Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Bradley, Hopkins, Cunningham, Malignaggi, and more….
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 11th to March 18th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Pacquiao and Bradley Blogs from March 17th
Top Rank Promotions recently released the first part of a series of blogs for the upcoming Pacquiao vs. Bradley bout.
Pacquiao – The perception is that you sacrificed punching power against Rios in favor of speed in order to outbox him. How much did the result of the Marquez fight impact your strategy against Rios? What will be your strategy against Bradley?
“I was very happy with my performance against Brandon Rios. Speed has always been a major weapon for me and I used it throughout the fight against Rios for one simple reason – it was working. The power is still there and I used it effectively against Rios to keep him off balance. Freddie and I came up with the game plan to mix things up against Rios. I would utilize my speed and foot movement in boxing him to keep him off balance then when he would come in out of frustration I would land the power punches.
“The one thing I learned from my fight against Marquez was patience. When I had him teetering I became reckless and went in to finish him. I was careless and he landed the perfect punch. That was learning a lesson the hard way. But I learned it. I still have the killer instinct. I am not afraid to use my power and go for the knockout. But I will remember the lesson I learned from my last fight with Marquez. Knockouts need to come naturally, you should not force them. But Freddie likes knockouts and I like to make Freddie happy.
“I won at least 10 rounds against Tim Bradley the first time we fought. I intend to win all the rounds against him this time regardless of the length of the fight. He said I have lost my hunger and that my time is over. Everything I am doing in training camp is aimed at proving to him just how wrong he is. I have all the respect for Bradley and what he has accomplished but I have no fear of him. He has inspired me to exceed my previous performances inside the ring. If Bradley wants to meet the fighter who stopped Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera, he’s going to get his wish on April 12.”
Bradley – Discuss 2013 and how your fights against Provodnikov & Marquez solidified you as one of the top pound for pound fighters in the world. “2013 was a great year for me. I started out the year fighting a guy who wasn’t very well known outside the boxing community by the name of Ruslan Provodnikov. You might have heard of him by now since our fight was voted, “Fight Of The Year” by the Boxing Writers of America. Ruslan has also gone on to win a Jr. Welterweight title and has moved into many peoples top 10 pound for pound lists.
“My second fight of 2013 was against a current top five pound for pound guy that had just come off of the KO of the year against Manny Pacquiao, the future hall of famer Juan Manuel Marquez. This fight unlike the Provodnikov fight was a chess match and I believe I gave Juan Manuel Marquez a boxing lesson.
“With these two fights I was able to show that I can outbox a top five pound for pound boxer and I could also go toe to toe with one of the most feared punchers in the sport. I was able to show the fans that I am a versatile fighter and can box and brawl as needed. I believe that being a top pound for pound fighter means that you have to do whatever it takes to win whether its outbox your opponent or fight your opponent blow for blow in the center of the ring. I am out to prove that I am one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport if not the best.
“In my two fights in 2013 I was able to show that I can do it all in the sport of boxing. This next fight will be no different in helping me show the fans that I am top pound for pound in the world. I have a lot to prove and nothing can stop me on my way to being number one in the world.”
Canelo vs. Angulo Does Well on PPV
The Canelo Alvarez vs. Alfredo Angulo PPV bout generated well over 350,000 buys on PPV. The executives at Showtime and Golden Boy appear to be happy with the PPV buys.
“The fans have spoken,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Canelo is without a doubt the brightest young star in the sport today. He’s been a huge star in Mexico for quite some time. Now there is no denying that he is a star in the United States as well. We’re already in discussions with Canelo to find the next opportunity to bring another exciting event to boxing fans worldwide.”
Hopkins and Shumenov Press Conference Quotes
BERNARD HOPKINS, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion:
“I’m looking to put on something special. Because my thing is, you’re only as good as your last fight. Here in D.C. you’re only as good as your last vote. At the end of the day, I’ve realized that you can be a champion yesterday, but if you dwell on yesterday you will never go forward.
“I’m pretty sure that a lot of people don’t know who Shumenov is. And I tell them he’s a fast guy who is rising in the sport of boxing quickly. He comes to fight and he comes to win.
“You haven’t seen guys rise this quickly in boxing for many years. You usually see 30 or so fights before a guy gets a world title. But I’m not reading into all that stuff. All I know is that the guy signed up to fight a world champion. And he has something that I need to be the undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world. He’s in the way of that.
“Not only is he in the way, I have to use a lot of other things that motivate me even more to be successful on April 19. This fight is about my legacy. I unified the middleweight division and now my goal is to unify the light heavyweight division.
“I am blessed to be here through hard work and disciplinee. Shumenov will learn from this fight because he’s still young and he still has some experience to gain after this fight. But I’m not playing him cheap and I’m not playing him short because anyone who steps in the ring with Bernard Hopkins has the skill to be a world champion.
“I believe I’m the most feared fighter in the world or maybe the last 15-20 years in spite of my age. Love me or hate me, people understand how dangerous I can be to a fighters’ career moving forward.”
BEIBUT SHUMENOV, WBA Super and IBA Light Heavyweight World Champion:
“I’m very excited that I’m going to fight one of the greatest fighters ever. I know that I’ve never faced anyone on his level and I know it’s going to be the hardest fight of my life. But I will do whatever it takes to win this fight. And I’ll do anything possible and impossible to get the victory.
“People will find out on April 19 that I belong in the elite level. That I am the best light heavyweight champion in the world. I’m looking to make a statement to the world.
“I’m confident, he’s confident. You have to be prepared for all styles. I never faced anybody at Bernard’s level. I consider him the best light heavyweight champion. And he is in my way to prove that I am the best light heavyweight champ.
