Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Kovalev, Atlantic City, Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Bute, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 22nd to November 29th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Kovalev vs. Ward Does 160,000 PPV Buys
Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev PPV numbers have been reported by RingTV as coming in at 160,000 PPV buys. These numbers aren’t really surprising, and the Pacquiao vs. Vargas bout almost doubled the number of buys at approximately 300,000.
The financial incentive might not be there for Andre Ward to pursue a rematch with Sergey Kovalev based on these low numbers.
Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Announces their 2017 Class
The Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) today announced the first 24 members into its class of 2017. This epic event will take place at The Claridge, a Radisson Hotel located at Park Place & Boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Memorial Day Weekend; May 26, 27 and 28, 2017.
The Claridge Hotel serves as the signature Corporate Sponsor for this knockout weekend and will host an exciting itinerary for guests that will include: a red carpet meet and greet, invitation only rooftop cocktail reception, and an Ultimate Fight Fan Experience Expo (an interactive boxing and entertainment experience with exhibits, merchandise and memorabilia from top fighters and brands available for purchase and photo opportunities and autograph sessions) that is open to the general public.
“This is an excellent class of inductees each-and-every one of these individuals are well deserved and have done remarkable things to help Atlantic City be recognized as a top boxing destination,” said Ray McCline
President and Founder of the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. Inductees to Atlantic City Hall of Fame (ACBHOF) are named in six categories and selected by ACBHOF’s esteemed committee.
Fighter inductees are Mike Tyson, Arturo Gatti, Levander Johnson, Mike Rossman, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Quai, Micheal Spinks, and Larry Holmes. Trainer and cutman inductees are Lou Duva, Mike Hall Sr., and Bill Johnson. Promoter, manager, advisor, matchmaker, and ring announcer inductees are Don King, Frank Gelb, Don Elbaum, and Russell Peltz. Commission judges, doctors, and referees inductees are Larry Hazzard Sr., Steve Smoger, and Dr. Frank Dougett. Media indcutees are Bert Sugar, Dave Bontempo, and Jack Obermayer. Special coordinator inductees are Ken Cordon, Bob Lee, and Dennis Gomes.
“This is the vein that carries the life blood of boxing which pumps into the hearts of millions around the world,” said Rodrick Green Vice President Strategy and Business Development for ACBHOF. “We have our fingers on the pulse of this vein and that energy will be uncapped during the First Annual Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend!”
“Having been a part of boxing in Atlantic City throughout my broadcasting career as well as being in the corner with my brother George; the idea to preserve Atlantic City’s boxing legacy is long overdue,” stated Roy Foreman Senior Vice President of ACBHOF. “The Hall of Fame will play a key role in bringing the sport back to prominence in a city that is known as one of the original meccas for the sport of boxing.”
Over the next several months leading up to the ACBHOF 2017 Induction Weekend, updates on room packages, a detailed schedule of events and expected celebrity appearances at the event will be posted on the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame and the Claridge Hotel websites.
All interested sponsors, exhibitors, and vendors looking be involved in the induction or to reserve a booth at it are encouraged to contact the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame (ACBHOF):
Tele: 1+ (609) 318 -3188 (USA)
P.O. Box 7221 Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
Carl Frampton & Leo Santa Cruz to Host Open to the Public Los Angeles Press Conference in Advance of Featherweight World Championship Rematch
Featherweight world champion Carl Frampton and former three-division world champion Leo Santa Cruz will host an open to the public press conference in Los Angeles to discuss their highly anticipated rematch taking place Saturday, January 28 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and live on SHOWTIME.
Also in attendance in advance of their world title showdown are 135-pound world champion Dejan Zlaticanin and former two-division world champion Mikey Garcia, who will clash in the opener of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader beginning at 10 p.m./7 p.m. PT.
The press conference will take place on December 1st at 1:00 P.M. at the Los Angeles Central Public Library.
Top Bantamweight Antonio Nieves Scorches Hungary’s Szilveszter Ajtai and Sets Sights on Showdown with WBA Champ Warren
Last Saturday (November 26), Cleveland, Ohio-based bantamweight Antonio “Carita” Nieves stayed busy and kept himself in line for a cross-state showdown with Cincinnati-based WBA Bantamweight Champion Rau’shee Warren by stopping Hungary’s Szilveszter Ajtai with a single body shot.
Fighting at the Firebird Athletic Center in Bedford, Ohio, WBO #5-rated Nieves (17-0-2, 9 KOs) planted a single left hook to the Hungarian’s body at :46 seconds of round two to earn his 17th professional victory. Watch the video of the knockout HERE.
The impressive victory keeps alive Nieves’ dream of facing cross-state rival Warren in an all-Ohio bantamweight championship fight.
“The goal has always been to become a world champion,” said Nieves, post-fight. “I’d love to fight for the WBO championship and bring that belt back to the United States. The dream fight would be a unification fight with
Rau’shee Warren. I would love an all American, all Ohio match up with a great fighter like Rau’shee. We fought once in the amateurs back in 2011 when I had about four hours’ notice. He won that fight by decision in Cincinnati. While we have always respected him, the next time we meet, there will be a different result and a different winner.”
