strong. He’s the best puncher in the division right now. The little things he does make him better than everyone. And he rarely misses.”

Having failed in his last fight to lift the WBO title, Ishida knows that such a big opportunity to win a championship belt is unlikely to come around quickly again.

Abraham vs. Stieglitz to be Broadcast on Epix

World Championship boxing returns to Epix as two division world champion “King” Arthur Abraham will defend his WBO Super Middleweight crown against Robert Stieglitz in a rematch of their fight last summer. It will be televised live from GTEC Arena in Magdeburg, Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany on March 23rd at 4:30 p.m. ET exclusively on EPIX. In addition, undefeated No. 1 heavyweight contender Robert “The Nordic Nightmare” Helenius will risk his record in the co-main event.

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