Boxing Insider Notebook: Ali, Cintron, Peralta, Bute, Clarkson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 6th to December 13th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
HBO Announces Multi-Part Muhammad Ali Documentary
An untitled HBO Entertainment multi-part documentary about the life and career of Muhammad Ali from LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and Antoine Fuqua’s Fuqua Films has started production and will debut on the network, it was announced today by Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and CINEMAX Programming. Directed by acclaimed feature-film director Antoine Fuqua (“Training Day,” “Southpaw,” “The Magnificent Seven”) the documentary will explore Ali’s greatest triumphs and comebacks, painting an intimate portrait of a man who, against all odds, dreamed and achieved the impossible, over and over again.
“Muhammad Ali is indisputably one of the most iconic and distinctive figures in the history of world sports,” said Antholis. “His impact resonates far beyond the boxing ring and is woven deep into the cultural and social tapestry of the second half of the 20th century. From the moment LeBron James told us of his deep visceral connection to Ali’s life and legacy, we were committed to helping him realize this film, and our enthusiasm has only grown as Antoine Fuqua has developed his compelling cinematic vision for telling one man’s incredible journey.”
“It’s tough to put into words how much it means to me to be a part of this project honoring the legacy and telling the extremely important story of the great Muhammad Ali,” says LeBron James. “He transcended sports and used his platform to empower people, which paved the way for all athletes and people of every race and gender that came after him, myself included. It’s important that his story continues for generations to come, and it’s an honor for SpringHill Entertainment and me to be a part of this.”
“Muhammad Ali meant many things to many people, and he is someone who had a deep impact on me from an early age,” says Antoine Fuqua. “Being given the opportunity to tell his story, both inside and outside of the ring, is a privilege, and a dream come true, and I couldn’t have found better partners than LeBron and HBO to help memorialize ‘The Greatest of All Time.’ ”
The story of Muhammad Ali is a study in greatness. A 1960 Olympic gold medalist from racially divided Louisville, Ky., and longtime heavyweight champion, he forged a long and tumultuous career inside the ring, and confronted a chaotic life outside the ring. Through it all, he continued to rise above his own imperfections, and challenge the imperfections of the world around him.
Ali never chose the easy path, and that fierce unwillingness to back down helped galvanize his greatness. It also contributed to his ultimate decline, both inside and outside the ring, as tragic and painful as it was to witness. His personality, his voice, his message and his legacy all endure.
Said Lonnie Ali: “We are at a perfect time in history, and in our lives as Americans, to welcome this special documentary on Muhammad with LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment and HBO. This documentary will have national and global appeal. I’m hopeful this documentary will engage the audience in a similar way Muhammad engaged his audience and fans. Without a doubt, Muhammad’s life journey provides simple yet extraordinary lessons for all of us, with perhaps the most important one being, to see and embrace the humanity in all people.”
The production team is highlighted by one of today’s most socially responsible and community-minded athletes, NBA superstar and three-time world champion LeBron James.
The film is being produced with full participation of the Muhammad Ali family estate coordinated through Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO of the Authentic Brands Group, the majority stakeholder of the Muhammad Ali Brand.
The documentary will combine archival footage and gorgeous, cinematic recreations that will transport viewers into the ring and at home with “The Greatest of All Time.” The production will also feature never-before-seen photos and footage from private collections of the Ali family and others.
The film is an HBO Entertainment presentation in association with SpringHill Entertainment and Fuqua Films; executive producers, LeBron James, Antoine Fuqua, Maverick Carter, Paul Wachter, Bill Gerber, Jamie Salter and Glen Zipper; directed by Antoine Fuqua; producer, Sean Stuart; written by Steven Leckhart.
Bute Set to Fight Alvarez on February 24th
Group Yvon Michel (GYM) and Gestev are very happy to confirm the Clash of Titans mega-event as former International Boxing Federation (IBF) super middleweight world champion Lucian Bute (32-3-1, 25 KOs) will face World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver light heavyweight champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (20-0, 10 KOs), Friday, February 24, in a 12-round light heavyweight bout at Vidéotron Centre of Québec City.
This event is a presentation of Vidéotron, in association with Mise-O-Jeu.
Alvarez will put his WBC mandatory challenger position to champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) in danger with an end of April date for this world title fight having already been reserved.
