Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev, Ward, Jacobs, Crawford, Mora, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 2nd to August 9th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Kovalev vs. Ward Officially Set for November 19th
On Saturday, Nov. 19 the world’s best pound-for-pound boxer will be crowned. Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (30-0-1, 26 KOs), the WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion, and Andre “S.O.G.” Ward (30-0, 15 KOs) Two-Time World Champion, officially announced their long-awaited showdown following Ward’s victory over Alexander Brand at the conclusion of the live HBO World Championship Boxing® telecast Saturday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Kovalev vs. Ward will take place Saturday, Nov. 19. 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 and is presented by Main Events, Roc Nation Sports, Krusher Promotions and Andre Ward Promotions.
Kovalev and Ward are currently ranked the number two and number four pound-for-pound boxers in the world, respectively, by The Ring Magazine, making their hotly anticipated fight only the third bout in the history of The Ring Magazine pound-for-pound list to pit two undefeated top-five ranked pound-for-pound fighters against each other. Odds makers and pundits have this fight evenly matched at 50-50 and it is poised to be a sure-fire 2016 Fight of the Year candidate. History will be made on Nov. 19th!
Making the fight even more intriguing, Kovalev and Ward are polar opposites. The Russian Wrecking Ball Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev is an unbeaten knockout artist sitting atop boxing’s light heavyweight division. With his ferocity in the ring and his charisma outside of it, Krusher is on his way to becoming the sport’s next big star. The last American man to win an Olympic Gold Medal in boxing, Andre “S.O.G.” Ward is already a future Hall of Famer. Known for his strong character and integrity outside the ring and his warrior’s instinct inside it, Ward has not lost a fight, amateur or professional, since he was 12-years-old. Kovalev’s seemingly unstoppable offense-first approach stands in stark contrast to Ward’s slick, defensive style that has been an unsolvable riddle for every foe he’s taken on.
Neither man has faced an opponent like this before. Who will be the next “Pound for Pound” king? Find out Saturday, Nov. 19!
Additional details for the event, including ticket information, will be released shortly.
When asked about whether or not Ward is ready to face him Kovalev said, “I think he is ready. I am ready too. The fight against Chilemba was similar to how it is going to be against Andre Ward. He is a really great champion and he proved this today. I just want to say, let’s do it November 19 on HBO.”
Ward responded, “I am excited, man. I am looking forward to it. I want to be the light heavyweight champion of the world. I got past this step. He got past his step. We will see you in November. I have been doing this for 22 years and if I am not ready to fight the best now then I will never be ready. I have been preparing for these moments since I been a kid. You got to respect Sergey for the way he has gotten to where he has gotten. He didn’t have any soft touches. He wasn’t protected. He wasn’t really pushed by the media. He is a guy who should get a lot more credit than he has. The winner of this fight could possibly be pound-for-pound #1.”
Daniel Jacobs Set to Rematch Sergio Mora
Middleweight world champion Daniel “The Miracle Man” Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) will defend his title in a rematch against former world champion Sergio “The Latin Snake” Mora (28-4-2, 9 KOs) that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Spike, Friday, September 9 from Santander Arena, in Reading, Pa.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and features undefeated lightweights colliding for a vacant world title as Robert Easter Jr. (17-0, 14 KOs) takes on Richard Commey (24-0, 22 KOs). Also on the card, heavyweight contender Travis “My Time” Kauffman (30-1, 22 KOs) will be featured in a 10-round fight.
Jacobs and Mora met in an August 2015 firefight that saw both men hit the canvas in round one. Mora was floored by a Jacobs right hand but the tricky veteran recovered and caught Jacobs with a clean left that put Jacobs on the ground. The action was halted in round two after Jacobs knocked Mora down again, rendering him unable to continue after fracturing his ankle on his way to the mat.
“This is business for me, but it is also more personal than any fight I have ever had,” said Jacobs. “Sergio has been using these antics online to get this rematch and he has gotten under my skin. There has been a lot of back and forth as far as people’s opinions as to who would have won the fight had he not gotten hurt. I am looking at this as an opportunity to clarify that I am the real champion. I want to shut his trap in primetime.”
“I don’t think Jacobs wanted this rematch, but it was destined to happen and now he has to deal with it,” said Mora. “I thought the first fight was going my way. I knocked him down in the first round and was out boxing him in the second round. He knows that I have enough power to hurt him. He has more to worry about going into this fight than in the first fight. Look at my resume, I have fought solid opposition. Jacobs doesn’t have that type of resume.”
Video Shows Terence Crawford Confrontation
NBC news out of Omaha, Nebraska is reporting they have a video which shows a confrontation between Terence Crawford and an auto body shot owner in Omaha, Nebraska. Michael Nelson claims that Terence Crawford forcefully took his vehicle from his auto body shop before paying for the repairs that was owed. However, Crawford’s attorneys claim that the auto body shop owner never did the work that the WBO Junior Welterweight Champion paid for.
