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Boxing Insider Notebook: Wilder, Stiverne, Santa Cruz, Taylor, Mora,…and More…

By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 30th to January 6th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Leo Santa Cruz to Defend Against Jesus Ruiz

WBC Super Bantamweight World Champion Leo “Terremoto” Santa Cruz (28-0-1, 16 KOs) puts his title and unbeaten record on the line in a 12-round bout against Jesus “Estrella” Ruiz (33-5-5, 22 KOs). Plus promising world-ranked undefeated junior welterweight Amir “Young Master” Imam (15-0, 13 KOs) will face hard-hitting Fidel “The Atrisco Kid” Maldonado Jr. (19-2, 16 KOs) in a 10-round fight, promising an undercard full of action on Saturday, Jan. 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas live on SHOWTIME® (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).

The Jan. 17 “Return To Glory” fight card co-promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions is highlighted by a heavy-duty main-event matchup that has stirred the interest of even the most casual sports fan — dangerous defending WBC Heavyweight World Champion Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs), of Las Vegas by way of Haiti, against unbeaten mandatory challenger Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

“2015 is going to be a huge year for boxing and Golden Boy’s opening act in Las Vegas will get things started with a bang,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Founder and President of Golden Boy Promotions.

“In addition to Deontay Wilder looking to bring a heavyweight title back to America for the first time in a decade, longtime favorite Leo Santa Cruz and rising star Fidel Maldonado Jr. — electric fighters with significant power — will both appear in separate fights on the undercard, giving boxing fans a chance to see three top stars in action on a single card.”

Santa Cruz, who’s as personable and courteous outside the ring as he is ferocious and determined inside, said, “I feel great about my upcoming fight with Ruiz. He is a strong fighter, undefeated in the past two years and the kind of opponent I want to fight.”

“I want to put on a great show on Jan. 17,” Santa Cruz continued. “And show boxing fans that I am a strong fighter ready to go to the next level and take on the top, tough fighters in the division: Guillermo Rigondeaux, Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton and Abner Mares.”

Jermain Taylor to Fight Sergio Mora

Jermain Taylor was originally scheduled to face Sergio Mora on May 19, 2007 when the then undisputed middleweight champion was slated to face the winner of the Contender. Mora passed up on that fight, but he is now set to face Taylor on February 6th in the main event of ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.

The bout will be broadcast on ESPN from the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi. This is the same venue where Taylor defeated Sam Soliman to win back one of the middleweight belts.

Jonathan Maicelo Camp Notes

With less than two weeks before his showdown with WBA Interim lightweight champion Darleys Perez (31-1, 20 KOs), Peruvian contender Jonathan Maicelo (21-1, 12 KOs) reflects on his training camp and the golden opportunity his promoter Gary Shaw has provided for him. The 12-round bout will take place at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California and air live on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights on January 9, 2015. Maicelo is rated WBA #7, WBO #13 and WBC #22.

Maicelo on fighting Perez on ESPN Friday Night Fights…..

“I’m very thankful to my promoter Gary Shaw for bringing me back on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. I’m looking to redeem myself from my last performance when I lost to Nugaev. I’ve learned from that loss and have every intention on bringing home the victory. This is a big opportunity for Team Maicelo to shine on national television.”

Maicelo on Darleys Perez as a fighter…..

“Perez is a very determined fighter who worked his way back to the top after losing to Gamboa. He’s got a lot of heart but I feel I’m the more skilled fighter. He has a lot of experience fighting at the top level. He’s a crafty veteran, but this is my time to show the world that I’m the better fighter.”

Maicelo on training camp…..

“We’ve had a great training camp here in New Jersey. We did all of our sparring in the Bronx where I’ve had over 100 rounds of good work with top guys. The focus is there with my trainer Butch Sanchez. Together we have a great game plan that we will execute on fight night.”

Maicelo on fighting for the WBA Interim Championship…..

“I’ve always dreamed of becoming a world champion and a win against Perez will be incredible. It’s been a long road to get to where I am today and I’m not going to let this opportunity pass me by. Gary Shaw came through on his promise to get me this fight and I’m going to make him and everyone in my country proud. The WBA Interim Championship is mine for the taking.”

“I’m very excited about this fight,” said Gary Shaw. “You have two warriors ready to leave everything in the ring. Maicelo is very confident in his abilities as is Perez, which makes for a very entertaining fight. The Chumash Casino will be rocking on January 9th, that you can take to the bank.”

Alantez “Slyaza” Fox Returns to the Ring January 9th

Maryland’s undefeated junior middleweight prospect, Alantez Fox (13-0-1) makes his return to the rig on Friday, January 9th, 2015 against Patrick Day (9-0-1). The eight round bout will take place live on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation, at the Morongo Resort and Casino in Cazabon, California. Dibella Entertainment and New Legend Boxing are the promoters for the fight.

Fox stated, “This is my chance to prove to everyone watching as well as my promoters’ New Legend Boxing and DiBella Entertainment that I am ready to take things to the next level and beyond. I am trying to go all the way to the top. This win against Patrick Day legitimizes my skills as a serious prospect. It shows that I am not a fluke or some undefeated fighter with a padded record. This is not the last time you will see me on ShoBox. I don’t plan on stopping here at all and hope to be back in the ring as soon as possible. I want to climb up in the rankings and fight tougher opponents. Hopefully sometime within this year or early next year I will be fighting in a title bout.”