Shawn Porter to Defend his IBF Welterweight Belt Against Paulie Malignaggi
It has been recently announced that Shawn Porter will defend his IBF Welterweight Title against Paulie Malignaggi on April 19th. He will be joining two other title fights, Bernard Hopkins vs. Beibut Shumenov and Peter Quillin vs. Lukas Konecny. This will be a title tripleheader at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C.
“I fought hard to get this title. Paulie says he wants it, but is he willing to go through me to get it?” said Porter, who won his crown with an impressive win over Devon Alexander last December. “Fighting Malignaggi is like fighting Alexander. They don’t have the strength or power to keep me away, and I will steamroll Paulie on my way to victory April 19.”
“I’m excited to be back in a title fight so soon after my win over Zab Judah. I will become a three-time world champion on April 19,” said Malignaggi. “Porter is a good fighter and I’m sure he’ll be a champion again in the future, but he doesn’t have the tools or experience to beat me.”
Broadway Boxing Card Announced
DiBella Entertainment’s popular Broadway Boxing series returns to the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, NY, for an exciting eight-bout card. Headlining the card in separate eight-round bouts will be undefeated Brooklyn-native and popular female attraction Heather “The Heat” Hardy (8-0, 2KO’s), “The First Lady” of DBE, and middleweight contender Lamar Russ (14-1, 7KO’s). Hardy is set to square off against Bronx’s Nydia Feliciano (7-4-3) in their female junior featherweight matchup, while Russ takes on upset-minded Tony Hirsch (15-6-2, 6KO’s).
More information can be found at www.dbe1.com
Cunningham-Mansour Press Conference Quotes
Steve Cunningham and Amir Mansour recently held a press conference at Joe Hand Boxing Gym in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and offered some quotes for their upcoming fight for the USBA Heavyweight Title that will be broadcast live on NBCSN Fight Night at 10:00 PM ET.
Steve “USS” Cunningham said, “I have so much respect for Mansour. He is doing great things for himself. He’s got a belt I am trying to get a belt and gain position in the division; so is he. This is what happens in boxing. I am taking this very serious. I love proving people wrong, that motivates me. Tell me what I can’t do and I am going to do it. This has been a tough journey for me and my family. I got some heartbreaking news but training camp continues. I must perform in the ring and I won’t lay down for anybody. He knows it is going to be a fight from me and I know it is going to be a fight for him.”
A choked up Amir “Hardcore” Mansour said, “It is ironic for me to fight Steve Cunningham; I was flabbergasted when they told me. When I got home in 2010 Steve was the first person I saw. He was fighting a southpaw and needed a sparring partner. I was so happy that I performed well with a world champion after an eight and half year layoff and I was literally crying. This is just a great opportunity for me to take advantage of. I know what kind of heart he has and what he brings to the table. I won this title with the flu, dehydrated and sick. I really hurt myself winning this title and I am prepared to defend it. I am not willing to let anyone take it from me. Win, lose or draw we get to bring boxing back to Philadelphia. I am in great shape; I haven’t been in this great of shape since before the August fight. They don’t call me Hardcore for nothing. April fourth I got to do what I got to do. I never had a big fight opportunity and he has. This is my time. I know that I can make the adjustments that I need to make. There is a whole bag of tricks that I have up my sleeve. I am prepared to die before I lose in this ring. That is my mentality. Before I lose take me out on a stretcher. This is my time to shine. I am prepared for war. We are going to get it on.”
Petrov Taking Boxcino One Bout at a Time
Former world title challenger Petr Petrov (33-4-2) was impressive in his six round decision victory in the quarterfinals of the Boxcino Lightweight tournament. On March 28th he will take on Chris Rudd (13-1) in the semifinals at the 4 Bears Casino and Lodge in New Town, North Dakota.
“It was a great win for me,” said Petrov. “I had not fought in 10 months so I was real nervous to be on the big stage for my first televised fight in the U.S. I am happy to move on to the next fight and I will be stronger and more relaxed.”
“Rudd is going to be difficult because of his height and reach but I believe my trainer Danny Zamora and I have prepared a good strategy and we have had with great work in the gym.”
Jose Pedraza Looks Forward to Puerto Rico vs. Mexico Showdown
Undefeated Puerto Rican super featherweight Jose Pedraza (15-0) is ready to battle Mexico’s Alberto Garza (26-6-1) for the vacant IBO Super Featherweight title this Saturday, March 22nd. It will air live only in the U.S. and Puerto Rico on Direct TV at 9:00 P.M. EST.
Pedraza is ranked WBC #9, IBF #8, WBA #11, and WBO #15. “I feel honored to be fighting on television once again.” Said Pedraza. “My promoter’s Gary Shaw, Javier Bustillo and Lou DiBella are doing a great job with my career. This fight with Garza is going to be very entertaining. He likes to come forward and I like to do everything. I’m expecting a rough fight, but I believe in myself and my ability to come out on top. I will do whatever it takes to win.”
LaManna Returns April 12th to Bally’s Atlantic City
Undefeated middleweight Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna will have his first eight round fight when he boxes Ashandi Gibbs of Tampa, Florida on April 12th in the Grand Ballroom at Bally’s Atlantic City. The main event of the night will feature Jason Sosa of Camden, NJ against Michael Brooks.
“I’m excited to be back in the ring,” LaManna said. “After my last fight I was in numerous training camps, helping guys prepare, so I’ve always been in the gym. I’m definitely not looking for any more six-month layoffs.”
Gibbs has not fought in three years, and stated the following, “I feel good about this fight. I’ve been ready for a long time. I don’t know much about my opponent other than what everybody that punches his name into Google knows.”