Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Haye, Shumenov, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Mayweather, Pacquiao, Haye, Shumenov, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 17th to May 24th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez Issue Statement After Vacating WBC Title
Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez today issued the following statement:
“After much consideration, today, I instructed my team at Golden Boy Promotions to continue negotiating a fight with Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin and to finalize a deal as quickly as possible. I also informed the WBC that I will vacate its title. For the entirety of my career, I have taken the fights that no one wanted because I fear no man. Never has that been more true than today. I will fight ‘GGG,’ and I will beat ‘GGG’ but I will not be forced into the ring by artificial deadlines. I am hopeful that by putting aside this ticking clock, the two teams can now negotiate this fight, and ‘GGG’ and I can get in the ring as soon as possible and give the fans the fight they want to see.”
Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya today issued the following statement:
“There is no denying that Canelo is the biggest star in the sport of boxing. He is eager to get in the ring with ‘GGG’ to show the world that he is also the best pound for pound fighter in the sport, but we won’t negotiate under a forced deadline. Now that the WBC title is off the table, I am hopeful that ‘GGG’ and his promoter K2 Promotions will come to the table in good faith and get this deal done.”
Fox Sports Reports Mayweather vs. McGregor to Happen in September
Fox Sports host Colin Cowherd recently reported that the alleged fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor will happen in September of this year. Cowherd reported this on his podcast.
He stated, “My intel is, Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather is going to happen. It changed late last week. Got a call, then somebody sent me something yesterday and Saturday. We book rooms in Vegas. This happens in September.”
Pacquiao Has Until May 27th to Decide to Fight in Olympics
Manny Pacquiao has previously stated that he has some interest in competing in the Olympics. He was recently elected to the Philippine Senate, so it appears that he won’t be competing in the Olympics.
However, Ed Piscon, the executive director of the Association of Boxing of Alliances of the Philippines has given him until May 27th to make his decision.
He stated, “I asked him to make a decision before May 27 because that’s actually the deadline for the submission of entries for the qualifying event,” said Piscon, “because I don’t know if he can still get a Tripartite pass because that gets decided on not just by AIBA but also the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees).” He went on further to state, “I don’t know if they’ve already met, those 3 groups. So if he doesn’t get a Tripartite pass, then that means he would have to qualify in the qualification event on June 16.”
Shumenov Stops Wright in 10th Round of WBA Cruiserweight World Title Fight
World Boxing Association (WBA) “regular” cruiserweight world champion Beibut Shumenov (17-2, 10 KOs) stopped No. 11-rated Junior “Hurricane” Wright (15-2-1, 12 KOs) in the 10th round tonight at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
Shumenov, a former WBA light heavyweight world champion, is first two-division world champion from a Soviet-bloc country. The native of Kazakhstan, fighting out of Las Vegas, also earned the right to challenge unified WBA Super/ International Boxing Federation (IBF) cruiserweight world champion Denis Lebedev (29-2, 22 KOs) within 120 days, as mandated by the WBA.
Hernandez Shocks Magomedov
Determined Phoenix middleweight Andrew “Hurricane” Hernandez shocked heavy favorite Arif “The Pedator” Magomedov in the main event on the “Knockout Night at the D” card, which aired live on CBS Sports Network from under the neon lights at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center (DLVEC) outdoor venue.
The “Knockout Night at the D” series, presented by the D Las Vegasand DLVEC, is promoted by Roy Jones Jr. (RJJ) Boxing Promotions. The event was promoted in association with Main Events and Shamo Boxing Promotions.
Before a sold-out crowd, Hernandez (12-4-1, 4 KOs) pounded world-rated middleweight Magomedov (17-1, 10 KOs), winning a unanimous 10-round decision (100-89 twice, 98-91) for the vacant USNBC middleweight title. Hernandez hurt Magomedov in the third and seventh rounds, finally dropping the tough Russian (WBA #2, WB) #3, WBA #5 and IBF #14) in the 10th.
“This fight changes everything for me,” Hernandez proclaimed. “He’s very good and deserves all of the accolades he’s received but I now have my head on straight and I’m focused. My jab was very important tonight. He’s very strong but I wanted to fight him inside because I knew he couldn’t take it from me. I was very prepared. I think I may have broken my ankle in the fourth round but I kept going. I wanted to finish him, get the knockout, but he’s a very tough fighter. He has heart and showed why he has all of those accolades.”
