Boxing Insider Notebook: Algieri, Shields, De La Hoya, The Contender, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 31st to November 7th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Algieri Return Nearly Sold Out
There has been an overwhelming response to the return of boxing sensation and former WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion, CHRIS ALGIERI to the Paramount on NOVEMBER 30TH as he headlines “Rockin’ Fights” 33. Ticket demand to see the Huntington native has been tremendous. All of the top-priced tickets and all of the Sky Bar seats have already been sold out.
Only limited tickets remain. We are contacting you, because you are one of Star Boxing’s most loyal fans and ardent supporters and we greatly appreciate your patronage. We do not want you to be shut out from this top-tier event. If you want the opportunity to see this stellar night of boxing action please be sure to purchase your tickets today as there are only a handful of seats left.
Chris Algieri returns to The Paramount for the first time since 2014, when he defeated highly touted prospect Emmanuel Taylor by a unanimous decision. Algieri has dominated at his home venue, having fought eight times at The Paramount and having defeated the likes of world title challenger, Mike Arnaoutis, and then, highly regarded prospect, Jose Peralta. On November 30th, Algieri intends to pay homage to his strong hometown fanbase, earn his ninth consecutive victory at The Paramount, and make it a memorable homecoming. Be there to see the return of Chris Algieri, by purchasing your tickets HERE.
Algieri, who was developed at the famed Star Boxing venue, The Paramount, moved to the big stage and had a career defining, real life “Rocky” story unfold on HBO on June 14th, 2014 at the Barclay’s Center, in Brooklyn, against heavily favored and feared Ruslan Provodnikov (then 23-2 16 KO’s) for the WBO World Championship. After peeling himself off the canvas two times in the opening round, Algieri put on the fight of his life. With one eye virtually closed, the gutsy Algieri fought the rest of the fight in brilliant fashion dominating the defending champion Provodnikov to become the new WBO Super Lightweight World Champion*.
The win catapulted the local sensation to international fame. Algieri was awarded a mega-multi-million dollar fight with boxing legend and superstar, Manny Pacquaio. The Pacquiao-Algieri bout took place around the world in Macao, China and was telecast on HBO/Pay Per View. Subsequently, Algieri continued to take the most challenging bouts taking on world class fighters such as Errol Spence Jr and Amir Khan, after the Pacquiao fight.
Algieri decided a couple of months ago that he was ready to make a comeback and re-signed a promotional agreement with his long-time promoter Joe DeGuardia and Star Boxing. The two agreed it was time to return to the roots of Algieri’s career and give back to the loyal Long Island fans. Therefore, on November 30th, after a two-year layoff, Chris Algieri returns home to the place where it all began, The Paramount. Algieri will headline “Rockin’ Fights” 33 as he begins another march towards a World Championship fight.
The Contender Champion to Earn Top 10 WBA Ranking
Premium cable network EPIX®, an MGM company and their popular boxing series The Contender join forces with World Boxing Association (WBA) ahead of the final live bout on Friday, November 9th from the Forum in Los Angeles. For the first time since its inception, WBA will designate the winner of the current season to be automatically ranked in the top ten, creating a shortened path for the winner to participate in a title shot to win the WBA belt. The partnership aims to create more opportunities for young boxers around the world.
Over the years, eleven Contender fighters competed in world championships after appearing on the show, with five title winners including: Sergio Mora (WBC Super Welterweight Champion), Cornelius K-9 Bundrage (2-Time IBF Super Welterweight Champion), Ishe Smith (IBF Super Welterweight Champion), Sakio Bika (WBC and IBO Super Middleweight Champion), and Sam Soliman (IBF Middleweight Champion and WBF World Middleweight Champion).
“EPIX has been honored to showcase the passion, sacrifice and hard work of the boxing talent featured in this season of The Contender,” said Michael Wright, President, EPIX. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the WBA to give more deserved recognition to these incredible athletes.”
“Through the enduring success of the show, The Contender has produced several boxing champions and we thank the WBA for acknowledging the quality of these fighters and providing further opportunities that will enhance their professional boxing careers,” said Eric Van Wagenen, Executive Producer of The Contender.
“We are thrilled to work with EPIX and The Contender, a great tournament with strong talent, to create a path to success for the show’s champion by automatically ensuring their top 10 ranking, and ensuring strong competition for boxers globally,” said Gilberto Mendoza, President of World Boxing Association.
The WBA is an international boxing organization that sanctions official matches and awards the WBA world championship title at the professional level. Founded in the United States in 1921 by thirteen state representatives as the National Boxing Association, in 1962, it changed its name in recognition of boxing’s growing popularity worldwide and began to gain other nations as members. Gilberto Mendoza from Venezuela was the President of the WBA since 1982 until his death in 2015, after which Gilberto Jesús Mendoza took over as president.
Diego De la Hoya to Make Homecoming Defense of Super Bantamweight Titles Against Edixon Perez
NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KOs) will look to shine before a hometown crowd as he defends his titles against Edixon Perez (16-2, 11 KOs) in a 10-round main event at Plaza De Toros Calafia in Mexicali, Mexico. De La Hoya will fight for the first time as a professional in his native country of Mexico in a bout that will be televised live on TV Azteca at a delayed time of 8:30 p.m. PT.
De La Hoya is an undefeated contender who has built a stellar resume since turning professional in 2013. The 24-year-old scored his most significant victory when he defeated former IBF Bantamweight World Champion Randy “El Matador” Caballero on the HBO-televised undercard of Canelo vs. Golovkin in Sept. 2017. De La Hoya followed this win by defeating Jose “Sugar” Salgado via seventh-round technical knockout in June of this year. De La Hoya is on the verge of a world title shot but will risk that opportunity against Perez.
“I’m delighted to return to my hometown and defend my titles,” said Diego De La Hoya. “I’ve developed my career in the United States, but I’m happy to fight for the first time as a professional in Mexico. There’s no better way than to come back as a headliner and on a great platform such as TV Azteca.”
Perez is a 26-year-old native of El Tigrito, Venezuela who is coming off six straight victories, four of them by stoppage. Perez will look to follow in the footsteps of fighters such as the late Edwin “El Inca” Valero and Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares, boxers with Venezuelan blood who scored impressive wins against tough Mexican fighters.
“It is a privilege to fight in Mexico against a renowned boxer like Diego De La Hoya,” said Edixon Perez. “I’m going to my opponent’s backyard, but I am not going out without a fight. Local fans will find out who is Edixon Perez on the day of the fight.”
In the co-main event, Seniesa “SuperBad” Estrada (14-0, 4 KOs) of East Los Angeles, Calif. will fight for the vacant WBC Silver Light Flyweight Title in a 10-round fight against Debora Rengifo (10-5-1, 5 KOs) of Rio Chico, Venezuela.
The undercard of this event will feature five competitive fights with local prospects along with a series of amateur bouts to begin the night.
Jesus Riegos (5-0, 3 KOs) and Cristian Pimentel (6-2, 2 KOs) will meet in a four-round super bantamweight fight in a battle between Mexicali, Mexico natives.
Israel Ramirez (3-0, 3 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico will face Wilivaldo Garcia (2-3) of Tijuana, Mexico in a four-round 118-pound clash,
Jose Dorantes (15-0, 9 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico and Alexandro Zarate (6-6, 4 KOs) of Navojoa, Mexico will clash in a featherweight fight scheduled for six rounds.
Miguel Espinoza (3-3, 1 KO) will participate in a four-round lightweight fight against fellow Mexicali, Mexico native Alejandro Leon in what will be the latter’s professional debut.
Rafael Flores (1-0) of Mexicali, Mexico will face Luis Lomeli (0-1) of Mexicali, Mexico in a four-round 135-pound battle.
De La Hoya vs. Perez is a 10-round fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions. The event is sponsored by Tecate,”THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING.” The fights will take place Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018 at Plaza de Toros Calafia in Mexicali, Mexico. The action will be televised live on TV Azteca beginning at 8:30 p.m. PT.
Banner Promotions Signs Former Olympian Naim Terbunja
Banner Promotions is proud to announce the signing of former Olympian and current super middleweight Naim Terbunja.
Terbunja of Linkoping, Sweden by way of Pristina, Kosovo, represented Sweden in the 2008 Olympics. He currently holds a professional record of 10-2-1 with one knockout.
The 34 year-old Terbunja began boxing at the age of 14, as he was a young soccer player looking to get stronger. Terbunja took up boxing, and fell in love with the sport.
That sparked an amateur career that saw him go 200-36. Terbunja fought all over the world for the Swedish National team, and then to the 2008 Olympics where he lost to Matt Korobov in the round of 36.
Terbunja moved to Long Island and spent part of his amateur career in the United States and captured the National Golden Gloves title in 2009 by defeating Luis Arias in the finals.
Terbunja turned professional on April 27, 2012 with a unanimous decision over Vladimir Spasojevic in Sweden. Terbunja has fought six times in Sweden and twice in Kosovo.
Terbunja has a 1st round stoppage over previously undefeated Joel De La Paz (7-0) on July 23, 2016.
Terbunja is coming off a disputed draw with regarded Lanell Bellows on May 11th in Las Vegas.
“I am happy to sign with Banner Promotions,” said Terbunja. “If I have a good team around me, I believe that I can fight for a world title. Banner Promotions can help me where I need to go.”
“Naim has a blue chip pedigree. He was an Olympian, and the bout he lost was close. He has had one bad fight at super middleweight. I believe he has the ability to be in position to fight for a world championship. He has an awkward style, and a good chin. He now has a good opportunity with Banner Promotions to realize his potential,” said Terbunja’s manager, Pat Zagarino.
“We happy to have signed Naim. He was an Olympian, and we think he can become a player in the super middleweight division. We look forward to getting him in the ring before the end of the year, and we will get him in prime position in 2019,” said Banner Promotions President Artie Pelullo.
Training Camp Complete: A Confident and On-Weight Claressa Shields Ready for Hannah Rankin on DAZN on November 17th
Women’s superstar and two-division world champion Claressa Shields is in Florida with trainer John David Jackson, finishing up preparations for her showdown with Glasgow, Scotland’s Hannahh Rankin on Saturday, November 17, at the Kansas Star Arena and Casino in Mulvane, Kansas.
Shields (6-0, 2 KOs) will defend her IBF and WBA World Middleweight Championships, and be looking to add the vacant WBC title, against Rankin (5-2, 1 KO) in the 10-round co-featured bout to Salita Promotions stablemate Jarrell Miller’s heavyweight showdown against Romania’s Bogdan Dinu.
Both fights, along with former world champion Brandon Rios taking on Canelo’s brother, Ramon Alvarez, in a super welterweight 10-rounder and former two-time world middleweight title challenger Gabriel Rosado going against once-beaten contender Luis Arias, will be broadcast live on DAZN.
23-year-old Shields, a former two-time Olympic Gold Medallist, has reignited interest in women’s boxing and become a ratings favorite for her nationally televised championship exploits. A proud native of Flint, Michigan, Shields mixes her brash pronouncements of greatness with a genuine and continued effort to inspire female athletes and render aid to members of her home community.
Shields was originally scheduled to face WBC and WBO World Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer on November 17, but the bout was postponed after Hammer withdrew due to medical reasons.
Did the change of opponents from Hammer to Rankin affect your training?
I don’t train for my opponents, I just push to get the best out of me, physically and mentally. If I’m the best ‘me,’ I don’t have to worry about who the opponent is. The change of opponents didn’t bother me at all; the worst thing about this camp for me was just all the date changes – constantly having to get my mind focused on the pace and timing of training depending on the fight date. I can’t wait to get in the ring!
You’ve fought at super middleweight 168 and recently at middleweight 160 pounds. How is your training, diet and any other efforts different to make 160?
