By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 29th to November 5th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
24/7 Pacquiao vs. Rios Premiers on November 9th
HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7 reality franchise, which has captured 17 Sports Emmy® Awards, returns for its 18th boxing installment with 24/7 Pacquiao/Rios, debuting Saturday, November 9 (12:15-12:45 a.m. ET/PT), following the HBO Boxing After Dark tripleheader from Corpus Christi. The all-access series will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews, as two elite fighters prepare for their intriguing welterweight showdown Nov. 23 at the Venetian CotaiArena in Macau, China.
Episode # 1
Debut: Saturday, November 9 (12:15-12:45 a.m. ET/PT) immediately following Boxing After Dark
Nathan Cleverly to Debut in Cruiserweight Division
Nathan Cleverly is beefing up for his cruiserweight debut by stuffing on steak as he aims to become a two-time world champion.
The former WBO World Light-Heavyweight champion takes on the tough Australian Daniel Ammann for the Vacant Commonwealth Cruiserweight title on Saturday, 30th November, at London’s Copper Box Arena, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Cleverly, 26, who started his pro career as an 18-year-old welterweight in 2005, is now adding an extra 25 pounds of muscle as he starts his campaign to win a second world title after his shock loss to Sergey Kovalev in August.
And the Welsh star knows that he will need as much beef as possible in his new weight class as he’ll be facing small heavyweights, but is confident he’ll also have the speed to deal with them.
“Making the jump from light-heavyweight to cruiserweight is a 25 pound difference, it’s the biggest weight jump in all of the divisions in boxing” contends Cleverly. ”
To prepare for the move, I’ve got a sports nutritionist monitoring my diet and steak is one of the main components. It’s protein packed and perfect for bulking up. I’m eating it everyday, but it’s starting to get a bit tiring.
“The move up to cruiserweight was much needed though, and before I lost to Kovalev I was thinking about it anyway. I’ve been making light-heavy for the last six years and while making the weight was a struggle at times, sometimes my performance didn’t match it. My body has grown more as I’ve matured, but I kept winning at the weight so I didn’t want to change a good thing.
“Following the loss to Kovalev, I had some time out to get away from the sport to reassess things and the first thing to come up was did I have the desire to fight again. I definitely wanted to fight again and I definitely want to become a world champion again, that’s the driving force for me. I know I can do it, I’ve got the ability, my promoter Frank Warren has provided me with the opportunities and now it is down to me prove myself.
“It’s a big challenge, but life is all about facing challenges and overcoming them. I’ve had a big blow losing my world title and unbeaten record, but now it’s about getting back on the horse and riding it again.
“I’m looking forward to life as cruiserweight. With the extra weight, I’ll still have my speed and that will be a big factor in dealing with these guys. Ammann is a good test for my cruiserweight debut and the important thing for me is to make a big impression by beating Ammann and winning the Commonwealth belt before looking at anyone else in the division.”
Bryant Jennings Ranked in Top 5 in Three Organizations
With the hard work of international promoter Gary Shaw, highly touted heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings (18-0, 11 KOs) is now currently ranked top 5 by three of the major sanctioning organizations.
The undefeated Philadelphia standout Jennings, who’s promoted by Gary Shaw Productions, Antonio Leonard Promotions and managed by James Prince is rated WBC #4, IBF #4, and WBA #5, respectively.
With a world title shot looming, Jennings sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I’m extremely thankful to Gary Shaw, Antonio Leonard and James Prince for all their hard work,” said Jennings.
“Gary Shaw is tremendous at what he does and to be ranked top five in three of the sanctioning bodies is testament that I have an excellent team behind me.”
“God willing everything keeps moving in a positive direction, I’ll be in the ring in the very near future against a top ten contender. Now it’s my job to continue to work hard and bring home the heavyweight championship of the world.”
Team Abdusalamov Establishing Trust for the Injured Fighter and Family
Sampson Lewkowicz, promoter of hospitalized Russian heavyweight Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov, along with promoters Leon Margules and Lou DiBella, and with help and support of others in the industry, are establishing a fund and to donate and raise funds to help alleviate the financial burden the unfortunate brain injury Abdusalamov suffered Saturday night has placed on him and his family.
