Boxing Insider Notebook: Dana White, Anthony Joshua, Sosa, Takam, Smith, Williams, Hernandez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 17th to October 24th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Dana White Says UFC Could Start to Promote Boxing
Dana White recently spoke to the Wall Street Journal at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=V2wbIUSpALY. In this interview Dana indicated that he likes promoting MMA but has an interest in promoting boxing.
He told Jason Gay of “The Unnamed Podvideocast” that, “I could see bringing boxing under our umbrella and trying to see what we could do with that.”
White was observed wearing a shirt that read “Zuffa Boxing” on the promotional tour for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor bout. Zuffa Boxing could soon become a real thing.
Watch Joshua vs. Takam Heavyweight Title Fight Exclusively on DAZN
Fight fans can watch Anthony Joshua defend his IBF and WBA Heavyweight Titles against Carlos Takam on Saturday, October 28th live on DAZN.
DAZN is a live and on-demand sports streaming service that allows fans to watch their sport, their way, live or on-demand. Fans can watch their favourite teams, leagues and players anytime, anywhere with the ability to play, pause and rewind anytime. Subscriptions are available for $20 a month or $150 annually, with the first month free.
DAZN is also the only way to get unlimited access to every live NFL game this coming season. And with access to the NFL Network 24/7 and NFL RedZone, you’ll never miss another touchdown, field goal or interception ever again. You can also see top European soccer including LaLiga Santander, Ligue 1 and Serie A, plus KHL Hockey, Moto GP, ATP 250 Tennis, PDC Darts and Pro14 Rugby Union – all in HD.
It’s available in Canada on most connected devices including Smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and games consoles – for more information or to sign up, please visit dazn.com.
Olympian Nico Hernandez Fighting for First Pro Title December 2nd
2016 Olympic bronze medalist Nico Hernandez will be fighting for his first professional title on Saturday, December 2, when he takes on Hungarian invader Jozsef “Little Red” Ajtai in the eight-round main event for the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight Championship, headlining “KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Gold & Glory” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC., in association with Hartman Arena, and sponsored in part by Twister City Harley-Davidson Metro PCS, Mort’s Cigar Bar and Jimmy Egg.
The action will be taped live for future airing on CBS Sports Network.
The 21-year-old Hernandez (3-0, 2 KOs), fighting out of Wichita, will be fighting in a scheduled eight-round bout for the first time. His three pro fights to date were all scheduled for six rounds and each was held in Kansas, the last two in his second home, Hartman Arena.
In his last fight this past September 23rd, Hernandez was forced to fight late replacement Kendrick “Uprising” Latchman who outweighed the celebrated American Olympian by more than 10 pounds. Hernandez won a six-round unanimous decision by scores of 60-54 and 59-55 twice.
Despite being younger than Hernandez by almost a year to the day, Ajtai (19-9, 12 KOs) has already had 28 pro fights, including a full 10-round distance loss by decision last year to two-time Olympic gold medalist Shiming Zou, the former World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight world champion.
“By far, Nico is fighting the toughest opponent of his pro career,” Hernandez’ promoter John Andersen (“KO Night Boxing LLC) said. “Ajtai has much more experience as a pro than Nico, plus he went the distance against a two-time Olympic gold medalist, Zou. Ajtai is a busy fighter with a good knockout ratio (63%). This fight is going to tell us a lot about Nico, especially his power at 112 pounds.
“Nico fighting for a title in only his fourth pro fight proves that all our hard efforts of KO Night Boxing and Team Nico has paid off quickly and we’re grateful that the IBA has given him this great opportunity. I didn’t realize the high quality of champions the IBA has had in the past and we’re proud that Nico can someday join this group. In the flyweight division, Nico may enter world title fight shot discussions earlier than I had originally thought, which was in his third year as a pro. An impressive performance against Ajtai could position him for a world title fight next year with less than 10 fights under his belt.”
“We’re excited to have an American Olympian fighting for our first Americas title,” IBA President J.C. Courreges added. “Nico Hernandez is an Olympic bronze medalist and we’re hopeful that he will develop into an IBA world champion in the not too distant future. His amateur pedigree speaks for itself and we’re very happy to have this young man fighting for the IBA Americas title.”
IBA world champions during the past quarter-century include Hall-of-Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, as well as stars such as Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
Ukranian Olympian Makes Professional Debut on Friday
Olympian middleweight Dmytro Mytrofanov will make his professional boxing debut Friday night in Elk Grove Village against an unbeaten foe.
