By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 11th to February 18th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Salido Has a Message for Lomamchenko
For three-time world featherweight champion ORLANDO “Siri” SALIDO boxing has been about perseverance and overcoming the odds, and in 17 days his mettle will be tested once more as he puts his world title on the line against two-time Olympic gold medalist, VASYL LOMACHENKO (1-0, 1 KO), considered by many to be the best amateur boxer in the history of the sport. The Salido-Lomachenko WBO featherweight championship fight will be televised live from the Alamodome on Saturday, March 1, on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. The telecast will also feature the eagerly-anticipated 12-round rematch between former World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion and Son of the Legend JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ JR. and Top-Five contender and two-fisted Texan BRYAN VERA.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Zanfer Promotions, Banner Promotions, Foreman Boys Promotions and Tecate, remaining tickets to Chávez vs. Vera II / Salido vs. Lomachenko are priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25 (plus applicable taxes and fees). They can be purchased at the Alamodome box office, all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com and via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800) 745-3000.
“I know people expect Lomachenko to beat me and take my title away, and while I respect all he did as an amateur, professional boxing is not the same. He has had just one professional fight. My experience, strength and hunger will be the difference”, said Salido during his media workout on Tuesday in his hometown of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. He has been training for the fight in Phoenix and Ciudad Obregon under his trainer, Santos Moreno.
“Lomachenko has quick hands and is very fast, but he still has an amateur style that can be exploited and that is what I am going to do on March 1 in San Antonio. This fight is as big as any I had in my career and look forward to the challenge.”
Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, México, completed a hat trick last year by winning a world featherweight title for the third time. He captured the vacant WBO featherweight title by knocking out No. 1 contender Orlando Cruz in the seventh round of their September 12, 2013 fight. Salido captured his first world title in his third attempt. After a No Decision to Robert Guerrero in 2006 and a split decision loss to Cristobal Cruz in 2008, Salido finally captured the International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight title in 2010, avenging his loss to Cruz by winning a split decision. His title reign was short-lived, losing a unification fight to World Boxing Association (WBA) featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa later that same year. Salido bounced back in a big way, stopping undefeated WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez in the eighth round in 2011 to capture his second world championship crown. Salido successfully defended that title twice, knocking out Kenichi Yamaguchi and Lopez in a rematch during his two-year reign, before losing it to Mikey Garcia last January. He enters this title defense having won six of his last seven fights by knockout.
Two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko jumped into the deep end of boxing’s international-sized swimming pool when he made his professional debut in a 10-round featherweight bout against the WBO’s No. 7-rated featherweight contender Jose Luis Ramirez last September 12. It didn’t take Lomachenko long to take to the water. He knocked out Ramirez (24-2-2, 15 KOs) in the fourth round to become the new WBO International featherweight champion. He ended the year as the WBO’s No. 5 world-rated featherweight contender as well as being proclaimed the 2013 “Prospect of the Year” by the majority of the major boxing media.. Lomachenko first gained international renown by winning gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2012 London Games as a featherweight and a lightweight, respectively. Known for his all-out aggressive style of boxing, Lomachenko is equally aggressive in plotting his professional boxing plan to a world title where he insisted on making his pro debut in a 10-round bout against a seasoned Top-10 rated contender where a victory could propel him to a world title shot in his next fight.
Demetrius Andrade Throws Name into “Money” Ring
Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior middleweight champion Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (20-0, 13 KOs) is shooting for the stars, better make that, The Star.
Not only does Andrade plan to succeed Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. as boxing’s pound-for-pound champion and biggest draw, the slick southpaw hopes to fight Mayweather prior to “Money” closing his boxing bank, so to speak.
Andrade, a native of Providence who now lives in Atlanta, defeated previously unbeaten 2004 U.S. Olympian Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan (33-1-1, 21 KOs) by 12-round decision for the vacant WBO title last November on HBO. The 25-year-old is now required to make his first title defense, likely in April according to Andrade, against WBO No. 1-rated mandatory challenger Brian “The Lion” Rose (25-1-1, 7 KOs).
The 36-year-old Mayweather (45-0, 26 KOs) will face either Amir Khan or Marcus Maidana on May 3 in Las Vegas on Showtime PPV. The nine-time, five-division world champion Mayweather is the reigning WBC and WBA Super junior middleweight title holder.
“I’m getting ready to take over boxing after Mayweather retires,” Andrade said. “I want to match my natural, God-given skills against his before he hangs up his gloves for good. Let’s unify the titles, Floyd. We can do it here in Atlanta, Las Vegas or New York. You pick the place, just don’t leave me hanging and retire without fighting me. This is my time!”
