Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Seldin, Algieiri, Stevenson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 18th to December 25th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Media Statement Regarding Boxing Champion Adonis Stevenson
From Girlfriend Simone “Sisi” God.
On behalf of Adonis and our family, I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone who has taken the time to reach out, send prayers and post about Adonis’ injury. We are so grateful for the outpour of messages, gifts and support that have come our way.
Superman is a world champion and has demonstrated his strength in facing every obstacle he has ever faced. He is a legend in the eyes of his fans, and a man that demonstrates to his family daily that inner strength and love can change and redeem even the greatest of hardships.
Despite recent reports being leaked to media, I wanted to clarify that Adonis is awake. He is healing from his injury in the private company of his family and his dedicated medical team. Adonis is a world champion in the ring and is exhibiting that same grit, strength and determination in his recovery.
Adonis and our family are so thankful to you all for your love and support and respectfully ask to continue to grant Adonis and our family privacy as he heals from this accident. With the holidays here, Adonis is spending time enjoying music and spending time with Adonia and his family and sends his love and appreciation to you all.
We are truly blessed by God and all of you for your support.
Chris Algieri to Fight Danny Gonzalez at MSG Live on DAZN
Demetrius Andrade will make the first defense of his WBO World Middleweight against Artur Akavov on a bumper show at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York on Friday January 18, live on DAZN in the US and Sky Sports in the UK.
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW FROM WWW.MSG.COM – TICKETS START AT $46!
Andrade (26-0 16KOs) claimed the title in October to become a two-weight World champion, flooring Walter Kautondokwa four times as he comfortably outpointed the tough number African in Boston to land the title. The unbeaten Rhode Island ace had been out of the ring for a year as he boxed in the Massachusetts capital, and ‘Boo Boo’ now wants to become an active champ as he targets unification battles in 2019.
Akavov (19-2 8KOs) will be confident of ripping up those plans as he challenges for the title for the second time, having pushed former champion Billy Joe Saunders all the way in Glasgow in December 2016, being narrowly edged out by the Londoner. The Russian landed the WBO International title in his last outing in May in Latvia, a win that saw him climb to #8 in the rankings with the WBO and move into position to rip the crown from the 32 year old in the Big Apple.
“I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity,” said Andrade. “Fighting at Madison Square Garden, where so many great fighters have fought is a true honor, and something I have dreamt about my entire life.
“People might not know much about Akavov, but this is a guy who went overseas and gave Billy Joe Saunders absolute hell. Most people thought that he should have won the fight. This is an optional defense, so I could have fought anyone I wanted, but we chose to fight a guy that we know is going to bring it all night long and a guy who in many people’s eyes beat Saunders.”
“I know that I have an extremely tough task in front of me, but that’s what this game is all about. I want all the top guys, all the belts and with Eddie Hearn and DAZN behind me and continuing to give me these opportunities to showcase my talent to the world, the other champions can’t hide for long. This is my time and January 18 is another step in that direction.”
“After the fight with Saunders, I was hoping for a rematch because that fight left a lot of unanswered questions,” said Akavov. “I believe that Andrade is a better fighter than Saunders and this is my chance to answer those questions. I understand the weight of the responsibility that is on my shoulders and will give it 100 per cent.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn is lining up a stacked bill in support of the main event, and a second World title bout on the card sees Amanda Serrano (35-1-1 26KOs) gunning for history as she looks to land World honors in an extraordinary seventh weight class as she meets WBC and IBF World Super-Flyweight champion Eva Voraberger (24-5 11KOs) – the Austrian tasked with stopping Serrano’s bid for glory.
“I’m super excited to be able to make history alongside the biggest and best network out now, DAZN,” said Serrano. “Being part of the best makes you want to raise the bar and we will do that together.”
Former World Lightweight ruler Jorge Linares continues his comeback trail on the card when he meets Pablo Cesar Cano. Linares’ (45-4 28KOs) reign as WBA and Ring Magazine champion was ended in an epic clash with pound-for-pound star Vasily Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden in May, with Linares felling the Ukrainian star in the sixth before being stopped four rounds later.