Artur Beterbiev Returns June 4th
Unbeaten light heavyweight contender Artur Beterbiev (9-0, 9 KOs) will battle veteran Argentine Olympian Ezequiel Maderna (23-2, 15 KOs) in a 12-round showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) live on ESPN and ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 4 from Bell Center in Montreal.
Televised coverage begins at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT and features an exciting co-main event that sees a pair of undefeated rising contenders enter the ring as Florida’s Bryant Perrella (13-0, 12 KOs) squares-off against Washington, D.C.’s David Grayton (14-0, 10 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout. PBC on ESPN returns for the first of seven fight nights between June 4 and August 12 that will feature exciting and competitive battles.
“I have never been out of the ring for a whole year as an amateur or professional so I can’t wait to fight,” said Beterbiev. “We’ve watched some tapes of Maderna and he seems like a complete fighter. We will be ready on June 4.”
“I’m working very hard in preparation of this fight,” said Maderna. “My goal is to fight a perfect fight that will be very important to my professional future.”
“I’m excited for an opportunity to take on a young undefeated lion who’s looking to become a world champion like myself,” said Perrella. “We’re grinding away every day at training camp. We have some new things we’re working on because we know he’s going to come at me hard. I’m ready to either box or brawl. Either way, I’m coming out on top.”
“I’m ready to get in the ring and put on a great performance,” said Grayton. “Training is going well and I’ve had lots of good sparring and conditioning. We know we have a rangy southpaw who’s going to be tough. It’s about whoever wants it the most and I bet I’ll be hungrier. When I get the win, the sky is the limit.”
Mario Heredia Looking to Score Big Upset Over Fedosov
Mexico’s Mario Heredia was denied a chance to prove that he is a top heavyweight contender when an injury forced him to withdraw from the 2015 Boxcino Heavyweight tournament.
Heredia (11-1, 9 KOs, 1-2, 1 KO in WSB), of Merida, Mexico, will now get that opportunity when he takes on the Boxcino champion, Andrey Fedosov (28-3, 23 KO’s) live on SHO EXTREME® (7 p.m. ET/PT) from The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The fight precedes a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader headlined by a 12-round junior welterweight showdown between Ruslan Provodnikov and John Molina Jr.
Heredia has been training hard in Mexico, and is now looking at this fight as his time to shine against the well regarded Fedosov.
“This is one of the biggest chances of my life,” said Heredia. “This is the time to show the world what I am made of.
“I was born ready to do this. You will see the rise of a great Mexican Heavyweight on June 11.”
Said manager, Sergio Zaragoza, “Not only will Mario win impressively, but I predict a knockout and it will be a Mexican style finish.”
David Haye Takes a Jab at Meat Industry in New PETA UK Ad
Heavyweight boxing champion David Haye has proved that he’s as kind as he is strong by starring in a new PETA U.K. campaign promoting the knockout power of vegan meals. In the ad (available here), he appears with his fists up in a boxing stance next to the words “I’m David Haye, and I Eat Vegan.”
In an exclusive video interview with PETA U.K.—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—Haye speaks passionately about his performance in the ring since ditching meat: “I’ve put on good lean muscle, feel strong, healthy, no injuries.” He explains how he made the decision to eat vegan after watching the documentary Earthlings, which “kind of hit home about … the unnecessary amounts of killing of animals.”
And The Hayemaker discovered some unexpected bonuses the moment he cut meat, eggs, and dairy foods from his diet: “I felt healthier, I felt cleaner, lighter. … I woke up brighter in the mornings, fresher.” He recalls how before going vegan, he would want to “crash out and go to sleep” after a meal, but now when he eats, he feels “more awake and perked up.”
Going vegan is a great way to improve your health, as vegans are less prone to suffering from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters are. And each person who goes vegan prevents more than 100 animals every year from being killed on factory farms, in slaughterhouses, and on the decks of fishing boats.
Haye joins a growing list of athletes—including British boxer Nathan Cleverly, welterweight champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley, professional wrestler Austin Aries, and mixed martial artist Jake Shields—who have teamed up with PETA or PETA U.K. to promote kindness to animals.
De La Hoya Claims Matthysse-Provodnikov “Might Be The Fight Of The Year.”
By Sean Crose
“I expect the same as all the fans.”
