Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Khan, Adams, Roach, Cason, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 18th to June 25th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Amir Khan vs. Neeraj Goyat Landmar in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (24 June 2019) Two-Time World Champion and boxing star Amir Khan’s history making fight against Neeraj Goyat at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday 12th July will be broadcast exclusively live in the UK on free-to-air Channel 5.
Khan versus Goyat headlines a fantastic all-action championship fight card that includes heavyweight star Hughie Fury in a sensational showdown with Former World Champion Samuel Peter plus Prince Patel and Dave Penasola both in title fights.
British-Pakistani hero Khan and India’s star Goyat make history when the two nations meet in the boxing ring for the first time ever with the specially commissioned World Boxing Council (WBC) Pearl Welterweight Championship on the line.
The Bolton star promises a feast from the Middle East when he break down frontiers in the event titled ‘Nations Connect’ as he makes his debut in the MENA region and in the The Kingdom for the first time in his illustrious 14 year, 38 fight pro career.
This will also be Khan’s first terrestrial TV appearance since 2010, as Channel 5 televise his ground-breaking fight to millions with the undercard also featuring on free-to-air 5 Spike in nearly 5 hours of live boxing action.
‘It’s an honour to be fighting in The Kingdom during the Saudi Seasons and a big thank you to GSA for making this happen. I can’t wait to deliver a world class performance here and really put Saudi Arabia on the map as a boxing destination to rival any of the big fights cities in the World. It’s been a dream of mine to fight here for many years and I finally get to share my talent and spread boxing to new territories across the world just as Muhammad Ali did. Importantly, this fight against Neeraj is sending a message that our two nations, Pakistan and India, can connect in the boxing ring and through the power of sport we can send out a positive message.” Said Khan.
Khan is hungry to get back in the ring following his controversial sixth round stoppage loss to WBO welterweight boss and pound-for-pound contender Terence Crawford in April and knows that a victory in Jeddah could lead to a blockbuster showdown with the legendary eight-division World Champion Manny Pacquiao.
In the opposing corner stands Indian trailblazer Neeraj Goyat who will be eager to replicate his compatriots’ recent conquest over sporting rivals Pakistan at the Cricket World Cup.
The 27 year old former Commonwealth Youth medallist and World Youth and Military Games rep topped the bill in India’s first professional promotion in May 2015, when he also became the first from his nation to contest and win a pro title by scalping Nelson Gulpe for the WBC Asian crown. A brace of successful defences led to Goyat being honoured as the WBC’s Asian Honorary Fighter of the Year in 2017 plus the first Indian to crack the WBC world ratings.
Though winless in his opening four paid starts (two draws, all overseas), the 5ft 7 ½ in terror has triumphed in 11 of his last 12 – the sole stain a points loss to a Mexican in Mexico. He is also undefeated in MMA combat and yet to be stopped.
Nevertheless, ‘King Khan’ is promising to leave the man from the state of Haryana in a proper state before advancing to what could be an All-Asian career finale against ex-gym mate and eight division world champion Manny Pacquiao from the Phillipines.
‘End of this year, early next year, I want to make a big name world title challenge and there’s a strong possibility it could be here in Saudi Arabia against Pacquiao,’ claims Khan who will be coached for the first time by ex-WBA super-bantam boss Clarence ‘Bones’ Adams and Alex Ariza.
‘Hopefully, Manny beats up Keith Thurman the week after my fight and we’ll see what happens.
‘A fight between us would set-up boxing in the Middle East forever and lead to multiple championship fights taking place in the region. I intend being at the forefront.’
Chief support pitches world grade heavyweights from past and present when undefeated former British champion Hughie Fury, 24, who features courtesy of Hennessy Sports and Channel 5, steps up against one-time WBC World Champion Samuel Peter in a mouthwatering championship title contest to be announced.
England’s first ever World Youth super-heavyweight champion, the 6ft 6in ‘Fists of Fury’ has already showcased his considerable skills in eight countries since debuting as a pro, aged 18, in March 2013. However, this will be his first exposure in the MENA region and he is promising to expand his fan base by delivering a sparkling performance.
‘I’ve a job to do and it’ll get done. Samuel Peter is a seriously solid, dangerous veteran who can clearly punch but I relish the challenge,’ said Fury who is trained by his father Peter.
He added, ’It’s always great to visit different places and get my name around the World. I’m expecting a great atmosphere. There’s only one thing on my mind, getting to the very top, winning the world title.
