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HBO PPV Undercard Results: Curtis Stevens and Oleksandr Gvozdyk Emerge Victorious, Hooker Draws with Perez


HBO PPV Undercard Results: Curtis Stevens and Oleksandr Gvozdyk Emerge Victorious, and Hooker Draws with Perez
By: William Holmes

The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada was the host site for tonight’s HBO PPV card featuring a main event betweenSergey Kovalev and Andre Ward for the Light Heavyweight Championship.

Three bouts were featured on the undercard, and the opening bout was between Curtis Stevens (28-5) and James De La Rosa (23-4) in the middleweight division.

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De La Rosa was rocked by a rising left hook from Stevens in the first round and he was on the defensive for most of the opening round. Stevens was able to land a left hook that knocked De La Rosa in the last thirty seconds of the round, but De La Rosa was able to get back to his feet.

De La Rosa had a cut by his left eye in the second round and took heavy shots to the body. However, he was able to start to land his jab in the last minute of the round.

Both fighters let it all fly in the third round and both landed several hard combinations. Stevens got the better of De La Rosa and landed the stronger shots, but he may have spent all of his energy.

De La Rosa began to relay on his jab in the fourth round and was able to keep Stevens at bay, and that jab continued to be successful for De La Rosa in the fifth and sixth rounds and even had Stevens trapped in a corner at multiple points.

De La Rosa looked like the fresher fighter in the seventh round and Stevens was short with most of his punches. Stevens crowded v in the eighth and was able to land some heavy hooks to the body, but he was deducted a point by the referee for landing a low blow.

The announcers felt Stevens may have hurt his left hand in the ninth round since he wasn’t throwing his patented left hook counter like he usually does. The HBO cameras were able to capture Stevens telling his trainer he hurt his left hand in the fourth round

Stevens pressed the action in the final round and landed some heavy shots over the top of De La Rosa’s guard which reopened the cut of De La Rosa, but it was De La Rosa who was raising his hands in the air at the final bell as if he won the fight.

The final scores were 98-90, 96-92, and 96-92 for Curtis Stevens.

The next bout of the night was in the light heavyweight division between Isaac Chilemba (24-4-2) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0).

Both boxers fought out of an orthodox stance and Gvozdyk was backing Chilemba up early with his contant jab. Chilema was able to land his check left hook near the end of the round, but it could have been scored either way.

Chilemba was missing with his hooks in the second round while Gvozdyk was finding a home for his right cross. Gvozdyk was landing at a higher clip than Chilemba in the third round, and he had Chilemba covering up in a defensive shell with his back against the ropes while Gvozdyk unleashed several combinations on him.

Chilemba had a strong fifth round and was able to land some short uppercuts on the inside, but Gvozdyk took back over in the sixth round and looked like he was wearing his opponent down.

Gvozdyk outworked Chilemba in the seventh round and Roy Jones Jr. threatened to stop the fight if he didn’t pick up the action in the eighth round. Chilemba was able to catch Gvozdyk by surprise in the opening thirty seconds of the eighth round, but Gvozdyk took back over in the final minute and had Chilemba’s nose bleeding badly.

Chilemba told his trainer, Roy Jones Jr., before the start of the ninth round that he was done and couldn’t fight anymore, and Jones told the referee the fight was over. Chilemba believed his right hand was broken.
Oleksandr Gvozdyk wins by TKO at the end of the eighth round.

The final fight on the undercard was between Maurice Hooker (21-0-2) and Darleys Perez (33-2-1) in the junior welterweight division.

Hooker was a lot taller than Perez and used it to his advantage by keeping a jab in the face of Perez in the opening round. However, Perez looked comfortable with Hooker’s power in the second round and was able to catch Hooker by surprise with some well timed hooks, and he had him hurt in the opening minute of the third round with a clean looping right hook.

Perez appeared to score a knockdown in the fourth round when he tagged Hooker with a right cross and sent him tumbling backwards and to the mat, but the referee ruled it a slip.

Hooker had a good fifth round with an active jab, but Perez again caught Hooker with looping right hooks in the sixth round.

Perez remained the aggressor in the seventh round and took some of Hooker’s best punches but kept on moving forward. Perez remained the aggressor in the eighth round and had Hooker circling away from his opponent and moving backwards.

The final two rounds played out like the earlier rounds, with Perez pressing forward and landing an occasional right hook or right cross while Hooker would land a number of jabs while moving backwards.

A lot of rounds could have been scored either way, but the judges appeared to agree by scoring the fight 97-93 Perez, 97-93 Hooker, 95-95 making the bout a draw.