So said Ruslan “The Siberian Rocky” Provodnikov during a conference call to promote his upcoming April 18th junior welterweight bout with fellow thrillmeister Lucas Matthysse at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York. Indeed, fans are expecting a lot from this one, for it features two excitement-prone brawlers who both battle in an entertaining style.
“Both guys are very dangerous,” Provodnikov’s famed trainer, Freddie Roach, told the media. “I told Ruslan if you hurt this guy, don’t just talk in because he has tremendous power.”
Provodnikov, however, is confident.
“I know that if I give everything that I have in the ring, and I give everything that I have in training, I can beat anybody,” he said.
So much for his controversial loss last year to Chris Algieri having a terminal effect. Indeed, Provodnikov is eager to meet the hard brawling Matthysse in the ring.
“Walking into a ring with a fighter that I know will fight me definitely,” he said, “I can do a lot better than [with] a fighter who will just run.” Clearly, this match will not be water ballet.
“I know that this is going to be a real fight,” claimed Provodnikov, “and I know that either, you know, I take him or he takes me. And it’s going to be toe to toe it’s going to be a real fight. For me that’s only a positive.”
Yet Provodnikov isn’t the only one eager to throw down at the Turning Stone Casino later this month. Matthysse made it clear he was thrilled with the opportunity, as well.
“I’m excited,” he said, “to be fighting a caliber of fighter like Ruslan. It’s two, you know, fighters at the top of their game fighting each other.”
Matthysse is not only aware that his bout with Provodnikov has the makings (at least on paper) of being a fan favorite. He also knows that it can lead the way to huge things in the red hot junior welterweight division.
“This is the fight that’s going to open up opportunities for the winner,” claimed the popular Argentine. “It’s the fight that’s going to open up bigger and better things, and that’s what I’m looking forward to. That’s what motivates me.”
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya made his presence felt during the call by making it clear that this sort of matchup is right up his alley.
“These are exactly the fights that the fans want to see,” said De La Hoya, “whether there’s a title on the line or no title, or where it takes place.”
In a world of network and inter-promotional rivalries, the legendary fighter turned promoter made it obvious that he was going to give fans the kinds of fights they appreciate.
“We are just thrilled that the best network is going to be televising this event,” he said, throwing a clear jab at his former partners at Showtime. “These are the types of events that obviously belong on HBO Championship Boxing and we are just thrilled and excited to be part of it.”
No matter what network the fight is on, however, viewers will want to see a good match. Unfortunately, this one runs the risk of disappointing just because expectations are so high. If the bout somehow fails to deliver in epic Hagler-Hearns type fashion, there are those who will undoubtedly gripe.
Not that De La Hoya’s worried.
“I have a good hunch that this fight might be the Fight of the Year,” he said.
Waiting With 100 Media Aristocrats to Question Floyd Mayweather
By Ivan G. Goldman
I’m in a nondescript room in downtown Los Angeles with about 100 other media people, mostly writers, a few photographers. We wait for Floyd Mayweather. This is about two hours prior to the big media conference to kick off publicity for the welterweight superfight I will refer to hereafter as FloydPac, to be fought May 2 in Las Vegas between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.
Floyd is 50 minutes late, somewhere outside in the Nokia Plaza on the red carpet, we’ve been told. There are lots more media people out there, about 600. They were awarded credentials in other colors but deemed unworthy of the prized green credentials we have dangling from chains around our necks. We greenies, the hundred media aristocrats, will get to interview the fighters and their principal team members in separate, back-to-back, open-ended sessions.
I look around for “The Ghost,” Floyd’s adviser Al Haymon, who supervises events from his secret headquarters. Could he be here in disguise? Spotting him would be like a bird watcher seeing a blue-tailed Pterosaur, a flying dinosaur that hasn’t been around for the last 66 million years.
I’ve already seen Floyd Mayweather, Sr., outside the building. Once again chief trainer for his son, he was surrounded by about 30 determined operators of smart phones and other electronic devices, their users drinking in his every word as though he held the secret to world peace.
There’s already griping among the boxing media, even among us greenies, because we know that on fight night in Las Vegas the MGM Grand Arena holds only 16,000, and some of those seats are so bad you could call them joke seats. In terms of capacity, there will be a monstrous shortage for media and fans. Those in the joke seats will barely see the ring. Some won’t even be in sight of the big screens.
