Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Yafai, Barthelemy, Robinson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 9th to May 16th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Lorenzo Fertitta Gives Blessing for Mayweather vs. McGregor
Lorenza Fertitta, former co-owner of the UFC, recently told TMZ that he supports Dana White’s plan to pay Floyd Mayweather $100 million and Conor McGregor $75 million if they fight and believes they deserve it.
Lorenza Fertitta, along with his brother Frank, invested $2 million into the UFC in 2001 and sold it for $4 billion in 2016.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/13/lorenzo-fertitta-ufc-mayweather-mcgregor/
B. Riley & Co. Presents the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night Benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation
Sugar Ray Leonard and celebrity guests including Bill Bellamy (Event Host & Actor/Comedian), Bo Jackson (Former NFL/MLB Athlete), Chris Spencer (Actor, Black-ish), Cindy Crawford, Craig Robinson (Actor/Comedian), David James Elliott (Actor, Secrets and Lies), En Vogue (R&B/Pop Vocal Group), Holly Robinson Peete (Actress, Chicago Fire), Johnny Gill (Recording Artist), Judge Greg Mathis (TV Personality), Laila Ali Conway (Former Professional Boxer), Magic Johnson, Matthew Rutler, Mia St. John (Professional Boxer), Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO), Rande Gerber, Rodney Peete (Former NFL Athlete), Sergio Mora (Professional Boxer), Terry Norris (Former Professional Boxer), Tina Knowles Lawson, Tommy Davidson (Actor/Comedian), and Usher (Actor/Recording Artist). *All attendees subject to change.
On Wednesday, May 24, B. Riley & Co. will present the 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night benefiting the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation at The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Hosted by actor and comedian Bill Bellamy, the evening will feature live professional boxing presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The live fights will begin at 6:30 PM through 9:00 PM and the main event of the evening features Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias in a featherweight bout scheduled for six rounds.
The evening will feature a National Anthem performance by En Vogue, as well as a live & silent auction display, which will include iconic memorabilia and other one-of-a-kind items and experiences to benefit this important cause.
Additionally, the event will honor nine-year-old Jackson Blair with the 2017 Golden Glove Award for his extraordinary dedication and hard work to raise money and awareness for type 1 (T1D) diabetes.
Proceeds from the exclusive event will support the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation and their mission to fund life-changing research, care and awareness for pediatric type 1 & 2 diabetes and to help children live healthier lives through diet and exercise.
The 8th Annual “Big Fighters, Big Cause” Charity Boxing Night is presented by B. Riley & Co., a leading investment bank which provides corporate finance, research, and sales and trading to corporate, institutional and high net worth individual clients.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
4:30pm Media Check-in Begins
5:00pm Red Carpet Arrivals & Silent Auction Begin
6:30pm Fights & Live Auction Begin
Note: Fight Card Subject to Change
• Fight 1: Rafael Gramajo vs. TBA, Super Bantanweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 2: Marvin Cabrera vs. Quantavious Green, Middleweights for 6 Rounds
• Fight 3: Luis Coria vs. TBA, Featherweights for 4 Rounds
• Fight 4: Kevin Rivers, Jr. vs. Mario Macias, Featherweights for 6 Rounds
7:00pm Welcome Remarks/National Anthem/Award Presentation
9:00pm Event Ends (approx.)
The Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, 1700 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Rances Barthelemy Training Camp Quotes
Rances Barthelemy is set to face Kiryl Relikh in a WBA 140 pound title eliminator on Saturday May 20th on Showtime from the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. Below are a few select quotes from a recent press conference.
1) How is training camp going? How have you benefitted from sparring and training alongside of your brother Leduan and Yordenis Ugas and have their recent performances been an indication of how you expect to perform?
“Training camp is going really well. Training alongside of my brother and Yordenis under the tutelage of Ismael Salas is the best thing that could happen in my career. They keep me focused and motivated to get better every day. Yordenis and I have been helping each other during our camps, he’s an Olympic athlete so having him to train with is really beneficial. We have a new strength and conditioning coach as well who has us in the best shape possible. I know May 20 you guys will see the best Rances Barthelemy yet.”
2) What would it mean to you to become the first three-division world champion from Cuba?
“It would mean the world to me, after all that it took to defect from Cuba, the near death experiences, the imprisonments, leaving my loved ones behind, it would all have been worth it. I want to inspire the youth that come after me as well, let them know to never give up on their dreams no matter the conditions you live in or what the naysayers may say. Me winning a third world title and making history for a Cuban would prove that.”
3) What did you take away from Relikh’s loss to Ricky Burns?
“I didn’t get to watch the fight but watched the highlights and it seemed like a very entertaining fight. People were saying that it probably should have gone the other way even, so it seems like he put on a good performance.”
4) How would you characterize Relikh’s style and how do you see this fight playing out?
“He likes to come forward a lot and attack. I’m prepared for that if that’s what he plans to do come fight night but I also anticipate having to make adjustments. I always prepare to adjust to whatever my opponent brings. Being a cerebral fighter is a skill that has helped me succeed inside the ring.”
5) Can you address your 11-month layoff and how your training has been geared towards shaking off any ring rust you may have?