Mytrofanov, who fought for the Ukraine in the 2016 Olympics, will square off against American Brandon Maddox, who is 7-0, with five knockouts.
The six-round bout will take place at the Belvedere Events Center, 1170 W. Devon Ave., Elk Grove Village.
Mytrofanov, 27, won national titles in the Ukraine in 2008 and 2012, The middleweight was also a bronze medalist at the 2011 European Championships.
He is represented by Andrew Sobko of Natex Boxing Promotions.
The 31-year-old Maddox has won 71 percent of his fights by knockout. The Detroit, Mich. fighter won Golden Gloves titles in Detroit and Chicago. He also posted a 4-2 mark in professional Mixed Martial Arts fights.
Friday’s fight, sanctioned by the Illinois State Athletic Commission, is being promoted by Natex and Hitz Entertainment.
On Friday’s fight card, along with Mytrofanov-Maddox, are:
Super welterweights Anthony Prescott and Anthony Abbruzzese
Undefeated super featherweight Giovanni Mioletti and Tyrome Jones
Undefeated super middleweight Tommy Hughes and Emmanuel Sanchez
Heavyweight Tulagonov Osvaldo, making his professional debut
Undefeated middleweight Osvaldo Vera
Friday’s first bout begins at 7:30 p.m.
VIP tables, which seat 10 people, are $250 per person. General admission is $40.
Tickets can be purchased at www.natexboxing.com
Ishe Smith to Face Julian Williams on November 18th
Former world champion Ishe Smith battles top 154-pound contender Julian “J-Rock” Williams in a 10-round super welterweight clash that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Bounce live from The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on Saturday, November 18.
In the co-feature, Lionell Thompson clashes with unbeaten prospect Earl Newman in a 10-round light heavyweight bout. Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT with unbeaten prospects Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez going head-to-head in a 10-round featherweight fight.
“This card is going to bring it,” said Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe. “The fans will be presented with variety; veterans and prospects going head-to-head and tough fighting styles meshing come fight night. The main event between Ishe Smith and Julian Williams is going to be an exciting battle! I think Ishe and Julian are going to put on a great show. Both fighters are very tough competitors and fight with everything they have. We also have a great undercard line-up. This is going to be an all-around exciting night of boxing for the fans.”
“This is the kind of show that presents something for every boxing fan,” said Tom Brown, President of TGB Promotions. “Ishe Smith is a former champion who still has title aspirations. He’s going up against a young hungry contender on the comeback trail in Julian Williams. Earl Newman will be taking a major step up when he takes on Lionell Thompson in the co-feature and both Tugstsogt Nyambayar and Xavier Martinez will be looking to keep their undefeated records intact. It all adds up to a fun night for boxing fans.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Mayweather Promotions and TGB Promotions, are priced at $29, $39, $59, $69, $89 and $149 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com or through Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 andwww.ticketmaster.com.
The 39-year-old Smith (29-8, 12 KOs) won his world championship with a majority decision over Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23, 2013 to become the first Las Vegas-native to win a world title. He has also challenged top fighters such as Erislandy Lara and Daniel Jacobs and most recently defeated Tommy Rainone and Frank Galarza in his last two bouts.
“I took this fight just like I’ve taken every tough fight over the years,” said Smith. “I constantly challenge myself to the best and I believe Julian Williams is one of the best in the division. If you look at my resume, all I’ve done is fight the best guys, in their prime, so this is nothing new to me. I’ve reached the point where I’ve seen it all. This fight will get me exactly where I need to be, closer to a world title shot.”
Williams (23-1-1, 15 KOs), one of the top young contenders in the 154-pound division, is working his way back into title contention by taking on a tough former world champion in Smith. The 27-year-old Williams of Philadelphia suffered a KO loss to Jermall Charlo in his first title shot in 2016 and returned to the ring with a TKO victory over Joshua Conley in his last fight on June 30.
“We’ve been working hard for months and I’m ready to get back in the ring,” said Williams. “I could fight tomorrow. I know this is an important fight for my career. Ishe is a veteran and he is going to bring his ‘A’ game to try to prove he’s still got it. I’m not going to give him that opportunity. I will be victorious and show that I’m ready to fight the best in the world.”