Bute has also set his goal to challenge Stevenson. The veteran southpaw plans to clearly demonstrate that he deserves another wotld title shot, taking on the No. 1 conternder in undefeated Alvarez.
Whatever the final outcome, the winner will be the most popular and legitimate challenger for Stevenson, dramatically increasing interest and notoriety of a totally Québécois world championship showdown.
All the ingredients are gathered to heighten popular interest in this fight, which will prove to be one of the most significant in the history of Quebec.
It is a local confrontation between two athletes who chose Quebec as their adopted home, fully integrating in the loal culture and learning French, as well as where they’ve fought the vast majority of their bouts. The result of this major clash will also have enormous repercussions at the international level in the light heavyweight division.
In one corner is former world champion Bute, who has delivered many inspirational performances during his 13 world championship fights (10-2-1, 8 KOs) to become a great star and admired celebrity in Quebec.
The other corner finds unbeaten Alvarez, a world-class fighter for the past three years who has delivered his most brilliant performances abroad, albeit mostly in the shadows of other great stars of Quebec. The former Colombian Olympian wants to establish his true value after having prepared for Stevenson by fighting opponents for more than the past year. He will earn his highest purse, which is similar to what he would have received to fight Stevenson first.
“The last six months have been tough for me,” Bute explained. “After the Washington situation was settled, I was happy to finally sit down and discuss my next fight. I accepted as soon as I was offered the fight. We’re talking about an undefeated guy ranked number 1 by the WBC. It’s quite a challenge. I tip my hat to Alvarez for putting his position in peril.
“I was expecting the winner of the unification title fight between James Dégale and Badou Jack, but I had no guarantees and I could not afford to wait. My goal is to fight again for a world championship, whether it’s at 168 or 175 pounds, and I did not want to just take a meaningless preparatory fight.
Strongest Overall Card for “Knockout Night at the D” Set for Saturday
The strongest overall card of the highly acclaimed “Knockout Night at the D” series is set for this
Saturday night (Dec. 17), airing live (7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET) on CBS Sports Network from inside the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center indoor facility. FloBoxing.tv will live stream the undercard worldwide, starting at 5 p.m. PT / 8 p.m. ET), in addition to three main card TV bouts – excluding North America – beginning at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET).
The “Knockout Night at the D” series, presented by the D Las Vegasand Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions.
Jim “J.R.” Ross and Joey Varner will call all the action live from ringside, while Jeff Huston will be the ring announcer and fight-week master of ceremonies.
The 10-round main event is a classic match-up of contrasting styles between undefeated Oscar Cantu (14-0, 1 KO) and Aston Palcite (21-2, 18 KOs) for Cantu’s North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super flyweight belt, as well as the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) Inter-Continental super flyweight championship. Cantu is rated No. 4 (as a flyweight) by the World Boxing Council (WBC), while International Boxing Federation (IBF) Pan American super flyweight champion Palicte is ranked No. 11 by the IBF and No. 15 by the WBO.
Unbeaten Chilean junior middleweight champion Angelo Baez (15-0-1, 11 KOs) will make his U.S. debut against Jamaica-native Nathaniel Gallimore (15-1-1, 12 KOs), fighting out of Evanston, Illinois, in the eight-round co-feature.
Promising Los Angeles welterweight prospect Flavio Rodriguez (5-0, 4 KOs) faces Mexican foe invader Dilan “El Terrible” Loza (5-0, 3 KOs) in a six-round bout that will open the televised segment of the evening.
Las Vegas’ new Big 3 – welterweight Jeremy “J-Flash” Nichols (7-0, 2 KOs) and RJJ-promoted junior lightweight Randy “El Matador” Moreno (7-0, 6 KOs), and bantamweight Max “The Baby-Faced Assassin” Ornelas (6-0, 3 KOs) – will all be showcased this Saturday night.
In a pair of scheduled six-round fights, flashy 26-year-old Nichols meets another undefeated opponent, San Diego’s Kevin “KO” Ottley (3-0, 2 KOs), in an interesting match of unbeaten prospects that should propel the winner to the next level of the welterweight division, and constantly improving 21-year-old Moreno takes on Milwaukee’s Mike Fowler (5-3, 2 KOs) in the former’s eighth fight since turning pro March 20th. Fan favorite Ornelas, 18, will square off in his seventh the eighth fight of his six-month pro career against California bantamweight Jorge Perez (6-4-1, 3 KOs) in a four-rounder.
