Boxing Insider Notebook: Smith, Canelo, Chocolatito, Cornflake, Guerrero, Frampton, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of July 19th to July 26th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Canelo vs. Smith Press Conference Quotes
Canelo Alvarez and Liam Smith recently held a press conference in London to promote their upcoming bout in Dallas, Texas. Below are a few select quotes from the press conference.
Canelo Alvarez, Former Two-Division World Champion
•I want to thank everyone for the great welcome, I am happy to be back here in England.
•Liam is a great fighter, who is hungry to win. We know what’s in front of us, and we know he is dangerous. We will train like never before to give everyone a great fight, and give the fans what they want to see.
Liam “Beefy” Smith, WBO Junior Middleweight World Champion
•I want to thank Frank Warren, Box Nation, and Golden Boy Promotions. I have been wanting a big fight with one of the biggest names and I jumped at the chance to fight Canelo. This is a chance to make a big name for myself in America because the biggest name in boxing with the biggest draw is Canelo.
•A lot of people will be surprised that size will not be a factor in this fight.
Oscar De La Hoya, CEO & Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions
•It’s a pleasure to be here once again, I love coming to the UK, and can see that this country takes boxing serious. The UK is turning out some serious boxers and more current world champions than Mexico.
•This fight is for pride and honor – both fighters are fighting for their countries and putting the fight together with the best promoters to be an A-class event.
•We are extremely proud to be televising on HBO, our partners in the U.S. I also want to thank Frank and Box Nation for making Canelo vs. Smith the event of the year.
•Canelo is the biggest star in the sport today, he is a huge PPV attraction and a fighter who sells out arenas filled with 40,000 people. He is fighting a world champion who is dangerous.
•Liam is not going all the way to the U.S. to fold. He is an undefeated world champ, and knows how important this fight is.
•We will have various activities staged for Mexican independence weekend in the U.S. It will be big, taking place the whole weekend and will have millions of fans tuning in to witness a historical event with Team Canelo and Team Smith.
•The event will occur at AT&T Stadium, a state-of-the-art arena, home the iconic NFL team the Dallas Cowboys owned by Jerry Jones. This stadium holds about 100,000 people, and we expect a ton of Liam Smith fans. There will many of Canelo fans coming out in Texas, and we expect a sell-out.
•This will be a fun weekend, and we are serious that the real winners will be the fans. These are two fighters with tremendous records and great pride putting it all on the line to fight for the WBO Junior Middleweight World Title.
Frank Warren, Chairman of BoxNation
•Liam Smith will be making his third defense against the biggest name of boxing. We appreciate the big Texas welcome from Jerry Jones, as Cowboys Stadium hosts their third ever boxing match.
•When we were first offered this fight, we jumped at this opportunity. Liam can fight, he is one the best young fighters that has come out of Liverpool. Our guys have gone in on paper and had no chance, and came out defeating Hopkins.
•Then you have Ricky Hatton, and no one gave him a chance. He went in there and finished up his business. Liam has more chance than most–he can fight.
•Liam fights like a Mexican, and what he brings to the table will create fireworks. He will shock everyone in Dallas. The fans can be prepared for a really big shock.
•I would like thank everyone at Golden Boy Promotions for coming over and helping making this fight happen so we can show our man, Liam Smith and what he can do. Buy the tickets, because you won’t want to miss out on this fight in person!
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez’s Next Fight Announced
Consensus #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World and WBC Flyweight World Champion Roman “Chocolatito Gonzalez”, (L) (45-0-0, 38 KOs) will move up one weight class and challenge undefeated WBC Super Flyweight World Champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras, (R)(35-0-1, 27 KO’s) on Saturday, September 10 from the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles.
Following their epic 2016 “Fight of the Year” candidate this past April 15 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, Yoshihiro Kamegai, (26-3-2, 23KO’s) and Jesus “Renuente” Soto-Karass, (28-10-4, 18KO’s), will battle once again on Saturday September 10 from the Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles. The ten round super welterweight clash will serve as the chief support to the main event. Both fights will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Eleider Alvarez to Face Robert Berridge on PBC on Spike from Quebec, Chad Dawson Withdraws
Unbeaten contender Eleider Alvarez (19-0) will face Robert Berridge (27-4-1) in a ten round bout on Friday, July 29th on Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike from the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada.
