Boxing Insider Notebook: Mayweather, McGregor, Golovkin, Jacobs, Masnour, Cintron, Beterbiev, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of March 7th to March 14th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/K2 Promotions
Dana White Tells TMZ Conor-Floyd Fight Not Close
TMZ Sports caught up with UFC President Dana White, who informed them that the Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor superfight is “nowhere near being done.
Dana White also indicated that the two sides are just as far apart as they’ve been for months, despite the fact Floyd recently announced that he would come out of retirement to fight Conor and that the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas has put June 10 on reserve in case the fight is made.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2017/03/14/dana-white-says-conor-floyd-fight-nowhere-near-being-done-no-target-date/
Golovkin vs. Jacobs to be Available Online
On St. Patrick’s Day Weekend, boxing will take a giant step into the digital age as fans will be able to watch the March 18 HBO Pay-Per-View middleweight championship battle between Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) and Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) via an online stream at RingTV.com. RingTV.com is the world leader in boxing and sports of combat editorial, content and live event entertainment.
Live from Madison Square Garden in New York City, the premium Pay-Per-View event of Golovkin vs. Jacobs will be offered via live stream, giving fans the opportunity to watch this mega-fight on the device of their choice.
“For years, we have been heavily investing in technology and platforms that will allow a new generation of fans – those who want to view fights or any other content where they want to, when they and how they want to – access to our sport,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman of Ring Magazine and Ring TV. “The livestream of Golovkin vs. Jacobs Pay-Per-View is an enormous step towards revolutionizing the delivery of boxing content in order to diversify boxing’s fan base and keep the sport growing for decades to come.”
The Pay-Per-View live stream event on www.ringtv.com can be pre-ordered and will be available for all U.S.-based users for $64.99. It will include all four Pay-Per-View fights on the Golovkin vs. Jacobs card.
In addition to GGG and Jacobs, fans will be able to witness a full night of action:
Consensus #1 Pound-for-Pound Fighter in the World and WBC Super Flyweight Champion Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs), fighting out of Managua, Nicaragua, will defend his title against mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs) of Si Sa Ket, Thailand
Former WBC Super Flyweight Champion Carlos “Principe” Cuadras (35-1-1, 27 KO’s) of Mexico City, Mexico returns to battle against cross-town rival and former world title challenger Dacid “Severo” Carmona (20-3-5, 8 KOs), also of Mexico City, Mexico.
Top lightweight prospects including WBC Lightweight Continental Americas Champion Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (17-0, 10 KOs) of Cleveland, Ohio via Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Port Chester, New York’s Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz (17-1, 8 KOs) will battle in a scheduled ten rounder.
“RingTV.com is the go-to online platform for viewing world class boxing and sports of combat – providing our loyal fans with access to the best fights and matchups from the top fighters and promoters on the planet,” said David Tetreault, COO of Ring Magazine and RingTV. “RingTV.com is dedicated to partnering with any and all promoters in an effort to bring their premium events to demanding sports fans across the globe.”
Golovkin vs. Jacobs is presented by K2 Promotions. Tickets priced at $1000, $600, $400, $300, $200 and $100, are now on sale and can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.thegarden.com
Rahman Jr. Ready to Begin His Own Heavyweight Legacy
Having grown up the son of a former undisputed and two-time World Heavyweight Champion, Hasim Rahman Jr., doesn’t mind that the world will be watching from the beginning of his professional boxing career.
“This isn’t new,” explained Rahman. “I’m so used to being who I am and having eyes on me that it would be awkward to not have them. It hasn’t mattered who I was my whole life, or what I did. The world was watching because of who my father is.”
Rahman Jr., whose father, Hasim “The Rock” Rahman famously knocked out Lennox Lewis in April 2001 to win the WBC and IBF Heavyweight Championships, will make his professional debut against Kansas City’s Brian Imes (1-4, 1 KO) on Thursday, March 23, 2017, at Greg Cohen Promotions’ SUPER BRAWL® III, boxing event at the Skylands Event & Conference Center (ECC) in Randolph, New Jersey.
Presented in association with Rising Promotions and GH3 Promotions (sponsored by David Schuster’s Winner Take All Productions), SUPER BRAWL® III will also feature the Bronx, New York’s Halili brothers: power-punching super-welterweight action hero Skender Halili (13-1, 13 KOs) taking on Ecuadorian veteran Eduardo “El Cheíto” Flores (25-25-3, 15 KOs) in the eight-round main event, and undefeated Enver Halili (8-0, 2 KOs) facing Nicaragua’s Ariel Vasquez (13-16-2, 9 KOs) in the six-round welterweight co-main.