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HBO PPV Preview: Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward, Hooker vs. Perez, Chilemba vs. Gvozdyk, Stevens vs. De La Rosa


HBO PPV Preview: Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward, Hooker vs. Perez, Chilemba vs. Gvozdyk, Stevens vs. De La Rosa
By: William Holmes

On Saturday night Roc Nation Sports and Main Events Promotions will team up to deliver one of the best fights that could be made in boxing on HBO Pay Per View. The T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the host site for the WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight Title fight between Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.

Ten fights total are featured on this card, including the highly anticipated debut of two time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa Shields.

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HBO appears to be ready to televise four fights on the pay per view, and the following is a preview of all four bouts.

Curtis Stevens (28-5) vs. James De La Rosa (23-4); Middleweights

This bout is on the pay per view card despite the fact it’s highly unlikely that either participant will be fighting for a world title in the near future.

Curtis Stevens is a fan favorite and shocked many in his last bout when he beat undefeated prospect Patrick Teixeira.

He’ll be giving up ½ inch in reach and about three inches in height to De La Rosa. However, he has faced significantly better competition and has a deep amateur background than his opponent.

De La Rosa lost his last two fights and only has thirteen knockout victories. Stevens has twenty one knockout victories and is known for delivering exciting bouts.

Both boxers only fought one time in 2016, zero times in 2015, and three times in 2014.

Stevens has beaten the likes of Patrick Teixeira, Tureano Johnson, Patrick Majewski, Saul Roman, Derrick Findley, and Elvin Ayala. He has lost to the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Andre Dirrell and Jesse Brinkley. De La Rosa has defeated the likes of Alfredo Angulo but has lost to the likes of Jason Quigley, Hugo Centeno Jr., Marcus Willis, and Allen Conyers.

Stevens has been inconsistent throughout his career, but this is a bout that he should win in a fan pleasing fashion.

Isaac Chilemba (24-4-2) vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk (11-0); Light Heavyweights

Not many boxers can claim to have lasted twelve rounds with Sergey Kovalev, and Isaac Chilemba is one of them.

However, he’s facing a highly decorated Ukranian amateur that is managed by Egis Klimas, who has an impressive stable of boxers under his control, and many consider Gvozdyk to be future world champion material.

Gvozdyk has nine stoppage victories in only eleven professional bouts and is a 2012 Summer Olympics Bronze medalist. Chilemba has ten stoppage victories in thirty professional bouts, so Gvozdyk has a clear edge in power. Chilemba also does not have the amateur experience of Gvozdyk.

Gvozdyk will be the same height as Chilemba but will also have a two and a half inch reach advantage. They are of the same age. Gvozdyk has also been considerably more active than Chilemba. He fought three times in 2016 and four times in 2015, while Chilemba only fought once in 2016 and twice in 2015.

Gvozdyk has already defeated the likes of Nadjib Mohammedi and Tommy Karpency before he has faced his twelfth opponent. Chilemba has defeated the likes of Doudou Ngumbu, Maksim Vlasov, Edison Miranda, Denis Grachev, and Vasily Lepikhin; but he has also lost to the likes of Sergey Kovalev, Eleider Alvarez, Tony Bellew, and Willbeforce Shihepo.

Chilemba is a tough opponent with a strong chin, but he’s not on the same level of technique as Gvozdyk and he doesn’t have the power to score an upset knockout.

This should be a good showcase fight for Gvozdyk to show off his skills.

Maurice Hooker (21-0-2) vs. Darleys Perez (33-2-1); Junior Welterweights

Maurice Hooker is one of the most intriguing prospects on the undercard, as his reach and height has many people comparing him to Paul Williams.

Hooker will have a four inch height advantage as well as an amazing ten inch reach advantage over Perez. He’s also six years younger than Perez.

Hooker is known for being a hard puncher and has stopped sixteen of his opponents. Perez has twenty one stoppage victories, but his best days appear to be behind him.

Hooker fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016 while Perez fought one time in 2016 and three times in 2015.

Perez has the edge in amateur experience. He represented Columbia in the 2008 Summer Olympics while Hooker’s biggest claim to fame in the amateurs was when he won the Dallas Regional Golden Gloves Championship.

This bout is a big step up in competition for Hooker. He has defeated the likes of Ty Barnett, Wilfrido Buelvas, and Eduardo Galindo. Perez has beaten the likes of Argenis Lopez, Jonathan Maicelo, and Jaider Parra. His losses have come to Anthony Crolla and Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Perez was the former WBA Lightweight champion, but he’ll be competing at a higher weight class on Saturday and will be facing a good opponent with a ridiculous reach advantage.

The ten inch reach advantage will be too much for Perez to overcome.

Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1) vs. Andre Ward (30-0); WBO/IBF/WBA Light Heavyweight Title

The main event of the night is one of the best fights that could be made in boxing today and the winner will likely have a claim to the top pound for pound spot on the mythical list.

Kovalev, at the age of 33, and Ward, at the age of 32, are nearing the end of their physical primes but neither have shown signs of slowing down inside the ring.

They both are six foot tall, but Kovalev will have a slight one and a half inch reach advantage when they are both inside the ring.

Ward has the deeper amateur background of the two as he won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2004. Kovalev also had success as an amateur and was a former Russian Champion as an amateur, but he never competed in the Olympics and was engaged intense competition with two other Russian amateur standouts, Matt Korobov and Artur Beterbiev.

Kovalev has the edge in power. He has stopped twenty six of his opponents while Ward has only stopped fifteen. However, Ward is a gifted defensive boxer and is excellent with his counters, and Kovalev often leaves himself open for counters after he throws one of his heavy combinations.

Kovalev has defeated the likes of Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal, Nadjib Mohammedi, Bernard Hopkins, Blake Caparello, Nathan Cleverly, Ismayl Sillah, Cedric Agnew, and Gabriel Campillo. He has fought twice in 2015 and once in 2016.

Ward has fought twice in 2016 and once in 2015. He has defeated the likes of Alexander Brand, Sullivan Barrera, Paul Smith, Edwin Rodriguez, Chad Dawson, Carlo Froch, Artur Abraham, Sakio Bika, Allan Green, Mikkel Kessler, and Edison Miranda.

This is a tough fight for many to pick, mainly because Ward has never faced a power puncher like Kovalev and Kovalev has never faced a slick boxer like Ward.

However, Ward’s jab is his best weapon and he’ll likely use it often to keep Kovalev at bay. History has shown that a slick boxer will usually beat a power puncher if everything else is reason, and Saturday should be no different.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Jones, Chilemba, Mayweather, Davis, Pedraza, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Jones, Chilemba, Mayweather, Davis, Pedraza, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 8th to November 15th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

MAYWEATHER PROMOTIONS VECTOR FILE

Roy Jones Jr Prepares Isaac Chilemba to Face Oleksandr Gvozdyk on November 19

As Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-4-2, 10 KOs) prepares to attempt to reclaim the NABF Light Heavyweight Title from Oleksandr “The Nail” Gvozdyk (11-0, 9 KOs) live on the Kovalev-Ward “Pound For Pound” HBO Pay-Per-View undercard from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada he will have former four-division world champion Roy Jones Jr. in his corner for the first time. Below Jones assesses the match-up and his observations of the young Malawi native:

Question: Does Chilemba’s performance against Kovalev give him more confidence going into this fight?

Roy Jones Jr: “Oh yes, most definitely. Kovalev had been crushing everybody and he didn’t get crushed so it has to give him confidence.”

Q: Chilemba has almost three times as many fights as Gvozdyk. How big of an advantage is this?

RJ: “It’s not a big advantage because Gvozdyk probably has three times more fights than Chilemba does in amateurs. These Eastern European guys have so many more amateur fights than we do. They fight from when they’re small and they go through schools and everything. These guys are very, very high-tech when it comes to being skilled in the ring in the sport of boxing so he probably has a little bit more experience if you add up the fights over the years.”

Q: What must Chilemba do in this fight in order to win?

RJ: “He’s got to disrupt Gvozdyk. He can’t let Gvozdyk fight at his own pace. He can’t let Gvozdyk constantly push him backwards so he’s gotta make Gvozdyk change, make Gvozdyk do things he does not like to do.”

Q: What must Chilemba prevent Gvozdyk from doing or take away from him in order to win?

RJ: “Chilemba must prevent Gvozdyk’s control of the power of the jab and setting up the big right hand.”

Q: Do you think, now that you are working with Chilemba, if he defeats Gvozdyk he should be
entitled to a rematch with Sergey?

RJ: “Of course, of course he should. Chilemba deserves a rematch with Sergey.”

Q: What are Chilemba’s biggest strengths and weaknesses. How are you working to correct them?

RJ: “His feet are his biggest strength. His feet are very good, he can be very elusive. And his biggest tool is his straight right hand. His weakness is that he had a lack of punching power because he wasn’t turning his shoulder, turning his body with his punches. We are fixing that, working on it right now.”

Q: As a former light heavyweight world champion, what are your observations on the Kovalev Ward fight?

RJ: “Very good fight. Best fight of boxing today. I look forward to seeing it. To me it’s one of the best fights we had in boxing in years as far as guys being in their prime, being the two best in the division. That is just a great fight. A great fight for boxing.”

