Boxing Insider Notebook :Wilder, Arreola, Canelo, Golden Boy, Lubin, Crolla, Linares, Sosa, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 7th to June 14th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Deontay Wilder to Face Chris Arreola on July 16th
Undefeated heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) will defend his title in his home state when he battles two-time world title challenger Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on FOX and FOX Deportes Saturday, July 16 from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama with televised coverage beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Wilder returns to the ring after he was set to travel to Russia and defend his title against Alexander Povetkin on May 21 before the challenger failed a drug test that caused a cancellation of the fight. Now, Wilder will showcase his exceptional skills in primetime on network television as he takes on Arreola. It will be Wilder’s fourth defense and third in his home state of Alabama.
“I’m always excited about coming home and being in front of my people where I’m the most comfortable,” said Wilder. “I’ve been traveling a lot, going over to Sheffield, England to train before I was supposed to fight Alexander Povetkin in Moscow. But because of his decision to use a banned substance, the fight didn’t happen. I’m disappointed about that, but it’s not going to stop me from being an active heavyweight world champion. It has also given me the opportunity to again defend my title before my hometown fans. It’s always good to come home.
“This is the longest stretch that I’ve been out of the ring and I’m anxious to get back in and continue my quest to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” continued Wilder. “This is another fight in that process. I respect Chris Arreola for getting into the ring with me, but we all know who the real champion is and I’m going to prove it. I’ve been training long and hard for a fight and now I’m going to take it out on Arreola on July 16.”
“I’m thankful to Deontay for this opportunity, he has proven a great deal by winning the heavyweight title and by defending it three times,” said Arreola. “I’m very excited to step into the ring with him, put on a great show, be victorious and make history by becoming the first Mexican heavyweight world champion.”
Golden Boy Promotions Issues Statement on Canelo Lawsuit
“We are extremely pleased that not only did the jury find that no contract ever existed between Canelo and All-Star Boxing, but issued a judgment against All-Star Boxing and ordered them to pay Golden Boy’s substantial legal fees.
Over the last five-plus years, many questioned why we wouldn’t just settle the case before trial. The answer is simple: We would not be extorted. It was clear from the beginning that neither Canelo Alvarez nor Golden Boy Promotions had acted inappropriately in any way. We are grateful that the jury was able to see that.
However, it is absurd to think that All-Star Boxing provided anywhere near that amount of value that the jury awarded under a separate claim. We will appeal this part of the decision, and are confident we will win, just as we did on the contract dispute.”
Outside of appealing the financial damages, we now look forward to putting this episode behind us and working with Canelo Alvarez to continue his meteoric rise though the boxing ranks.”
Anthony Crolla to Face Jorge Linares on September 24th
Current WBA Lightweight World Champion Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs) will face WBC Lightweight World Champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (40-3, 27 KOs) in a huge unification blockbuster for the WBA, WBC and The Ring Magazine Lightweight World Championships at the Manchester Arena on September 24, 2016, live on Sky Sports.
Crolla will make the second defence of his crown in his hometown fortress following his brilliant knockout victory over Venezuelan danger man Ismael Barroso in May, having ripped the title from Darleys Perez with another body shot knockout in November.
“I’m so excited to have the chance to unify the Lightweight division,” said Crolla. “Jorge is a fantastic fighter and it’s another mountain to climb, but these are the tests that I thrive on and I’ve beaten two great fighters in Perez and Barroso and I’m confident that I can beat Jorge too.
“I’m having to pinch myself after everything that’s happened. I’m fighting the number one fighter in the division for the WBC, WBA and THE RING title; it doesn’t get any better than this. I’m very proud and privileged to be able to bring this fight to Manchester.
“I’ve been a fan of Jorge Linares for years now and he’s technically brilliant at times but like any other fighter, he has vulnerabilities. It’s up to me to expose those vulnerabilities and I truly believe that I can and I will. Linares is a great champion but these are the fights you want to be in boxing for.
“He looked well against (Ivan) Cano last time out but he hasn’t been very active, whereas I’m coming off a career-best performance over (Ismael) Barroso. I really believe I’m coming into this fight in the form of my career and as I’ve shown in the fights against (Darleys) Perez and Barroso, I’m capable of improving my game when I have to.