32-year-old Abdusalamov had to have emergency surgery to remove a blood clot, and part of his skull had to be removed to reduce swelling, following his brutal 10-round war against Mike Perez at The Theater at Madison Square Garden, on Saturday, November 2. The fight was also broadcast worldwide on HBO.
Mago is currently still in ICU at Roosevelt Hospital in New York.
Abdusalamov’s family, including his wife and father, brothers, and three young children, along with his manager Boris Grinberg are keeping constant vigil at the hospital. He has also been visited by his entire promotional team.
“We are going to do what we need to do for Magomed. He and his family are going to need our help,” said Lewkowicz. “He is going to need financial assistance for the medical bills for his treatment, and for his family who are faced with an urgent financial crunch from this terrible accident.”
Deeply saddened by the unfortunate twist of fate that has befallen his fighter, Lewkowicz says he is happy to have already received so many offers of help, including one from middleweight world champion, Sergio Martinez.
“We cannot, as a boxing family, turn our backs on the brave men and women who compete in our sport when they need us most. We are going to do everything possible to help him get back on his feet. Magomed will never fight again, but he is a good man and a brave man with a nice family. We are going to make sure they all pull through this intact. That is the right thing to do. Every dollar will help.”
The Magomed Abdusalamov Trust is currently being set up. In the meantime, donations can be made two ways:
Via PayPal: [email protected]
Or via check, mailed to:
PO BOX 90174
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Manfredo, Gingras Battle for Bragging Rights
The final boxing event of the season at Twin River Casino might just feature the most highly-anticipated main event in years.
“The Pride of Providence” Peter Manfredo Jr. (39-7, 20 KOs) will battle fellow Rhode Island super middleweight Rich Gingras (13-3-1, 8 KOs) in the 10-round main event of “Pride & Power,” presented by Jimmy Burchfield’s Classic Entertainment & Sports on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.
After beating fellow Contender alum Walter Wright in March, Manfredo will face yet another former contestant from the hit reality television series in Gingras, who competed as a cruiserweight on Season 4 of The Contender in 2008. Since then, Gingras has become a fixture on the New England circuit, beating Rhode Islander Joey Gardner in May and fighting to a controversial draw against Vladine Biosse in July.
Now he’ll face the toughest test of his career against Manfredo Jr., a former International Boxing Organization (IBO) middleweight world champion and former World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Organization (WBO) title challenger who has become Rhode Island’s most popular fighter since five-time world champion Vinny Paz passed the torch a decade ago.
Ticket for the event are priced at $46, $61, $101 and $161 (VIP) and can be purchased by calling 401-724-2253/2254, online at www.cesboxing.com or www.ticketmaster.com, or at the Players Club at Twin River. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Road to Redemption on December 14th on NBC Sports Network in Atlantic City
In a pair of pick ’em 10 rounders on the December 14th edition of NBC Sports Network’s Fight Night, heavyweights Amir Mansour & Kelvin Price and light heavyweights Ryan Coyne & Lionell Thompson seek redemption from recent setbacks and the opportunity to prove that they have what it takes to compete at the elite levels of the sport. For each of the four men, once promising ring careers came into question following events inside and outside of the ring. Now it’s make-or-break on the nationally televised Atlantic City show – a definitive victory could get half of the combatants back on track and silence their doubters; a loss could be the end of the road.
Knockout artist Amir “Hardcore” Mansour, 19-0, 14 KOs, of Wilmington, DE, has yet to lose a fight, but the buzz-worthy wrecking machine has a different sort of demon to overcome. His best years were spent behind prison bars instead of inside the ring so, at 41 years of age, Mansour has plenty of critics who think he’s just too old to be taken seriously. On December 14th, Hardcore is looking to put his struggles behind him and prove that he belongs in the successful over-40 club lead by current world title holders and pound-for-pound contenders Bernard Hopkins and Vitali Klitschko.
Amir will have to fend off another determined salvation-seeker in Klitschko-sized heavyweight, Kelvin “Price is Right” Price, 14-1, 6 KOs. After a win in his last fight (a 10-round decision over Danny Williams), the six-foot, seven-inch boxer from Pensacola, FL is still trying to erase the memory of the only loss of his career to undefeated, streaking heavyweight sensation Deontay Wilder almost one year ago.