Training is always hard and I’m constantly learning. I’ve had a completely different diet this camp – a real change and a positive one for me. I’ve teamed up with Perfecting Athletes for my daily meals, and I feel great. I’ve always tried to eat healthy but these folks are pros and are more educated in that field than myself. I have this magic drink that makes my stomach smile – I love it! It’s watermelon mixed with a green vegetable. I’m not going to tell you what vegetable it is, but I’ve been drinking it everyday, and I feel GREAT.
Your viewership numbers have been very strong. Why do you think people are drawn to you?
I believe that people are drawn to how real and honest I am, both in and out of the ring. I say what I mean and mean what I say. I’m hard but I have a soft side also. And I think people are drawn to how I fight — not only do I talk a good game but I fight my a– off too! I give 1000% every time – I want to change the game and bring a whole new generation of fans to women’s boxing and boxing overall.
What do you know about your opponent Hannah Rankin?
I know that my opponent Rankin is very tough and determined to be a world champion. I like her drive, I like her heart. I know that she has been in the ring as a sparring partner for many champions, one being Christina Hammer. So Rankin has seen some good fighters. But one thing is for sure – she has never seen a fighter like me. And since Hammer couldn’t fight because of her medical condition, in many ways the next best thing is to fight and beat her sparring partner and let Rankin tell Hammer what she’s in for when she returns!
What needs to be done to solve the Flint water crisis?
To solve the flint Water crisis, I think that people should continue to give water and also keep it in the news that there is a city in America where, unbelievably, US citizens don’t have clean water. And hopefully the president or our governor do something to fix all the pipes.
What’s the secret to becoming the best of the best in any sport?
I believe the secret starts with believing in yourself, being dedicated, working hard and just always striving to be better. I feel I’m my biggest critic when I train and box. It’s hard to watch film of my fights because even though I’m doing 97 things right I just can’t stand to see the 3 things I’m doing wrong. I’m a person who strives to pull out my full potential. It takes guts to be great. Nothing will stand in the way of achieving my goals, which includes being the GWOAT and creating equality for all women fighters when it comes to the money, opportunities and coverage the men get.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN Results: De La Hoya Defeats Salgado
Diego De La Hoya (21-0, 10 KOs), the quick-handed super bantamweight contender of Mexicali, Mexico, successfully defended his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado (35-5-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico via technical knockout at the end of the seventh round of the scheduled 10-round main event of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. De La Hoya’s relentless and fast-paced aggression were too much for Salgado to handle, which forced his corner to call a halt to the bout at the end of the aforementioned round.
Photo Credit: Matt Heasley – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
“We knew that he [Salgado] had been training since October of last year,” said Diego De La Hoya.”Obviously that’s because the fight was delayed, but the fight took place tonight and thank God it was great. I brawled so that people would see that I am indeed a Mexican fighter. He has a lot of experience and a lot of power, but I still brawled to give a great show. I’ll need to talk to my team about what’s next, but hopefully something very good.”
“I felt really tight in this fight, but that’s because the inactivity really affected me,” said Jose Salgado. “I take no credit away from Diego De La Hoya, and I fought a good fight despite the inactivity. He’s a great fighter, and he’ll be a future world champion.”
In tonight’s co-main event,Travell “Black Magic” Mazion (13-0, 11 KOs) of Austin, Texas retained his undefeated record as he beat Orlando, Florida’s Daquan Pauldo (17-2, 9 KOs) by unanimous eight-round decision. Mazion won with scores of 77-75, 77-75 and 78-74.
Danielto Zorrilla (7-0, 6 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico delivered a devastating left hook to the body to defeat stop Julio Perez (4-3) of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico in the first of a scheduled four-round super lightweight fight.
Golden Boy Promotions prospect Alex Rincon (4-0, 4 KOs) of Carrollton, Texas scored two knockdowns en route to a first-round technical knockout victory over Engelberto Valenzuela (11-14, 3 KOs) of Agua Prieta, Mexico. The fight, which was originally slated for four rounds at the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, was stopped at 1:35 of the aforementioned round.
Lawrence Gabriel (3-1-1, 2 KOs) of Syracuse, New York scored a second-round technical knockout victory against Jimmy Blevins (0-3) of Buffalo, New York in a fight that was originally scheduled for four rounds in the heavyweight division.
Isaac Rodrigues (25-2, 20 KOs) Mocajuba, Brazil stopped Frankie Filippone (25-8-1, 9 KOs) of Chesapeake, Virginia in the fourth round of an eight-round light heavyweight clash. Rodrigues scored two knockdowns, the second of which forced the stoppage at 1:46 of the fourth round.
Armus Guyton (1-0) from Ithaca, N.Y. defeated Mike Diorio (0-1) from Cortland, N.Y. by unanimous decision in the opening bout, a four-round cruiserweight contest. Both fighters made their professional debut in a fight that Guyton won with scores of 39-37, 39-37 and 40-36.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Hammer, Shields, De La Hoya, Hall of Fame, Young, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 23rd to May 30th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Luis Arevalo Jr./Westside Boxing
Diego De La Hoya and Mercito Gesta Workout Quotes
Diego De La Hoya (20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico hosted a media workout today at Wild Card Boxing Club ahead of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. De La Hoya will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado (35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round main event.
DIEGO DE LA HOYA, NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Champion:
“This is going to be a tough fight. Salgado has the record of a knockout artist. But that doesn’t intimidate me. I’m going do a good job and show that I’m back. I’m going to show that I’m ready for a world title shot. He’s been saying a few things about me, but he just wants me to lose my focus. He can talk all he wants, but I’ll do my talking in the ring. All I have to say is that I’m going to give a great fight. Winning this fight, I want to face any champion who will give me the opportunity. But they just have to know what they will lose their title fighting me.”
MERCITO “NO MERCY” GESTA, Former Lightweight Title Challenger:
“I feel excited for every fight. It’s another great event. Every event that I fight I treat as something special. Manzanarez is tough, but I’ll need to figure him out in the ring. Based on the videos, it’s tough to get on the inside because he’s tall, long and knows how to use that as advantages.”
“I learned from my world title fight. It boosted my confidence because I did so well against a great fighter. Every opponent is different and has different styles. I can’t look down on this guy. He’s not a stepping stone, and I will treat him as a world champion. I see myself fighting for a world title again soon. I still feel strong and ready. I still have a long way left in my career. I want any champion in the division. I’m always ready to take a fight.”
Anthony “Juice” Young Signs with Real Deal Entertainment
Boxing manager Rich Masini announced that welterweight Anthony “Juice” Young has signed a promotional contract with Real Deal Entertainment.
Young (18-2, 6 KOs) of Atlantic City will make his debut under the Real Deal Entertainment banner when he takes on this Saturday night when he takes on Enver Halili (10-1, 3 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round bout at Boardwalk Hall in his hometown of Atlantic City.
“I am happy to join Real Deal Boxing. They are an up-and-coming promotion,” said Young.
In Halili, Young will be fighting the brother of a former opponent who defeated Young for one of his two defeats.
“I expect a tough fight. I saw his fight against Raymond Serrano, and I think he was winning until he got disqualified. I expect to get the victory.. At the end of the day, he is not his brother Skender. When his brother beat me, it was just a little setback.”
The Atlantic City native is honored and motivated to be performing on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend.
“It is special to fight at Boardwalk Hall. I am now at the point of my career, that I am set on bigger fights, and it is an honor to fight on Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame weekend. It motivates me as I want to be be inducted when my career is over.”
Masini, who has managed Young for the last six-years, is excited at the new partnership that he has for his fighter.
“I have seen “Juice” Improve greatly over his last seven fights. It is Anthony’s commitment and his team led by trainer Raul “Chino” Rivas that have done a great job with his preperation,” said Masini. “In addition, Anthony’s dad, Teany has helped me in the management end of things. I am very proud of him. He has matured inside and outside of the ring.”
“I am looking forward to working with Real Deal Entertainment. Sal Musumeci has been a long time friend, and this is the final piece of the puzzle in-terms of completing the team around Anthony. The reason that I am in this business is because of people like Anthony. He is loyal, dedicated, and now has all of the pieces to become world champion. We have tried to keep him busy, but in the last eight-months, we have had some fights fall out, but we are back on Saturday against Enver Halili. “Juice” will be ready to show all that he is on the rise.”
Ballard vs. Idigov Added to Claressa Shields vs. Hannah Gabriels Card
The Salita Promotions professional boxing event on Friday, June 22, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, is heating up even more with the announcement of an intriguing match-up of promising light heavyweight prospects with local ties.
In a fight with explosive action written all over it, Detroit’s own James “The Equalizer” Ballard (10-1, 3 KOs) will face undefeated Aslambek Idigov (12-0, 5 KOs), from Detroit via Grozny, Russia, over 10 exciting rounds.
Fighting mostly in his home city, the 28-year-old Ballard has become a fan favorite for his fearlessly aggressive style. Ballard says he refuses to lose on his home turf of Detroit.
“Expect a war,” said Ballard. “I will go out there and give the fans what they want by going toe-to-toe. I am coming for Idigov’s O. I’m not going to be out-boxed in my hometown. It’s a respect thing. It’s going to be a long night for him. We are training hard and ready to go hard every round if it takes that long. June 22 can’t get here soon enough. I’m more than ready to send Russia back home.”
A compact puncher with pinpoint accuracy, Idigov has fan favorite written all over his muscular frame. Since he began training in Detroit’s famed Kronk Gym, Idigov says he’s learning to fight the American way.
“Training at the Kronk Boxing Gym in Detroit has been a great experience for me and I learn a lot and get better every day. I love their philosophy that the best win is a knockout!”
James Ballard is a very good fighter. I have no problem fighting him and winning in his hometown, which is becoming my second home as well. Let’s get it on!”
“This is a classic, crossroads fight between two talented and hungry prospects,” said event promoter Dmitriy Salita. “This is a ‘pick em’ type of match that will bring excitement to fans in the championship City of Detroit!”
The skillful pair will duel as part of the untelevised undercard of the blockbuster “It’s Our Time to Shine” event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and current Unified Women’s Super Middleweight Champion Claressa Shields attempting to become a two-division world champion against unified 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels for the vacant IBF and WBA Women’s Middleweight World Championships.
The main event will be televised live on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION (10 p.m. ET/PT) and will also feature highlights of Unified Women’s Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer as she defends her WBC & WBO Titles in her U.S. debut against former world champion Tori Nelson.
Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend to Feature Mazion vs. Pauldo on ESPN
Travell “Black Magic” Mazion(12-0, 11 KOs) of Austin, Texas will put his undefeated record on the line against once-beaten Daquan Pauldo(17-1, 9 KOs) of Orlando, Florida in an eight-round super welterweight fight in the co-main event of the June 8 edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. In the main event, Diego De La Hoya(20-0, 9 KOs) of Mexicali, Mexico will defend his NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles against Jose “Sugar” Salgado(35-4-2, 28 KOs) of Cozumel, Mexico in the 10-round fight.
ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Mazion has the tools and the team that are guaranteed take him to the top, especially since he is trained Ozell Nelson. Nelson is known for training former undisputed middleweight championand Olympic Bronze Medalist Jermain “Bad Intentions” Taylor, who in his prime ended Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins’12-year reign as world champion. Mazion has been touted to have all the skills that Taylor had bad more, reflected partly by his 90% knockout rate.
“I have the team and the skills, both of which will do all the talking,” said Travell Maizon. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be the co-main event for such a legendary weekend, especially because I’ve got a legendary coach behind me. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.”
Representing Orlando, Fl., Daquan Pauldo, formerly known as Daquan Arnett, only has one-blemish on his record. Pauldo has come back with six impressive victories since.
