Boxing Insider Interview with Bob Arum on Pacquiao, Lomachenko, ESPN, Haymon, and more…
By: Bryant Romero
Boxing Insider was able to catch up and talk boxing with the “Bobfather” Bob Arum CEO of Top Rank to discuss numerous topics surrounding the boxing world. In this sit down interview, Arum gives his thoughts on the disappointing Heavyweight unification bout between Joshua vs Parker, Pacquiao’s contract status with Top Rank, how he plans to do business with Al Haymon fighters, he also gives more details about the new ESPN plus app and so much more.
Photo Credit: Bob Arum Twitter Account
BR: I wanted to get your thoughts on the heavyweight unification matchup between Joshua and Parker were you surprised it wasn’t as explosive?
Bob Arum: “Well yea, I thought it would be a lot more explosive the fight. They both fought an extremely cautious fight and when that happens, the bigger guy has an advantage. Particularly a guy who is getting his jabs in like Joshua was more frequently than Parker. The downside it wasn’t a very exciting fight.”
BR: When it comes to Joshua’s performance, did that change your opinion of what will happen between a potential Joshua/Wilder fight?
BA: “No it has nothing to do with it. That’s sorta silly, I think Joshua is the better schooled fighter than Wilder. Wilder has a lot of flaws as a boxer, on other hand in the heavyweight division Wilder has more one punch power than any of the other heavyweights. So that makes it an intriguing match, but Joshua is a much better boxer than Wilder.”
BR: I wanted to talk about Manny Pacquiao’s next fight Bob, it’s been finalized for July 14th in Malaysia. What was the difference between this fight getting finalized? In the past Pacquiao tried to make fights outside of the United States.
BA: “Well, I guess the people that Pacquiao was dealing with and he dealt with them directly, put up the money and previously the people talked the money but never put it up. It’s as simple as that.”
BR: So they were able to show the money?
BA: “Yea apparently, they put up some initial deposits, which convinced everybody and because of the size of the deposits, that they were sincere and that the fight would go through.”
BR: Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s advisor he made some statements to the press recently that he didn’t want to comment on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank. Would you be able to provide some comments on Pacquiao’s status with Top Rank?
BA: “Well we have a very very good relationship with Manny. We can talk contracts from today till tomorrow but that seems like its controversial. There isn’t (controversy) for example in this fight. We’re not putting up the money, Manny got the money himself from Malaysia. Our role is to distribute the television, particularly in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and we’re happy with that.
“If Manny was looking to break his contract with us, he would’ve broken it by not having us being involved I assume. And now he’s talking if he wins this fight, fighting Lomachenko who is our fighter and we will be happy to promote a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight if that occured because that would be huge.”
BR: If Pacquiao defeats Matthysse Bob,would a Pacquiao/Lomachenko fight take place in the United States?
BA: “That’s up to Manny. Obviously for me having it in the United States is preferable because that’s where the PPV market is and that’s where were most comfortable. But there is a substantial tax that a foreigner has to pay in the U.S. withholding and Manny may not be amenable to doing that in which case he’ll look to hold the fight outside the country. If we or he find people who put up the money for the site.”
BR: Bob you’re going to be traveling to Japan tomorrow to watch your fighter Murata. If he wins is there any real possibility of him fighting GGG at the Tokyo Dome this year?
BA: “I don’t know. The plan is if he wins to bring him this summer to Las Vegas to defend his title in Las Vegas and then we can certainly have that discussion with Loeffler and Golovkin. Right now is very difficult to discuss anything with them because the question is will there be a September fight between Golovkin and Canelo? And that’s something they can’t answer and we can’t answer until Nevada holds the hearing.”
BR: In your opinion does that fight (Canelo/GGG 2) get rescheduled?
BA: “I have no idea, I have no idea what the commision is going to do. They have a provision that the penalty is a minimum of 1 year, but they could cut it in half on various circumstances. If it’s a year, obviously the fight can’t happen, if they agree to cut it in half so it’s 6 months the fight can happen. Again I don’t know what the commision is going to do and even if the commission finds that the suspension is over in 6 months, maybe Golovkin doesn’t want anything to do with Alvarez.”
BR: Bob I wanted to get your comments about this. You recently revealed to the press not too long ago that Al Haymon fighters are practically free agents and promoters can approach them. Where are you in that situation? Are you close to signing any high-profile Haymon Fighters?
BA: “Your talking signing, we’re talking about using them on a fight by fight basis. Maybe we will sign them. We have an obligation to ESPN to put the best fights on the network and now on the ESPN Plus and to make the best fights. We have to go to other promoters to get their talent and place them with guys under contract with us. Certainly we will use Al’s fighters just the way we use Oscar’s fighters.
“We made Lomachenko/Linares and it was a provision of service agreement with Golden Boy for Linares. But we don’t have any contractual rights to Linares going forward and that’s fine. In other words, because if a fighter is fighting for Haymon, doesn’t mean if he makes a deal with us to fight one of our fighters or somebody else on our ESPN broadcast that they have to sign with us for the rest of their lives or even an additional fight.”
BR: Let’s talk a little bit about Horn/Crawford it has been rescheduled. I’m really looking forward to this fight Bob what do your matchmakers tell you about this fight? Do they tell you that Horn can beat Crawford?
BA: “No, they think that Crawford is probably either the best or one of the two best fighters in the world, even though he’s going up in weight. They’re anxious to see how he’s going to do against a much bigger guy because Horn is really a super-welterweight. He’s a big big welterweight and that’ll be interesting and he’s gutty rough guy. But as far as my Top Rank matchmakers are concerned, everybody at Top Rank, our position, our belief is that Crawford is unbeatable.”
BR: Could you give me some of your thoughts about Horn’s team comments? They don’t believe Crawford suffered an injury and they’re frustrated that the date couldn’t be changed.
BA: “Fighters who are training or are getting ready to train, when a fight is postponed because of an injury to the other guy, always feel that they’re being taken advantage of and say ‘I’m feeling great, I’m in good shape why is not this fight not happening?’ And they then take that and accuse the opponent of shaming an injury. Well I’ll tell you that it’s absolutely ridiculous, at least in Crawford’s case. We know exactly when it happened, that he was sparring and how it happened.
“At first I sent him to our orthopedic guy in Los Angeles and then he went out to Omaha to be treated by his orthopedic doctor and we know that in fact there was an injury. I give Crawford credit saying look ‘I’m not going to fight anybody with an injury to my hand. Not fair to me, and not fair to the public and I need some more time and then the hand will come around which it did. And that’s why the fight was postponed it’s as simple as that. I mean they (Horn’s team) can speculate all they want. I know what the facts are.”
BR: Lets talk a little bit about Lomachenko/Linares, how are tickets going for that event?
BA: “They’re sensational we’re opening up this weekend the balcony in Madison Square Garden and we’re looking to fill the place with at least over 15,000 people there. Tickets are going unbelievable and our gate will be well in excess of $2 million and it might exceed $2.5 million.”
BR: Can Lomachenko NoMasChenko Linares?
BA: “That remains to be seen. Linares I’ve always watched him because Mr. Honda my friend from Japan of Teiken Promotions has been the guy to develop Linares and co-promoted him with Golden Boy. So I’ve known Linares for years and I’ve always admired his ability, he’s a terrific fighter, he’s very experienced, and he’s much bigger than Loma, so it will be a real test.
“That being said, I also don’t believe there is anybody on the face of the earth 135 pounds or less that can beat Lomachenko. So we will see.”
BR: What’s next for Jose Ramirez?
BA: “Jose Ramirez is going to fight in July. The guy Prograis has the right to fight him in July. Both fighters may opt to take interim fights before they move on. That’s being discussed now and we’ll see how that comes out. If Prograis’s people say no they want to go right to the title fight, we’re happy to do that, so that’ll become clear sometime next week.”
BR: I wanted to talk a little bit about your light heavyweight Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk he’s in line to fight Stevenson Vs Jack winner what’s the better matchup for the nail?
