Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones, Chris Algieri, Jaime Munguia, Philly Special, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 8th to January 15th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos-Golden Boy Promotions
Jaime Munguia Discusses Promising 2019 As He Prepares to Defend Title Against Takeshi Inoue
Jaime Munguia (31-0, 26 KOs) discussed his busy plans for 2019 as he prepares to defend his WBO Junior Middleweight World Title against Japanese contender Takeshi Inoue (13-0-1, 7 KOs) in a 12-round battle. The action will take place on Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas and will be streamed live on DAZN – which is just $9.99 per month after a one-month free trial. Fans in Houston can purchase tickets starting at just $25 at ToyotaCenter.com.
The native of Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico is working hard to make a successful third defense of his title in what will be his debut in Texas. Munguia is working under the expert tutelage of renowned trainer Robert Alcazar, who trained the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Edwin Valero and Jessie Vargas. Munguia is training in the Southern California area, where he combines a morning run at the mountains with an intense boxing session at a private gym in the afternoon.
Below is what Jaime Munguia had to say during a recent training session:
“We are preparing very well. I feel better and more motivated than ever before”
I’m stronger than ever, and I will do my best to give the best fights for the people on this new platform, DAZN.”
“I have worked hard to be in the main events like this. I think for me this is just the start. I want to make history. I was happy to be the co-main event of Canelo vs. GGG 2, and now that I’m headlining this event, I am more motivated.”
“Takeshi Inoue is a strong fighter. He comes forward. He doesn’t mind taking a punch in order to land one. We have to be careful with that and come very prepared. We have to be careful with his right hand as well. We’re going to come very well prepared on Jan. 26.”
“After this fight, it looks like I will have a WBO mandatory bout against Dennis Hogan. But I would still like to unify the titles at 154 pounds with the other champions. We will resolve anything that is put in front of us.”
“The plan is to move up to 160 pounds in about a year. We’re fine making weight now. I have no problems, but I feel I can move up and fight in other divisions. My body is such that I could even go up to 168 pounds.”
Munguia on the other fighters in his division:
“I thought the fight was a draw [regarding Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison]. Charlo should have attacked more and not wait as much. That’s my opinion of the fight. Tony Harrison is a good fighter. He’s tough and has good skills. If he is put in front of us-or anyone for that matter-we will have to work.”
“[Jarrett] Hurd is a very big 154-pounder. I think he’s bigger than me. If a fight with him is presented to me, why not? We can unify the tittles or meet at 160 pounds.”
“I don’t know what to say about the political situation because we are on different platforms. We will see if a fight against them can happen. Perhaps not this year, but maybe we can meet them at 160 pounds.
“I’ve heard the things they’ve said about me. Maybe they don’t respect me or think I’m too young. They’ve said a lot. I will make them respect me on the day they step in the ring with me.”
Munguia on a potential fight against Canelo:
“I don’t think there is any pressure with being mentioned with names like Canelo and Golovkin. I like this. It’s fun. I’m happy to be in fights like this and to see that we are advancing. So, the truth is we are happy.
“I am conscious of what I am doing. I think I can move up to 160 pounds and fight any of the two. It’s a risk because there will always be risks. Those are the two best fighters in the world. We would have to be very careful and come very well prepared. I don’t think it would happen soon, so we have to see what the future holds for us.”
Chris Algieri Appears on WNYW Fox 5 To Discuss Upcoming Title Fight
Star Boxing’s CHRIS ALGIERI (Huntington, LI, NY, 22-3 8KO), former WBO World Super Lightweight Champion, will be on WNYW Fox 5 discussing his fight with Star Boxing stablemate DANNY “EL GALLO” GONZALEZ (Woodhaven, New York 17-1-1 7KO), for the vacant WBO Super Lightweight Title on January 18th at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in a featured 10 round bout on the undercard of the WBO World Middleweight Title bout between DEMETRIUS ANDRADE and ARTUR AKAVO.
