Ann Wolfe Interview: “I was a pure Jr. Middleweight and everybody I fought at Jr. Middleweight I put to sleep.”
By: Matthew N. Becher
Ann Wolfe is best known as “the baddest woman on the planet”. She was a professional boxer from 1998-2006. Wolfe amassed a professional record of 24 wins, 1 loss (which she avenged, twice) and 16 wins by way of knockout. She did all this while holding 4 weight class titles simultaneously. Ann Wolfe’s story is one of poverty, crime and destitution. Boxing became her salvation and she became, arguably, the greatest female fighter of all time.
Most recently, Ms. Wolfe starred in the box office smash hit “Wonder Woman”, where she was specifically casted by director Patty Jenkins to play the role of “Artemis”. Jenkins announced on Twitter when Wolfe got the part, “Who else should be one of the greatest warrior Amazons, but the best female boxer in history”.
We were able to speak with Ann Wolfe about her humble beginnings, her thoughts on the state of boxing, Wonder Woman, and being a role model for young females.
Boxing Insider: What was it like filming a big blockbuster movie? Did you enjoy the filmmaking process?
Ann Wolfe: It was OK. As long as I have something to do, I’m happy.
Boxing Insider: Did the people on set know you are this great boxer or did they just think you were some unknown actor?
Ann Wolfe: No, Patty Jenkins personally looked for me. She wanted me to play Artemis. Her husband was a Thai boxer and they wanted me. So she looked for me, so I didn’t cast for Artemis.
The other actors knew who I was, because Patty filled them in. Gal (Gadot) would walk up and talk to me, she was really nice. Chris (Pine) was also very nice. Gal looked at me and then at Patty Jenkins and said “that is Artemis”. They knew, and it was weird because they are actors and big Hollywood stars and they were excited to meet me.
Boxing Insider: Did any of your boxing training help translate to your role as Artemis?
Ann Wolfe: Yes, all of it did. Because using a sword, in boxing you are taught to keep your hands in tight, but with the weapons they wanted you to be more open. It was easy because I was able to use the balance that I have,to use the Axe really well.
Boxing Insider: As an ambassador for female boxing, why do you think it hasn’t caught on in the same way that the UFC female fighters have?
Ann Wolfe: Number one, the UFC is a little more engaging. It’s a new sport itself, so you don’t have to have a lot of skill. Boxing is the sweet science. So if you want to begin in the grass roots of boxing where women are on the same level as guys, you are talking hundreds of years. Men have been boxing everyday all day for a hundred years. So it will take some time. You will need to bring more young girls into the gym starting at 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. And it would have to be 100,000 of them. If you look at MMA, you don’t have an amateur MMA. You have some of these young men like James Kirkland who had 140 amateur fights, I had 3. My skill level was I was just powerful as hell, I didn’t know how to actually box in the beginning. I was just punching them, the skill level wasn’t there. You will have one or two females that are really skillful, but who are they gonna box to get better. MMA is just more exciting because you kick and throw people on the ground and whatever. But people tuned into a fighter like me because I put people to sleep.
Boxing Insider: Who are some of your favorite fighters?
Ann Wolfe: Its gonna sound weird, but Glenn Johnson is one of my favorite fighters, because he was one of those throwback fighters that could lose a fight, and then come back and win. I like Andre Ward, I like Alfredo Angulo, he had a great passion. Most people would think that I don’t like Floyd Mayweather, but I like Floyd. He understood on how to keep winning, I don’t care what anyone says, he kept the passion in his boxing and in his training to win. A lot of people lose that. They get the money and they don’t want to train and Mayweather trained the same as when he had no money and persisted to win. And my favorite fighter is the greatest fighter to ever walk on this earth, and that is Sugar Ray Robinson.
Boxing Insider: Do you expect a call from the Hall of Fame pretty soon?
Ann Wolfe: No, I am already inducted into the female boxing hall of fame and I don’t know if the International Boxing Hall of Fame has any females in it. I don’t know and if I don’t, I’m ok with it. At this time in my life I understand that. I never want to say I’m the greatest fighter as a female, but if you go back and look at my career. I have 3 or 4 amateur fights and in two and a half years I cleaned out the entire, from welterweight to Super Heavyweight. Everybody doesn’t understand that I was going down to 152, up to 175, down to 168. I was a pure Jr. Middleweight and everybody I fought at Jr. Middleweight I put to sleep. If you look at what I was doing and how I did it, I just don’t see no one doing what I did. I held and defended 8 titles in 4 different weight classes. That is like a 106 pounder fighting someone at 175. If I would have just stayed at Jr. Middleweight I wouldn’t have made it exciting, because I’m 150lbs and I’m fighting the Super Heavyweight champion of the world and knocking her out. That’s what people don’t realize, we were never the same size. So I was putting middleweights, Light heavy’s, heavies and Super Heavy’s to sleep. And it got to a point where no one would fight me, so I retired. I will never box again because I went 2 years and no one would fight me at all, zero. That’s when I started training fighters.
