Lomachenko To Face Linares On May 12th In New York
By: Sean Crose
It wasn’t an easy fight to make, but Vasyl Lomachenko will be facing Jorge Linares for Linares’ WBA world lightweight title this coming spring. The 10-1 Lomachenko, considered by some to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, is currently the WBO world super featherweight titlist. He’ll be moving up a division to battle the 44-3 Linares, who has held his own title since he bested Anthony Crolla in 2016. Should he win Linares’ belt, Lomachenko will have earned titles in three divisions in a career that spans only a dozen fights. The match will go down May 12th at Madison Square Garden in New York.
What makes this pairing unique, aside from the fact that it involves two strong talents, is that it brings together two powerhouse promotional entities in an era where political warfare rages throughout the sport of boxing. The fact that Linares is promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions while Lomachenko is promoted by Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions means that both men are in (sometimes) opposing camps. To further complicate matters, De La Hoya and Arum have a relationship that has its own history of ups and downs.
In short, this bout was never a guaranteed thing. And, in fact, it looked for a while as if the match might not be happening at all, as negotiations appeared to have hit rough seas. Things seem to have been finally worked out, though, when ESPN, which showcases Top Rank fights, agreed to push back it’s slated broadcast for the evening of May 12th so that Lomachenko-Linares wouldn’t compete with HBOs replay of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin II broadcast later that same evening (Canelo-Golovkin II will be aired live on pay per view on May 5th and is – at least in part – a Golden Boy Promotion). Another possible factor in the deal being made was that Linares was reportedly offered a huge some of money (the exact amount was not available at the time this article was being penned) to face the feared Ukrainian Lomachenko.
With the pieces now being in place and the names now officially being signed on the contracts, the fight world can focus on what will surely be a fascinating bout. To say Lomachenko has been dominant in recent performances would be an understatement, as his past several opponents have literally quit on their stools. However, Linares is a skillful vet who hasn’t lost a bout since 2012. What’s more, he’s won his last 13 fights. To make things even more intriguing, there’s no guarantee the impressive Lomachenko will remain as forceful in the ring as he has been, since he’s now going to be moving up in weight yet again. The lightweight division is particularly hot right now, with names like Mikey Garcia (who fought and won last Saturday) and Robert Easter dotting the landscape. And news of Lomachenko-Linares stands to make matters all the more intriguing in the near future.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Ortiz, Garcia, Scott, Russell, Atlantic City Boxing, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Pacquiao, Ortiz, Scott, Russell, Atlantic City Boxing, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 11th to October 18th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Pacquiao vs. Vargas Tickets Available Online
Remaining tickets to the world championship fight between boxing’s only eight-division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade, Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO (58-6-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, and defending World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champion JESSIE VARGAS (27-1, 10 KOs), from Las Vegas, can be purchased online at http://www.unlvtickets.com/, at UNLVtickets Outlet Town Square Las Vegas and La Bonita Supermarkets and charged by phone call 702-739-FANS (3267) or 866-388-FANS (3267). The Thomas & Mack Center box office will reopen on Thursday. The Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, is playing host to the third and final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Wednesday.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with MP Promotions and Wynn Las Vegas, the Pacquiao vs. Vargas world championship event will take place on Saturday, November 5, at the Thomas & Mack Center. Remaining tickets are priced at $1,000, $700, $500, $300, $100 and $50, not including applicable service fees.
“Our ticket sales are great with Las Vegas fighters on this card in significant world championship fights. Fans in Las Vegas can still buy their tickets online or by phone,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “And to Mr. Trump’s chagrin, the only drug testing taking place at Thomas & Mack, between now and November 5, will be the ones given by the Nevada State Athletic Commission to the fighters on the Pacquiao – Vargas card.”
Pacquiao vs. Vargas, and its three co-main event world title fights, will be produced and distributed live by Top Rank® Pay-Per-View, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, and will be available on all conventional platforms, including all major cable and satellite systems, as well as Top Rank’s digital
distribution via www.TopRank.tv and mobile devices.
Gary Russell, Jr. Wants to Set the Record Straight
“This is why I don’t like doing interviews because my comments during interviews get manipulated and twisted around. I’ve been sitting back just to see how far this ridiculous article will go” said frustrated WBC World Featherweight Champion Gary Russell, Jr.
Recently, Gary Russell, Jr. did an interview with RingTV.com to promote his September 13th Team Russell All-Star Amateur Boxing show in Maryland. The article was supposed to highlight the work that brothers of Team Russell are doing to mentor young gifted amateur boxers across the country.
Instead, the entire article had a negative undertone that took shots at Russell’s advisor Al Haymon.
Russell felt the need to address the article, starting with the title “Gary Russell Jr. Pushes for Higher Purse” is not true. Russell said, “Yes, in another three years I could end my career so being smart financially is important. But, again, that has nothing to do with Al Haymon”.
It is no secret that before Russell fought Patrick Hyland this past April, he got cut during sparring which is why he had not been in the ring. Russell said, “There was no need, is no need to reference other professional athletes and their careers. As fighters, we all have a mutual respect for not getting involved in one another’s business affairs. I felt like my platform was used as a pawn to promote negativity with Al and among other Haymon fighters”.
