Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Hatton, Verdejo, Cleverly,Hopkins, Kovalev and more..
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 28th to November 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Hillary Clinton Seeks Pacquiao’s Endorsement
Bob Arum recently stated to ABS-CBN News Bureau that possibly 2016 US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stated to him at a private dinner to get Manny Pacquiao to endorse her for president for the 2016 elections.
He stated, “A really good sportsmen is interested in the people around them. In government, they want the best political leaders to be elected and Manny is that type of sports person. Coincidentally, before I left Gensan and Hon Kong, where I was with Manny, I was at a dinner and sat next to Hillary Clinton. She said, ‘Bob, I don’t know if I’m gonna run for president but if I do, you gotta get Manny Pacquiao to come over and help me,’ and Manny has real interest in the American politics.”
More information can be found at http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/10/31/14/arum-hillary-clinton-wants-pacquiaos-endorsement
Felix Verdejo Makes Philadelphia Debut December 13th
Sensational lightweight Felix Verdejo makes his Philadelphia debut on December 13th when he takes on Karim El Ouazghari of Barcelona, Spain in a scheduled eight-round main event at the 2300 Arena.
The Verdejo-Ouazghari fight, along with an eight round super middleweight contest featuring Jesse Hart, of Philadelphia, will be televised as part of Top Rank’s Solo Boxeo Tecate series on UniMas. The delayed telecast will begin at 11pm (EST) and the prelims will begin at 6:45 pm.
Verdejo was an outstanding amateur and represented Puerto Rico in the 2012 Olympics. His overall amateur record is 106-17 and his professional record is 15-0.
“Top Rank looks forward to co-promoting this great event with our long-time friend and legendary Hall-of-Fame promoter J Russell Peltz in the City of Brotherly Love,” said Carl Moretti, Vice President of Boxing Operations at Top Rank.
“Felix Verdejo and Jesse Hart are two of the best young prospects in the Top Rank stable and we are sure the fight fans of Philadelphia will feel the same after watching their performances.”
The Venetian and the Palazzo Present Exclusive Viewing Parties for Pacquiao vs. Algieri
The Venetian and The Palazzo will be the only resorts on the Las Vegas Strip to offer the real-time closed-circuit HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast of The Clash in Cotai II: Pacquiao vs. Algieri, live from the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao. The bout will be available for viewing inside the Palazzao Ballroom and at Lagasse’s Stadium.
Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. and the undercard will fights will start at 6:00 p.m. Tickets will be available online at www.venetian.com/clashincotai . Tickets will range from $50-$500.
Hopkins vs. Kovalev Weigh In and Fight Night Info
Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev are set for a light heavyweight matchup in Atlantic City on Saturday, November 8th at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. The official weigh-in will be open to the public and will be held at Caesars Atlantic City at the Palladium Ballroom at 2:00 p.m. The doors to the Boardwalk Hall will open at 5:00 p.m. and the first fight will begin at 5:15 p.m., while the HBO World Championship Telecast will begin at 10:45 p.m.
Devon Alexander and Amir Khan Host Press Conference to Officially Announce Their Bout
Devon Alexander and Amir Khan hosted a press conference in Los Angeles at the Conga Room at LA Live to officially announce their December 13th showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas live on Showtime Championship Boxing. Abner Mares and Victor Ortiz have also been announced to participate on the undercard. This event will air on Showtime and Keith Thurman will be taking on Leonard Bundu and Demetrius Andrade will defend his title against Jermell Charlo.
Tickets are on sale at www.ticketmaster.com
Boxing Returns to Horseshow Casino in November 7th
Live boxing returns to Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati on Friday, Nov. 7 for another action-packed night of boxing presented by Ohio’s largest boxing promoter, R&R Promotions.
The Friday Night Fights event will feature boxers William Jackson, Ricardo Williams, DeVonte Allen, Donald Anderson and Danny Calhoun.
“We are very excited to return to Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati to present another great night of boxing action,” said R&R Promotions CEO Andrew Williams. “After two sold out events, this is one fight night you don’t want to miss.”
Tickets are priced at $35, $65 and $100 and are on sale now at all Ticketmaster locations, ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets can also be purchased at the Hard to Knock Shoppe in Cincinnati and at the gift shop at Horseshoe Cincinnati.
The headliner of the event is William Jackson, 25, who is currently riding a three-fight win streak since a victory over Chris Rudd last year that brought him national recognition. Most recently, Jackson earned a decision over tough veteran Gilbert Venegas on Oct. 10. Jackson has a record of 13-2-1, including five knockouts (KOs).
Ricky Hatton and Kostya Tszyu Reunited
Ricky Hatton was united with old foe Kostya Tszyu for the first time since their epic 2005 battle over this weekend. Hatton’s victory over Tszyu is considered by many to be his finest moment in his career.
Nearly a decade later, both boxers still have immense respect for each other and warmly embraced when they met up at press conference in Sydney to promote the upcoming fight between Hatton’s fighter Sergey Rabchenko and former three-time world champion Anthony Mundine.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen him since we fought and it was certainly a lot less painful than when we boxed,” Hatton joked.
