Boxing Insider Notebook: Hopkins, Mayweather, Smith, Hurd, Martinez, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Hopkins, Mayweather, Smith, Hurd, Martinez, Lopez, Vasquez, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 18th to October 25th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Tom Hgan-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
Bernard Hopkins and Joe Smith Jr. Press Conference Quotes
Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of FamerBernard “The Executioner” Hopkins(55-7-2, 32 KOs) and Light Heavyweight Contender Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs) today hosted a Los Angeles press conference to discuss their 12-round battle set for December 17 at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif. and to be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing®. Also, in attendance for this press conference was Los Angeles-based undefeated Vyacheslav “Lionheart Chingonskyy” Shabranskyy (17-0, 14 KOs) as he takes on Cuban standout Sullivan Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs) for a 10-round bout for Shabranskyy’s WBC USNBC Light Heavyweight title on HBO Latino® Boxing on Friday, December 16 at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. Also rounding out the HBO Latino® Boxing card, was Former WBC Silver featherweight titlist Ronny Rios (26-1, 11 KOs) against Roy “Pitbull” Tapia (12-1-2, 6 KOs).
Below is what the fighters, their trainers, managers and promoter had to say at today’s press conference:
BERNARD HOPKINS, Former Two-Division World Champion and Future Hall of Famer:
“This is history, we have been here many times where history has been made. This is obviously different than everything I have ever done, because it is the Final 1. To be able to have the Final 1 in LA, where the city of stars are trying to be stars, however you cut it, it couldn’t have been better with the history placed in the DNA that the Forum has produced.
“It is fitting that the end of a twenty-nine year career, since 1988 is in a historic place at the Forum in Inglewood, CA. This is something that came as an opportunity to be here. I couldn’t tell you that it would be in this arena-it just happened, and here I am against an incredible opponent.
“I don’t want anyone to say Joe Smith Jr. gave me anything-give me an opportunity and give me a door and I’ll open it myself. I don’t’ have to convince anyone of anything. This is not emotional. What I am going to do is show you why I have been named three different names in boxing from “The Executioner” to “B-Hop” to “The Alien” they all exist in me.
“On December 17th you will see “The Executioner,” it will all come full circle. This press conference is just a warm up. Win, lose or draw, there is no excuse-Final 1.”
JOE SMITH JR., Light Heavyweight Contender:
“I’m so glad I was chosen to fight Bernard Hopkins in his final fight on December 17th at the Forum. I’m going to train very hard for this fight and take full advantage of it. I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for everyone.”
Floyd Mayweather Jr. Gets Role in Jamie Foxx Flick
TMZ Sports has reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has gotten a role in a new Jamie Foxx Movie. The movie is called “All-Star Weekend” and both Fox and Mayweather are already on set in Los Angeles.
Floyd Mayweather is playing himself, and the movie is supposed to be about two friends who form a rivalry over their favorite American basketball player.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/10/20/floyd-mayweather-and-jamie-foxx-movie-all-star-weekend/
Jonathan Oquendo Added to Lopez vs. Vasquez Card
Former world featherweight title challenger Jonathan Oquendo, undefeated junior welterweight prospect Yomar “The Magic” Alamo and 2012 Puerto Rico Olympian Jontay Ortiz have all been added to this Saturday night’s (Oct. 29) Juan Manuel “JuanMa” López and Wilfredo”Papito” Vázquez, Jr pay-per-view card in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Guerra En El Clemente: Vázquez Jr. v. López, presented by Black Tiger Promotions, will be distributed by Integrated Sports Media live, starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, in the United States and Puerto Rico on both cable and satellite pay per view on iN Demand, DISH, DIRECTV and Vubiquity. The event will also be available to watch across Canada on Fight Network, as well as via Fite TV app for iOS and Android devices or watch on the www.Fite.TV website. Suggested retail price is $29.95.
The Vázquez, Jr. (24-6-1, 19 KOs) vs. López (34-5, 31 KOs) 12-round Special Attraction main event (contested at a 129-pound catch-weight) is presented in association with Matias Entertainment and sponsored by Best Alarms and Municipio de San Juan.
“We’re confident this will truly be a memorable night of boxing for fans in attendance,” said Carlos Maldonado, President of Black Tiger Promotions, “as well as for those watching on pay per view.”
Vázquez (24-6-1, 19 KOs) is a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) FECABOX super bantamweight champion, while López (34-5, 31 KOs) is a past 3-time, 2-division world champion (WBO super featherweight & featherweight, Interim World Boxing Association featherweight
The 33-year-old Oquendo (26-5, 16 KOs) is coming off a 12-round decision loss to WBA world featherweight champion last December to Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar. Oquendo’s most notable victories during his 12 ½-year professional career include Jhonny Gonzalez (DEC10) Alexandro Montiel (TKO1).
Oquendo has lost, ironically, to both Vázquez TKO7) and López (TKO3). He hopes to parlay an impressive win in the 10-round co-feature against Mexican rival Gustavo “El Gustavo” Molina (23-13, 9 KOs) into a rematch with the Vázquez-López winner.
Rising star Alamo (11-0, 8 KOs), the reigning World Boxing Council (WBC) FECARBOX junior welterweight
champion, will be fighting in his first scheduled 10-round bout versus an opponent to be announced. Alamo’s last action was this past August, in which he stopped Edgardo Rivera to capture his regional title belt.
In the PPV opener, Ortiz (5-0, 3 KOs) faces fellow Puerto Rican Luis Hernandez in a 6-round match. Ortiz was bronze medalist in the 2011 Pan-American Games. He lost in the 2012 London Olympics to Russian David Ayrapetyan, 13-15, the eventual Olympic bronze medalist.
