Joshua-Wilder Negotiations Fall Flat- Joshua to Face Povetkin Next
By: Sean Crose
After much hype and speculation about multi-tilist Anthony Joshua facing off against WBC titlist Deontay Wilder in a superfight for heavyweight supremacy, news has arrived that a Joshua-Wilder match won’t be happening in the near future. Instead, England’s Joshua will be facing Russia’s Alexander Povetkin, a mandatory for Joshua’s WBA belt. “We’re fighting Povetkin in September,” said Joshua promoter Eddie Hearn, “and we’re looking at multiple venues and dates.”
The thirty eight year old Povetkin was supposed to fight Wilder in May of 2016, but Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, which led to the bout being scratched. Known as a formidable heavyweight, Povetkin’s one loss in 35 fights came against Wladimir Klitschko back when the Ukrainian dominated the division in 2013. Since that time, Povetkin has gone on to win eight straight, his last victory being a fifth round knockout of David Price in March of this year.
Joshua, on the other hand, boasts a 21-0 record and has ended all but one fight by knockout. He’s known to sell out entire stadiums in Great Britain and is now regarded as the sport’s biggest star aside from Canelo Alvarez. The WBA reportedly demanded Joshua fight Povetkin, under the threat of taking their title from around his waist.
“The WBA have allowed over a month extension to negotiations with Povetkin and also ongoing discussions with Deontay Wilder,” WBA President Gilberto Mendoza claimed on Tuesday. “It appears the Wilder team have not returned the contract for the fight and therefore we are requesting a date for the Joshua versus Povetkin fight with immediate effect.” Hearn subsequently responded that team Wilder would adhere to the WBA’s demands.
Some took to the internet to declare that the entire matter was concocted so that Joshua could avoid Wilder, his 40-0 American counterpart (like Joshua, Wilder has won all but one of his victories by knockout). Although both camps blame the other for a Joshua-Wilder throwdown not happening in the fall, Hearn has taken to pushing the chances of Povetkin in the September contest. “I think it’s a mad fight to take with the Wilder fight at the door,” said Hearn of the Povetkin bout, “but that’s AJ.”
“By (Joshua) fighting these guys,” Hearn claimed, “Wilder can’t say he’s afraid to fight him.” Wilder’s very public comments on the matter have suggested otherwise. “You coward ass bitch,” Wilder tweeted on Tuesday. “Had the world waiting for 3 months playing games just for this moment. You’re not a true champion!! You’re just a weak minded coward that’s holding hard metal. #Facts”
The most telling quote on the entire matter may have come from former heavyweight king Lennox Lewis, who weighed in on Thursday. “They way I see, it” he tweeted, “AJ is the man. He gets to choose time and place for first fight. I’d make Wilder come to me also… but from what I see from Wilder, he’s willing to… and this is same attitude i would have. When the HW division finally has a pulse, we need action not talk!”
Anthony Joshua v. Joseph Parker Undercard Preview
BY: Ste Rowen
Controversy, Olympians and a world title fight. Here’s the breakdown of this weekends Joshua vs Parker undercard.
Alexander Povetkin v David Price
The most high profile, and controversial bout of the undercard pits Alexander Povetkin, 33-1 (23KOs) a man who failed multiple drug tests in 2016; resulting in two aborted fights with Deontay Wilder and Bermane Stiverne; vs David Price, 22-4 (18KOs) a man whose 3 of 4 career defeats have come against two men who went on to fail drugs tests in Tony Thompson and Erkan Teper. All three controversial defeats to Price were punishing stoppages, which makes it even more remarkable that Price has offered himself up as some form of sacrificial lamb for the extremely talented, but unbelievably tainted Russian.
Povetkin was last in the ring in December, scoring a whitewash, 12-round unanimous decision victory over the last man to overwhelm David Price to a 7th round stoppage, Christian Hammer. Price’s only fight since the Hammer defeat was a 6-round decision victory over one of Britain’s favourite heavyweight gatekeepers, Kamil Sokolowski.
On paper, this fight is the definition of ‘a puncher’s chance’ for David Price. In reality, it’s a stepping stone bout for Povetkin to attempt to setup a fight with Anthony Joshua in the near future. That is, as long as his consequent drug tests come back negative…don’t count on it.
