Boxing Insider Notebook: Hopkins, Mayweather, Smith, Hurd, Martinez, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 18th to October 25th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hgan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Bernard Hopkins and Joe Smith Jr. Press Conference Quotes
Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of FamerBernard “The Executioner” Hopkins(55-7-2, 32 KOs) and Light Heavyweight Contender Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) today hosted a Los Angeles press conference to discuss their 12-round battle set for December 17 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. and to be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Also, in attendance for this press conference was Los Angeles-based undefeated Vyacheslav “Lionheart Chingonskyy” Shabranskyy (17-0, 14 KOs) as he takes on Cuban standout Sullivan Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs) for a 10-round bout for Shabranskyy’s WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight title on HBO Latino® Boxing on Friday, December 16 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Also rounding out the HBO Latino® Boxing card, was Former WBC Silver featherweight titlist Ronny Rios (26-1, 11 KOs) against Roy “Pitbull” Tapia (12-1-2, 6 KOs).
Below is what the fighters, their trainers, managers and promoter had to say at today’s press conference:
BERNARD HOPKINS, Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer:
“This is history, we have been here many times where history has been made. This is obviously different than everything I have ever done, because it is the Final 1. To be able to have the Final 1 in LA, where the city of stars are trying to be stars, however you cut it, it couldn’t have been better with the history placed in the DNA that the Forum has produced.
“It is fitting that the end of a twenty-nine year career, since 1988 is in a historic place at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. This is something that came as an opportunity to be here. I couldn’t tell you that it would be in this arena-it just happened, and here I am against an incredible opponent.
“I don’t want anyone to say Joe Smith Jr. gave me anything-give me an opportunity and give me a door and I’ll open it myself. I don’t’ have to convince anyone of anything. This is not emotional. What I am going to do is show you why I have been named three different names in boxing from “The Executioner” to “B-Hop” to “The Alien” they all exist in me.
“On December 17th you will see “The Executioner,” it will all come full circle. This press conference is just a warm up. Win, lose or draw, there is no excuse-Final 1.”
JOE SMITH JR., Light Heavyweight Contender:
“I’m so glad I was chosen to fight Bernard Hopkins in his final fight on December 17th at the Forum. I’m going to train very hard for this fight and take full advantage of it. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for everyone.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Gets Role in Jamie Foxx Flick
TMZ Sports has reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has gotten a role in a new Jamie Foxx Movie. The movie is called “All-Star Weekend” and both Fox and Mayweather are already on set in Los Angeles.
Floyd Mayweather is playing himself, and the movie is supposed to be about two friends who form a rivalry over their favorite American basketball player.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/10/20/floyd-mayweather-and-jamie-foxx-movie-all-star-weekend/
Jonathan Oquendo Added to Lopez vs. Vasquez Card
Former world featherweight title challenger Jonathan Oquendo, undefeated junior welterweight prospect Yomar “The Magic” Alamo and 2012 Puerto Rico Olympian Jontay Ortiz have all been added to this Saturday night’s (Oct. 29) Juan Manuel “JuanMa” López and Wilfredo”Papito” Vázquez, Jr pay-per-view card in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Guerra En El Clemente: Vázquez Jr. v. López, presented by Black Tiger Promotions, will be distributed by Integrated Sports Media live, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, in the United States and Puerto Rico on both cable and satellite pay per view on iN Demand, DISH, DIRECTV and Vubiquity. The event will also be available to watch across Canada on Fight Network, as well as via Fite TV app for iOS and Android devices or watch on the www.Fite.TV website. Suggested retail price is $29.95.
The Vázquez, Jr. (24-6-1, 19 KOs) vs. López (34-5, 31 KOs) 12-round Special Attraction main event (contested at a 129-pound catch-weight) is presented in association with Matias Entertainment and sponsored by Best Alarms and Municipio de San Juan.
“We’re confident this will truly be a memorable night of boxing for fans in attendance,” said Carlos Maldonado, President of Black Tiger Promotions, “as well as for those watching on pay per view.”
Vázquez (24-6-1, 19 KOs) is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) FECABOX super bantamweight champion, while López (34-5, 31 KOs) is a past 3-time, 2-division world champion (WBO super featherweight & featherweight, Interim World Boxing Association featherweight
The 33-year-old Oquendo (26-5, 16 KOs) is coming off a 12-round decision loss to WBA world featherweight champion last December to Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar. Oquendo’s most notable victories during his 12 ½-year professional career include Jhonny Gonzalez (DEC10) Alexandro Montiel (TKO1).
Oquendo has lost, ironically, to both Vázquez TKO7) and López (TKO3). He hopes to parlay an impressive win in the 10-round co-feature against Mexican rival Gustavo “El Gustavo” Molina (23-13, 9 KOs) into a rematch with the Vázquez-López winner.