BA: “Well I think Stevenson is the better matchup, Badou Jack is a slick guy, he’s come up to light heavyweight. He doesn’t hit nearly as hard as Stevenson, but he’s much more maneuverable and I think he creates bigger problems for Gvozdyk than Stevenson. I think Stevenson now particularly at his age is more stationary and Gvozdyk takes a terrific punch and I look for him to win that fight quite handily. Badou Jack is a tougher fight but I also like my guy.”
BR: Who wins Stevenson vs Jack?
BA: “The one thing I don’t know, you don’t know, and none of us know is what happens when Stevenson hits Badou Jack on the chin? Can he take what is a powerful punch, much more powerful than any punch he’s (Jack) probably taken with anybody else, so we’ll have to see. It’s a good fight, it’s an interesting fight, it’s very competitive.”
BR: Can you talk a little bit about the ESPN Plus app it’s about to drop on April 12th how did this come about?
BA: “Well ESPN and Disney believe that the future of delivering product whether it’s entertainment on Disney’s part or sports from ESPN that the future is direct to consumer. And they’ve been working on this package for a number of years, they’ve invested billions of dollars in the technical aspects of it. So we are very fortunate to have been selected to supply the boxing for this package which I think really represents the future.”
BR: With this new app in place will fights still be aired, televised on the regular ESPN channel?
BA: “The way it’s setup is approximately half will go on linear (ESPN) as we call it and the other half will go on ESPN Plus.”
BR: Is there anything else you like to add Bob?
BA: “It’s very exciting times and I would say as that press release said if a fight airs on regular ESPN, it will be shown on the delay basis every fight on ESPN Plus. If you don’t catch it live on ESPN and you have your subscription to ESPN plus, you will be able to watch the fight on a delay basis.”
Manny Pacquiao and Bob Arum Continue to be at Odds Over Prospective Opponents
By: Bryant Romero
Manny Pacquiao’s return to the ring sometime this year has been on been ongoing saga on whether the proposed bout with Argentina’s Lucas Matthysse (39-4, 36 KOs) will actually pull through for sometime this summer. Reports of strain relations between Pacquiao and Arum should come to no surprise as there were signs prior to Pacquaio’s fight with Jeff Horn in Australia. The Pacquiao camp caused a stir in recent weeks as they announced to boxing press that Pacquiao is currently a free agent and no longer contractually obligated to Top Rank.
“I reviewed the contract and I found out that Bob Arum has no more say even in the rematch, should there be any between Manny Pacquiao and Australian boxer Jeff Horn,” said Pacquiao’s lawyer Eldibrando Viernesto to the Philippine press.
Furthermore, the camp also announced a date that has since been rescheduled at a site in Malaysia with the hopes of sealing a deal with Matthysse through his promoter Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions. Pacquiao was reportedly insulted with the initial offer from Top Rank to perhaps be on a undercard to Horn-Crawford to fight Mike Alvarado. Manny rejected the offer and is now reportedly negotiating a fight through his own without the involvement of Top Rank.
Pacquiao and Arum have been down this road before and it’s obvious that Manny had very little interest in fighting Jeff Horn last summer in Brisbane as he tried to set up a fight with Amir Khan in the UAE instead. The fight fell through however, and Pacquaio was left to fight Horn as Arum didn’t seem to offer any other opponents.
There are doubts that the Pacquiao vs Matthysse fight will pull through to a now rescheduled date of July 8. Aquiles Zonio who is Pacquiao’s media relations officer has made allegations that promoter Bob Arum has in the past threatened to sue some of the financial backers for which resulted in the fights being scrapped. Accoring to Zonio, Arum is trying to sabotage the Pacquiao vs Matthysse fight in Malaysia by threatening a lawsuit to the Malaysian financial backers.
It’s going to be an interesting next couple of weeks on finding out whether Pacquiao is truly a free agent and whether Bob Arum can once again convince Manny to get back on board and fight an opponent of his choosing instead.
Bob Arum and Don King Renew Old Rivalry
By: Bryant Romero
Bob Arum and Don King will renew their old rivalry at the ‘Mecca of Boxing” this Saturday for Ramirez vs Imam world title fight.
It may well be the last time you will see Bob Arum and Don King co-promoting a boxing match that will feature Jose Ramirez (21-0, 16 KOs) a top rank promoted fighter taking on Amir Imam (21-1, 18 KOs) one of the few remaining Don King fighters for the vacant WBC super lightweight title at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Ramirez vs Imam is an historic bout as it marks the 2,000th world title fight for the WBC in its 55 year history.
King and Arum have long been promotional rivals and at one time were considered the most powerful men in boxing during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Over the years they have fought over fighters, over dates, and were only able to work together sometimes when it came to fight that could generate millions of dollars. Together they promoted Chavez vs De La Hoya, De La Hoya vs Trinidad, and their last co-promotion which was Cotto vs Mayorga in 2011 just to name a few.
King is now considered semi-retired, but at the age of 86 he still has the energy, is still very talkative, and still has the desire to find that one prize fighter that can take him back to the top, whether that means he will have to go by his old measures to secure that prize fighter that can help him strike gold. King once said the famous line “I came into the ring with the champion and I left with the champion.” Though King wasn’t talking about the same champion he came into the ring with. On more than one occasion has King tried to steal away fighters from Arum, even once whispering into De La Hoya’s ear following his close loss to Trinidad by saying, “If I was your promoter, you’d have won this fight.” If Ramirez defeats Imam this Saturday night it’s highly unlikely that King will be able to pry away Ramirez from Arum.
The old rivals reunited on Thursday afternoon in what was a classic final press conference as King and Arum constantly traded verbal jabs at each other and debated politics.
“We’re all immigrants,” Arum said. “And America’s strength is from the immigrant community and we have to find a way to integrate all of these people into what is a great country, the United States of America.”
“We gonna celebrate at Madison Square Garden,” King said. “It is the Mecca of Boxing. And it’s a fantastic thing to be here and be at war with Mr. Arum. Some of the things he said have some vitality to it, that the whole country is a country of immigrants.”
King has vowed that his fighter Imam will knockout Ramirez, while Arum has maintained that King is dreaming if he thinks that will happen. Whatever happens this Saturday night, it’s going to be one fun night of boxing as these two legendary promoters will go head to head for what may be the very last time.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Groves, Arum, Holyfield, Hernandez, Eubank, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 21st to November 28th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Holyfield and Arum Headline 2018 Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Class
Evander Holyfield and Bob Arum headline the 2018 inductees into the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame.
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) has announced its 25 member 2018 Induction Class, which also includes President Donald J. Trump. This epic event will take place at The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel located at Park Place & Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey on June 1 – 3, 2018.
Atlantic City, New Jersey Mayor-Elect Frank M. Gilliam Jr. commented, “The future of boxing in Atlantic City is brighter than ever. Being the newly elected Mayor of the City of Atlantic City, New Jersey it gives me great honor to be a part of bringing the 2nd Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend back to our Great City. I believe boxing and Atlantic City has always been a natural fit and we see it returning to its glory days, and under my administration, we plan on welcoming it back wholeheartedly: Congratulations to the ACBHOF “2018” Inductees!”
The Claridge Hotel serves as the signature Corporate Sponsor for this knockout weekend, “The Claridge is proud to be in partnership with the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and to continue to promote professional boxing’s exceptional history in Atlantic City,” says Cem Erenler, Vice President/ Operations & Business Development for TMJ Properties, the owner and developer of The Claridge. The iconic hotel, which is now part of the global Radisson brand first opened in 1930. “Hosting this signature event is in the best traditions of The Claridge, which for more than 80 years has been Atlantic City’s center for exciting events in sports and entertainment,” Mr. Erenler said.
Evander Holyfield stated: “I have many great memories fighting in Atlantic City, and I am honored to be inducted into its Hall of Fame.”
The 2nd Annual Induction Ceremony & Celebration Weekend will honor some of the world’s most prominent trailblazers from the sport of boxing: President Donald J. Trump, José Sulaimán, and Bob Arum are just a few names who will be enshrined with the 2018 induction class. Also expected to be in attendance; current and former boxing champions, and VIP Guests for a fun-filled weekend that’s highlighted by a black-tie evening, and the acclaimed, unforgettable Induction Ceremony.