Ryan Burnett v Yonfrez Parejo
The world title fight on the undercard sees WBA bantamweight champion, Ryan Burnett take on mandatory challenger, Yonfrez Parejo, 21-2-1 (10KOs). Burnett, 18-0 (9KOs) was forced to vacate the IBF strap he won when he defeated Lee Haskins last year, due to an interim bout between Haskins and Emmanuel Rodriguez falling through, meaning Rodriguez’s team called for purse bids with Burnett, after Matchroom had already made a deal for the Parejo bout.
Parejo, currently on a 4-fight win streak, last tasted defeat at the hands of Burnett’s most recent adversary, Zhanat Zhakiyanov, when he lost a 12-round split decision back in 2015. Burnett hasn’t fought since earning a correct, but unjustly wide decision on all three scorecards over Zhakiyanov back in October. He suffered a ruptured ligament in his neck, which scuppered talks of an immediate fight with Rodriguez, and subsequently lost him the IBF belt, but the Northern Irishman didn’t seem too concerned at the thought of dropping a belt back in February,
‘I don’t really get involved in the politics, but we knew that when we faced Zhakiyanov that it was likely we may have to vacate one of the belts because of mandatories, but I’ve unified the division and now we move on to new challenges.’
Josh Kelly v Carlos Molina
One of Britain’s most exciting prospects, Josh Kelly, 5-0 (4KOs) takes on former super welterweight world champion, Carlos Molina.
Kelly, who fought to the last 16 at the 2016 Olympics, defeated by eventual gold medallist, Daniyar Yeleussinov, is being accelerated though the early stages of the pro ranks by trainer, Adam Booth who’s no passenger when it comes to recognizing talent.
Molina is currently on a two-fight losing streak, so it seems like the perfect time for Kelly to step in with someone as experienced as the Mexican. A real statement to the rest of the welterweight scene would be for Kelly to become the first man to stop Molina.
Anthony Crolla v Edson Ramirez
Anthony ‘Million Dollar’ Crolla returns to the ring since earning a competitive decision victory over Ricky Burns in October. Crolla, 32-6-3 (13KOs) takes on Mexican, Edson Ramirez, 18-2-1 (8KOs) in an 8-round contest. The former WBA world champion is aiming to get back into the world title mix at lightweight but, speaking to The Independent, wouldn’t rule out a domestic dustup with Luke Campbell.
‘I need to get out there and get another win and then we can look for a big fight in the summer…Luke Campbell and I both want to win world titles and I don’t think either of us would have a problem fighting the other…I’m not targeting anyone in particular, I just want a world title shot. I’ll take any of the champions.’
Joe Cordina v Hakim Ben Ali
Hometown favourite, Joe Cordina fights for his first professional title when he takes on late stand in, Hakim Ben Ali, 19-5 (1KO) for the WBA International lightweight title.
Cordina, 6-0 (5KOs) hasn’t had quite as an accelerated start to his pro career as his fellow 2016 Olympian, Josh Kelly.
This weekend’s fight will be just the second time he’s stepped in the ring with a fighter holding a wining record. He was originally set to face Andy Townend, 21-4 (14KOs) who had to pull out last week due to injury.
Joshua Buatsi v Bartlomiej Grafka
The third 2016 Olympian on the card, Joshua Buatsi comes up against journeyman, Bartlomiej Grafka, 20-28-3 (5KOs). The real test for Buatsi will be if he’s able get Grafka out early, if not, expect a relative 6-round sparring session for the exciting prospect.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Molina, Pascal, Cotto, Lara, Povetkin, Kirkland, King, and more….
Boxing Insider Notebook: Molina, Pascal, Cotto, Lara, Povetkin, Kirkland, King, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of December 13th to December 20th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Miguel Cotto vs. James Kirkland Showdown Set for February 25th
Roc Nation Sports and Miguel Cotto Promotions are pleased to announce that Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto (40-5, 33 KOs) will return to the ring on Saturday, February 25, 2017 when he takes on James “Mandingo Warrior” Kirkland (32-2, 28 KOs) at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Coming off respective losses to Canelo Alvarez, both fighters will be seeking redemption in a 12-round junior middleweight showdown. The event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View® beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET/6:00 p.m. PT.