A court date for this matter is scheduled for September 21st. You can read more at http://www.wowt.com/content/news/New-video-shows-Terence-Crawford-confrontation–389562621.html?abc=6lktzRrU
Caleb Plant to Face Juan De Angel
Undefeated prospect Caleb “Sweet Hands” Plant (13-0, 10 KOs) will square off against hard-hitting Colombian Juan De Angel (18-4-1, 17 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight matchup that serves as the main event of Premier Boxing Champions TOE-TO-TOE TUESDAYS on FS1 and BOXEO DE CAMPEONES on FOX Deportes Tuesday, August 23 from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features a pair of undercard bouts as unbeaten prospect Earl Newman (9-0, 7 KOs) takes on Detroit’s Leo Hall (8-1, 7 KOs) in eight-rounds of light heavyweight action while Carlos Gongora (5-0, 4 KOs) faces Ronald Mixon (7-0, 6 KOs) in an eight-round matchup of undefeated light heavyweight prospects.
“It’s a blessing to be headlining on my own show,” said Plant. “It’s all thanks to my family and my team. I’m happy with how far I’ve come in my career. I’ve had obstacles in front of me my entire life and I have had to rise to the occasion. I know De Angel is a tough guy, but I have too much in my game for him.”
“I had a great camp in Colombia and I’m going to Florida to put the finishing touches on training,” said De Angel. “Plant is strong and he counters well, but he gets hit hard and often. I’ve had experience in big fights and I’m going to do my best to put my hands on him. I’m thankful for this opportunity and I’m going to make the most it.”
All Long Island Undercard Added to Star Boxing’s Karperis vs. Duran August 13 Main Event
A spectacular undercard with a true, Long Island flavor will accompany the junior welterweight standout Anthony “Showtime” Karperis (12-2, 4 KOs, Hicksville, NY) vs. Ariel Duran (9-8-1, 5 KOs, Queens, NY) 10-round New York State Junior Welterweight Championship bout at Rockin’ Fights 25 at The Paramount in Huntington, New York presented by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing on Saturday night, August 13.
All five companion bouts assembled by matchmaker Ron Katz feature a Long Islander stepping through the ropes in quality competition.
In the co-featured attraction on the 25th installment of the wildly-popular “Rockin’ Fights” series, Huntington’s Johnny Hernandez (7-1, 1 KO) will be facing off against Seifullah Wise (3-2, 1 KO) of Philadelphia in an eight-round junior welterweight contest.
In a four-round battle of north vs. south, undefeated Terrell Bostic of Wyandanch (2-0, 1 KO) will take on Utica’s Neyeine Muang (2-2-2) in the welterweight division.
Another match up between Long Island and Philadelphia will take place when Elmont’s Tyrone James (3-0, 2 KO) meets Philly’s Rakym Dyer in his pro debut in a four-round welterweight bout.
A middleweight clash will see East Hampton’s Juan Mancilla makes his professional debut against Brooklyn’s Phillip LeGrand (1-3, 1 KO).
Rounding out the card will be a battle of Long Island where super middleweights Vinny D’Angelo (1-0) of Glen Cove takes on Farmingdale’s Dan Cion, who is debuting as a professional.
‘Bravo’ Brant Stops Fitzpatrick in Three, Continues March to Middleweight Title Shot
Current WBO NABO and WBA NABA Middleweight Champion and WBA #4- and WBO #7-rated middleweight Rob “Bravo” Brant (21-0, 14 KOs) of Saint Paul, Minnesota, kept his momentum plowing forward and continued to impress tonight with a one-sided beatdown of Chris “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick (15-5, 6 KOs) of Cleveland.
Fighting in the 10-round main event of CBS Sports Network Championship Boxing from the Grand Ballroom of the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, Brant had too many weapons for the game Fitzpatrick.
The event, a televised quadrupleheader, was Presented by Greg Cohen Promotions in association with the International Championship Boxing League (ICBL), Ringside Ticket Inc., and David Schuster’s Winner Take All Productions.
Brant moved smoothly around the ring, landing at will. He dropped Fitzpatrick with an uppercut in round two (Fitzpatrick nearly fell out of the ring) and finished it with another knockdown at 1:18 of round three.
Typically candid, Brant said the game plan was to not let Fitzpatrick get a toe hold in the fight. “He’s the type of guy, if you let him hang in there, he’ll hang for a number of rounds,” said Brant, post-fight. “I wanted to make an example of him and make sure I put him down.”
The future looks bright for the red-hot Brant, who seems to tighten up his game with every performance. “Under the tutelage of Derrick James, I’ve learned to sit down on my punches and stay defensively sound at the same time,” he continued, “but now it’s time to step up the level of competition. As nice as it is to get these kinds of win, it’s a lot nicer to get them up a level.”
In the co-main event, Fort Worth, Texas, slugger “No Surrender” Skender Halili made quick work of Silver Springs, Maryland, veteran Ben Odamattey.
Halili, with a record of 11-1, 11 KOs, caught Odamattey with his proven power early and it quickly became apparent he couldn’t handle it. Odamattey tried bravely to keep his feet under the hell fire. He rose from a knockdown but was quickly under siege again and with Odamattey’s legs betraying him, Referee Ray Corona waved it off at 1:17 of the first.
Odamattey slips to 16-15-3, 9 KOs. Halili, never in a bad fight, is becoming “must see TV” with his action-packed way of doing things.