Oscar De La Hoya Quotes Ahead of Pacquiao-Matthysse
Oscar De La Hoya:
Lucas is a strong and determined fighter. Believe me that he is a very determined fighter. The mental aspect is the most important aspect of this fight. We know that Lucas Matthysse works very hard. They call him “La Maquina” for a reason. He is still training like never before. The fact that he always wanted this fight, a dream fight for him—believe me he will be in the best condition for this. He is very focused. This is an even fight. This is a dangerous but winnable fight. These two fighters love pleasing the fans. They are come-forward fighters. This fight will have a lot of action.
A lot of people think that Lucas Matthysse is just a knockout artist. But he’s an intelligent fighter too. He knows how to box and counterpunch. This fight is interesting in terms of styles. The people who really know boxing know that Matthysse can change his style and even confuse him. He may even be able to confuse him and land some counterpunches.
Photo Credit: Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions
Pacquiao has a very unique style. When I fought him, I thought he was going to get tired. He never got tired. So, I don’t know what Pacquiao we are going to see for this fight. I don’t know how distracted he may be. I do know that Matthysse is fully focused and determined. This is the fight of his life. It’s all going to depend on how Pacquiao reacts when the first bell rings. Will it be a distracted Pacquiao? Or a Pacquiao that everyone is used to seeing? That’s why the odds are 2-1. It is a great fight.
I was already a promoter when I fought him. So, I’ve always been very optimistic that I would still be working with Manny after so many years. I always felt that life comes around full circle and puts us together. The fact that Manny has his own promotional company and the fact that Golden Boy Promotions has been involved in so many of his fights made me optimistic that we would work together again. I’m still hoping that we promote more fights together. Once he’s retired, we can do a lot more together.
I noticed Pacquiao was special when part of the promotions of Pacquiao vs. Barrera. What I saw was his determination. His conditioning was incredible. His explosiveness was incredible. He had a great work ethic. He was very well prepared. I really don’t know how he is now. In boxing, you’re as good as your last fight. That’s what boxing is. That’s why this fight is important for Pacquiao to show that he is still the same Manny Pacquiao. You have to perform and show the people that you still have it. This is a sink or swim type of fight for both guys.
If I were Lucas, I would not get frustrated because Pacquiao can frustrate you. He can do that because he throws so many punches. Lucas has to be cool, calm and collected. He has to force the action. He has to show Manny that he is younger, stronger and fresher. If you don’t show that to Manny, he can walk all over you. That’s who he is. That’s why he’s so good.
I am very proud of promoting stronger and diplomatic cultural ties with our Asian neighbors. I would like to thank our friends at Golden Boy Promotions, represented by our friend Oscar De La Hoya. I am ready. I have never predicted the outcome of any of my fights, but this training camp is special for many reasons. I am motivated. I am happy. I am hungry. I am excited to show the world a new Manny Pacquiao on July 15 (July 14 in the US) at the Axiata Arena here in Kuala Lumpur.”
I’m grateful to be a part of this event. I want to thank Manny Pacquiao and his team. He is a great fighter and a legend. His team is great and professional. I want to thank Golden Boy for giving me the opportunity to work with a lot of elite fighters as is the case now with Lucas Matthysse.
Vergil Ortiz: “My Ultimate Goal Is To Be Remembered”
By: Sean Crose
“I have like four or five guitars,” super lightweight Vergil Ortiz tells me. “I got into music when I played Guitar Hero.” It’s not often that a contemporary fighter – perhaps with the exception of woodwind practitioner Keith Thurman – is known for a love of instruments. An interesting thing about Ortiz, however, is that he’s quite open to talking about an area of interest outside of the ring. “I like to play guitar or piano,” he explains. It was being exposed to the piano, in fact, that led to Ortiz discovering an interesting truth about himself. “I realized I kind of have an ear for music.”
Ortiz sees music as an outlet, a chance to be himself, after six full days of training a week. After four to six miles of daily roadwork and other grueling weekly routines (“Every other day we spar”) Ortiz appreciates his spare time. “I like to play my guitar or piano,” he says. Still, the 9-0 Texan knows that his primary focus has to be his ring career. When I ask if he has a wife, girlfriend or children, Ortiz makes it clear that there will be time for such fulfillment in the future. “I’m just focused on boxing right now,” he tells me. “That’ll all come later.”
A native of Grand Prairie, “a pretty big small town” outside of Dallas, the undefeated Ortiz is developing the reputation for having Texas sized power. None of the 20 year old’s fights have gone the distance. All of Ortiz’ opponents, without exception, have succumbed to the fury of the man’s gloved fits. Not that Ortiz is always looking to call it an early night each and every time. “They just come when they come,” he says of the KOs. “If I could go the distance, that would be great.” In order for such a thing to happen, however, Ortiz will have to find the opponent who can withstand his power.
“My dad took me to the gym after school,” Ortiz says of his start in boxing. “They put me in to spar with no training.” The older Ortiz was himself a boxer, though “he never went pro.” The younger Ortiz, who has “two brothers and three sisters,” is carrying the family legacy into the professional ranks, however. And yes, boxing is still a family affair. “My dad’s been my coach, “says Ortiz. Legacy is an important thing to the fighter. “My ultimate goal is to be remembered in boxing,” he claims.
Asked who throughout history he’d have liked to fight, Ortiz gives the honors to the late Arturo Gatti. “For me he was the toughest of the tough,” he says. Other fighters the man admires are Sergio Martinez, the late Salvador Sanchez, and the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De la Hoya. One Vasyl Lomachenko also earns a great deal of the man’s respect. “There’s a reason why he’s undefeated,” Ortiz says of the Ukrainian, stating that right now, the man called Loma “is the best fighter” out there. Like Lomachenko, Ortiz started as an amateur standout.
“It was good,” he says of his apprentice years. “I won seven national titles…most of my losses came when I was little.” It was during one particular tournament that Ortiz caught the eye of a company owned by one of his favorite fighters, Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy. In truth, the promotional outfit was also interested in another fighter, but when the two rising stars faced off, it was Ortiz who emerged victorious. “I knocked that guy out in about thirty seconds,” he says. Since signing with the famed company, Ortiz has found himself in places like Vegas and even AT&T Stadium, near his home.
“It was pretty cool,” he says of that particular experience, adding that friends and family were on hand live at the stadium to see him knock out Ernesto Hernandez. In fact, Ortiz is finding himself becoming a known commodity. “I get it a lot,” he says of public recognition, “especially in my hometown.” Good things happen when one has strong backing. “I fought on ESPN five times already,” he claims. As for the immediate future, the burgeoning KO artist plans on being back in the ring soon.
Should he continue on his current path, Ortiz may well be able to add quite a bit more to that guitar collection of his.
TopRank on ESPN Results: Valdez Defeats Quigg in a Bloody Battle
By Eric Lunger
Tonight, at the StubHub Center in Carson, CA, Oscar Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) took on British veteran Scott Quigg (34-1-2, 25 KOs) in what should have been a WBO featherweight championship bout.
Inexplicably, the normally meticulous Quigg failed to make weight by such a wide margin (more than two pounds) that California Commission rules barred him from last-minute weight loss efforts. As a result, the Bury, Lancashire native forfeited twenty percent of his purse (ten percent of which went to Valdez, in addition to an undisclosed sum agreed upon by the camps), and the belt was not at stake.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing
Valdez boxed carefully in the opening frame, but clearly landed the better and heavier shots. It was Mexican style from the two-time Mexican Olympian in round two, landing hooks to the body and uppercuts to the head. Quigg answered with a few counters, but Valdez had the better of the action.
In the third, Valdez continued to box and move, while Quigg came forward in half steps, leaving a target for Valdez to hit. Quigg, however, had some real success in the fourth, pushing his opponent back and landing some lead shots. Valdez answered with an eye-catching combination towards the end of the round.
The fight exploded in the sixth, as Valdez opened a cut over Quigg’s left eye, and Quigg staggered Valdez with a sharp right hook to the chin. Quigg flurried in an attempt to finish the Mexican champion, but Valdez weathered the storm. In the seventh, Quigg appeared determined to barrel through everything Valdez could throw, and, at one point, he wrestled Valdez to the canvas. This was the round that the weight differential seemed to tell, as Valdez could not slow down the bullish onslaught from the Englishman despite landing repeated power shots. Valdez continued to bleed voluminously from his mouth.
The seventh went more and more for Quigg who began to punish his foe. Quigg for his part seemed to have tasted Valdez’s power and found it negligible. The blood continued to pour from Valdez’s mouth in the eighth, and Quigg began to land clean shots on the Nogales fighter.
In the ninth, Quigg absorbed several uppercuts but just walked right through them. The Bury native landed plenty of his own shots, but Valdez answered with a late-round flurry. Frankly, the fight had become a bloody battle at this point, and very difficult to score. The tenth began with some brutal shots from Valdez but Quigg answered right back. The canvas at this point was literally splattered with blood.
The eleventh was brutal, as Valdez landed but his power couldn’t keep the heavier Quigg off him, and Quigg landed a nasty low blow. After a recovery period, Valdez blasted Quigg with a good shot but Quigg’s chin held up. The final frame saw some inspired footwork and boxing from the Mexican champion as he finished the bout bloodied but unbowed.
The judges scored the bout unanimously for Valdez (117-111, 117-111, 118-110). It’s been said many times, but there is a reason for weight classes. This was a size mismatch tonight that Valdez was fortunate to weather.
In the co-feature, undefeated prospects Andy Vences (20-0, 12 KOs) and Erick De Leon (17-0, 10 KOs) faced off in a ten-round bout for the WBC Continental Americas super featherweight title. This was the first ten-rounder for the southpaw De Leon, who was born in Mexico and now fights out of Detroit, MI. Vences, fighting out of San Jose, CA, knocked out his last two opponents, and was looking to make a statement on the ESPN national broadcast.
Vences is an active fighter, with quick feet and a frenetic left jab. De Leon is fundamentally sound and patient. The opening round was extremely close, but De Leon started to show some confidence and fluid movement in the end of the second, as though he thought he had figured out the distance to Vences. The San Jose fighter had the best of the third, however, landing some stiff jabs and a few combinations as well.
De Leon raised his activity level in the fourth, but Vences remained in control of the distance, and landed the more effective counters. The middle rounds continued in the same fashion, with De Leon unable to get inside Vences’ persistent jab and consequent distance control. This is not to say that De Leon was outclassed – he certainly was not, but Vences seemed to win these close rounds, in my view.
In the seventh, De Leon found a new weapon, landing a lead right hook and putting Vences in some momentary difficulty. Then, after some exciting exchanges in the middle of the eighth, Vences switched to southpaw, setting new challenges for De Leon. The final two rounds, however, saw some desperation from the Detroit fighter, but he was unable to penetrate Vences’ formidable defense.
After ten compelling and entertaining rounds, the judges scored the bout a majority draw (95-95, 95-95, 96-94 for De Leon). It is hard to see how two judges scored five rounds for De Leon, but there it is.
Oscar Valdez Defends WBO Featherweight Title Against Scott Quigg, Saturday on ESPN
By: Eric Lunger
Mexican star Oscar Valdez will put his WBO featherweight strap on the line against seasoned professional Scott Quigg of the United Kingdom on Saturday night, live from the Stubhub Center in Los Angeles, and broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.