Cotto and Kirkland will join Roc Nation Sports and the Dallas Cowboys organization on Monday, December 19, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. CT for a press conference at Ford Center at The Star to officially announce the fight. This will be the first event of its kind to be held at the state-of-the-art, 510,000 square foot indoor athletic facility shared by the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Frisco, and Frisco ISD’s high schools. Ford Center at The Star is also the home to the Dallas Cowboys Football World Corporate Headquarters.
Tickets priced at $304, $204, $154, $104, $79, $54 and $29 not including applicable service charges and taxes, go on sale Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. local time and will be available at all Ticketmaster locations, online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at (800) 745-3000 and the AT&T Stadium box office.
“I’m excited to return to the ring and put on a great show. I can’t wait to start training camp and get ready for February 25,” said Five-Time World Champion Miguel Cotto. “Fighting inside the beautiful Ford Center, Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboy’s newest creation, and headlining the first ever boxing event there pumps me with a lot of enthusiasm and energy.”
“I’m very excited to get back into the ring against a legend like Miguel Cotto. I’m going to train like never before so I can show the world that the old James Kirkland is back,” said James Kirkland. “You know the fight will be exciting while it lasts. February 25 can’t come soon enough.”
“Miguel Cotto is back and ready to put on an exciting show against the always tough James Kirkland,” said Hector Soto, Vice President of Miguel Cotto Promotions. “We can’t wait to see Miguel back in the ring on February 25 on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“On behalf of Roc Nation Sports, we are so thrilled about Miguel Cotto’s return to the ring and to bring the first public event to Ford Center at The Star,” said Michael Yormark, Roc Nation President & Chief of Branding and Strategy. “This will undoubtedly be a historic event with an exciting, all-action bout in store for the fans in Frisco and all of North Texas along with those watching from home on HBO Pay-Per-View.”
“We are excited to host an incredible matchup for the very first boxing match here at Ford Center at The Star,” said Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager. “This venue was designed with the idea of versatility in mind, and we expect a great crowd in Frisco, Texas to experience a world class fight between Miguel Cotto and James Kirkland.”
“Throughout his brilliant ring career, Miguel Cotto has never backed down from a challenge and on February 25 he takes on a dangerous knockout specialist in James Kirkland,” said Tony Walker, Vice President, HBO Pay-Per-View. “Fans watching live in Frisco and those tuning in on pay-per-view should not blink in what should be an all-action slugfest.”
Don King Responds to WBC and Povetkin-Stiverne Drug Tests
Top rated heavyweights Alexander Povetkin and Bermane Stiverne were scheduled to fight for the World Boxing Council (WBC) Interim Heavyweight title on Saturday night at the Ekaterinburg Expo Center in Ekaterinburg, Russia. However, the WBC withdrew it’s sanctioning of the bout due to a Povetkin failed drug test. The WBC informed both camps of their decision Friday evening and advised the Stiverne camp they should not go through with the fight. The WBC abides by “Safety First” protocol in their Clean Boxing Program.
Povetkin (31-1, 23 KOs) from Checkhov, Russia was going into the fight rated No. 1 by the WBC. No. 2 rated Stiverne (25-2-1, 21 KOs) was born and raised in Haiti, now residing in Las Vegas. They were to fight for the WBC Interim Heavyweight Title, the winner becoming mandatory challenger to current champion Deontay Wilder, who has been incapable of defending due to injury.
The WBC uses VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Association) to administer their drug testing. VADA uses random testing and athletes may be tested at any time. This is the second fight in which Povetkin has tested positive for a banned substance – this time Ostarine. Povetkin’s positive sampling was taken December 6 and the WBC and both fight camps were notified of the test results Friday night. Within a couple of hours of the notification, the WBC tweeted it was “Withdrawing its recognition of Povetkin vs Stiverne due to the positive result of Povetkin for Osterine,” and shortly thereafter wrote in its ruling “The WBC hereby withdraws its sanctioning of the bout for the heavyweight interim world championship and will conduct a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the case and will issue subsequent rulings as required.”