On November 30th Algieri, ended a two year hiatus from the ring, winning a shutout unanimous 10 round decision over ANGEL HERNANDEZ, before a vocal and sold out crowd filled with his supporters at the Paramount. Algieri has never lost a fight at 140 lb. and he is trying to get back his WBO World Championship. The step just before that is the WBO International Championship and Danny Gonzalez on Friday Night. Catch Algieri live on Channel 5 at approximately 7:45 Tuesday morning. Perhaps more importantly, don’t miss him vs. Danny Gonzalez on Friday night on DAZN from the Hulu Theater MSG.
Gonzalez, a young and rising star who has made a name for himself at the Paramount in Huntington, LI, in Star Boxing’s Rockin’ Fights series, captured the ABO Intercontinental Championship in September 2018, with a unanimous decision over JOHNNY “HITMAN” HERNANDEZ in an epic battle. The fight was a war of attrition and Gonzalez earned his championship in a bout which proved both his fighting heart and talent. Now the spotlight is much greater as he challenges former World Champion Algieri for the WBO International Strap.
Not only is a possible world title shot on the line in this bout but bragging rights in the Star Boxing stable are being contested. This is a fight where both fighters will be calling on all their will and skill and it should be a crowd pleasing slam-bang affair from bell-to-bell.
Salita Congratulates Russia’s Elena Gradinar for Winning Prospect of the Year for 2018
Promoter Dmitriy Salita congratulates undefeated Russian featherweight Elena Gradinar for being named “Prospect of the Year” for 2018 by respected women’s boxing body womenofboxing.com.
Gradinar (9-0, 2 KOs) is the number one IBF contender and mandatory challenger to world champion Jennifer Han. She started the year with a unanimous decision over Karina Kopinska and then moved into the mandatory spot and picked up the IBF Inter-Continental Female Featherweight Championship with a unanimous decision over Olivia Gerula.
Already designated a Sport Master of Russia in her homeland, the 28-year-old, from Saint Petersburg finds herself one win away from her first world championship.
“I am very grateful for this honor,” said a happy Gradinar. “I look forward to winning the IBF Featherweight World Title in my next fight and bringing respect to women’s boxing by fighting the best champions and top contenders.”
Gerula’s co-promoter Dmitriy Salita (along with Russian-based Alexander Nevskiy Promotion Group) says Gradinar is a key component to his highly successful efforts to revive the once-floundering sport of women’s boxing.
Salita was named Promoter of the Year for 2018 by womenofboxing.com.
“This is a very meaningful victory in a category that featured top names in Women’s Boxing,” said Salita. “This shows that our effort to expand women’s boxing throughout the world is paying off. Elena is going to have a great year.”
Anthony Laureano Looks to Impress on January 26th At Mohegan Sun
With January 26th rapidly approaching, the hype for STAR BOXING’S “SLUGFEST at the SUN” continues to build as one of its up-in-coming fighters is ready to defend his undefeated record. Connecticut’s own “ACTION” ANTHONY LAUREANO (9-0 3KO’s) of East Hartford is all set to battle in a featured bout at Mohegan Sun against RONALD “SAVAGE” RIVAS (5-8-2 3 KO’s).
The bout will be Laureano’s fourth fight at Mohegan Sun. Laureano earned the nickname “Action” for his relentless, come-forward fighting style. This style was clearly evident in his last fight against Waco, Texas veteran MARQUIS “THE HAWK” HAWTHORNE in a bout in which Laureano had the crowd on its feet. The fighters stood toe to toe for most of the fight, with Laureano earning a unanimous decision.
2018 was a successful year for Laureano who reeled off three consecutive victories. When the East Hartford native is in the ring, fans can always expect an exciting show from start to finish. As Laureano explained: People come to fights to “see action” and “to see somebody coming forward.” “I’m that fighter that always wants to fight.” Star Boxing’s “Slugfest at the Sun” always brings fireworks to Connecticut, and Laureano is continuing the tradition of aggressive fighters who never take a step in retreat and who deliver plenty of action and excitement.