Rising star Alamo (11-0, 8 KOs), the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) FECARBOX junior welterweight
champion, will be fighting in his first scheduled 10-round bout versus an opponent to be announced. Alamo’s last action was this past August, in which he stopped Edgardo Rivera to capture his regional title belt.
In the PPV opener, Ortiz (5-0, 3 KOs) faces fellow Puerto Rican Luis Hernandez in a 6-round match. Ortiz was bronze medalist in the 2011 Pan-American Games. He lost in the 2012 London Olympics to Russian David Ayrapetyan, 13-15, the eventual Olympic bronze medalist.
Sergio Martinez and Sampson Lewkowicz Sign to Co Promote Olympian Alberto Palmetta
Former world champion Sergio Martinez of Maravillabox Promotions and Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing proudly announcing they have reached a co-promotional deal with Argentinean 2016 Summer Olympian Alberto Palmetta.
26-year-old Palmetta, a junior middleweight, is one of the most heavily decorated amateurs in his country’s history. After starting boxing at age 14, Palmetta had 112 amateur fights and went on to win numerous national and international distinctions including the bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and participating in the most recent Olympics.
Born in Buenos Aires, Palmetta was also the captain of the Argentinean national team and was considered a top-10 prospect in the world at his weight. He has been recognized by his home country several times, including being designated and “Illustrious Sportsman by the municipality of San Isidro where he now lives and the 2015 Firpo Award as the best amateur boxer in Argentina.
Palmetta is schedule to make his professional debut on November 18, in Catamarca against an opponent to be confirmed.
“I feel my promoters will be looking to bring me to the United States to fight against the best in the world,” said Palmetta. “This is what I told them I want more than anything.”
Former champ Martinez says he’s happy the heavily sought-after Palmetta chose to go with him and Sampson Boxing.
“I am honored to be working with this talented boxer. The fact that he chose my company gives me tremendous pride and I will do everything I have to for him to become a champion.”
Lewkowicz, one of boxing’s great judges of talent dating back many years, says Palmetta will be an important part of his company’s plans in the coming years.
“This is a fighter with tremendous talent,” said Lewkowicz, who is credited with discovering a then-unknown Manny Pacquiao. “Alberto Palmetta is a name everyone in boxing will know in a few years, both in Argentina and around the world. The boxing fans in the United States are going to love the way he fights. I’m very exited to be part of this.”
Scorcese-Film Star to Compete on New Bedford Boxing Card
Boston Boxing Promotions announced Tuesday that undefeated heavyweight prospect JeanPierre Augustin (6-0-1, 2 KO’s) has been added to the fight card Saturday November 12th at New Bedford High School in New Bedford, Massachusetts against an opponent to be determined.
“I’m excited, but more eager to fight on this card November 12th”, said Augustin, “It’s been eight months since I’ve been in the ring and I want to end 2016 and start 2017 with more activity inside the ropes.”
Augustin, who now lives in nearby Providence after growing up in Lawrence, MA, will have a busy month of November. Not only will he be competing on November 12th, but the Martin Scorcese-produced film “Bleed For This” about the life of former five-time world champion Vinny Paz will come out on November 18th and Augustin is prominently featured in the movie playing the part of Gilbert Dele, the former WBA Junior Middleweight Champion, who was an adversary of Vinny Paz in one of his most famous fights in 1991.
“It was an opportunity that presented itself and I had to jump at the chance to be in a Hollywood movie,” said Augustin.
Although the movie hasn’t been released in theaters yet, Augustin’s reputation as an actor got around and he scored the role of former WBA heavyweight champion John Tate in the upcoming movie, “Heart, Baby”.
While he’s now experienced playing the role of two former world champions, he hopes to be a future world champion himself.
“I’m looking to fight guys with good records and up my knockout percentage from here on out”, Said Augustin, “November 12th is just the beginning and there is no looking back.”
Tickets for the November 12 All-Pro Boxing event at New Bedford High School are on sale now at www.BostonBoxingPromotions.com.
Get to Know Jarrett Hurd
In the last year, undefeated 154-pound contender “Swift” Jarrett Hurd has rocketed to the top of the stacked super welterweight division, putting himself squarely in the hunt for a world title. Saturday, November 12, Hurd continues his championship march as he takes on once-beaten Jorge Cota in Premier Boxing Champions on Spike action from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and is headlined by Philadelphia’s own undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, who takes on Colombia’s Samuel Vargas in a 10-round bout. Garcia is teaming up with Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, to arrange a regional food drive and raise money throughout the promotion.
Hurd enters this fight coming off of two impressive victories over previously unbeaten fighters. In November 2015 he dominated Frank Galarza and stalked him around the ring before ending his night in the sixth round. Hurd followed that up in June of this year, when he stopped Carlos Molina in the final round on CBS as the co-main event of the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter showdown. Hurd’s blinding right uppercut in the first round sent Molina to the canvas and the highlight earned him a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.
