Boxing Insider Notebook: McGregor, Mayweather, Briggs, Davis, Russell, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 2nd to May 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Dana White Giving Up on McGregor vs. Mayweather?
Dana White was recently on Colin Cowherd’s show “The Herd” and he appeared to be growing tired of the negotiations to make McGregor vs. Mayweather and may be ready to give up on making the fight.
When asked if he was growing “tired of Mayweather’s crap” he responded, “It’s not even Mayweather. It’s not even Mayweather, it’s definitely both sides.” He went on to state, “It’s not just Mayweather, it’s both sides of this thing are going to be hard to get done. And absolutely, there’s going to be a point where I’m done. This isn’t what I do, this isn’t my business, and I’m definitely going to walk away.”
Dana White also stated earlier that Golovkin vs. Canelo took the planned date for Mayweather vs. McGregor. Is the planned fight between boxing and MMA’s biggest stars done? It’s doesn’t look good.
Julio Cesar Chavez Criticizes Junior’s Effort
CBS Sports recently reported on Julio Cesar Chavez Senior’s thoughts on his son’s efforts against Canelo Alvarez. In short, he wasn’t impressed.
Chavez Sr. simply stated, “ I am very disappointed.”
When asked about the weight, Chavez indicated he did not believe it had an impact. He stated, “No, no, no, no. Definitively no. It’s true, there is a sacrifice and everything, but I think here Julio lacked that thing that his father had more than enough of.”
Chavez further stated, “Yes, that’s the truth. He was too much of a conformist. I was asking him to throw more punches. That if he lost…that if he got knocked out that he give me a F—— round! That he gift me a f—- round throwing punches! I couldn’t make him understand!”
Read more at: http://www.cbssports.com/boxing/news/julio-cesar-chavez-rips-sons-effort-unwillingness-to-throw-punches-vs-canelo/
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Tells TMZ He Owes All His Success to his Dad
Floyd Mayweather Junior recently told TMZ that he owes his entire boxing empire to his pops!
Mayweather Jr. and Mayweather Sr. have a long history of arguments and periods of estrangement, so much so that Mayweather Sr. even offered to train fighters to defeat his son. However they appear to have a strong and health relationship.
Junior stated he owes “all the thanks to my Dad” and that Senior gave him the single most important piece of advise he ever got about his career, and he never forgot it.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/05/10/floyd-mayweather-sr-floyd-mayweather/
Shannon Briggs vs. Fres Oquendo Press Conference Quotes
Heavyweight contenders Shannon “The Cannon” Briggs and Fres Oquendo faced off for the first time today (Tuesday, May 9) before they battle for the WBA Heavyweight Championship on Saturday, June 3 in the main event of Backyard Brawl: Briggs vs. Oquendo taking place at Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The two-time heavyweight champion Briggs and three-time title challenger Oquendo participated in a highly energetic press conference at Hard Rock Live as both men, along with representatives from their camps, proclaimed victory on June 3. Also in attendance were a trio of former Heavyweight champions who plan on attending fight night including Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and Briggs’ trainer Chris Byrd, adding to the anticipation for the Heavyweight title bout.
Tickets are on sale now and are priced at $75, $100, $150, $250 and $500; ringside seats are sold for $1,000; ringside tables with six seats are $5,500 and 10 seats are $11,000 (plus a $5 Facility Maintenance fee applies). All seats are reserved and available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.myhrl.com, www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. *Additional fees may apply.
Here is what the participants had to say:
“This has been a long journey. Five years ago, I was depressed and out of the boxing game, but then my daughter was born. I took a stand. I said that I’m going to do this for her. Everyone doubted me. When I met with Kris Lawrence, he listened to me talk for hours on a Monday and then on Friday he called me and said ‘Let’s Go Champ!’ That was the beginning of the comeback.”
“I lost 145 pounds and I went around the world, meeting people and trying to inspire them, but they were inspiring me too. It’s a huge motivation to me to see these people and get the response from people who say that I was able to inspire them.”
“We’re here now. We got the shot. I look forward to becoming a champion for a third time. I’m fighting a very good fighter in Fres Oquendo. He’s a seasoned guy, but he’s out of his league. This isn’t his time.”
“I’ve heard things that he’s said about me, that it might be an easy fight. But he has no idea how motivated and how focused I am right now. I just can’t wait for the bell to ring so that the people can look up and see me smash him.”
“I’m coming out in the first round and I’m gunning for you. As soon as the bell rings, I’m coming to take your head off. If I don’t get you in the first, I’ll get you in the second. All the way to the 12th. I got Liakhovich at 2:59 of the last round and you might have to go that way too.”
“I’m happy and excited. The time is now. I’m home in Florida where I’ve lived for the last 18 years. I’m training like never before. I might have taken two weeks off in the last four years. I’m looking forward to glory. I want to see the people around the world saying “LETS GO CHAMP!”
“It’s a pleasure to be here for this historic event. Shannon and I go way back. We’re gentlemen of the sport. We carry ourselves with dignity. We’re going to go after it.”