Tickets for SUPER BRAWL® III are priced at Golden Ringside $150, Ringside $100 and General Admission $50 and can be purchased by calling the GCP office: 212.851.6425 or online at gcpboxing.com.
“My dad is like an advisor,” he continued. “My dad is the only person I know that truly has my best interests at heart. Anybody else I ever dealt with, it always came down to money at the end of the day. My dad never asks me for anything. I know he knows the game and I know that with him on my team, the sky is the limit.”
25-year-old Rahman is getting a later-than-expected start at his highly-anticipated boxing career. Coming off his successful 100-fight run as an amateur, the buzz was all around the 6′ 3″ 250-lb. fighter, but a fatal car accident in 2012 saw him serving a 2- to 5-year sentence with the Department of Corrections.
Recently released and now ready to go on with life, Rahman says the entire experience changed him for the good. “It was an eye-opener for me. Going through that really changed my career and how I felt as a person, and a son, a father, and a husband. It changed me. I am grateful god blessed me to be in this position today.”
Rahman says he doesn’t know much about first opponent Imes, but he and trainer Kenny Ellis are hard at work at Upton Boxing Center in Baltimore.
“I feel great. I’m really anxious, but the nervousness hasn’t kicked in. It will around fight time. My team says it’s a good fight for me. Being off for two and a half years, I’m looking to get in some rounds.”
Despite the delayed start, Team Rahman has no plan on rushing things.
“I just want to stay busy as I can and learn as much as I can and fight for a world title when I’m ready. I’m not going to rush. There’s no rush. It’s not like I’m going to wait forever. I will fight for the title when I’m ready and I know if it put in the work, I’ll be ready in a about two years. That’s the goal for me. If it takes three or four years, it does. Whatever the case may be. I’ll keep racking up the knockouts until it happens.”
For Rahman, the decision to follow in his famous father’s footsteps was a rational one.
“I’ve always been taught to plan ahead. When I was in middle school, I was really into football. I played tight end, running back and wide receiver. I had dreams. But it dawned on me how many people have the same dream that I do. For instance, there are a million young African American men wanting to go to the NBA every year. 400,000 of them will play high school basketball. 4000 of those will play college. 35 will be drafted. Out of the that 35, only 7 will start. That means there are a million people trying to get 7 jobs. And the average career in the NBA is four years. That’s a problem. People have to look at their odds. I did. So, I said ‘know what? Instead of being in this giant pool of people trying to be the next Ray Lewis. I rarely run across someone who wants to be heavyweight champion of the world,’ so that’s what I decided to do. No father and son duo have ever become heavyweight champions. It’s never been done. For me to be in the position to cement our family name in heavyweight championship history is very motivating and I’m ready to take full advantage of it.”
Signing with Greg Cohen Promotions was an easy decision, according to Rahman, who has known the Jersey-based promoter for most of his life.
“I really want to thank Greg Cohen for the chance he’s given me,” he said. “I’ve known Greg since I was a kid and he has always believed in me. He has always supported me and kept in contact and followed me. He has a real genuine interest in me. Greg already knows he has the best new heavyweight in the world. I’m really dedicated to making him and my father and the City of Baltimore proud.”
Kermit Cintron to Fight on Kauffman vs. Mansour PBC on Bounce Card
Former champion Kermit Cintron (39-5-2, 30 KOs) will battle once-beaten David Grayton (15-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout on Friday, March 17 as part of Premier Boxing Champions: The Next Round on Bounce.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from Santander Arena in Reading, PA. and is headlined by a showdown between exciting heavyweight contenders Travis “My Time” Kauffman and Amir “Hardcore” Mansour.
Undercard fights on Bounce begin with two unbeaten prospects as Brooklyn-native Chordale Booker (5-0, 3 KOs) faces Virginia’s Moshea Aleem (4-0-1, 2 KOs) in a six-round super welterweight contest.
