Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao/Rios, Kessler, Snooki, Bute/Pascal, JuanMa, more
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 29th to May 6th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
As announced earlier by InterBox earlier, Lucian Bute is injured and cannot fight Jean Pascal on May 25 at the Bell Centre.
For GYM President Yvon Michel, who was co-promoting the event with InterBox, this is only a postponement of the greatest fight in Canadian history.
“Obviously, when we first heard the news a few hours ago, we were all in shock,” Michel said. “This is part of boxing and we are aware that we have to live and deal with these contingencies. Our perception is that this only a postponement. We ask Quebec to show understanding and patience. We wish a speedy recovery to Lucian.”
Jean Pascal was also surprised to learn the bad news. “I was so excited when I met with the media last week,” Pascal commented from his Las Vegas training camp. “I thought that I was in the best shape of my life and very optimistic about my fight with Bute. We now need to start over but I am a professional. I know that these things happen and I think that sooner or later, we will both be in the ring to settle our differences. And I would like to add that I would still fight on May 25; I am ready to face anyone.”
GYM and InterBox are currently in a research and analysis solution mode. Full details will be announced as soon as there are new developments.
Orozco and Dirrell Victorious in Las Vegas
Anotonio Orozco (17-0) took on Jose Reynoso (16-5-1) in the junior welterweight division on Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada. Orozco dominated Reynoso and knocked him down once in the fifth round before dropping him again in the seventh round. The referee called off the bout after the second knockdown at 1:13 of round seven.
Anthony Dirrell (25-0) fought on the same card and defeated Don Mouton (12-7-1) in the super middleweight division. Dirrell had more problems than expected against Mouton and won a close decision with scores of 78-74, 77-75, and 77-75. US Olympian Errol Spence Jr. (5-0) fought on the same card a knocked out Brandon Hoskins (16-5-1) in the first round.
Super Sparring for Kessler- Cleverly, Groves and Skoglund in Copenhagen
WBA Super Middleweight Champion Mikkel Kessler will get the most competitive sparring of his career prior to his May 25th showdown with IBF Champion Carl Froch. WBO Light Heavyweight Champion Nathan Cleverly (26-0), WBO #1 super middleweight contender George Groves (18-0), and WBC Youth Light Heavyweight Champion Erik Skoglund (16-0).
Kessler stated, “It’s great to have them in Copenhagen. This is the best preparation I could have asked for. To have three guys like that- a world champion, a youth world champion, and a top-ranked contender- is probably as good as it gets in terms of sparring. They are young, hungry and unbeaten and they will push me to the limit. That’s exactly the kind of warm-up I need to beat Carl Froch again.”
Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four Final Leg Announced
The finals of the Million Dollar Super Fourt tournament will take place at the Salle des Etoiles on the Monte Carlo beachfront on July 13th. Edwin Rodriguez (23-0) of the United States and Denis Grachev (13-1) of Russia will meet in the “Super Four” final for a $1 million dollar purse, to be split 60/40.
The co-headline will be between WBA Light Welterweight Champion Khalid Allakhverdiev (18-0) and Suleymane M’Baye (40-4-1) in the light welterweight division.
Manny Pacquiao to Face Brandon Rios
Pacquiao advisor Michael Koncz has told ESPN.com that Pacquiao will face Brandon Rios this fall on November 23rd. The match up will take place outside of the United States, at the CotaiArena at the Venetian Macao-Resort-Hotel in Macau, China. Both fighters have agreed to the terms of the contract and the fight will take place at the welterweight limit of 147 pounds.
More info can be found at http://espn.go.com/boxing/story/_/id/9248494/manny-pacquiao-face-brandon-rio-nov-23-china
Mikey Garcia vs. Junma Lopez Announced
Undefeated WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia (31-0) will face former WBO junior featherweight and WBO featherweight champion Juna Manuel Lopez (33-2). George Foreman and Bob Arum will host a press conference on May 9th at 1:00PM CT at the American Airlines Center to officially announce the fight. The fight will take place on Saturday June 15th and will be televised on HBO Boxing After Dark.
Huck vs. Afolabi III: First Presser Gets Heated
Ola Afolabi (19-2-4) and WBO Cruiserweight Champion Marco “Captain” Huck (35-2-1) were involved in a heated exchange of words at their most recent press conference. Huck stated, “Afolabi is starting to get on my nerves. I beat him in December 2009. After I fought Alexander Povetkin for the WBA Heavyweight crown, it was difficult for me to find the right motivation for my rematch with Afolabi in May last year. However, I believe that I actually won that bout, even though it was scored as a majority draw. That won’t happen again. I will win in my own backyard. We won’t be playing cat and mouse anymore. This will be a war- I won’t hold back.
Afolabi shouted back, “Huck shouldn’t be able to call himself world champion. In my opinion, he lost on three previous occasions. He lost against Lebedev, he lost against me and also against Arslan. He should only be able to call himself German Champion or Champion of Berlin.”
Their fight will occur on June 8th.
Boxing Queen Holly Holm Leaving Ring for Cage After Saturday Night
The true “Queen of Boxing” 14 time world champion Holly “The Preacher’s Daughter” Holm (32-2-3) may be hanging up her gloves Saturday night but she’s only switching from a ring to a cage as she pursues her very promising mixed martial arts career.
She’ll be defending her titles against “Merciless” Mary McGee (20-1) in a 10 round main event headlining the “Mayhem” card, presented by Fresquez Productions at route 66 casino hotel in Alburquerque.
“I am dealing with some pressure being in my final time in boxing” she explained, “and knowing that I’ll be in MMA. So I’m focusing on this last fight and feeling some pressure, but there’s always some pressure in a fight. I want to end things on a good night. I didn’t want to just cruise through my last fight in boxing. This isn’t bad pressure. I did want to let people know and there will be a lot of people there Saturday night who may have not been if I hadn’t made my announcement.”
Maddalone “More than Ready” For May 11th Showdown
Long Island fan favorite Vinny Maddalone is in his final preparations for his scheduled ten round heavyweight clash on Saturday, May 11th against undefeated prospect Richard Carmack of Kansas City in the main event of Rocking Fights 8 at the Paramount in Huntington, New York.
“This is a terrific opportunity for me, while I haven’t fought at The Paramount yet, the Star Boxing events there are always sold out and it’s a great atmosphere to fight in.” said Maddalone. “It’s only 25 minutes from my house and I’m expecting a great deal of support” said the Queens native.
Snooki’s Patrick Hyland Headlines May 18th Show
Irish featherweight contender Patrick “The Punisher” Hyland headlines “The Heat Is On” professional boxing card, presented by Final Round Promotions, in association with Team Snooki Boxing, Saturday night May 18th at the Mid Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Hyland (27-1) faces an opponent to be determined in the eight round main event. He’s coming off his first loss, a 12 round decision to Javier Fortuna.
Bobby Hitz’s Fight Night to Feature Fres Oquendo
Bobby Hitz has announced that the next installment of “Fight Night at the Horseshoe” will feature four of Chicago’s most exciting boxers as WBA Latin American Heavyweight Champion Fres Oquendo (35-7), super middleweight Mike Jimenez (10-0), cruiserweight Dimar Ortuz (9-0) and lightweight Frankie Scalise (6-1) take to the ring at the Venue inside of Indiana’s Horseshoe Casino on June 8th.
“With Povetkin and the Klitschko brothers deciding to take other fights we wanted to get Fres in the ring and keep him busy until he gets his shot,” said Hitz. He deserved a title bout but until that time comes we will continue working him against other fighters.”