“I’ll make sure that people haven’t forgotten about me,” said Daquan Pauldo. “I wanted to be more active this year. I’ve been training harder at my original weight class, and I will come into the ring on ESPN showing that I’m someone you should look out for. I want to thank Golden Boy and my team for this opportunity. I’m ready.”
The event will take place during the International Boxing Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, where legendary fighters such as “Dr. Ironfist” Vitali Klitschko, Erik “El Terrible” Morales, and Ronald “Winky” Wright will be inducted, along with important figures in the sport of boxing such as Peter Kohl, Steve Albert, Jim Gray and Lorraine Chargin.
Super lightweight prospect Daniel Zorrilla (6-0, 5 KOs) of Rio Piedras, Puerto will participate in the night’s swing bout, which is schedule for four or six rounds against a soon-to-be-announced opponent.
Participating in a four-round super lightweight fight, Dallas, Tex.’s Alex Rincon (3-0, 3 KOs) against Agua Prieta, Mex.’s Engelberto Valenzuela (11-13, 3 KOs). Rincon, whose fights have all ended in a knockout, will seek to maintain his unblemished knockout record.
Kenneth “Bossman” Sims, Jr. (12-1, 4 KOs) of Chicago, Il. will participate in a six-round super lightweight fight. The “Bossman” fought at the 2012 Olympic Trials, losing to eventual representative Jose Ramirez by one point.
In a four-round heavyweight fight, Syracuse, New York’s Luis Vargas (3-0, 2 KOs) will return to Turning Stone Resort Casino after ending his previous fight in a clear unanimous decision victory. Lawrence Gabriel (2-1-1, 1 KO), who also represents Syracuse, will open up the card in a four-round cruiserweight battle and will return after a technical knockout victory earlier in May.
De La Hoya vs. Salgado is a 10-round super bantamweight fight for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Don Chargin & Paco Presents.The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy, “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The fights will take place on Friday, June 8, 2018 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. ESPN3 will stream the fights live beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT. ESPN2 will air the fights at a delayed start time of 12:30 a.m. ET/9:30 p.m. PT. ESPN Deportes will air the fights the following day at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Boxing Hall of Fame Weekend is packed with a series of events starting Thursday, June 7 until the induction ceremony on Sunday, June 10. The weekend kicks off on Thursday with the opening bell ringing and ringside lectures on the museum grounds. Friday, June 8 will feature another series of lectures preceding the celebrity fist casting, followed by the highly anticipated Fight Night, broadcasted live from Turning Stone. Saturday, June 9 will showcase a golf tournament, a 5K race, another series of lectures, a boxing autograph card show, a VIP “Gala” and the Banquet of Champions at 8:00p.m. The weekend will conclude on Sunday with the Parade of Champions and the Hall of Fame induction ceremony at 2:30p.m. Click here to see the full schedule.
Host of the June 8 event, Turning Stone Resort Casino is a Forbes Four-Star Award-winning destination resort, which continues to distinguish itself as a premier venue for fight-of-the-year level boxing. The May event will mark Turning Stone’s 26th nationally-televised boxing event, cementing the resort as a leading destination for nationally-televised combat sports. Turning Stone features world-class amenities including four hotels, more than 20 signature restaurants and dining options, two spas, an all-new 125,000 square foot Las Vegas style gaming floor, a cabaret-style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, five golf courses, several bars, cocktail lounges and nightlife venues with live entertainment every weekend.
Christina Hammer Training Camp Notes
Unified Women’s WBC and WBO Middleweight Champion Christina Hammer has taken to the mountains of Austria for this leg of her intense training camp.
Hammer (22-0, 10 KOs) will make her U.S. fighting debut while defending her titles against former world champion Tori Nelson (17-1-3, 2 KOs) on Friday, June 22. The bout will serve as a supporting bout to two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and unified women’s super-middleweight champion Claressa Shields’ attempt to become a two-division world champion against unified women’s 154-pound champion Hanna Gabriels at Masonic Temple in Detroit, Mich.
Shields vs Gabriels will be contested for the vacant IBF and WBA Middleweight World Championships and telecast on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION at 10 p.m. ET/PT live on SHOWTIME. Extensive highlights of Hammer vs. Nelson will also be shown.
Hammer, of Dortmund, Germany, has dominated the women’s middleweight division since 2010. The 27-year-old says training at elevation in the mountains of Austria is bringing the best out of her.
How has training camp gone so far?
“My camp has gone well. We train three times a day and work hard to be in the best shape possible on June 22 in Detroit.”
Can you tell us about your current training location?
“We are in Austria, staying at a place in the mountains that is about 5000-feet elevation. It’s amazing here. The nature and the mountains inspire me and give me power. It’s very comfortable to do my roadwork and go to the boxing gym because everything is situated in a comfortable way.”
What is a typical day like at training camp?
“We’ve been in Austria for the last 10 days. At 7:30 am, we start the first interval runs. At 9 am, I have breakfast and at 11 am, we go up to the mountains to our gym (which is at 6500 feet high) to do my strength and conditioning work. Later, in the afternoon, we start our boxing work. The nature and beautiful surroundings give me peace of mind.”
How and why is your training camp built into different stages?
“The mountains are perfect to prepare for the fight. You are away from your hometown stay more focused on training. The air is thin and this high level of elevation gives your body a higher level of conditioning. On June 10, we will move on to our next stage of training, which will take place in the United States. That will be to help acclimate me to the new time and climate for fight night on June 22, which is when I will put all of this hard work together and have it pay off in a big way.”
Who is your head trainer?
“My coach is Dimitrie Kirnos. I started my professional career with him. He himself was Soviet Union Boxing Champion and trained many top champions. He is old school and pushes my mind and body to the limit. He is a big part of my team we have a great bond. I have much respect and admiration for him.”
Have you done anything different preparing for this fight?
“I spar with lots of shorter fighters, like Tori Nelson. I guarantee that it will be much more explosive and impressive than Claressa Shields was against her.”
American fans love knockouts. Can they expect a Christina Hammer KO on June 22?
“That’s why I train hard and give everything in the gym. I want to be amazing that night and a knockout would be a perfect ending.”
What is your prediction for June 22?
“I will show my power and skills. People will see who the real unified Middleweight Champion of the world is. My performance will speak for itself!”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Tarver, De La Hoya, Hernandez, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 16th to May 23rd; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Antonio Tarver Credits USA Boxing for Giving Him Structure That Carried Him to the Top
Future Hall of Famer Antonio “The Magic Man” Tarver (31-6-1, 1 NC, 22 KOs) has just about done it all as a boxer having been an Olympic medal winner and world champion as an amateur, along with capturing five major light heavyweight world titles as a professional, as well as a pair of The Ring magazine’s top honors, and four other world championships in two different divisions.
“I credit USA Boxing for giving me structure for the first time in my life,” Tarver explained. “Everything was scheduled; curfew, eating, training, sleep….everything! I then understood that I had to be accountable for everything I did. I had talent, but I wasn’t structured, and that was bigger than me. I had to adjust to authority. My determination took off, giving me support I never had before. I went on to make speaking engagements and get sponsors. I broke barriers. I’ve been the best at every level that I fought at in the world.”
Tarver was a highly decorated amateur who had an amazing 158-12 record. He is the only boxer to capture gold medals at World Amateur Championships, U.S. National Championships and Pan-American Games in the same year (1995). The Orlando, Florida-born southpaw won a bronze medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, losing in the quarterfinals to future world champion Vassiliy Jirov, who Tarver had defeated in the semifinals of the 1995 World Amateur Championships. Tarver also won top honors at the 1994 National Golden Gloves Tournament and 1995 World Championships Challenge.
“I went on a winning roll in 1995 and went into the Olympics in rare form,” Tarver said. “And that’s why I was favored to win a gold medal. I was hitting him (Jirov), the same guy I’d beaten in the World Championships, but no points were registering for me. I had a good second round, but I was down three points, so I threw my game plan away in the third round. I felt I had to do more and got away from my style: counter punching, not getting hit, and being patient. I thought I had won and so did a lot of people. I made up for that, though, with a gold-medal professional career.
“I had been faced with a decision about going pro after I was beaten in the ’92 Olympic Trials. I decided to stay in the amateurs, despite not having any guarantees about making the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team. I sacrificed four years of my pro career, which is why I turned pro at a relatively late age (27). I was determined when I found out the 1996 Olympics were in Atlanta. I think I made the right decision and I have no regrets.
“I had always dreamed of going to the Olympics. I saw Roy Jones, Jr – we first fought each other at 13 – get robbed of gold. I was watching that on television, jumped up, and knew where I was heading: The Olympics! We both suffered horrible decisions in the Olympics and I knew then that our careers would be parallel.
Tarver made his pro debut February 18, 1997 in Philadelphia, stopping Joaquin Garcia (4-0) in the second round.
“I was an Olympic bronze medal winner but when I first turned pro,” Tarver added, “I didn’t have a promoter or manager. Nobody was willing to take a chance on me until I was 4-0, when I signed by first contract with Russell Peltz. I felt nobody could beat me.”
Nobody was able to beat Tarver, at least until his 17th pro fight, when Eric Harding defeated Tarver by way of a 12-round unanimous decision.
Two years later, Tarver embarked on a 12-fight murderer’s row stretch during the next seven years, arguably establishing him as the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. It all started with a successful rematch with Harding (21-1-1) in Indianapolis, when Tarver dropped Harding in the fourth round, plus twice more in the fifth, on his way to a fifth-round technical knockout to avenge his lone pro loss to that date.
Next up for Tarver was a showdown with 44-3 Montell Griffin for the WBC and IBF 175-pound division titles, which were vacated by Roy Jones Jr., April 26, 2003 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. In his first world title shot as a pro, Tarver pitched a complete shutout, decking Griffin in the first and last rounds to shut out his opponent by scores of 120-103 from all three judges.
Seven months later, however, Tarver lost a controversial 12-round majority decision and his WBC crown (he was stripped of his IBF belt) to WBA Super and IBO champion Jones in Las Vegas. The following May at the venue, Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, though, Tarver became the first to knockout Jones, putting him to sleep in the second round.
Tarver then became a mainstream celebrity, appearing on late-night shows and covers of The Ring magazine and KO Magazine, and co-hosting an ESPN Friday Night Fights telecast.
“I was robbed in my first fight with Roy,” Tarver insisted. “They called my knockout of Roy the greatest upset in light heavyweight history. Why didn’t they see me coming? I had beaten everybody ranked ahead of me. Roy was the pound-4-pound king, but he knew. I may not be the fastest, the quickest, or the strongest, but I doubt that there’s ever been a pro fighter to enter the ring with a higher IQ than me. Even at my age, I still feel that way today.”
The WBC stripped Tarver of his title in 2004 for fighting IBF champion Glen Johnson (41-9-2) instead of the WBC mandatory challenger. Johnson, ironically, was stripped of his IBF title for the same reason right before his fight in Los Angeles with Tarver. Tarver and Johnson fought for The Ring and IBO titles and Johnson won a 12-round split decision.
In their rematch six months later in Memphis, Tarver won a unanimous 12-round decision over Johnson to capture the IBO strap. Tarver completed his trilogy with Jones, retaining his IBO title with a unanimous 12-round decision (117-111, 116-112, 116-112).
Tarver lost a 12-round decision June 10, 2006 in Atlantic City to Bernard Hopkins for the IBO championship, which was soon vacated and recaptured by Tarver with a 12-round majority decision over Elvir Muriqi (34-3).
Tarver traveled to Australia in 2011 to challenge IBO cruiserweight champion and local hero Danny Green, who retired after nine rounds, as Tarver added another title belt to his display case.
