Boxing Insider Notebook: Roy Jones Jr., Khan, Bowe, Kovalev, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 30th to February 6th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Roy Jones Junior Quotes for his Last Fight
One of the greatest careers in ring history will come to close this Thursday night, when the legendary Roy Jones Junior competes in his final bout as a professional boxer bout as a professional boxer.
Widely considered one of the very best pound-for-pound fighters of all time Jones, 65-9 (47KOs), competes in cruiserweight (200lbs) bout vs Scott Sigmon, 30-11-1 (16KOs). The 10-rounder serves as the main event to a five fight Island Fights main card which features both boxing and mixed martial arts bouts.
The event will be live-streamed and available on video-on-demand basis exclusively on UFCFIGHTPASS, the UFC’s digital streaming service.
Joining combat sport play-by-play veteran TJ De Santis in the commentator booth will be Jeff Lacy. Known as “Left Hook” during his boxing career, Lacy represented the United States at the 2000 Olympics and went on to win the same IBF super-middleweight title Jones had annexed a decade earlier. Lacy also fought Jones in 2009 (the entire fight is available on UFC FIGHT PASS) and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the event.
ROY JONES JUNIOR FLASH QUOTES:
ON FIGHTING ON UFC FIGHT PASS
“This is the first live boxing on UFC FIGHT PASS. I love being the first to do something, so to be the first boxing event on UFC FIGHT PASS is cool. When I turned pro back in 1989, I said I wanted to bring new audiences boxing and that’s what I tried to do. By having my last night as a fighter on the
UFC’s (streaming service) I’m bringing new eyeballs to boxing and I’m throwing a spotlight on the boxing and MMA fighters who are on the event.
“I’m been a fan of the UFC for years. Me and (UFC President) Dana White have been friends for a long time, since before he even got started with the UFC. We’ve talked about FIGHT PASS showing a fight (of mine) and it has come about perfectly.”
ON HIS FINAL FIGHT
“It feels different. I’m emotional even thinking about how I’m going to feel on the day. I’m almost tearing up talking. I’m worried about how I am going to feel all day of the fight. I may be crying all day – but once I am in the ring I’ll have to put those tears away because there’s gonna be a guy in the other corner looking to beat me. Scott Sigmon won’t care about those tears. He cares about getting the win, that’s the reality.
“I turned professional in May 1989 in this same arena, but I’ve been doing this since 1979. In 39 years there’s not been a single day where I didn’t put on glove, skip, watch tape or spend time thinking about boxing.
“Boxing has been my life and it is my life. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. So much of it is still fresh (in my mind), not one thing but so much jumps out when I look back… representing my country at the Olympics in 1988, becoming a world champion for the first time, becoming the No.1 pound-for-pound vs James Toney, winning the world heavyweight title… like it was all yesterday.”
ON GETTING OLDER
“I’m not sad to get older, we all get old. I had a great prime. I was good in my prime, y’know? I wasn’t surprised that I was getting old, and that my abilities were getting more limited. Everybody knows everybody gets old, but I think some guys really don’t think their body will get old.
“I accepted it. People told me to retire but I knew what I could do and I’ve never let anyone tell me what to do.
“There are things I wanted to accomplish that I knew were no longer within my reach. I love boxing, even out of my prime I love boxing like I did when I was champ. But you can’t go on forever no matter how much you love it. It’s time, I’m ready to say goodbye.”
After MTV Super Fight League Ropes in Fox Networks Group for an Asian Broadcasting Deal
FOX Sports Asia has entered into a brand new one-year exclusive multimedia and broadcastrights agreement for the second season of Super Fight League, the world’s first mixed martial arts tournament, promoted by British businessman and sports enthusiast Bill Dosanjh and British professional boxer Amir Khan on their television and digital platforms in Asia.