Further action in the arena will feature two-time cruiserweight world champion Steve Cunningham (28-8-1, 13 KOs) battling Mexico’s Felipe Romero (19-11-1, 13 KOs) in an eight-round cruiserweight showdown.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by King’s Promotions, start at $20 and are on sale now. Tickets are available at the VF Outlet Box Office at the Santander Arena, by phone at 800-745-3000, or online at Ticketmaster.com. The bout between Edner Cherry and Omar Douglas was originally scheduled to appear on this telecast, but will be rescheduled for a card early next month.
Additional action will see unbeaten super featherweight prospect Chris Colbert (5-0, 2 KOs) in a six-round fight against Puerto Rico’s Wilfredo Garrigo (3-4-1, 2 KOs), Reading’s Erik Spring (8-1-2, 1 KO) taking on Jeremiah Wiggins (10-5-1, 5 KOs) in a six-round junior middleweight bout and middleweight Nick Valliere (5-1, 2 KOs) going up against Nicholas Hernandez (5-2, 1 KO) in a six-round middleweight contest.
Rounding out the night of fights are a trio of local Reading-natives as Kashon Hutchinson (2-1, 1 KO) battles Los Angeles” Darius Ervin (3-1) in four-rounds of super lightweight action, Jesus Perez (1-0) in a four-round super lightweight bout against Titos Matthew Gosalves and the pro debut of Matt Quirindongo as he faces Delaware’s Weusi Johnson (2-2) in a four-round super featherweight showdown.
Cintron is a former welterweight world champion who owns victories over Alfredo Angulo, Lovemore Ndou and Ronald Cruz. The Puerto Rican fighter who lives in Reading fought Argentine great Sergio Martinez to a draw and has battled top fighters from Canelo Alvarez to Antonio Margarito. He enters this bout on a six-fight win streak including four victories last year.
Fighting out of Washington, D.C., Grayton turned pro in 2012 after finishing as a runner-up in the National Golden Gloves tournament that year. He went unbeaten in his first 14 career starts before suffering a defeat to Bryant Perrella. The 29-year-old bounced back in his last outing defeating previously unbeaten prospect Kareem Martin by eighth-round stoppage in an entertaining fight.
An accomplished amateur fighting out of Brooklyn, Booker is a former PAL and New York Golden Gloves champion, while also picking up a bronze medal at the 2015 U.S. Olympic Trials. The 25-year-old turned pro last year and has already picked up five victories, including a first-round stoppage of Andre Baker in his last appearance in February. He takes on the 24-year-old Aleem, who’s brother Immanuwel is an unbeaten middleweight contender.
Fighting out of Virginia, Aleem first fought professionally in 2013 and 2014 before entering the ring again last April.
Promoter Yvon Michel Responds to Allegations About Cancelled Beterbiev vs. Barrera Eliminator
Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) president Yvon Michel has responded accordingly to unfounded allegations recently made in the media by Sullivan Barrera about GYM and its undefeated world light heavyweight contender, Artur Beterbiev, to set the record straight regarding the recently announced cancelled Beterbiev-Barrera International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title eliminator.
“Despite Barrera’s claims,” Michel insisted, “he didn’t sign a contract because he never intended for fight Artur. In Team Barrera’s letter, he lied and showed his ignorance trying to distract from the facts.
“For the conclusion of this unfortunate saga, the IBF has informed me that it has ruled to ban Barrera from its world rankings, or from participating in one of its sanctioned fights, for the next six months. I’ve also been informed that, if nobody in the IBF top 10 is available and agrees to fight Artur, the IBF will declare him as its No. 1 mandatory challenger for the winner of the Ward-Kovalev rematch. Artur will be back in the ring in late April, early May. The mandatory defense for the Ward-Kovalev II winner, or Ward if that fight doesn’t happen, is due in September.”
IBF Light Heavyweight Ratings: Champion – Andre Ward, 1. Unrated, 2. Artur Beterbiev, 3. Sergey Kovalev, 4. Erik Skoglund, 5. Enrico Kolling, 6. SUSPENDED, 7. Oleksandr Gvozdyk, 8. Dominic Bosel , 9. Robert Stieglitz, 10. Trent Broadhurst.
Below, Michel sets the record straight, point-by-point, in terms of the open letter Team Barrera sent to the media.
Michel didn’t negotiate with Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, and asked for it to go to an immediate purse bid.