In December of 2013 in Temecula, California, Tarver knocked out Jonathon Banks (29-2-1) in the seventh round, and Tarver’s last fight was a 12-round split decision draw with former world champion Steve Cunningham (28-7) in Newark, New Jersey.
In 2006, Tarver starred as Mason “The Line” Dixon, the heavyweight champion in the film, Rocky Balboa.
Tarver, as he marches towards his planned history-making performance by becoming the oldest heavyweight world champion of all-time, also has served as a color commentator in boxing for Spike TV and Showtime.
Today, at the age of 49, Tarver is still technically active, and he also trains his son and undefeated middleweight prospect, Antonio Tarver, Jr. (5-0 (4 KOs), where they live in Tampa, Florida.
“I was older than the rest of the boxers on the U.S. Olympic Team and the U.S. National Team,” Tarver remarked. “What a team! Guys like Diego Corrales and Zab Judah didn’t make that Olympic Team. I gave Floyd Mayweather, Jr. his first moniker, ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’, until he changed it years later to ‘Money’. We had a bond on that Olympic team with Floyd, Fernando Vargas, David Reid, Zarim Raheem and the others.”
Although at the age of 49 he is still an active fighter, Tarver occassionally does some color commentating and he trains pro and amateur boxers at a gym in Tampa, Florida. “I’m not retired as a fighter,” Tarver commented. “I started a program, ‘Train with The Champ’, and it includes room rent and training. I like to say it’s an AirB&B for boxing. I train my son (5-0 middleweight Antonio Tarver, Jr. there. I learned a lot from my early days, training in Orlando with my coach, Lou Harris, and I reunited with Jimmy Williams, who is 90 now, training my son together in Tampa.
Tarver also is an advocate of the relatively new “USA Boxing Alumni Association,” which was created to champion a lifelong, mutually beneficial relations between USA Boxing and its alumni, –boxers, officials, coaches and boxing fans — the Alumni Association connects generations of champions, inspiring and giving back to USA Boxing’s future boxing champions, in and out of the ring.
“I’m going online to join,” Tarver said. “I’m looking forward to attending an Alumni Association meeting, June 24-30 during the Junior Olympics in Charleston, West Virginia.
Everything that goes around, comes around, in USA Boxing. Just ask future Hall of Fame candidate Antonio Tarver.
Oscar De La Hoya Delivers Keynote Address to International Sports Marketing and Media Executives
Boxing legend, businessman and philanthropist Oscar De La Hoya kicked off the SPORTELSummit 2018 as the keynote speaker May 16 in Miami Beach before an exclusive audience of decision makers from the international sports marketing and media industries that shape the business for tomorrow.
As the keynote for SPORTELSummit 2018,De La Hoya shared insights from his decades of fighting, from winning the Gold medal at the ’92 Barcelona Summer Olympics to reaching the top of boxing’s professional ranks as one of the best fighters in recent history. De La Hoya transitioned successfully from fighting upon retiring in 2009 to lead his company, Golden Boy Promotions, as one of boxing’s best and most respected promoters around the world. De La Hoya has been at the forefront of moving the sport of boxing into the digital age, having launched Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in 2015, a new division of his company devoted to live streaming and delivering engaging, timely content on the sport to online audiences around the world.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be part of some of the biggest sporting events in recent history, whether as the athlete or promoter on the business side, and I’m pleased to share my experiences from those opportunities and how I’ve built a successful boxing promotions company with other decision makers in the sports business world at SPORTEL Summit 2018,” said De La Hoya.
De La Hoya continued, “I created Golden Boy Media and Entertainment in response to consumers seeking more live boxing content online. Golden Boy Media and Entertainment was the first to record fights in virtual reality and broadcast live in virtual reality. Because of the changes and new ideas Golden Boy Media and Entertainment is bringing to the boxing world, we are beginning to see a shift in the sport. Other boxing promoters followed our lead and are implementing our ideas in their own ways.They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I couldn’t agree more.”
A superstar whose popularity transcends boxing, De La Hoya is known around the world not only as one of the best fighters of his era, but as an elite promoter, Grammy-nominated singer, active philanthropist and astute businessman. Over the course of his boxing career, he was an Olympic gold medalist, 10-time world champion in six divisions and among the biggest draws in the history of the sport. Since retiring from the ring in 2009, De La Hoya has focused his attention on building the company he founded, Golden Boy Promotions, into one of the most successful boxing promotion companies in the world. He runs Golden Boy Promotions as its Chairman and CEO from Los Angeles, representing some of the best fighters in the sport today include Canelo Alvarez, a three-time world champion in two weight classes and the current Pay Per View king of the sport in the US.
Nico Hernandez Captures IBA Flyweight World Title
History was made this past Saturday night on the “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” pay-per-view card, when 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and local hero, Nico Hernandez, knocked out Hungarian challenger Szilveszter “The Silent Assassin” Kanalas in the opening round to capture the vacant International Boxing Association (IBA) Flyweight World Championship in only his fifth professional fight, at Kansas Star Arena in Mulvane, Kansas.
In the first world title fight ever held in Kansas, Hernandez (5-0, 4 KOs) overwhelmed Kanalas (14-7, 9 KOs), the former World Boxing Federation (WBF) super flyweight world champion, to become the youngest (22) IBA world champion ever, as well as setting the record for the fewest pro fights needied to become IBA world titlist.
SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes was launched as Super Channel’s new live boxing series, SUPERBOX LIVE, in association with KO Night Boxing LLC, and it aired live exclusively in Canada on Super Channel.
Integrated Sports Media distributed “SUPERBOX LIVE: High Stakes” in the United States on cable, satellite and digital pay-per-view as it was live-streamed worldwide on FITE.TV app and website (excluding Canada).
Hernandez was aggressive from the opening bell, pounding Kanalas’ head and body. A Hernandez left hook to the body really hurt Kanalas, who went down from a right that followed the vicious liver shot. Kanalas beat Hall of Fame Steve Smoger’s count, and it was only a matter of time before Hernandez would end the fight. It came soon, right after another body-and-head combination put the over-matched Hungarian on the mat for the second and final time.
“A lot of people underestimate my power,” Hernandez said after the fight. “I believe that once he felt my power, I don’t think he wanted it anymore. I felt like I took his heart away. I was patient, I wanted it to go a few rounds to see what he had, but I took his heart away. I can’t really be disappointed because I am a world champion now.”
“Nico was explosive Saturday night and he showed killer instinct,” promoter John Andersen commented. “He was going to box, but I think he smelled fear, and Nico got into Kanalas’ head. He sensed it and jumped on him.”
Before he left the ring, Hernandez took the microphone in the center of the ring and called out three-time Olympian and two-time Olympic bronze medalist, “Irish” Paddy Barnes (5-0, 1 KO), who was the favored to win a gold medal in the flyweight division at the 2016 Olympics. He was eliminated in the round of 16 and Hernandez took home the bronze medal. “There’s a bronze medalist from (Northern) Ireland, Paddy Barnes, and that’s who I’d really love to fight.”
“I think that’s a fight we should start a conversation about,” Andersen remarked. “It’s not line Barnes is 21 (he’s 31) and I don’t know of a lot of 30 or older flyweights. It makes a lot of sense and can be a big fight. They’re both Olympic bronze medalist, already fought in scheduled 10 and 12 round fights, and have belts. (Barnes is the WBO Intercontinental flyweight champ). Nico needs to step up in terms of competition, too. I think they should get in the ring and then we can see what happens.
“If they don’t want to make this fight right away, maybe we can build it up by putting them on the same card, and then fight next year. This fight makes a lot of sense for both fighters and Nico has already said he wants to fight Barnes.”
Hernandez joined reigning IBA world champions, light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev and junior middleweight Mark DeLuca, as well as past IBA world champions such as Hall of Famers Oscar de la Hoya, George Foreman, Roberto Duran and Arturo Gatti, in addition to stars Roy Jones, Jr., Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosely, James Toney, Mikkel Kessler, Eric Morales, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver.
2011 Russia Junior Championships gold medalist Andrey Afonin (6-0, 3 KOs) kept his undefeated record in tact when Pedro “El Reguilete” Rodriguez (23-4, 19 KOs), the Cuban native and former World Boxing Association (WBA) Fedalatin cruiserweight champion, was unable to answer the bell in the third round of the co-featured event.
Unbeaten Ukrainian heavyweight Oleksandr Teslenko (13-0, 11 KOs), promoted by DiBella Entertainment and fighting out of Toronto, stopped Terrance “Big Jim” Marbra (9-6, 7 KOs) in the second round.
Undefeated Washington featherweight Victor Morales, Jr. (9-0, 5 KOs) was too much for David Berna (15-4, 14 KOs), of Hungary, who complained of an elbow injury and lost by way of a second-round technical knockout, in the televised opener.
In the television swing bout, which was held prior to the main event, popular Wichita junior welterweight Jeff Strum (3-0, 2 KOs) kept the train rollin’ with a second-round knockout of Nigeria-native Archie Weah (2-11).
In the most competitive fight of the night, as well as the lone match that went the complete distance, St. Louis cruiserweight Leroy Jones (3-3, 2 KOs) won a four-round unanimous decision over Kansas City, KS favorite Chris Harris (2-3-2, 2 KOs).
EverybodyFights Partners with Aaptiv to Bring Its In-Gym Boxing Fitness Experience to Everyone
EverybodyFights, an award-winning boxing gym, announced today a partnership with Aaptiv, a leading provider of premium digital health and wellness content. As part of the partnership, EverybodyFights, which was founded by George Foreman III, son of the two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman Sr., has created audio-guided classes exclusively for Aaptiv that are modeled after its in-gym experience and based on a real fighter’s training camp.
The classes will make up an entire “Train Like a Boxer” program and will be part of Aaptiv’s new collection of boxing workouts, which are now live on the Aaptiv app. The program is based on a real fighter’s cross training regimen that includes shadowboxing, bag work, strength training, cardio conditioning, and yoga. All of the EverybodyFights audio-guided classes are led by the gym’s certified instructors, including George Foreman III, who retired from professional boxing with a perfect 16-0 record.
“Our mission is to unleash the inner fighter in everyone, at home and in the gym, and Aaptiv gives us the unique ability to make authentic boxing training accessible to the masses,” said George Foreman III. “Bringing boxing to users through audio is a challenge that requires partnering with the best, and we knew Aaptiv was the perfect partner for EverybodyFights because they are the best.”
Aaptiv members have unlimited access to the EverybodyFights boxing program, which they can use for training at home or in a gym.
“We’re focused on continuing to offer our members new, world-class workout content and are excited to officially launch boxing classes with the help of EverybodyFights,” said Aaptiv CEO and founder Ethan Agarwal. “We know our members will love the workout program because EverybodyFights’ incredible training camp pairs perfectly with audio, making it easier than ever to train like a boxer.”
Aaptiv’s entire boxing collection is available now and includes comprehensive training on foundational boxing technique, high intensity workouts, fun and inspiring playlists, and recovery and mindfulness instruction for rest days. To learn more and to download the app, visit Aaptiv.com/everybodyfights.
The Cold War Between De La Hoya and Mayweather
by B.A. Cass
In August, Oscar De La Hoya took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.
As a man of principle, De La Hoya was disgusted. He felt Mayweather was degrading the sport of boxing. Many boxing fans agreed.
How is it then that this man of principle could turn around not three months later and challenge McGregor to a fight? De La Hoya should be called out for his hypocrisy.
De La Hoya has made some ridiculous assertions in the past two weeks, such as he the idea that he’s in the best shape of his life. He also claims that he’s “faster than ever, and stronger than ever” and that he has been “secretly training.” His comments have prompted some Twitter users to question whether De La Hoya has had a drug or alcohol relapse. His behavior seems very erratic.