Promising reach in more than 500 million homes by broadcasting action pack content, the licensed territories include Brunei, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam . Earlier this year, SFL came to one-year agreement on a broadcasting deal with MTV, Viacom 18 in India to broadcast all matches for season 2 (till 2019)
Having garnered over a whopping 100 million views in 5 years for 67 live televised events, Super Fight League is ranked as the third biggest Mixed Martial Arts brand in the world and second most watched sport in India after cricket apart from being the fastest growing combat sport.The franchise-based league that is being organized in association with the All-India Martial Arts Association (AIMMAA) will entail prize money of INR 4 crores as well as 96 players and 8 teams as listed below –
Bill Dosanjh, CEO & Founder of Super Fight League stated, “We are excited to be partnering with FOX Networks Group, the leading multi-platform entertainment group across the world. This association will further capitalize on our long term vision of taking SFL to different markets. In the next 3 years we would like to take SFL to the Asian markets where MMA is more popular than a sport like cricket and comes second after soccer. The opportunity to have our premier content available in over 500 million homes will immediately accelerate the growth of the SFL brand and the sport of MMA across the region. The emergence of young Indian mixed martial artists coupled with FOX’s marketing muscle and distribution, will allow us to expand our event output beyond India and into the rest of the world in the coming years.”
Brian Sullivan, President of FOX Networks Groupadded, “This new agreement allows us to continue adding value to our uniquely holistic entertainment experience, aiming to suit all our fans’ preferences. We are quite delighted to deliver first class MMA content through our channels and digital platforms. The passion of Asian fans for mixed martial arts makes this category key to our content offering, and we will contribute with our know-how to make the experience of living it in our portfolio unbeatable.”
Elaborating Asian athlete and two-time world champion Amir Khan states, “I think we’ll be considered mainstream just like the NFL and NBA now. To be on the Fox platform, we’re not second class anymore. This new agreement represents a great opportunity and will allow us to attract a new fanbase for the sport where MMA has a strongly established tradition as well as huge potential to gather and galvanize new fans.”
Formed in 2012 by British-Indian entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bill Dosanjh with an intent to give Indian mixed martial artists a platform to compete and hone their talent in their country of origin whilst bringing in talented fighters from different parts of the world, SFL is a revolutionary approach to combat and is the first MMA organization to feature female fighters. MTV SFL 2018 will promote gender equality through a fair and unique platform with women having the same influence on the team as men. The league entails a group ‘A’ and ‘B’, consisting of four teams each. Every team has six players—five male fighters and one female—and six back-ups, belonging to six different weight categories. The teams within the group compete with each other in 12 league-level matches.
The second season of the leading MMA league will be conducted at MTV SFL Arena, Famous Studios, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai from February 9, 2018 to March 17, 2018.
Riddick Bowe to be Special Guest for February 22nd Golden Boy Boxing Card
Former Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe will be the special VIP guest for the Feb. 22 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. The highly anticipated headlining matchup will feature 126-pound contender Joseph “JoJo” Diaz, Jr. (25-0, 13 KOs) defending his NABF and NABO Featherweight Titles against former world champion Victor “Vikingo” Terrazas (38-4-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round fight.
Doors to the Special Events Center open and first fight begins at 5:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will transmit the fights beginning at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT, and streaming on ESPN3 starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
A certified Hall of Famer, “Big Daddy” Bowe is known as the only Undisputed Heavyweight World Champion to have earned belts from all four main sanctioning bodies – WBC, WBA, IBF, and WBO. The controversial heavyweight faced some of the best fighters of his era, including Andrzej Golota, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, Jorge Luis Gonzalez, Herbie “Dancing Destroyer” Hide, and Michael “Dynamite” Dokes. Bowe is also one of five former heavyweight champions to have never suffered a stoppage defeat in the span of more than 40 fights in his career. Bowe will be in attendance for this event to meet fans, sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the ESPN transmission begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
Tickets for the event start at $25 and are available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.fantasyspringsresort.com.