Francisco Santana has a New Opponent for ESPN Friday Night Fights

Francisco Santana (21-3-1, 10 KOs) has a new opponent for this Fridays “ESPN Friday Night Fights” show at the Chumash Casino. Santana will now face undefeated prospect Kendal Mena (20-0, 11 KOs) of the Dominican Republic. Santana vs. Mena, a 10-round bout, will serve as the co-feature to the 12-round main event featuring WBA Interim lightweight champion Darleys Perez (31-1, 20 KOs) vs. Jonathan Maicelo (21-1, 12 KOs).

After an impressive win against Eddie Gomez (17-1, 10 KOs) at super-welterweight earlier this year, Santana feels he has the talent to become something special in the welterweight division.

“I was supposed to fight Sebastian Lujan and then Randall Bailey but both bouts fell out,” said Francisco Santana.

“Now I’m fighting Mena who is undefeated, which is a fight I’m looking forward to. A win against Mena will be a nice nod on my record. I’m moving down to 147 for this fight. I know I can make some noise in the welterweight division. Gary Shaw, who is a man of his word, has promised me some big fights, so I’m going to do my best to perform to my best ability.”

“Santana is a throwback fighter and he’s willing to fight anyone to get to the top.” said Gary Shaw.

“Mena is undefeated but I believe Santana has what it takes to come out on top. My undefeated featherweight sensation, Roman Morales, will be making his 2015 debut on this card as well. It’s going to be a great show and I’m expecting a night filled with exciting fights.”

Dargan vs. Luis Set for January 30th at Foxwoods and on ESPN2

Karl “Dynamite” Dargan (17-0, 9 KOs), the undefeated lightweight from Philadelphia, PA returns to the Fox Theatre to face Tony “The Lightning” Luis (18-2, 7 KOs) for the WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Championship live on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights on Jan. 30. In the co-feature, middleweight Thomas Falowo (12-3, 8 KOs) of Pawtucket, Rhode Island will square off against Russell Lamour (11-0, 5 KOs) of Portland, Maine for eight rounds. The doors will open at 5:00 PM ET and the FNF telecast will begin at 9:00 PM ET.

Although this will be the 29-year old Dargan’s first appearance on Friday Night Fights he is no stranger to fighting on the national stage. His last appearance at Foxwoods was a special afternoon edition of Fight Night on NBC. With his knockout of Perez in September, he added the Junior NABF Lightweight Title to his collection, which already included the USBA Atlantic Coast Region Lightweight Title. The WBC Continental Americas Lightweight Championship is a vacant title so Dargan will be looking to add a third belt to his collection on Jan. 30.

The 26-year old Luis is from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. In his last appearance he defeated Wanzell Ellison in an eight-round unanimous decision. This will be the second ten-round fight of his career. In Luis’ first ten-round fight earlier this year, he lost the vacant USBA Lightweight Title to Ivan Redkach. After making his professional debut in 2008, Luis won his first 15 fights before.

Tevin Farmer Looks for Huge 2015

As recently as 2012, Featherweight contender Tevin “The American Idol” Farmer was considered nothing more than a dangerous and useful journeyman. A fighter who would and could compete to a certain level but ultimately would fall a bit short against fighters with a perceived higher class.

Enter a bout that took place on October 12, 2012.

Farmer was summoned in to face hot undefeated prospect Jose Pedraza. Pedraza won the fight via 8th round. After the fight, Farmer’s record stood at a pedestrian 7-4-1.

Fortunately he didn’t give up. He had a brother who worked at Rocco’s Collision Center in South Jersey which is owned and operated by Mark Cipparone.

Cipparone sat down with young Farmer and decided to get into the fight game as a manager.

Cipparone changed Farmer’s train of thinking and provided him with the proper needs in order for Farmer to succeed at the highest level. The first order of business was to seek out and build a team who could both train at the highest level and also provide mentor ship to this young man both in an out of the ring. The process was not easy.

Cipparone said, “I included Tevin every step of the way. He was at every interview with every coach and he was the one who made those very difficult decisions. I have every reason to be proud of Tevin. His mind, body, and work ethic is that of a champion and his results speak volumes. It won’t be long before the World will see what I have been saying about “The American Idol” Tevin Farmer.”

Mission accomplished as Farmer has ripped off ten wins in a row that has raised his mark to an impressive 17-4-1.

In that streak he has scored quality victories over Camillo Perez (9-0), Noel Echevarria (11-1), Emanuel Gonzalez (14-0) and in his most recent effort, he took out Dominic Coca in one round on October 11.

The surge in Farmer’s career earned him a promotional contract with well regarded DiBella Entertainment.

2015 looks to be a huge year in the career of Tevin Farmer as he will prove that when given the proper management and backing, that dreams come true.

He will get his 2015 underway this Friday night when he takes on Viktor Chernous (15-1-1, 5 KO’s) in an 8-round bout at the Morongo Spa & Resort in Cabazon, California.

“Farmer started his career at 7-4-1 and has used a 10-fight win streak against quality opposition to achieve prospect/contender status. He’s fighting top competition again on Friday night. Tevin is only 24 years old and I believe he has championship-caliber talent.”, said his promoter Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment.

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