“The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is here to stay! The epic success of our 2017 Inaugural Induction weekend was pivotal to our brand value in the boxing and business community,” said Rodrick Green Vice President and Business Strategist for ACBHOF. “We are excited about the economic and sports entertainment impact the ACBHOF will continue to have in Atlantic City. Thank you for your support and be reassured that at the 2018 Induction Celebration the bar will be raised even higher.
Over the next several weeks there will be updates on the schedule of events, room packages and expected VIP appearances on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites and social media platforms.
“We’re excited about the ACBHOF 2018 Induction Class; I believe our nomination committee did an incredible job in selecting a diverse and richly deserving group of individuals. I’m extremely proud of this class because it contains three remarkable women: Diane Fischer-Cristiano, Jean Williams, and Marian Muhammad. The ACBHOF team along with our partners and sponsors are looking forward to June where we will pay homage to our 2018 inductees,” said Ray McCline ACBHOF President and Founder.
Tickets for Groves-Eubank Jr. Sold Out in Seven Minutes
It took seven minutes to sell out the Ali Trophy semi-final bout between WBA Super World Champion George Groves (27-3, 20 KOs) and IBO-Champ Chris Eubank Jr. (26-1,20 KOs) at the Manchester Arena on February 17, 2018.
Europe’s largest purpose-built indoor arena will be at capacity to witness what promises to be the biggest Super Middleweight night in years.
“This is a sensational start to the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series and the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy,” said Roberto Dalmiglio, Comosa’s CEO.
“I said before we went on sale that the fight between Groves and Eubank Jr. represents the boxing event fans cannot afford to miss, and I am happy to say that I was right.”
Said Kalle Sauerland, Comosa’s Chief Boxing Officer: “This is clearly the fight everyone wanted and I am sure this super-fight will capture not only a nation but a generation of fight fans.”
“The build-up is going to be huge and we can’t wait to go to Manchester for a sold out event between two spectacular rivals and world-class fighters.”
“We will work hard over the coming weeks to release extra tickets to meet the huge demand for this fight.”
The build-up to the all-British grudge match begins today when Groves and Eubank Jr. come face-to-face at a kickoff press conference at 2 pm in London.
ITV will be live streaming the press conference on ITV Box Office, YouTube and Facebook.
The Ali Trophy super middleweight semi-final between George Groves and Chris Eubank Jr. will be live on ITV Box Office on February 17.
Lucas Matthysse and Jorge Linares to Headline HBO Card at Los Angeles Forum
Two of the world’s most exciting fighters, Lucas “La Maquina” Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) and Jorge “El Nino De Oro” Linares (43-3, 27 KOs), will kick off the 2018 boxing year with a bang as they compete in separate world championship bouts on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, California. This special double main event will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET/PT.
The first co-main event will see the 35-year-old Matthysse, an absolutely thunderous puncher out of Chubut, Argentina, facing undefeated Thai superstar Tewa Kiram (38-0. 28 KOs) in a 12-round battle for the vacant WBA Welterweight World Championship.
“I am honored to be able to fight for a world championship in just my second fight at welterweight,” said Matthysse, a former interim world champion at 140 pounds who has defeated the likes of former two-division champion Lamont “Havoc” Peterson, formerWBO Junior Welterweight Champion Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov and former three-division titlist Humberto “La Zorrita” Soto. “I understand I am facing a younger, undefeated opponent, but I am confident that ‘The Machine’ will emerge victorious.”
Since turning pro at the age of 15, Kiram has torn through an astounding 38 opponents, with 28 of them never hearing the final bell. He won the interim PABA Welterweight Championship in just his sixth fight and defended it – and the full PABA Welterweight title – more than 30 times over seven years. This will mark his first fight outside of Thailand.
“I understand not many people know me in the U.S., but they are in for a big surprise on Jan. 27,” Kiram said. “I have never been defeated, and I am fully confident that I will return to Thailand with the WBA Welterweight World Championship around my waist.”
In the second co-main event, Linares, a 32-year-old Venezuelan considered one of the top fighters in the world, will make his second trip to the ‘Fabulous’ Forum in a row to defend his multiple lightweight world championships against the once-defeated Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs).
“I have travelled all over the world to win and defend my titles, and I am looking forward to having my hand raised in victory once again in America,” said Linares, the three-division world champion who holds victories over world champions and contenders such as Anthony “Million Dollar” Crolla, Kevin “Mighty” Mitchell and Gamaliel “El Platano” Diaz. “I know that Gesta has speed and power, but he hasn’t been at this level before, and on Jan. 27, he’ll know what it’s like to face a world champion.”
Gesta, a 30-year-old from the Philippines, has not tasted defeat in six fights, beating quality opponents including Gilberto “El Flaco” Gonzalez and former contender Martin “El Brochas” Honorio. Gesta is getting his second shot at a world championship more than five years after dropping a unanimous decision to Miguel “Titere” Vazquez for the IBF World Lightweight Championship.
“I know firsthand how long it takes to get a shot at a world championship, and I will not allow this opportunity to pass me by,” Gesta said. “I understand Linares is a great fighter, but I know I have the skills, speed, power, and great coaching which will get my hand raised in victory.”
“What a way to kick of 2018 – with two of the top fighters in the sport taking on younger, hungry challengers,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “It’s not often you get two main events on one card, but that is what we will have on Jan. 27 at the “Fabulous” Forum. This card will help keep the momentum that boxing established in 2017.”
“This is a very important fight for Argentine boxing, for Lucas Matthysse and for Arano Box,” said Mario Arano of Arano Boxing. “Matthysse is ready to be a world champion, and we are more than sure that his win will make huge waves throughout the entirety of the Republic of Argentina and South America.”
“Thailand has never had a Welterweight World champion before,” said Taweesin Terry Laosuwanwat, Manager and Promoter of Kiram. “We are making history here, and Tewa [Kiram] will do anything to win this fight. Tewa has never lost before, and he will keep his undefeated record against Matthysse.”
The remainder of the undercard and the ticket information for this stacked event will be announced shortly.
Jose Lopez to Take on Avery Sparrow in New Co-Main Event on November 30th ESPN Show
Super featherweight contender José “Wonder Boy” López (18-1-1, 13 KOs) of Carolina, Puerto Rico will now take on Avery Sparrow (8-1, 3 KOs) in the new co-main event of the Nov. 30 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at the MGM National Harbor in Maryland. The event will also feature the headlining debut of Lamont Roach, Jr. (15-0, 6 KOs) as he defends his WBC Youth Super Featherweight Title against Rey “Flash” Pérez (21-8, 6 KOs) in the 10-round main event. ESPN3 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish) will air the fights live at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Undercard will stream on ESPN3 at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fight at 11 p.m.ET/8 p.m. PT.
López, a 23-year-old contender who is coming off a four-fight win streak, has earned two regional titles since making his debut in Sept. 2011. In 2014, Lopez defeated veteran Leivi Brea to win the Interim WBC Fecarbox Super Bantamweight Title via first-round technical knockout. Two years later, López captured the WBO International Super Featherweight Title by defeating Edgar López Sasso via stunning second-round knockout. López was originally scheduled to fight against Miguel “Miguelito” González, but González was forced to pull out due to an injury suffered in his left arm when sparring.
Sparrow, who is also 23-years-old will took to take advantage of his first co-main event opportunity. The Philadelphian is coming off a four-fight win streak, defeating two undefeated prospects in his last two fights.
Fairfield, California’s Manuel “Tino” Ávila (22-1, 8 KOs) will take on Nick Otieno (31-12, 13 KOs) of Nairobi, Kenya in an eight-round featherweight fight. Ávila will return after his only defeat, which was in a tough battle against Joseph Diaz, Jr. on the Canelo vs. Chávez Jr. undercard in May of this year. The featherweight contender is looking to get back into the 126-pound mix before the year ends.
In the night’s swing bout, George Rincón (2-0) of Dallas, Texas will take on Jihad Wise (3-3, 1 KO) of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in a four-round 140-pound clash. Rincón’s brother, Alex Rincón, was originally scheduled to be in the swing bout, but the welterweight prospect who is currently signed to Golden Boy Promotions was forced to pull out and undergo surgery as he has been diagnosed with appendicitis.