Valdez (23-0, 19 KOs) has long been on the radar of Mexican boxing fans. He had a stellar amateur career, qualifying for the Mexican Olympic team at age 17 for the Bejiing Games then qualifying again and representing Mexico in London in 2012. Turning professional after London, Valdez was brought along carefully. His first title shot came in July of 2016, when he defeated Matias Rueda by second round knockout, picking up the vacant WBO featherweight belt.
Since then, the Nogales native has made three successful defenses. First, he stopped Hiroshige Osawa in the seventh round, on the Pacquiao vs. Vargas undercard in November of 2016. In April of last year, Vargas went twelve rounds against tough and tested Miguel Marriaga of Columbia, with Vargas scoring a unanimous decision. In Spetember of last year, Vargas outpointed previously undefeated Filipino contender Genesis Servania. In an exciting bout, Vargas was dropped for the first time in his professional career, as Servania caught him in the fourth. But the Mexican champion rallied and made the latter rounds his own, nipping the unanimous decision.
Vargas, now age 27, is a come-forward fighter with lots of power, making him an exciting fighter to watch. The Mexican champion knows what is at stake in taking on Quigg: “This will be my fourth defense, and I have learned a lot from my battles with Miguel Marriaga and Genesis Servania,” Valdez said via Top Rank press release, “Now I have an even more difficult fight against Scott Quigg. We are prepared… the belt stays with me in Mexico.”
Quigg is a household name in England, where he campaigned at super bantamweight for many years, holding the WBA belt in that division from 2013 to 2016. The Bury, Lancashire native lost the belt in a much-anticipated showdown with Northern Ireland’s Carl Frampton (21-0, 14 KOs). The fight went the distance despite Quigg suffering a jaw fracture in the fourth round, and the split decision went Frampton’s way (116-112, 116-112, 113-115).
Since then, Quigg has reeled off three wins, with his most recent victory coming against Oleg Yefimovych (29-3, 16 KOs) of Ukraine by way of sixth round TKO. Quigg is currently training with Freddy Roach, while Manny Robles, Jr., will be in Valdez’s corner on Saturday night.
Quigg expects an active fight: “Oscar and I have sparred before, when we were both preparing for other fights,” Quigg told Top Rank, “if the fight is anything like the sparring, the fans are in for a real treat.” Quigg knows Valdez will have a partisan home crowd on his side: “I look forward to coming out and everyone booing me. They can boo me in, but they will definitely be cheering me out.”
The Cold War Between De La Hoya and Mayweather
by B.A. Cass
In August, Oscar De La Hoya took to Twitter to voice his thoughts on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight.
As a man of principle, De La Hoya was disgusted. He felt Mayweather was degrading the sport of boxing. Many boxing fans agreed.
How is it then that this man of principle could turn around not three months later and challenge McGregor to a fight? De La Hoya should be called out for his hypocrisy.
De La Hoya has made some ridiculous assertions in the past two weeks, such as he the idea that he’s in the best shape of his life. He also claims that he’s “faster than ever, and stronger than ever” and that he has been “secretly training.” His comments have prompted some Twitter users to question whether De La Hoya has had a drug or alcohol relapse. His behavior seems very erratic.
It’s no coincidence that several days after De La Hoya challenged McGregor to a fight Mayweather released a training video.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) November 20, 2017
This video prompted people to speculate whether Mayweather was contemplating a return to the ring. He later made an emphatic statement reiterating his commitment to retirement. So then why tease people by releasing such a video? I think it’s obvious why. He’s trying to upstage De La Hoya.
This isn’t the first time Mayweather has teased us with a video of him working out. He released a similar video on October 18.
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) October 18, 2017
Perhaps this is something he does about once a month as a way of getting out of his Vegas strip club and staying relevant in the boxing world. But here’s an interesting fact: Mayweather posted this video the day after the press conference for the Cotto vs. Ali fight, which De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy Promotions, happens to be promoting. Coincidence? Not a chance.
Their feud goes back a long way.
In his prime, Oscar De La Hoya was one of the biggest draws in the sport. He was a recognizable name, and he was very handsome. His fights attracted thousands upon thousands of fans and made the people who promoted his fights lots of money. Floyd Mayweather at 135 pounds—then still “Pretty Boy Floyd and not yet “Money Mayweather”—was a brilliant and often dangerous fighter. When he jumped up to 150 to fight Oscar De La Hoya, Mayweather did so knowing that De La Hoya would be the naturally bigger man. But Mayweather needed that fight, needed it way more than De La Hoya. Just by putting himself in the ring with De La Hoya, Mayweather elevated himself in the boxing world and gained more attention than he had ever had before.
In the lead up to their fight, Mayweather pulled a lot of antics—antics which would make McGregor’s recent antics seem boyish and dull. Mayweather did everything he could to taunt and confuse De La Hoya, including showing up to a press conference with a chicken who he said was De La Hoya and who he called the “Golden Girl,” alluding to the fact that De La Hoya was caught wearing women’s clothes at a sex party.
Mayweather won the fight handily. Over the years, De La Hoya has made every attempt possible to minimize Floyd’s obvious talents.
The two met in the ring again in 2013, this time by proxy. The fight I’m referring to is Mayweather vs. “Canelo” Alvarez. By this time, of course, De La Hoya was retired and running Golden Boy Promotions full time. Canelo was, and still remains, Golden Boy Promotion’s biggest draw. If De La Hoya could not beat Mayweather himself, then perhaps the number one fighter in his stable could.
That didn’t happen. Mayweather schooled a very youthful looking Canelo.
Win number two for Mayweather.
Mayweather and De La Hoya have since exchanged barbs. The animosity between them is palpable, even if they have been able to work together to promote fights. I’d like to posit that even though Mayweather has gotten the best of the De La Hoya at least twice, he has never liked the idea that the De La Hoya was at one time the bigger star. Mayweather chose to craft himself into boxing’s leading villain and De La Hoya, even after his many scandals, remains more beloved among boxing fans. And I think it’s obvious that De La Hoya has never liked the fact that he was beaten by Mayweather twice—once in person, once by proxy. He can’t seem to let it go.
Mayweather can’t seem to let his grudge go either.
Mayweather, as we all know, is not just a boxing star but a powerful figure behind the scenes. Mayweather promotions certainly had a say in determining when the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight would take place. And they chose a date just three weeks before the already scheduled fight between Canelo and GGG, which was one of the most anticipated fights in boxing. How can we view the date that they selected as anything but an attempt to upstage De La Hoya and Golden Goy Promotions fight between Canelo and GGG?
What’s going on here is nothing more than a battle between two middle-age men who can’t refrain from acting like little boys. They’ve never liked each other, and now it seems they’ve engaged in a cold war of sorts, a passive feud that no one really cares to witness.
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
HBO World Championship Boxing Results: Cotto Closes Career with Loss to Ali, Vargas Defeats Negrete
By: William Holmes
A champion in four divisions and a lock for the boxing hall of fame, the legendary Miguel Cotto fought the last fight of his career in the building that helped make him famous, Madison Square Garden.
Surprisingly, despite campaigning in the middleweight division, Miguel Cotto weighted in at 151.6lbs while Sadam Ali, who has fought in the welterweight division and is bumping up a weight class to face Cotto, weighed in at 153lbs. Many, including this writer, expected Cotto to weigh in at a heavier weight than Ali
Photo Credit: HBO Boxing Twitter
The opening bout of the night was between Rey Vargas (30-0) and Oscar Negrete (17-0) for the WBC Junior Featherweight Title.
Vargas, the taller fighter, was able to use his height to his advantage in the opening round and landed a high volume of punches to the body and head of Negrete. He was able to get a full extension on his shots in the second round and had Negrete taking some hard shots.
Vargas connected with three straight uppercuts followed by a right hook in the opening seconds of the third round. At one point in the third Negrete stepped on the foot of Vargas and knocked him over, but the referee correctly ruled it a push. Vargas’ sharp shots continued into the fourth round and fifth rounds but Negrete, to his credit, never stopped coming forward.
Negrete snuck in a few good shots of his own, especially when he was in tight, but Vargas’ combinations were numerous.
Negrete took some heavy body shots by Vargas in the sixth round, but did land his best punch of the night, a left hook, in the ninth round.
The eighth round was also tight as Negrete surprisingly landed some combinations, and Vargas had a cuts over both of his eyes. The referee checked it in the eighth and before the ninth rounds but let Vargas continue.
Negrete was out matched and out gunned, but continued to press the pace in the final rounds but took a barrage of punches in the process.
Vargas’ cut over his left eye looked pretty bad, but he was never in danger of being hurt.
The judges scored it 119-109, 119-109, and 120-108 for Rey Vargas.
Miguel Cotto (41-5) and Sadam Ali (25-1) met in the main event of the night for the WBO Junior Middleweight Title.
Cotto walked out to no walk out music so that he could hear the crowd.
The crowd loudly chanted for Cotto in the opening round, but Ali established he had the superior hand speed early on and connected with some surprising punches. Cotto was able to land his patented left hook to the body, but Ali looked like he was landing at a higher connect rate.
Cotto was badly hurt in the second round from a right cross by Ali. Cotto’s legs were wobbly, but Ali did not press the action to try and finish the fight. Ali slipped in the second round, but he definitely had Cotto hurt.
Ali’s length gave Cotto trouble in the third round but Cotto was pressing the action. Cotto was hurt once again in the fourth round by Ali, but was able to recover and come forward behind his jab.
Cotto’s attack to the body appeared to be effective in the fifth and sixth rounds, especially when he had Ali backed into a corner. Ali’s right eye began to swell in the seventh round but he was landing good shots to the head of Cotto.
Cotto had Ali backed into the ropes several times in the eighth and did his best work there, but Ali retook control in the ninth round as Cotto looked like he was tiring.
Ali landed a vicious left hook on Cotto in the tenth round that had Cotto on wobbly legs again and his mouth wide open. Cotto was on full retreat in the tenth and appeared to be close to going down.
Ali came out aggressively in the eleventh round and looked like he was going for the knockout. His corner had previously urged him to be more aggressive. Cotto survived and circled away from the attacking Ali.
Cotto came out aggressive in the final round but looked tired and slow. Ali was the fresher fighter and closed out the fight well.
The final scores were 115-113, 116-112, 115-113 for Sadam Ali.
In the post fight interview Cotto confirmed it was his last fight, and revealed he hurt his left bicep in the seventh round.
Cotto stated, “Feeling good. Feeling good with the performance. Something happened to my left bicep, seventh round. I don’t want to make excuses, Sadam won the fight. It is my last fight. I am good, and I want to be happy in my home with my family.
“Thank you for all the fans, I am proud to call MSG my second home. I had the opportunity to provide the best for my family because of the sport.”
I worked hard for it.” Said Sadam Ali. “I took advantage of this fight, and I made sure to make it count. I want to Thank God, and also thank team Cotto, They could have taken an easier fight if they wanted too. ”
“I had him hurt here or there in the first couple of rounds. I knew I had to do something, or he would have dug in. By the 11th, I thought the fight was close. Whatever GBP has next, I’ll take it. Good things happen to good people. I have been training since I was 8 years old, and I am glad I got this win at MSG, in my hometown.”