Nieves’ promoter, Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions, says he’s happy with his fighter’s performance.
“Antonio did what he’s supposed to do as one of the world’s best 118-lb fighters,” said Salita. “That body shot he landed was one that few fighters could withstand. He’s in perfect shape and ready for his world title shot, which we are working to secure for him in the near future. I’m not sure I want Rau’shee Warren’s people to watch the video though. They may not give us the fight we really want.”
Settlement Reached Between Lucian Bute & District of Columbia Athletic Commission
A settlement has been reached between Lucian Bute and the District of Columbia Athletic Commission, several months after an initial anti-doping test result was announcement regarding traces of Ostarin found in Bute’s urine samples this past May.
Following the World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight world title bout between defending champion Badou Jack and challenger Bute, which ended in a draw, a positive test result was announced to the general surprise of Bute.
Since then, however, in-depth analyses has demonstrated beyond all doubt that this result was due to contamination of nutritional supplements, prescribed by Bute’s conditioning trainer and created by a laboratory in California.
All this information has been favorably received by the authorities of the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia.
As a result of communications between the parties involved, an agreement was reached:
Lucian Bute voluntarily agrees to contribute $50,000 (USD), within a period not exceeding 90 days, to the WBC Clean Boxing Program (CBP).
Lucian Bute also agrees that his boxer license from the Athletic Commission of the District of Columbia be suspended for a period of six months, dating back to May 6, 2016.
The athletic commission therefore agrees to reject the disputed case immediately with the compromise reached between the parties and does not in any way consider that this compromise constitutes an admission on the part of Lucian Bute of the alleged facts or circumstances.
Lucian Bute intends to pay his voluntary contribution to the WBC CBP without delay and as the six-month suspension period of his boxing license from the District of Columbia ended November 6, he may now box at the place and time of his choice right now. The case is now permanently closed.
“I am extremely happy that everything is now over,” former IBF world champion Bute said. “I would like to thank my family and my spouse, Helena, all members of my team, Christian Ganescu, the Grant brothers, Groupe Yvon Michel, my manager, Al Haymon, my lawyer, Howard Jacob, and my friends, fans and supporters who were many to support me and to encourage and trust me during these dark and painful hours of my life. I would also like to thank the members of the Athletic Committee of the District of Columbia and its Chairman, Mr. Adam Weers, for listening and understanding, as well as WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman for giving me the benefit of the doubt and keeping me in the rankings of the best super middleweight challengers,”
In spite of this difficult period, Bute has continued training and he is more determined than ever to take the road back to regaining his world title. Bute is ready to face anyone who will stand between him and his goals.
“I am surrounded by the best team to guide me, ” Bute concluded. “I have, more than ever, the enthusiasm and will to fight. I have a lot of years ahead of me and I cannot wait to get back into the ring in early 2017.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Pacquiao, Mares, Cuellar, Farmer, Joshua, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 25th to November 1st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Squint Photo/Roc Nation Sports
Andre Ward Workout Quotes
“I feel that this fight with Kovalev is 50-50. That’s how I approach all of my big fights. I don’t go into the fight thinking, ‘I’ve got a clear-cut advantage here’ or ‘I’ve got to run through this guy.’ Personally, for me, I can’t roll like that. I’ve got to keep myself honest, stay on my grind, keep my head down and force myself to keep working. I truly believe Kovalev is everything they say he is, and I’m everything that I’ve shown over the years.
“There are always different game plans, nuances, different things you’re working on but I respect every fight that I fight. I don’t get caught up in the whole puncher thing, anybody can get you out of there if you get hit right. I don’t think I’d be sitting here in this position right now if I hadn’t had these highs and lows. We’ve got to find a way to get it done, and we’re going to find a way to get it done. I don’t care what he’s got in his gloves, who he’s knocked out or what he’s done. My job is to get my hand raised, and that’s what we’re focused on.
“I have days where I do some type of cardio in the morning – sprints, distant running – then go back to training camp to get some rest and eat. Then we come to the gym and spar and hit the heavy bag. It’s a monotonous process when you’re in training camp, and that’s pretty much every day. Of course we take days off to rest the body and be smart, but it’s really the same thing every day. As you get closer, you start to pull back a little bit so you don’t over train. That’s normally the week of the fight, so up until the Saturday before the fight, you’re full steam ahead. 100 miles an hour.
“Typically, Virgil and I will go through our process together. He watches a lot more film than I do. He’s up until 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. watching film. As I’ve gotten older, I watch less film. I don’t need to see 10 fights to see tendencies and certain things. I know what I need to see. I may go back and watch a round here and there, but I try and leave room for my instincts. I’m very instinctual. You’ve got to be able to think on the fly thinking on the highest level. I leave room for that. It’s not a checklist you go down. You can’t get into a ring thinking like that. I just believe that who I am and what I have is enough, and that’s what I’m standing on.