Q: How would you break down this match-up?

RJ: “No I don’t have a prediction. Andre Ward hasn’t been beaten in a long time, and if there was a guy that could beat him, there is the guy, so…”

Q: Which fighter, Kovalev or Ward, would have given you the best fight when you were 175-pound world champion?

RJ: “Both of them would be really good fights, very hard fights to fight. Very different fights to fight. My hand speed maybe would be better against both of them but they’d be tough guys to fight. Kovalev because of the power and Ward because of his mentality, he’s a very smart guy in the ring. Very hard fights, but speed factor is probably what I would use to get both of them beat.”

Floyd Mayweather to Attend Badou Jack and James DeGale Press Conference

Floyd Mayweather Jr., the President of Mayweather Promotions, will be on hand at the press conference at the Barclays Center Geico Atrium on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. ET to announce the upcoming Super Middleweight World Title Unification Fight between Badou Jack and James DeGale.
This bout will take place live on Showtime on Saturday, January 14th, 2016. Other people who will be present to announce this fight include Badou Jack, James DeGale, Leonard Ellerbe, Lou DiBella, Stephen Espinoza, Rosie Perez, Paulie Malignaggi, Daniel Jacobs, and Heather Hardy.

Bermane Stiverne Fails Drug Test

Bermane Stiverne has a scheduled interim heavyweight title fight scheduled for Alexander Povetkin. However, Dan Rafael of ESPN reported that Stirverne has failed a random drug test, but will be allowed to fight.

Deontay Wilder is scheduled supposed to face the winner of the bout.

Stiverne is scheduled to fight Povetkin on December 17th in Russia, but that bout is still scheduled to go on.

The WBC announced that Stiverne tested positive for methylhexaneamine, a stimulant known as DMAA and has been on the prohibited list of substances since 2010.

Salita Promotions and Forgotten Harvest Team Up to Fight Hunger in Detroit

Continuing with his pledge on Tuesday, to give back to the city in which he has dedicated himself to resurrecting professional boxing, promoter Dmitriy Salita of Salita Promotions joined a group of fighters and trainers to work as a volunteer for Forgotten Harvest, one of the nation’s largest food rescue organizations.

The group, (that included Salita, Sugar Hill Stewart (trainer), Zach Shamoun (fighter), Theotrice Chambers (trainer), Muheeb Fazeldin (fighter), and Andrei Saakyn (Salita Promotions) all involved with his latest “Detroit Brawl,” event at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Detroit, on Saturday, November 12, spent a day working in Forgotten Harvest’s Royal Oak, Michigan, warehouse packing food to be delivered to families in need.

Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” will be priced at VIP $123, Box Seats $100, Ringside $93, $63, $38, and $28 and available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.

True to his word, Salita has incorporated a charitable element to every one of his Detroit shows. In addition to the time spent volunteering, he will be donating a portion of every ticket sold to provide thousands of meals to Detroit’s less fortunate. His last show was able to donate over 3000 meals to worthy families.

“We are so glad that Salita Promotions is in our corner and has joined us in the fight against hunger here in metro Detroit,” stated Forgotten Harvest CEO Kirk Mayes. “We sincerely appreciate their help and community spirit.”

Salita says he’s happy his plans are coming together on both the boxing and charitable fronts.

“I am thrilled to be working with this wonderful organization that does so much for Detroit’s hungry,” he said. “And I will continue to make every show as much about boxing as it is about giving back to this wonderful city that has become my second home.”

Based in Oak Park, Michigan, Forgotten Harvest was formed in 1990 to relieve hunger and prevent food waste throughout the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest “rescued” over 40 million pounds of food last year by collecting surplus prepared and perishable food from over 800 locations, including grocery stores, fruit and vegetable markets, restaurants, caterers, dairies, farmers, wholesale food distributors and other Health Department-approved sources.

This donated food, which would otherwise go to waste, is delivered free of-charge to 280 emergency food providers in the metro Detroit area. Forgotten Harvest has been ranked as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator for nine consecutive years.

Jose Pedraza to Defend Title Against Gervonta Davis

ESPN also reported that Jose PEdraza will face Gervonta Davis of Mayweather Promotions on January 14th. It will be the main undercard bout on the super middleweight title fight between Badou Jack and James De Gale.

This will be Pedraza’s third world title defense, and he had to get an exception from the IBF in order to skip over his mandatory challenger and fight Davis.