HBO World Championship Boxing Preview: Miguel Cotto vs. Sadam Ali, Rey Vargas vs. Oscar Negrete
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions will promote the last professional fight of Miguel Cotto’s illustrious career. He’ll be facing Sadam Ali at the famed Madison Square Garden on HBO’s World Championship Boxing telecast.
Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
A WBC Junior featherweight bout between Rey Vargas and Oscar Negrete will also be televised. Other undercard bouts include a WBO Junior Flyweight Title bout between Angel Acosta and Juan Alejo, a featherweight bout between Ronny Rios and Deivis Julio, and a junior welterweight bout between Zachary Ochoa and Erik Martinez.
Cotto, who was a world champion in four different weight classes, has insisted this will be his last fight. The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Rey Vargas (30-0) vs. Oscar Negrete (17-0); WBC Junior Featherweight Title
The opening bout of the night will be between Rey Vargas and Oscar Negrete for the WBC Junior Featherweight Title.
Both boxers had a successful amateur career. Negrete was a Gold Medalist at the 2010 South American Games in the Light Flyweight Division and Vargas was a 2009 Panamerican Gold Medalist.
Vargas, at the age of 27, is three years younger than Negrete. He will also have a two inch height advantage and a three inch reach advantage. Both boxers have been fairly active in the past two years. They both fought two times in 2017 and three times in 2016.
Vargas is the boxer with more power in his hands. He has stopped twenty two of his opponents and five of his last ten opponents did not make it to the final bell. Negrete only has seven stoppage wins and two of his past five fights were victories by KO/TKO.
Vargas has the better professional resume of the two and Negrete appears to be aware that this is the toughest test of his career.
He stated at a recent press conference, “”I’m so excited for this opportunity. This is everything that I have worked for so far in my career. Being undefeated doesn’t make him [Rey Vargas] invincible. I’m a forced to be reckoned with. People may underestimate me, but I know what I’ve done to make sure I walk away with the victory.”
Vargas has defeated the likes of Ronny Rios, Gavin McDonnell, Alexander Munoz, and Alexis kabore. Negrete has defeated the likes of Sergio Frias, Victor Ruiz, and Neftali Campos.
Vargas is the naturally bigger man with an edge in power. He has been generating some buzz recently and this should be a showcase fight for him. Negrete has the amateur background to make this fight interesting, but it’s a fight that Vargas should win.
Miguel Cotto (41-5) vs. Sadam Ali (25-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
The legendary Miguel Cotto has decided to end his career.
He stated at a recent media conference call, “Like Oscar and people have said, it’s my final fight, and I’m working hard for making the final fight really good for everybody. All we have to do is wait until the day of the fight. We are ready for the fight.”
Many boxers have been known to claim that they’re going to retire only to change their mind later on, however with Cotto he appears to be sincere in his desires to stop fighting.
Cotto, at thirty seven years old, will be eight years older than his opponent Sadam Ali. Ali will also have a two inch height advantage and a six inch reach advantage.
That advantages for Ali stop there. Cotto is actually the naturally bigger man and has competed as high as the middleweight division while Ali usually campaigns in the welterweight division. The step up in weight is something that is not lost on Ali. He stated, “Yeah, it’s a huge challenge, a big step up. The biggest opponent in my career, and I’m also moving up to another weight class. But I love the challenge, and I’m ready to do whatever I have to do”.
Cotto has thirty three stoppage victories in his resume and has stopped three of his past five opponents. Ali only has fourteen stoppage victories and has only stopped one of his past five opponents.
Ali has been more active than Cotto and fought twice in 2017 and twice in 2016. Cotto did not fight at all in 2016 and only fought once in 2017.
Both boxers had successful amateur backgrounds. Cotto represented Puerto Rico in the 2000 Summer Olympics and Ali represented the United States in the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Cotto clearly has the better resume as a professional. He has defeated the likes of Yoshihiro Kamegai, Daniel Geale, Sergio Martinez, Delvin Rodriguez, Antonio Margarito, Ricardo Mayorga, Joshua Clottey, Alfonso Gomez, Shane Mosley, Zab Judah, Paul Malignaggi, Carlos Quintana, and DeMarcus Corley. His losses were to Antonio Margarito, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Austin Trout, and Canelo Alvarez.
Ali has defeated the likes of Johan Perez, Francisco Santana, and Luis Carlos Abregu. His lone loss was a TKO loss to Jessie Vargas.
Ali is a good boxer and surprisingly longer and taller, but Cotto’s depth of experience and size advantage will be too much for him.
Cotto seems confident going into this fight and has no regrets. He stated, “I enjoyed my whole career, and I can’t point at one fight, you know. I enjoyed my whole career. Every moment made me be the boxer I am right now, the person I am right now. I would have to say my whole career has been amazing for me”.
It’s a career boxing fans have thoroughly enjoyed. It’s a career that should end with a victory.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Kovalev, Bradley, Shabranskyy, Oscar, and more…
Compiled by: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of November 7th to November 14th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Kovalev-Shabranskyy Media Conference Call Recap
Below are some select statements from the recent Sergey Kovalev-Shabranskyy Media Conference call.
Sergey Kovalev, former unified light heavyweight world champion: Yes, I’m really good. My training camp is going really good, like always, and I’m happy to work right now with my new coach Arbor Tursunpulatov. He’s doing a great job and we understand each other because we speak and understand one language. We understand each other and I feel comfortable.
Question: Sergey, can you describe what it was like for you to put the losses to Andre Ward behind you? This is like a new beginning for your career. Can you talk about that?
SK: All life is like a lesson for me. After my last three fights, some felt that I should get more physically into my work life with my boxing again. But right now, I feel all bad things are gone from my mind. Right now I concentrate, and I focus for the future of my boxing career. I’m ready to be again a world champion and collect my belts if somebody will be ready to unify the title.
Question: Sergey, when this fight was made with Shabranskyy you did not know it was going to be for the title. Andre Ward hadn’t retired, I don’t believe, when this fight was put together and you were going to go in and fight him to get back in action, score a win and get back on track. Can you tell me what it was like for you, as far as how excited you were that when you found out that it was going to be for one of the titles that Andre vacated when he retired? That you’d have a chance to regain one of your belts in your first fight coming off of a defeat?
SK: My next fight without the belt was going to be discouraging, because I must come back.(It) should be very exciting. I’m really excited and ready to get my belts back. It would be really interesting and really exciting, and I would fight anybody.
I was ready to fight Sullivan Barrera, but he didn’t approve the fight and we got Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. And, after this, Andre Ward vacated the title; it’s additional motivation. It’s like the most important (in) how my future boxing career is going to be. I’m really happy that this fight will be for the title and for the WBO, because this was the first title that I had already., But now this is like a new chapter in my boxing career. I am recharged. I am much stronger than last three fights and you will see November 25 in New York.
RIP Desmond Hammond of King’s Promotions
King’s Promotions is deeply saddened at the passing of Desmond Hammond.
Hammond of Reading, Pennsylvania passed away on Monday morning at the age of 35. He was at his home and surrounded by his family.
Hammond was the Director of Operations for King’s Promotions for the better part of the last three years. He was the nephew of King’s Promotions CEO Marshall Kauffman.
“This is such a sad day for my family and for everyone who knew Desmond,” said Kauffman.
“Desmond was like a son to me. He is my sister’s son, and he is basically the same age as my children so we are extremely close. Desmond came to boxing just a few years ago and he picked up the business so fast. We have run more shows then anybody in the country, and they all have come off so smoothly. That was because of Desmond. He was on top of every detail, which made the events go off without a hitch. But most of all he was very selfless and caring. He was always there for someone in need. He was a great young man, who was very smart, and he was always joking. It was such an honor for me to have him on board with King’s Promotions. He was such a special person who was loved and will be missed so much.”
Besides Kauffman and his family, Hammond is survived by his mother Sheri Clark, sisters Lynchel Hammond and Raven Hammond, brother Steven Brandon, his daughter Dayana, newborn son Donovan and his girlfriend Alisha.
The Viewing will be held next Monday, November 20th between 9 am and 11 am at St. John Baptist Church, 436 South 7th Street, Reading, Pa.19602
Flowers and gifts can be sent by copying and pasting this link:
Tim Bradley Jr. Presents $5,000 to Elementary School to Launch Book
Palm Desert-based Back Story Publishing has released its inaugural book entitled “Hard to Heart: How Boxer Tim Bradley Won Championships and Respect,” a biography geared to middle-grade readers about five-time World Champion boxer and Palm Springs, CA, resident Tim Bradley. As an element in the standard agreement with a book’s subject, Back Story Publishing makes a $5,000 contribution to the charity of the subject’s choice. Bradley and his wife, Monica, selected the library at Amelia Earhart Elementary School of International Studies in nearby Indio as the recipient of this contribution. Today, “Hard to Heart” author Bill Dwyre and Brady presented a $5,000 check to Earhart principal Ann Morales and Desert Sands Unified School District Superintendent Scott Bailey in front of the 900+ students at the school. Each of the students also received a copy of “Hard to Heart: How Boxer Tim Bradley Won Championships and Respect,” and each teacher received a classroom copy of the book autographed by Bradley and Dwyre.
Tim Bradley perfectly fit Dwyre’s vision of a first subject for a book developed by Back Story. From being a combative child growing up in Palm Springs, to channeling his love of boxing into a successful career, and from being down to his last $11 before he won his first world title, to becoming what he is today: a five-time World Champion boxer in two weight classes (retired); a volunteer football coach at La Quinta High School; a board member for a youth football program for underprivileged children; father to five busy children with wife Monica; and a businessman working alongside Monica who owns a healthy-options, quick-service restaurant – Haus of Poké — in Rancho Mirage, CA, with two additional restaurants in the works. He and Monica also manage/mentor two up-and-coming local boxers: Edgar Alfredo Martinez and Dominic Serna, Jr. In the Coachella Valley of Southern California, Bradley is seen as an inspiration for perseverance over challenges and for giving back to the community.
“I never, ever expected to have a bio written about me,” said Bradley. “It’s a double thrill that one has been and that it’s for young people. I believe in reading, education and pursuing your dreams, and I hope the lessons I learned the hard way, and that Bill talked about in the book, will help other kids find a smoother path.”
Newly launched Back Story Publishing is the brainchild of Dwyre, award-winning former sports editor and later columnist of the Los Angeles Times. Dwyre envisioned a company that produced books about athletes who contribute to their sport and their community, and who have a compelling personal story demonstrating perseverance and success over life’s challenges. Dwyre also hoped that kids – who spend much of their time on electronic devices using their thumbs – would be inspired to pick up a book and read. “Hard to Heart” is available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble in paperback and e-book formats, and from the Apple iTunes store.
Oscar De La Hoya Presents New, State of the Art Boxing Equipment to Garden Grove Boxing
Olympic gold medalist and 10-time world champion Oscar De La Hoya presented new, state-of-the-art boxing equipment valued at thousands of dollars today at Garden Grove Boxing. De La Hoya was joined by dozens of excited youth who gathered together to receive gloves, hand-wraps, mouth guards, headgear and other state-of-the art boxing equipment. Also during the giveaway, De La Hoya honored Ben Barker and the California Municipal Finance Authority as the 2017 Corporate Partner of the Year in recognition of their commitment to serving youth in Southern California.