“The last two nights in the Arena have been unbelievable and I think that we’ll take it to another level against Jorge. He’s boxed all over the world and taken on some of the best – but fighting me in front of a packed Manchester crowd is not something you can prepare for.”
“This is my first unification fight and a great personal challenge for me and my career,” said Linares. “Last year was an unbelievable year; I had the opportunity to fight in England against Kevin Mitchell in front of a crowd of passionate fight fans in one of the greatest fights of my career. This unification fight for the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Championships is another personal accomplishment for me and a great opportunity for me to fight in England once more, to be in front of a strong fight fan base.
“Crolla is a very strong contender and I know with both our passions for the sport will deliver an exciting fight for all the fans in Manchester. I know that Crolla is coming off a victory against my fellow Venezuelan countryman, so I am coming in with a lot of determination, pride and hunger for a victory.
Jason Sosa Media Workout Open to the Public
Super Featherweight Jason Sosa (18-1-4) is set to fight for the WBA Super Featherweight Title against Javier Fortuna (29-0-1) of the Dominican Republic on June 24th at the Capital Gym in Beijing China.
He’ll be holding a public workout at Victory Boxing and Fitness at 600 Kresson Road in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on Wednesday, June 15th at 1:00 P.M. This event will be open to the public for photos and meet and greet.
Erickson Lubin to Make Primetime Debut on NBC
PBC star Erickson Lubin is set to make his primetime debut on NBC on June 18th. He offered the following quotes about himself in advance of his fight.
On his family’s involvement in his career:
“My family didn’t really want me boxing at a young age. They wanted me to be into other sports. But I loved it so eventually they had no choice. They’re very supportive now and my dad tries to make it to every fight.
“My family is filled with athletes. I have four sisters and two brothers. One of my sisters is a professional dancer and my older brother played football at a high level. Another older brother boxed and got me into the sport when I was about six.”
On his interests outside of the ring:
“I think I would have kept pursuing my basketball career if I hadn’t gotten into boxing. I played small forward in high school. My game was kind of like James Harden. I liked to score and I was tough to stop.
“I’ve always been really into music. My brother is a music producer so sometimes I’ll get on the mic and spit something. It’s just for fun but I like doing it.”
What motivates you and what kind of mentality do you have in the ring?
“I usually don’t get too motivated by specific opponents. I just want to take them out. On fight night, I’m going to be there ready to go.
“I try to emulate the mentality of Kobe Bryant. He’s a killer. He has the strongest mentality in sports. I just want to take my opponent out.
“Other fighters definitely motivate me. I idolized Muhammad Ali and he’s always meant a lot to me. I looked up to fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson and Meldrick Taylor. There are a lot of guys out there now motivating me. Daniel Jacobs is a fighter that I look up to and Errol Spence is a guy that can really fight. Seeing guys perform on a high level makes me want to get to that level as well.”
Favorite Music: “Rap and Hip-hop. I listen to a lot of Drake.”
Favorite Movie: “Scarface.”
Favorite Television Show: “PBC, because it’s on all the networks.”
Favorite Healthy Food: “Grilled Chicken and fish. I love tilapia. I go to Whole Foods during camp to maintain my diet.”
Favorite Junk Food: “I like every kind of seafood. Lobster, shrimp, scallops, oysters and clams, I love it all. It’s nice to live in Florida.”
Celebrity Crush: “Angelina Jolie. She’s beautiful and a great character. I loved the Tomb Raider movies.”
Phil Lo Greco Loses to Joseph Elegele
Joseph Elegele (16-2 11 KOs) showed his strength and power Sunday night in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions: The Next Round on Bounce TV as he went toe-to-toe with Phil Lo Greco (27-3, 15 KOs) for 10 hard-fought rounds from The Lakeland Center in Lakeland, FL. Both combatants left it all in the ring, exchanging punches throughout the bout with close rounds that left the audience wanting more.
Elegele of nearby Winter Haven, FL started the bout coming forward, slightly stunning Toronto’s Lo Greco with several flurries of punches that set the tone for a hard fought back and forth battle. The action picked up in round two as Lo Greco came in on the attack early in the round, pinning Elegele against the ropes and continuing to pepper him with punches to the body and the head.
