By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 5th to November 12th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Rigondeaux vs. Agbeko and Tapia vs. Kirkland Tickets on Sale
Undefeated World Boxing Association (WBA) / World Boxing Organization (WBO) 122-pound world champion and Cuban sensation Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux returns to the ring fresh from his career-best victory. Rigondeaux will be bidding for Fighter of the Year honors when he defends his unified titles against former two-time world champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko, Saturday, December 7, at Boardwalk Hall’s Adrian Phillips Ballroom in Atlantic City. The card will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark®beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. The live telecast will also feature local favorite Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia risking his Top-10 rating and undefeated record in a 10-round junior middleweight battle against knockout artist JAMES KIRKLAND and three-time world title challenger Mathew Macklin in a 10-round middleweight rumble against undefeated contender Lamar Russ.
These six gladiators boast a combined record of 135-10, 96 KOs — a winning percentage of 93% and a victory by knockout ratio of 71%.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Caesars Atlantic City, Caribe Promotions, SMS Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and Tecate, tickets to the Rigondeaux vs. Agbeko world championship event go on sale Thursday, November 14, at Noon ET. Priced at $200, $100. $50 and $25, plus applicable service charges, tickets can be purchased at Boardwalk Hall box office, all Ticketmaster locations and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
“I’m very excited to get back in the ring,” said Rigondeaux. “Joseph Agbeko is a great champion, and I believe all fans will be pleased with the type of performance we will both exhibit to end a great year of boxing. I believe Agbeko will come prepared, ready to engage and be very aggressive. We will both showcase our skills, and I am very pleased to have the opportunity to end 2013 the way I opened it up, with surprise and pure boxing class for the world to see. I would like to thank HBO, my promoters Top Rank and Caribe promotions, my manager Gary Hyde, advisor Alex Bornote, trainers Ramon Garbey, Joel Casamayor, Pedro Luis, and all those that have a part in making this fight happen.”
Frank Warren Wins Purse Bid for Price vs. Chisora
Promoter Frank Warren today won the purse bids for the big heavyweight clash between David Price and Dereck Chisora for the British title.
Finchley puncher Chisora is currently preparing for his European title defence against Matteo Modugno on Saturday 30th November at the Copper Box Arena.
Chisora has previously held the Lonsdale belt when he defeated Danny Williams in May 2010 to win the title and made a defence against Sam Sexton before losing it to Tyson Fury.
He’s is in the best form of his career with three back-to-back stoppages this year against Hector Alfredo Avila, top American Malik Scott and winning the European title with a sensational performance against Edmund Gerber.
Chisora said, “I’m concentrating on the undefeated Italian Modugno right now and defending my European title is my priority, but I’m excited that I’ll be facing Price,”
“I do miss holding the British title though, it’s a beautiful belt and I want to win it again on the way to the world title.”
A date and venue will be advised within the two week deadline set by the BBBofC.
Episode #2 of Pacquiao/Rios Premieres Saturday Night on HBO
Pacquiao/Rios 24/7 premieres on Saturday, November 16th, 2013 on HBO at 9:30 p.m. ET.
As they prepare for their intriguing Nov. 23 showdown, Manny Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) and trusted longtime trainer Freddie Roach hold camp in General Santos City, Philippines, while Brandon Rios (31-1-1, 22 KOs) and trainer Robert Garcia pick up the pace in the burgeoning boxing hotbed of Oxnard, Cal.
Episode three of 24/7 Pacquiao/Rios debuts Thursday, Nov. 21 (10:00-10:30 p.m.), two nights before the high-stakes welterweight bout.
