Boxing Insider Notebook: Algieri, Shields, De La Hoya, The Contender, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 31st to November 7th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Algieri Return Nearly Sold Out
There has been an overwhelming response to the return of boxing sensation and former WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion, CHRIS ALGIERI to the Paramount on NOVEMBER 30TH as he headlines “Rockin’ Fights” 33. Ticket demand to see the Huntington native has been tremendous. All of the top-priced tickets and all of the Sky Bar seats have already been sold out.
Only limited tickets remain. We are contacting you, because you are one of Star Boxing’s most loyal fans and ardent supporters and we greatly appreciate your patronage. We do not want you to be shut out from this top-tier event. If you want the opportunity to see this stellar night of boxing action please be sure to purchase your tickets today as there are only a handful of seats left.
Chris Algieri returns to The Paramount for the first time since 2014, when he defeated highly touted prospect Emmanuel Taylor by a unanimous decision. Algieri has dominated at his home venue, having fought eight times at The Paramount and having defeated the likes of world title challenger, Mike Arnaoutis, and then, highly regarded prospect, Jose Peralta. On November 30th, Algieri intends to pay homage to his strong hometown fanbase, earn his ninth consecutive victory at The Paramount, and make it a memorable homecoming. Be there to see the return of Chris Algieri, by purchasing your tickets HERE.
Algieri, who was developed at the famed Star Boxing venue, The Paramount, moved to the big stage and had a career defining, real life “Rocky” story unfold on HBO on June 14th, 2014 at the Barclay’s Center, in Brooklyn, against heavily favored and feared Ruslan Provodnikov (then 23-2 16 KO’s) for the WBO World Championship. After peeling himself off the canvas two times in the opening round, Algieri put on the fight of his life. With one eye virtually closed, the gutsy Algieri fought the rest of the fight in brilliant fashion dominating the defending champion Provodnikov to become the new WBO Super Lightweight World Champion*.
The win catapulted the local sensation to international fame. Algieri was awarded a mega-multi-million dollar fight with boxing legend and superstar, Manny Pacquaio. The Pacquiao-Algieri bout took place around the world in Macao, China and was telecast on HBO/Pay Per View. Subsequently, Algieri continued to take the most challenging bouts taking on world class fighters such as Errol Spence Jr and Amir Khan, after the Pacquiao fight.
Algieri decided a couple of months ago that he was ready to make a comeback and re-signed a promotional agreement with his long-time promoter Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing. The two agreed it was time to return to the roots of Algieri’s career and give back to the loyal Long Island fans. Therefore, on November 30th, after a two-year layoff, Chris Algieri returns home to the place where it all began, The Paramount. Algieri will headline “Rockin’ Fights” 33 as he begins another march towards a World Championship fight.
The Contender Champion to Earn Top 10 WBA Ranking
Premium cable network EPIX®, an MGM company and their popular boxing series The Contender join forces with World Boxing Association (WBA) ahead of the final live bout on Friday, November 9th from the Forum in Los Angeles. For the first time since its inception, WBA will designate the winner of the current season to be automatically ranked in the top ten, creating a shortened path for the winner to participate in a title shot to win the WBA belt. The partnership aims to create more opportunities for young boxers around the world.
Over the years, eleven Contender fighters competed in world championships after appearing on the show, with five title winners including: Sergio Mora (WBC Super Welterweight Champion), Cornelius K-9 Bundrage (2-Time IBF Super Welterweight Champion), Ishe Smith (IBF Super Welterweight Champion), Sakio Bika (WBC and IBO Super Middleweight Champion), and Sam Soliman (IBF Middleweight Champion and WBF World Middleweight Champion).
“EPIX has been honored to showcase the passion, sacrifice and hard work of the boxing talent featured in this season of The Contender,” said Michael Wright, President, EPIX. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the WBA to give more deserved recognition to these incredible athletes.”
“Through the enduring success of the show, The Contender has produced several boxing champions and we thank the WBA for acknowledging the quality of these fighters and providing further opportunities that will enhance their professional boxing careers,” said Eric Van Wagenen, Executive Producer of The Contender.
“We are thrilled to work with EPIX and The Contender, a great tournament with strong talent, to create a path to success for the show’s champion by automatically ensuring their top 10 ranking, and ensuring strong competition for boxers globally,” said Gilberto Mendoza, President of World Boxing Association.
The WBA is an international boxing organization that sanctions official matches and awards the WBA world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the National Boxing Association, in 1962, it changed its name in recognition of boxing’s growing popularity worldwide and began to gain other nations as members. Gilberto Mendoza from Venezuela was the President of the WBA since 1982 until his death in 2015, after which Gilberto Jesús Mendoza took over as president.