Chief support to the main event battle will be knockout artist Vergil Ortiz, Jr. (8-0, 8 KOs), who will participate in the eight-round co-main event for the vacant Junior NABF Super Lightweight Title against the dangerous Jesus “Carambolas” Alvarez (15-3,11 KOs) of Sinaloa, Mexico. Ortiz, Jr. has never heard the final bell of a bout and will be putting his spotless record on the line as he takes a step up in competition and fights for his first regional title.
Lightweight knockout artist Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez (18-1, 15 KOs) will make his highly anticipated ring return over a scheduled eight rounds of action and will kick off the ESPN3 coverage.Gonzalez will face Rey “Flash” Perez (21-9, 6 KOs), a Filipino fighter who now calls Los Angeles home and who was last seen giving Lamont Roach, Jr. trouble in the main event of the Nov. 30 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.
Manny “Chato” Robles III (14-0, 6 KOs), who is trained by his world-renowned father, Manny Robles, Jr., will participate in an eight-round featherweight affair. Power punching prospect Edgar “Kid Neza” Valerio (10-0, 7 KOs) of Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl by way of South Central, Los Angeles, Calif. will participate in an eight-round battle in the 126-pound division.
San Diego’s Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (6-0, 4 KOs) will participate in an eight-round lightweight fight, and Hector “El Finito” Tanajara, Jr. (11-0, 4 KOs) of San Antonio, Texas will open up the stacked card at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in a scheduled eight-round super featherweight fight.
Opponents for all these exciting prospects will be announced shortly.
AIBA Releases Progress Report on Governance
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board decided to maintain the financial suspension of AIBA and demanded a new report on AIBA governance by April 30th . This decision was made despite AIBA’s fulfilment of the IOC’s request to submit a Progress Report outlining all steps AIBA was asked to take and continues to take to improve its governance. To access the full AIBA Progress Report, please see the AIBA website.
This decision is extremely disappointing for AIBA as it hoped the IOC Executive Board would have understood that the processes necessary to implement even more measures require more time and that the positive steps already taken in recent times are evidence of AIBA’s strong efforts and willingness to reform.
Over the next six months AIBA will be in the process of a complete organisational review, which will lead to the ‘New Foundation Plan’ for AIBA. This plan and the recommendations produced will be discussed during the AIBA Executive Committee meeting in July and an update will be provided to the IOC in the requested April 30th report.
In the meantime, AIBA will continue its efforts to convince the IOC of its determination to not repeat any of the past mistakes and its commitment to a fresh, positive future centered on good governance and sound management.
Tickets on Sale for Kovalev vs. Mikhalkin
Tickets are on sale for the upcoming showdown between two-time Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) versus Igor Mikhalkin (21-1, 9 KOs) and WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) versus Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs), which takes place on Saturday, March 3 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Tickets for this exciting event are priced from $50 to $300 and are available through ticketmaster.com and the Madison Square Garden box office.
Promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions, the event will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT.
About March 3: The Saturday, March 3 main event between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Igor Mikhalkin is a 12-round match-up for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The co-main event features WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol versus Sullivan Barrera in a 12-round title fight. The event is promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Tickets range from $50 to $300 and will be available through TicketMaster.com, the Madison Square Garden Box office and the Main Events office by calling 973-200-7050 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riddick Bowe Heavyweight Champion 43-1 Never Included As One of the Best!
Riddick Bowe Heavyweight Champion 43-1 Never Included As One of the Best!
By: Ken Hissner
Former world heavyweight champion Riddick “Big Daddy” Bowe, 43-1 (33), with one NC never seems to be considered one of the best in that division. He defeated six future or former champions in Pinklon Thomas, Tony Tubbs, Evander Holyfield (twice), Michael Dokes, Bruce Seldon and Herbie Hide.
Bowe was 104-18 as an amateur and trained by George Washington in Bed-Stuy Boxing Association Gym in New York. He was working as a sparring partner for Tyrell Biggs and Evander Holyfield. In 1983 at the age of 15 he lost as a middleweight in the US Junior championships. He moved up to light heavyweight in 1985 and won the NY GG novice title. Later that year he went to Bucharest, Romania and won the Junior World Championship with three first round stoppages over a Russian, Romanian and a Hungarian. In 1986 he won the NY GG Open division as a light heavyweight. In 1987 he won the NY GG super heavyweight division.