Luther Smith (9-1, 8 KOs) of Alexandria, Virginia will open the night of boxing in a four-round bout in the cruiserweight division against an opponent that will be announced shortly.
Roach, Jr. vs. Pérez is a 10-round super featherweight fight for the WBC Youth Super Featherweight Title and is presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop, Never Settle.” ESPN3 (English) and ESPN Deportes (Spanish) will air the fights live from MGM National Harbor at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fight at 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT.
Tickets for Roach, Jr. vs Pérez are on sale and are priced at $75 VIP, $75, $55 and $35, not including taxes or fees. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call the Ticketmaster Contact Center at (800) 745-3000. Tickets will also be available for purchase online at www.ticketmaster.com and www.goldenboytickets.com.
Nico Hernandez Injured, Fight Posptoned
Due to an injury suffered by 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez last week at training camp, this Saturday night’s “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” card, presented by KO Night Boxing LLC, has been postponed until February 10, at the same venue, Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
The 21-year-old Hernandez was scheduled to headline the event in his hometown against Hungarian flyweight champion Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Americas flyweight championship.
The promoter plans to keep the card intact, as much as possible, and he is hopeful that Ajtai is available to challenge Hernandez for the IBA Americas title.
“Injuries are an unfortunate part of boxing, but the good news is that Nico will be 100-percent ready to go February 10th,” promoter John Andersen said. “I know that Nico feels that he’s letting everybody down but, at the end of the day, all that really counts is his health. He’s a tough kid who has his entire pro career ahead of him.”
“Over the last six months, Nico has become like family to the Hartman Arena staff,” said Hartman Arena Executive Director, Ben Bolander. “We wish the best for him and hope for a speedy recovery, so we can see him back here in February fighting for the title.”
TIckets to the December 2nd event will still be honored at the February 10 event. If ticket holders, are unable to attend the new event date, full refunds will be offered at the point of purchase. Tickets will remain on sale for the February 10, 2018 event date.
ESPN Announces Major Deal With Top Rank
By: Sean Crose
Perhaps lost in all the mania surrounding the Floyd-Conor weekend was the huge news that ESPN has announced a major deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions. Arum, one of boxing’s most prominent promoters (perhaps the single most prominent one) is now letting his stable of boxers fight exclusively in the domain of ESPN (which is part of the Disney universe).
According to Variety, ESPN “will have the exclusive ability to televise and stream live Top Rank fights in the U.S., as well as deliver pay-per-view events with the promoter’s matches.” Long story short, the network, which has been having troubles of its own recently, is getting into the rejuvenating sport of boxing in a significant way.
ESPN had already indicated its newfound interest in the sweet science this summer by showing Manny Pacquiao’s stunning – and controversial – loss to Jeff Horn to huge ratings. It then showcased rising stars Vasyl Lomachenko and Terence Crawford respectively. Now, according to the network’s boxing writer, Dan Rafael, “high-level cards are on the way, with 18 on tap for the first year of the deal.” This is nothing but good news for fight fans, as the home of Arum’s fighters until very recently was pay-cable outlet HBO.
The Arum-HBO relationship cooled, however, and now names like Pacquiao, Lomachenko, Crawford and others will be found on basic cable– at least more than they ever have been. Pay Per View cards will still be a part of life for fans, only now Top Rank pay per view cards will be brought to the public via ESPN. The deal is set to last four years. If the marriage of the two entities proves successful, however, it can be expected to last longer.
All of this is – of course – a considerable development for followers of the sweet science. Top names on basic television are never a bad thing. Yet fans will be disappointed if Arum goes the road boxing guru Al Haymon did when he had his name fighters appear in top fights on basic television sporadically, at best. Top fighters, at least the top fighters in Arum’s stable, will need to be matched strongly with at least some regularity in order for the ESPN partnership to prove successful. If the deal works out, however, boxing will effectively take a huge step back into the mainstream of American sports, a place it hasn’t been in a long time, save for the occasional superbout.
Deception from Down Under; A Conspiracy Theorist’s Guide
Deception from Down Under; A Conspiracy Theorist’s Guide
By: Kirk Jackson
Here we go again…
Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao 59-7-2 (38 KO’s) apparently attracts controversy; this time in the form of losing another disputed decision – to relatively unknown, teacher/boxer Jeff “The Hornet” Horn 17-0-1 (11 KO’s).
To be fair, Pacquiao has his share of debatablevictories as well. How about we ask Juan Manuel Marquez about the decisions regarding three of their four fights?
This recent uproar certainly created waves within the world of sports. Reactions from fellow boxers like former heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis, other athletes such as Kobe Bryant, boxing analysts and experts such at ESPN’s
Teddy Atlas, the collective sentiment is shock.
Wow! PAC loses by UD? One judge had it 117-111? ? Wasn't the fight that I saw!
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) July 2, 2017
What do the Boxing Gods have against Pacquiao?
Perhaps the Boxing Gods still hold Pacquiao in good favor and the outcome resulted from the return of the puppet master, ensuring his key piece lacks leverage and remains at his mercy.
The puppet master is none other than the president of Top Rank Promotions Bob Arum. Dating back a decade now, Pacquiao served as his key marionette.
The main money generator of Top Rank in wake of the departures of Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao featured and excelled in Top Rank’s biggest events, generating millions in the process.
Serving as Arum’s puppet is not without perks however. Large pay purses, favorable marketing from Time Warner, HBO, ESPN and other media outlets due to Arum’s long-standing influences.
Everything comes with a price however. For Pacquiao, it’s the lack of liberty and control.
Remember the last time Pacquiao was in a position to re-up his contract as his current deal was coming to an end?
During this phase of time, he was scheduled to duel Timothy Bradley for their first of what would be three fights beginning in 2012.
Leading up into their first encounter, there was a question if Pacquiao would resign with Arum and Top Rank, if he would test the waters elsewhere, or if he would retire.
Many observers believed Pacquiao won the fight against Bradley, however Bradley was awarded the decision.
From a conspiracy theorist’s perspective, this may have been a power move from Arum, to keep Pacquiao in check and to let him know who holds the power.
The fight against Horn was the last fight due on his current five fight deal with Top Rank.
Do you think we’ve seen the last of Pacquiao vs. Horn? We’re going to see the pairing two more times.
Four fights were squeezed out of Pacquiao and Marquez, while three fights were squeezed out of Pacquiao and Bradley in recent years.
Undoubtedly Pacquiao will resign with Top Rank – to exact revenge against Horn, continue his farewell “World Tour,” and to carry on fighting at someone else’s leisure.
He will continue to fight till they no longer have use for him.
Rumors of Pacquiao in financial debt, some of the issues VisionQwest uncovered many years ago did not go away. The root of the problem always remained; financial instability, mismanagement of funds, along with wolves seizing advantage of opportunities.
“Boxing is my main source of income. I can’t rely on my salary as a public official,” explained Pacquiao after announcing his return to boxing last year.
“I’m helping the family of my wife and my own family, as well. Many people also come to me to ask for help and I just couldn’t ignore them.”
With the capacity to earn money, comes great responsibility and a legion of persons seeking to take advantage of the benefactor.
People take advantage of Pacquiao’s generosity and it placed him in an unfortunate predicament. A position in which he must continue to fight to earn a living despite previous accomplishments and prize money earned in the past.
It’s truly unfortunate to see fighters forced to fight when it’s obvious their best years are far in the rearview.
In the past, Pacquiao hired the firm of VisionQwest Resource Group, Inc. and VisionQwest Accountancy Group out of Los Angeles, California, to handle all accounting, personal tax, business tax, audits and examinations, as well as all contract reviews.
Turns out tax business operator Michael Cabuhat was arrested in 2015 for defrauding customers through VisionQwest.
Under an alleged scheme that Cabuhat ran from 2010 through 2015, he allegedly stole over a million dollars in refunds that should have gone to clients.
Charges include fraud, aggravated identity theft and structuring financial transactions to evade reporting requirements. Pacquiao unfortunately, was one of Cabuhat’s victims.