The final Pacquiao vs. Rios takes place Saturday, Nov. 23 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (PT), and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
Gonzalez Upsets Oliveira, Foreman Wins by KO
Mexican invader Norberto “Demonio” Gonzalez (20-2, 13 KOs) upset hometown favorite Michael “The Brazilian Rocky” Oliveira (21-2, 16 KOs) in the main event of tonight’s “Knockout Night at Hard Rock Live” card, presented by MO Productions, at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Gonzalez’ quick hands overcame Oliviera’s power for a unanimous 10-round decision (97-91, 97-91, 96-92) victory in a very entertaining fight. Oliveira dropped Gonzalez in the second round with a right cross, but Gonzalez closed the show in the 10th, sending Oliveira to the canvas. The tough 23-year-old Brazilian, rated No. 7 by the WBA and No. 11 by the WBC, beat the 10-count right before the final bell.
In the co-feature, former World Boxing Association (WBA) junior middleweight Yuri Foreman (32-2, 9 KOs) registered his first knockout since 2006, blasting out Mexican opponent Javier “Pelon” Gomez (14-12, 10 KOs) with a perfectly placed left hook at 1:56 of the opening round. Gomez went down hard and failed to move for a few anxious moments.”
“It’s been quite a few years,” Foreman said about his impressive knockout. “I pray that he’s okay. Now, I’m ready for a 10-round fight.”
Mayweather Promotions Hosts Stacked Fight Card on December 6th
Mayweather Promotions will end 2013 with a bang when they host, “The Little Creek Brawl,” a full card of rising stars headlined by middleweight contender J’Leon Love on Friday, Dec. 6 from Little River Casino in Shelton, Wash., live on ShoBox: The New Generation. The night will also feature Mayweather Promotions mainstays lightweight prospect Mickey Bey, super middleweight prospect Badou Jack and middleweight prospect Chris Pearson; all in bouts against opponents to be announced.
The “Little Creek Brawl” telecast on Showtime will begin at 11:50 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) following the Showtime theatrical premiere of Sinister.
“We’re looking forward to putting on a top to bottom card of Mayweather Promotions talent,” said Floyd Mayweather, president of Mayweather Promotions. “Our goal is to be the future of sports and entertainment and being able to showcase so many of our fighters in one night live on SHOWTIME is definitely a step in the right direction.”
“Mayweather Promotions has grown exponentially in the last year,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “Our roster of talent continues to expand and with the strong support of SHOWTIME, we are able to feature our fighters who we feel are part of the future of boxing.”
“I have been working very hard to get this chance,” said Love. “I am so grateful to Floyd Mayweather and the Mayweather Promotions team for this opportunity and I will not let them down. Every fighter dreams of headlining a card, let alone one that is full of fighters you know and admire. I plan on closing out the night with a great performance that fans won’t forget.”
Mario Barrios Wins Pro Debut
Last night in his hometown at the Cowboys Dance Hall in San Antonio TX, super bantamweight Mario Barrios (1-0, 1 KO) looked electrifying in his pro debut. Barrios, who was a decorated amateur, showed great poise and tremendous power as he dominated his opponent Rigoberto Moreno winning by first round knockout.
“I felt extremely strong in my pro debut and I’m very happy to start my career off with a knockout,” said Barrios. “I want to thank everyone who came out to support me and my team for all their hard work. I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
“The kid has all the tools to become something special,” said co-manager Bob Santos. “He showed us that he has the power to finish once he’s got his opponent hurt. I’m happy with his performance.”
“I was very impressed with Barrios’ skill set,” stated co-manager Luis DeCubas Jr. “He’s the best fighter I’ve seen in many years coming out of the amateurs. I can see him being very successful in multiple weight classes and becoming San Antonio’s biggest star in the future.”
Bruno Escalante to Fight for IBA Super Flyweight Championship
The incredibly athletic Bruno “The Aloha Kid” Escalante is getting his first shot at 115lb gold when he fights for the vacant IBA Super Flyweight Championship against Michael Ruiz (9-3, 3 KOs) of Fresno California. The ten round bout will take place on December 7th at the Sports House in Redwood City California.
Escalante (10-1-1, 5KOs) has garnered attention over the past year from boxing insiders who have been impressed with his agile footwork, quick hand speed, and his deceptive power. The Cebu, Philippine born fighter has grown into his capabilities and has secured his position within the ranks.