Later in 1987 he was a Bronze Medalist in the 1987 Pan Am Games in Indiana losing to Jorge Luis Gonzalez of Cuba 3-2, whom he would much later defeat in the professional ranks. In the 1988 he won the NY GG title. He went to the Olympics in Seoul, Korea defeating an Austrian, a Czech and a Soviet fighter advancing to the championship roundand losing to Lennox Lewis then representing Canada.
Bowe was signed by Rock Newman as his manager. This brought Bowe from New York to Ft. Washington, MD. His first professional trainer was Hall of Famer Eddie Futch. This man had trained former heavyweight champions “Smokin” Joe Frazier and Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes. Newman and Futch would be with Bowe from 1989 until the end of 1995.
Bowe won his first 34 fights. In September of 1990 in his nineteenth fight he met Pinklon Thomas, 30-4-1, the former WBC champion stopping him in eight. In March of 1991 in his twenty-second fight he stopped former 1984 Olympic Gold Medalists Tyrell Biggs, 19-3, in eight. In April of 1991 in his next fight he won a decision over former WBA champion Tony “TNT” Tubbs, 29-2. In August of 1991 in his twenty-sixth fight he knocked out future WBA champion Bruce “The Atlantic City Express” Seldon, 18-1, in one.
In July of 1992 Bowe stopped South African champion Pierre Coetzer, 39-2, in 7, in a WBA eliminator bout. This earned him a title fight with Evander Holyfield, 28-0, for his WBC, WBA and IBF titles in November of 1992, winning a decision and all the titles in his thirty-second fight making it the Ring’s “Fight of the Year.” He was voted the Ring and Boxing Writers Association “Fighter of the Year.”He would never defend his WBC title due to refusing to fight Lennox Lewis who won an elimination bout over Razor Ruddock the month before.
Bowe’s manager Rock Newman offered two deals with Frank Maloney who managed Lewis turning down both offers. When he came back to accept the first offer Newman told him it was too late they had lined up another opponent. In December at a press conference Bowe dumped his WBC belt into a garbage can and said “if Lewis wants the belt he will have to get it out of the garbage can.”Lewis was named WBC champion. In Bowe’s WBA and IBF first defense in February of 1993 he stopped former WBA champion Michael “Dynamite” Dokes, 50-3-2, in one.
Bowe’s manager took him on a unwise tour of Africa and when they came back in May of 1993 he defended the WBA title in D.C. against Jesse “Thunder” Ferguson, 19-9, who had lost four out of five in 1991 and 1992, to Oliver McCall, Seldon, Dokes and Tubbs. Then he defeated Ray Mercer to “earn” a title fight with Bowe who knocked him out in two. This is when you had to wonder what his manager Newman was doing?
In November of 1993 a year after defeating Holyfield for the titles Bowe lost for the first and only time in his career to Holyfield, 29-1, by majority decision in defense of his WBA and IBF titles in Las Vegas. During the seventh round a man flying a powered hand glider flew over Bowe’s “entourage” including Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and DC Mayor Marion Barry hitting the ring apron and bounced several feet away. The bout was held up for twenty minutes. “If that man had made it over the ropes I would have jumped out of the ring,” said Holyfield. The scoring ended up 114-114 and 115-114 and 115-113 in favor of Holyfield. What effect the delay had on either boxer wasn’t known.
Instead of a third fight with Holyfield the new champion chose to fight Michael Moorer. He would lose the title and next defeated Ray Mercer then had the rubber match with Bowe neither having a title.Moorer lost in his first defense to former champ George Foreman. After winning the title Foreman defended against the German Axel Schulz winning a disputed decision in defending the IBF title. He gave up the WBA title prior to the fight and the IBF title after the fight.