Rahman Junior Opponent Chickens Out in Ring, Seconds Before Scheduled Fight
The young career of heavyweight contender Hasim Rahman Jr. took an unexpected turn last week, as his scheduled opponent, Joseph Coats, decided not to fight, while in the ring during the introductions and literally left the ring and returned to the locker room.
The four-round Rahman vs. Coats bout was supposed to happen at The Durham Armory in Downtown Durham, North Carolina, last Thursday, October 19. However, the debuting Coats, trained by reputable trainer Don Turner, initially refused to come out of the locker room. Forty minutes later, Coats finally agreed to get on with the fight only to leave Rahman waiting in the ring for nearly 10 minutes while chickening out for a second time.
He now faces suspension.
Event promoter Michelle Rosado (Raging Babe Events) and matchmaker J Russell Peltz (Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc.) were as perplexed as Rahman’s promoter, Greg Cohen, by Coats’ sudden departure.
“Russell told me in his 48 years in the sport, he NEVER saw anything like this,” said Cohen. “A fighter in the ring rethinks his choice and leaves. I’m told he was out of the building before the announcer finished explaining to the crowd what happened.”
Cohen says he already has the next fight scheduled for the promising slugger Rahman Jr., November 4 in Springfield, Virginia, in a co-promotion with Shabazz Brotherz Boxing Promotions.
“Junior showed class and poise in the way he handled this and he’s to be commended. Sometimes in boxing, strange things happen and this is one of those times.”
Jason Sosa to Clash with Robinson Castellanos on November 25th
Two of the most experienced fighters in the stacked 130-pound division will continue the heated Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry when Jason “El Canito” Sosa (20-2-4, 14 KOs) takes on Robinson “Robin Hood” Castellanos (24-13, 14 KOs) in a 10-round super featherweight fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on the televised undercard for Kovalev vs. Shabrankskyy. The event takes place Saturday, Nov. 25 and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Although the competition between Puerto Rico and Mexico runs deep in the ring, Latinos and Hispanics come together and support each other in times of need. In light of the natural disasters affecting Mexico and the Caribbean, a portion of the proceeds of the ticket sales form this event will be donated to relief efforts for Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City when ticket buyers use the code LATINOSUNIDOS to purchase their tickets through Ticketmaster.
“With the terrible natural disasters that have impacted Puerto Rico and Mexico recently, it was incredibly important to us that we find opportunities in boxing to give back to those affected,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Though Puerto Rico and Mexico are rivals when it comes to boxing we stand together united to help these communities recover and rebuild their lives.”
The 29-year-old Sosa, of Camden, NJ and of Puerto Rican descent, is the former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion. He earned his title by handing Javier “El Abejon” Fortuna his first loss as a pro with an 11th-round knockout in Beijing, China in June 2016. Sosa successfully defended his title with a 12-round decision win over Stephen Smith in Monte Carlo in November 2016 before returning several months later in a tough fight against Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko in April 2017. Sosa is also known for fighting to an impressive majority draw against former WBA Super World Featherweight Champion Nicholas “Axe Man” Walters and for stopping former world title challenger Jerry “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes in only one round. Sosa’s aggressive style should produce fireworks against Castellanos.
“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico,” said Sosa. “I have been living there for the last few months and I opened a business there. Now to see the destruction and devastation that my people are going through, it breaks my heart. It was very difficult for me to leave and begin my training camp back in New Jersey to get ready for the fight against Castellanos. This fight is important for many reasons. It is the beginning of the road to becoming champion again and it is my way of giving Puerto Rico a reason to smile and be proud. They are my biggest supporters and that little island shows me so much love. I can’t do much but I can show them that this win is for them. I want to thank Castellanos and HBO for this opportunity.”
Castellanos is a battle-tested warrior who is coming off a spectacular performance against current WBA Super World Super Featherweight Champion Jezreel “El Invisible” Corrales in July of this year. The 35-year-old native of Guanajuato, Mexico also handed super bantamweight contender and world title challenger Ronny Rios his first career loss, stopping him by TKO in October of 2014. Before challenging for a world title, Castellanos stopped Cuban former unified WBA and IBF Featherweight Champion Yuriorkis “El Ciclon de Guantánamo” Gamboa on the May 5 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. After having been so close to winning a world title in his last outing, Castellanos will look to make sure that he gets another crack at the top of the division with a victory on Nov. 25.