Diego De la Hoya to Make Homecoming Defense of Super Bantamweight Titles Against Edixon Perez
NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KOs) will look to shine before a hometown crowd as he defends his titles against Edixon Perez (16-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round main event at Plaza De Toros Calafia in Mexicali, Mexico. De La Hoya will fight for the first time as a professional in his native country of Mexico in a bout that will be televised live on TV Azteca at a delayed time of 8:30 p.m. PT.
De La Hoya is an undefeated contender who has built a stellar resume since turning professional in 2013. The 24-year-old scored his most significant victory when he defeated former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero on the HBO-televised undercard of Canelo vs. Golovkin in Sept. 2017. De La Hoya followed this win by defeating Jose “Sugar” Salgado via seventh-round technical knockout in June of this year. De La Hoya is on the verge of a world title shot but will risk that opportunity against Perez.
“I’m delighted to return to my hometown and defend my titles,” said Diego De La Hoya. “I’ve developed my career in the United States, but I’m happy to fight for the first time as a professional in Mexico. There’s no better way than to come back as a headliner and on a great platform such as TV Azteca.”
Perez is a 26-year-old native of El Tigrito, Venezuela who is coming off six straight victories, four of them by stoppage. Perez will look to follow in the footsteps of fighters such as the late Edwin “El Inca” Valero and Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares, boxers with Venezuelan blood who scored impressive wins against tough Mexican fighters.
“It is a privilege to fight in Mexico against a renowned boxer like Diego De La Hoya,” said Edixon Perez. “I’m going to my opponent’s backyard, but I am not going out without a fight. Local fans will find out who is Edixon Perez on the day of the fight.”
In the co-main event, Seniesa “SuperBad” Estrada (14-0, 4 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. will fight for the vacant WBC Silver Light Flyweight Title in a 10-round fight against Debora Rengifo (10-5-1, 5 KOs) of Rio Chico, Venezuela.
The undercard of this event will feature five competitive fights with local prospects along with a series of amateur bouts to begin the night.
Jesus Riegos (5-0, 3 KOs) and Cristian Pimentel (6-2, 2 KOs) will meet in a four-round super bantamweight fight in a battle between Mexicali, Mexico natives.
Israel Ramirez (3-0, 3 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico will face Wilivaldo Garcia (2-3) of Tijuana, Mexico in a four-round 118-pound clash,
Jose Dorantes (15-0, 9 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico and Alexandro Zarate (6-6, 4 KOs) of Navojoa, Mexico will clash in a featherweight fight scheduled for six rounds.
Miguel Espinoza (3-3, 1 KO) will participate in a four-round lightweight fight against fellow Mexicali, Mexico native Alejandro Leon in what will be the latter’s professional debut.
Rafael Flores (1-0) of Mexicali, Mexico will face Luis Lomeli (0-1) of Mexicali, Mexico in a four-round 135-pound battle.
De La Hoya vs. Perez is a 10-round fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate,”THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING.” The fights will take place Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 at Plaza de Toros Calafia in Mexicali, Mexico. The action will be televised live on TV Azteca beginning at 8:30 p.m. PT.
Banner Promotions Signs Former Olympian Naim Terbunja
Banner Promotions is proud to announce the signing of former Olympian and current super middleweight Naim Terbunja.
Terbunja of Linkoping, Sweden by way of Pristina, Kosovo, represented Sweden in the 2008 Olympics. He currently holds a professional record of 10-2-1 with one knockout.
The 34 year-old Terbunja began boxing at the age of 14, as he was a young soccer player looking to get stronger. Terbunja took up boxing, and fell in love with the sport.
That sparked an amateur career that saw him go 200-36. Terbunja fought all over the world for the Swedish National team, and then to the 2008 Olympics where he lost to Matt Korobov in the round of 36.
Terbunja moved to Long Island and spent part of his amateur career in the United States and captured the National Golden Gloves title in 2009 by defeating Luis Arias in the finals.
Terbunja turned professional on April 27, 2012 with a unanimous decision over Vladimir Spasojevic in Sweden. Terbunja has fought six times in Sweden and twice in Kosovo.
Terbunja has a 1st round stoppage over previously undefeated Joel De La Paz (7-0) on July 23, 2016.
Terbunja is coming off a disputed draw with regarded Lanell Bellows on May 11th in Las Vegas.
“I am happy to sign with Banner Promotions,” said Terbunja. “If I have a good team around me, I believe that I can fight for a world title. Banner Promotions can help me where I need to go.”