“This event is about giving back, about giving a helping hand,” said Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya. “This is about giving kids hope. When I was a kid, I used to love it when people would stop by the gym to give words of encouragement. It was inspiring. So if we can change and inspire and help families and kids out–then we’ve done our jobs as human beings.”
“I want to thank our partners at California Municipal Finance Authority, Garden Grove Boxing and the entire staff at Golden Boy Promotions for making this event possible. As long as I can give back, I’ll do it for the rest of my life. When you accomplish something in life and you have the opportunity to give back, then do it. It’s my motivation and my way of saying thank you.”
This was the fifth annual boxing equipment giveaway the Oscar De La Hoya Foundation has hosted for after-school youth programs. The Foundation, with the support of its corporate partner of the year California Municipal Finance Authority, is donating new, state-of-the-art boxing equipment to five gyms in Southern California that serve youth in economically disadvantaged communities. The equipment will help these local gyms to provide children and teenagers in their communities with an opportunity to practice the sweet science during their respective after-school programs. Recipients of the Foundation’s boxing equipment donations this giving season include Garden Grove Boxing in Garden Grove, Eddie Heredia in Los Angeles, Westside Boxing Club in Los Angeles, Azteca Boxing Club in Bell, and Duarte Boxing Club in Duarte.
Angel Luna Going Up in Weight to Face Bryant Cruz
Uprising Promotions featherweight Angel “El Gato” Luna (11-3-1, 6 KOs) will go north in weight to battle Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz (17-2, 8 KOs) at 135 pounds, with the bout occurring this Saturday at Resorts World Casino in Queens, N.Y.
“We are excited about this opportunity for Angel,” said Ronson Frank, President of Uprising Promotions. “We know that Pee Wee Cruz presents a very difficult challenge, but Angel has never been one to back down from anyone. He has been fighting a lot of tough fighters over the past few bouts, and he always goes out there and gives 100%. Angel stays in great shape, and we are focused on coming out victorious on Saturday night.”
As mentioned by Frank, Luna has faced extremely tough competition over the past couple of years. His last three opponents had a combined record of 50-1-1 with the fourth being Tevin Farmer, who is fighting for a world title in December.
The most notable win for Luna came over Jose Lopez, who was previously undefeated in 16 fights before the two met at Barclays Center in 2015. In that bout, Luna floored Lopez twice as he cruised to a six-round unanimous decision. As a professional, Luna fought his first nine contests in his native country of the Dominican Republic before moving to Brooklyn in 2014.
Oscar De La Hoya Discusses Miguel Cotto’s Last Fight & Canelo vs. GGG 2
by B.A. Cass
In September, Miguel Cotto (41-5, 33 KOs) announced that he wanted to face the winner of the long overdue showdown between Gennady Golovkin (37-0-1, 33 KOs) and Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs). But that won’t be happening now that Golovkin vs. Alvarez ended in a controversial draw. According to Oscar De La Hoya, negotiations for the rematch between Canelo and Golovkin will begin in the first part of next year. “It seems like both fighters want to fight each other,” De La Hoya said today. “And that’s a fight that I would be pushing for. Both fighters feel like they still have something to prove, which will make it an exciting fight.”
“A lot of people underestimate Canelo’s speed and his ability to move from punches and block punches,” De La Hoya said. “Yes, there’s a lot of little things that Canelo can work on, but that comes from experience obviously.” It’s hard to imagine Canelo will gain much experience before he faces Golovkin again, given the fact that Golden Boy Promotions is eying a direct rematch. “We’re definitely going to block off Cinco de Mayo and September for Canelo,” De La Hoya said. “He’s given me my marching orders to get the best possible venue, the best possible date.”
Cotto isn’t disappointed that he won’t get a chance face Golovkin or avenge his earlier loss to Canelo. “He understands that it was a draw. He understands that both fighters possibly want to fight each other. Miguel Cotto is set on his retirement fight. He’s set on fighting on December 2nd. He’s not going to wait for anybody.”
Cotto’s opponent will be Sadam Ali (25-1, 14 KOs). According to De La Hoya, Ali is the only fighter who stepped up to the challenge. “We offered this fight to many fighters,” De La Hoya said. “Fighters do not understand what an opportunity against Miguel Cotto means to their careers.”
Several fighters, most notably Errol Spence, have turned down the fight with Cotto because they did not want to sign a long-term contract with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Look,” De La Hoya said. “I believe in Errol Spence. I believe in Mikey Garcia. I believe in Danny Garcia. Or even Keith Thurman.” But he questions their choice not sign with a top promoter.
“You look at every legend that’s out there, like Miguel Cotto, like Mayweather, like Pacquiao, like myself, like Tyson, like anybody,” De La Hoya said. “You need a promoter. You need a promoter to guide your career, to have a plan for you—a long-term plan, a short-term plan. You know, you see Errol Spence, guys like Danny Garcia. I don’t even know when the last time Danny Garcia fought, and I love watching Danny Garcia fight. . . . Mikey Garcia, he beats Broner. So what? Now he’s fighting a guy who is promoted by Broner. A promoter tries to help make you great. That’s exactly what’s happening here. . . . It’s not for the money; it’s for the opportunity because imagine if [Ali] beats Miguel Cotto. . . .”
Follow B.A. Cass on Twitter @WiththePunch
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Valdez, Conlan, and Ramirez Entertain and Win
By: William Holmes
Tucson Arena in Tucson, Arizona was the host site for tonight’s broadcast of Top Rank Boxing on ESPN and featured two world title fights which featured two popular Mexican boxing stars.
The co-main event of the night was between Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez and Jessie Hart for Ramirez’s WBO Super Middleweight Title and the main event was between Oscar Valdez and Genesis Servania for Valdez’s WBO Featherweight Title.
Photo Credit: Top Rank Boxing
The undercard featured several up and coming prospects, including Irish Olympian Michael Conlan. Tonight’s card was supposed to start on ESPN, but the baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers ended later than expected and the fight card started on ESPN News.
Michael Conlan (3-0) opened up the telecast against Kenny Guzman (3-0) in the featherweight division in a six round bout.
Conlan has 340 fights as an amateur compared to 47 amateur fights for Kenny Guzman, who also works a full-time carpenter.
The first round was more of a feeling out round as Guzman was able to land some decent shots but Conlan was clearly the better technical boxer. Conlan switched to a southpaw stance midway through the first round with some moderate success.
Conlan switched back into an orthodox stance and was sitting on his punches more in the second round. Guzman’s left eye was showing signs of swelling and blood was coming from his nose as he was taking some heavy shots from Conlan. Conlan landed a heavy right hand in the final ten seconds of the second round that sent Guzman falling backwards to the mat. He was able to get back up before the count of ten but was still wobbly and the referee waived off the fight.
Michael Conlan wins by TKO at 2:59 of the second round.
The next fight of the night was for the WBO Super Middleweight Title between Jesse Hart (22-0) and Gilberto Ramirez (35-0).
Ramirez was slightly taller than Hart, who was active with his jab early on. Hart was very active while circling and was able to stay on the outside in the opening round.
Hart continued to stay active with his jab into the second round and appeared to be a little hesitant of Ramirez’s power. Hart had a habit of ducking his head low when he gets in tight and Ramirez was able to take advantage of that with a short right uppercut that sent Hart crashing to the mat. Hart was able to get back to his feet and survive the round, but he was badly hurt.
Hart had a decent third round and was given time to recover from a low blow by Ramirez, but Ramirez had an excellent fourth round and appeared close to stopping Jesse Hart several times during that round.
Ramirez kept up the pressure in the fourth and fifth rounds and was landing a high number of power shots. Hart was able to slip in a few shots of his own, but he also lost his balance several times in the corner of the ring.
Hart may have stolen some of the middle rounds from the sixth round to the ninth as he was able to land some decent counter shots and avoid getting hurt again. Hart had a very strong ninth round with good straight right hands, but Ramirez showed a strong chin and was able to continue to walk forward.
Both boxers left everything in the ring in the championship rounds with both boxers landing heavy blows and absorbing heavy punishment. But Ramirez ended the final round as the aggressor.
It was an entertaining and competitive bout. The judges scored it 115-112, 115-112, and 114-113 for Gilberto Ramirez.
The main event of the night was between Oscar Valdez (22-0) and Genesis Servania (29-0) for the WBO Featherweight Title.
Servania is a Filipino boxer who trains in Japan. This was his first professional fight outside of Asia.
Servania showed a lot of head movement early on and had some success with his left hook, but Valdez was far more active and was landing good shots to the body.
Valdez was in control in the second and third rounds and simply out landed the constantly coming forward Servania.
Servania was able to score a flash knockdown in the fourth round on Valdez as he was backing away with his hands down. Valdez was in some trouble at the end of the round when Servania was able to catch him off guard with a good combination.
Valdez turned the tide of the fight back in his favor in the fifth round when a clean left hook sent Servania crashing to the mat. Servania was able to get back to his feet and slug it out with Valdez as the round came to an end, but he was badly hurt.
Servania may have stolen the sixth round with a round ending combination, but Valdez outworked Servania for most of the round. Valdez appeared settled in the seventh round and was the more aggressive fighter.
Valdez’s body work won him the eighth round and he was cruising by the ninth. Sevania, to his credit, never stopped coming forward despite the constant barrage of punches.
Servania was reaching for his punches in the tenth and eleventh round and never had Valdez in trouble. Vadez just continued to pile up the points by throwing at Servania whenever he got in range.
The final round was exciting as Servania came right at Valdez to exchange to start the final round and took several risks throughout, but his punches just weren’t powerful enough to hurt Valdez or put him down again.
Oscar Valdez defends his title with scores of 116-110, 119-111, 117-109.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, De La Hoya, Pacquiao, Roach, Shumenov, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, De La Hoya, Pacquiao, Roach, Shumenov, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 20th to June 27th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Golovkin and Canelo Conclude International Press Tour with Hollywood Red Carpet Affair
Lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and WBC/IBO/IBF/WBA Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) today closed out their international press tour with a red carpet film premiere for “I am Boxing” at the AVALON Hollywood that included a Q&A panel hosted by Mario Lopez. Canelo vs. Golovkin are set to clash on Saturday, September 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
Below is what the fighters and their promoters had to say on the press tour:
CANELO ALVAREZ, Lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion:
“This is going to be a very tough fight against Golovkin. There are fights that are difficult, and this is one of them. I’m going to prepare like I always do at 100 percent.
“I’m happy we are giving the fans the fight they wanted and demanded on September 16 as that is a great motivation to me. This is a very important fight to all of Mexican fans, and I am going to train as hard as I always do.”
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, WBC/IBO/IBF/WBA Middleweight World Champion:
“This press tour has been going great, I’ve been waiting 20 years to be in a fight like this. Canelo is a different guy than anyone I have every faced. He is a huge fighter and a great champion. On September 16, we will both put on a great boxing show.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:
“Canelo vs. Golovkin is the type of fight that deserves the spotlight and we are getting that. I am pleased to debut a film, ‘I Am Boxing’ highlighting the middleweight division leading up to this historic showdown with Canelo and Gennady, and I am very proud to have been an executive producer on the film.
“On September 16, Canelo vs. Golovkin will deliver and then some. This is a real middleweight fight between two fighters who have been boxing their entire lives and something the fans really called for, and I believe will end in a knockout.”
TOM LOEFFLER for GGG Promotions:
“There has been such a great response to this fight, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this with the two best middleweights fighting each other.