Ft. Worth, Texas junior featherweight Jessie Hernandez (7-1, 6 KOs) is also fighting on the undercard against Sharone Carter (6-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round match.
Additional fights will soon be announced. All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Abreu Upsets Peralta, Cintron Wins
Berlin Abreu won a 10-round split decision over David Peralta to capture the WBC Latino Welterweight bout this past Saturday at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center.
The bout headlined a nine-bout card, which was promoted by GH3 Promotions, King’s Promotions and Sampson Boxing.
It was a terrific back and forth battle that produced action throughout the fight. Abreu used his quickness to fire off rapid fire combinations. Every time it seemed that Abreu was seizing control of the bout, Peralta would would storm back with a hard flurry of his own.
Both guys had a lot of swelling on their faces. In the final-third of the contest, Abreu landed more, and even had Peralta backing up and holding on.
The bout could be a breakthrough performance for Abreu, who sprang the upset over Peralta. Peralta came into the bout ranked number-15 by the WBC, and was coming off a possible career making victory over former world champion Robert Guerrero.
Abreu of Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic won by scores of 97-93 and 86-94, while Peralta took a card 97-93.
Abreu is now 14-1. Peralta of Cordoba, Argentina is now 26-3-1.
In the co-feature, former two-time welterweight champion Kermit Cintron was sharp in taking out Rosemberg Gomez after the 3rd round of their scheduled 8-round welterweight bout.
Cintron was dominant throughout as he showed signs of the fighter, who won the world welterweight title on two occasions. He had Gomez hurt in round three as he divided up his attack to the head and body and finally floored the native of Managua, Nicaragua with a combination. Gomez best offense was a tackle of Cintron as he fell to the canvas on the knockdown. Cintron was alright and after the round, Gomez and his corner pulled the plug on the contest.
Cintron of Reading, PA is now 39-5-2 with 30 knockouts. Gomez is now 19-6-1.
Samuel Clarkson Finishes Year with One Round Destruction of Larry Pryor
Uprising Promotions light heavyweight Samuel “Main Event” Clarkson (19-3, 12 KOs) finished off 2016 with a bang on Friday night at the aptly titled Bomb Factory in Dallas, relentlessly pounding on veteran Larry Pryor until earning a TKO stoppage at the 2:59 mark of the opening round. The victory is the second for Clarkson over the past six weeks and extends his current winning streak to nine consecutive contests.
From the onset of this bout, Clarkson was methodically headhunting, blasting vicious hooks to the body and following them with hammering shots up top. It did not take long before Pryor got a taste of his power, and it quickly became evident that the 11-year pro was in trouble. Defensively, Clarkson looked very sharp as well, stalking Pryor with his hands high while doing a very nice job of slipping punches as he worked his way inside.
Midway through the first frame, Clarkson bullied Pryor onto the ropes and started switching levels so he could not avoid his attack. After unloading a flurry with both hands, Clarkson then crumbled Pryor with a right hook to the body for his first knockdown of the evening.
A second knockdown appeared to come shortly after the first one when Clarkson was again hammering Pryor on the ropes. The Maryland native looked to lose his legs and go down for a second time, but the referee in charge ruled it a push. However, the writing was already on the wall.
As soon as action resumed, Clarkson led with a brutal right uppercut that snapped Pryor’s head back before following that up with a powerful overhand left that put Pryor in a world of trouble. Not letting him off the hook, Clarkson pounded out a violent flurry before finishing off Pryor with another right hook to the body. Pryor again went to the canvas, and that would be the end of the fight.
The official time of the stoppage came at 2:59 of the very first round.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Results: Badou Jack and James DeGale Grind Out Tough Decision Victories
By: William Holmes
Mayweather Promotions in association with Interbox Promotions televised two world championship fights in the super middleweight division on Showtime live from the DC Armory in Washington D.C.
The undercard featured some high level prospects such as Chris Pearson in the middleweight division and Sharif Bogere in the super lightweight division, and both were successful in their undercard bouts.
The winners of the two televised bouts will likely face each other in a super middleweight unification bout in the near future.
Surprisingly, there was a lot of empty seats in the DC Armory despite the fact two legitimate world titles were on the line.
The first televised fight was between James DeGale (22-1) and Rogelio Medina (36-6) for the IBF Super Middleweight Championship.