Boxing Insider: So what is next for Ann Wolfe? Will we see you return to training fighters or is acting now a serious thing?
Ann Wolfe: I really want to turn toward the acting, because I liked it and a lot of kids can get, what people don’t realize I have put 160 kids through school. I had a gym full of children. Some of those kids slept in the gym. Some of those kids lived in the gyms. I went to those kids schools. I think with the training, I can’t make a fighter have that passion that I have, and it takes years to develop a fighter. Right now I don’t have it in my heart to pour out all of me into that one person, because you don’t know if they are gonna have that same passion when it’s time to have it. I’ve never trained anyone that I haven’t known as a child. I knew Kirkland when he was 12. Every one of them I started training when they were kids. This is not about just the fight game for me. It is a sport for troubled children that are drawn to violence and that type of life. Boxing has that violence part in it, but it also has structure and dedication and the whole nine yards. You get that little bit of violence that you were drawn towards, but it can save a lot of kids.
Boxing Insider: Whatever happened to Vonda Ward after that famous KO?
Ann Wolfe: She had to go to the hospital. I sent a lot of ladies to the hospital. If you go and look at my record, a lot of the people I knocked out never fought again, or maybe one time and that was it. Valerie Mahfood was my only loss and I came back and beat her twice. She said that was the hardest she had ever been hit in her natural life, man or woman.
Breaking: Cotto-Kirkland Bout Cancelled
By: Sean Crose
Roc Nation Sports has announced the upcoming pay per view fight between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland has been cancelled. It appears that Kirkland has fractured his nose, therefore making the fight a no go. To be sure, Cotto-Kirkland was never promising as a pay per view event. Now, it’s been announced that the entire card has been called off. ESPN reports that Kirkland was hurt while sparring. The Texas native is an exciting fighter, but rarely finds himself in the ring. In truth, the last fights both he and Cotto have had have been against Canelo Alvarez. Cotto lost a close fight to Canelo, while Kirkland was knocked out in brutal, highlight reel fashion.
Mega star Cotto, who many believe will be a first ballot Hal of Fame inductee, is wrapping up a long and illustrious career. Yet the choice of Kirkland as an opponent was never going to get many fans to cough up money in order to view the affair on pay per view (though it may have made a solid traditional HBO card). Needless to say, fights with the likes of Tim Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez or even Kell Brook would have generated far more buzz.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Cotto, Kirkland, Khan, Golovkin, Jacobs, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 3rd to January 10th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Taylor, Dave Saffran-MSG Photos
Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland Media Tour Quotes
Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland recently completed a media tour to hype their upcoming bout on HBO Pay Per View that is scheduled for February 25th, 2017 at the Ford Center in Frisco, Texas. Below are some select quotes.
Miguel Cotto – Five-Time World Champion
“James is a tough fighter and stout boxer and he’s going to go to work with victory on his mind. I’m going to work with that, too. We are going to start camp today with Freddie and we are looking forward to the fight.
“I will do my best as always in Los Angeles with Freddie Roach commanding our group. All we need is to be ready for Kirkland.
“It’s going to be a great fight, I know that James always comes with a wiry attitude. And I’m going to do the same.
“I’m here for the best fights and the best fighters out there so if Canelo Alvarez wants to fight, to clear what happened November 2015, they know where to find me. It was close. We orchestrated the plan in a perfect way and we believe that we were the winners of the fight.
“I’m going to do the same as always with Freddie Roach. We’re going to work hard and have a game plan in mind. We’re going to work for James Kirkland.
“I’m committed to this fight. I’m committed to look the best possible for February 25. Freddie is in charge of my camp. Freddie is the captain of the boat. I trust him and I know I am going to be ready for February 25.
“It’s good to be back. It’s good to be sweating. I know that Freddie has everything set for our training camp. I rested a lot. I healed. And now I am ready to fight.
“Jerry Jones is a great promotor. I have a lot of respect for the Dallas Cowboys organization. It’s great to have them support this event.
