Boxing Insider Notebook: Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Lerena, Assomo, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 27th to January 3rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Las Vegas Strip Club to Open
Floyd Mayweather Jr. is scheduled to open a strip club West of the Las Vegas Strip. The club will be called Girl Collection and is on the site of the Former Sheri’s Cabaret.
Mayweather announced his intentions to open a club on INstagram in July and it is believed he is only months away from opening to the public. More information on his club’s planned opening can be found at http://m.lasvegassun.com/news/2016/dec/29/floyd-mayweather-jr-las-vegas-strip-club-to-open/
Pacquiao’s Next Fight to be Outside United States
The Manilla Times recently reported that Manny Pacquiao’s next fight will take place outside of the United States in either April or May. They also reported that a proposed fight between rising superstar Terence Crawford and Pacquiao will probably take place later this year in the United States.
Arum is quoted as stating, “There’ll be no Pacquiao-Crawford fight in the first to six months of the year, definetly….Only if the fight will be in the United States but we’re not planning the next fight in the United States so we’re not planning on Crawford now.”
Jeff Horn (16-0-1) looks like the favorite to land the next fight with Pacquiao.
World Ranked Cruiserweight Kevin Lerena Kicks Off Huge 2017
World ranked cruiserweight KEVIN “THE KO KID” LERENA, (16-1-0, 8 KO’s) kicks off his 2017 campaign towards a world title in style on Saturday, February 4 with his triumphant return to South Africa’s premier boxing venue, Emperors Palace against VIKAPITA “BEAST MASTER” MERORO, (28-5-0, 14 KO’s) of Windhoek, Namibia.
Presented by Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves of South Africa, advance tickets for THUNDER AND LIGHTNING, may be purchased by calling 078-457-3030.
Sporting movie-star looks, the 24-year-old Lerena will be making his fourth straight appearance at Emperors Palace having thrilled the boxing crowd in his three victories in 2016.
“I can’t wait for the New Year, the path to a world title is in front of me, my promoter Rodney Berman is getting me the right fights and my world rankings will support a title shot in the future,” said Lerena following a sparring session under the watchful eye of trainer Peter Smith.
Said Berman, “Kevin has stardom written all over him, we’ve got big plans in 2017 for him. Putting him in the right fights, securing his position in the world rankings of the sanctioning bodies and working with Banner Promotions in the US to secure him a major stateside fight in the coming year.”
“We are excited to be co-promoting Kevin with Rodney Berman and Golden Gloves. Rodney has only brought us the cream of the crop, “said Artie Pelullo, President and CEO of Banner Promotions. “Kevin is a quality fighter, who has shown he has championship ability. We look forward to him getting closer to a world title opportunity with a big win on February 4.”
“I’m as excited about Kevin’s future as I’ve ever been of all the fighters I’ve worked with, cruiserweight is a very exciting division in boxing currently.”
Lerena is currently world ranked #5 by the World Boxing Organization and #11 by the World Boxing Council.
Most recently, Lerena, performing brilliantly from start to finish, winning a hard-fought ten round decision over the undefeated Micki Nielsen on October 22, 2016, earning the critically lauded Super 4 Tournament Championship.
In the first round of the Super 4 Tournament Championship, Lerena won a ten round unanimous decision over Roberto Bolonti on June 11, 2016.
Kicking off his 2016 campaign on April 24, 2016, the southpaw won the South African Cruiserweight Title with a tenth round knockout of Johnny Muller. The stoppage avenged a ten round decision loss in 2014 to Muller.
GYM Signs French Olympian Christian M’Billi Assomo
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) is proud to announce the promotional contract signing of 2016 French Olympian Christian M’Billi Assomo to an exclusive promotional contact.He will settle in Quebec and make his professional debut there in early 2017.
Known in the ring as ”Le Solide” (The Solid), Assomo will arrive in Montreal at the beginning of January, when he will start working with world-class trainer Marc Ramsay and his outstanding team.
The spectacular 21-year-old Assomo has all the tools to achieve his goal of becoming world champion, as well as a great star in international boxing. As a Frenchman, his primary language is that spoken in Quebec, which will facilitate his adaptation and connection with the local media.
A native of Yaoundé in Cameroon, he moved at the age of seven to France, where he learned by chance to box at the Montargis Club. Assomo quickly developed into a powerful, serious tough and highly successful boxer. He became a major name on the international amateur scene in the middleweight division (165 lbs./75 kg).
A member of the French Army, Assomo had a truly impressive amateur record, capturing gold medals at the 2013 European Junior Championship, 2014 European Union Championship and European Olympic Qualification Tournament, as well as maintaining an unbeaten record (4-0) in the World Series of Boxing (WSB).
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Assomo defeated Ukrainian Dmytro Mytrofanov and Ecuadorian Marlon Delgado prior tolosing in a furious battle to the eventual Olympic gold medalist, Arlen Lopez, of Cuba.
“At the outset,” GYM President Yvon Michel said, “we were interested in his talent, determination and willingness to do well. There’s also his engaging personality and he has the discipline to become the best. We are very excited to work with him. I am convinced that he has the potential to become world champion.”
“I am very pleased with this agreement with the Groupe Yvon Michel,” Assomo added. “I’m sure this is the beginning of a great adventure. I look forward to my first performance. GYM knew how to attract me: by its past, by the boxers it supports, by its structure,”
“After a good career among amateurs, rich in results,” French National Boxing Team coach John Dovi explained, “it is time for Christian to go into the pro ranks. His offensive style and overall boxing skills will allow him, I am sure, to reach the highest level.”