It would be two years before Bowe had the third bout with Holyfield. After losing to Holyfield in their second fight Bowe was in a no contest with Buster Mathis, 14-0, in the fourth round. Then he would defeat three straight unbeaten boxers. First was Larry Donald, 16-0. Next he knocked out WBO champion Herbie Hide, 26-0, in 6, in March of 1995. Three months later he defended the title knocking out CubanJorge Luis Gonzalez, 23-0, in six rounds. This was sweet revenge having lost to Gonzalez in the 1987 Pan Am Games.
Bowe gave up the WBO title in order to meet Holyfield for the third time stopping him in 7. Newman prior to the fight asked the WBO to consider the Holyfield fight a non-title fight because Holyfield would not fight Bowe if the WBO title was at stake. He felt if he won it he wouldn’t get a chance to fight for the other three titles. Bowe was re-instated by the WBO. Two fights later after losing to Bowe Holyfield won back to back fights and the WBA title from unbeaten Mike Tyson.
In July of 1996 Bowe would be stripped of the WBO title for refusing to fight the No. 1 contender Alexander Zolkinin order to meet Poland’s Andrew Golota, 28-0. While Bowe was behind on all three score cards Golota started landing low punches which looked like on purpose causing Bowe to win by DQ in 7. Bowe’s trainer Eddie Futch told this writer he told Bowe “if you fight a rematch with Golota I won’t be your trainer. This man is going to hurt you again.”
That is when both Bowe and Newman were out of the picture with Bowe fighting a rematch with Golota. Futch assistant Thell Torrence took over as Bowe’s trainer. Bowe was behind on all three score cards when suddenly in the ninth round Golota started up with low blows causing his DQ in 9. After this fight Bowe went into retirement joining the Marine Corp. After three days of basic training he told his drill instructor and base commander he wasn’t cut out to be a Marine.
In February of 1998 Bowe kidnapped his estranged wife and five children with a knife saying he was going to take them home and live as a happy family. From a restaurant bathroom his wife called her cousin who called the police. Bowe was sent to a psychiatric ward and later arrested. A Federal grand jury indicted Bowe for interstate domestic violence in which he pleaded guilty. His defense argued he had brain damage from years of fighting and was given a thirty day sentence that was later overturned to an eighteen month prison sentence. In June of 1998 Bowe would later sue his manager Rock Newman for $55 million claiming he stole this from him. He would later apologize and withdraw the accusation.
It would be almost eight years before Bowe would return to the ring at age 36 with new manager Jimmy Adams and new trainer Jakes Morton in September of 2004 weighing his career heaviest at 263 He would fight in Shawnee, OK, against club fighter Marcus Rhode, 29-25-1, stopping him in round 2. It was obvious Bowe was just a shell of his former self.
In April of 2005 with new trainer Joe Goossencoming in at 280 Bowe was fortunate to get the split decision over Billy Zumbrun, 18-5-1, in Temecula, CA.Zumbrun had won six straight fights prior to this.Bowe would retire once again until coming back in December of 2008 at the age of 40 in of all places Mannheim, Germany. He had a trainer named SiggiWeickenmeir. Coming in at 271 Bowe would win an eight round decision over club fighter the former German and IBU world champion Gene Pukall, 14-12-2 who was stopped in his previous fight in one. It would finally be the last time Bowe fought.
In June of 2013 Bowe at 45 years of age made his Muay Thai debut weighing 300 pounds. He was stopped in two rounds by LevgenGolovin who dropped him multiple times with kicks to the shins. In August of 2013 he then announced he wanted to become a professional wrestler. In January of 2014 he was going to return to boxing and once again regain the heavyweight championship.
This writer would meet Bowe in the Philly Rumblers Gym in North Philadelphia and later at a boxing event at Harrah’s in Chester, PA, where he was signing his pictures. His speech was slurred and hard to understand.
It wouldn’t be until 2015 when Bowe would be inducted into the IBHOF. That was almost seven years after retiring. That is what you call little respect for Bowe’s accomplishments but which may have been due to his past behavior. It was a sad ending to a once great career of winning forty three out of forty four fights.