Both heavies will enter the ring with the same goal, after 10 rounds (or less) we’ll find out which big man moves forward.
In the 10-round co-feature bout, redemption will also be the prize for one of two very hungry light heavyweights.
Southpaw Ryan Coyne, 21-1, 9 KOs, of St. Louis, MO, is out to prove that he is far better than his last fight, a loss to Marcus Oliveira by TKO. Prior to that setback, “The Irish Outlaw” topped everyone he faced. Returning to his previously winning ways is job number one for Ryan.He would like nothing more than to enter the light heavyweight sweepstakes that awaits the winner of this anticipated bout.
However, Buffalo’s Lionell Thompson, 14-2, 9 KOs, has the same objective.”Lonnie B” is on a two-bout roll, and rebuilding his reputation after his 2012 TKO loss to Sergey Kovalev.That defeat looks far better these days, given the fact that Kovalev became the WBO light heavyweight world champion less than one year later. Although Thompson took the fight with Kovalev on only two weeks’ notice, he clearly needs to register a big win to erase any doubts and move up in the star-studded 175-pound division.
This exciting night of redemption takes place at the legendary Superstar Theatre at Atlantic City’s Resorts International Hotel& Casino, and will be televised on NBC Sports Network Fight Night between 8-10 PM, which looks to be a stellar start to an eagerly anticipated night of boxing.
Heavyweights Headline Rockin’ Fights 11 at the Paramount
Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing presents the 11th installment of the popular Rockin’ Fight’s series at the hottest club venue in America, The Paramount, Huntington, NY, November 22, 2013.
Headlining at The Paramount will be fan favorite power punching Heavyweight Vinny Maddalone (37-8 28KO’s), Queens, NY as he battles fellow hard hitting Heavyweight Maurenzo Smith, 12-7-2 (9 KO’s), Houston, TX.
This is Maddalone’s 2nd time at the Paramount. Maddalone knocked out the undefeated Richard Carmack in 3 rounds in Maddalone’s last fight at The Paramount (June 11th) Vinny never fails to disappoint as he is always involved in exciting brawls. Maddalone has fought many well known stars of the heavyweight division, including former world champions Evander Holyfield, Tomas Adamek, Jean Mormeck, and undefeated Tyson Fury.
Smith also carries heavy hands and is coming off a devastating one punch KO win over Tyson Cobb on October 5th of this year.
Smith has taken numerous fights on short notice leading to his deceptive record. He has been given ample time to train for Maddalone and he promises to shock Vinny’s fans and walk away a winner come November 22nd
One thing is for sure, both guys will be coming out throwing punches with bad intentions which will lead to an exciting battle between these two hard hitting Heavyweights.
The undercard will be announced shortly and will feature many of the fan favorites that have fought at The Paramount.
Tickets start at $50 and are selling fast. They can be purchased by calling Star Boxing at 718 823-2000, The Paramount Box Office, 631 673-7300, or at ticketmaster.com, 1 (800) 745-3000.
Demetrius Andrade Hopes To Make Statement vs. Vanes Martirosyan
As he prepares to break his Atlanta training camp and depart for this Saturday night’s fight against 2004 U.S. Olympian Vanes “Nightmare” Martirosyan (33-0-1, 21 KOs), for the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior middleweight title, undefeated Demetrius “Boo Boo” Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) is set to make a major statement in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Andrade vs. Martirosyan will be part of an HBO tripleheader, headlined by WBO junior lightweight Roman Martinez’ title defense against Mikey Garcia, plus a rematch between former world champions Nonito Donaire and Vic Darchinyan.
Martirosyan has a powerful team comprised of promoter Bob Arum (Top Rank), manager Cameron Duncan and Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach (although Roach is overseas training Manny Pacquiao). Andrade, a 2008 U.S. Olympian, is co-promoted by Star Boxing and Banner Promotions, managed by New Hampshire businessman Ed Farris, and trained by his father, Paul Andrade.