“I still believe it was my greatest win. He’s one of the best light-welterweights of all-time and although I did break a few Australian hearts that night, the way me and Kostya conducted ourselves after the fight was a good example to the youngsters.
“It was a wonderful fight and it couldn’t have been more physical. We both landed heavy shots, but the way he conducted ourselves was just as important as the actual fight.
“It’s was an honour to see Kostya again at the press conference and a privilege to spend the evening with him at the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame.”
Tszyu, who retired after that ferocious tussle in Manchester, is now a businessman living in Moscow. He admits that losing his title that night made him consider his future in the sport and he’s no desire for there to be a Hatton v Tszyu 2.
“I remember everything [about that night],” he said.
“It was a memorable date for me because it made me realise that I had something else in my life other than boxing. Thank you Ricky for that. As Ricky said, the way we conducted ourselves after the fight was a good example to the younger generation because what happens in the ring is one thing and afterwards is different.
“What happened was properly not what I expected but that is life and it was time to move on and see what was next in my life. I’m enjoying myself. I made an agreement with my mother that she’d never see me in the ring again and that’s why I’m not there.”
HBO to Televise Boxing After Dark on December 6th from the Barclays Center
Golden Boy Promotions will return to its East Coast home- Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, December 6th with a special HBO Boxing After Dark triple header. The 12 round main event will feature rising Canadian star David Lemieux who will defend his NABF Middleweight Title against Philadelphia fighter “King” Gabriel Rosado. Unbeaten Hugo Centeno Jr. will take on James De La Rosa in the co-feature, and junior welterweights Thomas Dulorme and Hank Lundy will be the opening televised bout of the night.
“I’m really looking forward to this fight,” said Lemieux.
“My training camp has already started and I am in great shape. I want to take this opportunity to prove that I represent a real threat to the middleweight division. Gabriel Rosado is a tough fighter and he has fought a lot of talented boxers and has established his credibility. This will be a good test for me and I’m working really hard to deliver an amazing performance.”
“A fight like me against David Lemieux is what HBO is all about, and the type of fight the boxing world craves,” said Rosado.
“I’m both excited and motivated to fight again on the East Coast. I’m from Philly and I know my fans will be in Brooklyn to represent [Philadelphia] alongside my New York fans. Records can be deceiving and I believe David Lemieux will learn that first hand, and I’m hungry to get back in the mix with the best in the middleweight division.”
Tickets will be available at www.barclayscenter.com
Cleverly to Battle Bellew in Rematch
On Saturday afternoon, November 22 an eagerly anticipated rematch will take place between former Light Heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly and former two-time championship challenger Tony Bellew. This bout will air exclusively and live on AWE.
This bout will take place from the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. The two co-main events will feature two WBA world title bouts. Scott Quigg will make the fifth defense of the WBA Super Bantamweight title against Hidenori Otake of Tokyo, Japan and WBA Bantamweight Champion Jamie McDonnell defending his title against Walberto Ramos.
The undercard will also feature George Groves, undefeated British prospect Callum Smith, and undefeated heavyweight Anthony Joshua.
Hernandez-Harrison Remains Undefeated
Welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison won on Saturday at the historic DAR Constitution Hall with a devastating knockout of former world title challenger, Michael Clark (44-12-1) at 1:42 of the first round. Hernandez-Harrison improved to 24-0 with thirteen wins by way of knockout.
“I was prepared to go rounds but if the opportunity presented itself I was going to try and take him out,” Hernandez-Harrison said. “I have been waiting a long time to fight at home again and I am happy I was able to give my fans a great knockout.
Dusty’s trainer and father, Buddy Harrison, was very pleased with his son’s performance.
“Dusty worked hard preparing and it showed tonight. He had the patience when needed and also the confidence to go after that opening with the big right hand,” said Buddy. “It felt good for all of us to be back home.”
It looks like Dusty will be back home fighting again very soon. “There is a plan in place for Dusty to fight on National television in his next bout as the main event and then to come right back home to Washington, D.C. before his loyal fans,” said Jeff Fried of All In Entertainment. “While the fights are getting bigger, we also expect to fight in DC at least three times in 2015,” added Fried.
Karim Mayfield Makes Return November 8th
Karim Mayfield is coming off of consecutive losses but he is hungry to reemerge as the “Hard Hitta” of old when he faces Michael Balasi in an eight round welterweight main event of the “Back to Business, War on the Wharf” event from Longshoremen’s Hall at Fisherman’s Wharf on Saturday.
Mayfield stated the following about his first hometown fight in four years, “This is a blood sport and there’s always urgency and there’s always a do-or-die situation when you’re fighting in the ring. I’ve always taken each fight to be like that as if it was an important fight or if it was a pivotal fight, regardless of the opponent.”
Balasi is 10-5 and is riding a four fight losing streak, but he has seven wins by knockout.