“Naim has a blue chip pedigree. He was an Olympian, and the bout he lost was close. He has had one bad fight at super middleweight. I believe he has the ability to be in position to fight for a world championship. He has an awkward style, and a good chin. He now has a good opportunity with Banner Promotions to realize his potential,” said Terbunja’s manager, Pat Zagarino.
“We happy to have signed Naim. He was an Olympian, and we think he can become a player in the super middleweight division. We look forward to getting him in the ring before the end of the year, and we will get him in prime position in 2019,” said Banner Promotions President Artie Pelullo.
Training Camp Complete: A Confident and On-Weight Claressa Shields Ready for Hannah Rankin on DAZN on November 17th
Women’s superstar and two-division world champion Claressa Shields is in Florida with trainer John David Jackson, finishing up preparations for her showdown with Glasgow, Scotland’s Hannahh Rankin on Saturday, November 17, at the Kansas Star Arena and Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.
Shields (6-0, 2 KOs) will defend her IBF and WBA World Middleweight Championships, and be looking to add the vacant WBC title, against Rankin (5-2, 1 KO) in the 10-round co-featured bout to Salita Promotions stablemate Jarrell Miller’s heavyweight showdown against Romania’s Bogdan Dinu.
Both fights, along with former world champion Brandon Rios taking on Canelo’s brother, Ramon Alvarez, in a super welterweight 10-rounder and former two-time world middleweight title challenger Gabriel Rosado going against once-beaten contender Luis Arias, will be broadcast live on DAZN.
23-year-old Shields, a former two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, has reignited interest in women’s boxing and become a ratings favorite for her nationally televised championship exploits. A proud native of Flint, Michigan, Shields mixes her brash pronouncements of greatness with a genuine and continued effort to inspire female athletes and render aid to members of her home community.
Shields was originally scheduled to face WBC and WBO World Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer on November 17, but the bout was postponed after Hammer withdrew due to medical reasons.
Did the change of opponents from Hammer to Rankin affect your training?
I don’t train for my opponents, I just push to get the best out of me, physically and mentally. If I’m the best ‘me,’ I don’t have to worry about who the opponent is. The change of opponents didn’t bother me at all; the worst thing about this camp for me was just all the date changes – constantly having to get my mind focused on the pace and timing of training depending on the fight date. I can’t wait to get in the ring!
You’ve fought at super middleweight 168 and recently at middleweight 160 pounds. How is your training, diet and any other efforts different to make 160?
Training is always hard and I’m constantly learning. I’ve had a completely different diet this camp – a real change and a positive one for me. I’ve teamed up with Perfecting Athletes for my daily meals, and I feel great. I’ve always tried to eat healthy but these folks are pros and are more educated in that field than myself. I have this magic drink that makes my stomach smile – I love it! It’s watermelon mixed with a green vegetable. I’m not going to tell you what vegetable it is, but I’ve been drinking it everyday, and I feel GREAT.
Your viewership numbers have been very strong. Why do you think people are drawn to you?
I believe that people are drawn to how real and honest I am, both in and out of the ring. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I’m hard but I have a soft side also. And I think people are drawn to how I fight — not only do I talk a good game but I fight my a– off too! I give 1000% every time – I want to change the game and bring a whole new generation of fans to women’s boxing and boxing overall.
What do you know about your opponent Hannah Rankin?
I know that my opponent Rankin is very tough and determined to be a world champion. I like her drive, I like her heart. I know that she has been in the ring as a sparring partner for many champions, one being Christina Hammer. So Rankin has seen some good fighters. But one thing is for sure – she has never seen a fighter like me. And since Hammer couldn’t fight because of her medical condition, in many ways the next best thing is to fight and beat her sparring partner and let Rankin tell Hammer what she’s in for when she returns!
What needs to be done to solve the Flint water crisis?
To solve the flint Water crisis, I think that people should continue to give water and also keep it in the news that there is a city in America where, unbelievably, US citizens don’t have clean water. And hopefully the president or our governor do something to fix all the pipes.
What’s the secret to becoming the best of the best in any sport?
I believe the secret starts with believing in yourself, being dedicated, working hard and just always striving to be better. I feel I’m my biggest critic when I train and box. It’s hard to watch film of my fights because even though I’m doing 97 things right I just can’t stand to see the 3 things I’m doing wrong. I’m a person who strives to pull out my full potential. It takes guts to be great. Nothing will stand in the way of achieving my goals, which includes being the GWOAT and creating equality for all women fighters when it comes to the money, opportunities and coverage the men get.