Sergio Martinez and Sampson Lewkowicz Sign to Co Promote Olympian Alberto Palmetta
Former world champion Sergio Martinez of Maravillabox Promotions and Sampson Lewkowicz of Sampson Boxing proudly announcing they have reached a co-promotional deal with Argentinean 2016 Summer Olympian Alberto Palmetta.
26-year-old Palmetta, a junior middleweight, is one of the most heavily decorated amateurs in his country’s history. After starting boxing at age 14, Palmetta had 112 amateur fights and went on to win numerous national and international distinctions including the bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and participating in the most recent Olympics.
Born in Buenos Aires, Palmetta was also the captain of the Argentinean national team and was considered a top-10 prospect in the world at his weight. He has been recognized by his home country several times, including being designated and “Illustrious Sportsman by the municipality of San Isidro where he now lives and the 2015 Firpo Award as the best amateur boxer in Argentina.
Palmetta is schedule to make his professional debut on November 18, in Catamarca against an opponent to be confirmed.
“I feel my promoters will be looking to bring me to the United States to fight against the best in the world,” said Palmetta. “This is what I told them I want more than anything.”
Former champ Martinez says he’s happy the heavily sought-after Palmetta chose to go with him and Sampson Boxing.
“I am honored to be working with this talented boxer. The fact that he chose my company gives me tremendous pride and I will do everything I have to for him to become a champion.”
Lewkowicz, one of boxing’s great judges of talent dating back many years, says Palmetta will be an important part of his company’s plans in the coming years.
“This is a fighter with tremendous talent,” said Lewkowicz, who is credited with discovering a then-unknown Manny Pacquiao. “Alberto Palmetta is a name everyone in boxing will know in a few years, both in Argentina and around the world. The boxing fans in the United States are going to love the way he fights. I’m very exited to be part of this.”
Scorcese-Film Star to Compete on New Bedford Boxing Card
Boston Boxing Promotions announced Tuesday that undefeated heavyweight prospect JeanPierre Augustin (6-0-1, 2 KO’s) has been added to the fight card Saturday November 12th at New Bedford High School in New Bedford, Massachusetts against an opponent to be determined.
“I’m excited, but more eager to fight on this card November 12th”, said Augustin, “It’s been eight months since I’ve been in the ring and I want to end 2016 and start 2017 with more activity inside the ropes.”
Augustin, who now lives in nearby Providence after growing up in Lawrence, MA, will have a busy month of November. Not only will he be competing on November 12th, but the Martin Scorcese-produced film “Bleed For This” about the life of former five-time world champion Vinny Paz will come out on November 18th and Augustin is prominently featured in the movie playing the part of Gilbert Dele, the former WBA Junior Middleweight Champion, who was an adversary of Vinny Paz in one of his most famous fights in 1991.
“It was an opportunity that presented itself and I had to jump at the chance to be in a Hollywood movie,” said Augustin.
Although the movie hasn’t been released in theaters yet, Augustin’s reputation as an actor got around and he scored the role of former WBA heavyweight champion John Tate in the upcoming movie, “Heart, Baby”.
While he’s now experienced playing the role of two former world champions, he hopes to be a future world champion himself.
“I’m looking to fight guys with good records and up my knockout percentage from here on out”, Said Augustin, “November 12th is just the beginning and there is no looking back.”
Tickets for the November 12 All-Pro Boxing event at New Bedford High School are on sale now at www.BostonBoxingPromotions.com.
Get to Know Jarrett Hurd
In the last year, undefeated 154-pound contender “Swift” Jarrett Hurd has rocketed to the top of the stacked super welterweight division, putting himself squarely in the hunt for a world title. Saturday, November 12, Hurd continues his championship march as he takes on once-beaten Jorge Cota in Premier Boxing Champions on Spike action from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT and is headlined by Philadelphia’s own undefeated world champion Danny “Swift” Garcia, who takes on Colombia’s Samuel Vargas in a 10-round bout. Garcia is teaming up with Philabundance, the region’s largest hunger relief organization, to arrange a regional food drive and raise money throughout the promotion.
Hurd enters this fight coming off of two impressive victories over previously unbeaten fighters. In November 2015 he dominated Frank Galarza and stalked him around the ring before ending his night in the sixth round. Hurd followed that up in June of this year, when he stopped Carlos Molina in the final round on CBS as the co-main event of the Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter showdown. Hurd’s blinding right uppercut in the first round sent Molina to the canvas and the highlight earned him a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.
Get to know more about the rising star as he talks about his introduction to the sport and some of his personal favorites:
(On his team): I have the best team in the world. Ernesto Rodriguez is my head trainer and we do our work in Temple Hills, Maryland. Ernesto is great because he trains me for the style that fits my skills best.
There is no ego in my team. We’re all working toward the same goal and everyone plays their role perfectly. With each fight we’re getting closer to reaching the ultimate goal – becoming a world champion.
(On his start in boxing): My father first put me in the ring to learn how to defend myself. I was 15-years-old and didn’t really know how to fight. I took to it quickly though and it was obviously one of the best things that ever happened to me.
(On his nickname): I got my nickname from the gym. I looked calm and collective in the gym and people noticed. They said I looked swift in there. Now it’s “Swift” and “Swift” on the same card and it’s going to be electric.
(On his boxing idols): I tried to emulate a lot of defensive fighters. Roy Jones Jr. and Floyd Mayweather are my favorite fighters of all time. I liked James Toney because of his shoulder roll and the Philly shell style.
(Favorite sport/team): I watch football. I only the watch the Washington Redskins though. I’ve always been a huge fan.