“This fight is going to be the newest chapter in my career. I’m going to take it. I’m going to handle it in the best way possible. I’m going to do my best first with Freddie in the gym and then the night of the fight to make my family proud. I can’t control my legacy. I can’t control what people say about me after I retire. All I do in life is for my family and my kids. That is going to my legacy – what they think about me.”
James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland – Former WBC Continental Americas & WBO NABO
“I’m definitely going to put on a great performance against an icon and legend like Miguel Cotto.
“I definitely feel this is a step up. Like I said, it’s Miguel Cotto. Someone who’s been putting on for the sport of boxing for a long time and I’m definitely feeling like this is a great opportunity for me to bounce back. I’m definitely going to give my fans a great performance.
“I feel it’s a lot different with Ann. They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Dealing with Ann, we have a certain trust factor with each other when it comes to the training and techniques and things that we do to prepare for any fight. Bringing someone who knows me from the beginning back to the fight game and training Kirkland, it’s overwhelming on both ends. She’s a person that you feel in this atmosphere, the boxing game, who can push Kirkland to his ultimate limits.
“I’ve been training with Ann for so long. Everything that she put me through, or whatever situation might come with training with Ann, I feel like it was always worth it. She pushed me to the ultimate limit but never broke me down, never wear and teared my body, and always has put me in a great position for my performance.
“I just have one agenda, one focus, one mind frame and this is set for February 25.
“Boxing is always a learning experience. And I’ve learned from fighting Alvarez and certain people that I’ve made mistakes against. I take those mistakes and I build from them. I try to learn. I’ve learned a lot from my defeats. Biggest thing that I’ve learned is move your head!
“I’m more focused than ever. Cotto is somebody who has fought all of the greats so I know that he has many tricks up his sleeves and that he prepares well for his fights. At the end of the day, to fight someone who knows the sport, I think about what would he do and how he would feel about certain things. I try to get in the head of Miguel Cotto when I’m training. I’m anxious for the opportunity and I’m thankful for the opportunity.
“Miguel Cotto is someone I look up to. For to me to able to get the opportunity to show what I can bring and take my boxing skill to the next limit is definitely something I can put down in things I have accomplished in boxing. My career needs to get back on the rise and show not just the fans but to the sport of boxing itself that Kirkland is definitely someone that can put on a great show.”
Watch Golovkin and Jacobs Kick Off Press Conference
Gennady Golovkin is scheduled to face Daniel Jacobs on March 18th at Madison Square Garden live on HBO PPV. Golovkin and Jacobs recently held a New York City Kick-Off Press Conference and footage of this press conference has been made available for all to view.
Amir Khan’s Super Fight Leage Teams up with India’s Billionaire Club
Super Fight League (SFL), the world’s leading mixed martial arts (MMA) league, has announced that eight of the world’s leading entrepreneurs have come on as team owners for the inaugural SFL season scheduled to begin from 20th January 2017 till 25th February 2017 in Mumbai, India.
Aditya Munjal from Hero Cycles, Amit Burman from Dabur Group, Keshav Bansal from Intex Technologies, Achin Kochar from VI-John, Kanav Parwal from SPA Capital, Raahil Bhatia from Belmaks Group, Shreeram Suresh and Vinodini Suresh from 8K Miles Media, Deepak Saluja and Pramod Sharma from UV Media, Jaskaran Punihani & Navraj Jaura from Jaura Group, Preeti Mahapatra from Mahapatra Universal Pvt Ltd – “India’s Billionaire Club” – are some of the entrepreneurs who have invested in SFL’s growing ecosystem and who are now team owners in this first of its kind franchisee based MMA league. A full list of the owners and their teams can be found below.
Bill Dosanjh, SFL’s CEO & Principal Founder said: “India is clearly waking up to the significance of combat sports and it is overwhelming to receive support from these marketers across diverse industries who will be associated with the League.”
Amir Khan, SFL’s Co-Founder and two-time world boxing champion, adds: “There is an immense talent pool in India and we’re happy to bring the first season of Super Fight League to fans with the tremendous support shown by the team owners not only to promote the sport but also nurture the inherent talent the country possesses. We’re confident that with the SFL platform, we will be able to create a vibrant sporting ecosystem in India.”
The Super Fight League recently signed a momentous deal with Sony Pictures Network India (SPN) who will be the league’s official broadcast partner. SPN will broadcast the inaugural SFL season live on SONY ESPN and SONY ESPN HD channels while the opening ceremony will be telecast on Sony MAX. In India Super Fight League is the second most watched sports online today.