“Having young guys like Shakur Stevenson around, it starts to make me feel old because I used to be that guy at Roy Jones’s camp, Floyd Mayweather’s camp, hanging around Bernard Hopkins. You see yourself in them. It’s a little weird, because you’re like, ‘man, now I’m the OG.’ But it’s also a beautiful thing because we need more of that. We need champions and top contenders and just fighters in general to open up the door and allow the young guys on the way to be shown how it’s done.
“I’m honored for Claressa Shields to say that I am her idol. I admire her story, what she’s come from, and think that she’s amazing in the ring. She’s the real deal. I watch her, I pick up things from her. For her to have two Gold medals is amazing. For her to make her pro debut on this fight card is a beautiful, beautiful thing. I think it’s a perfect situation.
“It’s a beautiful thing to be fighting in Vegas. I’m excited. What better time than now in this stage in my career. I’m just excited to continue to prepare so I can do my part to give the fans their money’s worth, those that pay to be there and those paying to watch it. That’s what I’m focused on, and I’m extremely happy to be a part of it. T-Mobile is a new arena, and a new chapter, and to be a part of it is a beautiful thing.”
Manny Pacquiao Workout Quotes
Boxing’s only eight division world champion and the reigning Fighter of the Decade Senator MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO, held a media workout on Wednesday at Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs), from General Santos City, Philippines, is in the final week of training for his world championship collision with World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight world champion JESSIE VARGAS (27-1, 10 KOs), of Las Vegas. In just nine days they will go mano a mano and toe-to-toe in a high-stakes welterweight showdown. While Pacquiao will be looking to become a three-time WBO welterweight champion as well as the first senator to win a world title, Vargas will be resolute in enforcing a term limit on the future Hall of Famer’s boxing career.
Here is what Manny had to say:
“It took discipline to manage my time effectively … to balance my training camp and my Senatorial duties. I feel good. Every day I was able to get in all my training. I ran every morning and did my strength and conditioning with Justin Fortune. I worked with Freddie every evening at the gym after work. There were some days where I would have to come in later if my work in the Senate demanded I stay longer. Between the two “jobs,” I was averaging 14-hour workdays. Luckily the gym was very close to the Senate so I didn’t have to deal with traffic. I had no real free time to be with friends.
“I am now well-rested. I arrived in U.S. on Saturday evening and today I feel I have recovered from my jetlag. I sparred six rounds yesterday [Tuesday with Ray Beltran]. I will spar Thursday, Saturday and Monday before driving to Las Vegas.
“We have three different plans for Jessie Vargas. My first concern is for the fans; that the people who are going to watch the fight will be happy and satisfied. I want this to be a fight for fans to remember
“I am fighting for history. I was the first sitting congressman to win a world title. For this one, it is not enough to be the first sitting senator to fight for a world title, I want to be the first senator to become world champion. For me, that would be quite an accomplishment.
“I want to prove that I am still one of the best pound-for-pound fighters. I feel I still have a lot to prove. I am not done with boxing. I will continue to keep fighting as long as I love boxing and boxing still loves me. I do not feel old. I feel like I am still 27.
“I do not underestimate Jessie Vargas. He is a good strong champion. You cannot fight at this level and be successful by underestimating your opponent. Every opponent gets my full attention and respect. I respect Jessie and that is why I trained hard. This is the most important fight because it will determine the direction of my boxing career. I need to win convincingly.
“In boxing the fight is in the ring is for the enjoyment of the fans. In the Senate, the fight is for improving the quality of life of the Philippine citizens. Being a senator is inspiring work.
“I have spent more than 100 million [pesos] on building houses for the less fortunate [over 1,000 houses…Manny purchased the lots and built and gave away the homes and lots]
“Winning world titles in eight divisions is not that easy. I am so blessed to be a part of boxing history by winning them. That is not me boasting. I am just happy to be a part of the history of boxing.
“I enjoy politics because I do not have a hidden agenda. I serve honestly. That’s a good thing for me because I’m not ashamed to tell the truth. I’m not ashamed to rebuke someone if they are doing wrong. Government is for serving the people, not for serving oneself.”
Anthony Joshua to Defend Title Against Molina on December 10th
Anthony Joshua MBE is set to defend his IBF World Heavyweight title against Eric Molina at the Manchester Arena on December 10, live on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK and on Showtime in the U.S.
Joshua puts his crown on the line for the second time and fights his third American in a row having destroyed Charles Martin inside two rounds to rip the title from the St. Louis man in April at The O2 in London and then stopping Dominic Breazeale in the seventh round at the same venue in June, extending his unbeaten run in the paid ranks to 17 wins, all inside the distance.