“There will be no ring rust come May 20 as we have been in the gym non-stop since my last fight against Mickey Bey. We took a few weeks off to visit Cuba for the first time since my defection. Aside from that I made sure to stay active and I’ve been training hard to be prepared when my name got called. The 11-month layoff happened for reasons out of my control. My management team has been trying to get the best opponents and unfortunately it took longer than we expected but we are here now and I’m as prepared as I have ever been.”
6) How did you trip back to Cuba come about and what was it like to be back in your home country?
“It was very emotional and a long eight years since I had been back. I didn’t know if I’d be able to go back or not. But I visited the Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. and they told me I’d finally be able to go back to visit my loved ones. It was nothing but nerves until I got over there. It was an emotional time and everyone welcomed me back with open arms in my hometown of Havana. It’s something I will never forget, especially for the way I was received.”
7) How do you rate your skills and progression as a fighter considering your last three dominant wins over top quality opposition? Do you feel that you are at the peak of your career?
“I am definitely at my peak physically, and I’m looking to match that on paper this year. I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring. I don’t like to rate myself, I leave that to the people and the media. They’ve taken notice and that’s why I am where I am today, but I am expecting big things to happen this year.”
8) Why did you feel it was time to rise in weight, especially considering the wealth of talent at 135 right now? Who do you consider to be the top 135 fighter now that you are gone?
“My body was asking for it, 135 was taking too much of a physical toll on me. It may not have been noticeable, but I struggled to make weight during my last fight at 135 and felt I lost some of my power because of the drainage. Since I moved up to 140 I definitely have felt a lot better. It was the right move. Plus, I now have the chance to go after a third world title in a third division, which would be the first time for any boxer from Cuba.”
9) Why did you make the decision to move from Miami to Las Vegas and how do you think it has benefited you?
“To be honest, there is nothing better for a Cuban than to be living in Miami, because the weather is just right and what we are used to. But at the same time it presents a lot of distractions too. So moving to the boxing hub of the United States is better for me so I don’t get wrapped up in anything extra other than boxing. Plus, there are so many sparring partners here and I can go up to Mt. Charleston and get my runs in up there.”
Oscar Escandon Training Camp Quotes
Top 126-pound challenger Oscar Escandon shares his thoughts on training camp and more ahead of his first world title opportunity against WBC Featherweight Champion Gary Russell Jr. Saturday, May 20 on SHOWTIME from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT and features super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell and Jose Uzcategui battling for the IBF Super Middleweight World Championship plus two-division world champion Rances Barthelemy taking on Kiryl Relikh in a 140-pound world title eliminator. In the telecast opener, from Copper Box Arena in London, Gervonta Davis puts his IBF Jr. Lightweight Title on the line against Liam Walsh.
Tickets for the live event at MGM National Harbor, promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $200, $150, $100 and $50, and are now on sale. To purchase tickets go to http://mgmnationalharbor.com/.
Here is what Escandon had to say from Las Vegas before he wraps camp and heads east to headline at MGM National Harbor in Maryland:
On his recent training camp:
“Training camp started off in Gilroy, California where we got a lot of good sparring in the Bay Area. But then we moved camp to Las Vegas where we are training in high elevation. We are running up at Mt. Charleston where the elevation is 8400 feet. All in all, it has been a fantastic camp.”
On fighting in his first main event on SHOWTIME:
“It’s a dream come true to be fighting on SHOWTIME, especially in the main event for a world title. I believe the fans watching will enjoy my fighting style. I always bring excitement to the ring. This will be a fan-friendly fight to watch.”
On facing his opponent, champion Gary Russell Jr:
“Gary Russell Jr. is one of the best fighters in the division. I know it’s not going to be an easy task to defeat him but I’m confident in my ability to come out victorious. I will dig deep and impose my will on him.”
On training with head coach Ruben Guerrero:
“Together Ruben and I get along very well. He’s always there for me when I need him. We are doing everything to get better and we’ll be ready to go. We have a nice game plan that we will display on fight night.”
On what a victory will do for his career:
“This is the biggest fight of my career and a win will lead to bigger and better things, like unification bouts. To capture the WBC world title will be an honor for my team and my people of Colombia. I need to win this fight and capture that WBC title. I can see myself in major fights with a victory.”
Kal Yafai Retains WBA Flyweight Title with Decision Victory
On Saturday, Kal Yafai thrilled his hometown fans in Birmingham, England, and made the first the defense of the WBA Super Flyweight title with a 12-round unanimous decision over Suguru Muranaka.
The bout headlined another tremendous day of action AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.
“I am thrilled to be able to bring this action-packed cards to the American fight fans,” said Charles Herring, President of AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.
“In recent months, The super-flyweight division has been one of the divisions that has featured terrific fights, and today Kal Yafai proved that he is one of the elite in the division. Sam Eggington carried on the momentum of stopping Paulie Malignaggi, and won in another thrilling fight. We have a great Spring and Summer fight schedule that we will be excited to share with the fans very shortly.”
Yafai looked like he was going to have an early day as he sent his Japanese challenger down to the canvas in round two. Muranka proved sturdy and even had a few moments in the fight. Yafai was deducted a point in round eight for low blows, but he was comfortably ahead, and won by scores of 119-107 twice and 118-108.
Yafai is 22-0. Muranaka is 25-3.