Mayweather announced that he will fight only four more times, including May 3, and then retire next year from the ring as a boxer. Andrade needs to quickly position himself as a viable opponent and rising star in order to be seriously considered as one of only three more Mayweather opponents. A match-up between the two could be like the passing of the torch, assuming Andrade continues to develop in the ring and marketable product.
Andrade has been described by some as a younger, taller (by 5 inches), southpaw version of Mayweather because of their similar styles and tremendous boxing skills. Their similarities don’t end there, however. They are both African-Americans who flash endearing smiles, in addition to being former US Olympians (Mayweather – 1996 Olympic bronze medalist, Andrade – 2008), multiple National Golden Gloves champions (Mayweather 1993, 1994 & 1996, Andrade 2006 & 2007), and two of the few undefeated professional prizefighters. Andrade was also the 2007 World Championships gold medalist.
Derrick Webster Signs with D and D Management
Less than a week after scoring a thrilling TKO of Julio Garcia, undefeated super middleweight Derrick “Take it to the Bank” Webster (15-0, 8 KOs) is seeing an already outstanding 2014 continue to get even better. Webster has now entered into a three-year managerial deal with Philadelphia-based D and D Management, making official the partnership this week.
“First and foremost, I am very excited to sign with D and D Management,” Webster stated. “The deal came to a close after a few weeks of negotiation, so I am very comfortable with the signing. Just knowing that I am already fighting again on March 14th and that I’m going to be active again truly makes me feel like ‘I’m back.’ I’m ready to take this division by storm, and I’m just excited for everything that is going to take place this year.”
Prior to his dismantling of Garcia last Friday night in Philadelphia, opponent pull-outs and other frustrations forced Webster into a year layoff. Despite all of the aggravation that he was facing, the Glassboro, New Jersey, native never stopped training and improving at his craft. All of his hard work and dedication is something that never went unnoticed by his new managerial partners, who have had their eyes on him for quite some time.
“Using a personal experience helps me best verbalize how I feel,” Webster responded when he was asked how he knew that D and D Management would be the right partner for him. “I felt the same type of feeling and security when I knew (my fiancée) Kara was the person who I wanted to marry. I’ve had a personal relationship with (D and D co-founder) Doc Nowicki since I was an amateur. Before I even thought about turning pro, Doc was already telling me that he wanted to sign me. He always said that. And now, I also have a personal relationship with (D and D co-founder) Dave Price.
“Through all of the nonsense I went through over the past couple of years, I would always sit and watch these guys from afar. I’ve seen them in camps across the world, and I’ve also dealt with them locally. I sat down with Doc at one point in my career, but it just wasn’t the right time. From watching them and seeing how they move, as well as building a relationship with them, that’s what made me say ‘These are the guys.’ They always had my best interest in mind, and they were always there. They just had to wait for me to recognize that I needed a little more help.”
With the deal now signed, sealed and delivered, Webster says that his complete focus is geared towards the future and reaching all of the goals he set out to achieve when he turned professional.
“Just like everything else in my life that I hold closely, these are the best guys for me,” Webster concluded. “They were the missing piece to the puzzle. Take it to the Bank and them D-Boys, we’re about to take it over and make some serious noise over here.”
Jose Pedraza Returns March 22nd
Team Puerto Rico’s undefeated pride and joy, Jose “Sniper” Pedraza (15-0, 10 KOs), will make his way back to the ring on March 22nd, at the auditorium Juan Pachin Vicens in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The unbeaten star will battle Mexico’s, Alberto “Kichis” Garza (26-1-1, 21 KOs), for the vacant International Boxing Organization super featherweight title. The 12-round main event bout promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, Universal Promotions and DiBella Entertainment will air live only in the U.S and Puerto Rico on Direct TV at 9:00 P.M. EST.
Pedraza, Puerto Rico’s next big sensation, has fought tough competitive fights on HBO Latino, Shobox, ESPN, and now Direct TV. In 2014, Pedraza has plans to conquer all in his path, as he works his way toward a world title opportunity. Ranked WBC #9, WBA #10, IBF #11, and WBO #15, Pedraza is well on his way to accomplishing his goal.
“I feel 2014 will be another great year for me,” said Pedraza. “Against Garza it will be Puerto Rico vs. Mexico, a rivalry I always look forward too. With every fight I’m getting better and better. Most of my fights have been against rough challengers who come to fight. That’s why I feel I’ll be more prepared for the next level of competition. I’m ready to challenge any of the top fighters in my division. First I need to take care of Garza.”
