Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Cotto, Bradley, Vargas, Kovalev, Broner, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 19th to May 26th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Thurman vs. Collazo to Headline First PBC on ESPN on July 11th
The first live Premier Boxing Champions on ESPN (PBC on ESPN) will feature a main event between Keith “One Time” Thurman (25-0) and the veteran Luis Collazo (36-6) on Saturday, July 11th at 9 p.m. ET. The opening bout will be between Tony Harrison (21-0) and Willie Nelson (23-2-1) in the junior middleweight division. The card will be broadcast from Tampa, Florida.
ESPN and the PBC announced a multi-year agreement to televise boxing back in March and the current plan is for the PBC on ESPN to air twelve two-hour live shows annually on ESPN and ABC. Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will both call the fights ringside on ESPN and ABC.
Cotto vs. Geale Named Kick-Off Event for National Puerto Rican Day Parade Week
The upcoming Miguel Cotto vs. Daniel Geale fight scheduled for June 6th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York has been named the official kick-off event of National Puerto Rican Day Parade Week of 2015. The 2015 parade is scheduled for Sunday, June 14th on New York’s Fifth Avenue.
Miguel Cotto, Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto promotions will be making a contribution to the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Scholarship Fund.
“It’s a privilege for my June 6th fight against Daniel Geale at Barclays Center in Brooklyn to be named the official kick-off event of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Week and I want to express my deepest gratitude for being honored me as Athlete of the Year,” said Cotto. “New York is truly my second home because I have been embraced by its Puerto Rican community. I’m looking forward to seeing my New York fans at Barclays Center on June 6th.”
More information can be found at www.nprdpinc.org
Bradley vs. Vargas Set for June 27th
Former two division world champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley is set to face WBA Super Lightweight world champion Jessie Vargas on Saturday, June 27th at the Stubhub Center in Carson, California live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
They boast a combined record of 57-1-1. Tickets can be purchased online at www.axs.com.
“I’m excited to be back in the ring with an undefeated champion,” said Bradley. “I look forward to the challenge and to take his 0 away from him on June 27th.”
“I am thrilled to have this fight,” said Vargas. “I will be facing a very talented fighter and when you have two great talents with a lot of heart it always makes for a great fight. I always elevate my game against better competition. I am ready to show and prove that I am one of the best fighters out there. There is not one doubt in my mind that everyone will enjoy this fight. I look forward to giving the fans the best of Jessie Vargas on June 27. ”
“Tim Bradley, one of the sport’s elite fighters, will be looking to take another big step toward regaining a world title belt, while Jessie Vargas, a young and hungry world champion, will be moving up to a new weight division in the biggest test of his professional career. It’s a great matchup of Southern California natives in a perfect setting for their fans at StubHub Center,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.
Kovalev-Mohammedi Tickets on Sale May 27th
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (27-0-1) will defend his WBO, WBA, and IBF Light Heavyweight World titles against IBF mandatory contender Nadjib “Irondjib” Mohammedi (37-3) on Saturday, July 25th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada to be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing.
Ticket prices will range from $25 to $300 and will go on sale on Wednesday, May 27th at 10AM. Tickets will be available online at mandalaybay.com.
Mohammedi stated, “My turn has come to show the world who I am. I let this Kovalev beat some guys but now I will show you he ain’t no Krusher. I am smarter. I am faster. I am the next generation of light heavyweight real champions!”.
Egis Klimas, Kovalev’s manager, added, “We are so happy to be back in the ring with HBO and Main Events’ help. This show will be televised live on HBO. Another good thing is Sergey will be able to fight in mega boxing city Las Vegas and start building as his home base fighting town. Thanks to people at Mandalay Bay for giving this opportunity to us.”
June 4th LA Fight Club Tickets on Sale
On June 4th at the Belasco Theater in downtown, Los Angeles seasoned fighter Jayson Velez (22-0-1) of Puerto Rico will take on Mexico’s Daniel Ramirez (11-1) in the headlining event for the next installment of LA Fight Club on June 4th. This bout will be televised on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes and will take place in the featherweight division.
Christian Gonzalez (9-0) will open up the telecast in a six round super featherweight bout.