Get to know more about the rising star as he talks about his introduction to the sport and some of his personal favorites:
(On his team): I have the best team in the world. Ernesto Rodriguez is my head trainer and we do our work in Temple Hills, Maryland. Ernesto is great because he trains me for the style that fits my skills best.
There is no ego in my team. We’re all working toward the same goal and everyone plays their role perfectly. With each fight we’re getting closer to reaching the ultimate goal – becoming a world champion.
(On his start in boxing): My father first put me in the ring to learn how to defend myself. I was 15-years-old and didn’t really know how to fight. I took to it quickly though and it was obviously one of the best things that ever happened to me.
(On his nickname): I got my nickname from the gym. I looked calm and collective in the gym and people noticed. They said I looked swift in there. Now it’s “Swift” and “Swift” on the same card and it’s going to be electric.
(On his boxing idols): I tried to emulate a lot of defensive fighters. Roy Jones Jr. and Floyd Mayweather are my favorite fighters of all time. I liked James Toney because of his shoulder roll and the Philly shell style.
(Favorite sport/team): I watch football. I only the watch the Washington Redskins though. I’ve always been a huge fan.
(Favorite television show): Power on Starz
(Favorite movie): Deadpool
(Favorite junk food): Pizza
(Favorite health food): Kale
(Celebrity crush): Keri Hilson and Nia Long
(Perfect Vacation): Definitely a cruise to Puerto Rico. I’ve never been there but I want to experience it.
(On his homemade ” All Access ” videos): I just love to be out there and giving fans a chance to feel connected to me. My childhood friend, Christopher Walton, picked up a camera and just started recording me in the ring and outside of the ring one day. He started getting some better equipment so we decided to do these videos to help promote me. The fans are important to me and I want them to feel like they’re a part of my journey.
Warriors Boxing proudly announce the signing of undefeated Chicago-based super featherweight prospect
Josh Hernandez to a promotional contract.
A role model to the city’s youth, when not in training at Sam Colonna’s Gym on Chicago’s south side, the young Hernandez majors in Physical Education and Exercise Science as a junior at Chicago’s De Paul University while working as a personal trainer at Unanimous Boxing Gym.
“I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Hernandez. “All my pro fights so far have been with Warriors and I’m very comfortable working with Leon, Luis and Dominic and their team. That’s what matters most. Other than that, they can offer me some great opportunities. My first three fights were on big PBC cards, so that was exciting. Even my fourth fight was exciting at the UIC Pavilion.”
As an amateur, Hernandez (4-0, 4 KOs as a pro) had just over 50 fights and in 2014, won the Power Gloves and Chicago Golden Gloves, where he was named Best Male Boxer of the tournament.
He is managed and trained by his father, former middleweight contender and fan favorite “Macho” Miguel Hernandez. The 20-year-old has inherited his father’s exciting style, having KO’d all his opposition, thus far, in dramatic fashion.
“My father took me to the gym at five years old and I had my first fight when I was seven. We are very close. He’s my best friend. He is my manager and trainer since I started boxing. I’ve learned everything from him. When I was younger, he took me everywhere with him in his pro carer. When he sat down to talk business with Dominic, I was in the room. When he auditioned for ‘The Contender,’ I was there. At a young age, I was exposed to the business of boxing and what it takes to be a high-level fighter. I bring a lot of people out to watch me fight, but when I’m in the ring, all I hear is his voice. That’s how close we are. I can block everything out but him.”
Long-time Chicago boxing staple and top promoter Dominic Pesoli, now Vice President of Warriors, says he’s happy to be working with the second generation of Hernandez.
“Josh comes from a good, hard-working family,” said Pesoli. “Despite all his talent, he is an extremely humble young man focused on his goals. He has excellent power and great technical skills in the ring and he’s very smart. I couldn’t be happier to be part of this family affair in boxing. Looking forward to working with them.”
Warriors President, Leon Margules, says Hernandez has shown a great deal of promise so far.
“Luis DeCubas and I couldn’t ask for anything more from Josh so far,” he said. “He trains hard and stays dedicated. And in the ring, he’s been levelling his opponents. It’s always amazing to me to see such a nice young man turn so ferocious in the ring, but he does and the fans love it. Warriors is thrilled he is allowing us to handle his career.”
The elder Hernandez says he’s also optimistic for his son’s ring future.
“I fought for Dominic and we have a good relationship. He treated me fairly and he knows when it comes to my son that I’m going to be a little overprotective. He, Luis and Leon are good guys. Warriors is a good company that can take my son to the next level. I’m very happy about this deal.”