… By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 19th to January 26th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley Officially Set for April 9th
Eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao and five time world champion Timothy Bradley will face off in a twelve round welterweight title fight on Saturday, April 9th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. This bout will also be the first time former Trainers of the Year Freddie Roach and Teddy Atlas have faced each other from opposite corners.
This event will be produced and distributed live on HBO Pay Per View.
“I look forward to my battle with Timothy Bradley on April 9 and giving boxing fans a fight they will always remember,” said Pacquiao. “This fight has a very special meaning to me and I will pour every ounce of my being — physically, emotionally and spiritually — into preparing for Bradley. He has my full attention. I dedicate this fight to my fans and to my countrymen throughout the world who have kept me in their prayers. And as always, I fight to bring glory to the Philippines.”
“I’ve never needed to light a fire under Manny to get him ready for a fight. He’s a professional,” said Roach. “April 9 will be Manny’s finest hour.”
“I have always dedicated myself to who I am on fight night. However on April 9th I will not only have dedicated myself to that but also delivering the performance that everyone has long awaited,” said Bradley.
“The greatest responsibility we have is to care for our families. But our greatest privilege is to be given a challenge to achieve something special that our families can share and always remember. Fighting Pacquiao is exactly that challenge,” said Atlas.
“I am looking forward to this fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley. We will see how much Manny has recovered from shoulder surgery and whether he has been able to retain all of his power. We saw in Tim’s last fight a new, improved Tim Bradley thanks and largely due to his astute trainer Teddy Atlas. One thing is for sure, this fight will be vastly different from the first two these two warriors have had,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.
Gennady Golovkin Ordered to Face Dominic Wade
Gennady Golovkin was in talks to face Tureano Johnson to defend his middleweight titles but an injury to Johnson cancelled those plans.
The IBF has instead ordered Golovkin to face number three ranked contender Dominic Wade. Wade just defeated former champ Sam Soliman by split decision in June.
Wade is undefeated and is a part of Al Haymon’s network of boxers.
Rex Tso Signs Three Fight Pact with Top Rank
Top Rank’s Bob Arum announced in Hong Kong that he has signed local prospect Rex Tso to a three fight deal with Top Rank Promotions.
He will fight Young Gil-Bae in May in Hong Kong in May.
Top Rank also indicated that they will likely no longer promote events in Macau in the near future.
50 Cent Beats Gamboa in Court
Former world champion, Yuriorkis Gamboa, filed a suit against his promoter 50 Cent to release him from their promotional agreement.
However, a federal court has recently ruled in favor of 50 Cent and has declared that Gamboa’s agreement with SMS Promotions is still valid.
SMS Promotions has recently filed for bankruptcy and faced similar lawsuits from boxers Ryan Martin and James Kirkland.
Tickets on Sale for Santa Cruz vs. Martinez
Leo Santa Cruz will make the first defense of his featherweight world title against former champion Kiko Martinez on Saturday, February 27th live on Showtime from the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
The boxing telecast will begin at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
“I’m excited to have another opportunity to fight in front of my L.A. friends,” said Santa Cruz. “I’ve been in the gym and staying ready for anyone that’s put in front of me. I’m going to be 100 percent ready for this fight and I plan to go out there and look great.”
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity to face off against Leo Santa Cruz on February 27,” said Martinez. “Santa Cruz is clearly one of the very best featherweights in the world but I have what it takes. I’ve already begun working very hard with my longtime trainer Gaby Sarmiento and I will be victorious.”
“It’s always great to be able to bring quality fights to the Southern California fight fans,” said Tom Brown of TGB Promotions. “The Leo Santa Cruz vs. Kiko Martinez battle couldn’t be in a better venue or town and it will provide non-stop action from the opening bell. TGB Promotions is honored to once again work with SHOWTIME and the team at the Honda Center on another great event.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, are priced at $27, $54, $104 and $199 and are on sale now via ticketmaster.com, Ticketmaster retail locations or by calling 800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Honda Center Box Office.
Alex Rocha Signs with Golden Boy Promotions
Southpaw amateur standout, Alexis Rocha of Santa Ana, California has signed a promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions. He will make his professional debut on the March 4th edition of LA Fight Club in downtown Los Angeles. He will be following in the footsteps of older brother and current WBC Silver Featherweight Champion, Ronny Rios, who signed with Golden Boy in 2009.
“Golden Boy Promotions has always treated us like family and I am excited to start this new phase of my career,” said Alexis Rocha. “When the opportunity came to make the transition and become a professional fighter, the decision was easy. I want to make Golden Boy proud.”
“I’m pleased that Golden Boy Promotions has added another top talent to its stable with Alexis Rocha,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Alexis has an incredible story, one that I hope inspires many other children and young adults to work hard and lead healthy lifestyles. I know Alexis will shine in his professional debut because he has the talent and the drive to become a champion.”
Diego De La Hoya to Headline LA Fight Club on February 19th
Diego De La Hoya (13-0) will make his first appearance of 2016 in the ring on Friday, February 19th as the main event on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar against former world title contender Arturo “Fuerte” Badillo (21-0) at the Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles.
“Diego De La Hoya had a phenomenal year in 2015 and in 2016, I think we will see him to continue to rise in the sport and become a top contender,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Diego has had strong numbers for his televised fights, which is a great indication that the fans love him and will want to see more of him in the ring this year.”
In the televised co-main event of the evening, Carlos “The Solution” Morales (12-1-3, 6 KOs) will face Omar “Héroe” Tienda (14-2, 8 KOs) of Nuevo León, Mexico in a 10-round super featherweight bout. Fighting in the non-televised undercard but streaming live on RING TV, Joet Gonzalez (13-0, 6 KOs) of Glendora, Calif. will participate in an eight-round featherweight bout; Los Angeles fan favorite Nick Arce (6-0, 6 KOs) will face the battle tested Luis “Lichito” Lizarraga Jr. (5-7-1, 2 KOs) of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico in a six-round super featherweight battle; and opening up the night Francisco Esparza (2-0) fighting out of Fernando Vargas’ Feroz Fight Factory in Las Vegas will fight in a four-round featherweight bout. Opponents will be announced shortly.
Chazz Witherspoon to Headline in Voorhees, New Jersey on February 20th
On Saturday night, February 20th at the Nexxt Level Coliseumn in Voorhees, New Jersey Chazz “The Gentleman” Witherspoon will headline a night of boxing at the Nexxt Level Coliseum in Voorhees, New Jersey. The show is promoted by Silver Spoon Promotions.
Witherspoon has scored four consecutive knockouts which includes his last bout when he stopped Nick Guivas (11-2-2) in three rounds on August 15th in Atlantic City.
A full undercard featuring Super Bantamweight Vidal Rivera (2-0, 2 KO’s) of Camden, NJ; pro debuting Cruiserweight Mike Hilton of New Jersey, Super Lightweight Scott Kelleher (3-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia, Welterweight Dustin Fleischer (6-0, 5 KO’s) of Monmouth Beach, NJ, Cruiserweight Alvin Vermall Jr. (7-0-1, 7 KO’s) of LaPlace, LA, Lightweight Carlos Rosario (3-1, 2 KO’s) of Pennsauken, NJ & pro debuting Welterweight Daquan Johnson of Pennsauken, NJ.
More bouts will be announced shortly.