Pacquiao hired a company to fix an issue and it turns out the company he hired further exploited the problem.
Financial woes, familiarity and reassurance led to a firm grasp of control from Arum. Control enables power moves.
Arum publicly talked down on Pacquiao in recent years and not always displayed public verbal support in light of a few controversial issues
Dating back to the beginning of the decade, Arum exerted his control over Pacquiao and most of the boxing landscape.
The eight-division champion was pitted against Top Rank stable mates; Bradley, Marquez, Joshua Clottey, ShaneMosley (temporary Top Rank fighter), Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri.
Not only were the match-ups controlled but so was the money flow – being as these were all Top Rank fights. It’s partially the reason why we never saw some of the other matches many fans hoped for.
It’s why we didn’t see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather until it was past the expiration date.
It’s why Pacquiao vs. Paul Williams never occurred, or Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan, Humberto Soto, Joan Guzman, Juan Diaz, etc.
The same is occurring yet again. Do you think we’ll see Pacquiao against the other top welterweights during his “World Tour?”
WBA and WBC unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, are managed by Al Haymon and under different promotional companies.
Terence Crawford is a name teased for years regarding a potential pairing with the ‘Pac-Man.’ Even though Crawford is a fellow Top Rank stable mate, it seems unlikely we’ll see the two in the ring.
Just like we probably won’t see Pacquiao vs. Thurman, Spence or Danny Garcia. It will be Jeff Horn a few more times. We’ll see what ever makes sense for Top Rank.
It’s important to point out, there isn’t necessarily a mandate for Pacquiao to fight anyone; his legacy is already cemented and there isn’t much that can change it.
But the observation of note is he does not have a choice on whom and when he fights.
From a conspiracy theorist’s lenses, the recent decision in the Pacquiao vs. Horn verdict was an extension of control and to ensure regulation of the type of match-ups that are made. Strings pulled.
Five Post Fight Thoughts from Pacquiao vs. Horn
Five Post Fight Thoughts from Pacquiao vs. Horn
By: William Holmes
A legend in the sport of boxing lost to a man that nobody thought he would lose to on Saturday in Brisbane, Australia.
Manny Pacquiao is a sure fire first ballot hall of famer and is an eight division world champion. Since 2005 almost all of his fights were made available exclusively on Pay Per View. However, many were stunned to see Jeff Horn be named the victor and were left in disbelief. Many, including the announcers on ESPN, strongly felt that Manny was robbed and clearly won the fight.
Is this the end of Pacquiao’s career? What does this mean going forward?
Here are five post fight thoughts from the Pacquiao vs. Horn fight.
1. Pacquiao Was Not Robbed
This may come as a shock to some, but Pacquiao was not robbed. I’m not saying he didn’t win the fight, but you can’t argue with the judges who felt Horn won the fight. Pacquiao didn’t dominate any round with the exception of the ninth, and many, many, rounds were “swing” rounds and could have been scored either way.
Fans have to remember that crowd reaction affects judges and this fight took place in Horn’s home country. Most of the fans in attendance were rooting for their fellow Australian and were reacting positively to every punch that Jeff Horn threw. Yes, judges are supposed to be able to block out the sound and view a fight objectively, but that’s easier said than done and no judge is completely immune to the vocal support that surrounds him.
Fans also have to realize that viewing a fight live is much different than viewing a fight on TV. When you’re watching a fight on TV you can be swayed by the commentary of the announce team and you have a much better view/angle on the action inside the ring than those who are watching the fight in person. Ring side judges do not have the advantage of wide camera angle and often their views are obstructed by the ropes, ring, competitors, and the referee.
Additionally, Jeff Horn pressed the action and was able to dominate the exchanges when they were in tight or when Pacquiao’s back was against the rope. Ring Generalship and effective aggression are two criteria that judges use to judge a fight, and it was clear that Horn was dictating the pace to Pacquiao and never stopped coming forward.
Again, I’m not saying Pacquiao didn’t win the fight, I’m merely stating he wasn’t robbed.
2. CompuBox Stats Are Overrated
Many upset boxing fans point to the CompuBox statistics as evidence that Pacquiao was robbed. They note that Horn only landed 15% of his punches and that Pacquiao landed almost 100 more punches.
However, fight fans have to understand that CompuBox punch totals are done by a person sitting ringside keeping a manual tally. There is nothing scientific or reliable about CompuBox, at best it is an estimation. CompuBox also doesn’t take into consideration the visible effects of the punches landed.
As a general rule punches are more noticeable when a bigger man lands against a smaller man, and Jeff Horn was clearly the bigger man. When his punches landed they visibly moved Pacquiao and many of Pacquiao’s punches were not noticeable to the untrained eye.
3. More Big Fights Need to Happen Outside of Las Vegas
As a fight city, Las Vegas is overrated.
Yes, it’s the gambling capital of the world and very few locations can compete with the purse sizes that Las Vegas provides. But, if you’ve ever gone to a fight in Las Vegas you’d know that most of the fans who attend a big fight in Las Vegas are more concerned with the glitz, glam and celebrity that Las Vegas provides instead of the action in the ring.
I’ve been to Vegas several times for big fights, and a good 95% of the fans in attendance do not show up until a few minutes before the main event starts. Most of the fans at a Las Vegas fight do not know the difference between a jab and a cross and are more concerned with looking good at a big event.
The Pacquiao Horn fight was held in an outdoor stadium in Australia and came across great on television. 50,000+ fans were in attendance, a number that currently can not be reached in Las Vegas. The excitement and anticipation of a fight comes off much better in a big stadium when compared to Las Vegas, and makes it more attractive to the casual sports fan.
The Klitschko vs. Joshua fight was held at Wembley Stadium and was one of the best fights of the year. The crowd was unbelievable and that fight also looked great on television.
The most entertaining fight that this writer ever attended live was when Pacquiao fought Margarito at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium. The venue was a big reason as to why that fight was so entertaining.
Granted, there will still be fight fans who only show up for the main event if a good boxing card were to be held outside of Las Vegas, but the overall experience is much better when it’s held in a stadium.
4. Pacquiao Needs to Drop Down in Weight
Ever since Pacquiao made the jump to the junior welterweight division and higher he has been the smaller man inside the ring. His walk around weight is near the welterweight limit and he often has to fight someone who has cut 10-20 pounds to make the welterweight limit.
When Pacquiao was in his prime his movement and endurance was good enough to run circles around his opponent so that they couldn’t catch him. He’s no longer in his prime and Jeff Horn was able to capitalize on his size advantage and trap Manny on the ropes with effective body work. If Jeff Horn was able to trap Pacquiao imagine what some of the other top welterweights could do to him.
Keith Thurman, Errol Spence Jr., Kell Brook, Shawn Porter, and even Lucas Matthysse are all opponents that are bigger than Pacquiao and would probably inflict more damage on him than what Horn did on Saturday.
Even though the current version of Pacquiao would still be competitive with most of the welterweights ranked in the top ten, he is risking serious damage to his body and health if he continues to campaign against bigger and stronger opponents when he is pushing 40.
5. An Aged Version of Pacquiao is Still Entertaining
Should Pacquiao retire? That’s a tough question but at the very least it should be discussed amongst him and his team.
But one thing that we learned on Saturday night is that even the faded and aged version of Manny Pacquiao is still exciting in the ring. His fight with Jeff Horn dominated social media and ESPN and has been the talk of the sports world for the past two days.
Fight fans were on the edge of their seat the entire fight and the ninth round was one of the most thrilling rounds of the year.
The ratings support the entertainment value of Pacquiao. ESPN recently released a press release indicating that the fight delivered a 2.4 overnight rating and was the highest rated fight for a cable network this decade. The release also indicated that the Battle of Brisbane was likely to be the highest-rated fight on ESPN’s networks since the mid 1990s.
The current version of Manny Pacquiao may have difficulty reclaiming a world title in the welterweight division, but he still draws eyes to the TV.