Statement from Stiverne’s promoter Don King: “To say that I am very saddened and extremely disappointed that Alexander Povetkin was caught again using banned substances would be an understatement. What is the WBC going to do about it will be the answer. Bermane Stiverne deserves better than that. Bermane should be declared the interim title holder. This is the second time Alexander Povetkin is in the drug abuse program and has embarrassed the WBC causing the WBC’s sanction of the fight as a world title fight being withdrawn. The firs time was the Deontay Wilder vs. Povetkin May 21 in Moscow.
“Even though it hurts Bermane economically, psychologically and especially psychologically, I want to congratulate the WBC’s Clean Boxing Program. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman did himself and his organization, the WBC, proud by withdrawing their sanctioning of the fight.. Thank you WBC, thank you Mauricio Sulaiman, thank you for your honest, dynamic leadership.”
Ostarine is known to increase muscle mass and fat loss as well as increase stamina. Previously Povetkin was to face WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder on May 21, but tested positive for Meldonium a week prior to the fight. Meldonium is known to increase blood vessel size, increasing blood, hence, improving once again, stamina.
Erislandy Lara to Defend Title Against Yuri Foreman
Super welterweight world champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara (23-2-2, 13 KOs) will take on former world champion Yuri Foreman (34-2, 10 KOs) in a world title showdown that headlines Premier Boxing Champions on Spike on Friday, January 13 from Hialeah Park Racing and Casino in Miami.
Televised coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT with former super middleweight world champion Anthony “The Dog” Dirrell (29-1-1, 23 KOs) battling Hungary’s Norbert Nemesapati (24-4, 17 KOs) in a 10-round bout.
“I’m very excited to be making my return to the ring in front of my Cuban fans in Miami on Spike on January 13,” said Lara. “Yuri Foreman is a former world champion who is dedicated to this sport and will be looking to win another world title. I expect nothing but the best from him. On fight night, I’m making another statement and going for the knockout! After this fight, it’s time to unify the division, then move up to win the middleweight titles. Everyone should tune-in because it’s going to be a great night of boxing.”
“I’m thrilled to be fighting for the world title,” said Foreman. “I’m really looking forward to showcasing my skills and talent and becoming a two-time world champion. At this stage of my career, it would be a tremendous accomplishment. Lara is very crafty and many elite fighters have had trouble dealing with his style, but I have studied him and am very confident that I will defeat him by presenting him with something he’s never seen before.”
The Cuban Lara will be making his fifth defense of his title as he heads to Miami to fight in front of the many Cuban boxing fans in the city. The consensus best fighter at 154-pounds, Lara will be challenged by an experienced Foreman, a former 154-pound champion in his own right, who has fully recovered from physical ailments that almost derailed his career. Now, Foreman looks to establish that he can still challenge at the elite level as he prepares to solve the crafty champion.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by Warriors Boxing, are priced at $25, $35, $50, $75, $100 and $125, not including applicable fees, and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online at www.myticketforce.com by clicking HERE, by phone at (877) 840-0457 or at the Hialeah Park casino cage.
Barrerra Taunts Pascal, “Did My KO of Shabranskyy Scare You?”
Fresh off of his crushing 7th round knockout of the previously unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, top rated light heavyweight contender Sullivan “Sully B” Barrera has his next victim in mind.
The former amateur standout from Cuba wants to avenge his countryman Yunieski Gonzalez’s defeat to Jean Pascal. Shabranskyy is the only other fighter to defeat his compatriot.
“I knocked out Shabranskyy to get revenge for my friend and I will knockout Pascal too. We can fight anywhere in the United States. Hell, I would go to his country of Haiti and fight him. I just want to get my hands on him,” Barrera stated.
Barrera has been chasing Pascal for two years but has had no luck getting the former champion in the ring. With Barrera’s main two targets – Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev – locked in for a year rematch in the first half of 2017, Barrera knows a fight between himself and Pascal would produce a worthy challenger for either one of them in the second half of next year.
“I want a rematch with Ward or a fight with Kovalev but I know they are fighting again so I can’t just sit around. Pascal needs to man up and fight me. If he beats me he can get a Ward fight. If I beat him I can get a Ward rematch or a Kovalev fight,” said Barrera.