Peter, the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’, is a 2000 Sydney Olympian, now in his 19th year as a pro. The powerhouse has clattered 31 victims inside schedule whilst compiling a stellar 38-7 CV. The solid 6ft 2in, 19stone plus African reigned on the WBC throne for seven months in 2008 and has swapped leather with four fellow world champions, including both Klitschko brothers. He famously flattened Wladimir three times before dropping a close, contentious 12 round decision in 2005.
Following a break, Samuel returned in Mexico in February and has already bombed out two foes inside the opening frame. Fury will need to bring his A-game if he hopes to advance above his ranking of 14 with the IBF.
To add further garnish to the bill, Acton pantomime villain Prince Patel attempts to become the first fighter of Indian heritage to claim a boxing world title when he collides with violent Venezuelan Michell Banquez for the Vacant IBO Bantamweight belt.
It’s a genuine toss-up between boxers who both boast 18 wins from 19 outings – Patel’s blemish a draw, Banquez’s an 11 round points loss in Chile – and both claim 13 stoppage wins.
The punching Prince, a three-time national junior champion and 2013 Senior ABA finalist, is as awkward inside the ropes as he is beyond. Love him or loathe him, he’s hard to ignore.
Nevertheless, 28 year old banger Banquez, known as ‘El Arsenal’ has never been stopped and promises to pose stern resistance.
Freddie Roach: Lobster Thurmandor will be the July 20th Special
The reigning Fighter of the Decade and boxer laureate, Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (61-7-2, 39 KOs), is back and the sports world is for the better because of it. One week removed from his landing to a throng of fans and media at LAX, Manny has exceeded everyone’s expectations in training camp for his challenge of undefeated WBA welterweight super champion Keith “One Time” Thurman — which may be the only normal thing about his current training camp. Three days in, he was displaying a chiseled physique and a six pack of abs. Forty may just be a number to Manny but his trainer, World-Famous Freddie Roach, wouldn’t be surprised if Thurman became Manny’s fortieth knockout victim.
“If Thurman comes straight in and goes after Manny, which I think he will, he is going to be cooked. Chef Manny will be serving him up on a platter like Lobster Thurmandor,” said Roach.
Boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the Philippines’ national treasure, Amazin’ Manny is preparing for his third world championship fight in the past 12 months. He and Thurman (29-0, 22 KOs), from Clearwater, Florida, who is 10 years Manny’s junior, will battle in a welterweight world title attraction that headlines a PBC on FOX Sports Pay-Per-View event, Saturday, July 20, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.
Muhsin Cason Scores First Round TKO to Extend Undefeated Record
Undefeated heavyweight prospect, Muhsin Cason (5-0, 3 KOs), who is managed by Greg Hannley of Prince Ranch Boxing, remained unbeaten with a 1st round TKO against Nathaniel Copeland (1-1, 1 KO) of Washington D.C.
Cason, the younger brother of two-time heavyweight world champion Hasim Rahman, landed a vicious body blow in the middle of round one, sending the bigger Copeland to the canvas. Copeland did not recover, and the bout was halted.
“Since I’ve recently moved up to heavyweight, I feel a lot stronger,” said Cason, who is also trained by his older brother Hasim Rahman. “I’m starting to feel more comfortable at heavyweight with each fight. This was my second bout fighting with the big boys and I promise to get better with each fight. My power is moving up with me. I’m hoping to get back in the ring next month.”
“Muhsin showed he has the power to compete at heavyweight,” said manager Greg Hannely. “We are going to try to get three or four more fights in before the end of the year. Right now, the focus is on keeping him busy. He has a bright future and we believe he has all the tools to become a force in the heavyweight division.”
“Muhsin is becoming a better fighter as he marches on in his career,” said Hasim Rahman, who trains Muhsin. “We are working very had in the gym and he’s getting great sparring with some of the best heavyweight in boxing. He’s still learning but he’s retaining all the knowledge I’m showing him. I’m happy we got another knockout against a tough fighter like Copeland.”
Star Boxing Signs Richard “Popeye the Sailor Man” Rivera
JOE DEGUARDIA’S STAR BOXING is pleased to announce the signing of undefeated light heavyweight/cruiserweight, Richie “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera, arguably the most popular and hardest puncher in New England.
The 28-year-old Rivera (11-0, 10 KOs), born and raised in Hartford, CT, is scheduled to fight on the CATSKILLS CLASH card on Friday, June 28, on FITE.TV ($9.99), live from Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, New York.
Rivera will face BRIAN “MVP” HOWARD (14-2, 11 KOs), fighting out of Loganville, Georgia, in an eight-round fight for the vacant American Boxing Organization (ABO) America’s Cruiserweight title.