“These two superstars have a huge international fan base and when you put them both together-the event becomes much bigger. It was harder to make the deal secret than it was to keep it-everyone was taken by surprise and social media was really trending.
“When the training camp video comes out, the hype will keep building and building once everyone sees these fighters in their prime. Team Gennady feels very confident as does Canelo-both fighters wouldn’t take the fight if they thought they wouldn’t win.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Business Partner:
“I expect fireworks in this fight come September 16, but I also look at the fans, and see that this is what they want. This is a fight worthy of a red carpet because they are two future champions-and I believe two future Hall of Famers.
“I feel that Canelo’s versatility will be very important come September, as will ‘GGG’s’ power and knockout ratio. Everyone should be aware, but not scared, as this fight has all the makings of a perfect recipe for a great fight.”
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach Workout Quotes
Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2) and Freddie Roach recently held a media workout in Australia as they prepare to face title challenger Jeff Horn (16-0-1). They will fight on Saturday night live on ESPN in the United States.
Below are some quotes from the workout:
MANNY PACQUIAO: “We have a really good plan for this fight. We worked hard in training camp both in Manila and in General Santos City. I’m totally focused for this fight. I am not looking past this fight because at this point in my career, every fight is the most important. There are no tomorrows if I don’t win today.
“Jeff Horn is OK. I’ve watched video of his fights. He brings a lot of action into the ring.
“I know what he is feeling. I remember everything about my first world title fight.
“Being a senator and training for a fight is hard. It takes discipline and time management. Luckily, the Senate has been in recess for the past few weeks and I have been able to focus on training for my world title fight.
“A Senator’s job is to defend his people … to fight for their rights.
“I know Jeff Horn used to be a teacher. In the ring, I’m a teacher too.
“I am ready for Jeff to come out and be aggressive. If he does that it will be a great fight for the fans.
“The biggest crowd I ever fought in front of was at Cowboys Stadium against Joshua Clottey. I’m told this could be bigger [51,000+]. I am very excited for doing that, even though they may not be rooting for me. I am also very happy that ESPN will be televising it live.to the U.S. Now everyone can see it. It’s good for boxing.”
FREDDIE ROACH: “Manny is a performer. He loves people, loves a big audience. Brisbane has all that for this fight. He’ll be fighting in front of the biggest crowd of his career.
“Not everyone gets the opportunity to fight for a world title. It was always my dream but I never fought for one. It’s a big deal. Jeff Horn earned this opportunity. He is the WBO’s mandatory challenger.
“Manny gave me 110% in training camp. He always does. No one works harder in the gym. The difference in this camp from recent ones has been his aggression. He’s scored several knockdowns and I haven’t seen that in years. He has kept his foot on the pedal throughout, even when he’s had a sparring partner in trouble. After his ring work he is singing and dancing – not well – but that’s not the point. He is really hungry to make a statement in this fight against Horn. He’s even playing Shakira during his workouts again and he hasn’t done that in years.”
Two Time World Champion Beibut Shumenov Retires Due to Severe Eye Injury
Two-division World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion Beibut Shumenov has relinquished his WBA cruiserweight world title, due to his career-ending eye injury, and he has announced his retirement from the ring.
“I have regrettably relinquished my WBA cruiserweight title and retired from boxing because of a traumatic eye injury suffered the week before my last scheduled fight,” Shumenov said from his Las Vegas home. “I’m extremely disappointed my boxing career has ended like this but, unfortunately, injuries are part of this sport and there’s nothing I can do about it. I still have blurred vision and I need to have an additional surgery next month to try to further repair so I don’t risk blindness in my (right) eye.
“I’d like to thank my family, my team throughout the years, friends and fans for their continued support all these years. I was proud to wear the WBA championship belt for many years as a two-division champion. I’m grateful to WBA President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, his father, and all those in my WBA family. It was quite a ride and I look forward with great anticipation to the next chapter of my life with my son and future endeavors.”
Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs), a 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, was scheduled to face Interim WBA champion Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) in the April 29th main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes, from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
During his last slated sparring sessions, Shumenov suffered an eye injury that required immediate surgery, forcing him to withdraw from his April 29 fight against Dorticos.
Earlier this month, the WBA received a letter from Shumenov’s eye surgeon, Dr. Kent L. Wellish, who wrote the following: “Mr. Beibut Shumenov has a serious ocular issue, a recurrent corneal erosion of his right eye, that with continued fighting, puts him at risk for permanently losing his eyesight.
“It is my medical opinion that he should permanently refrain from sparring, training and boxing due to the severity of damage to his eye and the high risk of further damage of vision impairment, including the possibility of permanent vision loss.”
The WBA accepted Shumenov’s relinquishment of his championship, noting that it expressed its gratitude and pride for his professional career with the WBA.
The last three years of Shumenov’s career was marred by inactivity, in which he fought only three times due to lack of managerial support, despite him training daily, in top shape and always being ready to fight. In fact, he sparred almost 400 rounds since his last fight (May 21, 2016) in anticipation of, first, a unification fight with Denis Lebedev and then for his fight versus Dorticos. Neither happened, however, as boxing politics enabled Lebedev to avoid fighting Shumenov, who defeated BJ Flores and then Junior Anthony Wright in back-to-back WBA elimination fights to be Lebedev’s mandatory challenger.
Even Shumenov’s mandatory fight against Dorticos was unnecessarily delayed because Dorticos’ promoter, Caribe Promotions, defaulted its right to promote the fight it had won by purse bid, followed by continuous and numerous date changes from February to March until finally landing on April 29.
The 33-year-old Shumenov retires as the first and only two-division world champion to date from Kazakhstan, as well as the record-holder for fewest fights needed to win the world light heavyweight championship, 10.
During his 9 1/2 -year pro career, Shumenov defeated four world champions – Gabriel Campillo, Byron Mitchell, William Joppy and Montell Griffin – as well as world title challengers Epifanio Mendoza, Vlacheslav Uzelkov, Danny Santiago, Enrique Ornelas, Tamas Kovacs, BJ Flores and Junior Wright.
Taras Shelestyuk Tests Unblemished Record on July 1st
Thompson Boxing Promotions heads to Northern California on Friday, July 1st to promote its first show in Sacramento starring unbeaten, Olympic bronze medalist Taras ‘The Real Deal” Shelestyuk (15-0, 9 KOs).
The highly ranked Shelestyuk (WBO No. 5) faces fellow welterweight Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-2, 11 KOs) in the “Locked n’ Loaded” 8-round main event from Omega Products International, an outdoor venue.
Shelestyuk vs. Rodriguez and the entire 8-bout card will be streamed live on TB Presents: Locked n’ Loaded. Watch the action on ThompsonBoxing.com and Facebook Live beginning at 7:45 p.m. PST / 10:45 p.m. EST.
Tickets for “Locked n’ Loaded” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase online at ThompsonBoxing.com, or by calling 714-935-0900.
Shelestyuk, 31, is coming off a unanimous decision win against Jaime Herrera in November. The fight, televised on SHOWTIME, had championship implications with Shelestyuk winning the WBO-NABO welterweight title.
The Ukrainian-born Shelestyuk, who now lives and trains in Los Angeles, had a decorated amateur career punctuated by winning a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
“I’m excited to fight in Sacramento,” said Shelestyuk, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “I’ve been in the gym all year and can’t wait to put on a show next week.”
In the co-feature, standout amateur Ruben Villa (5-0, 3 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. looks to stay undefeated against Gino De La Paz (2-1, 1 KO) in a fight set for 6-rounds.
Villa has all the tools to become the next world champion at featherweight. He cleaned up the amateur ranks with back-to-back National Golden Gloves championships prior to turning professional last year. He inked a promotional contract with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions last July and has been busy since then.
“I love being active,” said Villa, who is managed by Danny Zamora. “That was one of the main selling points in signing with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. They assured me that I would be fighting frequently. I’m ready to get another win on my resume.”
“We are looking forward to a great night for Taras and Ruben,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions. “Taras is on the cusp of big fights, and with a win over a tough fighter like Rodriguez should prepare him for that. As for Ruben, he is coming along great, and on July 1st, he will yet again show why he is the one of the top prospects in Boxing.”
Diego De La Hoya to Defend Title Against Alan Luques
Undefeated fighter and steady rocket in the super bantamweight division, current WBC Youth World Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (18-0, 9 KOs) will travel to South America to defend his title against Argentinian Alan “El Lumbriz” Luques (21-6, 9 KOs) in a 10- round main event that will take place in Complejo La Pedrera in de Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina. Doors open at the 7:00 p.m. ART, with televised bouts going live on DirecTV Sports in Argentina beginning at 8:00 p.m. ART.
Diego will be returning to the ring after a solid victory against Erik Ruiz before a sold-out crowd in Tucson, Arizona this past May in a slugfest that went the distance. Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya will make the journey of a thousand- plus- miles to watch his talented cousin defend his WBC Youth title ringside as the special VIP guest of the night. Also in attendance as a VIP will be WBA Inter-Continental and WBO International welterweight champion Lucas “La Maquina” Mattysse.
“I know it, and Diego knows it – every fighter wants to beat a De La Hoya,” said Oscar De La Hoya. “It takes hunger and passion for boxing that motivates him to travel across the world to demonstrate he just won’t be messed with. Diego will come home with a victory and new Argentinian fans who will be impressed by his Mexican speed and power.”
“I’m excited to be fighting in San Luis, Argentina,” said Diego De La Hoya. “The Argentinian fans have been very supportive of my career on social media and I can’t wait to put on a great show for them in person. Thank you Mr. Arano, GBP and my manager Joel De La Hoya for this opportunity and chance to make new fans.”
“It’s a great opportunity for me to fight with such a sky-rocketing figure like Diego de la Hoya and to top it all of my idol Oscar De La Hoya will be present in the stadium,” said Alan Luques. “I will prepare like never before to take advantage of the opportunity before me and I want to thank Golden Boy and Arano Box. I will give all of me.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Golovkin, Canelo, Booth, De La Hoya, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Garcia, Golovkin, Canelo, Booth, De La Hoya, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 30th to June 6th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Adrien Broner and Mikey Garcia to Meet in 140 Pound Main Event Matchup
SHOWTIME Sports® announced a blockbuster matchup between two of boxing’s biggest stars as three-division world champion Mikey Garcia moves up in weight to 140 pounds to face four-division champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner in the main event of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING®, Saturday, July 29, live on SHOWTIME. Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia is presented by Premier Boxing Champions.
In yet another significant main event matchup on SHOWTIME, these world-class fighters will meet at a critical time in their respective careers. A three-division world champion at the age of 23, and one of the youngest four-division world champions in boxing history, the flamboyant Broner remains one of the most accomplished and popular athletes – and perhaps the most polarizing – in the sport today. Among the top 140-pounders in the world, Broner is undefeated at or below 140 pounds with his only two losses coming against welterweight world champions Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter. An experienced fighter at just 27 years old, Broner (33-2, 24 KOs) still believes he is the future of the sport and promises to prove it against Garcia on July 29.
Mikey Garcia, 29 years old and undefeated (36-0, 30 KOs), is a recently crowned lightweight champion on a self-appointed journey to become a household name in the sport of boxing. Garcia will move up in weight for the second time in just three fights to challenge Broner. Garcia represents a boxing family developing legendary status in the modern era of the sport. He is renowned for his sportsmanship and his commanding presence in the ring, honed by his brother and acclaimed trainer Robert Garcia. Mikey has held world titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but has never fought north of 138.