“I can’t fight in Canada but I am willing to fight him anywhere else in the world. I will fight him in the backyard of his parent’s house in Haiti if he wants. Pascal, you need to stop running from me and give the fans the fight they want. Did my knockout of Shabranskyy scare you? Me and you toe to toe is guaranteed to end in a knockout! Congratulations on your win on Friday but now it is time for me and you to get in the ring!”
Adam Lopez Faces Danny Roman in Matchup of Top 10 Ranked Super Bantamweights in Main Event of ShoBox
Undefeated, WBA No. 3-ranked super bantamweight Adam Lopez (16-0-1, 8 KOs) will face the WBA’s No. 4-ranked Danny Roman (20-2-1, 7 KOs) in the 10-round main event of a ShoBox: The New Generation quadrupleheader on Friday, Jan. 20, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
The first ShoBox telecast in 2017 features eight fighters with a combined record of 115 wins against just seven losses.
In the co-feature, undefeated super middleweight Ronald Ellis (13-0-1, 1 NC, 10 KOs) will face off with Christopher Brooker (11-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round 168-pound matchup of ShoBox veterans.
In another eight-round featured bout, former national amateur champion Kenneth Sims Jr. (10-0, 3 KOs) and Dominican Olympian Wellington Romero (11-0-1, 5 KOs) will clash in an eight-round matchup of up-and-coming, unbeaten super lightweights making their ShoBox debuts in their toughest assignments to date.
In the opening bout of the telecast, undefeated bantamweight Stephon Young (15-0-3, 6 KOs) takes on Mexican veteran and two-time interim world title challenger Daniel Rosas (19-3-1, 11 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight bout.
Tickets for the show, which is promoted by GH3 Promotions, Kings Promotions in association with Thompson Boxing (the main event) and Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino, are $125, $100 $75 & $50 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com or calling 1-800-745-3000
Warriors Boxing Congratulates King Carlos Molina for Victory Saturday Night
Warriors Boxing sends congratulations out to Former IBF junior middleweight world champion “King” Carlos Molina for winning his sixth consecutive (and fifth this year) fight on Saturday night.
Fighting at the Gran Oasis Arena in Cancun, Mexico, Molina (28-6-2, 8 KOs) won a unanimous shutout (80-72 X3) decision over Diego “Demoledor” Cruz (17-4-1, 13 KOs). The 33-year-old Molina is currently rated #9 at welterweight by the WBC.
“I feel very comfortable at 147; this is my natural weight,” said Molina, post-fight. “I am at weight after working out and I feel faster in my fights. For this fight, I worked on utilizing my jab and being more effective with it. Over all I am happy about how things came together. I will continue to work hard to get back to a world title fight.”
Molina says he likes the hectic schedule he maintained this year, in fighting five times against respectable opposition.
“I want to stay busy. The activity I experienced this year was excellent and I want to continue being busy. I want bigger fights with anyone in the top 10 at 147. I want the fights that will lead to a second world title. I am a problem for anyone at 147 and in 2017, I want to be challenged with the best the division has to offer.”
“Carlos was one of the best in the world at 154,” said his promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing. “But at 147, he could very well be the best in the world. He is a true technician with a difficult style to solve for anyone. Now that he’s bigger and stronger than his opponents, he’s in very serious contention for a second world championship once again. He had a great year and I congratulate him.”
Povetkin Hits a New Low in Moscow; In L.A., Hopkins Couldn’t Stay Away
Povetkin Hits a New Low in Moscow; In L.A., Hopkins Couldn’t Stay Away
By: Eric Lunger
It was a weekend of regret, as two bouts on different continents made a mockery of professional boxing. Karl Marx once observed that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. In Russia, Alexander Povetkin, by failing PED screening for a second time in less than a year, made a farce of whatever governing body sanctioned his heavyweight bout. And at the Forum in Los Angeles, veteran Bernard Hopkins was literally knocked out of the ring for the second time is his career, in what was supposed to be some sort of triumphant farewell/ retirement fight.