After growing up in the Philippines during his early years, Escalante moved to Hawaii before making a home out of California. He’s preparing for the opportunity of a lifetime, knowing full-well that capturing a title in the super-flyweight division could put him on the fast track to the top of the division.
“This is what I’ve been working towards my whole life, every good decision I’ve made, every trial and tribulation has been geared towards this moment. I’ve sacrificed a lot knowing that this day would come and now that it is finally here I’m ecstatic. I will take full advantage of this opportunity as well as the others that will follow,” Escalante said.
WBC Names Floyd Mayweather Supreme Champion
Ten-Time World Champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather can add another honor to his growing list of accolades as the World Boxing Council (WBC) has named him WBC Supreme Champion. Representatives from the 165 countries that form the WBC unanimously voted to bestow Mayweather with this unique award following his many years as a WBC Champion complemented by his 2013 back-to-back wins against former WBC welterweight champion Robert Guerrero and former WBC Super Welterweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez.
“I am honored that the WBC has named me Supreme Champion,” said Mayweahter. “It’s a blessing to have won several WBC titles throughout my career. Being recognized by the boxing community means a lot, so I want to thank the WBC and its members who voted for me.”
It’s been a busy and productive year of ring successes and honors for Mayweather. In addition to being named WBC Supreme Champion, Mayweather was awarded the 2013 ESPN for Best Fighter and Fighter of the Year by the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.
He also set and broke several records. In February, he entered into a groundbreaking pay-per-view deal with Showtime Networks Inc. and its parent company CBS Corporation to comprehensively promote six fights over 30 months. Most recently, his September 14 fight against Canelo Alvarez set the record as the highest-grossing pay-per-view of all time with more than $150 million in U.S. revenue alone, surpassing the previous record of $136 million generated by Mayweather vs. Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.
“2013 has been a big year for The Money Team,” Mayweather continued. “It feels good to be where I currently am in my career. I am looking forward to 2014 being another exciting year for me. I appreciate the recognition and all of the support my fans shown me over the years.”
The WBC will hold a special event in Las Vegas to formally give Mayweather his award in the near future.
Heavyweights Collide on November 26th on Golden Boy Live!
It’s a night of heavyweight action at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. as the Tuesday, Nov. 26 edition of Golden Boy Live! not only showcases heavyweights Antonio Tarver and Mike Sheppard in the FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes main event for the vacant Interim NABA Heavyweight title, but also features two heavyweight showdowns in the undercard bouts. Unbeaten 2012 U.S. Olympian Dominic “Trouble” Breazeale takes on Nagy Aguilera in an eight-round televised bout and veteran contenders Odlanier “La Sombra” Solis and Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson meet in a 10-round non-televised bout for the IBF Intercontinental Heavyweight Title.
In the evening’s 10-round co-main event, undefeated bantamweight Randy “El Matador” Caballero makes his Florida debut against local southpaw Jessy Cruz of Miami. Cruz tops a roster of Miami-based talent featured on the Nov. 26 fight card.
An intimidating force at 6-foot-6, Dominic Breazeale (7-0, 7 KO’s) has taken out all comers in his path since turning pro after the 2012 London Olympics. In his last fight on Sept. 12, the former quarterback showcased his skills with a third-round technical knockout over Jon Hill. Now, the 28-year-old from Glendale, Calif. is ready to step things up on Nov. 26 against Nagy Aguilera.
Robert Guerrero Honored by Northern California Boxers Association
This past Saturday at the Italian American Social Club the Northern California Boxers Association honored six-time and four division world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero for accomplishments in and out of the ring. NCBA president Joe Amato presented Robert with the award, a beautiful brass bust resembling a boxer from the early 1900’s.
Guerrero, who’s traveled across several weight classes, has won six world titles in four divisions thus far in his career. He’s also traveled overseas to capture a world title.
“I’m honored to have received this award from the Northern California Boxers Association,” said Guerrero. “This trophy is very beautiful and I’m thankful to the people that put on this event and all my family and core team whose been with me from the beginning. The Northern California boxing scene is one of the best in the world and I’m happy to be part of this great era of boxers from this area.”