The article also said, “Russell was careful to make sure his comments weren’t construed as criticism of Haymon” This was apparently an obvious hidden agenda to create tension within the household. “My father taught us; real men say what is on their mind, use real words, no reason to tip-toe around. The essence our character is loyalty and truth. I’m offended at how my words were twisted to assassinate someone’s character; this goes against all my families beliefs. Unless RingTV.com paid me, I would never do another interview with them” said Russell.
Russell closed by saying, ”Team Russell’s relationship goes beyond just boxing with Al; he is family. We’ve been more than happy with the decisions made collectively regarding the direction of my professional career. We value his opinion and input. Let me be very clear, no one within the Team Russell circle would ever speak negatively about Al in any way – family business stays in-house.”
Malik Scott to Face Luis Ortiz
World ranked heavyweight contender MALIK SCOTT, (38-2-1, 13 KO’s), is headed to the world’s foremost tourist destination, Monte Carlo, on Saturday, November 12 to face feared, undefeated and #1 ranked “King Kong” LUIS ORTIZ, (25-0, 22 KO’s) at the Salle des Etoiles for the vacant World Boxing Association Inter-Continental Heavyweight Title.
“This is the fight I wanted, I picked him, “said Scott. “I told my promoter Tom Brown one of the three, either Anthony Joshua, David Haye or Luis Ortiz.”
“After Ortiz beat Bryant Jennings the media starting talking about his invincibility and that he was the most feared heavyweight and I immediately wanted to fight him. There’s no such thing as unbeatable and I welcome the challenge to prove it.”
“If I’m on my game on November 12, I’ll shut him out. He’s going to gas out early and I’ll put on a boxing clinic,” continued Scott. “Ortiz is my pathway towards a world title opportunity, this is my time to shine and slay ‘King Kong’.”
“Because of his rep this fight will get a lot of international attention and I’ll be looking for full credit when I beat him, no excuses.”
A native of Philadelphia, now residing in Los Angeles, Scott fights under the Sherman Oaks’ based TGB Promotions’ banner.
“Malik has wanted another big fight and this opportunity to face Ortiz comes at the right time,” said TOM BROWN, President of TGB Promotions. “Malik is fearless and isn’t at all intimidated by Ortiz’s rep, he’s fought or sparred every notable heavyweight over the last fifteen years.”
Known as a true road warrior of the sport, last October Scott traveled to Orlando, Florida winning a dominant ten round decision over former world title challenger Tony Thompson. The previous October, Scott defeated Alex Leapai, also a former world title challenger in Australia.
The heavy-handed Ortiz has stopped his last four opponents, most recently the aforementioned Tony Thompson in the sixth round on March 5, 2016. Prior to that Ortiz brutally stopped former world title challenger Bryant Jennings in the seventh round on December 19, 2015.
Scott vs. Ortiz is presented by Matchroom Boxing in association with TGB Promotions and will be telecast LIVE in the UK on Sky Sports.
Greg Cohen Promotions Signs Rico Mueller
Greg Cohen of Greg Cohen Promotions proudly announces the signing of IBF #10-rated welterweight contender Rico Mueller of Germany.
Already the current IBO Inter-Continental Welterweight Champion, Mueller (20-1-1, 14 KOs) is scheduled to face IBF #3 Jeff Horn on October 21 at the Sleeman Sports Complex in Queensland, Australia, in an eliminator for the IBF’s #2 contender position.
With current champion Kell Brook rumored to be moving up in weight, if 28-year-old Mueller is victorious against Horn, he would likely find himself in line to fight top contender Errol Spence Jr., for the vacant world championship, since they would be rated #1 and #2 respectively.
“Big things are happening in my career and I need the right representation to help guide my career,” said Mueller. “Greg Cohen Promotions has a long history of moving their fighters to the championship level and I’m happy to be onboard.”
Cohen says he’s happy to be adding an international talent like Mueller to his promotional roster.
“Boxing has obviously undergone a shift, with a large percentage of its talent now located in Europe. I’m honored and happy that Rico recognized my company for its focus on world talent and I will work hard to put him in the big fights. He’s an excellent fighter with the right work ethic to become world champion.”
Mueller will be in tough against Horn, who stopped one of the most dangerous fighters in boxing, former multi world champion Randall Bailey, in his last ring appearance.
“Rico is tough and he knows the challenge in front of him,” said Cohen, “but he’s a tremendous talent and I see him rolling along to an impressive victory. After that, it’ll be a world title shot against Kell Brook or Errol Spence and a shot at boxing stardom. I’m happy to be a part of this huge time in his career.”
Undefeated World Champion Danny Garcia to Fight in Philadelphia on November 12th
Undefeated welterweight world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) will make his first appearance in his native Philadelphia since 2010 as he takes on Colombia’s Samuel Vargas (25-2-1, 13 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions on Spike Saturday, November 12 from Temple University’s Liacouras Center. The bout will be Garcia’s final hurdle before a planned massive showdown with unbeaten champion Keith “One Time” Thurman scheduled for the first quarter of 2017.