(Favorite television show): Power on Starz
(Favorite movie): Deadpool
(Favorite junk food): Pizza
(Favorite health food): Kale
(Celebrity crush): Keri Hilson and Nia Long
(Perfect Vacation): Definitely a cruise to Puerto Rico. I’ve never been there but I want to experience it.
(On his homemade ” All Access ” videos): I just love to be out there and giving fans a chance to feel connected to me. My childhood friend, Christopher Walton, picked up a camera and just started recording me in the ring and outside of the ring one day. He started getting some better equipment so we decided to do these videos to help promote me. The fans are important to me and I want them to feel like they’re a part of my journey.
Warriors Boxing proudly announce the signing of undefeated Chicago-based super featherweight prospect
Josh Hernandez to a promotional contract.
A role model to the city’s youth, when not in training at Sam Colonna’s Gym on Chicago’s south side, the young Hernandez majors in Physical Education and Exercise Science as a junior at Chicago’s De Paul University while working as a personal trainer at Unanimous Boxing Gym.
“I’m excited. It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Hernandez. “All my pro fights so far have been with Warriors and I’m very comfortable working with Leon, Luis and Dominic and their team. That’s what matters most. Other than that, they can offer me some great opportunities. My first three fights were on big PBC cards, so that was exciting. Even my fourth fight was exciting at the UIC Pavilion.”
As an amateur, Hernandez (4-0, 4 KOs as a pro) had just over 50 fights and in 2014, won the Power Gloves and Chicago Golden Gloves, where he was named Best Male Boxer of the tournament.
He is managed and trained by his father, former middleweight contender and fan favorite “Macho” Miguel Hernandez. The 20-year-old has inherited his father’s exciting style, having KO’d all his opposition, thus far, in dramatic fashion.
“My father took me to the gym at five years old and I had my first fight when I was seven. We are very close. He’s my best friend. He is my manager and trainer since I started boxing. I’ve learned everything from him. When I was younger, he took me everywhere with him in his pro carer. When he sat down to talk business with Dominic, I was in the room. When he auditioned for ‘The Contender,’ I was there. At a young age, I was exposed to the business of boxing and what it takes to be a high-level fighter. I bring a lot of people out to watch me fight, but when I’m in the ring, all I hear is his voice. That’s how close we are. I can block everything out but him.”
Long-time Chicago boxing staple and top promoter Dominic Pesoli, now Vice President of Warriors, says he’s happy to be working with the second generation of Hernandez.
“Josh comes from a good, hard-working family,” said Pesoli. “Despite all his talent, he is an extremely humble young man focused on his goals. He has excellent power and great technical skills in the ring and he’s very smart. I couldn’t be happier to be part of this family affair in boxing. Looking forward to working with them.”
Warriors President, Leon Margules, says Hernandez has shown a great deal of promise so far.
“Luis DeCubas and I couldn’t ask for anything more from Josh so far,” he said. “He trains hard and stays dedicated. And in the ring, he’s been levelling his opponents. It’s always amazing to me to see such a nice young man turn so ferocious in the ring, but he does and the fans love it. Warriors is thrilled he is allowing us to handle his career.”
The elder Hernandez says he’s also optimistic for his son’s ring future.
“I fought for Dominic and we have a good relationship. He treated me fairly and he knows when it comes to my son that I’m going to be a little overprotective. He, Luis and Leon are good guys. Warriors is a good company that can take my son to the next level. I’m very happy about this deal.”
PBC on Spike TV Results: Peralta With Upset Decision Over Guerrero, Gausha and Hernandez Vicotorious
PBC on Spike TV Results
By: William Holmes
The Honda Center in Anaheim, California was the host site for last night’s Bellator MMA card and was the host site for tonight’s Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) card on Spike TV.
Three bouts were scheduled to be televised on tonight’s card and featured a welterweight main event between Robert Guerrero and David Peralta.
Photo Credit: Andy Samuelson/Premier Boxing Champions
The opening bout of the night was between US Olympian Terrell Gausha (18-0) and Steve Martinez (16-2) in the junior middleweight division.
On paper, this looked to be the most competitive fight of the night.
Martinez looked like the bigger boxer and both fighters fought out of an orthodox stance. Martinez’s jab was accurate in the first round and he mixed up his shots to the head and body, but Gausha was able to end the round with a stiff counter right.
Martinez out threw Gausha in the second round, but Gausha was connecting with the cleaner counters. There were several good exchanges in the third and fourth rounds, but it looked like Gausha was making Martinez miss more while landing at a higher percentage.
Martinez’s pressure was constant in the middle rounds and could have won him some rounds in the eye of the judges. Gausha was more active in the seventh round than in the previous rounds, and both boxers were willing to stand in the pocket and exchange blows.
Gausha’s jab and lead uppercut were effective in slowing down Martinez in the eighth round, and the ninth round opened up with a flurry with both boxers taking and landing hard shots.
By the final round the fight could have been scored for either fighter and both boxers tried to leave it all in the ring and let their hands go, but neither man was able to score that definitive knockdown to lay claim to a convincing victory.
The judges scored the bout 95-95, 97-93, and 97-93 for Terrell Gausha.
The next bout of the night was between Alfredo Angulo (24-5) and Freddy Hernandez (33-8) in the Super Middleweight division.
Both boxers have spent most of their career fighting in the junior middleweight division, and a loss for either would likely signal the end of any future title shots, and they fought like it in the opening round. Neither Hernandez nor Angulo spent any time feeling the other out and freely exchanged power shots. Hernandez was landing with more frequency and the cleaner shots in the opening round.
Hernandez started off as the more accurate boxer in the second round, but Angulo took some of the best punches that Hernandez threw and was beginning to get within range and land hard punches of his own.