“We actually shared a twin bill on my HBO debut in 2001. That was a special night for me. I’m thankful to Shannon for stepping up and facing a fighter of my caliber. I’m going to go in there with everything that I have. It’s not going to be easy in there for him.”
“I’m dedicating this fight to my son’s friend Jaxon King, who passed away last year at five years old. I have a non-profit that helps a lot of at risk youth in Chicago because I was one of those kids. They all mean so much to me and I’m going to have Jaxon in my heart that day and give me the extra edge to do what I have to do.”
“I’ve been in there with the best in the sport. This is a very special fight for me. This is life and death for me. I’ve fought everywhere in the world, sometimes I didn’t get the decision, but I’m going to bring it every time.”
“I hope to see everyone out there on fight night. It’s going to be a great night of boxing. I can’t wait to make history on June 3.”
Yafai: Joshua Has Inspired me to Unify the Division
Kal Yafai says Anthony Joshua MBE has set a new benchmark for British fighters to follow as he prepares to make the first defence of his WBA World Super-Flyweight title against Suguru Muranaka at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Saturday LIVE on AWE- A Wealth of Entertainment at 3 PM ET / 12 Noon PT.
For boxing fans who don’t have access to AWE, the fight will be available on the AWE channel on www.klowdtv.com
Yafai and Joshua are close from their days as Team GB teammates, and Yafai won the crown he defends on home turf this weekend on the undercard of Joshua’s win over Eric Molina in Manchester in December.
Yafai was unable to attend Joshua’s epic win over Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley Stadium last weekend, but the 27 year old was bursting with pride as Joshua KO’d the Ukrainian in the 11th round, and believes that Joshua has raised the bar higher than ever for British fighters.
“I was unbelievably proud and happy for Anthony Joshua,” said Yafai. “When he got put down I was very nervous, I was praying for him to get up and recover and that’s what he did. It showed what a World Champion needs to do when it gets tough in there.
“He has completely smashed it now, onto bigger and better things for him. The world is his oyster. It was such a hard and big fight. I’d like to see him fight Tyson Fury but it doesn’t sound like that’s possible to happen next. If he can get a defence for one of his Titles against a contender then move onto one of the other Heavyweights like Wilder would be great.
“I still see him regularly. We come on the Team GB squad together. He’s a good lad, one of the nicest people in boxing. He loves his boxing so much. He soaks everything up like a sponge. He just still wants to learn, he’ll get better and better as he goes on. I mean he’s still only young! Realistically a novice still. He’s a funny lad and good to be around. I’ve got a lot of time for him. He’s raised the bar now – beating Klitschko at Wembley is just massive, and it’s something that we’ve all got to aspire to.
“Winning the World Title on his undercard was great. It took me four and a half years going from amateur into the pro game and winning a World Title. Doing it on a massive show headlined by AJ was special. We are Eddie Hearn’s only two World Champions who he’s had from their debuts.
“I was very pleased with my performance that night. I had to do what I had to do. I stayed focused on my own game plan, even after he failed to make the weight. I got in there and done the business. I out boxed him for 12 rounds. I made it as easy as possible.”
Yafai’s World title defence is part of a huge night of action in Birmingham, where Sam Eggington challenges Cerefino Rodriguez for the European Welterweight title.
Yafai’s brother Gamal defends his WBC International Super-Bantamweight championship against fellow Birmingham man Sean Davis, Ryan Kelly and Adam Harper meet for the Midlands Area Middleweight Title.
Frankie Gavin is back in action in his first fight with trainer Jon Pegg, and there’s action for Lennox Clarke, unbeaten Olympian Josh Kelly, Kieron Conway, Aaron Lovell, Jordan Clayton, Charlie Williams and Cori Gibbs.
Gervonta Davis and Gary Russell Jr. Anchor Four-Fight, Split Site Boxing Event May 20th on Showtime
America’s youngest world champion, Gervonta Davis, will make his first world title defense in the opening bout and featherweight world champion Gary Russell Jr. will make his mandatory world title defense in the main event of a split-site, four-fight SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING event on Saturday, May 20, live on SHOWTIME at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT*.
Davis will travel to Britain to defend his IBF Junior Lightweight World Championship against undefeated No. 1-ranked contender and local favorite Liam Walsh from Copper Box Arena in London. Russell will make a long-awaited homecoming—his first professional fight in the region—and his second WBC Featherweight World Championship defense against mandatory challenger Oscar Escandon live from MGM National Harbor just outside of Washington, D.C.
*Editors’ Note: In order to present all four bouts on one program, the Davis vs. Walsh bout may air on a delay basis of up to 30 minutes.
SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING host Brian Custer will anchor the four-fight telecast from Maryland with coverage of Davis vs. Walsh provided by BT Sport. Veteran sportscaster Mauro Ranallo will handle play-by-play at MGM National Harbor with Hall of Famer Al Bernstein and former two-division champion Paulie Malignaggi serving as analysts. Emmy award winning sports reporter Jim Gray and 2017 Hall of Fame inductee Steve Farhood will also serve from ringside. Secondary Audio Programming will be offered in Spanish by Alejandro Luna and former world champ Raúl Marquez.