Undercard Announced for November 16th NBC Card
A jam-packed undercard is scheduled for Saturday afternoon in support of a nationally televised boxing double-header at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, NY. In the main event, heavyweights Tomasz Adamek, 48-2, 29 KOs, and Czar Glazkov, 15-0-1, 11 KOs, square off in a 12-round heavyweight eliminator that will determine the #2 IBF contender.
Fight fans can watch that bout, along with an interesting 8-round battle between lightweight prospects Karl “Dynamite” Dargan, 13-0, 7 KOs, and Mike “Lefty” Brooks, 11-0-1, 2 KOs, at home on NBC network TV, beginning at 2:30PM. However, fans who come to the live event at the Turning Stone will be treated to a stacked set of preliminary bouts featuring a sampling of some of today’s top young talent.
South African light heavyweight Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba, 20-2-2, 9 KOs, clashes with “The Amazing” Michael Gbenga, 13-9, 13 KOs, of Ghana in an 8-round bout. Chilemba is the favorite, but he’ll have to be on the lookout for Gbenga’s power shots which have taken out every fighter that he’s beaten.
In a 6-round cruiserweight fight, Albanian puncher, Sevdail Sheriffi, 9-2-2, 8 KOs, faces Houston’s Quantis Graves, 9-0, 4 KOs. The promising Graves is undefeated but “The Sherriff” is a hot, rising hopeful fighting in the US for just the second time. Once the bell rings, questions about each fighter will be answered.
In another 6-rounder, undefeated super middleweight Andy Mejias, 14-0, 6 KOs, Utica, NY, meets tough Philly trial horse, Latin Mundy, 10-8, 4 KOs. All eyes are on Mejias, but Mundy is determined to punch his way back into the picture at 168 pounds, and can’t be counted out.
In a 4-round middleweight fight, Trent Laidler of Palm Beach, FL, makes his professional debut against Philadelphia’s Anthony Watson, 0-1, who will looking to ruin Laidler’s introduction to the sport.
A pair of super middleweights are slated to open the live show in another 4-rounder. Undefeated John Magda, 3-0, 3 KOs, has jumped out to a good start since turning pro in August. He’s knocked out everyone so far, and will look to add Maurice Amaro, 2-5, 1 KO, to his budding resume. However, Philly’s Amaro is tough, and should give the streaking Magda a real test.
The live, ringside action gets underway at the Turning Stone Resort Casino beginning at 12:30PM.
Bracero Decisions Salita
A special-edition Saturday Broadway Boxing card was entitled “Battle for Brooklyn” and was headlined by Brooklyn’s fan-favorite welterweight contenders Gabriel “Tito” Bracero and Dmitriy “Star of David” Salita.
The bout between the two Brooklynites has been talked about for years, and as soon as the fighters emerged from their respective dressing rooms, the crowd erupted
The first few rounds were feeling out rounds but Bracero picked up the pace in the third. There was good two-way action in the ensuing rounds, with Bracero landing the more telling shots.
In the 8th round, Bracero sent Salita to the canvas with a short left hand. Although Salita didn’t appear hurt, Bracero jumped all over him when the action resumed, in what was clearly the most dominate round of the night.
Bracero picked up where he left off in the 9th, bloodying Salita under his eye and on his forehead in yet another dominate round for the Puerto Rican-American.
In the 10th and final round, both fighters came out swinging, in what was easily the best round of the fight. Both fighters scored hard shots during the round and ended the fight in the center of the ring standing toe-to-toe.
In the end, all three judges scored the bout in Bracero’s favor, 100-89, 99-90, 97-92. With the win, Bracero improved his record to 23-1, 4KOs, picking up the WBO International Welterweight Title. The victory over Salita (35-2-1, 18KO’s) was the most important victory of Bracero’s career, and hopefully sets him up for something big in the 140-147 lb divisions sometime in 2014.