Berridge replaces Chad Dawson, who had to withdraw due to a shoulder injury.
This card is headlined by light heavyweight world champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson battling brawling contender Thomas “Top Dog” Williams Jr. in a world title clash.
Moises Flores Receives IBO Belt, Eyes Rigondeaux Showdown
Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0) received his IBO Super Bantamweight World Title from Henry Rivalta of Pro Box Management. Flores scored an impressive unanimous decision over Paulus Ambunda (24-2) in his hometown of Windhoek, Namibia (Africa) to earn the world title strap.
Flores, who is also the WBA Interim Champion, is now the mandatory challenger to face WBA Super Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0). Both camps are in negotiations to have the fight happen in the next few months. If the fight comes to fuition, both the WBA and IBO World Title Belts will be on the line. After receiving his IBO World Title Belt, and a big fight looming with Rigondeaux, Flores speaks on his current situation.
“Winning the IBO World Championship is a testament to my hard work and the great team around me,” said Mexico’s Moises “Chucky” Flores. “Together we worked really hard to get this world title. I’m now the mandatory to challenge Guillermo Rigondeaux, a fight I’m looking forward to. He’s very skilled but I fell I have all the tools to defeat him. My management team is working hard to get this fight finalized. It’s time to see who the best super bantamweight is. I’m going to bring that world title home to Mexico.”
Vyacheslav “Lion Heart-Chigonsky” Shabranskyy vs. Oscar Riojas Added as New Main Event for LA Fight Club
The lion will roar loudly on August 19 at the historic Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles when Vyacheslav “Lion Heart-Chigonsky” Shabranskyy (16-0, 13 KOs) makes his return to the ring to take on Laredo, Texas fighter Oscar “El Monstruo” Riojas (10-5-1, 3 KOs) for an eight-round light heavyweight bout as the new main event for LA FIGHT CLUB, airing live nationally on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar and live streamed by the Ring TV.
“Vyacheslav Shabranskyy’s alias is ‘Lion Heart-Chigonsky’ for good reason – he is a fearless warrior whose inner strength matches his physical strength and skill,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Slava, as we call him, is a future star of the sport headed toward a world championship, and I’ve been pleased with his continued ascent as he rises to the challenge every time he steps in that ring. I’m proud to call him a Golden Boy fighter.”
Also just added to the Aug. 19 card, San Diego, Calif.’s Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (2-0, 2 KOs) will make the third appearance of his professional career in a four-round lightweight bout against local fighter Tyshawn Sherman (0-2) of Adelanto, Calif. while stable mate Oscar Duarte (6-0-1, 3 KOs) of Parral, Mexico will engage in an six-round lightweight fight against Omar Garcia (5-3, 1 KO) of Monterrey, Mexico. Additionally, Golden Boy Promotions fighter David Mijares (2-0, 1 KO) of Santa Monica, Calif. who will take on Jorrell Sparenberg (0-1) from Houston, Texas in a four-round super lightweight bout.
Anthony “Juice” Young Defeats Flores, LaManna Victorious in Atlantic City
Welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young won a six round unanimous decision over veteran Eduardo Flores in the featured bout of a nine bout card at the Claridge in Atlantic City. Rising Promotions promoted the card and it was the fourth consecutive sold out event in the last eight months that Rising Promotions had staged.
Anthony Young systematically took apart Flores and won on the score cards with scores of 60-54, 59-55, and 59-55.
Tomas “Cornflake” LaManna took apart his opponent, Engleberto Valenzuela, in a super welterweight bout with a first round knockout at 2:17. A body shot by LaManna sent his opponent to the mat. LaManna is rumored to face a big name opponent next.
PBC and Bellator to Host Back to Back Events Featuring Benson Henderson and Robert Guerrero
Spike Sports presents two world-class events on back-to-back nights on August 26 and 27 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA.
After a three-fight stint in the welterweight division, former UFC and WEC lightweight champion Benson returns to the division where he reigned supreme to take on Patricio “Pitbull” (25-3) in the main event of “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull” on Friday, August 26 at 10:00pm ET/PT LIVE on SPIKE.