DeGale, a former Olympic gold medalist, showed his boxing technique was superior in the first round by sticking and moving well and connecting with quick combinations while easily staying out of the range of Medina. DeGale’s defense was also on point early on as his head movement made him a difficult target for Medina.
The second round was close, but DeGale’s punches were slipping in between the high guard of Medina and he was landing more combinations than Medina. Medina, to his credit, continued to press forward and was able to land some punches on DeGale when his back was against the ropes in the third round, but the combinations of DeGale appeared to hurt Medina.
DeGale looked extremely confident in the fourth round and was able to land punches from awkward angles, including lead uppercuts and over the top left hands. Medina started off strong in the fifth round and was able to dig in some hard body shots when DeGale was trapped near the ropes, but DeGale ended the round strong with some heavy lead right uppercuts to the chin of Medina.
Medina had a strong sixth round and tagged DeGale with more head shots than previous rounds, but DeGale had the best combination of the round. Medina’s pressure continued in the seventh round and DeGale’s jabs weren’t acting as much of a deterrent. DeGale however, still had the higher connect percentage.
The eighth round was a close round and Medina’s pressure may have won him the round as he had DeGale stuck by the ropes taking some punishment. DeGale was able to end the round with a hard flurry.
DeGale dominated the ninth round and played it safe in the tenth round as Medina was never able to mount an effective offensive combination or hurt his opponent.
DeGale simply needed to stay on his feet In the championship rounds to win the fight, and he did so despite the fact Medina never stopped coming forward and tried his best to go for the knockout.
James DeGale was able to retain his title with a decision victory with scores of 115-113, 117-111, and 117-111.
DeGale was in a tougher match than expected, and afterwards stated, “The boxing skills are too good. If I’m being honest, he’s a very strong fighter, but skills pay the bills. I watched this guy years ago and this guy didn’t have the engine like that. He’s gotten better and stronger in the last year and a half.”
The main event of the night was between Badou Jack (20-1-1) and Lucian Bute (32-3) for the WBC Super Middleweight Championship.
Even though the DC Armory had a large number of empty seats there was a large contingent of vocal Lucian Bute fans in attendance.
Both boxers spent most of the opening round trying to feel each other out, but Bute was the more active fighter and was pressing the fight. The action didnt’ pick up in the second round with each boxer landing an occasional straight cross, but neither boxer committed to throwing combinations.
The crowd was starting to get restless at the start of the third round, and Jack was able to quiet them with a straight right to the chin after two crosses to the body. Bute was able to answer with a hard left hook, but he appeared to have a small cut near his eye from the earlier exchange with Jack. Bute ended strong with a crowd pleasing straight left.
Jack focused his attacks to the body of Bute in the fourth round, but Bute was able to land several clean straight left hands that pleased his fans in attendance. However, Jack dominated the fifth round as his connect rate increased and he momentarily stunned Bute with a hard overhand right.
Jack’s momentum continued in the sixth round as he was able to land some hard body shots. Bute was able to connect with a few combinations, but they lacked the power and pop of Badou Jack. The seventh round featured several good exchanges from both men, but Jack appeared to land the cleaner and harder punches.
Jack looked like he was wearing Bute down in the eighth round, but Bute was able to pick up his activity in the ninth round and may have stolen it on the judges’ scorecards. Bute scored with some of his best punches of the night in the tenth round, including a few head snapping uppercuts.
Bute appeared to have hurt Jack in the eleventh round with a good combination in the middle of the ring and Jack looked like he was starting to fade. Bute went for the knockout in the final round to win the fight and he kept up the pressure on a visibly tired and worn down Jack, but he lacked the power to send Jack to the mat.
It was a close bout that many felt Jack felt had won, but the judges scored the bout 117-111 Jack, 114-114, and 114-114 for a majority draw.
Undercard Quick Results:
Moshea Aleem (4-0-1) fought Martez Jackson (2-0-2) to a draw in the junior middleweight division with scores of 38-38 on all three cards.
Keegan Grove (1-0) defeated Antoney Napunyi (10-16) by decision in the lightweight division with scores of 40-36 on all three scorecards.
Latondria Jones (3-0) wins by TKO at 0:18 in the first round over Kamika Slade (0-1) in the junior middleweight division.