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Interview with Isaac Chilemba: “He has picked the wrong time and wrong opponent:”


Interview with Isaac Chilemba: “He has picked the wrong time and wrong opponent:”

By: Matthew N. Becher

Isaac Chilemba is a contender in the Light Heavyweight Division. He is 29 years old from Malawi and lost his last fight in Russia to Sergey Kovalev. Many a pundit predicted Chilemba to be an easy opponent for Kovalev in the champs’ native country, but Chilemba proved anything but, lasting the entire fight while absorbing punches that have knocked out many a challenger before him. On November 19th, Chilemba will take on the up and coming Ukrainian Oleksandr Gvozdyk on the Kovalev v. Ward Pay per View undercard. We spoke with Isaac about his previous fight, switching trainers to Roy Jones Jr. and how he feels about becoming a gate keeper in the division.

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Boxing Insider: After your last fight with Kovalev, do you feel you have a better chance at winning a title in the light heavyweight division?

Chilemba: Yes, I think that I am where I am supposed to be. I’ve put in a lot of sacrifice and a lot of time and I feel that I am super close to winning a title.

Boxing Insider: What was the reasoning for changing trainers after the Kovalev fight?

Chilemba: We had to make a decision on if we were going to stay training in Africa or if I would come back to America for training. We decided it would be better to go to America for training, for my career.

Boxing Insider: On November 19th, you will be the main undercard against former Olympian Bronze medalist Oleksandr Gvozdyk. How do you feel about performing on such a big stage? And what do you know about your opponent?

Chilemba: The stage doesn’t get to me at all. I am happy to fight anywhere, anytime. What I know about my opponent is that he was a top amateur and now is a good professional. I believe he wants to get somewhere in the boxing world. He has picked the wrong time and wrong opponent.

Boxing Insider: At 29 you are still a very young man in the fight game, but you will be seen as a gatekeeper for Gvozdyk. How does that feel?

Chilemba: I treat every opponent the same. We don’t overlook anyone, all fighters train the same. All of our goals, as fighters, is to be the best, and to be the champion. So if I’m fighting a guy with only 11 fights or a guy with 40 fights, they are all the same. He was a medalist, an Olympian, so I will treat him the same as if I was fighting a Kovalev.

Boxing Insider: Since you have been training with Roy Jones Jr. Is there anything that he has sharpened in your game plan and/or style?

Chilemba: Since training with Roy is the best thing that could happen right now. Coming up as a youth I would learn a lot of my technique watching other fighters and the fighter I watched the most video of was Roy Jones. My old trainer use to say to me “Stop that Roy Jones Shit”, he never thought that was my style. Now I am working with a guy that I look up to and he is showing me the meaning behind all the moves and why he was doing what he was doing. I believe that you will see a whole new Isaac Chilemba on the 19th of November.

Boxing Insider: So the main event is against 2 of the top pound for pound fighters in the world, and they are both in your weight class. What will the outcome be between Kovalev v. Ward?

Chilemba: I always believe that the boxer can outsmart the puncher. Kovalev is a puncher but is a very good boxer. It is very much a 50/50 game. Ward is a very smart fighter, and if he comes to box, he should be able to outbox Kovalev easily. It is very hard for me to pick a winner.

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HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Sergey Kovalev wins by Unanimous Decision


HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Sergey Kovalev wins by Unanimous Decision
By: Matthew N. Becher

On a special Monday night edition of World Championship Boxing, HBO presented a title fight from Ekaterinburg, Russia. The fight between the WBO, IBF & WBA Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (30-0-1 26KO) and the challenger Isaac Chilemba (26-4-2 10KO) was a homecoming for Kovalev, who last fought at the DIVS in Russia in 2011, when he defeated Roman Simakov, who tragically fell into a coma after that match and passed away three days later.

This was most importantly a tune up fight for Kovalev, who has a date set for a mega fight in November against former unified Super Middleweight champion Andre Ward.

Kovalev started the fight as the aggressor, looking for and targeting the head, as usual. Chilemba was able to pump out and land a steady jab.

Chilemba showed to be a very strong and tough opponent, landing his best shots to Kovalev’s head, more often than most of Kovalevs previous opponents.

Unfortunately Chilembas lack of power did little to stop the come forward style of Kovalev.

Kovalev was mostly looking for head shots and possibly working on some different techniques instead of ending the fight in certain situations. After a big right hand landed in the seventh round, knocking Chilemba down, Kovalev may not have gone “all in” to end the fight. As well as in the eighth round, after landing a monster shot, snapping back the head of Chilemba, Kovalev stepped off the gas pedal and was content with putting in some more work.

Chilemba landed some solid shots of his own, but Kovalev never looked hurt against the hardest, cleanest shots that Chilemba could land. Also Kovalev may have possibly wanted to get in a full twelve round fight, after knowing that he was not in any real trouble. He will not be fighting again until November, so the extra rounds could prove vital for the future fight.