Saturday, July 29 will be the 19th live boxing event on SHOWTIME this year. The main event bout will be a WBC 12-round special attraction.
“SHOWTIME Sports continues to deliver the most anticipated matchups, the most important events and the most thrilling fights in boxing,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports. “We consistently feature top-rated champions and challengers. The best are fighting the best and the results have been spectacular. Adrien Broner vs. Mikey Garcia is a fight that fight fans have dreamed of—an undefeated, young star facing one of the best 140-pound fighters in the sport, both men in the prime of their respective careers. July 29 promises to be a memorable night in a year already full of memorable boxing events.”
Broner, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has achieved more in his young career than most fighters can hope for in a lifetime. After earning world titles at 130, 135 and 147 pounds, Broner won a belt in a fourth weight division – 140 pounds – in October 2015 when he defeated Khabib Allakhverdiev via 12th round stoppage to become the second youngest four-division champion in boxing history at 26 (behind Oscar De La Hoya, 24). As an amateur, Broner compiled a record of 300 wins, 19 losses under the guidance of his trainer Mike Stafford, who has remained in Broner’s corner throughout his entire career. Broner will turn 28 years old on July 28, the day before his bout with Garcia.
Once considered one of the top young pound-for-pound boxers in the world, Mikey Garcia, of Moreno Valley by way of Oxnard, Calif., returned to the ring after a two-and-half-year layoff in July 2016 without missing a beat. He scored a dominant fifth-round stoppage over former world champion Elio Rojas in his first fight back. Then, Garcia became a three-division champion by beating previously undefeated lightweight world champion Dejan Zlaticanin with a vicious third-round knockout last January. Garcia has stopped 19 of his last 21 opponents including Roman “Rocky” Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Salido and Bernabe Concepcion.
Canelo vs. Golovkin Lands in Las Vegas T-Mobile Arena on Mexican Independence Day Weekend
The biggest fight in boxing today will come to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 16 when two-division world champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) squares off against IBF/WBA/WBC Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) over 12 rounds during Mexican Independence Day weekend. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
“I am thrilled to return to T-Mobile Arena, and to give the fans the best fight that can be made in our sport today,” Canelo said. “I have repeatedly said that I fear no man, and I am now going to prove it by stepping into the ring against GGG. When the final bell rings, everyone will know that this is indeed the Canelo era, and that I am the best fighter in all of boxing.”
“This is the type of fight I have dreamed of since I became a professional boxer,”
Golovkin said. “This fight will be at a true championship level and we will give the fans an exciting fight.”
The fight, to be contested at a maximum of 160 pounds will feature two of the most explosive, heavy-handed fighters in any division in the sport today. In their combined 88 fights, 67 have ended before the final bell.
“For the best fight on the best date in boxing, there is no better venue than the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Fans won’t only be treated to a classic battle between the two best boxers in the sport, they will also be able to enjoy an incredible week of activities marking Mexican Independence Day. This will be a can’t-miss event for hardcore and casual fans, alike.”
“This is the result of many years of hard work for Gennady, travelling around the world fighting world champions and top contenders to become an undefeated unified middleweight world champion,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. “Gennady’s reward, and the fans’ reward, will be battling in the biggest and best match-up in the sport of boxing. Gennady is ready for his date with destiny.”
“On September 16 there will be fireworks in Las Vegas when the biggest fight in boxing decides the middleweight championship of the world,” said Tony Walker, Vice President HBO Pay-Per-View. “We are thrilled to be producing and distributing this power-house event from the bright lights of Las Vegas.”
The last time Canelo stepped into the ring at T-Mobile Arena, he and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. drew the largest number of fans – more than 20,000 – to ever attend an indoor boxing event in Las Vegas.
Richard Sturm, President of Sports and Entertainment for MGM Resorts International, said, “There is no doubt this will be one of the biggest fights in boxing history. T-Mobile Arena has quickly become one of the leading venues to host championship boxing of this magnitude. We look forward to celebrating Mexican Independence Day Weekend in Las Vegas with our event partners and boxing fans worldwide.”
A press tour for the fight and on-sale ticket release will be announced in the coming days.
Canelo vs. Golovkin is a 12-round fight for the middleweight championship of the world presented by Golden Boy Promotions and GGG Promotions and sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Hennessy, Never Stop, Never Settle and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Arena and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
LA17 World Police and Fire Games Partners with 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions
From Monday, August 7 to Wednesday, August 16, 2017, Los Angeles will host the World Police & Fire Games (WPFG) with Opening Ceremonies at the LA Memorial Coliseum. More than 8,000 athletes, all active or retired Police Officers or Firefighters, from over 70 countries will compete in over 65 different sports and disciplines, and draw up to 50,000 spectators.
According to Chief Charlie Beck, a veteran competitor and future athlete in the 2017 Games, “The World Police and Fire Games not only help to promote physical fitness through intense competition, it also builds camaraderie and life-long friendships among first responders. The opportunity to showcase our great city is great, but the fortuity to bring athletes from around the world together with our diverse communities to share in the passion of sport, that’s something special.”
In addition, the WPFG is proud to announce the partnership with 1992 Olympic Gold Medalist, 10-time world title champion and local legend, Oscar De La Hoya and Golden Boy Promotions. “Boxing has always been a premier and well attended event of the World Police & Fire Games, but with Oscar and Golden Boy Promotions as a Presenting Sponsor, it’s sure to take the Games to an even higher level of competition,” said Chief Beck.
“All over the country, our police officers and firefighters work tirelessly to keep us safe,” Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO Oscar De La Hoya said. “We are proud to honor their service and help provide support as they demonstrate their athletic abilities in Los Angeles.”
The following, is a World Police and Fire Games promotional video featuring Chief Charlie Beck and Oscar De La Hoya:
We are proud to announce the partnership with Golden Boy Boxing and Oscar De La Hoya for the World Police and Fire Games coming to Los Angeles, California this August! Look for more announcements and watch Oscar De La Hoya and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck discuss our Boxing Competition to be hosted at the Los Angeles Convention Center from Aug 8 – 12! #GoldenBoy #LA17WPFG #Boxing #RegisterNow #FirstResponders #LAPD Headquarters
Posted by World Police and Fire Games on Tuesday, 6 June 2017
For more information, regarding the LA17 World Police & Fire Games, opportunities to become a WPFG sponsor or volunteer, or the schedule for Boxing, and other sporting events, please visit: www.LA17WPFG.com.
Burnett: Adam Booth Has the Plan to Beat Haskins
Ryan Burnett believes he has the perfect man in his corner in Adam Booth to get the gameplan right to take the IBF World Bantamweight title from Lee Haskins when they clash at the SSE Arena Belfast on Saturday June 10, live on AWE–A Wealth of Entertainment at 3 PM ET / 12 PM ET
Burnett faces the Bristol ace in his first World title shot and it’s a welcome return to his hometown after over three and a half years on the road.
Burnett’s last outing in Belfast in November 2014 was his first fight with Booth and the pair have moved seamlessly to 16-0 and on the brink of World glory as their partnership has blossomed in Booth’s Surrey gym.
Booth has been in the corner for many World title fights with David Haye and Burnett feels that having those expertise behind him can be the difference.
“Adam believes I am ready for it and he’s a man who has been there and done it,” said Burnett. “Adam knows how to put a game plan together to beat a southpaw, and I have every faith in Adam. If I am calm, relaxed and I deliver what Adam tells me to do on the night, I’ll win that belt.
“I’m always learning with every fight and every day in the gym with Adam. People were saying a year ago that I was ready for a World title shot so that must mean I am even better placed for it now. Adam makes the decisions of what the right move is for me.
“Adam has given me intelligence on what I actually have to do. All the skills are there, but he’s teaching me how to control it. That’s what we work on every day – understanding what you have to do and how you have to do it.
“I needed to sit back, peel away the layers and understand what I am doing. Adam’s work speaks for itself. He’s been in the sport for a long time and he’s a well-respected coach. I’ve come to the gym willing to listen and learn because I know that Adam has so much knowledge to give, so if Adam says jump, I say how high.”
Burnett challenges Haskins on a huge night of action in Belfast where Paul Hyland Jr faces Adam Dingsdale for his first pro title, with the IBF European Lightweight strap on the line.
An exciting undercard features a the Cruiserweight debut of Mike Perez, Ian Tims and Luke Watkins meeting for the Irish Cruiserweight title and local favourites James Tennyson, Paddy Gallagher, Matthew Wilton, Feargal McCrory and Tyrone McCullagh.
2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez Dedicated to Building Boxing in Wichita and Across Kansas
Wichita-native Nico Hernandez (1-0, 1 KO), a 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, is on a mission to establish his home as a real “fight town” like world champion Terence Crawford has done in Omaha, Nebraska.
The 21-year-old Hernandez returns to action Saturday, June 17, in the six-round main event against Mexican-born flyweight opponent Jose Rodriguez (2-0, 2 KOs), headlining “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire”, which will air (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) on CBS Sports Network live from Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas.
“KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” is a presentation of KO Night Boxing LLC.
Hernandez drew nearly 3,200 fans for his professional debut, March 25, in nearby Mulvane (KS), in which he knocked out Patrick Gutierrez in the fourth round of the main event, which was also televised live on CBS Sports Network.
Hernandez’ promoter, KO Night Boxing, LLC, is committed to showcasing Hernandez at home on national television, as well as provide a platform for young Kansas boxers for them to develop their skills and build intra-state rivalries as evident on this card.
“My plan is to do it like Terence Crawford has done in Omaha,” Hernandez explained. “I’m hoping it works out as well for me. It means so much for me to bring boxing to Wichita, to all of Kansas, for these fans and all the good, young boxers we have here.”
“This is a good opportunity for fighters from Wichita, across Kanas, to showcase their skills to the boxing world,” promoter John Andersen said. “Nico is giving all these other fighters a chance to do that by headlining our shows on CBS Sports Network. They need to fight to develop; otherwise, they’d have to travel far from home just to fight. They can build fanbases close to their hometowns.
“We’re an up-and-coming promotional company, much like Nico as a pro fighter, and together we want to build boxing across Kansas and build natural rivalries like we have on this card. Nico is the perfect fighter to do this because, in addition to being an Olympic medalist, he’s a great role model for young people in Wichita, and Kansas as a whole, to emulate. We’ve planted the boxing seed in Wichita, through
Nico, and we feel that boxing is going to grow across the state where Nico is bigger than life.”
Unbeaten Canadian featherweight Marc “Gwapo” Pagcaliwangan (10-0-1, 8 KOs) meets Angel “Terrible” Monrreal (10-8-1, 3 KOs), of Mexico, in the eight-round co-feature, while Wichita junior middleweight Noel Esquada (7-3-2, 5 KOs) takes on 2012 Chicago Golden Gloves champion Limberth “El Gallito” Ponce (12-3, 9 KOs) in the six-round match,
A prime example of a budding intrastate Kansas rivalry will be displayed in the televised opener as Garden City (KS) featherweight prospect Eric Vargas (2-0, 1 KO) takes on pro-debuting Humberto “Tito” Tellez, fighting out of Winfield (KS).