Hernandez had a very strong third round and was able to pop shot Angulo at will
with multi punch combinations. Hernandez’s dominance continued into the fourth round and Angulo was visibly frustrated at the end of the round.
Angulo had a little more success in the fifth round and was able to stun Hernandez with a low blow and a wild left and right hook to the head of Hernandez. Angulo was able to open up a cut over the left eye of Hernandez, who was starting to breathe heavily from his open mouth.
Hernandez’s corner did a good job at closing up his cut before the start of the sixth round and Hernandez was able to go back to pop shotting Angulo from the outside. Hernandez’s cut was re-opened in the final minute of the sixth round from a good right hand by Angulo.
Hernandez had a difficult time keeping Angulo at a good range in the seventh round and his eye was bleeding profusely, but he still out landed and out threw Angulo.
The action was intense and the volume of punches thrown in the final three rounds was high, but it appeared to be Angulo who was landing the harder punches while it was Hernandez who landed the higher number of punches.
The judges scored the bout 98-92, 97-93, and 97-93 for Freddy Hernandez.
The main event of the night was between Robert Guerrero (33-4-1) and David Peralta (25-2-1) in the welterweight division.
Guerreo was a former two division world champion and has been in the ring with the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Danny Garcia. David Peralta has spent his entire career fighting in Argentina and has never fought in the United States.
Guerreo, a southpaw, started off by pressing forward more and showing head good head movement. He looked like he was giving up several inches in height to Peralta. Guerreo was able to get past the jab of Peralta in the opening round and land several hard left hands to the chin.
Guerreo spent most of the second round patiently looking for a clean counter to land while Peralta seemed content on throwing his range finding jab but not much else.
Peralta was able to catch Guerreo by surprise with two quick counter right hands but Guerreo was accurate with his counter punching afterwards in the third round. Guerreo did open up a cut near the hairline of Peralta in the third.
Guerreo was able to snap the head of Peralta backwards several times in the fourth round with hard straight left hands. However, Peralta was able to answer with a strong fifth round and even stunned Guerreo with a combination that ended with a straight left jab. Peralta continued the positive momentum into the sixth round and his style was appearing to baffle Guerreo.
Guerreo fought with increased desperation in the seventh round and likely won the round based on his aggression. However, that aggression disappeared in the eighth round and Peralta used his height to his advantage with an effective and accurate jab.
Peralta had Guerreo backing up in the ninth round and was more willing to throw combinations and even sent Guerreo backwards into the corner with a hard straight right hand. Guerreo hit the ropes and was able to pop back up, but would have been knocked down if the ropes were not there. The ninth round was a very strong round for Peralta.
Peralta’s punches were snapping the head of Guerreo in the tenth round and Guerrero was not able to launch an effective offensive attack in the eleventh.
There were a lot of close rounds, but this writer felt Peralta was ahead on the scorecards going into the twelfth and final round. Peralta finished strong by looking like the fresher fighter and by being the aggressor.
The judges scored the bout 115-113 Peralta, 115-113 Guerrero, 116-112 Peralta in a major upset.
PBC on Spike Preview: Guerrero vs. Peralta, Angulo vs. Hernandez, Gausha vs. Martinez
PBC on Spike Preview: Guerrero vs. Peralta, Angulo vs. Hernandez, Gausha vs. Martinez
By: William Holmes
On Saturday Night the Honda Center in Anaheim, California will be the host site for the next Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) broadcast on Spike TV.
Three bouts are scheduled to take place, including a main event between Robert Guerrero and David Peralta. This card is being promoted in conjunction with a Bellator MMA card that takes place the night before.
Photo Credit: Mario Serrano/Team Guerrero/Premier Boxing Champions
The following is a preview of all three televised bouts.
Terrell Gausha (18-0) vs. Steve Martinez (16-2); Junior Middleweights
The opening bout of the night will feature a member of the 2012 United States Olympic team, Terrell Gausha.
Gausha had an impressive amateur career and was also a former two time US National Amateur Champion, but his opponent Steve Martinez was a former National Golden Gloves Champion and also had some success as an amateur on the national stage.
Gausha, despite being a recent Olympian, will be two years older than Martinez at the age of twenty eight. He will also be giving up both height and reach and will be about two inches shorter than Martinez.
Gausha has been very active in the past two years and fought four times in 2015 as well as six times in 2014. Martinez on the other hand has only fought once in 2015 and three times in 2014.
Gausha’s biggest victories have come against Orlando Lora, Eliezer Gonzalez, Luis Grajeda, and Norberto Gonzalez. Martinez has defeated the likes of Jorge Melendez and Jay Krupp.
On paper, this a fight that Gausha should win. However, it is refreshing to see a recent Olympian challenge himself against a good opponent that is actually younger than him instead of older. This should be one of the more competitive fights of the night.
Alfredo Angulo (24-5) vs. Freddy Hernandez (33-8); Super Middleweights
The next bout of the night is between two veterans that have been in the ring with some of the best in the sport. It’s unlikely either Angulo or Hernandez will ever get another crack at a world championship, and both are now fighting in the super middleweight division after spending most of their career fighting as a junior middleweight, but this bout is a must win for either boxer if they want to remain relevant.
Angulo has gone 2-3 in his past five fights while Hernandez has gone 3-3 in his past six fights. Angulo is a former Olympian and competed in the 2004 Olympics. He’s thirty four, but will be three years younger than Hernandez. He will be giving up about a half inch in height and will also be giving up a large six inches in reach.
Both boxers have lost to some of the best the sport of boxing has to offer. Angulo lost to the likes of James De La Rosa, James Kirkland, Kermit Cintron, Canleo Alvaraez, and Erislandy Lara. Hernandez has lost to Brad Solomon, Julian Williams, Francisco Santana, Delvin Rodriguez, Demetrius Andrade, Erislandy Lara, and Andre Berto.