“I’m excited and ready to go,” an ecstatic Rivera said between training sessions at the Hartford Boxing Center. “I was very nervous about the whole thing (process). I don’t just sign a paper put in front of me. I read everything closely and ask questions. I really thought Joe worked with us and met our demands. I’m very happy to move on to the next level.”
“I’ve worked with (Star Boxing’s former world champion) Joe Smith Jr. for the past two years. It started with the (Andrzej) Fonfara fight, then (Bernard) Hopkins, and I’m helping him now (as a sparring partner). He’s mentioned a few things, gave me some good advice to be cautious with all my decisions, and to listen before speaking.”
Rivera is partners in Hartford Boxing Promotions with his adviser/head trainer Tony Blanco and Michael Tran.
Blanco drew a different analogy in terms of co-promoting Rivera with Star Boxing, saying: “The plane was on the runway, Richie is the engine, and now we have the pilot (DeGuardia) to take us where we want to go.”
One of the key reasons for partnering with Star Boxing, according to Blanco, is DeGuardia’s success working with former world light heavyweight champions Antonio Tarver and Smith Jr..
“I like what Joe [DeGuardia] has done in the light heavyweight division, starting with Tarver, and more recently Smith Jr.,” Blanco commented. “It’s good for Richie because that’s his division. This was kind of a no-brainer. Joe is reachable (in NYC), which is something I like to do business with him. Some promoters sign fighters for no real reason and then they end up on the shelf, which is a fighter’s worst nightmare. I think Joe is one of the top 10 promoters in the world, but it seems like the top three are always bickering with each other. I like the fact Joe works with all other promoters. He’s low key and I think a perfect fit for us.”
“Another reason for us is Joe’s new deal with NESN (home of the Boston Red Sox and Boston Bruins), which is a New England regional network but available to watch nationally. It’s huge for Richie to be on television. You just put the cameras on Richie, give him a microphone, and he does the rest. And Richie can really fight, too. I think he has the most star power in New England.”
“The plan for Richie in 2019 is for him to continue developing, fighting a lot, and getting exposure. He’s self-motivated, always working hard in the gym, and hungry. We’re on the right path.”
Star Boxing has another undefeated Hartford prospect in its stable, junior welterweight “Action” Anthony Laureano (10-0, 3 KOs), who is also scheduled to fight on the June 28th card.
“We’re excited to sign Richie and work with Hartford Boxing Promotions to guide him to the top,’ CEO of Star Boxing, DeGuardia added. “Richie has so much potential. He’s extremely strong, dedicated, hard-working, and charismatic. We learned a lot about Richie during his training and sparring sessions with Joe Smith Jr.. Star Boxing has committed itself to further developing New England boxers and Richie has everything we look for, and more, to build him into a star.”
Brandon Adams Training Camp Quotes
Middleweight contender Brandon Adams has been working hard at The Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, California as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career when he takes on unbeaten interim WBC Middleweight Champion Jermall Charlo, on Saturday June 29 at NRG Arena in Houston and live on SHOWTIME (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Lions Only Promotions and TGB Promotions, are on sale now and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Charlo vs. Adams is promoted in association with Banner Promotions and The Tournament of Contenders.
Adams has been training under longtime coach Dub Huntley and Hall of Famer Freddie Roach as he prepares for this opportunity.
“Everything is going good and this camp has been very solid,” said Adams. “I feel good and I am very excited to get in there and fight. I know that I have a great team that are preparing me to be the best Brandon Adams possible.
“The combination of Dub and Freddie really gives me everything I could ever need for a fight like this. They teach me something new every day and I’m going to be confident in my abilities on fight night.”
Adams and Charlo went face to face for the first time on May 30 at a press conference in Houston that Adams believes will help prepare him for his surroundings on fight night.
“Houston was not as hostile as I thought it would be,” said Adams. “There was a lot of mutual respect between Jermall and I. I know the fans will be rooting for him, but it’s just the two of us in the ring. I’m just focused on what I have to do to get the win.
“I always knew the road to the top wouldn’t be easy. Nothing in boxing has been for me. I’ve always been ready to do whatever I had to do.”
Adams knows the stakes of the fight on June 29, and he believes that with a win, he will be considered a major player in the middleweight division.
“I feel this opportunity is the biggest one in my career to this point,” said Adams. “This will set me up for much more, and I am ready to face the challenge. I couldn’t be more prepared or focused. I am very dedicated to this fight and everything it’s going to take to reach my dream. I am looking to put on a tremendous performance on June 29.”
The 29 years-old Adams out of Los Angeles, California is promoted by Banner Promotions and Tournament of Contenders.