Molina becomes the latest man to attempt to derail the Olympic Gold medal hero, the Texan is looking to get his hands on the top prize in his second World title tilt after challenging Deontay Wilder for the WBC crown in June 2015. The 34-year-old enters the bout full of confidence after travelling to Poland and knocking out Tomasz Adamek in the tenth round of their clash for the IBF Inter-Continental strap in April.
“I am pleased that everything is now set for December 10 and I can concentrate on getting the business done in the ring,” said Joshua. “There has been plenty of talk about who I may face but all I’m doing is concentrating on finishing Molina in style and putting on a great show.
“Every fight is dangerous in this division and this is no exception. I saw Molina have a great fight with Wilder and he is now coming off a strong KO win against Adamek in Poland.
“I’m expecting this to be the toughest fight of my career so far and I will be ready for an all-out war.”
“There is no Heavyweight in the world that has bounced back like I have,” said Molina. “That’s the man that Joshua faces on December 10 and that man is a very dangerous one.
“He’ll fight the toughest Molina that anybody has ever seen, just like Adamek fought the toughest Molina.
“I’m confident. These type of fights don’t shake me up, I’m a very strong mental fighter. I know exactly what I’ve got to do to prepare myself in the amount of time. I know exactly what I’ve got to do, mentally, physically, to go there and perform.
“When you walk out into the atmosphere, half the battle is the mental battle, and if you can stay in the moment mentally you have a shot in any fight.”
There’s a huge card in support of the main event as Dillian Whyte defends his British Heavyweight title against bitter London rival Dereck Chisora in an official eliminator for the WBC title. Whyte makes the second defence of his strap after seeing off fellow Brixton man Ian Lewison in Glasgow last month, while former World title challenger Chisora can get his hands on the Lord Lonsdale belt for the second time.
Scott Quigg returns to action after treatment on his broken jaw following his unification blockbuster with Carl Frampton, and the Bury star moves up to Featherweight as he looks to regain his status as a World champion.
Kal Yafai can become Birmingham’s first World champion but the unbeaten 27 year old faces a tough task to rip the WBA Super-Flyweight title against Luis Concepcion, the two-weight World champion that will enter the ring in his 11th World title outing.
Irish amateur sensation Katie Taylor boxes for the second time in the paid ranks after making her pro debut at The SSE Arena, Wembley on November 26, Heavyweight wrecking ball ‘King Kong’ Luis Ortiz fights in Europe for the second time after clashing with Malik Scott in Monte-Carlo on November 12 and Hosea Burton will defend his British Light-Heavyweight title against Frank Buglioni.
“The Heavyweight division has been turned on its head in the last few months and while many are standing still waiting, I’m delighted to get this huge card up and running in Manchester,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
Tevon Farmer to Defend NABF Title on December 2nd
Junior lightweight Tevin Farmer, considered by many to be among the best in the world at 130 pounds, makes the first defense of his North American Boxing Federation (NABF) title when he faces Dardan Zenunaj on Friday evening, Dec. 2, at the 2300 Arena in South Philadelphia.
The Farmer-Zenunaj 10-rounder tops another Philly Fight Night eight-bout card which begins at 7pm.
Farmer, 26, of North Philadelphia, is unbeaten in his last 16 fights and looking to get a shot at a world title in 2017. He is ranked as high as No. 5 by the World Boxing Council (WBC) and he is fresh off an eight-round decision against Orlando Rizo, of Managua, Nicaragua, last month in the same ring.
Earlier this year, Farmer (left) captured the vacant NABF 130-pound title with a 10-round decision over Mexico’s Gamaliel Diaz. He followed that this summer with the biggest win of his six-year career when he thoroughly trounced Ivan Redkach, of Los Angeles, CA, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, registering a near shutout over 10 rounds.
“This is another fight to put me closer to a world title shot,” Farmer said. “A win should set me up for a title opportunity early in 2017. After December 2, I’m looking to face even bigger names. I don’t care who they put in front of me, but first I have to get past my opponent at the 2300 Arena.”
“Tevin Farmer has rebuilt himself into a legit world title contender and is on the verge of a major fight in 2017,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “However, on December 2, he will have his hands full against the aggressive brawler Dardan Zenunaj in a bout that promises to deliver fireworks. I’m happy to be co-promoting this terrific bout with my old friend, Hall-of-Famer and promotional mentor J Russell Peltz.”
Zenunaj (right), 29, is originally from Albania. He turned pro in Belgium and now fights out of Oxnard, CA. A pro for five years, he has a 12-2 record (9 KOs) since turning pro in 2011. Zenunaj won the Belgian featherweight title in his seventh fight and two years ago he captured the World Boxing Association (WBA) International junior lightweight title when he knocked out Karim Chakim, of France, in nine rounds.
The seven-bout undercard includes a terrific pair of six-round fights.
Former cruiserweight world-title challenger Garrett Wilson, of South Philadelphia, goes against stylish Lamont Capers, of Hawley, PA, in one six-rounder. The other features a pair of rising Philadelphia lightweight prospects—Avery Sparrow and Steven Ortiz–in the kind of old-fashioned early career showdowns that made Philly a great fight town.