Angulo has the better professional resume and has beaten the likes of Joel Julio, Harry Jor Yorgey, Gabriel Rosado, Richard Gutierrez, and Joachim Alcine. Hernandez has beaten the likes of DeMarcus Corley, Ben Tackie, Luis Collazo, and Jesus Soto Karass.
Neither boxer has looked good in recent bouts, but both have a lot to fight for. There’s a chance this match could turn into a brawl, but it’s likely this bout won’t be very entertaining for the viewers. Angulo should win and maybe get one more chance at a relevant fight.
Robert Guerrero (33-4-1) vs. David Peralta (25-2-1); Welterweights
Robert Guerrero lost his last fight to Danny Garcia and was barely able to pull out the victory against Aaron Martinez.
However, Guerrero is still a relevant name in the sport of boxing and win on Saturday could land him another fight against a top opponent in the welterweight division.
Guerrero has gone 3-3 in his last six bouts but has fought some of the best the sport has to offer. His losses were to Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Gamaliel Diaz early on in his career.
Guerrero is a former featherweight champion and has beaten the likes of Gamaliel Diaz in a revenge match, as well as Joel Casamayor, Michael Katsidis, Selcuk Aydin, Andre Berto, Yoshihiro Kamegai, and Aaron Martinez.
Guerrero, a southpaw and thirty three years old, will be facing off against a relative unknown in the United States in Peralta. Peralta is also thirty three years old.
Not much is known of Peralta in the United States because he has never fought outside of his home country or Argentina. He has fourteen knockouts, which is four less than Guerrero, and his two losses were to the unheralded Cristian Nestor Romero and Claudio Alfredo Olmedo.
He has no notable victories, and his last bout was against an opponent with a sub .500 record. Guerrero should win this bout easily, and a loss for him would be a major upset.
What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
What’s next for Vasyl Lomachenko?
By: Jordan Seward
Vasyl Lomachenko created history last Saturday in Madison Square Garden by becoming a two-weight world champion in just his seventh professional fight.
The Ukrainian, who had an illustrious amateur career before he turned pro, delivered a brutal fifth-round knockout of Rocky Martinez to strip away and claim his WBO super-featherweight belt.
Lomachenko (6-1) has now won world titles at featherweight and super-featherweight. The Ukrainian gold medallist won his first world title when he handed Gary Russell Jr (27-1) his first and only career defeat, with a majority decision victory to claim the vacant WBO world featherweight title. Although this was his second bite at the cherry.
Orlando Salido (43-13-4) was due to make his first defence of the WBO world featherweight belt against Lomachenko in the Ukrainian’s second professional fight but Salido came in over weight and was subsequently stripped of the belt. The much bigger Salido slugged his way to a split decision victory and is the only blemish on Lomachenko’s professional record to date.
The transition from amateur boxing to professional boxing can be a difficult one, but the Ukrainian was undoubtedly ready to make the leap way before he actually did. Before turning pro, the double Olympic champion achieved just about everything that can be as an amateur and boasts an incredible record of (396-1), the only loss coming to Albert Selimov. This sort of amateur pedigree stands a fighter in very good stead to progress on to the professional ranks and Lomachenko is testament to that.
Lomachenko nurtured in the amateur ranks and bought over his speed, skill and power to the professional game seamlessly, it was there for all to see, but questions hung over his head after the defeat to Salido. Many suggested he wasn’t ready to fight at world level and needed more time as a professional before fighting for a world title. How wrong they were. If it wasn’t for Salido coming in over the 126lb limit the story could’ve been different. Not that it mattered as he claimed the very same belt a fight later and hit back at his critics by beating a 24-fight veteran in Gary Russell Jr and winning a world title in just his third professional fight.
And now, at just 28-years-old and seven fights in, it seems Lomachenko is destined to replicate the success he had in the amateurs in the professional game. The Ukrainian is already unquestionably one of the biggest rising stars of modern boxing and has proved he is the real deal in the professional ranks. The only thing left to ponder, is who’s up next for Lomachenko?
It all depends on what weight division he wants to operate in, there’s huge fights out there for him at featherweight and super-featherweight. A unification fight with the IBF world super-featherweight champion Jose Pedraza (22-0) makes sense and would certainly appeal to an American audience. Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) is a name being bandied about as he returns to the ring after eight months out against James Dickens (22-1) on the 16th July.
The Cuban shares two Olympic gold medals with Lomachenko and has stated in the past he would fight the Ukrainian at 126lbs. It would be interesting to see who would come out on top of this super fight with the speed and power of Lomachenko and the defensive control and swagger of Rigondeaux.
Even a fight at lightweight is a possibility. Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0) has fought in America in his last two fights and has just won the WBC world lightweight title and could be a potential next opponent for the skilful Lomachenko. If he hasn’t already cemented his position among the world’s top pound for pound fighters, becoming a three-weight world champion in just eight fights surely would.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lomachenko vs. Martinez, Verdejo vs. Martinez
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Lomachenko vs. Martinez, Verdejo vs. Martinez
By: William Holmes
Top Rank Promotions has a tradition of putting on a boxing card in New York City during the weekend of the Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, and on this Saturday they will put on a card at the Theatre in Madison Square Garden.
HBO will televised this card live on their Boxing After Dark broadcast.
Two bouts will be shown. The first bout will feature fast rising Puerto Rican prospect Felix Verdejo against Juan Jose Martinez in the lightweight division. The main event will feature amateur legend and former Olympic Gold Medaliast Vasyl Lomachenko bumping up a weight class to face Puerto Rican boxer Roman “Rocky” Martinez for Martinez’s WBO Junior Lightweight Title.