The Povetkin debacle was hard to fathom from the moment stories broke that he had failed another drug test. Seven months ago Povetkin was caught with meldonium in his veins, a now well-known PED employed systematically, it seems, by Russian athletes. There is something particularly vile about drug cheating in boxing: its one thing if the Russian bobsled team gets a faster start, and quite another thing when a heavyweight boxer has an unfair advantage. Boxing is dangerous enough as it is. Bermane Stiverne, Povetkin’s opponent, had worked very hard to position himself back in line for a WBC title shot, having lost a tough twelve rounder to Deontay Wilder in January of 2015. It also takes guts to enter the lion’s den by traveling to Moscow to face Povetkin in front of a home crowd, so imagine Bermane’s frustration and disgust when he awoke, on fight day no less, to the news that the WBC had withdrawn its sanction for the bout, which, by the way, is the only ray of light in this dark hole.
It appears that the WBC did the right thing immediately by withdrawing their sanction for the bout. Povetkin was on a voluntary random testing regime, a result of his previous violation under the WBC, which is trying to implement a rigorous anti-doping regime by partnering with VADA, the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Bizarrely, Povetkin was immediately provided with a replacement opponent, Johann Duhaupas of France, though no one knows why he was in Russia and available. It takes no giant leap of imagination to suppose that World of Boxing, the Russian promotion company that represents Povetkin, was holding Duhaupas in reserve for just such an eventuality. And to end the whole sordid story, Povetkin knocked out Duhaupas in the sixth round, with a vicious and presumably steroid enhanced left hook. Congratulations to a drug cheat.
The Hopkins vs. Smith fight was farce of a different nature, less malevolent but just sad. Sad to see a legend of the ring end his career on such an unnecessarily low note. After being dismantled and slightly embarrassed by Sergey Kovalev in November of 2014, Hopkins just couldn’t stay away. He had something to prove to himself, I suppose, because I can’t imagine anyone in the entire boxing world would have begrudged him his retirement at that point. So Saturday night, after needlessly disrespecting Joe Smith, Jr. at the prefight press conference, we were treated to the ridiculous executioner show, the silly hoods and fake axes, etc. I guess I’m just not a fan of the elaborate ring walk and masks and costumes. And the fight itself was hardly a fight, rather a boxing exhibition – and a bad one at that. Hopkins’s footwork was slow and ponderous, and the head butt in round two looked to me to be intentional, a dirty and unbecoming foul that was depressing to see from such a great champion. I don’t want to bash Hopkins, and I think I can understand how hard it must be for a proud, professional athlete to finally give up a sport that has defined his identity for so long, but when Smith bludgeoned him through the ropes and out of the ring, it felt as though boxing itself had ejected Hopkins from the sport. Only a man as competitive as Bernard Hopkins would argue that Smith pushed him through the ropes. But then, only a man as competitive as Bernard Hopkins would be prize fighting at age 51.
There were several good fights this weekend, and congratulations to Oleksandr Usyk, Joseph Diaz, Jr., and Sullivan Barrera, all of whom put on excellent shows and won technically fine bouts. But shame on Povetkin, and a sad farewell to Hopkins.
Coming Soon: Heavyweight Havoc
Coming Soon: Heavyweight Havoc
By: Brandon Bernica
Boxing’s heavyweight division has always been its most glamorized weight class. Maybe it appeals to deep human longings for violence – after all, it’s hard to take your eyes off of, say, a nasty car crash or a blazing forest fire. That’s the guilty pull that thrusts its way into our conscience when it comes to boxing’s big boys, the threat of imminent destruction resting in each of their knuckles. Even at its oft molasses-esque pace, the impending sense of knee-buckling evisceration bound to occur at any moment funnels our greatest anxieties into eye-peeling attention.
The magic of the heavyweight division has simmered to a melancholy halt over the past decade. Both Klitschkos defended every belt during that span with an iron lock as opponents languished at every opportunity against them, baffled by each brothers’ ungodly reach and boxing prowess. With the subsequent rise of welterweight division stars like Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather – fighters who blended lighter-class speed with heavy hands – heavyweight acclaim fell victim to any sport’s worst nightmare – predictability. After all, fans watch the sport for the blood-gushing drama that lingers in every round, and as dominant a force as the Klitschkos were, their dominance boxed-out any hope for parity at the weight.