The non-televised “KO Night Boxing: Rapid Fire” undercard is loaded with local talent: pro-debuting Topeka (KS) junior welterweight Brian Clements vs. Bryan Montalvo (1-9, 1 KO), of Garden City (KS); Winfield light heavyweight Juan Hollingsworth (1-0, 1 KO) vs. Oklahoman Matt Dixon in his pro debut, and pro-debuting middleweights Eddie Chavez, of Wichita, and Garden City’s Fernando Jasso throw-down in the opening bout.
All fights and fighters are subject to change.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Figueroa, Guerrero, Shields, Caballero, Negrete, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Figueroa, Guerrero, Shields, Caballero, Negrete, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 23rd to May 30th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Former World Champions Omar Figueroa and Robert Guerrero to Meet in Welterweight Brawl
A matchup between exciting former world champions Omar “Panterita” Figueroa (26-0-1, 18 KOs) and Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-5-1, 18 KOs) headlines an action-packed night of Premier Boxing Champions on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday, July 15 in the first boxing event at the newly-renovated NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Televised coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT from the first boxing event at the Coliseum since Mike Tyson headlined in 1986.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and showing fans what I’m known for – exciting fights,” said Figueroa. “I’ve been quietly training and preparing in Indo, California with Joel Diaz and now it’s time. I’m looking forward to a great fight with Robert Guerrero on July 15 in front of a New York crowd. I can’t wait to show everyone at the Coliseum and on FOX and FOX Deportes what ‘Panterita’ is all about.”
“Both me and Omar Figueroa like to bang on the inside, which should make for great entertainment, but Omar is going to find out on July 15 that he’s facing a man who has his back against the wall and is going to leave everything in the ring,” said Guerrero. “I’m going to give the millions who’ll be watching on FOX and FOX Deportes a fight to remember. This is going to be a classic Mexican war and I’m coming out on top.”
The FOX and FOX Deportes broadcast will see unbeaten contender “Sir” Marcus Browne (19-0, 14 KOs) battling undefeated Long Island native and fan favorite Seanie Monaghan (28-0, 17 KOs) in a light heavyweight showdown.
“I have fought more times at Barclays Center than anyone, so it’s exciting to get to fight in a new venue not too far from home,” said Browne. “We might be in Seanie’s immediate backyard, but I’m just down the block, so he really isn’t any more at home than I am. I know he’s a hard-nosed fighter with a come-forward style. I’m preparing for a tough opponent. A win won’t come easy, but we have to take care of business. I am just ready to display my talent on national television and continue my climb toward a world title.”
“It is a dream come true to be fighting at the Coliseum, which is literally right next to the track where I run every day,” said Monaghan. “It is an honor to represent Long Island in the first boxing event held at this venue in 31 years. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time, and I feel that this bout will bring a new chapter in my career. I have a lot of respect for Marcus Browne, but let the best man win. On July 15, I am putting everything on the line.”
Also televised in prime time, Artur Szpilka (20-2, 15 KOs)meets Adam Kownacki (15-0, 12 KOs) in an all-Polish heavyweight showdown that promises fireworks.
“I can’t wait to get back in the ring and give my fans another exciting fight,” said Szpilka. “With two Polish heavyweights fighting, you know there will be power and pride on display. I’m training harder than ever to get this victory in front of the great Polish fans in New York. This will be my first step towards getting back to fighting for the heavyweight world title.”
“I can’t wait to fight again,” said Kownacki. “Most of my past fights were at Barclays Center, so fighting at the Coliseum will be a new and exciting experience. I am training very hard. A win on July 15 puts me one step closer to becoming a world champion. Szpilka will not stand in my way.”
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale Thursday, May 25 at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at NYCB LIVE beginning Friday, May 26 at noon. Group discounts are available by calling 516-231-4848.
“Boxing’s grand return to Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is going to be wall-to-wall action,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “The PBC on FOX and FOX Deportes main event between Omar Figueroa and Robert Guerrero is destined to be a bloody slugfest. The co-featured bout between Staten Island’s light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne and Long Island’s undefeated ‘Irish Rocky’ Seanie Monaghan will bring the heat on a summer night in Long Island. While Marcus and Seanie will bring in a big local crowd, the heavyweight grudge match between Poland’s Artur ‘The Pin’ Szpilka and Polish American Long Islander, by way of Brooklyn, Adam ‘Baby Face’ Kownacki will pack the house with Polish fans. As a Long Islander, I am proud to promote the first fight card at Nassau Coliseum in 31 years. July 15 will be a fun, action-packed night of boxing entertainment from beginning to end; the remainder of the card will be stacked with old-school brawls including local talent.”
“The Coliseum has a rich history in boxing, having hosted notable fights with the likes of Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Joe Frazier, and Gerry Cooney, among others,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “We are thrilled to build on the sport’s heritage on Long Island, and to bring boxing back to the venue 31 years later with a major event on network television.”
A high volume puncher with an exciting style, Figueroa has returned to training with Joel Diaz in California leading up to this fight and looks to make his presence felt on July 15. Representing Weslaco, Texas, Figueroa is undefeated since turning pro in 2008 and won a lightweight world title by defeating Nihito Arakawa in a 2013 Fight of the Year standout. He followed that victory up with successful defenses against Jerry Belmontes and Daniel Estrada. The 27-year-old most recently defeated former world champions Ricky Burns and Antonio DeMarco in his last two outings.
Born and raised in Gilroy, Calif., Guerrero is always in exciting contests having gone toe-to-toe with Danny Garcia in a FOX main event in 2016 and Keith Thurman sandwiched around a hard fought victory over Aron Martinez. Prior to 2015, the 34-year-old picked up victories over Andre Berto, Secluk Aydin and Michael Katsidis while winning world titles in multiple divisions. The brawling warrior has been in several “Fight of the Year” candidates throughout his career, including a memorable brawl in Southern California with Yoshihiro Kamegai in 2014, and he also challenged former pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather in 2013.
The undefeated Browne enters this fight after an electrifying performance in February that saw him drop former title challenger Thomas Williams Jr. before knocking him out in round six. The 26-year-old defeated previously unbeaten Radivoje Kalajdzic in April 2016 after a big 2015 that saw him defeat veteran contenders Gabriel Campillo, Aaron Pryor Jr., Francisco Sierra and Cornelius White. The 2012 U.S. Olympian fights out of Staten Island, New York after an exceptional amateur career that saw him win the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship at light heavyweight.
One of the most popular fighters representing Long Island, Monaghan looks to solidify his first world title shot when he faces Browne on July 15. Monaghan competed in the 2009 New York Golden Gloves before turning pro, reaching the final before dropping a memorable contest to fellow Long Island-native Joe Smith Jr. He has yet to taste defeat in as a professional while battling a slew of veterans eager to test his championship mettle. Monaghan added two more victories in 2016 as he stopped Janne Forsman in five rounds and beat Fernando Castanedo in December.
The always entertaining Szpilka returns to the ring after a defeat at the hands of heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder in 2016 as he attempts to get back on the path towards world title contention. The aggressive-minded 6-foot-3 Szpilka, had a four-fight win streak entering the Wilder bout as he picked up a 10-round unanimous decision over former cruiserweight world champion Tomasz Adamek in 2014 and stoppage victories over Yasmany Consuegra, Manuel Quezada and Ty Cobb in 2015.
A two-time New York Golden Gloves champion, five of Kownacki’s last six victories have come at Barclays Center and he now hopes to bring that winning mindset to the Coliseum. Originally from Poland but now living in Brooklyn, Kownacki stopped previously once-beaten Joshua Tufte in January of this year after 2016 saw him earn a stoppage of Jesse Barboza in June and a decision over Danny Kelly in January. He will take on the toughest test of his career in his countryman Szpilka.
Undercard Announced for Next Detroit Brawl Show at Masonic Temple Featuring the Return to Michigan of Claressa Shields
The undercard has been announced for promoter Dmitriy Salita blockbuster “Detroit Brawl” on Friday, June 16, 2017, at the Masonic Temple in Detroit and it features an impressive mix of local and international prospects in high-stakes match-ups.
Thus far, five exciting bouts are scheduled in support of the eight-round main event featuring two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Claressa “T-Rex” Shields (2-0, 1 KO) of Flint, Michigan, taking on Mery Rancier (7-8-3, 5 KOs) of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for the WBC Silver Super Middleweight Championship and the 10-round co-main event between undefeated Detroit cruiserweight Demetrius Banks (9-0, 4 KOs) and Detroit via Russia’s Alexey Zubov (14-1, 9 KOs).
Tickets for “Detroit Brawl” are priced at VIP $200, Box Seats $100, Floor Seating $100 & $55, and balcony seating $40, and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and Ticketmaster.com.
In the night’s main supporting bout, undefeated welterweight pulverizer Bakhtiyar Eyubov (12-0, 10 KOs) of Aktjubinsk, Kazakhstan, will look to stay busy waiting for his next high-profile step, as he attempts to inflict his crowd-pleasing style on always-tough Cesar Soriano (27-35-1, 16 KOs) Iztacalco, Mexico, over six rounds.
In another of the chief supporting bouts, Detroit’s rising talent and “Great Lakes King” Ja’Rico O’Quinn (6-0, 5 KOs) returns to action in a six-round bantamweight brawl against David Martino (2-2, 2 KOs) of San Felipe, Mexico.
Also scheduled is an all-action six-round super welterweight battle between Antonio Urista (7-2, 2 KOs) of Lansing, Michigan, and highly decorated former amateur star Serdar Hudayberdiyev (3-0, 2 KOs) of Turkmenabat, Turkey.
Opening the night will be a six-round super lightweight tilt between Staten Island, New York via Kazakhstan’s Dimash Niyazov (10-0-3, 4 KOs) and Grand Rapids, Michigan, veteran Ramon Guevara (10-24-2, 6 KOs); as well as a four-round welterweight bout between undefeated Jacob Bonas (2-0-1, 1 KO) of Bellville, Michigan, and Clinton Township, Michigan’s Tony Brooks (1-1).
“This is an exciting show from top to bottom,” said promoter Dmitriy Salita. “Every fight has been chosen for its excitement level. I am proud to be presenting it to the boxing savvy fans of Detroit, America’s comeback city and home for world-class boxing.”
More fights, opponents and rounds will be announced shortly. On fight night, doors open at 7:00 pm and the fights begin at 8:00 pm.
Irvin Gonzalez Starting to Make Waves in Super Featherweight Division
New England’s top prospect with 10 pro fights of less, undefeated hometown favorite Irvin Gonzalez, is on a fast track going into his June 10th headline fight in the third installment of the “New England’s Future” series, at the DCU Center (Exhibition Hall) in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“New England’s Future 3” is presented by Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE), which is owned and operated by retired three-time, two division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera and his son, Anthonee (A.J.) Rivera.
The 21-year-old Gonzalez (6-0, 6 KOs) takes on Raul Lopez (10-2-1, 5 KOs), of Bronx (NY), in an eight-round main event for the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) All-American super featherweight championship.
Pro boxing returns to the DCU Center for the first time in 11 years, ironically, when promoter Jose Antonio Rivera defeated Alejandro Garcia, by way of a 12-round unanimous decision, for the World Boxing Association (WBA) World super welterweight title.