It’s no coincidence that several days after De La Hoya challenged McGregor to a fight Mayweather released a training video.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) November 20, 2017
This video prompted people to speculate whether Mayweather was contemplating a return to the ring. He later made an emphatic statement reiterating his commitment to retirement. So then why tease people by releasing such a video? I think it’s obvious why. He’s trying to upstage De La Hoya.
This isn’t the first time Mayweather has teased us with a video of him working out. He released a similar video on October 18.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) October 18, 2017
Perhaps this is something he does about once a month as a way of getting out of his Vegas strip club and staying relevant in the boxing world. But here’s an interesting fact: Mayweather posted this video the day after the press conference for the Cotto vs. Ali fight, which De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, happens to be promoting. Coincidence? Not a chance.
Their feud goes back a long way.
In his prime, Oscar De La Hoya was one of the biggest draws in the sport. He was a recognizable name, and he was very handsome. His fights attracted thousands upon thousands of fans and made the people who promoted his fights lots of money. Floyd Mayweather at 135 pounds—then still “Pretty Boy Floyd and not yet “Money Mayweather”—was a brilliant and often dangerous fighter. When he jumped up to 150 to fight Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather did so knowing that De La Hoya would be the naturally bigger man. But Mayweather needed that fight, needed it way more than De La Hoya. Just by putting himself in the ring with De La Hoya, Mayweather elevated himself in the boxing world and gained more attention than he had ever had before.
In the lead up to their fight, Mayweather pulled a lot of antics—antics which would make McGregor’s recent antics seem boyish and dull. Mayweather did everything he could to taunt and confuse De La Hoya, including showing up to a press conference with a chicken who he said was De La Hoya and who he called the “Golden Girl,” alluding to the fact that De La Hoya was caught wearing women’s clothes at a sex party.
Mayweather won the fight handily. Over the years, De La Hoya has made every attempt possible to minimize Floyd’s obvious talents.
The two met in the ring again in 2013, this time by proxy. The fight I’m referring to is Mayweather vs. “Canelo” Alvarez. By this time, of course, De La Hoya was retired and running Golden Boy Promotions full time. Canelo was, and still remains, Golden Boy Promotion’s biggest draw. If De La Hoya could not beat Mayweather himself, then perhaps the number one fighter in his stable could.
That didn’t happen. Mayweather schooled a very youthful looking Canelo.
Win number two for Mayweather.
Mayweather and De La Hoya have since exchanged barbs. The animosity between them is palpable, even if they have been able to work together to promote fights. I’d like to posit that even though Mayweather has gotten the best of the De La Hoya at least twice, he has never liked the idea that the De La Hoya was at one time the bigger star. Mayweather chose to craft himself into boxing’s leading villain and De La Hoya, even after his many scandals, remains more beloved among boxing fans. And I think it’s obvious that De La Hoya has never liked the fact that he was beaten by Mayweather twice—once in person, once by proxy. He can’t seem to let it go.
Mayweather can’t seem to let his grudge go either.
Mayweather, as we all know, is not just a boxing star but a powerful figure behind the scenes. Mayweather promotions certainly had a say in determining when the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would take place. And they chose a date just three weeks before the already scheduled fight between Canelo and GGG, which was one of the most anticipated fights in boxing. How can we view the date that they selected as anything but an attempt to upstage De La Hoya and Golden Goy Promotions fight between Canelo and GGG?
What’s going on here is nothing more than a battle between two middle-age men who can’t refrain from acting like little boys. They’ve never liked each other, and now it seems they’ve engaged in a cold war of sorts, a passive feud that no one really cares to witness.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Oscar De La Hoya Discusses Miguel Cotto’s Last Fight & Canelo vs. GGG 2
by B.A. Cass
In September, Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) announced that he wanted to face the winner of the long overdue showdown between Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs). But that won’t be happening now that Golovkin vs. Alvarez ended in a controversial draw. According to Oscar De La Hoya, negotiations for the rematch between Canelo and Golovkin will begin in the first part of next year. “It seems like both fighters want to fight each other,” De La Hoya said today. “And that’s a fight that I would be pushing for. Both fighters feel like they still have something to prove, which will make it an exciting fight.”
“A lot of people underestimate Canelo’s speed and his ability to move from punches and block punches,” De La Hoya said. “Yes, there’s a lot of little things that Canelo can work on, but that comes from experience obviously.” It’s hard to imagine Canelo will gain much experience before he faces Golovkin again, given the fact that Golden Boy Promotions is eying a direct rematch. “We’re definitely going to block off Cinco de Mayo and September for Canelo,” De La Hoya said. “He’s given me my marching orders to get the best possible venue, the best possible date.”
Cotto isn’t disappointed that he won’t get a chance face Golovkin or avenge his earlier loss to Canelo. “He understands that it was a draw. He understands that both fighters possibly want to fight each other. Miguel Cotto is set on his retirement fight. He’s set on fighting on December 2nd. He’s not going to wait for anybody.”
Cotto’s opponent will be Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs). According to De La Hoya, Ali is the only fighter who stepped up to the challenge. “We offered this fight to many fighters,” De La Hoya said. “Fighters do not understand what an opportunity against Miguel Cotto means to their careers.”
Several fighters, most notably Errol Spence, have turned down the fight with Cotto because they did not want to sign a long-term contract with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Look,” De La Hoya said. “I believe in Errol Spence. I believe in Mikey Garcia. I believe in Danny Garcia. Or even Keith Thurman.” But he questions their choice not sign with a top promoter.
“You look at every legend that’s out there, like Miguel Cotto, like Mayweather, like Pacquiao, like myself, like Tyson, like anybody,” De La Hoya said. “You need a promoter. You need a promoter to guide your career, to have a plan for you—a long-term plan, a short-term plan. You know, you see Errol Spence, guys like Danny Garcia. I don’t even know when the last time Danny Garcia fought, and I love watching Danny Garcia fight. . . . Mikey Garcia, he beats Broner. So what? Now he’s fighting a guy who is promoted by Broner. A promoter tries to help make you great. That’s exactly what’s happening here. . . . It’s not for the money; it’s for the opportunity because imagine if [Ali] beats Miguel Cotto. . . .”
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
HBO PPV Undercard Results: Diaz, Martin, and De La Hoya Win Uneventful Decisions
By: William Holmes
Three bouts were televised on tonight’s HBO PPV offering before the start of the main event between Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin.
The undercard fight between Nicola Adams and Alexandra Vlajk was called off after Alexandra Vlajk failed the pre-fight medical. Three fights were on the untelevised undercard in front of a nearly empty arena.
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing
The first bout of the televised portion of the pay per view was between Ryan Martin (19-0) and Francisco Rojo (19-2) for the WBC Continental Americas and WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Titles.
Martin was the taller fighter and fights out of an orthodox stance, but was previously promoted by 50 Cent and has been relatively inactive the past few years.
Martin stayed busy with his jab in the opening two rounds and Rojo targeted the body, but not much action and Rojo was slightly busier than Martin.
Rojo complained to the referee about punches landing to the back of the head and Martin appeared to be shaking off ring rust. Rojo continued to come forward in the fourth and fifth rounds and was the more aggressive fighter of the two.
Martin was able to land a good double left hook to the body and head in the sixth round but that may have been his best combination of the first half of the fight. Rojo was able to momentarily stun Martin with a right cross in the seventh round and Martin was warned by the referee to keep his punches above the belt line.
Martin was warned for low blows twice in the eighth round and the referee gave Rojo time to recover, but Martin was not deducted a point. Martin connected with some good right hooks this round, but this round, like the others before it, could have been scored either way.
Martin was finally deducted a point in the ninth round for landing another low blow, but he was able to land some good combinations to the head of Rojo.
The final round was similar to the rounds previous, with Rojo pressing the action coming forward and both boxers throwing and landing, with Martin appeared to land the cleaner punches but Rojo throwing slightly more.
The judges scored it 98-91 Rojo, 96-93 Martin, and 95-94 for Martin. The crowd loudly boos the decision of the judges.
The next bout of the night started almost immediately afterwards and was between Randy Caballero (24-0) and Diego De La Hoya (19-0) for the NABF and NABO Super Bantamweight Titles.
Caballero is another boxer that has not been very active in the past two years. De La Hoya was able to land good hooks to the body in the opening round but was reaching for his punches a bit. Both boxers were a little sloppy in the opening two rounds and clash of heads occurred in both the first and second round.
De La Hoya was landing the cleaner shots in the third and fourth rounds, though Caballero was able to knock De La Hoya off balance a little bit with a right hand to the chin in the fourth.
Caballero had a small shiner underneath his left eye in the fifth round and took a hard combination that forced him to retreat into the ropes a little dazed. De La Hoya continued to land good combinations in the sixth round and even pushed Caballero to the mat.
De La Hoya had a good showing in the seventh round and was able to tie up Caballero whenever he got in close.
Caballero needed a knockout in the final two rounds to win the fight, but that knockout never came and he didn’t press the pace enough to ever come close.
Diego De La Hoya wins by decision with scores of 100-90, 98-92, and 98-92.
The final bout of the undercard was between Joseph Diaz Jr. (24-0) and Rafael Rivera (25-0-2) in a WBC Featherweight Title Eliminator.
Rivera was training for another fight when he got the call to face Diaz at the last minute.
Diaz came out aggressive in the opening two rounds but Rivera was more than willing to fire back with shots of his own. Both boxers appeared to be evenly matched early on.
Diaz was pressing the pace more by the fourth-round while Rivera was looking for his counter shots, but Diaz was the more accurate puncher.
Diaz’s accuracy carried the way in the middle rounds with the exception of the seventh, in which Rivera was able to land several hard shots on Diaz during their exchanges.
Diaz focused on the body in the eighth and ninth rounds and looked like the fresher fighter. He had a dominating tenth round and landed several hard-straight left hands on Rivera.
Even though Diaz didn’t score any knockdowns, he looked like the fresher fighter and was boxing better as the fight progressed. The championship rounds were rounds that he clearly won.
The final scores were 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Joseph Diaz.
Untelevised Undercard Quick Results:
Marlen Esparza (3-0) defeated Aracely Palacios (8-8) by scores of 60-54 on all three scorecards in the Flyweight division.
Vergil Ortiz (7-0) defeated Cesar Valenzuela (7-2) by TKO at of the 1:22 of the second round.
Serhil Bohachuk (5-0) defeated Joan Valenzuela (5-9-1) by TKO at 1:58 of the second round in the super welterweight division.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, De La Hoya, Pacquiao, Roach, Shumenov, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, De La Hoya, Pacquiao, Roach, Shumenov, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 20th to June 27th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Golovkin and Canelo Conclude International Press Tour with Hollywood Red Carpet Affair
Lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and WBC/IBO/IBF/WBA Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) today closed out their international press tour with a red carpet film premiere for “I am Boxing” at the AVALON Hollywood that included a Q&A panel hosted by Mario Lopez. Canelo vs. Golovkin are set to clash on Saturday, September 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
Below is what the fighters and their promoters had to say on the press tour:
CANELO ALVAREZ, Lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion:
“This is going to be a very tough fight against Golovkin. There are fights that are difficult, and this is one of them. I’m going to prepare like I always do at 100 percent.
“I’m happy we are giving the fans the fight they wanted and demanded on September 16 as that is a great motivation to me. This is a very important fight to all of Mexican fans, and I am going to train as hard as I always do.”
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, WBC/IBO/IBF/WBA Middleweight World Champion:
“This press tour has been going great, I’ve been waiting 20 years to be in a fight like this. Canelo is a different guy than anyone I have every faced. He is a huge fighter and a great champion. On September 16, we will both put on a great boxing show.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:
“Canelo vs. Golovkin is the type of fight that deserves the spotlight and we are getting that. I am pleased to debut a film, ‘I Am Boxing’ highlighting the middleweight division leading up to this historic showdown with Canelo and Gennady, and I am very proud to have been an executive producer on the film.