The following is a preview of both of the televised fights.
Felix Verdejo (21-0) vs. Juan Jose Martinez(25-2); Lightweights
Many felt Felix Verdejo would carry the Puerto Rican fan base for Top Rank Promotions when Miguel Cotto left the company, but Verdejo has lost some of his luster after his less than impressive performance in his last two bouts.
However, Verdejo remains undefeated at the age of twenty three and has stopped fourteen of his opponents. Martinez is seven years older than Verdejo and has stopped seventeen of his opponents.
Verdejo competed for Puerto Rico in the 2012 Olympics and lost to Lomachenko, who is competing in the main event, as an amateur. Martinez has no notable amateur experience on the international circuit.
Verdejo has won two of his last five fights by stoppage, and fought three times in 2015 and twice in 2016. Martinez has fought once in 2016 and four times in 2015.
Verdejo has defeated the likes of Jose Luis Rodriguez, William Silva, Ivan Najera, and Marco Antonio Lopez. Martinez has defeated the likes of Emanuel Lopez, Jairo Lopez, and Edgar Puerta.
Martinez has fought mainly in Mexico during his career, but has traveled as far as the United Arab Emirates to compete.
Martinez has two losses on his resume, and they were to Rey Bautista and Daniel Santillo in his second fight of his career.
Verdejo will need to be impressive if he wants to fight on HBO again, and Martinez appears to be the perfect type of opponent for him to look good against.
Roman “Rocky” Martinez (29-2-3) vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (5-1); WBO Junior Lightweight Title
Lomachenko is one of the most decorated amateur boxers to ever step foot inside the ring as a professional. He won the gold medal in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for the Ukraine, and he was a gold medalist in the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
He has an amateur record of 296-1 and he was able to avenge his lone loss twice.
Martinez does not have the amateur accomplishments of Lomachenko, but he is a three time world champ and is battle tested.
Martinez will have a one inch height advantage and about a two inch reach advantage. However, he will be five years older than Lomachenko, and more importantly he has been in some brutal wars inside the ring and his in-ring age is much older.
Martinez received a gift split decision against Orlando Salido in his last bout, and he also has a split draw with Juan Carlos Burgos. His two losses were to Ricky Burns and Mikey Garcia. Garcia was able to stop Martinez.
Martinez has been able to defeat the likes of Orlando Salido, Diego Magdaleno, Miguel Beltran Jr., and Nicky Cook.
Lomachenko’s lone loss was to Orlando Salido in a foul filled affair and many feel he would be the favorite if they were to rematch. Lomachnko has defeated the likes of Romulo Koasicha, Jose Ramirez, Chonlatarn
Piriyapinyo, and he absolutely dominated the previously undefeated Gary Russell Jr.
The last time Lomachenko was in the ring with a crafty rugged veteran he had some difficulties, but Martinez does not have the power of Salido and Lomachenko’s footwork should give him issues.
This should be an easy twelve round decision victory for Lomachenko, and it’s hard to envision a scenario where Martinez walks out the victor.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Porter, Lomachenko, Guzman, Chisora, Shumenov, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Thurman, Porter, Lomachenko, Guzman, Chisora, Shumenov, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 26th to May 3rd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Keith Thurman/Shawn Porter Press Conference Quotes
Welterweight world champion Keith Thurman and former champion Shawn Porter recently held a press conference to discuss their upcoming matchup on June 25th, live on Showtime, from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Below are some quotes from that press conference.
“I made you wait. But it’s worth it. This is a tremendous fight. Arguably the best matchup of the year. We’re going to work our butts off to make it the Fight of the Year.
“Our two teams go way back. This is the most beautiful moment of my professional career and I’m about to compete with somebody I grew up with. I’m happy for my success and I’m happy for Shawn’s success. We come from the same boat. When you’re a young kid in the gym training and then you’re here today, that takes a special kind of person. Shawn and I are both that kind of person.
“We took six weeks off after my accident, with three days a week of physical therapy. I was relaxing at home. I didn’t like it. As a fighter, I wanted this fight as bad as the fans wanted this fight.
“This isn’t just the biggest fight of my career. But it’s the most anticipated fight of my career. Sometimes it pays to add some drama to the game. It wasn’t our intention, but I think it worked out.
“Barclays Center makes this a big fight. We get to promote here in New York City. New York is a fight town. My favorite fighter of all time, Mike Tyson, is from Brooklyn. This just happened to work out for the best.
“I anticipate most of the welterweight division being in attendance on June 25. The situation that division is in right now is that we’re all in a frenzy. Everyone wants the spotlight and everyone wants to be the top dog. We all have that opportunity.
“I want to have two titles by the end of this year. People talk about replacing Floyd Mayweather, but you can’t become the man without beating all the people in front of you. One fight at a time. I want to stay at the top by grabbing another belt. I’m going to show that I’m the big dog at 147 pounds.
“June 25, my friend is about to become my enemy. I’m going to treat him like any other enemy.
“Get your tickets. Get your seats. Get your popcorn. Whatever you need to do. This is going to be a fight you don’t want to miss. This is going to be a knockout you don’t want to miss. I love you Shawn, but I’m doing my best to put you to sleep.”
“I’m very excited about this fight. I’m blessed to have this opportunity. Not only to go for this title but to be a part of a record-breaking show at Barclays Center. This night is going to be memorable.
“Keith Thurman is bringing out the competitiveness in me to a level I’ve always wanted. It’s a level I expect. I have a guy next to me who is challenging me more than ever. Me and Keith Thurman are going to put on a show. Everything you talked about, you’re going to get it.
“It is amazing to be a part of something great like this. I’ve always considered myself to be a very good fighter and a very good athlete, but I’ve always wanted something like this and to have it is very humbling.