Also returning are junior middleweight Isaiah Wise, welterweight Hasan Young and the local debut of Russian flyweight Basyzbek Barartov.
Taras Shelestyuk Quotes Before ShoBox Main Event
What are your thoughts going into the fight?
“I’m very excited. It’s been six months since my last fight. It’s my first headline fight and hopefully not my last one.
“I’ve been putting in a lot of work in my training camp with my trainer Eric Brown, and with my physical conditioning coach. My opponent is a tough fighter. He’s had some good fights with guys like Mike Jones, Egidijus Kavaliauskas and a couple of other big guys. He likes to fight and I think it will be a good fight and a good matchup for our styles.”
You’re now a ranked fighter; are you happy with the pace of your progression?
“I’m happy with my progression but of course I want to fight bigger names in championship fights and all of that. I know it’s coming soon. I enjoy my way of training and developing my skills, but if you see your dream you do anything to reach it and don’t let anything get in your way.”
What do you think of the welterweight division?
“It’s a very good division because there are a lot of fighters, but some don’t want to fight each other (very often). There are some very good championship fights to be made and hopefully I will be one of them.”
Why did you chose to move to Southern California?
“Well, [laughs] mainly because if the great weather, but this is also a good area with a lot of good fighters and a lot of good trainers as well. When I first moved here my manager invited me out and showed me around and I got in the gym right away. I was training with Ruslan Provodnikov and got some sparring in with him before a fight that he had and next thing you know, two weeks later I had my pro debut and now three-and-a-half years later here I am.”
Is there pressure on you when you fight?
“I wouldn’t say I feel pressure because everyone around me is supporting me, they believe in me and I believe in them. My team believes in me and I trust them. I just want to do what I do in the ring, better. I want to do better for me, for my family and for my friends.”
Do you follow your Olympic teammates?
“I watch fights of the Ukrainian Olympic Team, and I enjoy when the other guys win. We support each other and we call each other. It is good for there to be more Ukraine fighters who are champions now. Next year, I hope to be one of them.”
How did it feel going 10 rounds for the first time?
“Last year in November I had my first 10-round fight on ShoBox, I fought with a strong guy and he gave me a very good fight. I went the 10 rounds and I felt like I could still go two more. I am ready for 10, for 12, it doesn’t matter. I feel much better, much more powerful. I have more speed than I had in my last fight, too.”
How did you end up training with Eric?
“I trained with Freddie Roach for about two and a half years when I met Eric at Wild Card West Gym. I started sparring with some of his guys there. After my fight with Rodriguez on ESPN in 2015 I asked Eric to train me and we started working. Now that I’ve fought two fights with him as my trainer, I feel my boxing skills are better, I feel more powerful and I enjoy training in his gym.
“All of the trainers help us and they give us advice. On the days I spar with Shane Mosley he stops and gives me some advice. I learn a lot from him, being the fighting legend that he is. I grew up watching him fight as a kid and respect what he’s able to teach me. Then the next time I try what he has taught me and it works.”
Boxing is in your blood; your dad and brother boxed. When you were younger, did you think you were going to become a fighter?
“No, but my father pushed me in a lot of sports. I did gymnastics, soccer for five years, and played chess. I fought as a kid but it was always friendly. I always enjoyed the training aspect. To train for soccer sometimes my father and I would run barefoot in the snow and I enjoyed it. So, as a kid, when I first stepped into the boxing gym, it was just so much fun.”
Your ShoBox fight falls on your father’s birthday; do you have a special present in mind for him?
“It makes me want to get the victory for him. On his day, he will be sitting and watching my fight so I want to get that victory for him, for my family and for the Ukraine.”
Mares vs. Cuellar Press Conference Quotes
“I’ve been wanting to fight Mares for about two years. It’s finally going to happen. This is what I want. I’m going to make a statement.
“I’m very happy that this fight is finally here. I can’t wait to get in the ring on December 10. I’m thankful for the opportunity. I know Mares is popular in Los Angeles, but I have a following as well and they will be there to support me.
“I’m training very hard and feeling physically strong. We never stopped training for this fight. Mares will come prepared for a war and I hope that’s what the fight is like. It’s going to prove who has the bigger heart.
“I’ve been training with Freddie Roach for about four months. It’s been a great partnership and he will make me even better than I’ve been. We’ve been practicing really hard. Freddie is handing me the tools to go to work. You will see all my experience come together on fight night.
“Mares is a great fighter. He’s been a champion for many years. He’s never faced an opponent like me. This will be his hardest challenge.
“I’m sure Mares will give it his all, just like I will. I’ve been dreaming about this fight for years. This will be a great battle, but I am prepared to take my belt back to Argentina.
“This is the most important fight of my career. I’m planning on knocking him out. I know that big things are going to come my way after I beat Mares.”