And with tickets selling for a minimum price of $1,500 before the scalpers bid them higher, that means if the promoters give someone in the media even a crummy seat, they’re giving up $1,500 from a paying customer.
Of those media people who do obtain decent seats, many won’t be boxing writers. They’ll represent big outlets that rarely cover prizefighting, if ever. Most boxing writers on fight night will get screwed, relegated to hotel ballrooms to watch on closed circuit in Siberia.
The catch is, they don’t inform you of your seat location until you get there. By holding out the promise of seating in the arena, the promoters obtain more coverage from more outlets.
Many of the excluded ones watching off-site will write their stories as though they were on the scene, without informing readers of their shamed circumstances. And today, many of the 600 excluded ones to be allowed inside later won’t inform their readers that they weren’t present for the good parts. They’ll write around it somehow.
Our color-coded credentials and the system of insiders and outsiders today and on fight night reminds me of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a novel that describes a nightmare future in which everyone’s station in life is designated at birth, ranging from alpha to epsilon. But they get plenty of drugs to ease the pain.
Why will a fight that could easily sell 50,000 tickets be held in a venue that holds less than a fourth of that? For the answer you’d have to understand the rock-solid business relationships the MGM Grand has formed with the principals.
Mayweather Promotions won its place as lead promoter during pre-fight negotiations. Many fighters are superstitious. Floyd’s never lost at the MGM Grand, so why take a chance? Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, wanted the bout in the much bigger Dallas Cowboys stadium, but he’s not complaining, at least publicly.
Golden Boy Promotions, which normally handles the details of Floyd’s fights, was shut out. Former CEO Richard Schaefer is gone, and Floyd and Oscar, the Golden Boy president, dislike each other.
Many of us wonder whether Floyd’s company, which isn’t used to handling all these details, has enough experience to present FloydPac to the world. But it turns out this event is well organized. We’re fed breakfasts with hot, scrambled eggs and buffet lines are short. There are plenty of people to direct us. Nothing is exactly on time, but these things are never punctual.
I’m prepared with laptop, water bottle, and Dodgers baseball cap to shield my eyes from the glare of TV lighting.
Ah, what’s that? Why it’s the champ, Floyd Mayweather, who entered rather quietly. He takes a seat up front, and the questions begin. You can find the interview elsewhere on this site.
Winning! Oscar De La Hoya Scores TKO in Sex Assault Case
By Johnny Walker
Boxing promoter and ex-middleweight world boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya scored big win today in a $5 million lawsuit brought against him by a “model” who claims that De La Hoya wronged her during a kinky evening of sex, drugs and Charlie Sheen.
Angelica Marie Cecora, 25, had sued De La Hoya for emotional distress, false imprisonment, assault and battery, after what she claimed was a wild evening at the Ritz-Carlton on Central Park South in Manhattan last year in which the former boxing great drank heavily, snorted copious amount of cocaine, dressed in her underwear and demanded that extreme and unusual sex acts be performed on him by her and her roommate.
Cecora also claimed that De La Hoya was inspired by the former television personality Sheen, whose briefly popular maxim “Winning!” was the Golden Boy’s war cry for the evening of debauchery.
Cecora’s lawsuit claimed that the women finally locked the insatiable former champ out of his own bedroom, leaving him to sleep on the couch. In retaliation, perhaps, De La Hoya, Cecora claimed, took off early the next day and stuck her and her foxy Russian roomie with a $1500 bill, which they also skipped out on.
But today, De La Hoya may have had the last laugh when Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Paul Wooten found Angelica Cecora’s tale of the evening in question’s activities “frivolous” – not only throwing out her lawsuit, but also ordering her to pay a $500 fine as well as De La Hoya’s legal fees.
De La Hoya did not contest Cecora’s account of the evening’s freaky festivities, but contended that everything that took place that night was consensual.
The judge agreed with De La Hoya, and characterized the plaintiff as a person not acting as a “model,” but as a prostitute, on the night in question–as was contended by the boxer’s attorney.
“Frivolous and baseless [allegations] will not be tolerated by this court,” Wooten said.
Unsurprisingly, Cecora intends to appeal.
“We believe Miss Cecora’s claims, we believe she is telling the truth,” said Cecora’s attorney, Tony Evans.
“She is entitled to her day in court in front of a jury and we are going to work to see that she gets it.”