“On September 16, Canelo vs. Golovkin will deliver and then some. This is a real middleweight fight between two fighters who have been boxing their entire lives and something the fans really called for, and I believe will end in a knockout.”
TOM LOEFFLER for GGG Promotions:
“There has been such a great response to this fight, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this with the two best middleweights fighting each other.
“These two superstars have a huge international fan base and when you put them both together-the event becomes much bigger. It was harder to make the deal secret than it was to keep it-everyone was taken by surprise and social media was really trending.
“When the training camp video comes out, the hype will keep building and building once everyone sees these fighters in their prime. Team Gennady feels very confident as does Canelo-both fighters wouldn’t take the fight if they thought they wouldn’t win.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Business Partner:
“I expect fireworks in this fight come September 16, but I also look at the fans, and see that this is what they want. This is a fight worthy of a red carpet because they are two future champions-and I believe two future Hall of Famers.
“I feel that Canelo’s versatility will be very important come September, as will ‘GGG’s’ power and knockout ratio. Everyone should be aware, but not scared, as this fight has all the makings of a perfect recipe for a great fight.”
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach Workout Quotes
Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2) and Freddie Roach recently held a media workout in Australia as they prepare to face title challenger Jeff Horn (16-0-1). They will fight on Saturday night live on ESPN in the United States.
Below are some quotes from the workout:
MANNY PACQUIAO: “We have a really good plan for this fight. We worked hard in training camp both in Manila and in General Santos City. I’m totally focused for this fight. I am not looking past this fight because at this point in my career, every fight is the most important. There are no tomorrows if I don’t win today.
“Jeff Horn is OK. I’ve watched video of his fights. He brings a lot of action into the ring.
“I know what he is feeling. I remember everything about my first world title fight.
“Being a senator and training for a fight is hard. It takes discipline and time management. Luckily, the Senate has been in recess for the past few weeks and I have been able to focus on training for my world title fight.
“A Senator’s job is to defend his people … to fight for their rights.
“I know Jeff Horn used to be a teacher. In the ring, I’m a teacher too.
“I am ready for Jeff to come out and be aggressive. If he does that it will be a great fight for the fans.
“The biggest crowd I ever fought in front of was at Cowboys Stadium against Joshua Clottey. I’m told this could be bigger [51,000+]. I am very excited for doing that, even though they may not be rooting for me. I am also very happy that ESPN will be televising it live.to the U.S. Now everyone can see it. It’s good for boxing.”
FREDDIE ROACH: “Manny is a performer. He loves people, loves a big audience. Brisbane has all that for this fight. He’ll be fighting in front of the biggest crowd of his career.
“Not everyone gets the opportunity to fight for a world title. It was always my dream but I never fought for one. It’s a big deal. Jeff Horn earned this opportunity. He is the WBO’s mandatory challenger.
“Manny gave me 110% in training camp. He always does. No one works harder in the gym. The difference in this camp from recent ones has been his aggression. He’s scored several knockdowns and I haven’t seen that in years. He has kept his foot on the pedal throughout, even when he’s had a sparring partner in trouble. After his ring work he is singing and dancing – not well – but that’s not the point. He is really hungry to make a statement in this fight against Horn. He’s even playing Shakira during his workouts again and he hasn’t done that in years.”
Two Time World Champion Beibut Shumenov Retires Due to Severe Eye Injury
Two-division World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion Beibut Shumenov has relinquished his WBA cruiserweight world title, due to his career-ending eye injury, and he has announced his retirement from the ring.
“I have regrettably relinquished my WBA cruiserweight title and retired from boxing because of a traumatic eye injury suffered the week before my last scheduled fight,” Shumenov said from his Las Vegas home. “I’m extremely disappointed my boxing career has ended like this but, unfortunately, injuries are part of this sport and there’s nothing I can do about it. I still have blurred vision and I need to have an additional surgery next month to try to further repair so I don’t risk blindness in my (right) eye.
“I’d like to thank my family, my team throughout the years, friends and fans for their continued support all these years. I was proud to wear the WBA championship belt for many years as a two-division champion. I’m grateful to WBA President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, his father, and all those in my WBA family. It was quite a ride and I look forward with great anticipation to the next chapter of my life with my son and future endeavors.”
Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs), a 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, was scheduled to face Interim WBA champion Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) in the April 29th main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes, from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
During his last slated sparring sessions, Shumenov suffered an eye injury that required immediate surgery, forcing him to withdraw from his April 29 fight against Dorticos.
Earlier this month, the WBA received a letter from Shumenov’s eye surgeon, Dr. Kent L. Wellish, who wrote the following: “Mr. Beibut Shumenov has a serious ocular issue, a recurrent corneal erosion of his right eye, that with continued fighting, puts him at risk for permanently losing his eyesight.
“It is my medical opinion that he should permanently refrain from sparring, training and boxing due to the severity of damage to his eye and the high risk of further damage of vision impairment, including the possibility of permanent vision loss.”
The WBA accepted Shumenov’s relinquishment of his championship, noting that it expressed its gratitude and pride for his professional career with the WBA.
The last three years of Shumenov’s career was marred by inactivity, in which he fought only three times due to lack of managerial support, despite him training daily, in top shape and always being ready to fight. In fact, he sparred almost 400 rounds since his last fight (May 21, 2016) in anticipation of, first, a unification fight with Denis Lebedev and then for his fight versus Dorticos. Neither happened, however, as boxing politics enabled Lebedev to avoid fighting Shumenov, who defeated BJ Flores and then Junior Anthony Wright in back-to-back WBA elimination fights to be Lebedev’s mandatory challenger.
Even Shumenov’s mandatory fight against Dorticos was unnecessarily delayed because Dorticos’ promoter, Caribe Promotions, defaulted its right to promote the fight it had won by purse bid, followed by continuous and numerous date changes from February to March until finally landing on April 29.
The 33-year-old Shumenov retires as the first and only two-division world champion to date from Kazakhstan, as well as the record-holder for fewest fights needed to win the world light heavyweight championship, 10.
During his 9 1/2 -year pro career, Shumenov defeated four world champions – Gabriel Campillo, Byron Mitchell, William Joppy and Montell Griffin – as well as world title challengers Epifanio Mendoza, Vlacheslav Uzelkov, Danny Santiago, Enrique Ornelas, Tamas Kovacs, BJ Flores and Junior Wright.
Taras Shelestyuk Tests Unblemished Record on July 1st
Thompson Boxing Promotions heads to Northern California on Friday, July 1st to promote its first show in Sacramento starring unbeaten, Olympic bronze medalist Taras ‘The Real Deal” Shelestyuk (15-0, 9 KOs).
The highly ranked Shelestyuk (WBO No. 5) faces fellow welterweight Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-2, 11 KOs) in the “Locked n’ Loaded” 8-round main event from Omega Products International, an outdoor venue.
Shelestyuk vs. Rodriguez and the entire 8-bout card will be streamed live on TB Presents: Locked n’ Loaded. Watch the action on ThompsonBoxing.com and Facebook Live beginning at 7:45 p.m. PST / 10:45 p.m. EST.
Tickets for “Locked n’ Loaded” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase online at ThompsonBoxing.com, or by calling 714-935-0900.
Shelestyuk, 31, is coming off a unanimous decision win against Jaime Herrera in November. The fight, televised on SHOWTIME, had championship implications with Shelestyuk winning the WBO-NABO welterweight title.
The Ukrainian-born Shelestyuk, who now lives and trains in Los Angeles, had a decorated amateur career punctuated by winning a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
“I’m excited to fight in Sacramento,” said Shelestyuk, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “I’ve been in the gym all year and can’t wait to put on a show next week.”
In the co-feature, standout amateur Ruben Villa (5-0, 3 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. looks to stay undefeated against Gino De La Paz (2-1, 1 KO) in a fight set for 6-rounds.
Villa has all the tools to become the next world champion at featherweight. He cleaned up the amateur ranks with back-to-back National Golden Gloves championships prior to turning professional last year. He inked a promotional contract with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions last July and has been busy since then.
“I love being active,” said Villa, who is managed by Danny Zamora. “That was one of the main selling points in signing with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. They assured me that I would be fighting frequently. I’m ready to get another win on my resume.”
“We are looking forward to a great night for Taras and Ruben,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions. “Taras is on the cusp of big fights, and with a win over a tough fighter like Rodriguez should prepare him for that. As for Ruben, he is coming along great, and on July 1st, he will yet again show why he is the one of the top prospects in Boxing.”
Diego De La Hoya to Defend Title Against Alan Luques
Undefeated fighter and steady rocket in the super bantamweight division, current WBC Youth World Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (18-0, 9 KOs) will travel to South America to defend his title against Argentinian Alan “El Lumbriz” Luques (21-6, 9 KOs) in a 10- round main event that will take place in Complejo La Pedrera in de Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina. Doors open at the 7:00 p.m. ART, with televised bouts going live on DirecTV Sports in Argentina beginning at 8:00 p.m. ART.
Diego will be returning to the ring after a solid victory against Erik Ruiz before a sold-out crowd in Tucson, Arizona this past May in a slugfest that went the distance. Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya will make the journey of a thousand- plus- miles to watch his talented cousin defend his WBC Youth title ringside as the special VIP guest of the night. Also in attendance as a VIP will be WBA Inter-Continental and WBO International welterweight champion Lucas “La Maquina” Mattysse.
“I know it, and Diego knows it – every fighter wants to beat a De La Hoya,” said Oscar De La Hoya. “It takes hunger and passion for boxing that motivates him to travel across the world to demonstrate he just won’t be messed with. Diego will come home with a victory and new Argentinian fans who will be impressed by his Mexican speed and power.”
“I’m excited to be fighting in San Luis, Argentina,” said Diego De La Hoya. “The Argentinian fans have been very supportive of my career on social media and I can’t wait to put on a great show for them in person. Thank you Mr. Arano, GBP and my manager Joel De La Hoya for this opportunity and chance to make new fans.”
“It’s a great opportunity for me to fight with such a sky-rocketing figure like Diego de la Hoya and to top it all of my idol Oscar De La Hoya will be present in the stadium,” said Alan Luques. “I will prepare like never before to take advantage of the opportunity before me and I want to thank Golden Boy and Arano Box. I will give all of me.”
Oscar’s Right: Boxing This Year Sucked
Oscar’s Right: Boxing This Year Sucked
Oscar De La Hoya recently came under fire for stating that 2016 has been awful for boxing, with boxing’s top dogs sitting idly on the sidelines. It certainly is a controversial opinion, especially for someone from boxing’s upper echelons like Oscar.
But here’s the thing: He’s absolutely right.
Boxing’s suffered an abysmal lack of momentum this year. Take the last two big cards of the year, for example, which featured Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin in back-to-back weeks. While all these televised matches were entertaining scraps, they weren’t followed by any substantial cards in the weeks following. And boxing’s ratings are suffering as a result. Average viewership numbers are dropping, a byproduct of boxing’s erratic scheduling. If the fans enjoy fights, in on other promoters to capitalize off that positivity and continue to deliver a great product.
While I believe that every case varies, it stands that most fighters haven’t taken too many positive steps forward this year. Canelo fought a fighter much smaller than himself and another who was a contender at best. Golovkin, for all the accolades he deserves, fought Kell Brook, who was talented but undersized, and Dominick Wade, a largely unknown Al Haymon project. Even Manny Pacquiao has been hurt by a lack of innovative matchmaking, facing huge underdog Jessie Vargas next week and beating Timothy Bradley for the second (arguably third) time.