There is a distinctive point scoring system that separates the Super Fight League from all of the other leagues. Each SFL team will be comprised of six players (five male fighters and one female fighter) who will be competing in six different weight categories and evaluated on the basis of a 5 point scoring system.
Here’s a great example of how the SFL team competition keeps an audience in their seats.
Super Fight League is currently the biggest MMA Promotion in Asia and GCC Region and the third biggest digitally viewed league in the world.
Showtime Sports Announces Original Documentary “Prison Fighters: 5 Rounds to Freedom”
SHOWTIME Sports® announced a powerful new documentary, PRISON FIGHTERS: 5 Rounds To Freedom, which examines a controversial practice in Thailand’s criminal justice system whereby inmates can earn their freedom by winning a series of Muay Thai fights. A SHOWTIME Sports original production, the 90-minute film will premiere on Friday, Feb. 24 at 8:30p ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
The state-sponsored rehabilitation program, popularly known as Prison Fight, is not reserved for petty criminals. Under the law, violent criminals, including those convicted of murder and sexual assault, have been freed and, in some cases, fully absolved of their crimes through their participation in Prison Fights.
“This story is unlike anything we’ve ever encountered,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “Redemption is a common metaphor in sports stories, but this is a story about actual redemption and rehabilitation, with prisoners literally fighting for their release from prison. This film brings viewers inside a personal story of crime and punishment, set against a societal debate about the meaning of justice, rehabilitation and the opportunity for a second chance.”
Narrated by Ron Perlman, PRISON FIGHTERS centers on the story of Noy Khaopan, a convicted murderer serving time in the Khao Prik Prison in Thailand. Viewers will follow Noy’s journey through Prison Fight and hear from his family, as well as from the heartbroken family of Noy’s victim. Ultimately, Noy’s freedom rests on one final fight, which poses a critical question: Can violent men redeem themselves through violent acts?
But while Noy and other inmates fight literally for their freedom, the Prison Fight program has also attracted professional Muay Thai fighters from around the world eager to test themselves in this unique environment. American Cody Moberly of Wichita, Kan., a professional fighter training and competing in Thailand with a redemption story of his own, serves as Noy’s opponent in the final high-stakes fight.
The film also focuses on former World Champion boxer “Oh” Sirimongkol Singwangcha, who now runs a training facility on the outskirts of Bangkok. Once considered Thailand’s Manny Pacquiao, “Oh” was convicted of drug possession years earlier, but earned his way to freedom through the Prison Fight system.
PRISON FIGHTERS: 5 Rounds To Freedom is produced by Sports Emmy® award winner Jason Bowers, written by author and Sports Emmy award-winning writer Mark Kriegel and directed by Micah Brown. PRISON FIGHTERS: 5 Rounds To Freedom is among several distinct and provocative documentaries available on SHOWTIME. Other recent titles include “RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE: The Lawrence Phillips Story”; “ONE & DONE” (Ben Simmons); “KOBE BRYANT’S MUSE,” “IVERSON,” “PLAY IT FORWARD” (Tony Gonzalez), “I AM GIANT: Victor Cruz,” “THE DREW” (Baron Davis), and “DEAN SMITH.”
Adam Lopez vs. Danny Roman Elevated to 12 Round WBA Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator
The previously announced matchup between undefeated WBA ranked No 3-ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez and the WBA’s No. 4-ranked Danny Roman has been elevated to a 12-round title eliminator for the WBA (regular) Super Bantamweight belt held by Nehomar Cermeno.
Lopez (16-0-1, 8 KOs) and Roman (20-2-1, 7 KOs) will square off in the most significant fight of their careers in the main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, Jan. 20, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
Lopez is a classic example of a ShoBox prospect-turned-contender. He’s 3-0-1 on the series, having defeated three previous unbeaten boxers. Roman has won 13 in a row dating to March 2014, and none of the fights have been close.
“I am excited that this is an elimination bout and I am one step closer to fighting for a world championship,” said Lopez. “Very few fighters ever get a chance to fight for a title, and I’m not going to let it slip away. It’s a huge motivator, and the stakes are higher. I am fighting for a chance to fight a guy in Cermeno who is 37 and maybe past his prime. So if I win on January 20, I feel I will win against Cermeno. He is beatable, and that is the perfect opponent to become a world champion. After I beat Roman, Cermeno will pass the torch to me.”