“I wasn’t surprised that Keith said he would knock me out. He has to pump himself up and be confident. When he looked at me I think he was trying to convince me that he was being real and I was looking at him to find out if he was convinced. He thinks he’s going to knock me out, I say he’s not. I’m going to do everything it takes to beat him and make it look easy.
“This is forming to be a big fight, one of those fights that we’ve looked forward to since we were kids.
“This is my second time fighting at Barclays Center. I’m 1-0 with a championship so now I’m looking for another one. I’ve been to some of the other fights at Barclays too and it is really an electric atmosphere. People are coming out to see something great and that’s what I’m going to give them.
“I’m not changing anything in camp because of how familiar Keith and I are with each other. I have to do it at the right time in the ring. We’re going to do everything we do to prepare for a world championship fight.
“Thurman is a little unorthodox at times so we’re prepared for that. It’s about going 12 rounds or less and looking good doing it. We’ve done a little sparring as pros but nothing as competitive as I’m expecting on June 25.
“I have a feeling Keith is going to say he’s knocking me out a lot. I want to know if he believes that. He’s a cutthroat kind of fighter. I know that. The hands will be up, the defense will be taken care of, and we’re taking care of business.”
Tickets to Martines v. Lomachenko/Verdejo and Zou US Debut On Sale
Three-time world champion ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ and World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight world champion VASYL LOMACHENKO will go mano a mano for Martinez’s WBO junior lightweight world title and the boxing gem of Puerto Rico, FELIX “El Diamante” VERDEJO, will risk his WBO Latino lightweight crown, undefeated record and No. 2 world rating against JUAN JOSE MARTINEZ in the co-main event of a championship doubleheader Saturday, June 11 — one day before the famed Puerto Rican Day Parade — at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. The two bouts, scheduled for 12 and 10 rounds, respectively, will be televised live on HBO beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The non-televised undercard will feature the U.S. debut of two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time World Amateur Champion ZOU SHIMING from The Peoples Republic of China in a 10-round flyweight bout.
The five gladiators boast a combined record of 87-6-3 (53 KOs) — a winning percentage of 91% with over 60% of their victories coming by way of knockout.
“I feel very happy returning to New York to fight, and even more on a special date like the Puerto Rican Day Parade. I know that a lot of Puerto Ricans will be there and I’ll be ready, as always, to give it my all,” said Martinez. “About Lomachenko I can say that he is a boxer with a lot of accomplishments as an amateur and even though he became champion in just a few professional fights, it isn’t the same in amateur as in professional boxing and we are working hard to take the victory on June 11.”
“Thank you to Top Rank! Thank you to my manager, Egis Klimas!. And thank you to HBO for believing that I can headline its telecast in the main event of the evening,” said Lomachenko. “It is a big opportunity for me. It is a chance to set a new record by becoming a two-division world champion in the shortest period — my seventh professional fight — a record that currently stands at eight fights. On June 11, at Madison Square Garden, I’m going to do my best to reach a new career pinnacle.”
“I’m more motivated than ever for this fight on HBO and performing in front of my people in New York,” said Verdejo. “I recognize that my focus for my last couple of fights hasn’t been at its best. I feel that my last performances haven’t been close to what has been expected of me and that has motivated me to show my supporters that the Felix Verdejo they have been rooting for will be at The Garden on June 11 and for a very long time after.”
“This is the first time in boxing history which two fighters on this card each won two Olympic gold medals,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “Vasyl Lomachenko and Zou Shiming accomplished iconic feats in the sport of boxing and Felix Verdejo himself is a former Olympian and one of the top amateur boxers.”
Sampson Lewkowicz Ordered to Begin Negotiating Guzman vs. Wake Fight for IBF Super Bantamweight Title
Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz has been given the go-ahead to begin negotiating a world-title fight between his fighter, Dominican Jonathan Guzman, and the promoters for Japan’s Shingo Wake.
The IBF ordered Lewkowicz, representing Guzman, the IBF #2 Super Bantamweight, and Kyoei Promotions, the IBF #1 Super Bantamweight, to begin negotiations immediately and have them completed no later than June 2 of this year.
Guzman (21-0) just defeated Daniel Rosas in Atlantic City while Wake (20-4-2) decisioned Thailand’s Mike Tawatchai last June.
The IBF rules state: “Any boxer who is contracted with a promoter, a network, or a state, tribal or national commission to take another fight, or who is ill, injured, under a legal impediment which could prevent the bout from taking place in the opinion of the IBF/USBA, or on suspension at the time the Championships Chairman and the President order a bout under this rule shall be considered unavailable. We would then move to the next available contender. Neither fighter can take another fight until this fight for the vacant title is concluded.”
In the event the camps cannot reach an agreement by June 2, the IBF will call for purse offers to be held to determine who will promote the bout, when and where it will be held. Per IBF rules, neither boxer may compete in another match until they face each other.
Pulev-Chisroa Title Clash Added to Crolla-Barroso Lightweight Title Telecast
This Saturday, a heavyweight contest between former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev and Dereck Chisora has been added to the telecast that will feature WBA Lightweight Champion Anthony Crolla defending his title against the hard punching Ismael Barroso that will be shown live on AWE-A Wealth of Entertainment.
The Pulev – Chisora European Heavyweight title clash will originate from Hamburg, Germany and will precede the Crolla – Barroso bout from Manchester, England.
“We are ecstatic to add this important heavyweight fight to our world title broadcast. The winner of this fight will be at the head of the line to get their second world title opportunity and these are big heavyweights, so we expect an explosive fight,” said AWE President, Charles Herring.