Andrade understands boxing’s political power may rest in his opponent’s corner, especially fighting in a high-profile event promoted by Martirosyan’s promoter, Top Rank, but the 25-year-old Rhode Islander plans to control the action from the opening bell and steal the entire show with a scintillating knockout performance.
“I saw what happened in the (Julio Cesar, Jr.) Chavez-(Brian) Vera fight,” Andrade explained.
“We’ve all seen what can happen when a name boxer is fighting on a show promoted by his promoter. My job is to go in and stop him (Martirosyan). You never want to leave the fight in the hands of the judges. I learned that lesson the hard way in The Olympics.”
Favored to capture a gold medal in Beijing, China, 2007 AIBA World champion Andrade was the victim of highly questionable scoring, losing on points in the quarterfinal round to Korean boxer Kim Jung-Joo, 11-9, at the 2008 Olympic Games.
“I’ve trained hard to be fully prepared for this fight,” Andrade continued.
“I’m in 15-round shape for a 12-round fight but it’s not going the distance. Once I get in the ring, I’m going to do whatever I need to win. I am going to beat him and the knockout will come. I’m coming to win every round decisively…..until it ends in a KO. I am going to beat him down for three minutes of every round. I am going to make a statement that I’m the best 154-pound fighter in the world.”
Andrade was originally slated to challenge then WBO champion Zaurbek Baysangurov this past July, but the Russian pulled out of the fight with an injury and was stripped of his title belt, leaving the world title vacant for the WBO’s two highest rated contenders, No. 1 Martirosyan and No. 2 Andrade.
Jean Pascal and Lucian Bute are Ready
InterBox and Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) are very pleased to confirm the rescheduled date for the much anticipated Light Heavyweight bout featuring Jean Pascal (28-2-1, 17 KO) vs. Lucian Bute (31-1-0, 24 KO). This local bout with high International intrigue will take place on Saturday, January 18th, 2014 at Montreal’s Bell Centre. HBO World Championship Boxing will televise.
This high profile bout between two former World champions was originally scheduled to take place last May 25th, but was postponed due to an injury to Lucian Bute’s left hand.
Yvon Michel, President of GYM, is very enthusiastic that this long awaited bout is finally rescheduled: “We are preparing for an event like no other in Canadian history. This event will be the new measuring stick for us in our sport, and this statement is true as much for boxing fans as it is for the fight itself and the intensity surrounding it”.
“We are excited to finally present this event. Our fans have waited a long time for this. Both boxers are ready so believe me, nobody will regret the wait,” adds InterBox president Jean Bedard.
“Finally! I have been waiting for this fight for years,” states former World Light Heavyweight champion Jean Pascal, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Monday.
“I believe my opponent’s team conspired to postpone the fight in an attempt to demoralize me. Believe me, it did not work! On January 18th the ring will be too small for the both of us. Bute will not be able to hide. I will expose him”.
“As you all know already, I will arrive to the ring very well prepared,” declares former Super Middleweight champion Lucian Bute, who will be stepping up to Light Heavyweight for the bout.
“This is a fight that I wanted. I am going to have fun on January 18th, and so are the majority of Quebecers present at the Bell Centre.”
Boxing in Quebec is More Popular Than Ever!
Over the last few years, Quebec has become the International reference point for the quality of its boxers, the champions it has developed, as well as the competencies of the two biggest promoters, GYM and InterBox.
It has now become second nature for boxing fans throughout Quebec to expect thrilling fights and intriguing boxing events loaded with talent right in their own backyard. What started off as local interest has now caught the eye of the most popular International broadcaster in the World, HBO. This prestigious network will be visiting Quebec and producing their 4th major Show in the Province in 7 months.
“We have nothing to envy from anyone. We can compete with every American city. HBO loves coming here and have genuine interest in all our boxers, not just the champions. This is definitely a source of pride for us,” states Jean Bedard.
“Over 15,000 tickets have already been sold. We are convinced we will pass the 20,000 fan mark at the Bell Centre. The entire World will be looking in with admiration on January 18th,” states Yvon Michel.
Both Bute and Pascal have signed the antidoping protocol and will be tested randomly over the next two and a half month period. These tests, comprised of urine and blood collection, are subject to World Anti Doping Agenecy (WADA) standards, which are similar to Olympic style testing.