Laureano had this to say about his upcoming bout: “Super excited to be returning home to the Mohegan Sun. This is my 4th fight at Mohegan and there is nothing like fighting there. The venue is beautiful and the crowd is amazing. It makes me fight harder. I love to bring the action to my Connecticut fans and family at Mohegan.Can’t wait for January 26th. I want to thank JOE DEGUARDIA and Star Boxing for giving me this opportunity. You don’t want to miss this one!”
In the main event of “SLUGFEST at the SUN” on January 26th, CLETUS “THE HEBREW HAMMER” SELDIN (22-1 18 KO) will test his awesome punching power against the will and toughness of another fellow power puncher, Hungarian, ADAM “BAD BOY” MATE (28-13 21 KO). Seldin,who stunned Nelson Lara this past November, in a bout televised live on ESPN+, with his vicious body attack which resulted in a first round knockout, looks to continue his inexorable climb to the Super Lightweight championship. With both fighters bringing heavy artillery into the ring the fans can look forward to an exciting slugfest.
Philly Special Undercard Features Rivers vs. Whitley in Battle of Unbeaten Welterweight Prospects on Feb. 8th
A rare six-round contest between a pair of unbeaten welterweight prospects–Marcel Rivers, of North Philadelphia, and Derrick Whitley, Jr., of Springfield, MA–highlights the preliminary card of Raging Babe’s ‘Philly Special’ on Friday evening, Feb. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
Headlining the eight-fight program is an eight-round bantamweight match-up between undefeated Christian Carto, of South Philadelphia, and Victor Ruiz, of San Diego, CA. First bout is at 7.30 p.m.
Rivers, 31, has won all six of his pro fights, four by knockout. A single father, he balances boxing with a full-time, physically taxing job at Philadelphia Gas Works. Rivers, the sole caregiver for his 6-year-old son, Cameron, recently added another “why” to his quest to become a world champion. His new baby daughter, 4-month-old Jennah, provides him with new inspiration.
“I definitely have an incentive to work even harder now,” said Rivers. “It’s an honor to be on this card, with all the talent. A lot of these guys have backing, but I have come out of nowhere and found my way, so I appreciate the opportunity to fight on this card.”
Whitley, Jr, 27, a southpaw, is unbeaten in five pro fights with one draw. He comes from a fighting family–his dad and uncle were veteran pros.
Derrick Whitley, Sr., had 52 pro fights from 1995 to 2007. Uncle Darren–twin brother of Whitley, Sr.–had 44 pro fights from 1995 to 2003. Both fought as super middleweights and light-heavyweights.
The younger Whitley trains at the family gym. He works with adults who have had brain injuries, a career he has pursued for many years. He also plays semi-pro football.
“Rivers vs. Whitley was not the easiest fight to make,” said matchmaker J Russell Peltz, “given the culture of boxing today where few fighters want to risk their spotless records at such an early stage. These two guys are different and I applaud them for it.”
In a six-round heavyweight bout on the Feb. 8 card, North Philadelphia’s Darmani Rock (13-0, 8 KOs) will look to secure his 14th win. Rock was a highly touted amateur with multiple national and international titles. He signed with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in 2016 before turning pro. Rock is trained by his father, Wayne, AKA Whiz.
The Feb. card also includes the highly anticipated professional debuts of two of Pennsylvania’s most promising amateurs in four-round fights. Heavyweight Sonny Conto, of South Philly, and bantamweight Jeremy Adorno, of Allentown, PA, announced last week that they had signed with Top Rank Boxing.