Said Roman: “This is what we’ve been working toward since day one. A shot at a world title is every boxer’s dream. I can’t speak for Adam, but the stakes have never been higher for me. Beating Adam is the only thing on my mind.”
Mykal Fox to Take on Tre’Sean Wiggins
Undefeated junior welterweight prospect, Mykal “The Professor” Fox will take on hard-punching Tre’Sean Wiggins in the main event of a big night of boxing on Saturday night, February 11th at the Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Maryland.
The show is promoted by King’s Promotions.
Fox, 21 years old of Forestville, Maryland is coming off a good 2016, where he went 4-0 and became a main event fight in the Maryland area.
The 3-year pro is coming off a 7th round stoppage over Juan Rodriguez on November 5th in the same venue.
Wiggins of Newbergh, New York has a record of 7-2 with six knockouts.
The 26 year-old southpaw scored knockouts in his first three bouts by knockout which was highlighted by a 1st round destruction of current WBA Super Featherweight world champion Jason Sosa.
The 7-year professional is coming off a six-round split decision defeat to Benjamin Whitaker on April 15, 2016 in Verona, NY.
By: Francisco Martinez
February 25th in Frisco, Texas in the Ford Center at The Star Miguel Cotto is set to make his long awaited & anticipated ring return versus the rugged James Kirkland. Cotto’s last bout, a much more competitive bout than the official judges scorecards would indicate to be. A unanimous decision loss to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez that had other pugilist such as Juan Manuel Marquez believing they saw Cotto as the victor in what has been the highest PPV buys boxing has been able to produce since the 4 plus million Mayweather vs Pacquiao accumulated a couple of months prior to Cotto vs Canelo.
Boxing’s PPV platform has been in dire need of a star big enough to garner the attention of the masses like Floyd Mayweather Jr & Manny Pacquiao were able to do so in their primes. Saul Alvarez considered by most as the face of boxing seems to be the only fighter fans are willing to put up their money for when it comes to PPV. However when we take a look at the stats Miguel Cotto traditionally has been a great success when placed on PPV platform.
From fights with Floyd Mayweather Jr to Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto has always been considered a PPV draw and Roc Nation’s Michael Yorkmark believes no different when it comes to Cotto’s PPV drawing ability “This will be Miguel’s 10th PPV fight. Miguel Cotto belongs on PPV, this fight belongs on PPV…the whole PPV landscape has changed. Since the Cotto vs Canelo fight which did 900k homes you haven’t seen big numbers and as I said in New York we all the media, people involved in boxing have to kind of do a reset. I don’t think we’re going to see huge PPV numbers in the future. That’s reality. The PPV world, universe and industry has changed so we have to adapt to that and we have to reset our expectations”
Cotto vs Kirkland is only a gateway to a bigger fight for the winner. Many speculate that a Canelo rematch is possible given that Miguel Cotto is successful in defeating James Kirkland. However Cotto is not deadlocked on anything other than February 25th “We’re thinking of James, training for James and we’re ready for the 25th and whatever comes after that we’ll think about it then”
Miguel Cotto is not driven by anything in particular heading into what he has confirmed as his last year in boxing. He simply finds drive in his family who he wants the best for “I don’t think about it (legacy) I’m happy with my career. I’m not thinking about any title…I still have the same kind of mind. I want the best for my children, my family and that’s why I’m leaving”
Last time James Kirkland was in the ring in front of his home state he was on the receiving end of what is now knockout of the year on behalf of Saul Alvarez. A loss that doesn’t discourage him if anything a loss Kirkland sees as a learning phase “last fight, learning and just looking back and seeing the fight, the mistakes that I made, a lot of different things (I saw) I’m definitely eager to get back in there to show my fans, hey look Kirkland is still a rising star. He’s still someone that’s gonna make a stand in boxing and to put up a good show for Texas”
Throughout Miguel Cotto’s long awaited ring return a few names were being juggled. One in particular Juan Manuel Marquez who unlike Cotto has been very vocal of the negotiation process. Cotto simply had this to say regarding the failed dream match up “We didn’t get to concrete the fight. It never happened but both fighters were interested in that fight” Marquez claimed after failed negotiations that Cotto changed the weight limits to the catchweight. Cotto simply replied “He knew the whole time about this chapter” insinuating that Marquez was aware of Kirkland being in negotiations with Cotto as well.