The fight went longer than most expected, but Kovalev still looked extremely dominant. The next step is the match up against Andre Ward. It is the best fight that can be made in the sport and this was a great stay busy fight for the Light heavyweight champ, and hopefully erasing some of the demons that have stayed with him from the last time he fought in his native land.

Kovalev UD12 117-110, 116-111, 118-109

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Isaac Chilemba: “I Truly Believe I Am Where I Was Meant To Be”


Isaac Chilemba: “I Truly Believe I Am Where I Was Meant To Be”
By: Sean Crose

“We will find a way for people to see it.”

So said Main Events boss Kathy Duva on Tuesday during a conference call to promote Sergey Kovalev’s July 11th light heavyweight title fight in his native Russia against Isaac Chilemba. “It was hard to find the right partners to work with,” Duva stated in reference to making the fight in Kovalev’s homeland. “That was a lot of work.”

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Kovalev’s opponent, the crafty Chilemba was on the call from South Africa to promote the event, as well. Although he was hard to hear at times due to connection problems, he came across as a pleasant, even thoughtful guy. Whether or not he will have what it takes to surprise the world on July 11th, however, remains to be seen.

For his own part, though, the underdog fighter seemed confident. “There’s no such thing as an easy fight,” he said, adding later that “The pressure’s on him (Kovalev). He’s the one fighting at home.” I asked if he felt that getting a fight with Kovalev after losing a controversial decision to Eleider Alvarez last time out shows that wins don’t always matter, even in this era where a perfect record is held in such high regard.

“Yes, he said, adding that “I truly believe I am where I was meant to be.” Chilemba’s famed trainer, Buddy McGirt, concurred. “I believe,” McGirt stated, “that good things come to those who wait.”

Duva herself also had some pointed things to say on the matter. “My job is to make good fights,” she said. “There’s a lot of fighters out there these days who seem to prefer to not take a risk…that’s crazy.” The lionization of having an undefeated record at the expense of challenging oneself is something Duva clearly found puzzling.

“It’s sad that people think that’s extraordinary,” she said.

Although the 24-3-2 Chilemba clearly isn’t afraid to risk having another “L” on his resume, he and his team also appeared confident heading into the fight. “This is one fight where Isaac can pretty much be Isaac,” McGrit said.

Still, the trainer made it clear that no one was going to take it easy. “Personally, I think that the key to victory is to box,” McGirt stated. “Everyone sees Kovalev as a puncher. I don’t see Kovalev as just a puncher. Kovalev can fight.”

“But,” he added. “My guy can fight, as well.”

Duva made it clear that she was pleased to give Chilemba a crack at the title, especially in an era where people are said to avoid the 29-0-1 Kovalev (“We know where they stand,” she said, referring to Adonis Stevenson’s camp). “Issac very much wanted a title shot,” the promoter stated. “He did everything we ever asked him to do.”

Perhaps Chilemba was right when he claimed that ultimately “being a good fighter is what it is about.” Will he be good enough for the Russian terror, though? What’s more will western fans be able to see the fight live when it goes down in Russia? Duva promises they will, one way or another. Referring to HBO possibly not showing the fight, she appeared unperturbed.

“It’s more a matter of logistical issues than anything else,” she stated.

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Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Kovalev, Wilder, Berto, Verdejo, and more…


Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Kovalev, Wilder, Berto, Verdejo, and more…
By: William Holmes

The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 19th to April 26th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.

Photo Credits: David Spagnolo/Main Events

Adrien Broner Tells TMZ Sports that People Sent Him Money In Jail

TMZ Sports reported that Adrien Broner said he did get letters from pen pals while he was spending ten days behind bars in an Ohio jail, and that some people even sent him money.
Broner was also seen joking about his pending bowling alley assault charges against him, which Broner denies happened. He also told TMZ that he has the same jeweler as Fetty Wap.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/25/adrien-broner-money-jail-bowling-fetty-wap/

Kovalev to Return to Russia on July 11th Against Chilemba

WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) returns to his home country of Russia to defend all three of his belts against Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) on Monday, July 11 in Ekaterinburg. The fight will take place on the opening night of the International Industry Trade Fair “INNOPROM-2016” at the DIVS Palace of Sports and is sponsored by Russian Copper Company and Igor Altushkin and presented by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with German Titov Promotions.

Ranked as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Kovalev, 33, a native of Chelyabinsk, Russia has not fought in his home country since 2011. Sergey earned his WBO belt in 2013 when he knocked out then-undefeated champion, Nathan Cleverly, in Cleverly’s backyard of Cardiff, Wales.