David Lemieux vs. Hasan N’Dam Set for June 20th
Knockout artist David Lemieux (33-2) is set to take on Hassan N’Dam (31-1) for the IBF Middleweight Championship on June 20th from the Bell Center in Montreal and live on Canadian Pay-Per View. Four additional championship belts and an undercard featuring local Quebec talent will also be featured. A channel in the United States to show this bout is expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Adrien Broner Set to Meet Shawn Porter on June 20th
Former world champions Adrien “The Problem” Broner (30-1) is set to face “Showtime” Shawn Porter (25-1-1) as the main event of a PBC on NBC event on June 20th live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Undefeated Errol Spence Jr. (16-0) will also put his record on the line against Roberto Garcia (37-3) in the co main event of the night.
“It’s time for AB on NBC and I can’t wait for the opportunity,” said Broner. “This is a great fight that the fans wanted and I wanted. I’m going to come prepared and I’m going to put on a show. I’ve never lost at MGM Grand and I don’t plan on starting now. Porter is a strong guy but he’s never been in the ring with someone like me.”
“I feel like this fight is what the PBC is all about – bringing big fights to network TV and this is one of the biggest so far,” said Porter. “I am excited to be the headliner against Adrien Broner. I’m always ready for a fight and facing Adrien is definitely going to be a challenge, but I’ve watched his career, even in the amateurs and I know he can be beat. I’m also looking forward to fighting at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. We moved to Las Vegas for opportunities like this and I would love to make MGM Grand my home.”
“I’m excited to have the chance to fight Roberto Garcia,” said Spence Jr. “He is a great fighter and I’m happy to have an opportunity to fight on this huge card. It is definitely the biggest opportunity of my career so far and I won’t disappoint.”
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and showcase my skills on the biggest stage,” said Garcia. “Spence Jr. is a strong up and coming fighter but I have experience on my side and I’m going to show it on June 20th.”
Gilberto Ramirez Headlines Tru TV Card
Undefeated Mexican boxer Gilberto Ramirez (31-0) will return to action on Friday, June 26th at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. He will face Dereck Edwards (27-4-1) in the main event of the night. Tickets will be available online at www.ticketmaster.com.
“My opponent Derek Edwards is a dangerous fighter with good skills and lot of experience,” said Ramirez. “I will be ready for the best of him. I expect a war. We have been having a great training camp and I will give the fans the fight they want to see. I’m really motivated to be in the ring in June 26. I’m very happy for this opportunity that Top Rank is giving me, to appear on its new truTv boxing series. This is the third time that I am fighting in Texas. It feels like home to me because the fans always treat me very well. I really like the people from Texas because there are big boxing fans.”
“Gilberto Ramirez is one of the top 168-pounders in the world, but June 26 he’ll have to prove it,” said Carl Moretti, vice president of Top Rank. “Derek Edwards with his KO win over current world champion Badou Jack is the test that Gilberto needs to pass in order to gain his world title opportunity. Not an easy task”
Golden Boy Live Fights Announced for June 26th and June 30th
On June 26th at the Salinas Storm House in Salinas, California Alan Sanchez (15-3-1) will face off against Steve Claggett (21-3-1) for the vacant IBA Americas Welterweight title in a ten round bout. This will be the main event of a Golden Boy Live! Fight card on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes. The co-main event will be between Paul “El Gallo Negro” Mendez (18-2) and David Lopez (41-15-1) in a super middleweight bout. The opening bout will be between Santiago Guevara (8-1) and Any Vences (11-0) in a lightweight bout.
On June 30th Golden Boy Live! will return to Philadelphia for a special Fox Sports 1 broadcast from the 2300 arena in Philadelphia. The main event will be between current USNBC Light Heavyweight Champion Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (13-0) against a yet to be named opponent. D’Mitrius Ballard (9-0) will be featured in the co-main event and Lamont Roach Jr. (7-0) will face Christian Santibanez (3-4) in a lightweight contest to open up the telecast.
Rapper 40 Glocc Training with Jeff Mayweather
TMZ Sports has reported that rapper 40 Glocc has been training with Floyd Mayweather’s uncle, Jeff Mayweather. 40 Glocc is scheduled to step into the ring with 50 Cent’s associate, Jack Thriller, on July 27th for the first ever “Hip Hop Fight Night” celebrity boxing event in Atlantic City.
40 Glocc has reached out to former IBO Welterweight Champion Jeff Mayweather to train him for his celebrity bout.
Mauricio Herrera Set to Face Hank Lundy
On Saturday, July 11th at the LA Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California Mauricio Herrera (21-5) will face “Hammerin” Hank Lundy (25-4) for the vacant NABF Lightweight Championship. This bout is scheduled to go ten rounds and will be televised on HBO Latino. Tickets will be available online at www.lacoliseum.com