Rances Barthelemy to Face Mickey Bey on June 3rd
Undefeated lightweight world champion Rances “Kid Blast” Barthelemy (24-0, 13 KOs) will make his first title defense against former world champion Mickey “The Spirit” Bey (22-1-1, 10 KOs) in the main event of Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) on Spike Friday, June 3 at the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/PT as unbeaten Puerto Rican prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez (14-0, 10 KOs) takes on hard-hitting Mexican Victor “Pitufo” Proa (28-1-2, 21 KOs) in a 10-round bantamweight affair.
“There were rumors that a fight between me and Mickey Bey was on the brink of happening prior to my fight against Denis Shafikov, so now that it is here, I know it was destined to happen,” said Barthelemy. “I’m not a rookie anymore. I’m not going into this worried or nervous about it being my first title defense at 135. I’m comfortable enough now to see every fight as just another challenge I need to execute my game plan the most effectively and with the least amount of errors.”
“Barthelemy won my title, I had to vacate it due to a hand injury, so all he is doing is keeping it warm for me,” said Bey. “Training camp is going great. I have been training hard for over a month. I have the best team in the business, with the most knowledgeable trainers. I’m looking forward to the challenge with him being undefeated and a two-time world champion. We both have a lot of skills, so it will make an entertaining fight for sure.”
“I want to challenge all of the bantamweight champions to fight me so they can see a real athlete in the ring,” said Rodriguez. “I have been training hard. This is a lifestyle for me. I have been training since December and on June 3, I am going to deliver a knockout.”
“I’m excited about this opportunity against a good young fighter,” said Proa. “I’ve been training hard and feel like this is my time. I’m going to come forward and see what this guy can do.”
WBA Interim Cruiserweight World Champion Shumenov Protests WBA “Regular” World Cruiserweight Title Fight
World Boxing Association (WBA) Interim cruiserweight world champion Beibut Shumenov (16-2, 10 KOs), the only Kazakhstan-native to hold world titles in two different weight classes, is disputing the WBA’s sanctioning of the WBA “regular” cruiserweight world championship fight, May 20 in Paris, between two lower-ranked WBA fighters, No. 2 Yunier Dorticos and No. 5 Youri Kalenga (recently upgraded to No. 3).
Last July, Shumenov defeated B.J. Flores by way of a 12-round unanimous decision to become the mandatory challenger for WBA “regular” cruiserweight champion Denis Lebedev, who was later elevated to “Super” champion.
Lebedev hasn’t fought a mandatory defense in one year, ironically, when he won a 12-round decision over Kalenga, who had earned his world title shot, like Shumenov, by becoming WBA Interim world champion. The WBA granted Lebedev an extension in terms of his due mandatory defense because of the Russian’s unification fight May 21 in Moscow against International Boxing Federation (IBF) title-holder Victor Emelio Ramirez.
“I’m very disappointed the WBA is sanctioning Dorticos-Kalenga for its ‘regular’ cruiserweight title, when I am the No. 1 ranked and current WBA Interim champion,” Shumenov said. “I repeatedly informed the WBA through emails, texts and verbally that I was ready to fight back in January. I preferred to fight Lebedev but I was willing to fight Dorticos or anybody else in the top 15. For the past few months, I’ve been laboring over what I believe is a very bad decision, letting two lower-ranked fighters, the No. 2 and No. 3 guys, fight for the WBA ‘regular’ title. I am shocked and bewildered and do not understand the WBA’s rationale to have either of these fighters declared the WBA ‘regular’ champion without first defeating either Lebedev or me, the Interim champion and No. 1 rank contender.
“I appealed the decision but, so far, the WBA has done little in response to my appeals other than delay and stall before finally ruling that I will fight the Lebedev-Ramirez winner months from now, yet, ignoring my appeal to stop the regular title status of Dorticos-Kalenga and still sanction a fight between them, its No. 2 and No. 3 rated fighters, for the WBA ‘regular’ title. This is unfair to fans, who deserve to watch the best fighting the best, especially when a world championship is at stake! We now have this odd situation where there will be three separate WBA cruiserweight fights in May, all for a different version of WBA world title I just don’t feel anyone should get the WBA ‘regular’ title without first defeating a champion or at least the top-ranked fighter in the division. The WBA knew I was and am ready to fight. Its decision makes no sense and, in my opinion, diminishes the prestige and meaning of the title. I have respect for Dorticos and Kalenga but I think the legitimacy of any world title resulting from a fight between the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked contenders, when the No 1 mandatory contender who already holds the WBA Interim champion is ready and available, to say the least, is highly questionable.
“The WBA told me and announced to the media that it was working to have only one world champion in each division. While I’ve been sitting out the last four months waiting to fight, the WBA has decided to allow six different guys to fight for three WBA cruiserweight world titles, practically on the same day, instead of crowning only one WBA cruiserweight world champion. I look forward to returning to the ring and my manager, Al Haymon, has advised me that I will fight in May and we will announce next week. I want to thank everyone for their support and I apologize to my family, friends, fans and my country, Kazakhstan, for this chaos the WBA has caused that has damaged and delayed my professional boxing career. I will move forward and continue to fight inside the ring, letting my attorneys and manager fight this unfair situation outside the ring.”
UFC Fighter Paige VanZant Says Tyson Fury Deserves an Ass Whooping
UFC fighter Paige VanZant recently told TMZ Sports that Tyson Fury’s sexist comments about women are completely disrespectful, and that he needs to get his ass kicked.
Fury stated in a December interview that “A woman’s best place is in the kitchen and on her back.” Wladimir Klitschko stated that Fury was a disgrace to the sport of boxing, and VanZant is following suit.
You can read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/28/paige-vanzant-tyson-fury-wladimir-klitschko-sexist/