“This is going to be a smarter Abner Mares. I’ve been learning a lot with Robert Garcia. They gave us a year to train and learn together. He’s a knowledgeable coach. He’s not just a guy who works mitts. This is the real deal. He gets you better and I’m really happy with him.
“I want to thank Cuellar and his team for waiting for this fight to come to fruition. I really appreciate that as a person. It’s finally here.
“I was actually commentating the Stiverne vs. Arreola fight at Galen Center and it was a great atmosphere. The environment there is incredible and I was just imagining being up in the ring as the main event.
“I want the winner of the Frampton vs. Santa Cruz rematch. I want to continue to fight the best. I want to be known as a guy who fights the best.
“Being on the big stage like this has made me what I am. Being on the bantamweight tournament on SHOWTIME really started to show people what my style is like. To be back for another world opportunity, it means everything to me. I’m hoping to give them another exciting fight.
“I never talk down about a fighter. We all deserve our respect. We all have the same desire to strive to be the best. Cuellar is a beast. He hits hard. The record speaks for itself and that’s what has me so excited. This is the kind of fight I want to be in. It brings the best out of me.
“If I have to make it into a brawl, I will do that. I have the boxing abilities to be the smarter fighter and win by out boxing him. I learn from all of my fights, especially the losses. From the Santa Cruz fight I learned that I really need to listen to my corner. I let the crowd get to me and fought the wrong fight. I’m going to be ready for everything.
“This title coming home is going to be a nice Christmas present. It means the world to me. I’m going to add something to my trophy case.
“I’m a new man. I’m a grown man. I have two beautiful daughters. I like to learn something new every day. You will see a different Abner on December 10. This is going to end the year with the ‘Fight of the Year.'”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Ward, Lomachenko, Walters, McGregor, Mayweather, Beterbiev, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of September 27th to October 4th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Khristopher Sandifer/Roc Nation Sports
Dana White Tells TMZ Sports: McGregor Ain’t Fighting Mayweather
TMZ Sports recently caught up with Dana White and he told them that the often talked about Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight will never happen, and that the fighters are more interested in money than in actually trading blows.
He also told TMZ that if Floyd does want to make a deal to fight McGregor, it would not be a boxing match and would have to be an MMA style bout.
Read more at : http://www.tmz.com/2016/10/04/dana-white-conor-mcgregor-floyd-mayweather/
Andre Ward Kicks Off Training Camp Ahead of Showdown with Sergey Kovalev
Two-Time World Champion Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) officially kicks off training camp in Hayward, CA with trainer Virgil Hunter ahead of his November 19 showdown at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas against WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs).
Ward’s training camp, which will serve as a base for Ward over the next several weeks as he continues his quest to dominate the light heavyweight division, is sponsored by a resounding collection of American-based companies including Jordan Brand, Shoe Palace, JetLux, and ProSupps.
Below is what Team Ward had to say about the start of training camp:
ANDRE WARD, Two-Time World Champion and top-rated pound-for-pound fighter:
“I’ve been in pre-camp mode for weeks now following my last fight, and have been mentally preparing for the work ahead of me. It’s an exciting feeling to be in full camp mode, where I can dedicate 100% of my mind, body and soul to the battle I am about to face. This is a fight that we have been working up to since last spring. The game plan hasn’t changed. I am here and I am ready.”
VIRGIL HUNTER, Andre Ward’s Trainer:
“No one beats Andre Ward when it comes to training camp. We’re going into camp with the mentality of another day, another fight, another win. His strive for perfection, work ethic and consistency is what makes him a champion.”
JAMES PRINCE, Andre Ward’s Manager:
“With everything set for the biggest fight of the year on November 19, we are excited to open training camp. What is done here for the next few weeks will play a major part in the final outcome. We thank God for the opportunity and look forward to giving the boxing community and all of our fans, the fight that they have been anticipating.”
Lomachenko to Face Walters on HBO
Boxing Day comes to Las Vegas one month early with a blockbuster fight between two of the hardest hitters in the sport. Two-division world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist VASYL LOMACHENKO will defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior lightweight title against undefeated former world featherweight champion NICHOLAS “Axe Man” WALTERS. Lomachenko vs. Walters will take place Saturday, Nov. 26, at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. It will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:35 p.m. ET/PT.
Promoted by Top Rank®, ticket information for the Lomachenko-Walters world championship event, including room/ticket packages, will be announced shortly.
“Boxing fans will be able to spend their Thanksgiving holiday weekend feasting on the year’s most anticipated showdown,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Forget their weight class. With more than 3/4 of their victories coming by way of knockout, they punch and win like heavyweights! We know how the fight is going to end. The question is, which fighter will end it.”
“I want to thank HBO and Bob Arum for giving me this opportunity to test myself in the fight with the best. Walters you are next on my list.” said Lomachenko.
“I am very happy and excited about this upcoming bout between Lomachenko and Walters,” said Egis Klimas, Lomachenko’s manager. “Ones again Vasyl proved he wants to fight the very best fighters in his weight division and I want everyone to understand when he says so, he means it. Thank you to our promoter Top Rank and HBO network for putting this fight together.”
