By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 20th to May 27th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Omar Narvaez Wins in Argentina
Omar Narvaez (39-1-2) defended his junior bantamweight title on Saturday night in Buenos Aires, Argentina against Felipe Orucuta (27-2). The scores were 115-113, 115-113 for Narvaez and 118-110 for Orucuta. Narvaez was lucky to get the victory and most believe that Orucuta would have received the decision if the fight occurred outside of Argentina.
Gonzalez Stops Barrera
Roman Gonzalez (35-0) continued his undefeated streak in the bantamweight division as he stopped Ronald Barrera (31-12-2) on Saturday in Managua, Nicaragua. Gonzalez took on this fight in a higher than normal weight division and pounded Barrera throughout the entire bout. Barrera went down in the fifth round and was pummeled by Gonzalez when he got to his feet. The referee waived off the fight at 2:42.
The Return of Riddick Bowe
Former World Heavyweight champion Riddick Bowe will be on an exhibition bout in Leicester this summer. Promoter Scott Landsdowne is behind the bid to bring Riddick Bowe to the city. The former two-time world heavyweight champion will box an exhibition bout with Mark Potter at Club Republic, in the city centre, on Saturday, August 3rd.
Lansdowne said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have signed up someone of the caliber of Riddick Bowe. He is a real legend of the sport and a name that anyone who follows the sport will know.” More info can be found at http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Boxing-Ex-World-Champ-Riddick-Bowe-Leicester-bout/story-19111842-detail/story.html#ixzz2UaZQYoy7
Crossroads Fight for Derrick Wilson
The once promising career of former amateur standout Derrick Wilson (9-4-2) is at the crossroads for his 10 round main event fight on Saturday night against undefeated featherweight Braulio Santos (10-0). Wilson was a 2004 National Silver Gloves Champion and won his first four pro fights before hitting a few bumps in the road including an 8th round knockout to Javier Fortuna.
“People haven’t seen the real me, yet, but they will in this fight.” Wilson concluded. “This is my first fight back with my coach. I’m sharp with speed and quickness; my speed will confuse him. I won’t be loading up like I have in the past. A win will boost me up. I’m going in as the opponent but I’m not going to be used as a stepping-stone anymore.”
CNN Freedom Documentary, “The Fighters”, Featuring Manny Pacquiao Available Online
The CNN Freedom Project documentary, “The Fighters,” which recently debuted on CNN International, is now available online in its entirety. Two years in the making, CNN had exclusive access to Fighter of the Decade and recently reelected Congressman Manny Pacquiao and activist Celia Flores-Oebanda, following their dramatic battle against sex slavery as they try to save the children of the Philippines who have become victims of human trafficking. This can be viewed online at www.cnn.com/ASIA/the-fighters
Fundraiser for Injured Boxer Gerald McClellan
Liqua Lights LLC, a company based out of Michigan, has announced a series of “Lighten Up” campaigns to help raise money, awareness, and support for various causes in need. The first campaign the company will run is a “Lighten Up For Gerald McClellan” campaign to help with the continuation of care for Mr. McClellan, who was seriously injured in a professional boxing match several years ago. On February 25, 1995 Gerald McClellan was injured in a world title fight with Nigel Benn in which he sustained a blood clot in his brain. McClellan remained in a coma for two weeks and he emerged from the coma completely blind with serious problems with his comprehension. He needs 24 hour care that costs approximately $70,000 per year.
Anybody who wishes to support Gerald McClellan can go to www.liqualights.us and click on the Liqua Lights Fights for Charity link.
Felix Sturm to Return on July 6th, 2013
Three time world champion Felix Sturm will return to the ring on July 6th at the Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany. His opponent has not been announced yet and the bout will be broadcast live in Germany by SAT. 1.
Felix Sturm stated the following, “ My loss to Geale was unlucky. I know I can do better than I did back in September. I’m sure there will be a rematch down the road. But the fans will already see the return of the real Felix Sturm in my next fight. I don’t want to say much about the Same Soliman doping scandal anymore. I stated numerous times that there is no room for cheaters in sports and I stand by that.”
Atlas, Cops and Kids program opens new boxing gym on Staten Island
Teddy Atlas will be opening a new Atlas/NYPD Cops and Kids Boxing Gym at the Berry Houses in Dongan Hills. This program has produced world class talent before such as 2012 Olympian Marcus Browne, but Atlas hopes the program will continue to help save lives.
“My father always said sickness comes in different forms. A lot of these kids suffer from a sickness called violence. My father would have said, “Let’s take care of it.” He further highlighted the program’s goal, “If the day ever comes where education is not our priorty, that’s the day I’ll walk away from the gyms,” Atlas said. “We’re using boxing to make these kids better people, like Marcus. He’s an example and a leader to other kids, and we want to continue to develop leaders like him”
Read more at www.silive.com/eastshore/index.ssf/2013/05/atlas_copes_and_kids_program_op.html
Kovalev vs. White Set for June 14th
Sergey Kovalev (20-0-1) is a fast rising light heavyweight prospect who is very close to challenging for the world light heavyweight title. Kovalev will take on Cornelius White (21-1) in a 12 round elimination fight on Friday night, June 14th, at the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem. The winner becomes the mandatory No. 1 challenger for the IBF crown, currently held by Bernard Hopkins.
Kovalev-White is part of a triple header to be televised live, including Bryant Jennings vs. Andrey Fedosov and Ronald Cruz vs. Ray Narh.
Frank Warren Releases Statement on Deontay Wilder
The following statement was released by Frank Warren:
I make this statement in relation to the outrageous and defamatory statements which have been made about me by Deontay Wilder.
On 9 May I announced the Wilder vs. Chisora fight, which was to take place on Saturday 15th June at Wembley Arena. There was a deal reached with Wilder’s representative, Eric Gomez, and my matchmaker Dean Powell for that fight to take place.
On the morning of the press conference at 7.26am Dean Powell received an email from Eric Gomez asking the question: “Can you please hold on the announcement until Monday next week?” As you can see this was a question. The reason given for the request was: “Don’t want any bad press because of the arrest.” Neither Dean nor I were told-as Mr. Wilder now seems to suggest- that Mr. Wilder did not consider he had a deal or that he was unable to travel to London. Indeed, Mr. Gomez went onto say in that email “everything is fine.” Therefore we took at face value that the reason for the request to postpone the announcement was because Mr. Wilder did not want any bad press.
The problem was that the press conference had already been set up and it was not possible to accomdate Frank Gomez’s request. Dean powell therefore replied to his question: “We have everything set up for today & have our other boxing traveling from all over the UK to be in Londin this morning!” It was too late to postpone the announcement. There as no response to Dean’s email before the press conference.
It was only after the press conference that we received an email from Mr. Gomez saying “I got a call from Deontay’s attorney, there is [sic] some legal issues with traveling to the UK because of the arrest for battery. This is going to be a problem.” We do not know when the attorney called Eric Gomez and, if before the press conference, why he did not tell us about this sooner.
I have therefore had to cancel the fight and postpone the show scheduled for 15 June. However, despite Mr. Wilder’s allegations, this is solely because Mr. Wilder has been arrested and cannot now meet his commitment to fight Dereck Chisora.
There have been a number of websites which have reported Mr. Wilder’s comments and my lawyers will be raising complaints with them separately. However, I wish to make it clear at this stage, so that it is beyond doubt, that it was only after the announcement for the fight that Mr. Wilder’s representatives have informed me that he could not travel to London to fight Dereck Chisora.