Speaking of Haymon, his fighters have been the worst perpetrators of this trend. A lengthy list of his boxers have less than two fights for the entire year. Without much exposure, fighters can’t earn fans because the fans won’t remember them, gravitating towards more active fighters instead. Even Keith Thurman, who defeated Shawn Porter in one of this year’s signature matchups, fell out of public adulation despite winning the biggest fight of his career. Why? Because he hasn’t fought since then, and isn’t scheduled for another match until next year.
Which brings us to the promoters, who Oscar chides for failing to provide enough marketing muscle behind their fighters. And he’s right. Take the PBC, for example. Because of Haymon’s superfluous stable, each fighter doesn’t receive the recognition he deserves or needs to grow a true brand. Also, consistently putting on shows of low quality curbs the value of the PBC in general. In other words, to a casual fan, it might be hard to distinguish between a club fighter competing on a Tuesday night and a top fighter because of a lack of distinct promotion.
Because boxing is a niche sport, it constantly runs into scheduling lapses, and that issue was much more outstanding this year. In the summer, boxing often takes a reprieve. Why? Perhaps it’s due to the lack of promotional-friendly holidays during that span. But not having boxing on consistently from June until September hurts the sport’s popularity immensely. In addition, Showtime doesn’t do many fights in the fall because it directly competes with college football games. But there’s a difference between being strategic and starving the appetite of the fans. There will always be conflicting events on fight night – that’s life. You have to be bold in matchmaking and scheduling if you want to broaden your fanbase.
While we can rag on boxing’s inept model all day long, there have been a few bright spots hidden in the shambles. Orlando Salido and Francisco Vargas engaged in an all-out war a few months ago, while Jesus Soto Karass and Yoshihiro Kamegai battled twice in two entertaining bouts. And last month, Roman Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras combined high-level execution with offensive frivolity to make a classic. In the coming months, Kovalev-Ward promises to be the most pivotal, legacy-defining fight of the year. And that’s really all the sport needs: great fights at the right time. Hopefully, boxing can learn from its perilous path in 2016, ushering back in the action-packed paradigm that has defined every great era in the sport’s history.
The Top Five Robberies of the Past 25 Years
THE TOP 5 ROBBERIES OF THE LAST 25 YEARS
By: John Freund
Here’s a news flash: Boxing isn’t fair. The best fighter, or the one who fights the best in the ring on a given night, doesn’t always win. In other sports, the scoring is obvious. Everyone knows when a basket is made or when a touchdown is scored. But in boxing, the scoring remains a mystery until after the final bell. And that often leads to controversy. Whether that controversy stems from poor judgment or corruption on the part of the judges, is up for debate. One thing is for certain though, there are plenty of asterisks alongside boxing wins and losses. Following, are five of the most egregious robberies of the last 25 years:
Note – this list factors in the commercial significance of each bout. So fights like Williams-Lara, and Rios-Abril, while clearly miscarriages of justice, are not weighted as highly given their lack of mainstream significance.
#5) De La Hoya vs. Trinidad – Sep 18, 1999
Billed as ‘The Fight of the Millennium,’ the last of the so-called ‘Superfights’ of the 20th Century, it was a battle of unbeaten champions as reigning WBC megastar Oscar De La Hoya squared off against boxing’s other pound-for-pound king, IBF Champion, Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad. This match would both unify the Welterweight titles, and prove who was the best fighter in the world.
Or so people thought…
“Outclassed is too big a word for what’s happening here, but it’s verging on that.”
When Jim Lampley spoke those words in Round 9, the so-called Superfight had thus far been nothing more than a chess match. And not even a competitive one at that – picture Bobby Fischer versus some hustler in Washington Square Park. Yup, it was that kind of lopsided.
De La Hoya frustrated Trinidad all night with his lateral movement and footwork, never getting caught up in the ropes and keeping his distance from the heavy-hitting Puerto Rican by effectively utilizing his jab. De La Hoya – a fighter known for his jab and vicious left hook – continually stunned Trinidad with right cross after right cross. He seemed to be landing them at will.
I gave De La Hoya 8 of the first 9 rounds. Larry Merchant had it 6 to 2 with 1 even. Howard Lederman had it 6 to 3, which, in my opinion, is exceedingly generous. Regardless of the score, there is little debate about who won the early rounds. It’s rounds 10-12 that this fight is remembered for.
De La Hoya, on the advice of his corner, played defense in the final three rounds – which is a polite way to say that he ran the hell away from Trinidad and didn’t fight for 9 minutes straight.
Now, to be fair, De La Hoya’s entire strategy was to box – stick and move, stick and move – and he employed that strategy beautifully for 9 rounds. He didn’t let Tito cut off the ring, and he picked his opportunities to fight and throw combinations, landing at least 2 or 3 per round. Tito, on the other hand, barely threw a single combination in the first 9 rounds. That’s how effective De La Hoya’s game plan was.
Yes De La Hoya took off the last 3 rounds, and yes he lost all 3 (though the 10th was pretty close). But even still, there is no question who won the fight. As Jim Lampley said, he didn’t outclass Tito, but it was verging on that.
The judges, of course, saw it differently. They handed Tito the win, and that’s how the ‘Golden Boy’ came to record his first ‘L.’ Incidentally, this fight set the record for non-heavyweight PPV buys, with 1.4 million; a mark that would stand for 8 years until De La Hoya-Mayweather broke it.
There would be future controversial decisions in the Golden Boy’s career – one where he was robbed against Mosely, and another where he was gifted against Sturm. Regardless, this fight goes down as one of the biggest boxing robberies of all time, given the hype surrounding it, the status of the two stars inside the ring, and the fact that they never fought again – so we’ll never really know who was the best boxer in the world at the time.
#4) Chavez vs. Whitaker – Sep 10, 1993
Before there was Mayweather-Pacquiao, before De La Hoya-Trinidad, there was Chavez-Whitaker.
Julio Cesar Chavez is a boxing legend, often considered the greatest Mexican boxer of all time, which is saying a lot. Coming into this fight, he had a jaw-dropping record of 87-0. Chavez was that rare combination of boxer and brawler, someone who could bob and weave and play defense on the outside, until he worked his way inside on you and broke your will. He was the best in-fighter in the game, and his chin was legendary; the first time Chavez ever hit the canvas was in his 91st pro fight.
Pernell Whitaker, meanwhile, was the best outside-fighter in the game. A slick southpaw with phenomenal footwork – he would dance, move, duck, hop, and sometimes even leap to places other boxers could only dream of reaching. Whitaker brought a 32-1 record into this fight, with his only loss being to Jose Luis Ramirez in what many consider to be a fight that Whitaker actually won. He was the Floyd Mayweather Jr. of his day, and Chavez-Whitaker was the ultimate ‘Bull vs. Matador’ matchup; it was brute force against blinding speed.
The first half of the fight was dead even. Whitaker established his game plan in Round 3, slipping and dipping, utilizing his speed and elusiveness, and finding just the right moments to throw wicked combinations. Chavez, who was the best in the business at cutting off the ring, was relegated to chasing the man they called ‘Sweet Pea’ around and around, just as Trinidad would chase De La Hoya six years later. Chavez did manage to force the action enough in the first 6 rounds to make it close on the cards, if not even.
But Round 7 was when Whitaker took over. He began to outclass Chavez, sticking and moving, capitalizing on his hand and foot speed. Whitaker even fought Chavez on the inside – and beat him there; something no one thought possible. There were moments when Whitaker double-jabbed Chavez, and somehow brought his right back in time to block a Chavez left hook. Thus was the blinding speed of Pernell Whitaker.
By Round 11 Chavez was exhausted. He was lunging and leaning, his punches lacking their usual sting. They fought the whole round on the inside, and Whitaker dominated without question. It was a masterful show of boxing prowess, and it earned Whitaker the right to be known as the first man to defeat Chavez in the ring.
But the fight was ruled a draw. Conspiracy theories abound, as Don King – Chavez’s promoter – was under federal indictment at the time for a litany of charges, including match-fixing. Dan Duva, Whitaker’s promoter, lodged a formal complaint with the Texas department of licensing and authorities after British judge Mickey Vann admitted to docking Whitaker a point for a low blow in the 6th Round. Referee Joe Cortez warned Whitaker for the blow, but did not instruct the judges to dock a point. To make things even more suspicious, the judges’ scorecards mysteriously disappeared the day after the fight…
If one were so inclined, one might argue that Don King rigged the match to keep Chavez’s revenue-generating, zero-loss streak alive for as long as possible. Of course that would imply that Don King were capable of such devious, underhanded, mafia-style tactics.
Regardless of what actually happened that night, one thing is certain: Sweet Pea won the fight, and was robbed of a victory.
#3) Castillo vs. Mayweather 1 – Apr 20, 2002
I can already hear Mayweather fans cursing my name. Go on, I can take it. Do your worst in the ‘Comments’ section…
If you’re a Mayweather fan, it’s time to eat some humble pie. Your hero was beaten and beaten soundly, and on Hitler’s birthday no less! (No idea why that’s relevant, I just like to point out Hitler’s birthday whenever I see it anywhere…)
Mayweather, at age 25, with a record of 27-0, was years away from the iconoclastic figure nicknamed ‘Money’ for having generated more of it than any other boxer in history. This was ’02, and ‘Pretty Boy Floyd’ was moving up from Jr. Lightweight to Lightweight to face a Mexican bruiser named Jose Luis Castillo. Most experts predicted a Mayweather rout; just another rung on King Floyd’s ladder of greatness.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation – someone forgot to tell Castillo that he was supposed to lose. The fiery Mexican crowded his elusive opponent, pinning Mayweather against the ropes and viciously attacking his rib cage. Remarkably, Mayweather stood and traded with Castillo instead of slipping away eel-like, as he normally does. Perhaps he wanted to prove he could go toe-to-toe with a heavy-handed lightweight. Whatever the reason, as Larry Merchant later said, Mayweather ‘fought the wrong fight.’
His loss was apparent, even to Mayweather, who could be seen hanging his head immediately after the final bell sounded, and staring down at the canvas in the run-up to the decision. This wasn’t the loud and proud Pretty Boy Floyd we’d all come to expect. This was a man who knew he was beaten.
Yet the judges decided otherwise. Two of the judges scored it 115-111, and Anek Hongtongkam (best name ever!) had it 116-111.
I personally had Castillo up 8 rounds to 4. Harold Lederman at ringside had a similar score. I can understand 7-5 Castillo, but anything beyond that is stretching it. And to say that Mayweather not only won this fight, but won it convincingly – as all three judges’ scorecards imply – is an outright travesty. Castillo out-muscled, out-maneuvered, and out-classed boxing’s soon-to-be brightest star.
A lot of people blame the decision on Bob Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Castillo at the time. It’s clear what Arum’s motivation would have been to fix this fight – Pretty Boy Floyd was on the rise, and having that big goose egg in the ‘Loss’ column helped make him a household name.
And a household name he would become, as Mayweather went on to rack up 49 victories with no official defeats, and generate more money than any boxer in history. Would all that have changed if Castillo had gotten his just desserts? No one will ever know…
It’s impossible to say for certain if the fight was fixed, or if the judges were just in awe of Mayweather and scored him more generously than they should have. But don’t forget, this is boxing, where what goes on outside the ring is just as important – or sometimes even more important – than what goes on inside the ring. Perhaps Castillo himself put it best when he responded to the controversy by saying, “Well, I don’t want to say the wrong thing, but boxing is certainly filled with interests, let’s put it that way.”
#2) Holyfield vs. Valuev – Dec 20, 2008
If you’ve never seen this fight, don’t bother. It’s easily the most boring championship match of all time. I’ll give you a quick rundown of the entire fight right here: Valuev stands in the center of the ring and does nothing, while Holyfield dances around him and does next to nothing. Picture that for 12 rounds.