Carlos Gongora (7-0) defeated Zacharia Kelley (5-13) by TKO at 1:50 of the second round in the light heavyweight division.
Sharif Bogere (28-1) defeated Samuel Amoako (17-10) by in the super lightweight division with scores of 100-90 on all three scorecards.
Chris Pearson (17-1) defeated Joshua Okine (22-6) in the middleweight division by decision with scores of 98-92 on all three scorecards.
Showtime World Championship Boxing Preview: Jack vs. Bute, Degale vs. Medina
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night the DC Armory in Washington, D.C. will showcase two super middleweight world title fights live on Showtime.
Mayweather Promotions, Interbox Promotions, and Matchroom Boxing have teamed up to create an eliminator style tournament to unify the WBC and IBF Super Middleweight belts. One title fight will be between Badou Jack and Lucian Bute for Jack’s WBC Super Middleweight title and the other title bout will be between James DeGale and Rogelio Medina for DeGale’s IBF Super Middleweight belt.
The winners of both of these bouts will likely face each other in the near future. The following is a preview of both the televised bouts on Showtime.
Badou Jack (20-1-1) vs. Lucian Bute (32-3); WBC Super Middleweight Title
Badou Jack is one of the stars of Mayweather Promotions and currently holds the WBC Super Middleweight title. Lucian Bute is a former IBF Super Middleweight Champion and was considered one of the top super middleweights in the world for a significant period of time. When Showtime held their Super Six Tournament that Andre Ward won, many thought Bute should have been included and was overlooked.
However, Bute is now thirty six years old and has gone 2-3 in his past five fights. He’s four years older than Jack, and will have a slight half an inch height advantage and will be giving up one inch in reach.
Bute, a southpaw, has been relatively inactive the past three years. He fought twice in 2015 and once in 2014, and he did not fight at all in 2013. In comparison Jack has been extremely active. He fought twice in 2015, three times in 2014, and six times in 2013.
Both boxers had successful amateur careers. Bute was a Bronze medalist in the 1999 World Championships and Jack competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics for Gambia.
Bute’s losses have come against James DeGale, Jean Pascal, and Carl Froch; all good losses against tough opponents. His biggest victories include Denis Grachev, Glen Johnson, Jean Paul Mendy, Edison Miranda, and Librado Andrade.
Jack’s lone loss was an upset loss to Derek Edwards in February of 2014. He has bounced back nicely since that loss and has defeated the likes of George Groves and Anthony Dirrell in two close bouts, as well as Rogelio Medina, Marco Antonio Periban, and Farah Ennis.
If this bout took place five years ago it would have been a difficult bout to pick. But Bute hasn’t looked good inside the ring since his knockout loss to Carl Froch and Badou Jack’s stock has been rising. This will likely be Bute’s last chance at a legitimate world title, and it’s unlikely he’ll be successful.
James DeGale (22-1) vs. Rogelio Medina (36-6); IBF Super Middleweight Title
This bout, by far, is the bigger mismatch of the two world title fights.
James DeGale is three years older than his opponent and they have similar measurable such as height and reach, but is a significantly better technical boxer.
Medina, however, is the bigger puncher of the two as he has thirty wins by stoppage while DeGale only has fourteen stoppage victories.
DeGale, a southpaw, won the Gold Medal in the 2008 Summer Olympics while Medina has no major international amateur accomplishments.
Medina has gone 4-1 in his past five fights, but three of his losses were by KO and one of those wins came against an opponent with a record of 0-21. Medina only major win came against J’Leon Love in 2014, which was considered a shocking upset. His losses have been to Jonathan Gonzalez, Badou Jack, Marcos Reyes, Jose Uzcategui, and Gilberto Ramirez. Medina also lost to Yori Boy Campos, who was way past his prime at the time with 113 professional bouts to his credit when he defeated Medina.
DeGale’s lone loss was the fellow countrymen George Groves by a close decision. He has since won twelve fights in a row and has defeated the likes of Lucian Bute, Andre Dirrell, Marco Antonio Periban, Brandon Gonzales, Dyah Davis, and Paul Smith.
Medina has the power to score a shocking upset victory like he did against Love, but it’s unlikely a boxer with a Gold Medal amateur pedigree will take unnecessary risks to give Medina a shot at an upset.
This is a bout DeGale should win easily, and likely set up a future bout with Badou Jack in the near future.