A.J. McKee and Joey Davis have been best friends as long as they can remember, and on August 26 they will get to live out their childhood dreams when they compete at the same Bellator event in their native Southern California. McKee, the son of former MMA fighter Antonio McKee, has been on an absolute tear since beginning his career with Bellator MMA, never allowing a fight to reach the second round (3 KO, 1 SUB). Davis, on the other hand, compiled a college wrestling career for the history books, having amassed four National Championships and an unblemished 131-0 record, making him one of the hottest prospects the sport has ever seen.
Former multi-divisional world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero looks to deliver another exciting battle to the Southern California fight fans as he takes on Argentine slugger David Emanuel “El Pirata” Peralta in 10-rounds of welterweight action on Saturday, August 27 at 9:00pm ET/PT LIVE ON SPIKE. Guerrero owns victories over Andre Berto, Selcuk Aydin and defeated Yoshihiro Kamegai in a 2014 Fight of the Year candidate.
Also, hard-hitting all-action brawler Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo faces battle-tested veteran Freddy Hernandez in a 10-round middleweight matchup of Mexican power punchers looking to put on a show and make a mark in the middleweight division. Highly regarded U.S. Olympian and two-time U.S. National Amateur Champion Terrell Gausha puts his undefeated record on the line in possibly the toughest test of his pro career against the Bronx’s Steve Martinez in 10-rounds of super welterweight action
Team Shumenov petitions WBA to Declare Purse Bid for Mandatory Title Fight vs. Lebedev or Strip Lebedev of his World Cruiserweight Title Belt
It has been more than a month since World Boxing Association (WBA) world cruiserweight champion Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10 KOs), based on the much publicized WBA Cruiserweight Tournament rules and regulations, petitioned the WBA to either declare a purse bid for a title fight between WBA Super cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev, or strip Lebedev of his title belt for being non-compliant.
Last July, Shumenov defeated B.J. Flores by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to become the WBA mandatory challenger for Lebedev, who hasn’t fought a mandatory defense since April 10, 2015.
The WBA issued a resolution this past April that Lebedev, who defeated Victor Emelio Ramirez in May to also become International Boxing Federation cruiserweight champion, must fight Shumenov within 120 days of the latter’s May 21, 2016 knockout victory over Junior Wright.
On record for making changes to insure only one world champion in each division, incredibly, the WBA presently has 38 different world title belt holders in only 17 different weight classes. Only three WBA divisions have one world champion – super lightweight, lightweight and light flyweight – and eight have three world titlists, including its cruiserweight division, which presently has world champions in Lebedev, Shumenov and Interim champion Yunier Dorticos, who is the WBA second mandatory challenger.
In an apparent public relations move, the WBA has suddenly declared this month a rash of mandatory defenses, however, declaring and actually making these title fights are two different things, as Shumenov has unfortunately learned. The WBA should have ordered a Lebedev vs. Shumenov purse bid on June 21, 2016, when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, but the WBA failed to do so.
When Shumenov repeated his request for a purse bid in June, the WBA failed once again to act.
MSC Nutrition Signs Carl Frampton
High performance sports nutrition company, MSC Nutrition has signed World boxing champion, Carl Frampton as its latest brand ambassador this month.
The 29 year old from Northern Ireland will be joining a catalogue of ambassadors represented by the global nutrition brand, including world-renowned rugby star, Sam Warburton.
Carl is widely regarded as one of the most exciting boxers to watch in the ring. His entertaining style has garnered an intensely loyal following amongst boxing fans, and his status as a mainstream star continues to strengthen outside of the sport. After recently unifying the Super-Bantamweight division Carl is stepping up to the Featherweight division where he will fight for the world title against Leo Santa Cruz in a much-anticipated fight in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on July 30.
Carl said, “As an athlete it’s crucial that I choose the right supplement provider to ensure that I am performing at my best possible levels and reaching all the goals that I’m setting for myself. This is particularly important to me as I move into the featherweight division to compete and take another step up in my career.
“It’s vital that I work with a brand that I can trust and will provide me with top quality, tested supplements to keep me at peak performance and MSC Nutrition meets all my needs perfectly. I appreciate the support that MSC has given me so far- they go above and beyond with personal touches and all of my supplements are tailored to my exact needs. I am looking forward to representing the brand and working closely with its team and athletes.”