Much is unsure of what 2017 will hold for Miguel Cotto’s bid farewell to boxing. Most would imagine Cotto’s team is only interested in big fights that will produce big pay days. Saul Alvarez being the biggest possibility in terms of those talks. Tune in February 25th live on HBO PPV as the future hall of famer Miguel Cotto looks to impose his A level boxing pedigree on the twice beaten but dangerous James Kirkland who will be partnering up with Ann Wolfe as he looks to spoil Miguel Cotto’s retirement run.
Follow Cotto vs Kirkland by using #cottokirkland
Boxing Insider Notebook: Molina, Pascal, Cotto, Lara, Povetkin, Kirkland, King, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 13th to December 20th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Miguel Cotto vs. James Kirkland Showdown Set for February 25th
Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions are pleased to announce that Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, February 25, 2017 when he takes on James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Coming off respective losses to Canelo Alvarez, both fighters will be seeking redemption in a 12-round junior middleweight showdown. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Cotto and Kirkland will join Roc Nation Sports and the Dallas Cowboys organization on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. CT for a press conference at Ford Center at The Star to officially announce the fight. This will be the first event of its kind to be held at the state-of-the-art, 510,000 square foot indoor athletic facility shared by the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Frisco, and Frisco ISD’s high schools. Ford Center at The Star is also the home to the Dallas Cowboys Football World Corporate Headquarters.
Tickets priced at $304, $204, $154, $104, $79, $54 and $29 not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. local time and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 and the AT&T Stadium box office.
“I’m excited to return to the ring and put on a great show. I can’t wait to start training camp and get ready for February 25,” said Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto. “Fighting inside the beautiful Ford Center, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboy’s newest creation, and headlining the first ever boxing event there pumps me with a lot of enthusiasm and energy.”
“I’m very excited to get back into the ring against a legend like Miguel Cotto. I’m going to train like never before so I can show the world that the old James Kirkland is back,” said James Kirkland. “You know the fight will be exciting while it lasts. February 25 can’t come soon enough.”
“Miguel Cotto is back and ready to put on an exciting show against the always tough James Kirkland,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “We can’t wait to see Miguel back in the ring on February 25 on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“On behalf of Roc Nation Sports, we are so thrilled about Miguel Cotto’s return to the ring and to bring the first public event to Ford Center at The Star,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy. “This will undoubtedly be a historic event with an exciting, all-action bout in store for the fans in Frisco and all of North Texas along with those watching from home on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“We are excited to host an incredible matchup for the very first boxing match here at Ford Center at The Star,” said Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager. “This venue was designed with the idea of versatility in mind, and we expect a great crowd in Frisco, Texas to experience a world class fight between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland.”
“Throughout his brilliant ring career, Miguel Cotto has never backed down from a challenge and on February 25 he takes on a dangerous knockout specialist in James Kirkland,” said Tony Walker, Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View. “Fans watching live in Frisco and those tuning in on pay-per-view should not blink in what should be an all-action slugfest.”
Don King Responds to WBC and Povetkin-Stiverne Drug Tests
Top rated heavyweights Alexander Povetkin and Bermane Stiverne were scheduled to fight for the World Boxing Council (WBC) Interim Heavyweight title on Saturday night at the Ekaterinburg Expo Center in Ekaterinburg, Russia. However, the WBC withdrew it’s sanctioning of the bout due to a Povetkin failed drug test. The WBC informed both camps of their decision Friday evening and advised the Stiverne camp they should not go through with the fight. The WBC abides by “Safety First” protocol in their Clean Boxing Program.
Povetkin (31-1, 23 KOs) from Checkhov, Russia was going into the fight rated No. 1 by the WBC. No. 2 rated Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) was born and raised in Haiti, now residing in Las Vegas. They were to fight for the WBC Interim Heavyweight Title, the winner becoming mandatory challenger to current champion Deontay Wilder, who has been incapable of defending due to injury.
The WBC uses VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) to administer their drug testing. VADA uses random testing and athletes may be tested at any time. This is the second fight in which Povetkin has tested positive for a banned substance – this time Ostarine. Povetkin’s positive sampling was taken December 6 and the WBC and both fight camps were notified of the test results Friday night. Within a couple of hours of the notification, the WBC tweeted it was “Withdrawing its recognition of Povetkin vs Stiverne due to the positive result of Povetkin for Osterine,” and shortly thereafter wrote in its ruling “The WBC hereby withdraws its sanctioning of the bout for the heavyweight interim world championship and will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the case and will issue subsequent rulings as required.”