Linares returned to winning ways in September with a third round stoppage win over Abner Cotto in September in California and starts 2019 with his 50th pro fight against Cano (31-7-1 21KOs), the Mexican former World title challenger who landed the WBC International Silver strap in his last outing in September – and Linares is joined by fellow Golden Boy Boxing star Alexis Rocha (12-0 8KOs), the 21 year old Welterweight talent ready to begin his charge for titles in 2019.
“My next goal is to become the first four-division world champion from Venezuela,” said Jorge Linares. “I accomplished what I needed to accomplish at 135 pounds, and in my last fight with Abner Cotto I showed that I can take my speed and power to this new division.”
“We’ve been going back to the basics with my old trainer Jorge Zerpa, and I know I can earn another World title in this new weight class. But first I have a tough fight against Pablo Cesar Cano, a young veteran with a lot of experience who is naturally a super lightweight. I’m expecting a tough fight against Cano, but I’m motivated to give fans a great fight in New York City and on this new platform, DAZN.”
“I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions for giving me the enormous opportunity of fighting a great world champion on Jorge Linares,” said Pablo Cesar Cano. “To repeat, this is a great opportunity that I will not fail to take advantage of. The fans know the kind of fighter I am and that the only way you’ll get me to quit is by taking me out on a stretcher. But I warn everyone: that will not happen.”
“Jorge Linares has been an important staple of Golden Boy Promotions for many years and has established himself as a fighter who can come back from any setback,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “He’s beaten some of the best fighters in three different weight classes, and I’m looking forward to his rise in this new weight division.
“Pablo Cesar Cano has also played in important role at Golden Boy, giving tough fights to almost everybody at 140 and 147 pounds. This will be a great fight between two experienced warriors, and I’m delighted that it will be streamed on DAZN.”
Former World Super-Lightweight champion Chris Algieri (22-3 8KOs) made his return from two years out of the ring in November with a ten round win in Huntington, Long Island, and the 34 year old faces fellow New Yorker Danny Gonzalez (17-1-1 7KOs) in his second bout back, with the carrot of major fights later in the year dangling in front of Algieri.
Joe DeGuardia of Star Boxing, the promoter of both Algieri and Gonzalez stated: “Both Algieri and Gonzalez jumped at the chance of fighting each other at the Theater at MSG. Although they know each other well and are Star Boxing stablemates, they both recognize the enormous opportunity this fight provides and I am looking forward to January 18.”
One of Matchroom Boxing USA’s rising stars tastes his first action in 2019 on the card as Reshat Mati (2-0 1KO) returns to the scene of his last outing in October where the ‘Albanian Bear’ went the four round distance in his second fight.
Andrade vs. Akavov is a co-promotion between Matchroom Boxing USA and DiBella Entertainment, and Lou DiBella is confident his charge can rip the title from the champion, and that Serrano will make history.
“Anyone who saw Artur Akavov’s bout with Billy Joe Saunders knows that he is a relentless fighter capable of competing on the big stage,” said Lou DiBella. “Akavov may not be very well known to the average American boxing fan right now, but there is no better way to change that than by beating Demetrius Andrade and no better place than in the heart of New York City.
“There is no doubt that Amanda Serrano is the best pound-for-pound fighter in women’s boxing and one of the most accomplished fighters in the sport, regardless of gender. By fighting for a championship in her seventh weight class, Amanda is again showing her desire to chase greatness. Props to DAZN and Eddie Hearn for believing in Amanda’s talent and providing her this platform.”
“The Middleweight division is on fire right now and Demetrius is a key player,” said Hearn. “He is the one looking to lay down the gauntlet by kicking off 2019 and will be looking to deal with Akavov in style before moving into blockbuster fights.”
“It’s a huge show and we are delighted to welcome Jorge Linares to the card. Jorge has boxed on many of our shows in the UK and is a pound-for-pound quality fighter, I love the Maurice Hooker fight in the summer.
“Chris Algieri, who is also in line for Hooker, returns in a local derby and female star Amanda Serrano looks to make history – there’s even more to be announced and fans are going to get plenty of bang for their buck at Madison Square Garden on January 18.”
Pacquiao Arrives for LA Training Camp
MANNY IS BACK! Senator Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao (60-7-2, 39 KOs), the Philippines’ national treasure and boxing’s only eight-division world champion, returns for his first U.S.-based training camp in over two years on Saturday, December 22nd. The Pacman Express is scheduled to deliver the reigning WBA welterweight world champion and his team to LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal at 6:15 p.m. PT via Philippine Airlines flight PR 102.