“I am excited to watch Irvin’s boxing career flourish,” promoter Jose Rivera remarked. “He has all the tools to become a world champion. Fighting for the UBF championship will be the first of many and I am glad that we are able to give him this opportunity. I see big things for Irvin and I hope fans come out Saturday night, June 10th, to support him and the other local boxers.”
“This is a great opportunity for me,” Gonzalez said. “I’m blessed to be fighting in Worcester for my first title. It’s not a big title but it’s like taking baby steps to a world title. Since I started boxing at the Boys & Girls Club, I always wanted to be like Jose, a three-time world champion. Now, it’s my turn, and I’m fighting again in my city.”
Gonzalez has a perfect pro record: six rights, six wins by knockout. However, he’s only had fought a grand total of eight rounds, and June 10th he’s in a scheduled eight-round match. The well-spoken youngster isn’t concerned with the step up in rounds and opposition.
“I’ve been asked about that by a lot of media, trainers and other fighters,” he explained. “I’ve always trained like it’s for a world title fight, 12 rounds, so I’m not worried about going into deep water. I’m in magnificent shape, three weeks before the fight, and even in the amateurs I’ve always gotten stronger as the fight went along. In sparring, I get stronger, so going eight isn’t a problem for me.
“I don’t really know much about my opponent. He won a few national titles but hasn’t fought too often. I’ll see what he brings into the ring and then adjust. I know I’m taller.”
Gonzalez learned a lot when he was a sparring partner for Guillermo Rigondeaux in Florida that was supposed to be a six-week training camp that ended after three weeks due to Rigondeaux’ fight being cancelled.
“I learned a lot about different training methods that I now use,” Irvin continued. “His techniques are phenomenal. I was around a world champion, two-time Olympic gold medalist and I saw his work ethic. After all he’s accomplished, he still has a great work ethic, and I learned from him that a fighter need continue working like he does until the day it’s all over. It’s not all about money, it’s having fun every day, doing what we love.”
Randy Caballero to put NABF Super Bantamweight Title on the Line Against Oscar Negrete
Undefeated NABF Super Bantamweight Champion and Coachella native Randy “El Matador” Caballero (24-0, 14 KOs) will make his first title defense close to home as he takes on Los Angeles’ Oscar “Jaguar” Negrete (16-0, 6 KOs) at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in a 10-round main event for the June 30th edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN.
This marks the 50th show that Golden Boy Promotions has put on at Fantasy Springs.
Former IBF and WBO Featherweight Champion, Mexican actor and circus performer Jorge “El Maromero” Paez (79-14-5, 51 KOs) will be the VIP guest for this June 30th Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN card. Best known for a fight career spanning nearly 20 years and three weight divisions, Paez faced many of the boxing greats in the 1990’s including Oscar De La Hoya, Genaro Hernandez, Rafael Ruelas and Jesus Chavez. As the VIP guest of the night, Paez will be in attendance for the fights and will be on hand to meet fans; sign autographs and take pictures inside the Fantasy Springs Special Events Center before the ESPN broadcast begins. The meet-and-greet is open to the public with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN will air live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes at 10 P.M. EST/7 P.M. PST
Caballero, a former IBF Bantamweight World Champion, looked impressive coming back after a long layoff on the inaugural edition of Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN in March, taking a unanimous decision off of a game and rugged Jesus Ruiz. Now, Caballero takes on an undefeated fighter for only the second time in his career.
“I’ve told everyone who will listen that my goal is to regain a world championship belt, and this is another step on that path,” Caballero said. “I know my opponent is undefeated, but he’s never been in the ring with anyone close to my ability, and I’m confident that I’m going to take his “0” on June 30.”
Negrete has built a solid resume culminating with a shutout, unanimous decision over Victor Ruiz on Cinco de Mayo weekend in Las Vegas.
“I’m excited to compete for my first regional belt, especially on ESPN,” Negrete said. “People may overlook me, but after June 30, everyone will know that I am a force in the super bantamweight division.”
In the co-main event, standout amateur and WBC Youth Super Featherweight Champion Lamont Roach, Jr. (13-0, 5 KOs) of Washington, D.C. will defend his title for the first time against a soon-to-be-named opponent in a 10-round scrap.
Hoping to make TV time, heavy-handed Genaro “El Conde” Gamez (4-0, 3 KOs) from San Diego, California, returns to Fantasy Springs for the first time since knocking an opponent clear out of the ring last September. This time, he will take on Miguel Barajas (2-2, 1 KO) from Guadalajara, Mexico in a six-round match-up of super featherweights.
On the non-televised portion of the card, lightweight contender Ryan “Blue Chip” Martin (18-0, 11 KOs) of Chattanooga, Tennessee will bring his unblemished record to the desert in an eight-round fight against a soon-to-be-named opponent.
Welterweight KeAndre “The Truth” Gibson (16-1-1, 7 KOs) will look to come back from the first loss of his career when he takes on Dennis “The Spartan” Dauti (14-2, 7 KOs) of Naousa, Greece in an eight-round affair.
Hot off his professional debut, standout amateur Luis Feliciano (1-0) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and fighting out of Rancho Cucamonga will be back in action for a six-round super lightweight showdown against Baltazar Ramirez (3-2, 3 KOs) of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
And opening up the card, Philadelphia native Damon “No Smilin” Allen (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will put his undefeated record on the line in an eight-round match-up of lightweights against a soon-to-be-named opponent.
Tickets for the event will go on sale Friday, May 26 start at $25 and will be available at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino box office, by calling 1-800-827-2946, or by purchasing online at www.FantasySprings.com
Oscar De La Hoya On Mayweather-McGregor Super Farce: “Our Sport Might Not Ever Recover.”
Oscar De La Hoya On Mayweather-McGregor Super Farce: “Our Sport Might Not Ever Recover.”
By: Sean Crose
“Our sport might not ever recover.”
Those words came from Oscar De La Hoya in a no-holds-barred Facebook post regarding the potential Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor super farce the public is enthralled with. Although his words may be a bit hyperbolic, there’s little doubt that De La Hoya, head honcho of Golden Boy Promotions, is on to something. “Floyd’s and Conor’s motivation is clear,” he writes. “It’s money. In fact, they don’t even pretend it’s not.” Sure enough, Mayweather has made it perfectly clear this potential stunt, where the world’s most well regarded boxer faces it’s most popular mixed martial artist in a boxing match, is essentially about padding his personal bank account (though perhaps McGregor and his followers may believe otherwise).
De La Hoya also makes it clear in the post that it’s not the general public he blames the hype on, it’s the two would-be participants. “I fully understand the initial attraction from any fan of combat sports,” he writes. “McGregor is almost certainly the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter. Floyd is Floyd — the most dominant boxer of his time.” Yet De La Hoya also points out that each man fights in a unique sport, and that boxing and mixed martial arts don’t exactly mesh. “Think about it,” states De La Hoya, “beyond Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, what other athlete has successfully competed in two sports in the modern age?” Holly Holm comes to mind (actually, she crossed three sports lines), but that’s about it – and she most certainly took her time with it.
Still, De La Hoya is opening himself up to criticism here. He’s the one, after all, who wanted to “marinate” the upcoming middleweight battle between his fighter, Canelo Alvarez and feared Kazakh power puncher Gennady Golovkin. What’s more, there’s now reason to believe that Mayweather and McGregor are trying to muscle in on territory reserved for the Canelo-Golovkin superbout by staging a fight between themselves within the same general time and place. In other words, De La Hoya has plenty of personal reasons to be displeased by what he rightly calls a “circus.”
There’s no denying, however, that a Mayweather-McGregor match could spell big trouble for boxing, and at a time when it’s actually on the upswing. Chances are McGregor would easily outsklick the Irish brawler. Not only that, there’s a VERY good chance, as Michael Montero has pointed out, that Mayweather would drag a fight with McGregor out for twelve excruciating rounds. “If you thought,” writes De La Hoya, “Mayweather/Pacquiao was a black eye for our sport – a matchup between two of the best pound-for-pound fighters that simply didn’t deliver — just wait until the best boxer of a generation dismantles someone who has never boxed competitively at any level – amateur or professional.”
His words, of course, make sense. As does his desire for boxing fans to avoid the spectacle. “As undercard fights start to take form, athletic commissions give their blessings in exchange for millions of dollars and the fighters start counting even more cash,” De La Hoya states, “one group will eventually be left to make sure this farce doesn’t occur.” And just who is that group? “We, the fans, who are the lifeblood of our sport.” Although he can be accused of hypocrisy and shrewdness, there’s little doubt De La Hoya has some ideas worth pondering.
“After this fight,” he says of Mayweather and McGregor, “neither of them will need us anymore. Floyd will go back to retirement — presumably for good this time with another nine-figure paycheck — and Conor will go back to the UFC.” De La Hoya then offers what might be the coup de grace: “It’s a win-win for them. It’s a lose-lose for us.”
More Full Coverage: Floyd Mayweather vs Conor McGregor
PBC on FS1 Results: Cuban Ugas stopped Lara at Tunica!
Cuban Ugas stopped Lara at Tunica!
By: Ken Hissner
FS-1 Premier Boxing Champions promoted at the Fitz Casino & Hotel in Tunica, MS, Tuesday night.
In the main event Cuban Yordenis Ugas, 19-3 (9), out of Las Vegas, stopped Nicaraguan Nelson Lara, 17-8 (7), out of Costa Rica at 0:29 of the second round on a bad cut..
In the opening round Ugas was landing right hands to the body of the much shorter Lara. Lara answered with wide punches mostly missing. In the second round Ugas landed a right uppercut opening a bad cut over the left eye of Lara followed by a straight right to the head dropping him. Referee Bill Clancy called in the ring physician but made the final decision himself stopping the fight.
In a co-feature welterweight match Mexican 2012 Olympian Oscar Molina, 13-2-1 (10), out of Norwalk, CA, was soundly beaten by Levan “The Wolf” Ghvamichava, of Poti, GA, over 10 rounds.
In the opening round Molina who was moving down from super welterweight to welterweight used an effective jab while moving to his left having Ghvamichava following him and not cutting off the ring. In round two Ghvamichava who was moving up from super lightweight started showing his power going to the body of Molina while having his hands high giving Molina little offense to get through to his chin. In the third round Molina was using his jab but Ghvamichava is still going to the body very well.
In the fourth round Ghvamichava took control while Molina stayed in the middle of the ring instead of moving and he paid the price. With 10 seconds to go in the round Molina landed his best punch up until then an overhand right to the head of Ghvamichava who countered with his own right to the head. In the fifth round Molina was back to using his jab but Ghvamichava was using double jabs to the body followed by rights to the head of Molina.
In the sixth round Ghvamichava dropped Molina with a short right to the head down to a knee. The referee called it a slip. In the seventh round it seemed like the best round of the fight. Molina was landing good left hooks but one at a time.
In the eighth round Ghvamichava was waking right through Molina’s jab landing with both hands to the body and head of Molina.
In the ninth round Molina continued using the one punch left hook instead of using combinations. He landed a lead right to the head of Ghvamichava getting his attention. In the tenth and final round Molina was desperate knowing he was behind throwing wild punches with most only hitting air. Ghvamichava continued what he was doing since the second round coming forward taking it to Molina with double left hooks to the body and rights to the head.
The judges had it 98-92 twice and 97-93 as did this writer have it 97-93.