By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 2nd to February 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Tony Thompson Steps in to Face Luis Ortiz, Ali to Face Vargas
On Saturday, March 5th at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C. Luis Ortiz (24-0) will face Tony Thompson (40-6) for the WBA Interim Heavyweight World Title. This bout will air live on HBO Boxing After Dark and will be the main event of the broadcast.
Thompson has challenged for the world title in two previous occasions and came up short both times.
Ortiz had difficulty finding an opponent after his victory over Bryant Jennings and a large number of possible opponents, including Andy Ruiz and Alexander Dimitrenko were offered the fight and turned it down.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on February 10th.
In addition, Golden Boy Promotions has also announced that Sadam Ali and Jessie Vargas will be
facing each other for the vacant WBO Welterweight Title.
2012 U.S. Olympian Jamel Herring Ready for First Headlining Appearance
2012 U.S Olympian and undefeated lightweight Jamel Herring is very much looking forward to his fight this Tuesday night against Luis Eduardo Flores.
This bout will be a part of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) Toe-to-Toe Tuesdays on FS1 on Tuesday, February 9th, live from the Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Televised coverage will begin at 11:00 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT.
Herring of Cincinnati, Ohio has a perfect mark of 14-0 with eight knockouts knows that a big effort will begin to put him on the radar in the 135-pound division.
“Camp is going great. I am on weight five days before the fight, so I am just maintaining now,” said Herring, who trained mostly in his hometown of Cincinnati but finished at the Headbangers Gym in Washington, D.C.
Herring has done some homework on his opponent and has some good things to say about his foe,
“Flores is a tall and rangy and has some knockouts. I am going to play it straight, maybe feel him out for a few rounds and work my gameplan. This is a good step for me,”
This will be the best exposure for Herring, who will look to shine on the national stage.
“This is my first PBC card and to headline it is a great honor. In the same sense, I look at the fight as just another fight and I am very focused for the task at hand.”
Because he had a terrific amateur pedigree, Herring believes that with a strong performance, he is not that far away from getting himself in the mix for big fights in the lightweight division.
“I am looking for the fights against the top-fifteen guys. I am have the ability, the pedigree to compete with all of those contenders. First things first, I have to win on Tuesday and I want everyone to tune in to this great night of fights.”
Abner Mares to Face Montiel
Former title holder Abner Mares (29-2-1) will be facing Fernando Montiel (54-5-2) on March 12th in the featherweight division. This bout will take place at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut and will be televised live on CBS.
The main event of this card will be between Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter.
Montiel was last seen in the ring losing to Lee Selby on October 14th and Mares was last seen in the ring losing to Leo Santa Cruz.
Jesse Hart vs. Dashon Johnson Announced for March 18th
Super middleweight prospect Jesse Hart will return to his home city of Philadelphia for the first time in 15 months when he defends his NABO title against Dashon Johnson (19-18-3) on March 18th at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
Hart (19-0) is ranked No. 3 by the WBO, No. 8 by the IBF, and No. 10 by the WBA.
“I’m beyond excited to be fighting in my first main event in front of my home town fans,” Hart said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Hart last fought in Philadelphia in December of 2014 and has won three fights since then.
Johnson (19-18-3) is currently riding a four fight win streak.
The undercard will feature boxers such as Victor Vasquez, Ismael Garcia, Jerome Conquest, Fred Jenkins Jr., and Scott Kelleher.
Chris Arreola Tests Positive for Marijuana
ESPN reported that heavyweight contender Chris Arreola has tested positive for marijuana and his last fight, a split decision victory over Travis Kauffman, has been changed to a no decision.
His positive test came in a post fight drug test and he has been issued a 90 day suspension, retroactive to December 12th.
Donaire Set to Fight April 23rd in the Philippines
It has been officially announced that Nonito Donaire (36-3) will defend his WBO Super Bantamweight Belt against Zsolt Bedak (25-1) on April 23rd. This bout will take place in Quezon City, Philippines.
Bedak is riding a ten fight win streak while Donaire fought three times in 2015 and went 3-0 in those bouts.
Julian Williams to Face Marcello Matano
Julian “J-Rock_ Williams (21-0-1) will fight Marcello Matano (16-1) in an IBF Eliminator in the junior middleweight division on March 5th. This bout will be the main event of a triple header to be televised live on Showtime and will take place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Middleweight prospect Antoine Douglas (19-0-1) will be on the same card and will face Sam Soliman (44-13). Additionally, Tony Harrison (22-1) will face Fernando Guerrero (28-3) in a junior middleweight bout.
Undefeated Prospect Toka Kahn-Clary Returns to Ring in Studio City, California
Rising super featherweight prospect Toka Kahn Clary (17-0) will return to the ring this Saturday night against Gabino “Flash” Cota (18-5-1) at the Sportsman Lodge in Studio City, California.
Kahn-Clary won the gold medal at the 2010 National Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament and turned pro three years ago. Kahn-Clary was expecting a ten round fight but has to settle for an eight round bout.
“That really doesn’t matter to me,” Kahn-Clary said. “I trained to beat this guy, not how many rounds. I’m a lot better fighter than I was a year ago. I’m a lot more relaxed in the ring. I think more as I’m moving in the ring, adjusting a lot better, and my combinations are coming out a lot better.”
A former WBC FECOMBOX and Mexican featherweight champion, Cota is a dangerous opponent who has knocked out 16 of the 18 fighters he’s defeated as a professional.
“Cota may have lost four of his last six but they were all title fights or on television against name opponents,” Kahn-Clary’s head trainer Peter Manfredo, Sr. noted. “He has some pop, throws a zillion punches and just keeps coming forward. This is a good step up for Toka.
“Toka is ready for this fight. He’s had a lot of good sparring. Toka is aggressive, well-conditioned, a good defensive fighter who can crack. There wasn’t a 10-round fight available on this card but we wanted this fight. Toka’s still only 23 so there’s no reason to rush things.”