The reason this is an all-time great robbery is because, at the end of the day, next to nothing is still more than nothing.
Holyfield won this fight 11-1. The only round that is even plausible to give to Valuev is the 12th, yet somehow, in some universe, the judges gave Valuev the win. I guess they decided that lumbering around for 33 out of 36 minutes and throwing 4 or 5 punches a round – never mind any combinations – is enough to retain a title. Yikes.
This is a big deal, considering Holyfield would have made history with this win, notching his fifth world title and becoming the oldest man ever to win the heavyweight crown at age 45 (besting ‘Big’ George Foreman by several months). But alas, it was not to be.
The one cool thing about this fight is that Valuev is a monster. And by that I mean he’s 7 feet tall and weighs over 300 lbs. Holyfield, at 6″3, 210, looks like a hobbit dancing around that Stone Giant thing in Lord of the Rings.
The reason this fight is #2 on the list is because the decision is so egregiously wrong. Other than the 12th, I defy you to find one round that Valuev won. I know this isn’t the most meaningful heavyweight bout of all time, but from now on, when someone mentions the fact that George Foreman is the oldest man ever to win the heavyweight title, you can bring up the asterisk that is Holyfield-Valuev.
#1) Pacquiao vs. Bradley 1 – Jun 9, 2012
You knew it was coming. The grandaddy of all highway robberies. The most shameless star-making event in boxing history. The day that three judges decided Tim Bradley out-fought Manny Pacquaio.
A little context before we delve into this one: The fight took place in 2012, right around the time everyone was clamoring for a Pacquaio-Mayweather Superfight. We all know what happened there. Instead of Pacquaio-Mayweather, we got Pacquaio-Bradley.
Okay, fair enough. Bradley came into this fight undefeated, with impressive wins over Lamont Peterson and Joel Casamayor. He was ranked a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter, so after negotiations with Mayweather and for a Cotto rematch both fell through, why not give a guy a shot?
The fight went as everyone predicted. Manny just had too much speed, too much power, too much technical skill for Bradley to handle. Bradley fought Manny’s fight and PacMan picked him apart, landing his straight left all day long. As Max Kellerman declared in Round 5, Manny ‘Outclassed him.’
The fight itself brought zero surprises. It was the decision afterward that left everyone floored. In the narrowest of margins, the judges gave a mixed decision to Bradley.
It’s tough to find a single person who thinks the decision was justified. By my count, Manny won the fight 10 rounds to 2, and most of those were pretty decisive. The only rounds I gave to Bradley were the 10th and 12th. Now, I can see a 9-3 decision, and can even stomach an 8-4, but giving more than 4 rounds to Bradley…?
The judges unanimously gave Bradley the 7th round, even though Manny doubled him in punches landed! 2 of the 3 judges gave Bradley the 8th, even though Manny outpointed him 15-9 in that round. And there was no question who was throwing the harder leather. Jim Lampley and Emanuel Steward were commenting all night how much more power Manny had, and how Bradley simply couldn’t handle his trifecta of speed, skill, and punching power.
After the fight, Bradley was asked by Max Kellerman in the center of the ring if he thought he won. He said that he would ‘have to go back and watch the tape to see who won the fight.’ The crowd booed. Kellerman then asked Pacquiao if he thought he won the fight. Pac responded, “Absolutely, yes.” And the crowd went wild.
Now, if you’re going to claim that a fight is fixed, you should at least have a theory as to why it would be. There’s a pretty convincing one for this fight, and it starts and ends with Bob Arum.
Bob Arum promoted both fighters. Pacquiao was already a legend, and having had 3 losses, wasn’t protecting a goose egg the way Mayweather was throughout his career. So what’s one more loss going to do to his iconic reputation? Absolutely nothing.
Meanwhile, a win for Bradley makes him an instant star – which is exactly what happened. It also sparked a very lucrative Pacquaio-Bradley trilogy, of which Pacquiao convincingly won the last two fights (and wasn’t robbed by the judges).
And if you want to be uber-consipratorial about the whole thing (and who doesn’t!), you could say that, ‘isn’t it a coincidence that Bradley signed with Top Rank just before this fight, and fought a big match on the Pacquaio-Marquez 3 undercard, thus introducing him to a more mainstream audience?’ And… let’s just go the full nine here… ‘isn’t it strange that Bradley looks a heck of a lot like Floyd Mayweather Jr., whom fans wanted to fight Pacquaio, but the fight never materialized (up to this point)?’ Could Bob Arum be pulling his best Vince McMahon impression, giving us a substitute for Mayweather-Pacquiao – only one in which the drama was artificially manufactured instead of naturally ingrained?
Color me cynical, but I think all of the above is possible.
Whatever the case, things certainly didn’t go as planned for PacMan moving forward. He would fight Marquez for the fourth time later that year, and get famously knocked unconscious, then spend over a year recovering before returning to the ring. Boxing fans often point to the Bradley fight as the beginning of Manny’s downfall, if you can call the last 4 years a ‘downfall.’
Bradley, meanwhile, went on to fight and beat some top contenders, including an aging Juan Manuel Marquez, Jessie Vargas, and Brandon Rios.
Tim Bradley is by all accounts a very warm, likable guy, and it’s worth noting that he is not the one who robbed Pacquiao. It was the judges who robbed Pacquiao.
Or maybe it was Bob Arum…
Regardless, this fight is yet another reminder that boxing can be such a cruel mistress: she can seduce you, and just as quickly stab you in the back.
What are some of your all-time biggest boxing robberies? Leave a comment below…
Despite Massive Growth Potential, Boxing Remains Contentedly Marginalized
Despite Massive Growth Potential, Boxing Remains Contentedly Marginalized
By: Sean Cross
I hear that it’s summer a lot these days – and that boxing is just going to do piss poor – viewership wise – in the summer. Perhaps. But then I look around Google and see that the UFCs Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz pay per view rematch in a few weeks is going to bring in a massive haul. What’s more, barely a weekend goes by when U.S. Twitter trends aren’t dominated by some UFC event or other…even in the summer. So, what’s up? Customer satisfaction, that’s what’s up. The UFC gives fans what they want, and the powers behind boxing don’t. It’s that simple, really.
It would be impossible to imagine UFC honcho Dana White openly saying he would want to “marinate” a match in order to make the most out of it financially. Why? Because that would be bad for business. That’s why Diaz-McGregor II is appearing less than six months after Diaz-McGregor I while Canelo Alvarez will be fighting someone on Pay Per View most fans have never heard of this fall. Grand marinator Oscar De La Hoya essentially argues he wants to tease at least some of his paying customers. Dana White, on the other hand, wants his customers happy, satisfied and coming back for more. Which pay per view event do YOU think will be more successful: Diaz-McGregor II or Canelo-Opponent No One’s Heard Of (for the record, it’s the talented but most likely out of his depths Liam Smith)?
It’s really not even open for debate. Nor is the problem with much of boxing. When someone like De La Hoya is open and boastful about a practice which leads a large portion of his paying customers on, it’s little wonder boxing fans are tuning out. The biggest shame in all this is that boxing is having a good year for itself in 2016. Believe it. There’ve been some amazing fights and if you haven’t seen them you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve no doubt the UFC is running some great cards right now, but fights like Santa Cruz-Frampton, Thurman-Porter and Salido-Vargas have more than hit this spot for many a fan – this one included.
The issue of course is that we fight fans don’t know when we’ll get more matches like them. If we were fed a steady stream of such bouts, boxing would be back on track to regaining some much needed popularity. The potential for it is there right now, believe it. Instead, though, it seems that the powers that be prefer to let ducking and marinating (its own form of ducking) rule the day. Too bad. The long term growth potential for boxing is huge at the moment. If only someone would realize it. It doesn’t have to be a visionary, either. Just someone with a clear line of vision.
One last thing: I’m a boxing freak who likes the sweet science far better than all other sports. Yet I won’t be watching Canelo on pay per view this fall. It’s just not worth it. Instead, I’ll be watching Diaz-McGregor II on pay per view this month. I may not know much about MMA, but I know when the fans are being catered to.
And that should be telling.
De La Hoya “Marinates” As Fan Base Grows Restless
De La Hoya “Marinates” As Fan Base Grows Restless
By: Sean Crose
Legendary boxer turned promoter Oscar De La Hoya knows fans want to see Gennady Golovkin get it on with his star fighter, Canelo Alvarez. He also must be aware that fans are getting sick of waiting for the two fighters to meet in the ring. Truth be told, however, De La Hoya feels that fans can wait a bit longer…at LEAST a bit longer. For by indefinitely dangling a carrot before boxing’s diminished yet rabid fan base, De La Hoya feels he can tease the interested public so much that the not so interested public will grow curious as to what all the fuss is about. And then, De La Hoya feels, the Canelo-GGG match can reach its full economic potential.
Like it or not, De La Hoya’s strategy has proven to be a winning one. Last year’s Mayweather-Pacquiao fight could arguably have happened five full years earlier. Because the public was denied satisfaction for so long, however, the bout – when it happened – broke the bank, reportedly bringing the city of Las Vegas half a billion – that’s billion – dollars in a single weekend. Without doubt, boxing’s power players hit the mother lode with Floyd-Manny, regardless of whether fans were happy with the actual fight or not. That, however, leads to another issue, one that De La Hoya and Canelo are going to have to deal with if they wish to continue playing this game.
For the truth is that promoters are always at the risk of hardcore fans losing interest. The truth is that boxing’s power players may have already turned off most of the general public to the sport. Indeed, only when the rumbling reaches a fever pitch from among the loyal fan base do “Casuals,” which are essentially non-boxing fans, show interest in the sweet science. Promoters need that rumbling to entice the casuals, though. If boxing’s marginalized base of support decides it would rather watch UFC – which prides itself on catering to the fans before all else – than boxing, there will be no one around to hear the tree fall.
Hence, the risk that’s inherent in De La Hoya’s strategy. A prime example of a good idea (not involving De La Hoya or his company, Golden Boy Promotions) backfiring is the long hoped for bout between Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson. That had the makings of being a big fight, if not a blockbuster one. After being denied over and over again, however, boxing’s fan base eventually yawned at the whole business. When Stevenson publicly expressed interest in facing Kovalev this week, it barely registered with sport’s followers. Enough was apparently enough – and the moment had passed.
De La Hoya is indeed risking having the moment for Canelo-Golovkin pass because of the fact that Canelo is not known to be one of the top fighters in the sport. While he’s certainly the most popular pug in the wake of Mayweather and Pacquiao announcing their respective retirements, few if any have claimed that Canelo is near either of those men’s skill levels.
In other words, Canelo stands a greater chance of losing against less than stellar competition than most top level fighters do. That might be hard for some to swallow but it is what it is. Mayweather, for instance, could fight all the Robert Guerrero’s and Victor Ortiz’ he wanted to. There was never much doubt he’d always emerge victorious. The same, frankly, can’t be said of Canelo, who’s already lost to Mayweather and who some feel was given a gift decision over a slick Erislandy Lara.
De La Hoya, then, finds himself in a bit of a Catch 22 right now. If he continues to let things “marinate,” he runs the risk of cherry picking easy outs for his man – something even the dimmest of hardcore fans will catch on to. If he throws his man directly against GGG sooner rather than later, however, most feel Canelo will crumble in the face of the talented Kazakh’s assault. It’s not an enviably position, but it’s one the Golden Boy is going to have to maneuver his way out of. Such things happen when your top fighter isn’t as good as a Manny Pacquiao or a Floyd Mayweather.
Or an in his prime Oscar De La Hoya, for that matter.