“Kathy Duva (CEO/Main Events) came to my office the day before the deadline set for Barrera’s acceptance to participate in the IBF title eliminator to speak about the situation. Our hope was to fight Barrera but because he is prohibited from traveling to Canada, I confirmed our intention with Ms. Duva to accommodate Barrera and leave Canada and make the fight in the United States. We were in the same position a year ago, when Barrera pulled out of the same title eliminator because he couldn’t get a visa to fight in Canada. Artur was then supposed to fight Karo Murat, but he suffered an injury and was unable to fight. Barrera later defeated Murat to move into the IBF mandatory position in which he then lost to Andre Ward.
“Kathy told me the number she had in mind to make the fight. I said that I would see if there were enough resources for that amount and promised to call her the following day. I did and explained that there weren’t enough resources to meet that purse structure. Nevertheless, not long after I received confirmation Barrera was officially taking the challenge, I then decided to move forward and immediately requested a purse bid date, which is the prerogative of any promoter, knowing what was Main Events’ expectation in terms of their fighter’s purse. In this business, everybody knows the best way to determine the true market value of a fight is a purse bid, where promoters are evaluating their resources and making their bid accordingly. We still had still seven days to make an offer, one and other, and make a deal up to five minutes before the bid was due. Main Events never made us an offer and neither did we.”
GYM’s winning purse bid was $251,000, substantially more than Main Events’ bid of $182,000, of which Beterbiev would receive 75-percent of the winning bid. Barrera would have received $62,750, compared to $45,500 he would have earned if his own promoter had won the bid.
Beterbiev reported on social media that his fight versus Barrera would be held March 4th in Brooklyn, New York and Michel reported that the fight would be held in late March, early April, in New York. Barrera had trained for those dates but didn’t receive a contract.
“GYM won the purse and pursuant to IBF rules and regulations, the fight had to be held within 30 to 90 days,” Michel continued. “We deposited $50,000, per IBF rules, and received a confirmation letter from the IBF all was conform. As per IBF regulations, within 15 days after the purse bid, we filed contracts for the two fighters. Artur signed his five minutes after he received the contract and it was then sent to the IBF. We executed Barrera’s contract, sending it to Main Events for Barrera with a copy sent to the IBF. Soon after I received notice from the IBF that everything was in order and that we had complied with the IBF requirements.”
Michel sent an improper agreement to Main Event listing various dates.
“We knew we had a PBC date, either April 14, 21 or 29. It’s very common for fight dates written in the initial fighter contract to vary one week before or after the date listed. I contacted IBF president Daryl Peoples and said April 21st was the most likely date but that it could end up being a week earlier or after. He recommended to be transparent and to write all three potential dates into the contract. We did and then sent it to Main Events for Barrera to sign. Main Events noted that IBF rules said only one date and site could be written in the contract. Daryl complied with the objection so we then officially confirmed April 21st would be the date of the fight and Florida the site. We then sent a GYM executed corrected IBF bout agreement back to Main Events to be signed by Barrera and filed with the IBF on February 16th.
“Meanwhile, GYM received a request, from Main Event to produce a Provision of Service agreement for Barrera’s participation. GYM was not obliged to positively fulfill that request but, as a display of good faith, we did so in belief the contract that Barrera would sign and Main Events would file it at the IBF office, on that date, as per its rules. Soon after, GYM received a letter from IBF championship chairman, Mr. Lindsey Tucker, that all requirements had been fulfilled to officially sanction the bout.”
The Florida location for the fight had been selected by GYM for three reasons. 1. Beating Barrera in his own backyard would send strong message for Beterbiev within the division; 2. GYM had received an offer from Miami-based SMY Sports and Entertainment’s president M. Eric Senecal, who wanted the buy the rights to produce the event; 3. GYM’S longtime and very close relationship with Florida-based Warriors Promotions, Mr. Leon Margules.
On behalf of GYM, Margules had reserved the April 21st date with the Florida Athletic Commission. SMY Sports & Entertainments made a deal with GYM that had a deadline to deposit the agreed upon money guarantee. They had reserved the Seminole Hard Rock arena in Fort Lauderdale. If SMY was not able to deliver money and site, GYM had a backup plan, proposed by Margules, who had a deal and a site on hold, Hialeah Racetrack in nearby Hollywood (FL). No matter what would transpire, the fight was guaranteed at a site in Florida, April 21st for a PBC event to be televised on FS1.
Barrera’s manager was contacted by one of the promoters to help pay Yvon Michel and finance the bout.