After three consecutive successful title defenses, all knockouts, Sergey faced the legendary Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins in 2014 and unified his WBO belt with the WBA and IBF belts. After his unanimous decision win over Hopkins, Krusher had three more successful title defenses, all knockouts, of his three unified belts, including two knockouts of former WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal. This will be his first title defense in Russia.

According to Krusher, “I am so excited to fight in my home country of Russia. It gives me great pride to bring my titles home at last. I would like to thank my manager, Egis Klimas, my promoter, Kathy Duva and Igor Altushkin of Russian Copper Company for making this dream of mine a reality. Chilemba is a tough opponent and I will be ready for him on July 11.”

Chilemba said, “First of all I thank God for the blessings and opportunities. I thank my manager, Jodi Solomon, for standing up for me whether I’m on the top or at the bottom. I thank Main Events for yet another opportunity for me to redeem myself and I thank my trainer Buddy McGirt for believing in me. I have met a lot of obstacles and every time I think I’ve got it right, I fall again, but I know my goals and I never stop following my dreams. When I received a call from Jodi regarding this opportunity, I was over the moon. I thank Sergey and his team for putting their titles on the line to face me, all I want to say to them is: they are in for a surprise, they gave the wrong guy an opportunity. I’ll work my ass off and I’m in to win it! Russia here we come!”


Vasyl Lomachenko, Rocky Martinez, and Felix Verdejo to Take Part in Puerto Rican Day Parade Weekend Title Fights

World champions VASYL LOMACHENKO and ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ, the boxing gem of Puerto Rico and undefeated No. 2 world-rated lightweight contender FELIX “El Diamante” VERDEJO, and Hall of Fame promoter BOB ARUM will host a New York press conference Next Thursday! April 28, at Madison Square Garden’s Chase Square.

The participants will be announcing a Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend championship card on Saturday, June 11, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Lomachenko (11-1, 3 KOs), of Ukraine, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight world champion, will be moving up to challenge Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs), a three-time world champion from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, for his WBO junior lightweight world title. Verdejo (21-0, 14 KOs), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be defending his WBO Latino lightweight title. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Puerto Rican Best Boxing Promotions, both fights will be televised live on HBO®, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Deontay Wilder Media Workout Quotes

Deontay Wilder (36-0) will defend his title against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (30-1) on May 21st in Moscow, Russia. Wilder recently spoke to the media during a workout and offered the following:

(On his expectations going to Russia…)

“My expectation is, of course, to win. To come back with that victory for America. This is a big fight, not just for myself, for America. It’s like Russia vs. America. I’ve been getting nothing but positive feedback from fans all over. Even if they weren’t a fan of Deontay Wilder they are now for this very fight. Hopefully I can win them over to stay a fan of Deontay Wilder after this fight. I think it’s a great fight. I think it’s a great thing that we’re going over to Russia defending my title in somebody else’s backyard.

“Like I said before, it’s easier for me to fight here in American but that’s not what it’s all about to me. When I have a title that says the heavyweight champion of the world, I want to travel all over the world to defend my title. I’m living my dream, I’m getting an opportunity to do that with this fight.
I’m looking forward to Russia and I want to tell Russia,’Here I come.’ ”

(What it means to be the first heavyweight champion to fight in Russia…)

“It means a lot. It makes me even closer to my faith. God doesn’t make mistakes in lives. He doesn’t make a mistake in my life, your life or anybody else. Things happen for a reason and they happen at the right time in your life. Things may not come when you want it, but when they come it’s right on time. The things that have been accumulating throughout my career, it’s been amazing. How I’ve been able to make history, beat other records, and continue to make history. It’s amazing. I just want to know what else he has in store for my life. If it’s continuously history being made, what’s next? I’m excited.
“I can’t wait to see how my life unfolds at the end of my career. What happens at the end of Deontay Wilder when it’s time for him to say I’ve done all I’ve done in this sport and I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to see how much ground I can cover for those that have come before me.”

(How you predict the fight going…)

“I predict the fight as being a punishment in the first round and then knocking him out. All heavyweights want to knock somebody out so we have to say we’re going to knock them out. This is the cream of the crop division. The heavyweights. The hard-hitters. The heavy hitters, as they say. When we step in that ring, nothing is acceptable but a knockout. And I’m looking to knock him out.”

(On if he’s reached his peak…)

“Not at all and that’s the scary part about it. I haven’t even reached my peak yet and I’m still learning on the way up. I want to always learn. Each and every fight brings experience to me. It brings something that I’ve taken away from that fight and that I’ve added to the next fight. Looking forward to being very crisp and very good in this fight and showing people a little bit more of what Deontay Wilder is capable of. Especially those who haven’t seen anything thus far yet, stay tuned to this fight. This is one you don’t want to miss.”

