By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 6th to January 13th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Golden Boy Promotions Signs Twelve Fighters, but Loses Several Al Haymon Managed Fighters
Golden Boy Promotions has recently settled their lawsuit against the former head honcho of Golden Boy Promotions Richard Schaefer. However, several fighters managed by Al Haymon will no longer be fighting for Golden Boy Promotions: Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, and Marcos Maidana will be leaving Golden Boy Promotions. Some Al Haymon advised boxers such as Amir Khan and Leo Santa Cruz will stay on with Golden Boy for the time being.
To make up for the loss of talent, Golden Boy has recently signed several boxers including Yoshihiro Kamegai, Mercito Gesta, Everton Lopes, Gilberto Gonzalez, Antonio Gutirrez, Oscar Negrete, Ambraham Lopez, Roy Tapia, Christian Gonzalez, Emilio Sanchez, Jesus Ivan Delgado, and Nick Arce.
Al Haymon to Announce New Boxing Series on Wednesday
The highly whispered rumor of an Al Haymon boxing series on NBC and NBC Sports seems to be a reality as Haymon is expected to announce his new boxing series that will air on the network on Wednesday. Al Haymon has bought about 24 fight dates that will air on NBC and will likely use several of the fighters that were recently released from their contracts with Golden Boy Promotions in the Richard Schaefer settlement.
Andre Ward Joins Roc Nation, Which Also Buys Gary Shaw Promotions
Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports has entered into the boxing world in a big way by signing with Roc Nation Sports. Andre Ward had worked out an agreement with Goossen Promotions in order to sign with Roc Nation and this should hopefully end his long period of inactivity.
Prior to signing Andre Ward Roc Nation had announced they had finalized a deal to buy Gary Shaw’s company and obtain his stable of fighters. Gary Shaw will help run Roc Nation Sports’ boxing division which will now include Wladimir Klitschko, Thomas Dulorme, Tureano Johnson, Kenneth Sims, and Daniel Geale.
Luis Ortiz Stripped of Belt
Interim WBA world heavyweight title holder Luis Ortiz tested positive for Nandrolone after his September 11th victory and had the result of his fight changed to a no contest by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Ortiz will be suspended for eight months and won’t be able to fight again until May 11th. He was also fined 10 percent of his purse.
Zurdo Ramirez to Make HBO Debut on January 24th
On January 24th, 2015 Brandon Rios and Mike Alvardo will meet for the third time on HBO in Broomfield, Colorado. Super middleweight Mexican contender Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez will make his HBO debut on January 24th against Russian contender Maxim Vlasov.
Ramirez vs. Vlasov will be the co-main event of the night and will be televised live on HBO starting at 9:45 p.m. ET.
Both competitors have a combined record of 126-6-1 with a combined eighty four knockouts.
“I really appreciate Bob Arum, HBO and my team at Zapari Boxing for giving me this opportunity. I have been waiting so long for this caliber of fight,” said Ramirez. “Vlasov is the biggest test of my career. A victory over him will validate me as a worthy challenger for a world title. I promise to give the fans a very exciting fight on January 24.”
Stiverne Primed to Hurt Wilder
WBC Heavyweight Champion Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (24-1) has been training to knockout and hurt mandatory challenger Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0) on January 17th. This fight will air live on Showtime Championship Boxing from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Stiverne has recently responded to the trash talk of Wilder.
“No, it (Wilder’s trash talk) doesn’t bother me,” Stiverne said. “I’m focused on beating him. I’m not going to just knock him out, I’m going to hurt that kid. His job, I guess, is to make himself big by talking; I feel like I’m fighting Muhammad Ali (Stiverne joked). He’s a great promoter, better than his or my promoter. There’s a lot of hype about him and that’s great for our fight because it’ll come down to everybody knowing who beat him after the fight.”
“I don’t say anything about who he’s fought or him not going past four rounds,” Stiverne explained. “Those questions should be directed to him. I really don’t care. I’m going to chop him down and, if those things are factors, it’ll show in our fight. I’m just doing my job. I’ve been down and came back to knockout my opponent. I’ve also won 12 rounds fights. I know I still have power in later rounds.”
Greg Cohen Promotions Signs Tommy Rainone
Long Island, New York native Tommy Rainone (22-5-1) had a tough fight this weekend when he faced Dusty Harrison-Hernandez and lost by decision, but he was able to get signed by a major promotional company before the fight.
Promoter Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions has announced that his company has signed Rainone to an exclusive promotional contract.
Greg Cohen stated, “I’m proud to be working with a throwback fighter like Tommy Rainone.
“He’s going into the biggest fight of his career and he’s 100% ready. Tommy plans on making the most of this opportunity and knows that a victory over Dusty at Madison Square Garden will be the launching pad he’s needed to secure fights at the highest level of the sport.”
Willie Monroe Jr. and Bryan Vera Training Camp Quotes
Willie Monroe Jr. and Bryan Vera are set to fight for the NABO/NABA Middleweight title on January 16th to serve as the co-main event for the NABA/NABO Lightweight title fight between Peter Petrov (35-4-2) and Hank Lundy (25-4-1).
Vera and Monroe offered the following quotes in anticipation of their upcoming bout.
Willie Monroe Jr.:
“Camp and sparring has been amazing and we are looking forward to the fight with Bryan Vera. We have a great deal of respect for Bryan and his style of fighting. He is a world class fighter and if Willie Monroe Jr. deserves to be at the top of the middleweight division, come January 16 we will defeat Bryan Vera.
“This is another opportunity to reinvent myself like I have done many times before. I’m coming prepared and focused to get the job done. All business here. Coming to work. Be prepared to see me do what has to be done. Look forward to another exciting fight here on ESPN. ”
New York State Boxing Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2015
The New York State Boxing Hall of Fame has announced its Class of 2015 featuring 20 inductees. Included in the inductees are Saoul Mamby, Joey Giambra, Johnny Persol, Halrd Weston, Lonne Bradley, Paul Berlenbach, Billy Graham, Frankie Genaro, Tommy Ryan, Bob Duffy, Mike Katz, Cedric Kushner, and others.
More information on the 2015 class can be found at www.ring8ny.com