“What has happened in Mexico and Puerto [Rico] has been devastating,” said Castellanos. But it has also reminded us that we are strong and united. The crisis won’t be resolved from one day to another, but however long it takes we will lift ourselves up. I know little about Jason [Sosa], but I know that he was a world champion. He has already accomplished a dream that I am still looking to accomplish. I know that I’ll need a victory to fight for a world title again. Both of us will have to leave everything in the ring, and I hope that the people in New York really enjoy our fight.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Dana White, Floyd Mayweather, Deontay Wilder, Danny Jacobs, Claressa Shields and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Dana White, Floyd Mayweather, Deontay Wilder, Danny Jacobs, Claressa Shields and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 7th to February 14th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
Dana White Tells TMZ There is No Deal Between Mayweather and McGregor
Speculation has been running rampant on social media that Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are closing to finalizing a deal to have McGregor face Mayweather inside a boxing ring.
However, McGregor is under contract to the UFC and Dana White told TMZ Sports that there is no deal in place for Mayweather to fight McGregor.
Read more at: http://www.tmz.com/2017/02/14/dana-white-mayweather-mcgregor-no-deal/
Deontay Wilder Media Workout Quotes
Unbeaten heavyweight world champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder discussed his upcoming world title defense and more on Wednesday in New York ahead of his showdown with unbeaten Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington Saturday, February 25 from Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama.
Televised coverage on FOX and FOX Deportes begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and also features a pair of exciting matchups as rising super welterweight contenders Tony Harrison and Jarrett Hurd meet in a 12-round world title eliminator, plus hard-hitting Dominic Breazeale battles undefeated Izuagbe Ugonoh in heavyweight action.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment and TBG Promotions in association with Bruno Event Team, start at $25 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and by visiting AlabamaTitleFight.com.
Here is what Wilder had to say Wednesday:
“There are a lot of heavyweights who say they want me, but at the end of the day, do they really want this? Everybody knows that Deontay Wilder comes with power.
“I fight for the people, that’s what I’m all about. I like to give the fans a great fight at a reasonable price. Each fight I’m in I’m always exciting and well-prepared. I come to give people what they want to see when they see a heavyweight, and that’s a knockout.
“Gerald Washington is a big guy I’ve seen fight a few times. I don’t think he’s ready to fight me, but he thinks he is. We’ll find out on February 25. I chose him because he’s always been respectful while always wanting the opportunity. He’s going to come ready to fight.
“My preparation stays the same, even with the opponent change. I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to change a lot after an opponent dropped out, but Gerald being as good as he is and similar to Wawrzyk makes it easier. They have different styles but we’ll work on how to break him down.
“When I knocked out Artur Szpilka, I thought he was dead for a few seconds. That’s just from natural, Alabama country power.
“I’m still training while I’m here in New York. I have Mark Breland here with me helping me get a lot of good work in. I’m staying focused. When February 25 comes, I’ll be ready.
“I definitely feel 100 percent, but we’ll see what it’s going to feel like in the ring when I apply this force to a human skull. When I’m in the gym doing work, I feel great.
“I never really let my hand properly heal until this injury, because the bicep takes longer to heal than the hand. The time gave me an opportunity to really improve my left hand. I feel more polished now than I’ve ever been.
“You have to have patience in this sport. The big fights that people want to see will be coming. I’m not scared of anyone and I won’t run for anyone. My team is on the same page and we’re going to keep working together and moving forward.
“It’s all about adjusting. Each and every time I go through something inside or outside of the ring, it just makes me better and better.
“Chris Arreola’s style was perfect for mine. Even with the injuries that I was suffering, I could still get the job done. I also had to fight through the injuries with Stiverne, because I hurt my hand in the third round of that fight. Being able to have these experiences has made my confidence even higher.”
Daniel Jacobs Media Day Quotes
WBA Middleweight World Champion and Mandatory Challenger DANIEL “THE MIRACLE MAN” JACOBS, (32-1, 29 KO’s) held court with the Northern California media at his training camp in Oakland yesterday in preparation for his highly anticipated showdown with Unified Middleweight World Champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, (36-0-0, 33 KO’s) on Saturday, March 18 at The Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
“Gennady is a great fighter; we’ll have multiple game plans to approach the fight. They can plan ahead or overlook me but I’m coming to be victorious on March 18..”
“Getting away has been great for me, there’s a lot less distractions in Oakland than if I stayed in Brooklyn.”
