By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 28th to February 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Omar Henry Passes Away
Undefeated prospect Omar Henry (12-0-1) passed away at the age of 25. He was battling gall bladder cancer and was just one week shy of his 26th birthday. You can donate to help his family with their medical bills at [email protected]
Juan Manuel Lopez Victorious in Return
Juan Manuel Lopez (32-2) returned to the ring after his 10th round knockout loss to Orlando Salido in Bayamon, PUetro Rico. He stopped Aldimar Silva Santos (18-4) in the 9th round at 1:04 in the junior lightweight division. Lopez scored knockdowns in the fifth and seventh round. He finished the fight in the ninth round after knocking his opponent down again and following it up with a flurry of punches.
Jose Felix Jr. Remains Undefeated
Lightweight prospect Jose Felix Jr. (23-0-1) took on Gerardo Robles (16-11) on Saturday night in McAllen Texas. Felix had little problem defeating Robles, who was deducted a point for a low blow in the 7th round. The fight went to the judges’ scorecards and Felix won with scores of 98-91, 97-92, and 96-93. Andre Dirrell (21-1) fought on the undercard and defeated Michael Gebenga (13-7) by scores of 100-87, 100-87, and 100-88.
Gomez and Bey Win in Vegas
Frankie Gomez (15-0) took on Lanard Lane (13-3) in the welterweight division on Saturday night in Las Vegas. Gomez dominated Lane and nearly scored a clean sweep with scores of 100-90, 100-90, and 98-92. Mickey Bey Jr. (19-0-1) took on Robert Rodriguez (7-3) on the same card in the lightweight division. Bey scored two knockdowns in the third round and the second knockdown forced the referee to call off the fight at 1:07.
Braehmer and Soliman Win in Europe
On Saturday night in Berlin Germany Juergen Braehmer (39-2) defeated Eduard Gutknecht (24-2) to win the European Light Heavyweight title. Braehmer put himself in line for a shot at Nathan Cleverly’s belt with scores of 117-110, 116-111, and 114-113.
In the shocker of the week, Sam Soliman (43-11) defeated the heavily favored Felix Sturm (37-4-2) in Dusseldorf, Germany by scores of 116-111, 114-113, and 114-113. This was the second consecutive loss for Sturm in his home country. Soliman was dropped once in the second round but was able to come back and outwork Sturm for the decision victory.
Rabchenko Looking to Hit the Boxing Jackpot
European junior-middleweight champion Sergey Rabchenko’s march to a world title will continue when he defends his European title for the second time against Adriano Nicchi of Italy in Monte Carlo on March 30th.
“Rabchenko is probably the most gifted kid I’ve been involved with,” said renowned promoter and manager Philippe Fondu. “If properly managed and promoted, he’s got the potential to become a great and charismatic champion. He is indeed running short of possible worthy opponents in the UK and is delighted to be given the opportunity to showcase his talent against the reigning Italian champion in such a prestigious venue.”
Rabchenko (22-0, 16 KOs) is a devastating puncher and boasts defeats of the likes of awkward southpaw Cedric Vitu and former championship contender Ryan Rhodes. The former undefeated WBA Inter-Continental light-middleweight champion, he is rated by the three major boxing bodies (WBC #3, WBA #6, IBF#10).
Devon Alexander Suffers Bicep Injury, Pulls Out of Fight with Kell Brook
Due to a bicep injury suffered by Devon Alexander during training, his championship defense against Kell Brook has been postponed. A new date for the fight is currently being scheduled and will be announced shortly. Cornelius “K9” Bundrage vs. Ishe Smith will now be the main event of the February 23rd event.
Andy Lee Primed for Belfast Comeback Fight Under Booth’s Tutelage
Middleweight contender Andy Lee (28-2) will return to the ring on Saturday night against Anthony Fitzgerald (13-3) at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena, live on Sky Sports in Betfair’s “Unfinished Business” boxing event. This will be Lee’s first fight since his 7th round stoppage loss to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. last June 16th.
“I’m training now with Adam Booth, he’s an excellent world class trainer. We have worked hard together over the last five months in the gym reappraising my boxing style and making adjustments to my game. He’s a very smart and strategic trainer and he has taught me a lot of new things in a short period of time.”
“A new location and trainer has reinvigorated me, it is a new beginning and chapter in my life. I can’t wait to step into the ring and get back to winning ways. Anthony Fitzgerald is a game and gutsy fighter and he is looking for an upset.”
Top Rank and Tecate Announces the Launch of “Solo Boxeo”
Unimas, Top Rank, and Tecate announced the launch of their exciting boxing series “Solo Boxeo”. The series debuted on Saturday, February 2nd. The 90 minute broadcast will air 26 telecasts live on Unimas, a leading Spanish-language broadcast television network on Saturdays.
Golden Gloves Announces “The Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four”
On March 30th, 2013, in Monaco, Goldes Gloves has announced that the Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four will take place. Edwin Rodriguez, Zsolt Erdei, Denis Grachev, and Ezequiel Maderna will compete in a historic four-man eliminator. Undefeated WBA Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will defend his title against Nobuhiro Ishida and Sergei Rabchenko will defend his title against Adriano Nicchi on the same card.
The two super four winners will fight for a 60/40 share of one million dollars on July 14th in Monaco.
George “Comanche Boy” Tahdooahnippah Ready for Spotlight
George “Comanche Boy” Tahdooahnippah is ready for the spotlight after fighting almost exclusively in his home state of Oklahoma while amassing an undefeated record of 31-0-1 over his nine year career. He will fight former world title challenger and East Coast fan favorite Delvin Rodriguez (26-6-3) on ESPN Friday Night Fights.
“This is what I’ve been looking for and why I signed with Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing. I’ve watched Delvin fight for a few years, it seems like all of his fights have been on TV” said Tahdooahnippah. “He’s always seemed like a classy, stand-up guy, very strong and skilled fighter. His first fight with Wolak was a terrific fight, seems like he’s never in a bad one.”
Pro Boxing Returns March 16th to Lowell
Chicago Fight Clubs Promotion is bringing professional boxing back to Lowell, Massachusetts–home of “Irish” Micky Ward and Dickey Eklund–on Saturday night, March 16th to kick-off St. Patrick’s Day weekend at Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.
“CFC Fight Night” will be a reunion, of sorts, for people involved in the award-winning movie, The Fighter, which portrayed the lives of the Ward and Eklund brothers. Lowell fan favorites “Irish” Joe McCreedy and Sean Eklund, whose uncles are Micky and Dicky, will be showcased at home in Lowell for the second time as professionals. Dicky trains both fighters.
McCreedy (13-6-2, 6 KOs) will be fighting for the vacant United States Boxing Organization (“USBO”) light heavyweight title against an opponent to be determined in the 10-round main event. Eklund (11-4, 2 KOs) will be fighting in the eight-round co-feature.
Martin Murray Fighting for his Family’s Future When he Takes on Sergio Martinez
Murtin Murray says he’s going to keep his feet on the ground even if he defeats Sergio Martinez in Argentina this spring. He faces Martinez for his WBC crown at the home stadium of Velez Starsfield on April 27th.
“There’s stardom to be had, but for me it’s all about providing for my wife and kids,” he said. “Boxing’s is my job so it’s not just about looking good, it’s about winning things so I can make sure my family has the best life I can provide for them. Winning this will make me the number one middleweight in the world and set up some more big opportunities. If I go on and beat Martinez I’ll be in some massive fights which will secure our future and my legacy.”