“I want to make Puerto Rico proud every time I step in the ring,” continued Pedraza. “I fight for my countrymen and I want them to know how much I appreciate their support. I’m happy to carry the weight of my people on my back. I want to bring prominence back to Puerto Rico.”
“After fighting multiple times on global networks, Pedraza has quickly become a big star in Puerto Rico,” Gary Shaw said. “The objective is to keep him fighting on a regular basis as he marches up the rankings. I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Pedraza, that he will make great progress in 2014. There are many big fights right around the corner.”
“Puerto Rico has embraced Pedraza and we all see he has future is bright, said Javier Bustillo. “We will continue to promote him on a global scale. He’s in a tough fight with Garza but I’m certain her will come out victorious.”
“Pedraza is going to have a huge 2014,” said Lou DiBella. “I’m very excited about his popularity in Puerto Rico because he was born to be a star. It all starts March 22 against a tough opponent in Garza.”
Tickets Still Available for Championship Boxing on February 21st at Dover Downs
This Friday’s championship boxing event in the Rollins Center features a headline bout between “The New” Ray Robinson (16-2-0, 7 KOs), of Philadelphia, Pa., fighting for the NABO Welterweight Championship Title against Aslanbek “The Warrior” Kozaev (25-0-1, 7 KOs), of Vladikavkaz, Russia. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the first bout at 7 p.m. Will call open between 5-9 p.m.
The undercard includes featherweight Cornelius Lock, lightweight “Jolt’n” Joey Tiberi, light middleweight Anthony Miller, super middleweight John “Church Boy” Bowman, cruiserweight David “One Two” Murray, middleweight Kyrone “Shut It Down” Davis (pro debut), and junior welterweight Milton “El Santo” Santiago (pro debut).
Tickets may be purchased by calling VIP Services at 800-711-5882 and may be ordered online at doverdowns.com through Wednesday. Event, times and card are subject to change or cancellation without notice.
Zou Shiming Ready for Saturday
Zou Shiming has been training hard with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach and is ready to make his return to Macau on February 22nd in Macau China. He will be featured in the main event at the Venetian Macao Resort and will risk his undefeated record in an eight round flyweight bout against Yokthong Kokietgym of Thailand. It will be televised on HBO2 at 5:00 p.m. ET and will also feature 2012 Olympic gold medalists Ryota Murata and Egor Mekhontsev, from Japan and Russia, and IBF Lightweight Champion Miguel Angel Vazquez of Mexico defending his title against undefeated Denis Shafikov of Russia.
February 22nd Iron Mike Productions Show Bout Sheet
Main Event – Featheweights (8)
CLAUDIO “The Matrix” MARRERO (14-1, 11 KOs), WBA #9, Dominican Republic
JOSE ANGEL “Pepe” BERANZA (36-28-2, 28 KOs), Mexico
Co-Feature – Bantamweights (8)
JUAN CARLOS PAYANO (14-0, 8 KOs), WBA #2, WBC #10, IBF #15, Dominican Republic
GERMAN “Pantgeonero” MERAZ (46-28-1, 25 KOs), Mexico
Light Heavyweights (8)
HUMBERTO “El Don” SAVIGNE (11-1, 8 KOs), WBC #4, Miami, Florida by way of Cuba
“The General” MAXWELL TAYLOR (18-6-1, 8 KOs), Baltimore, Maryland
Super Featherweights (8)
ALEXEI “The Mexican-Cuban” COLLADO (17-0, 16 KOs), WBA #14, Miami, Florida by way of Cuba
EDGAR “Basuras” RIOVALLE (36-16-2, 25 KOs), Mexico
“The Who Can Mexican” SAMUEL VASQUEZ (12-0, 8 KOs), Monessen, Pennsylvania
BERLIN “The Rock” ABREAU (7-0, 5 KOs), Dominican Republic
Special Welterweight Attraction (4)
ERICKSON “The Hammer” LUBIN (3-0, 3 KOs), Orlando, Florida
TIROBIO BALL (4-1-1, 1 KO), Meridian, Mississippi
DENNIS GALARZA (2-0, 1 KO), Orlando, Florida
JESUS GONZALEZ (1-4, 1 KO), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
FARID AGHAYEV (pro debut), Azerbaijan
JOSH THORPE (1-3), Mobile, Alabama