(On unifying the titles in the future…)

“Most definitely. I really feel when I say that I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, I don’t just say it to say it, but I also feel it inside me, deep inside me that I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and add my name to the few undisputed champions that have come before me. My name will be placed in history on that. Why wouldn’t it? All the things I’ve done up to now, that will be the icing on my cake to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I won’t stop, no matter how many hours I have to put in. No matter how many fights that I have to take. No matter how many countries I have to visit to defend my title. I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”

(On concerns about going to Russia…)

“I don’t have any concerns. I don’t let my brain sit back and think about if I don’t knock him out or are they going to rob me, or anything like that. I just don’t want my mind to be on that when I’m in a fight. I want to have a clear mind. I want to go in there and do what Deontay is capable of doing. Like I said, all things are in God’s hands and if it’s in his will for me to win, it’s going to happen. If not then, I don’t stop there. My legacy is not going to stop there. But I’m very confident in what I’m about to do and what I’m going to do, and we all know that if we knock him out then we don’t have to worry about that. So of course that’s going to be my priority on my list – to knock him out.”

Canelo vs. Khan Closed Circuit Tickets on Sale

Tickets for the closed circuit telecasts of Canelo vs. Khan are priced at $60, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and are ON SALE NOW at each individual property’s box office outlets or by phone with a major credit card at 866-431-7111.

Additionally, the premier of Canelo v. Khan 24/7 took place on April 23rd with Part 2 to take place on April 30th.

Andre Berto Training Camp Notes for Bout with Victor Ortiz

Andre Berto recently gave some statements during his training camp in preparation for his upcoming bout with Victor Ortiz.

On his improvements since his first fight against Ortiz:

“I’ve improved tremendously. Mentally and all the way around the board. There was so much that went into that fight and that camp the first time. I shouldn’t have fought that fight, but being who I am, I wanted to get in there. I was just a young fighter who didn’t take the fight seriously. I overlooked my opponent. Now I’m a much more mature fighter. I’ve pushed myself for this camp.

This fight has always been on my mind. Even when I tried to move on, other people continued to remind me about it. Everyone said I needed to get him back. That’s the fight everyone has wanted to see and that everyone deserves. I’m going to give everyone the fight they deserve.

“I believe that coming back from my shoulder surgery that I’ve been more motivated and improving as a fighter. Everyone has seen the improvements. We’re definitely ready for anything he wants to bring. If he’s aggressive we’re ready and everyone knows I can stand there and punch”

On this training camp with Virgil Hunter:

“Everything is going great. It’s been a long, tough camp. I’m excited and ready to close it all in. We’ve done all the work. We’re in great shape. No stone was left unturned. It’s been a great eight or nine week camp.”

On sharing training camp with Amir Khan and Andre Ward and the motivation it provides:

“We all feed off of each other. All of us have pretty much been in camp together leading up to and through all of our fights. Even now Andre is there to watch us spar and work. It’s great motivation for all of us to be there. We’re all pushing each other to get better every day.”

On how Virgil Hunter has helped him improve as a fighter:

“I call Virgil the professional because he’s a teacher. He works you mentally. Each and every day. It’s like being in school. He drills it in your head over and over. He doesn’t let you go through the motions. You have to stay on track mentally to work on all of the things that you’ve been working on. He’s more of a teacher than a trainer.”

On what he learned from his fight against Floyd Mayweather:

“A lot of people can’t handle the atmosphere and the buildup of that magnitude. I got the chance to really find out how to handle it all. I think I surprised a lot of people around me with how easy I was taking it. I think Floyd was surprised too, he thought I would get shaken like other guys. But I felt like I was supposed to be there. I wasn’t going to be the guy who stands there in shock.”

On preparing for Ortiz:

“You have to be prepared for whatever he brings to the table. You don’t know how Victor is going to fight and if he’s going to do his extra stuff. Or if he’s going to try to box. Who knows? Maybe you hit him two or three times and he feels like he doesn’t want to be there. I’m prepared for the Victor of five years ago.”

On Ortiz’s claim that he will knock out Berto:

“That’s what he said the first time. I’ve made it evident as well that I’ll finish him and finish this chapter. I want it to be over. Still for some reason my name comes up. People continue to cross us together. I just want to finish this chapter and finish in style.”

On what fans can expect Saturday night:

“The fans should expect an exciting fight. They might see the start of round 13 from the first one. It’s going to be extremely exciting. I doubt it’s going the distance. This is the fight the people deserve.”

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