Breaking: Crawford And Lomachenko To Fight On ESPN This August
Breaking: Crawford And Lomachenko To Fight On ESPN This August
By: Sean Crose
It’s now official – ESPNs interest in Manny Pacquiao is far from a one-off. Today it’s been announced that the network will also showcase two of the biggest names in the sport this August. For Bud Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko will be appearing on basic cable this summer, courtesy of ESPN and promoter Bob Arum.
To make things perhaps more interesting, both men will be engaged in fights that are competitive, at least on paper. Crawford will have a junior welterweight title unification with Julius Indongo in Nebraska on August 19th. Two weeks earlier, on the 5th, Lomachenko will be facing off against Miguel Marriaga, who has battled the likes of Oscar Valedez and Nicholas Walters, in a super featherweight title scrap in LA.
After a long, dry spell with HBO, it’s clear Arum is moving on to what he hopes are greener pastures. Rival Al Haymon has tried his hand at basic cable broadcasts with uneven success. Arum, however, is bringing out his stable’s big guns right out the gate. Things are certainly getting interesting as boxing’s bombastic 2017 thunders along.
Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn
Top Rank on ESPN Preview: Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn
By: William Holmes
In rather surprising news in the month of June, Top Rank announced a partnership with ESPN to showcase some of their fighters on the network in live fights. HBO has long been the home for most of Top Rank’s fighters, but this announcement indicates that Top Rank is willing to go elsewhere to televise fights.
Top Rank has decided to showcase their biggest draw, Manny Pacquiao, on ESPN on July 1st live from SunCorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia. This will be the first time in over a decade that Manny Pacquiao will not be fighting on PPV.
The undercard will feature several prospects that boxing fans should be keep an eye on. Prospects such as Brock Jarvis, Umar Salamov, Shane Mosley Jr., and Irish Olympian Michael Conlan are all scheduled to compete.
The following is a preview of the WBO World Welterweight Championship match between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao.
Jeff Horn (16-0-1) vs. Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2); WBO Welterweight Championship
Jeff Horn is not very well known in the United States, but he is the mandatory challenger for Manny Pacquiao’s WBO Welterweight Championship. Even though he will be a massive underdog, one can not overlook the fact that he will be fighting in front of his home crowd of Brisbane, Australia and that 60,000 screaming fans can only help him.
Horn has an edge on most of the physical intangibles. He is twenty eight years old and ten years younger than Manny Pacquiao. He will also have a three inch height advantage and a one inch reach advantage. The speed advantage obviously lies with Manny Pacquiao, as does the power advantage. Jeff Horn has eleven stoppages against B level opposition while Pacquiao has stopped thirty eight opponents, including some over the best the sport of boxing has to offer.
Jeff Horn has fought every single fight in his career either in Australia or New Zealand. He’s been very active and fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015. Four of his first seven opponents had losing records, but despite the fact he’s never faced elite competition every one of his opponents since then has had a winning record.
Horn also has a notable amateur background as he made it to the quarterfinals in the 2012 Summer Olympics while representing Great Britain. Pacquiao, as is well known, was able to make the Philippine National Amateur Team but turned professional at the age of sixteen.
Horn’s most notable victories have come against Ali Funeka, Rico Mueller, Viktor Potnikov, and Randall Bailey. It should be noted that Horn got knocked down by Bailey, but was able to recover and have Bailey quit on the stool during round nine.
Pacquiao seems intent on taking his show around the world and is already looking past this fight to fight in the Philippines in his next bout. Australia will be the sixth country that Pacquiao has competed in.
Pacquiao has defeated the likes of Timothy Bradley Jr., Chris Algieri, Brandon Rios, Juan Manuel Marquez, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey, Miguel Cotto, Ricky Hatton, Oscar De La Hoya, David Diaz, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and Lehlo Ledwaba.
His losses were to Timothy Bradley Jr., Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Erik Morales, and losses early on in his career to Medgoen Singsurat and Rustico Torrecampo.
Pacquiao is a giant favorite and this is probably why the bout will be taking place on free television instead of pay per view. However, Jeff Horn has a better chance of beating Pacquiao than McGregor has at beating Mayweather.
Additionally, Pacquiao is thirty eight years old and has been in some brutal wars inside the ring. A boxer can age overnight and that age often shows against an opponent that nobody expects to win.
Pacquiao To Face Horn On ESPN
Pacquiao To Face Horn On ESPN
By: Sean Crose
ESPN, the most famous sports network in America, will be playing host to the Manny Pacquiao-Jeff Horn welterweight title bout on July 1st, according to the network’s own top boxing writer, Dan Rafael. The fight, which will go down in front of a huge live crowd in Australia, will headline a card that begins 9 PM, Eastern Standard Time in the US. “It will be,” Rafael writes, “the first time that a Pacquiao fight will air live on basic cable and is his first non-pay-per-view fight since he knocked out Hector Velazquez on HBO in September 2005.”
This is big news for fight fans, as a star as big as Pacquiao hasn’t fought on basic television in ages. The question fans may now ask is whether or not Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, is looking to do what PBC mastermind Al Haymon was said to be trying to accomplish a few years ago – bring high level boxing back to regular television. According to Ring Magazine’s Mike Coppinger, Arum’s Top Rank Promotions will be behind a series of fights to land on the network. Whether this means stars such as Bud Crawford and Tim Bradley will appear in major bouts on basic cable remains to be seen.
With pay cable network HBO appearing to have cooled way down on boxing in the past several months, many suspected Arum (having long done business with the network) had something up his sleeve. In fact, the man himself was open about this. The announcement of Pacquiao- Horn on ESPN, then, shouldn’t be all that great a surprise. There’s little chance, after all, that the bout would have done well on pay per view. Virtually no one in America knows who Horn is. What’s more, Pacquiao is no longer the pay per view star he once was after losing his mega bout with Floyd Mayweather.
It will be interesting to see how the general public reacts to this. The fight will be aired on the Fourth of July weekend, which means many will have things other than major sporting events on their minds. It’s also worth noting that Pacquiao-Horn isn’t considered a super fight by any stretch of the imagination. Should Pacquiao have been facing a top opponent like Crawford, it could truly be telling how serious Arum might be about bringing boxing to the masses. There’s little doubt, however, that ESPN will promote this bout well. It’s now up to the viewers themselves to decide just how successful this card will be.
Timothy Bradley Jr.: The Desert Storm
Timothy Bradley Jr.: The Desert Storm
By: Francisco Martinez
Timothy Bradley Jr. one of the most exciting fighters in boxing today has been out of action since his loss this past April to 8 division champion Manny Pacquiao in what was a tie breaker in a very unexpected trilogy. Bradley was in attendance for commentary work for this past Saturday’s Top Rank PPV card at the StubHub Center which saw Oscar Valdez, Zurdo Ramírez and Jessie Magdaleno all successfully defend their WBO titles in front of a packed house.
After the fight Bradley gratefully gave his time to the media and answered a few questions. The very first question was actually from a fan who asked Bradley when he was going to step back into the ring and Bradley replied “I don’t know I think I honestly need a tune up fight on the way back” as to who Bradley had in mind as a possible tune up he quickly noted Adrien Broner and when asked of Broner’s recent troubles he said “I don’t know but I think that would be a good tune up for me” when asked why he liked Adrien Broner as a tune up he replied “why not? why not? That’s the question and I think it makes a lot of sense. I think people would love to see that” all fans present quickly agreed by shouting yes to Bradley’s belief of Broner making good for a tune up and an exciting fight.