From London, John Rawling will handle play-by-play for Davis vs. Walsh with former world champion Richie Woodhall providing the color commentary at Copper Box Arena.
“May 20 will be a big night of boxing and it kicks off a run of four consecutive weeks of world class fights on SHOWTIME,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports®. “We have consistently delivered the biggest and most important boxing events from around the globe to SHOWTIME subscribers. This unique presentation—four fights, two world championships and two title eliminators, from different continents, all on one show—is yet another example of our unrivaled commitment to the sport.”
The 22-year-old Davis (17-0, 16 KOs) is the youngest reigning world champion from the United States and the second youngest in the world. The Baltimore native and Floyd Mayweather protégé will travel to hostile territory in his first title defense against Walsh (21-0, 14 KOs) in a matchup of undefeated southpaws.
Russell Jr. (27-1, 16 KOs) will look to make a statement in the loaded featherweight division against mandatory challenger Ecandon (25-2, 17 KOs), who owns a stunning knockout of former world champion Jesus Cuellar. Russell vs. Escandon is the sixth featherweight title bout on SHOWTIME since February 2016.
Two world title eliminators will round out the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING quadrupleheader. Top super middleweight contenders Andre Dirrell (25-2, 16 KOs) and José Uzcátegui (26-1, 22 KOs) will face off in an IBF Super Middleweight Eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for champion James DeGale.
Undefeated Rances Barthelemy (25-0, 13 KOs) will meet Kiryl Relikh (21-1, 19 KOs) in a WBA Super Lightweight Eliminator for unified champ Julius Indongo. Barthelemy, who won titles at 130 and 135, will earn an opportunity to become Cuba’s first three-division champion with a win over the hard-hitting Relikh.
Beltran-Maicelo Title Eliminator Added to Crawford vs. Diaz
Two-time world title challenger RAY “Sugar” BELTRAN and heavy-fisted JONATHAN “The Last Inca” MAICELO will go mano a mano in a high-stakes battle of world-rated lightweight contenders. Sanctioned by the International Boxing Federation (IBF) as a world lightweight title elimination bout, the winner of the 12-round rumble will also lay claim to the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) International and the NABF and NABO lightweight titles, currently held by Beltran. Beltran vs. Maicelo will be the co-main event to the TERENCE “Bud” CRAWFORD – FÉLIX DÍAZ World Junior Welterweight Championship, Saturday, May 20, at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden. Both fights will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing, beginning at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT. The world championship event will also feature the Pride of Newark and 2016 U.S. Olympic silver medalist SHAKUR STEVENSON on the non-televised undercard.
Beltran and Maicelo, who hail from Mexico and Peru, respectively, have a combined record of 57-9-1 (32 KOs), — a winning percentage of 85% with over half their victories coming by way of knockout. Both boast unbeaten streaks dating back to 2015..
“We are ready for this fight. It is a very important fight for the whole team, because it will be the fight that will take us to the opportunity of battling for a world title,” said Beltran. “We are focused on winning. We are coming to fight and give a great show to all the fans. I don’t just want to win. I want to look good and win convincingly. Little by little I am making my dreams come true. I have battled a lot in my career. We have fulfilled many of our goals, like now that we are going to fight at Madison Square Garden. Being able to fight in a historical place, where all the greats have fought, is a dream come true.”
“This is a very important fight for my career. This fight means everything to me because I will be able to display my skills in front of a big audience and on a big stage like Madison Square Garden,” said Maicelo. “Right now I’m at my best and on May 20 everyone will see the best of me. I’m working very hard in the gym because everyone knows that Beltran is a tough fighter, but I’m focused on winning because this is a world title elimination bout that will take me straight to the opportunity of fighting for a world title.”
Beltran (32-7-1, 20 KOs), a native of Ahome, Mexico who resides in Phoenix, AZ., enters this fight having won his last three fights by knockout. A two-time lightweight world title challenger and a former sparring partner of eight-division world champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao, Beltran still trains at Freddie Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif. In his last fight, in the co-main event to the Crawford John Molina Jr. world title fight on December 10, Crawford scored a sensational one-punch seventh-round knockout of once-beaten Mason Menard in an NABF-NABO lightweight title fight. Beltran is currently world-rated No. 2 by the World Boxing Organization (WBO), No. 3 by the IBF and No. 4 by the World Boxing Council (WBC).
Maicelo (25-2, 12 KOs), a native of Callao, Peru who fights out of North Bergen, New Jersey, is riding a two-year four-bout winning streak. His most impressive victory was his in his last fight, against Jose Felix, Jr. on February 17. Felix, who entered the fight with a 35-1-1 record and world-rated No. 3 by the WBO, was knocked down five times by Maicelo. Maicelo’s upset unanimous decision victory over Felix has propelled him to No. 7 in the IBF.