“Any fighter can be knocked out no matter who he is,” said Walters. “I like fighting the best and I like fighting against great technical fighter like Lomachenko. Look at what happened when I fought a great technical fighter like Nonito Donaire. Lomachenko is great, he knows what he is doing in the ring. But I always look for a knockout against whomever I fight. If I can do it quick, I will. This is the best fight out there in boxing today. It will be the Fight of the Year.”
“On November 26, live on HBO, Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters will step up to deliver for the fans the fight they’ve been demanding to determine another of boxing’s top pound for pound stars,” said Peter Nelson, executive vice president, HBO Sports. “We are proud to feature this junior lightweight title showdown on our flagship World Championship Boxing series.”
Artur Beterbiev to Face Isdiro Prieto on December 23rd
Ottawa and Outaouais boxing fans in Canada will receive a special Christmas gift when Montreal’s adopted son and the most dangerous world title challenger,Artur Beterbiev (10-0, 10 KOs), faces Paraguay slugger and reigning WBC Latino light heavyweight champion Isidro Ranoni Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs) in a real power punching affair, December 23 in Gatineau as part of the GYM Boxing Series, presented by the Casino de Lac Leamy in collaboration with Videotron.
Beterbiev is world ranked by all over the major sanctioning bodies: International Boxing Federation (IBF) #2, World Boxing Council (WBC) and World Boxing Association (WBA) #3, World Boxing Organization (WBO) #4, and The Ring magazine #6.
WBO #10 rated contender Prieto has won his last two fights by knockout, since losing by unanimous decision to Eleider Alvarez in a spectacular 12-round fight, in which he refused to give an inch to the WBC # 1 challenger on August 15, 2015 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
Expect fireworks as the KO ratio for Beterbiev and Prieto is an incredible 80-percent.
“Despite the claims of some promoters and light heavyweight challengers,” Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM president Yvon Michel said, “it’s a fact that Artur Beterbiev is the most dangerous and biggest threat to all of the world light heavyweight champions All contenders for titles change their minds when it comes to getting in the same ring with him,” said the president of GYM, Yvon Michel.
“Isidro Prieto is a fierce fighter who accepted the challenge, also believing he has the style to repel even the most courageous boxer. He is determined to make a name for himself December 23rd. We certainly admire his determination.”
Lopez to Face Valcarcel on November 12th
World ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez will take on Carlos Valcarcel on Saturday, November 12th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The broadcast is slated to begin at 9:30 PM ET.
The scheduled eight-round bout will be the featured bout of the inaugural broadcast on ONE World Sports.
The card is promoted by GH3 Promotions & Victory Boxing Promotions.
Lopez of San Antonio, Texas is ranked 4th by the WBA and has a record of 15-0-1 with seven knockouts.
The 25 year-old Lopez is a four year pro and has wins over Pablo Cruz (11-0), Eliecer Aquino (17-0-1), former world champion Erik Aiken & Mario Munoz (16-0-1).
In his last bout, Lopez fought to a ten-round split draw with Roman Reynoso (18-1-1) on July 22nd in Mashantucket, Connecticut.
Valcarcel has a record of 14-8-4 with five knockouts. The 34 year-old native of Miami, Florida has wins over Jovanny Soto (15-2-1), Rodolfo Garay (14-2-1) & Leivi Brea (16-4-3).
The 12 year veteran also has fought former world champion Eric Morel and future world title challenger Jessie Magdaleno.
Valcarcel is coming off a 6th round stoppage defeat to undefeated Erick DeLeon on June 25th in Dallas, Texas.
Seeing action in the eight round co-feature will be undefeated welterweight Ed Brown.
The 24 year-old native of Chicago has a record of 18-0 with 15 knockouts, and has established himself as one of the top welterweight prospects in boxing.
Brown is coming off a six-round unanimous decision over Gilbert Venegas on July 30th in Hammond, Indiana.
In an eight-round super middleweight bout, hard-punching Jerry Odom will take on Taneal Goyco.
Odom of Washington, DC has a record of 14-2-1 with 13 knockouts, and is a four-year professional. The 23 year-old Odom won his first twelve bouts, which included a thrilling come from behind stoppage over previously undefeated Vilier Quinonez (9-0) on July 25, 2014 in a nationally televised bout on ShoBox: The New Generation.
Odom avenged a controversial disqualification defeat by destroying previously undefeated Andrew Hernandez (8-0) in one round. In his last bout, Odom stopped Julius Jackson (19-1)in three rounds.
Goyco of Philadelphia has a record of 8-9-1 with three knockouts.
Goyco has upset the apple-cart on several occasions. He has wins over undefeated Dennis Morris (1-0), Jeremy Trussell (8-0) & Devin Butcher (5-0) plus upset victories over Frankie Filippone (14-2-1) and Dennis Hasson (16-1). Goyco is coming off a eight-round unanimous decision defeat to Tony Hirsch on June 11th in Oakland, California.