Despite being taken aback by the attack, Elegele came roaring back in the final seconds of round two and out of the corner to kick off round three. Lo Greco remained in the pocket, not afraid to continue to throw wide left hooks as the fighters traded punches back and forth.
As the fight continued, Lo Greco backed Elegele up against the ropes, smothering him with punches despite Elegele’s four-inch height advantage. But round six was completely controlled by Elegele as he threw a combination of bruising punches that very well could have sent Lo Greco to the canvas. However Lo Greco remained in the pocket. In the 10th and final round, Lo Greco came out strong, outworking Elegele, but with less than 20 seconds to go in the bout, Elegele stunned Lo Greco with a barrage of punches up against the ropes. Judges scored the bout 97-95 and 96-94 twice, all for Elegele, the winner by unanimous decision.
Cano to Face Gibson
Golden Boy Promotions is set to bring an Event of The Year to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on July 15, airing live on Estrella TV’s Boxeo Estelar. In the main event, former WBA Interim Super Light Weight World Champion and Mexican warrior Pablo Cesar “El Demoledor” Cano (29-5-1, 21 KOs) of Tlanepantla, Mexico returns to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino to face top welterweight contender KeAndre “The Truth” Gibson (15-0-1, 7 KOs) of St. Louis, Mo. in a 10-round welterweight battle sure to bring fireworks to
the Coachella Valley.
Part of the live telecast, former world title challenger Jayson “La Maravilla” Velez (23-2-1, 16 KOs) of Juncos, Puerto Rico will face Nicaraguan warrior and former WBC Silver Featherweight Champion Rene “Gemelo” Alvarado (23-7, 16 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight Fight of the Year candidate.
The exciting fight card will be in contention as one of the best events of the year as the night promises non-stop action from four top fighters willing to leave it all on the mat on July 15.
Part of the non-televised undercard and streaming on RingTVLive.com, Cesar Diaz of Palmdale, Calif. will make his professional debut in a scheduled four-round super bantamweight fight. Undefeated prospect Rigoberto Hermosillo (5-0-1, 3 KOs) of Victorville, Calif. will participate in a six-round featherweight fight and Jhon Leon of Los Angeles will also make his professional debut in a four-round welterweight fight. All opponents will be announced shortly.
“Watching a great fight live at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is one of the best ways to celebrate summer,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “This card on July 15 will pit veteran fighter Cano against rising welterweight contender Gibson in a main event fight that is sure to please and thrill fans. Additionally, Velez vs. Alvarado will be a can’t-miss event as these two guys give it their all everytime they enter the ring.”
USA Junior Olympic Team Goes to Puerto Rico
A group of the best young boxers in the United States will head to Puerto Rico on Thursday to compete with some of the best amateur’s in the world.
The competition will take place on June 17th and 18th.
Jalil Hackett (108 lbs-Silver Gloves & Jr. Olympic National Champ)
Vito Mielnicki (101 lbs-4-time Jr. Golden Glove & Silver National Champion)
Gabriel Gerena (125 lbs–Jr. Golden Gloves National Champion)
Luis Morales (114 lbs–Jr. Golden Gloves National Champion)
Rajon Chance (119 lbs–Jr. Golden Gloves National Champion)
Oscar Lopez (125 lbs),
Otha Jones III (132 lbs–4-time Jr. Golden Gloves champion, Jr. Olympic National Champion & 2 time Silver Gloves national Champion,
Gabriel Flores (138 lbs–3-time Jr. Golden Gloves National champion, 3-time Silver Gloves National Champion & Jr. Olympic National Champion),
Harley Mederos (132 lbs–3-time Jr. Golden Gloves National Champion, 4-time Silver Gloves National Champion & Jr. Olympic National Champion),
Kahshad Elliot (154 lbs–2-time Jr. Golden Gloves National Champion, Silver Gloves National Champion, 2-time Jr. Olympic National champion)
Dagoberto Medros will head down to Puerto Rico and train and stay at the Puerto Rican Olympic training Center.
The team will be joined by coaches Willie Moses, Robinson Velez, Gabriel Flores, Edgar Gerena, Bernard Hackett Jr. & Dagaberto Mederos.
After competing and training in Puerto Rico, the team will head to Dallas, Texas for the United States Junior Olympics