Timothy Bradley Jr. is in a packed division with the likes of Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Kell Brook and legend Manny Pacquiao still out there beating guys half his age. Also young up and comers like Errol Spence Jr and primed veterans like Danny Garcia as well the already mentioned Adrien Broner. However Bradley keeping in mind he’s been out of the ring for about a year or so a tune up makes all the sense for his career as he eyes a possible September return date. As for the lay off Bradley said this about it “it kind of just happened that way but you know what I believe everything happens for a reason and there’s a reason why I had this big long lay off. Let my body heal up and give my brain a rest from taking all them punches. I’ve been doing this for 23 years man, you know, it’s been a long journey but I can’t wait to get back in it. I got super excited seeing this fight tonight it got my blood boiling boy, I’m boiling”
Maybe Bradley can look for a MMA fighter for his tune up? Given the back and forward between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC star, MMA’s pound for pound number one fighter in the world Conor McGregor anything seems to be on the table granted McGregor wouldn’t mind Manny Pacquiao either if Mayweather “craps his jocks” and doesn’t go through with their fight why wouldn’t Bradley be as good of an option? Anyways Bradley touched on the potential mega fight between Mayweather and McGregor had this to say about the boxing vs MMA circus act
“what do I think about it? Honestly man, I’m gonna watch the fight, in my honest opinion, I’m gonna watch the fight. We know what it’s about, we are fight fans and everything, Conor McGregor has never been in the ring, yeah he’s the best MMA fighter, he’s the biggest name and it makes sense. He called out Floyd Mayweather and Floyd Mayweather is just trying to make it real like, okay, alright, put your money where your mouth is. If you really wanna do this let’s do this but we’re gonna do it in the ring so, I mean, the advantage goes to Mayweather. Mayweather is always strategic and he’s strategic with his business as well, you know, so I think it’s a money grab and I think everybody is gonna watch it. We know what it’s about but I think it’s gonna be fun and I think Mayweather destroys, destroys like destroys Conor McGregor”
Obviously Timothy Bradley knows the business side of boxing as he clearly states that Mayweather vs McGregor is just that, a good business move. During his time off Bradley made a business move and has now ventured into the business side of boxing by managing a couple of fighters along side his wife something to keep him busy until he finds his way back into the ring. This is what sets Bradley apart from the other fighters being a very intelligent individual and thinking his every next move outside of boxing as he does inside the squared circle.
Options for Timothy Bradley are wide and vary earlier in the year Miguel Cotto was mentioned at a possible 155lbs catch weight there’s also 2 division champion Jessie Vargas who’s been hunting down a rematch with Bradley after a controversial ending to the first one that actually took place in the same venue BoxingInsider caught up Bradley. Visit us on a daily as we bring you the latest and breaking news in boxing.
Boxing Insider Interview with Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez: The Next Big Thing
Boxing Insider Interview with Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez: The Next Big Thing
By: Francisco Martinez
Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez a 168lbs southpaw standing 6′ 2” with technical boxing ability along with speed and stamina and not to mention good looks is an easy sell to the public. This coming Saturday April 22nd he’s set to step back into the ring after a lay off do to a hand injury and defend his WBO 168lbs title for the first time against Max Bursak of Germany in a triple header card which will also showcase Oscar Valdez and Jessie Magdaleno whom will also defend their versions of the WBO title at 126lbs and 122lbs. All in a stacked Top Rank promotions PPV card at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.
BoxingInsider was at hand for the media day at the famed Magnifico Boxing Gym own by 3 time champion, legend Israel El Magnifico Vazquez who’s gym resides in Southgate, Los Angeles as Zurdo Ramirez, Oscar Valdez and Jessie Magdaleno worked out in front of the media and fans we managed to get a few quotes from Zurdo as he taped up for his workout and this is what he had to say.
BoxingInsider: “How was training camp?”
Zurdo Ramirez: “Really good, really good, my preparation is done now” says with a big smile on his face.
BoxingInsider: “You look very happy why?”
Zurdo Ramirez: “Because the fight is really close and I’m really happy. One year and 13 days out of the ring and now it’s time to go back”
Zurdo Ramirez was suppose to defend his title on the night Manny Pacquiao soundly defeated Jessie Vargas but Zurdo suffered a hand injury which required surgery and has kept him out of the ring since April of last year. Although not being able to compete Zurdo maintained active while back home in Mazatlan, Mexico where he kept his physical shape in tact by running, swimming and strength and conditioning work. Something trainer’s, father and son Jesus and Hector Zapari feel benefited him greatly being out of the ring from over a year.
BoxingInsider: “So that was on your mind the whole time to step back into the ring?”
Zurdo Ramirez: “Yeah because one year out of the ring and now it’s closer to the fight and I’m really happy”
The bigger picture here lays within the victory of April 22nd if Zurdo Ramirez manages to successfully defend his title the possibility of a showdown with Kazak powerhouse Gennady Golovkin will be explored as both Bob Arum and Tom Loeffler have expressed great interest in this possible match up. One that the boxing community is also hoping for. After his tough earned and controversial victory against Daniel Jacobs Gennady Golovkin and his team went on record that a June fight date versus Billy Joe Sunders was the goal and with a win Gennady would move up to 168lbs as undisputed status was his ultimate vision regardless of the potential Canelo fight they were not gonna wait for him.
Those comments sparked legendary promoter Bob Arum to quickly say Zurdo Ramirez would “destroy” Gennady Golovkin and that he would be looking to make that fight. A fight Zurdo and his team are also hoping for but not over looking their April 22nd assignment. Zurdo assures us that “first thing is first, first thing is April 22nd, Max Bursak and after that like I say doesn’t matter whatever comes. I have the skills, power, everything. I’m really confident about me, myself that’s why I asked for that fight but I need to win this fight (April 22nd)”
Trainer Hector Zapari also confident in Zurdo and likes the idea of a Gennady Golovkin fight “yeah for sure Zurdo is a very complete fighter, yeah, Zurdo beats Golovkin for sure” with Gennady Golovkin now passing up on that June fight date which could have possibly ended up taking place if his home country of Kazakhstan not happening it opens the door for a possible move to 168lbs or he awaits the winner of Saul Alvarez vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. but given the general opinion that Alvarez will have an easy night this coming May 6th a possible Alvarez vs Golovkin fight is a little sketchy do to the history of their negotiations which have lead to nowhere and can only leave the door open for other possibilities with one of those being Zurdo Ramirez.
Tune in this April 22nd for the Top Rank promotions PPV triple header at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Follow complete coverage leading up to the fight by using #TopRankBoxing
The Pride of Ireland: Michael Conlan
The Pride of Ireland: Michael Conlan
By: Francisco Martinez
St. Patrick’s Day only comes once a year and this year you can bank on it that Michael Conlan’s debut will be one not to forget as the start of a promising career officially begins. Michael, or Mick, Micky as some call him enjoyed his 1st U.S. media day in Los Angeles, California but definitely not new to this media attention “I’m used to it. I like it. It’s just natural for me. It’s another part of the game and you got to enjoy what you do”
With an estimate of 2 thousand family, friends, fans and supporters making the trip for Michael Conlan’s massive debut in the Theater at the Madison Square Garden this is what Conlan says they can expect from his pro debut “I’m gonna give them some entertainment. Some excitement and a happy ending and a nice party after” making it sound more like a concert than a boxing fight as the charismatic Conlan plans to treat his family and friends to an unforgettable March 17th Top Rank promotions show in New York.
Not even 1 fight into their careers, Michael Conlan & Shakur Stevenson already seem to be in a crash course to a mega showdown as promoter, the legendary Bob Arum is aiming for with his two new young guns who became part of Arum’s young stable additions to the likes of WBO 126lbs champion Oscar Valdez, WBO 122lbs champion Jessie Magdaleno, who both Conlan and Stevenson have sparred and WBO 168lbs champion Gilberto Zurdo Ramirez. BoxingInsider picked the brains of both Conlan & Stevenson just to see where they stand on this little rivalry that has been sparked by their promoter Bob Arum.