Statement from Stiverne’s promoter Don King: “To say that I am very saddened and extremely disappointed that Alexander Povetkin was caught again using banned substances would be an understatement. What is the WBC going to do about it will be the answer. Bermane Stiverne deserves better than that. Bermane should be declared the interim title holder. This is the second time Alexander Povetkin is in the drug abuse program and has embarrassed the WBC causing the WBC’s sanction of the fight as a world title fight being withdrawn. The firs time was the Deontay Wilder vs. Povetkin May 21 in Moscow.
“Even though it hurts Bermane economically, psychologically and especially psychologically, I want to congratulate the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman did himself and his organization, the WBC, proud by withdrawing their sanctioning of the fight.. Thank you WBC, thank you Mauricio Sulaiman, thank you for your honest, dynamic leadership.”
Ostarine is known to increase muscle mass and fat loss as well as increase stamina. Previously Povetkin was to face WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder on May 21, but tested positive for Meldonium a week prior to the fight. Meldonium is known to increase blood vessel size, increasing blood, hence, improving once again, stamina.
Erislandy Lara to Defend Title Against Yuri Foreman
Super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (23-2-2, 13 KOs) will take on former world champion Yuri Foreman (34-2, 10 KOs) in a world title showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Spike on Friday, January 13 from Hialeah Park Racing and Casino in Miami.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT with former super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (29-1-1, 23 KOs) battling Hungary’s Norbert Nemesapati (24-4, 17 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
“I’m very excited to be making my return to the ring in front of my Cuban fans in Miami on Spike on January 13,” said Lara. “Yuri Foreman is a former world champion who is dedicated to this sport and will be looking to win another world title. I expect nothing but the best from him. On fight night, I’m making another statement and going for the knockout! After this fight, it’s time to unify the division, then move up to win the middleweight titles. Everyone should tune-in because it’s going to be a great night of boxing.”
“I’m thrilled to be fighting for the world title,” said Foreman. “I’m really looking forward to showcasing my skills and talent and becoming a two-time world champion. At this stage of my career, it would be a tremendous accomplishment. Lara is very crafty and many elite fighters have had trouble dealing with his style, but I have studied him and am very confident that I will defeat him by presenting him with something he’s never seen before.”
The Cuban Lara will be making his fifth defense of his title as he heads to Miami to fight in front of the many Cuban boxing fans in the city. The consensus best fighter at 154-pounds, Lara will be challenged by an experienced Foreman, a former 154-pound champion in his own right, who has fully recovered from physical ailments that almost derailed his career. Now, Foreman looks to establish that he can still challenge at the elite level as he prepares to solve the crafty champion.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing, are priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100 and $125, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.myticketforce.com by clicking HERE, by phone at (877) 840-0457 or at the Hialeah Park casino cage.
Barrerra Taunts Pascal, “Did My KO of Shabranskyy Scare You?”
Fresh off of his crushing 7th round knockout of the previously unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, top rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan “Sully B” Barrera has his next victim in mind.
The former amateur standout from Cuba wants to avenge his countryman Yunieski Gonzalez’s defeat to Jean Pascal. Shabranskyy is the only other fighter to defeat his compatriot.
“I knocked out Shabranskyy to get revenge for my friend and I will knockout Pascal too. We can fight anywhere in the United States. Hell, I would go to his country of Haiti and fight him. I just want to get my hands on him,” Barrera stated.
Barrera has been chasing Pascal for two years but has had no luck getting the former champion in the ring. With Barrera’s main two targets – Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev – locked in for a year rematch in the first half of 2017, Barrera knows a fight between himself and Pascal would produce a worthy challenger for either one of them in the second half of next year.
“I want a rematch with Ward or a fight with Kovalev but I know they are fighting again so I can’t just sit around. Pascal needs to man up and fight me. If he beats me he can get a Ward fight. If I beat him I can get a Ward rematch or a Kovalev fight,” said Barrera.
“I can’t fight in Canada but I am willing to fight him anywhere else in the world. I will fight him in the backyard of his parent’s house in Haiti if he wants. Pascal, you need to stop running from me and give the fans the fight they want. Did my knockout of Shabranskyy scare you? Me and you toe to toe is guaranteed to end in a knockout! Congratulations on your win on Friday but now it is time for me and you to get in the ring!”
Adam Lopez Faces Danny Roman in Matchup of Top 10 Ranked Super Bantamweights in Main Event of ShoBox
Undefeated, WBA No. 3-ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will face the WBA’s No. 4-ranked Danny Roman (20-2-1, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, Jan. 20, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
The first ShoBox telecast in 2017 features eight fighters with a combined record of 115 wins against just seven losses.