Conto, 22, was a standout baseball player at Rowan College at Gloucester County before turning his attention to boxing. He takes on Jimmy Levins, of Buffalo, NY. Jeremy Adorno, younger brother of fellow Top Rank signee Joseph Adorno, was born in Puerto Rico. He boasts an amateur record of 106-17 with multiple Silver Gloves National titles and two Ringside World titles under his belt.
Coatesville, PA, junior welterweight Gerardo Martinez (3-1, 1 KO) faces Haitian-born Osnel Charles (12-18-1, 2 KOs), of Atlantic City NJ, who has appeared at the 2300 Arena in four of his last seven fights. This also is scheduled for four rounds.
Rounding out the card: New Hope, PA, bantamweight Alejandro Jimenez (4-0, 1 KO) vs. Edgar Cortes (6-4), of Vineland, NJ, in a six-round, bantamweight contest; Puerto Rican-born Jonathan Torres (1-0), of Bethlehem, PA, vs. Atlantic City bantamweight Dallas Holden (1-3) over four rounds.
“You have Gerardo Martinez with a 3-1 record going up against a 31-fight veteran in Osnel Charles,” said Peltz. “Or Alejandro Jimenez, at 4-0, fighting a capable 10-fight lefty in Edgar Cortes. There are times when four- and six-round fights are more appetizing than some of the so-called big fights you see on television.”
Roy Jones Jr. Boxing Promotions & Rite Hook Promotions bringing pro boxing to Historic St. Petersburg Coliseum on Feb. 16
Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions and Rite Hook Promotions have jointly announced a co-promotion presentation, “St. Pete Fan Fest,” to be live-streamed on UFC FIGHT PASS©, on Saturday night, February 16, from historic St. Petersburg Coliseum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
“Roy Jones Jr and I are honored to work with such a hard-working and honorable promotion company like Rite Hook Promotions,” RJJ Boxing Promotions CEO/Co-Founder Keith Veltre commented. “William Hunter is a true class act in the sport of boxing. February 16th, RJJ Promotions along with Rite Hook Promotions will conquer the corner with outstanding fights. We have true warriors on this card who can now showcase their talent and let the world see what Tampa fighters have to offer.”
“I am super excited to be working with RJJ Boxing Promotions and UFC Fight Pass for our February 16th event,” Rite Hook Promotions president William Hunter said. “There are tons of talented fighters in the Tampa/St. Pete area along with loyal boxing fans. There are definitely some future world championship-caliber fighters on this event, male and female, who will showcase their talents in front of the world on February 16th.”
North American Boxing Federation (NABF) Continental Americas lightweight champion William “Baby Face” Silva (26-2, 15 KOs), a native of Brazil now fighting out of Plant City, FL, will headline in a 10-round bout.
Undefeated middleweight prospect Connor Coyle (8-0, 3 KOs), fighting out of Derry, Northern Ireland, is slated to fight in his first scheduled 10-rounder in the co-featured event.
Also scheduled to fight are St. Petersburg welterweight Clarence Booth (17-4, 9 KOs) in an eight-round match; unbeaten American Boxing Federation (ABF) Continental Americas welterweight titlist Mark Reyes (8-0, 6 KOs), of Tampa, undefeated Atlanta middleweight Javonn “Pinkie” Barnes (12-0, 6 KOs), unbeaten Tampa middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0, 4 KOs), the son of multiple world champion Antonio Tarver, and Tampa heavyweight Mike “Concrete” Bissett (14-11-1, 8 KOs) – all in six-round bouts – plus Tampa’s undefeated female junior bantamweight Jasmine Artega (5-0, 4 KOs) in a four-rounder.
All fighters are subject to change. Opponents will soon be announced.
“St. Pete Fan Fest” will be the second event of the RJJ Boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS series. FIGHT PASS is a digital subscription service that is now available in more than 200 countries and territories. In 2019, FIGHT PASS will showcase more than 200 exclusive events featuring top promotions from around the world, providing fans with a front row seat to a broad spectrum of competitive fighting, including mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, individual and team submission grappling, and more.