“I feel like me and Michael Conlan have some unfinished business that we didn’t get to handle in Brazil so, Michael Conlan is a great fighter and I like his style. I love his boxing style he a technician also and the fans are gonna want to see that, so…” says the young enthusiastic 2016 Olympic silver medalist, Shakur Stevenson. Kind but competitive words of his rival Michael Conlan who replied by saying “He’s a nice respectful kid. It’s a potential fight and I’m happy with that. That’s good for me down the line that’s a money fight. Everybody is in this business to make money so that’s a fight I would want. I rate him as a fighter and he’s a real good fighter. Very skillful so, it’s a fight that I really want and I’m really happy he signed with Top Rank so it’s possible for a future fight”
Conlan goes on to systematically break down Stevenson’s style “He’s very defensive. He’s a box fighter. More defensive very up right, shoulder roll kind of stance but I’m sure, I’m confident that I would have beat him in the Olympics. I’m confident I’ll beat him now. I’m confident I’ll beat him in the future so no matter what happens I’ll be ready when the time comes. I got the best team around me. The best management team, the best promotional team and the best coaching team so I have nothing to fear. I’m ready for anyone so bring it on”
In regards to St. Patrick’s Day being an Irish exclusive holiday and time of celebration it’s a no brainer that his debut will benefit from this Irish contingency as Michael Conlan would like to make this date an annual date in his career a lot like when Floyd Mayweather Jr. took over the Mexican dates of May & September. Dates that now belong to Saul Canelo Alvarez. Conlan says “I want to hold St. Patrick’s Day in the Garden every single year. That’s what I want, I want that to be my day and this is the start of it and it will continue. I feel it’s probably the best day in the year to fight in the Garden and maybe 2 years, 3 years time we’ll be fighting in the big Garden and that’s my aim. I want to sell it out in a world title”
Most should be informed by now that Michael Conlan has the co-sign of the great MMA fighter and fellow Irish countryman in Conor McGregor who will walk him out for his pro debut upon the request of Conlan who McGregor was kind enough to accommodate for his wishes. Conlan first came across McGregor by helping him select sparring for one of his fights with Nate Diaz. Now if we dig a little deeper into this friendship between Conlan & McGregor we’ll find a little truth to the so much talked about dream showdown between McGregor and Mayweather.
A fight that has grasp the attention of both sports and Mayweather who’s really pushing for this fight as he sees some serious dollar signs at the end of this tunnel. Perhaps a bigger pay day than a rematch with Manny Pacquiao and a bigger pay day than the actual 1st fight with Pacquiao which netted Mayweather something along the lines of $300 million. Even though some are critical of this possible circus act that will surely entertain we’re not sure how much this fight is really possible. However rumors as of late say the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas has been put on hold which only makes this dream scenario a more concrete one than ever before.
Michael Conlan shares a little insight as to who Conor McGregor is as a person and a little on how McGregor feels about a potential bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. “He’s a guy who believes in his ability and if he gets the Mayweather fight 100% he believes he’ll win” as for possibly helping McGregor prepare for a fight inside of the ring other than the octagon Conlan said he wouldn’t sparr him “He’s too big. He’s like 170lbs at the minute or 180lbs. He’s a big man. His hands are like two sizes bigger than mine”
Michael Conlan previewed his speed, power & skills in front of dozens of media members and from what we saw the talent level in him is an extraordinary one. Great chemistry with trainer Manny Robles. Both being fond of each other as they competed in the World Boxing Series a few years back and managed to catch each other’s attention with their respective abilities as trainer and fighter. Fast forward a few years later now both a team and one that will surely be a great hit and formula for great success in boxing.
Tune in March 17th live in the Theater at the Madison Square Garden in New York, St. Patrick’s Day for the massive debut of this young future legend, the pride of Ireland, Michael Conlan.
Breaking News: Pacquiao-Khan Fight A No Go
Breaking News: Pacquiao-Khan Fight A No Go
By: Sean Crose
It ain’t happening, folks. Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan are not going to be meeting in the boxing ring, at least not anytime soon. Talk was that the phantom superfight would go down in the Middle East this spring. What’s more, both Pacquiao and Khan announced over Twitter that they would, in fact, be facing one another. As Boxing Insider reported earlier this week, however, there was a potential air of unreality about the entire affair.
And now word arrives that the fight simply won’t be happening. ESPNs Dan Rafael writes that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum informed ESPN “that the UAE deal for Pacquiao-Khan was dead.” UAE, which stands for United Arab Emirates, was said to be the proposed location of the hoped for megabout. What Pacquiao will do now is anyone’s guess, never mind Khan.
Pacquiao was originally supposed to face the widely unknown Jeff Horn, possibly in Horn’s homeland of Australia. That idea was clearly not in keeping with what Pacquiao wanted, however. Now that the potential of a big money dream match with Khan has morphed into a dream deferred, it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
Could Pacquiao and Khan Have Been Catfished?
Could Pacquiao and Khan Have Been Catfished?
By: William Holmes
Noun: A freshwater or marine fish with whiskerlike barbels around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.
Verb: Lure (someone) into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona
MTV’s popular catfish television show has been on air for six years and is extremely popular and shows no signs of slowing down.
This show highlights unsuspecting and naïve romantics falling in love with an online persona that’s often being controlled by someone that is not who the victim thinks they are. The popularity of the show lies in the drama and heartbreak that is shown when the lie is ultimately revealed to the heartbroken Romeo.
The naivety of these victims is hard to believe, and the desperation of these victims makes it hard for them to see past the smoke and mirrors of an obvious con.
Which leads us to the latest talk of Manny Pacquiao facing Amir Khan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Khan was expressed his desire to fight a big fight in the UAE since the mega fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather in 2015, and has established financial connections to that area as evident by a recent MMA gym he opened in Dubai.
When Pacquiao and Khan originally announced their fight on social media it was scheduled to take place on April 23rd, with no pay per view partner or network partnership announced.
If Pacquiao and Khan, as well as Pacquiao’s long time advisor Michael Koncz, are announcing that the parties have come to an agreement, surely an official announcement will soon follow.
But there’s one man who hasn’t confirmed the fight is official, and he’s the only man that can make it a reality.
That man is Bob Arum.
He’s gone as far as to call the reports of the fight “total and complete bu****t”. The short time to the date of an April fight would make it nearly impossible to make it with the proper promotional muscle. Reports have been put out there that the fight has since been moved back to May 20th.
But even that seems questionable. A fight in May would require Pacquiao to go back on his promise to not miss any sessions in the Filipino senate due to boxing, and Ramadan the Muslim holy month, begins on May 26th.
So why hasn’t Bob Arum given his blessing for a fight in the UAE? The likely answer is money, or the lack of guaranteed money.
When Pacquiao fought Mayweather he made an estimated career high of $120 million. But his purses since then have been decreasing in size. His third fight with Timothy Bradley netted him an estimated $20 million, and his fight with Jesse Vargas only earned him a guarantee of $4 million, with a percentage of Pay Per View Sales added on top of it. He made more than $4 million for his fight with Vargas, but nowhere near the money he made with Mayweather and still likely less than what he made for Bradley.
Pacquiao was rumored to face Jeff Horn before the talks of a fight with Khan emerged, but his purse was only reported to be a guaranteed $7 million, with an unrealistic shot at high Pay Per View sales.
Amir Khan’s value is also no longer what it used to be. It was rumored that Khan made upwards of $13 million when he fought Canelo Alvarez; but he was brutally knocked out for the third time in his career.
Many consider Khan to be damaged goods.
Khan’s financial prospects in the sport of boxing have decreased even further when his longtime rival Kell Brook officially signed to fight Errol Spence Jr.
Pacquiao’s declining value must be of great concern to him and his team, and to Arum. But Bob Arum has been one of boxing’s most successful promoters for decades for good reason: he knows how to make money, and knows the difference between a good deal and a bad one.
Much like the hopeless romantic that gets so easily suckered by a fake online profile, Khan and Pacquiao appear to be desperate in their search for another big payday.
The question remains as to who is putting up the money for this big time fight to be made in the UAE? The logistics alone of putting a major title fight in the Middle East would be extremely difficult, and the time zone difference would have a negative effect on pay per view sales.
Bob Arum is a businessman, and he knows a good deal when he sees it and is willing to jump on it if it presents itself. The guaranteed money must be missing from this deal for Arum to refute reports of the fight not being made. It’s hard to imagine Arum turning down this fight if there was real money to be made for all parties involved.
Where’s the money coming from?
Does Khan have a Middle Eastern Prince in his back pocket that’s willing to finance the fight regardless of the financial risks involved? A third party has to be involved for Khan and Pacquiao to get the guaranteed money $30 million they think they’ll receive.
Pacquiao and Khan appear to believe that this group is willing and able to guarantee the purses they seek, but until Arum announces the fight as being official…
Pacquiao and Khan might have been catfished.