In keeping with his desire to give back to the community, Garcia is teaming up with Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, to arrange a regional food drive, collecting most-needed items, such as tuna and vegetables. Fans are being encouraged to drop off canned goods at the Liacouras Center (1776 N Broad St) and the DSG Boxing Gym (3731 Jasper St). Additionally, $10 from each ticket sold will be donated and provide 20 meals per ticket for people in need. More information on these efforts and how you can get involved will be announced shortly.
Garcia, a two-division world champion, will battle Vargas in a 10-round non-title bout in his first fight since his exciting win over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in January. Garcia insisted on staging the fight in his hometown and using the event as a vehicle to raise awareness and money for the less fortunate in the area.
“My dad and I wanted to get one more fight in before the end of the year and there was no doubt in my mind it had to be in Philadelphia,” said Garcia. “My team got it done and it’s a great feeling to fight at home over the holidays. I’m excited to use this opportunity to give back to the community and put on a show on November 12. This city means everything to me. I hope everyone comes out, but shows up with cans of food too. I’m gearing up for a big fight with Keith Thurman next year that’s going to be a can’t miss event. First, I’m going to fight for my city on November 12.”
“Things happen when you work hard and I’m so excited about this opportunity,” said Vargas. “Garcia is a great fighter and he cleaned out the 140-pound division and now he is champion at 147. A win would change my life and everyone around me. This is my time. I can’t fail. This is going to be a Rocky story in Rocky’s town.”
Televised coverage on Spike begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and features undefeated rising star Jarrett Hurd (18-0, 12 KOs) in a 12-round bout against once-beaten super welterweight contender Jorge Cota (25-1, 22 KOs) and former world champion Javier Fortuna (30-1-1, 22 KOs) battling undefeated Omar Douglas (17-0, 12 KOs) in a 10-round lightweight bout.
“This win will put me one step closer towards winning a world title,” said Hurd. “The win over Oscar Molina was a big opportunity that has opened a lot of doors and was a great experience. Cota is a tough veteran with a high knockout rate. He is a little wild and I have to look out for that. I’m going to go out there to land nice shots and stick to my game plan.”
“I’m looking forward to this opportunity to fight a good undefeated fighter,” said Cota. “I know that I have the power and skills to beat anybody out there. I’m going to leave it all in the ring and get the victory on November 12.”
“I’m only thinking about winning heading into this fight,” said Fortuna. “Douglas is a good fighter who moves very well. I’m looking forward to this challenge on November 12. I will be a world champion once again.”
“This is the type of fight that I need if I am going to be a champion,” said Douglas. “I plan on putting on a crowd pleasing performance. Fortuna is a decent fighter and I’m going to have to break him down. He is good for four or five rounds but then he slows down. I’m going to set him up to take him out in the later rounds.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DSG Promotions and King’s Promotions, are priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $35 and are on sale now. To purchase tickets visit www.LiacourasCenter.com/events or call 800-298-4200.
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Update
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame is proud to announce that the ACBHOF Esteemed Nomination Committee has completed the nomination and voting process. The names of all luminaries, which will be inducted into the First Charter Class of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame, will be made at a later date in November. This Historic group of Inductees is comprised of Boxers, Trainers, Promoters, Managers, Matchmakers, Historians, Special Contributors, and Posthumous individuals. All have help to make Atlantic City a top boxing destination in the U.S.A.
The ACBHOF founder & president Ray McCline will announce this exceptional group of Inductees via an official press release in mid November to the general public. Mr. McCline states; “My team and I are looking forward revealing the names of the inductees which have had a significant impact on Atlantic City’s rich boxing history, during their respective careers”.
“There are so many potential inductees to consider, yet due to the fact that this is our first class, the selection process had to be streamlined. We feel that Atlantic City was, and will continue to be a major player in the future of this great sport. In the future we will be able to accommodate many more great fighters and special contributors, for years to come.”
The future date and venue of the 2017 Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame induction weekend will be forthcoming. Those interested in being a sponsor, advertisement and/or seeking vending opportunities during the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Weekend, are encouraged to contact us at:
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame
P.O. Box #7221
Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401 USA
TGB Promotions’ Tom Brown to be Inducted Into the California Boxing Hall of Fame
TGB Promotions’ President TOM BROWN will be inducted into the California Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 22 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge Events Center in Studio City, California.
“Having been a matchmaker and promoter for over 25 years based in the Los Angeles area this accolade means a tremendous amount to me,” said Brown. “I’ve always considered it a priority through my work to act in the best interest of the sport and this induction by my peers is a great honor.”
Other inductees at the ceremonies include Unified Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and his longtime trainer Abel Sanchez. Also being inducted are former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero, broadcaster and renowned trainer Teddy Atlas and former world champions Carlos “Famoso” Hernandez and Louis Espinoza and world ranked contender Shibata Flores. Highly respected father and son referees Raul Caiz Sr. and Raul Caiz Jr. will also be inducted.
Tickets for the California Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony can be purchased for $70 through Don Fraser at (818) 761-4887. The ceremony including lunch starts at 11:00 a.m. in the Empire Room.
The Sportsmen’s Lodge Events Center is located at 12833 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.