“I started following Christian M’Billi’s amateur career two years ago and his successes on the international scene were more than impressive,” Ramsey commented. “I am very happy to associate myself with such a disciplined and talented boxer. I see a very promising future for this young man.”
“Christian M’Billi fuels such high intensity,” GYM Vice President of Operations and Recruitment Bernard Barré noted. “Fans will be in ecstasy watching such a powerful and exciting pugilist.”
Assomo, who is currently training in France, fought his last amateur bout on December 3rd. The goal is to have him boxing on February 9 at the Cabaret du Casino de Montréal.
Irvin Gonzalez Headlines January 19th Boxing Event in Worcester, Massachusetts
Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) held a press conference yesterday to formally announce its inaugural show, “New England’s Future,” Thursday night, January 19, at the Worcester Palladium. It will mark the first professional boxing event in Worcester, located in Central Mass., in five years.
Rivera Promotions Entertainment is owned and operated by one of Worcester’s all-time greatest boxers – 3-time, 2-division world champion Jose Antonio “El Gallo” Rivera – along with his son, Anthonee “AJ” Rivera, whose collective goal is to bring boxing back to Worcester on a consistent basis, providing boxers a platform and fans a full entertainment experience.
“It’s all about the fighters,” RPE CEO Jose Antonio Rivera said. “I’m in a unique position as a promoter because of my boxing background. I hard it is for local fighters to get fights, which is why we have so many with less than six pro fights and five pro debuts fighters on this card. They are why we’re here today. I never had a press conference until I was much more established in my career. This is about them showcasing their skills.
“After my son graduated from Johnson Wales University with a degree in Sports Management, he told me he was ready to form Rivera Promotions Entertainment, as we had discussed, and promote shows. I lost a lot of money promoting a show in 2008, so I told him to put a plan together first and within a week he did. He had gotten his feet wet in the business as an intern for a boxing promoter. We went over the plan ad decided that we can do this. We’re not signing fighters, right now, we’re helping them build their careers. We do a lot of hard work behind the scenes that the public doesn’t see; the fighters work in the gym. I’m really excited about January 19th. Irvin Gonzalez is a future world champion.”
Tickets, priced at $65.00 (ringside), $45.00 (preferred seating) and $35.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at www.ThePalladium.net or the Palladium box office (general admission only), or by contacting Jose Rivera ([email protected]/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera ([email protected]/774.272.2269) of any of the fighters. A portion of the proceeds will go to Why Me & Sherry’s House.
“We appreciate the support being given to us and the fighters who give their blood, sweat and tears for you,” RPE president A.J. Rivera added. “I got into the business side of boxing as an intern working for CES. In Worcester, we have 11 active fighters, all on the rise, and to bring boxing back to Worcester is special, Teamwork makes dreams work. I also want to note that none of these fighters turned down a single opponent we offered.”
Promising junior lightweight prospect, 2015 New England Golden Gloves champion Irvin Gonzalez (4-0, 4 KOs), fighting out of Worcester, will be showcased in the 6-round main event against Mexican invader Oscar Eduardo Quezada (2-1, 1 KO).
“I’m very excited to be fighting in my hometown for the first time as a pro,” Gonzalez commented. “I fought here as an amateur but that’s not the same as fighting in the main event and my first 6-rounder. Don’t take your eyes off the ring when I fight. I’m going to be 5-0 with five knockouts on January 19th.”
In the 6-round co-feature, light heavyweight Reinaldo “Bazooka” Graceski (4-0, 2 KOs), of nearby Springfield (MA), faces Worcester’s Ralph Johnson (2-9, 1 KO).
Fighting on the undercard in 4-round bouts are Worcester junior lightweight Ranse Andino in his pro debut vs. Lowell’s (MA) Jonathan Perez (2-0-1, 2 KOs), 49-year-old Auburn (MA) junior middleweight “Irish” Chuck Shearns (2-1, 1 KO) in his retirement fight vs. Philadelphian Shavonte Dixon (0-1), pro-debuting Worcester heavyweight Felix Martinez vs. Dorchester’s (MA) Brian Richardson (0-8), Hartford’s (CT) pro-debuting light heavyweight Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera vs. Brockton’s (MA) Huston Crayton (1-8, 0 KOs), pro-debuting Southbridge (MA) boxer Wilfredo Pagan vs. Puerto Rican Alexander Picot (1-1-1, 0 KOs) at a 145-pound catchweight, pro-debuting Springfield (MA) junior featherweight Luis “Pancho” Santiago vs, Mexican Jonathan Ramos (1-2, 0 KOs), 2016 N.W. Golden Gloves champion Anthony Laureano (1-0), of East Haven (CT), vs. Boston junior welterweight Rafael Francis (0-8), Saugus (MA) light heavyweight Brandon Montella (5-0, 4 KOs) vs. Mexican veteran Roberto El Viejo” Valenzuela (69-73-2, 56 KOs) and unbeaten Lawrence (MA) heavyweight Jean Pierre Augstin (7-0-1, 3 KOs) vs. TBA.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Major event sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Atty. Michael H. Erlich, Atty. Maria M. Rivera-Cotto and USANA Health Services. Other sponsors are TKO Auto Repair and Atty. Stephen W. Debs.