“I’ve been down twice in my career but I’m but not worried about my chin. He’s a very strong guy but it’s up to me to prove I’m quicker and better.”
“I don’t know how hard he punches, I’ve never faced him but anybody can be hurt and I’m confident in my power that I can hurt him. All the questions about my chin and heart will be answered on March 18.”
“I’m really a boxer, I’ve just become known as a knockout artist with all my stoppages.”
“Having Andre Ward here in my camp is terrific. I have a great deal of respect for him, he’s a role model for me, we’ve known each other since the amateurs. I greatly appreciate his support.”
“It’s the biggest fight of my career so I have to make sacrifices by leaving home and coming here, there’s too many distractions in New York. Being away adds to that motivation, it’s a sacrifice missing my 8-year-old son, but it makes me know that everything is worth it.
“Being around so many world class fighters here at Virgil’s gym helps push me and focus. We have smart sparring sessions, not wars.”
“In addition to having Andre Rozier as my trainer, bringing aboard Chris Algieri was a great addition. He’s able to help with my nutrition plus he’s fought on the biggest stages in the biggest fights which helps me.”
“It feels like home out here, I’ve been here for so long. It won’t feel like home during fight week, I won’t be in Brooklyn before the fight. I’m a true underdog fighting at Madison Square Garden, although I’ve fought there in the past it’s really Gennady’s home.”
“I have no idea how it ends, whether by decision or knockout but I will be victorious.”
Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields to Make Professional Television Debut
Two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields will make her professional television debut on ShoBox: The New Generation, a series that has sparked the careers of 67 future world champions, on Friday, March 10, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT) from MGM Grand Detroit Event Center in Detroit, Michigan.
Shields (1-0) is facing Hungary’s Szilvia “Sunset” Szabados (15-8, 6 KOs), a former world title challenger, in the first women’s boxing match to headline on premium television. The fight will take place down the road from Shield’s hometown of Flint, Mich.
Shields is the most accomplished amateur boxer in U.S. history – male or female – and the only American boxer to capture back-to-back gold medals at the Olympic Games.
“It is a dream come true to be the first woman to headline a boxing card on premium television,” said Shields. “March 10 will be a historic night for boxing and all of the women who give so much to advance our sport.
I am proud to be fighting for the NABF title in my second pro bout. I want to thank SHOWTIME, MGM Grand Detroit and Salita Promotions for this opportunity, and I will do everything to give my home state fans and the viewers a night to remember.”
Szabados said, “Fighters always say their next fight is the most important one of their career, but you get an opportunity like this, and it really is. This is an unbelievable dream. I am very happy to be receiving this opportunity. I know this fight is important for Claressa also, and I don’t really know what will happen in the ring. We both want to win. Claressa has more amateur experience, but I have more experience as a professional. It’s going to be an exciting night.”
Caribe Promotions and Warriors Boxing Announce Co-Promotional Agreement with WBA Interim Cruiserweight World Champion Yunier Dorticos
Warriors Boxing and Caribe Promotions proudly announce they have teamed up to sign Miami via Cuba’s interim WBA World Cruiserweight Champion, Cuba’s Yunier Dorticos, to a co-promotional agreement.
The power-punching Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), originally from Cienfuego, Cuba, won his interim championship with a “Fight of the Year” candidate TKO 20 over France’s tough Youri Kayembre Kalenga in May of last year.
In his seven-year career, the 30-year-old slugger has also held the WBC Latino, WBA Fedelatin and USBA Cruiserweight Championships. Dorticos was also a heavily decorated amateur before defecting to the United States and had 257 bouts. He stands 6′ 3″ with a massive 80″ reach.
“I have worked hard in my career and Caribe Promotions has helped get me to where I am now. I am a world-class fighter, and that comes with making choices to benefit my career and my team,” said Dorticos. “I am excited to join Warriors Boxing as my co-promoter along with my Caribe Promotions, because it gives me to opportunity to be under the guidance of a world-class championship team and take my career to new heights. Together with Caribe Promotions and Warriors Boxing, I will become the best 200-lb undisputed Cruiserweight Champion in the World.
Dorticos is slated to further legitimize his title by facing the WBA’s “Regular” World Cruiserweight Champion Beibut Shumenov in his next fight. “My exiting fighting style and punching power will once again show all my fans and the world why I’m called ‘The KO Doctor’ and my next patient that I will prescribe my medication to is Beibut Shumenov!”