What a whirlwind journey it has been for the Amazin’ Manny. After knocking out defending WBA welterweight world champion Lucas Matthyssee in the seventh round of their July 15 bout which took place at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, there has been no down time for Manny, a schedule that keeps the international icon thriving. Manny has traveled to the United Kingdom at the invitations of the prestigious Oxford Union and Cambridge Union to speak about his life and answer questions from the student members on consecutive days. He embarked on a coast-to-coast U.S. media tour to announce his title defense against four-division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner (33-3-1, 24 KOs), from Cincinnati, followed by an immediate flight back to Manila where he gave a speech to the plenary to further push his Senate Bill 1599 seeking to raise the excise tax on tobacco products.
Then it was 14 to 16-hour days divided into two-part rigorous training sessions and a full work day dedicated to his senatorial duties. Once the Philippine Senate session ended on December 12, Team Pacquiao returned home to General Santos City to focus on training — with one exception — his 40th birthday celebration. He began his birthday celebration one day early, as he has traditionally done, by donating and handing out 2,000 bags of groceries to residents of Barangay Tinoto in Maasim, Sarangani. The following day, it was a gala celebration that filled the KCC Convention Center. Friends, family, celebrities and government dignitaries of the highest order, including President Duterte, joined together to wish Manny a happy 40th birthday But typical of Manny, he was the one who was giving the gifts, which included the raffling of major prizes, featuring four automobiles, 58 motorcycles, and two dozen large screen LED televisions.
“Life begins at 40,” exclaimed Manny at his gala. “Physically, I still feel like I am 25, but with the benefit of the wisdom that comes from the added years of my life experience. I still have a lot I want to accomplish as an athlete, a public servant, and a father, husband and son. I look forward to adding more chapters to my life story.”
Now it’s off to Hollywood, California and his second home, Wild Card Boxing Club, where Manny will endure the most intensive part of his training in preparation for his title defense against Broner. Holidays will be work days for this training camp, which will begin on Christmas Eve. Manny and his team have taken a vow to leave no stone unturned as they prepare for the battle with Broner.
Cletus Seldin Set to Return at Star Boxing’s “Slugfest at the Sun” on January 26th
Star Boxing returns to Mohegan Sun on January 26th, for another edition of the exciting “SLUGFEST at the SUN” series. Tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster! More information on the undercard will follow, so stay tuned to Star Boxing on all social media platforms, @StarBoxing, for announcements.
“SLUGFEST at the SUN” at Mohegan Sun will kickstart an incredible year of boxing. Be there to start your 2019 off with a bang. Be sure to get your tickets now, through Ticketmaster.
CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (Long Island, NY 22-1 18KO) is bringing his devastating punching power to the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville CT, in the main event of an eagerly anticipated Star Boxing show on January 26th. Seldin will face the heavy-hitting Hungarian, ADAM “BAD BOY” MATE (28-13 21KO), in a scheduled 10 round Jr. Welterweight contest. Seldin is coming fresh off his first round knockout of Nelson Lara last month in Oklahoma on ESPN+.
With 21 KOs in his 28 victories, Mate is a formidable puncher in his own right. A victory for the Hungarian would instantly propel him into prominence and he is sure to go all out to capitalize on this opportunity. For Seldin, a win would place him at the doorstep of a world championship. When two punchers such as Seldin and Mate square off against one another, in a high-stakes contest such as this, both will be gunning for the knockout and an exciting finish is expected.
Cletus Seldin had this to say about his upcoming bout: “I am excited to be fighting Adam Mate in front of my loyal fans at Mohegan Sun. I love that star boxing keeps me active. On January 26th you will see that I am ready to contend for the 140 lb. World Championship.”
Adam Mate commented: “I am ready to capitalize on this great opportunity and look forward to displaying my talent in front of a U.S. audience.”
JOE DEGUARDIA, CEO and promoter of Star Boxing said this about SLUGFEST at the SUN: “We are excited to be back at Mohegan Sun to showcase knockout artist Cletus Seldin against Adam Mate. Both Seldin and Mate will put on a show that will thrill the fans.”