Opening up the ONE World Sports television broadcast will be talented prospect Jaron Ennis of Philadelphia.
Ennis, 19 years old has a record of 6-0 with five knockouts. In his last bout, he was taken the distance for the first time, but pounded out a four-round unanimous decision over Eddie Diaz on September 15th.
In off-television action and appearing in six-rounds bouts will be super welterweight Arturo Trujillo (8-0, 5 KO’s) of Easton, PA, super lightweight Keenan Smith (9-0, 3 KO’s) of Philadelhia; junior lightweight John Joe Nevin (8-0, 4 KO’s) of Mullinger, Ireland.
Rising Promotions Signs Isaiah Seldon, Marvin Johnson, Dan Murray, and others to Promotional Contracts
Rising Promotions is proud to announce the signings of super middleweight Isiah Seldon, super lightweight’s Marvin Johnson & Dan Murray, bantamweight Dallas Holden, cruiserweight David Sparks and featherweight Dion Sparks to exclusive promotional contracts.
They join undefeated heavyweight Quian Davis (3-0-2, 2 KO’s) as the first group of fighters to ink contracts under the Rising Promotions banner.
Davis is coming off a 28 second knockout this past Saturday night in Trenton, New Jersey over Jonathan Hafley
Seldon of Atlantic City, New Jersey has a record of 9-1 with three knockouts.
The 28 year-old son of former WBA Heavyweight world champion, Bruce Seldon, turned professional in 2010 and won his first seven bouts. Following his lone blemish, Seldon has won two fights in 2016, which includes his latest outing when won a six-round unanimous decision over Eddie Edmond on May 27th in Atlantic City.
“I am happy and excited. I know they will keep me busy and they are bringing boxing back to Atlantic City. It’s a blessing,” said Seldon.
Johnson has a record of 1-0-1. The Bridgeton, New Jersey native is had a long amateur career of 211-31. He was a 2007 National PAL in 2007 and 6 time in Florida PAL champion. Johnson was a 3 time time Ringside World Championship Runner-Up; 3 time National PAL Runner-Up Johnson is 24 years-old and turned professional in 2014, and is is coming off a four-round unanimous decision over Lamont White on July 22nd in Atlantic City.
“It’s a blessing and great opportunity in my career. It puts my family in a better position. It gives me a good opportunity to fight in front of my hometown fans. I want to thank Debbie LaManna, Thomas LaManna and Vinny LaManna. It has effected and changed my family lives. I was on the shelf for a year and now I get the opportunities to show my skills,” said Johnson.
Murray, 24 years-old of Barnegat, New Jersey was 26-7 as an amateur. He was a New Jersey Golden Gloves and New Jersey Diamond Gloves champion.
Murray trains at the Atlantic City PAL.
“I am very excited and ready to go out and show the world what I have to offer, I am glad to sign with Rising Promotions and I will show everyone what I am all about. I worked very hard and hard work pays off,” said Murray
Holden, 20 years-old of Atlantic City was a highly regarded amateur who amassed 50 fights. Holden fought in the Philadelphia Golden Gloves. He has a professional record of 1-0. Holden turned professional on July 22nd with a four-round unanimous decision over Kevin Asmat in Atlantic City.
“I have known Thomas for a long time and its going to be a good thing. It’s going to open a lot of doors. Because of my amateur career, people know me and now they want to see me fight as a professional,” said Holden.
David Sparks of Brooklyn, New York has a record of 2-0. The 31 year-old turned professional in 2014 and in his latest outing, he won a four-round unanimous decision over Marcellus Yates on March 28, 2015 in Queens, New York .
Before turning pro, Sparks competed in 80 amateur fights and amassed 3 National championships, Golden Gloves and Ringside world championships
“Signing came at a great time. We needed a break in our career. We have been going through some difficult things. I expect to fight a lot . Hopefully every month or two. I am always in the gym. Hopefully eight to ten fights.
Dion Sparks, 19 years old, had 135 amateur fights. He won 3 national championships and 2 world championships, and at one point was ranked number-one in the United States.
“This is every exciting. I can do really great with Rising Promotions. I am young and talented. We been all over including at Mayweather Gym. I am always in shape and I am ready to fight. I have great expectations. I would like to fight 8 to 10 times and just stay active. I think within two or three years, we can get the right fights and fight for a championship. They set them up and we will knock them down, “said Dion Sparks. “we appreciate Rich Masini and all he has done for us.
“We are very excited to announce out first signings,”said Thomas LaManna of Rising Promotions. “When we started the promotion, one of our missions was to give local fighters opportunities to showcase their abilities. So to have signed five fighters from New Jersey and two from New York is a great start for us. I think because of the success of our series at The Claridge has and will continue to attract top talent from this area. We will continue to look for and sign the best fighters and continue to put on the top-notch shows that we have over the past year.”