“We are very happy to be working with such a top talent like Yunier Dorticos, whom I consider to be the closest thing to the great Joe Louis in boxing today,” said Luis DeCubas, Chief Operating Officer of Warriors Boxing. “I’d like to thank our partner Boris Arencibia for trusting Warriors Boxing to help guide his career. Dorticos will beat Shumenov. He’s another terrific Cuban fighter with a very bright future.”
“Caribe Promotions is proud to sign Yunier Dorticos to a co-promotional partnership with Warriors Boxing,” said Boris Arencibia, President of Caribe Promotions. “With the knowledge, experience and boxing network of Luis DeCubas and Warriors Boxing, we will be able to put our champion Dorticos on top of the world. ‘The KO Doctor’ is coming to clean up the cruiserweight division and will be recognized has one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world very soon!”
Dominican Boxers Payano, Marrero and Vicente Sign Long-Term Agreements with King Kong Boxing Management
Well-known Florida-based manager/trainer Herman Caicedo proudly announces the signing of three of his world-class Dominican fighters, former WBA Super World Bantamweight Champion and WBA #2, WBC #11 contender Juan Carlos Payano, WBA #3 featherweight Claudio “The Matrix” Marrero, and well-respected featherweight contender Yenifel “The Lightning” Vicente, to multi-year managerial agreements with Jay Jimenez of King Kong Boxing Management.
The deal frees Caicedo, who formerly held both duties with the three fighters since their amateur days, to focus solely on training, while Jimenez takes the reins over furthering their careers in the professional boxing business.
32-year-old southpaw Payano (18-1, 9 KOs) won the WBA strap in September 2014 by stopping long-time world champion Anselmo Moreno. He then defeated and lost a rematch to Ohio’s Rau’shee Warren. He was last seen scoring a TKO 7 over Isao Gonzalo Carranza in January of this year.
“King Kong Boxing exploded on the scene with (former interim WBA Heavyweight Champion) Luis Ortiz and has fast-tracked the careers of several Cuban fighters,” said Payano. “I am very happy to be working with Jay Jimenez. And my trainer Herman has always been very honest with us and protected us from the sharks in boxing. Through his philosophy of hard work and dedication, I became a world champion. I am happy he will now be able to concentrate on training, which he is the best in the world at.”
Marrero (21-1, 15 KOs) will face Peru’s Carlos Zambrano for his interim WBA World Championship, as well as the IBO World Championship, on February 24 in Palm Springs, California.
“Joining the King Kong team is great, but as we see it, we have been part of this team for some time,” said Marrero. “Jay has always helped us with anything we needed. It’s just official now. King Kong Boxing Management is looking to bring more superstar elite fighters to boxing’s forefront, through aggressive marketing and strategic alliances with top promoters in the business.”
Vicente (30-3-2, 22 KOs) is one of the world’s most exciting fighters. Currently riding a five-fight winning streak, the power-punching 30-year-old is a television favorite for his all-action fighting style.
“Herman has done a great job with my training and my career,” said Vicente. “He has worked very hard for me and all his fighters. Now he will get some expert help from King Kong Boxing Management. I am looking forward to a very bright future working with these two great men.”
Payano, Marrero and Yenifel Vicente are superstar, elite-level fighters,” said Jimenez. “Payano is a former champion, Marrero a soon to be champion and Vicente on a fast track to becoming a champion as well. This is exactly what King Kong Boxing is interested in signing: the very best. I have no doubt that Payano will once again become champion this year. Working with Herman is easy and inspiring. He brings the same approach to his training that I do to management. He is professional, smart, and a no-nonsense worker.”
“I am very sad and ecstatic at the same time,” said Caicedo. “I have been a trainer/ manager for over 23 years and believe that the only way to develop a champion is to avoid the distractions in boxing, such as when some managers change coaches like they change underwear. Unfortunately, most of the time fighters don’t have a say due to financial restraints or influence the manager might have. I did away with that as much as possible by doing most of the managing myself. King Kong Boxing is, by far, the best management team in the business. These three fighters are special to me because we debuted as pros and became champions together. But I have zero doubt I made the right decision for the guys’ career and future. I want to thank Jay from King Kong Boxing for the trusting in me to work with his fighters over the past few years and for having the vision in the signing of his newest additions.”