In the co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis (13-0-1, 1 NC, 10 KOs) will face off with Christopher Brooker (11-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round 168-pound matchup of ShoBox veterans.
In another eight-round featured bout, former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) and Dominican Olympian Wellington Romero (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will clash in an eight-round matchup of up-and-coming, unbeaten super lightweights making their ShoBox debuts in their toughest assignments to date.
In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated bantamweight Stephon Young (15-0-3, 6 KOs) takes on Mexican veteran and two-time interim world title challenger Daniel Rosas (19-3-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight bout.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Kings Promotions in association with Thompson Boxing (the main event) and Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, are $125, $100 $75 & $50 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or calling 1-800-745-3000
Warriors Boxing Congratulates King Carlos Molina for Victory Saturday Night
Warriors Boxing sends congratulations out to Former IBF junior middleweight world champion “King” Carlos Molina for winning his sixth consecutive (and fifth this year) fight on Saturday night.
Fighting at the Gran Oasis Arena in Cancun, Mexico, Molina (28-6-2, 8 KOs) won a unanimous shutout (80-72 X3) decision over Diego “Demoledor” Cruz (17-4-1, 13 KOs). The 33-year-old Molina is currently rated #9 at welterweight by the WBC.
“I feel very comfortable at 147; this is my natural weight,” said Molina, post-fight. “I am at weight after working out and I feel faster in my fights. For this fight, I worked on utilizing my jab and being more effective with it. Over all I am happy about how things came together. I will continue to work hard to get back to a world title fight.”
Molina says he likes the hectic schedule he maintained this year, in fighting five times against respectable opposition.
“I want to stay busy. The activity I experienced this year was excellent and I want to continue being busy. I want bigger fights with anyone in the top 10 at 147. I want the fights that will lead to a second world title. I am a problem for anyone at 147 and in 2017, I want to be challenged with the best the division has to offer.”
“Carlos was one of the best in the world at 154,” said his promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing. “But at 147, he could very well be the best in the world. He is a true technician with a difficult style to solve for anyone. Now that he’s bigger and stronger than his opponents, he’s in very serious contention for a second world championship once again. He had a great year and I congratulate him.”
Miguel Cotto And The Pay Per View Event You Probably Won’t Buy
By: Sean Crose
Okay, admittedly, the title of this piece is dripping in hyperbole. Surely there are those who will cough up good money to see past his prime superstar Miguel Cotto – 40-5 – go head to head with the enigmatic and infrequently in the ring James Kirkland – 32-2 – at the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility in late February. Why good money will be paid for a fight which, for all intents and purposes, belongs on regular HBO is beyond me. Again, though, some will undoubtedly pay. My guess, however, is that not many will. Not many at all.
The truth is that Cotto hasn’t fought since he lost a close one to Canelo Alvarez in a true mega bout over a year ago. As for Kirkland, he hasn’t fought since Canelo laid him out flat a week after Mayweather and Pacquiao met in their disappointing dud of a supermatch back in 2015. Considering that both men are coming off a loss, that both men are highly inactive, that neither man is considered the top fighter anywhere between the weights of 150-160 pounds, it’s clear this isn’t a fight that’s relevant enough to warrant a pay per view card.
Yet the fight will appear on pay per view regardless. Word is that Roc Nation Sports, which represents Cotto, must pay the man so much for his fights that the outfit has no choice but to go the pay per view route (under the banner of HBO). That’s too bad for Roc Nation and HBO – but it’s even worse for fans, who wouldn’t mind seeing the bout. It’s sure to be entertaining after all, considering the parties involved. The bottom line, however, is Cotto-Kirkland is not pay per view material. A Big Mac can be a terrific Burger, but it’s not worth twenty bucks a pop…just like this fight simply doesn’t warrant a price tag.
The truth of course, is that boxing fans – and this is particularly true in the case of casual fans – are done with pay per view events, at least for the time being. Whether they made money or not, pay per view shows like Kovalev-Ward, Pacquiao-Vargas, Canelo-Smith and Crawford-Postol have been far from huge successes. Indeed, the days of Mayweather-Guererro are over, much less the days of Mayweather-Pacquiao. In other words, the pay per view market is hurting.
Here might be at least part of the problem, however:
That there are some fighters who have, and still, get paid more than their market value. Everyone wants to see fighters get the money they deserve. The history of the sport has been littered with short changing, after all. Yet perhaps the pendulum, at least in some cases, may have swung too far the other way. And this particular pay per view card might well be indicative of that problem.