“This is a tortuous claim and a terrible lie,” Michel said. “Nobody representing GYM ever made that kind of request. The truth is a local promoter, M. Michael Luzbet, whom I’d never met and never made any deals of any sorts with in the past, wanted to be a partner with SMY Sports and Entertainments. He tried to raise his share of money to participate but SMY rapidly disassociated themselves from Michael Luzbet.
“How the group (SMY) was raising money wasn’t really my concern, but they had found sponsors and were counting on the important Quebec community residing in Florida at that time of the year, as well as the important Cuban population and their contacts with the Russian community, to sell VIP tables and tickets. It wanted the rights to put the show on in Florida but they were concerned because they had heard a rumor that Barrera hadn’t signed a contract and he was going to pull out of the fight.
They then requested a guarantee that Barrera (who lives in Miami) was going to fight before confirming their money deposit. I was in Quebec City at that time for the Alvarez-Bute fight. Mr. Lindsey Tucker was there representing the IBF and I spoke to him. He said he believed the IBF had received a signed contract from Barrera. I contacted SYM to say everything was fine and that I had requested a copy (of the Barrera-signed contract) from Lindsey. Daryl People then informed me that there was a misunderstanding and they did not have a signed contract from Barrera. It is only then I realized Main Events had pressured Barrera to sign the agreement without success. We asked the IBF president to pressure Main Events to have Barrera sign the contract because, without it, we were jammed in the promotion of the event. This is exactly what happened.”
Team Barrera implied that Yvon Michel couldn’t promote a show of this magnitude in the U.S.
“I’ve promoted more than 200 shows, never defaulting or cancelling a single show, including involvement in more than 50 world championship fights and many multi-million dollars events, much bigger than this title eliminator. This statement just shows his ignorance about what we’re all about and who we are and was just smoke screen to his behavior. I’ve promoted shows with the majority of the major promoters in the world; DiBella Entertainment, Warriors Promotions, Don King Promotions, Golden Boy, Main Events… just about everybody. It was unbelievable for them to write such an impertinent line.”
Team Barrera unjustly belittled the quality of Beterbiev’s last two opponents, calling them cow farmers from Argentina.
“This is terrible to be so insolent to fellow world contenders. Both fighters were world ranked in the top 15 at that time. (Ezequiel Osvaldo) Maderna (23-2, 16 KOs) had never been knocked out and (Isidro) Prieto (26-1-3, 22 KOs) had suffered only one loss, a decision to the WBC #1 contender Eleider Alvarez. Beterbiev knocked them both out (Maderna in the fourth round, Prieto in the first), so downgrading the quality of Artur’s 2016 opponents was totally unwarranted. If Barrera ever actually got into the ring with Beterbiev, he would have fallen into the same category as Maderna and Prieto, who were both fierce competitors but not in the same league of Beterbiev.”
Michel firmly believes Barrera never intended to fight Beterbiev for his share of the purse bid and, to cover up, he tried to place the blame on others. His promoter spent time and money for the bid at the request of its fighter, Barrera, believing he had a legitimate chance of winning the fight. It is obvious that sentiment was not shared by Barrera, even if the fight was to be held in his own backyard in Florida.
“The truth of this matter is that Barrera lied to distract media attention from the fact he didn’t sign a contract and clearly wanted no part of Beterbiev,” Michel concluded. “We don’t disrespect any contender who prefers not to challenge Artur Beterbiev for the mandatory position. We also believed that Main Events did everything in its power to convince their fighter to keep his words and to go forward with the fight. Main Events is not at blame. We also have respect for Barrera’s fighting abilities but we have no respect for the person Barrera is with his despicable, unprofessional, shameful and disgraceful attitude in handling the present situation”
“On a personal note, I have never met Sullivan Barrera. I never had to directly communicate with him, I never had to do business with him, everything went through his promoter, Main Events, and I really don’t envy them! Soon, GYM will have two light heavyweight world champions and I can guarantee Barrera will never be in their plans.
“We’ve moved on from Sullivan Barrera to find an opponent who has the desire to step into the ring to fight Artur Beterbiev. While Barrera will still be suspended by the IBF, Beterbiev will be World Champion!”
Beterbiev, a two-time Russian Olympian, holds two amateur victories over his fellow countryman, Kovalev, the former world light heavyweight champion. Whether it’s Kovalev or Ward, Artur Beterbiev will be more than ready for the challenge to fight for the world light heavyweight championship this September.