All of this made the toppling of this stale infrastructure that much more pivotal. After Vitali Klitschko pseudo-retired and Tyson Fury upset Wladimir Klitschko last year, the race to heavyweight supremacy was wide open for the first time in years. It’s like a king who’s overthrown by his court of nobles, each hungry to retain their stronghold of authority in a moment of instability. As positions of power are more clearly defined, we’ll find out which fighters are true royalty and which are none more than jesters, playing the public for fools.
Deontay Wilder, who scooped in to capture Vitali’s old WBC belt last year, stands out amongst the heap. His long reach both accentuates him and bodes as his possible downfall. While he can keep smaller fighters at the end of his jab, it remains to be seen whether he will be punished for his windmill punching style by someone with counter punching ability. Wilder’s talent becomes more and more solidified with every victory, but he’s still looking for that defining win to stamp his name at the top.
Meanwhile, Tyson Fury, the man who dethroned Wladimir Klitschko, stands as the inherent ringleader of the heavyweight circus. Not only is he another towering force, he’s a proven one, too. Fury’s large in-ring presence only cowers to his out-of-ring persona, as controversially flawed as it may be. Not only has Fury stopped many past foes, he went the distance with a future hall-of-famer in Klitschko. A face-off with Wilder would be massively appealing.
Underneath the radar, Anthony Joshua of Great Britain lurks as the most potent of the group. As a current world champion in his own right, his skillset has never been the question for the former Olympian. One glimpse of his style, and you’d be hard-pressed to deny his ring savvy, power, and subtle spacing ability. The biggest question for Joshua will be whether his quick ascent to the top tier of the division robbed him of too much vital professional experience. He should be fine if his matchmaking continues to build at a gradual rate.
Below this champion-layer are a variety of contenders eager to shine past the expectations. Luis Ortiz, a Cuban with enormous power, poses danger to anyone in the way of his punches, though exactly how dimensional his game is still needs to be determined. A hidden gem from New Zealand named Joseph Parker also holds much promise, but his talent won’t be acknowledged by pundits until he fights the best as well. Just outside of the picture, veterans David Haye, Kubrat Pulev, and Alexander Povetkin all have fallen to Wladimir Klitschko, yet place hope in the possibility that they match-up better with Wilder, Fury, and Joshua. And don’t forget the old sensei Wladmir Klitschko. All it takes is a rematch win against Fury and he’ll have recovered much of the luster lost in their first fight. Yet as age drains him of more of his physical brawn, he will have to adjust to keep up with the young blood at heavyweight.
Optimism is running rampant at heavyweight today, and for good reason. Besides a collection of worthy challengers, the division seethes with one key ingredient: volatility. Just as the action in the ring often crashes to a perilous halt, the ever-shifting landscape at the weight mirrors that. Unlike most divisions in boxing, the heavyweight picture is comprised of numerous promoters, many without qualms about working with each other. Hopefully this leads to great showdowns in the near future between the figurative and literal titans of the sport.
Performance Enhancing Drugs and Boxing
Performance Enhancing Drugs and Boxing
By: Matthew N. Becher
Performance enhancing drugs have been a problem in the sports world for a while now, but when it comes to the sport of boxing, it takes on a whole new level. In the end, if an athlete is taking a banned substance and hits a few more home runs or rides a bicycle faster than their opponent it is sad that an individual felt they needed to cheat, but in boxing the outcome could mean life or death. A fighter is already putting their life on the line when entering the ring, with the added incentive of a steroid being used by your opponent, the outcome could be catastrophic. In the past few months at least 3 major fighters have tested positive for banned substances. All have had different outcomes with their appeals and fights. Why does boxing not have an overall rule and punishment on the use of these drugs?
In March of this Year, Lucas Browne of Australia defeated Ruslan Chagaev in a Heavyweight fight that took place in Grozny, Russia. Browne won by 10th round knockout and later tested positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol, which is used to boost metabolism and lose weight. Browne, claimed he was drugged while in Russia, unknowingly. Browne did get drug tested prior to the fight, in his native Australia, and came up clean. This week his “B” samples came back positive as well, and the result of his fight will be overturned to a No Contest. He has also been stripped of his WBA “regular” heavyweight championship title and will be suspended by the WBA for six months (this really means nothing, since he can fight under any other sanctioning body and anywhere in the world, since Boxing does not have one almighty governing regulatory system).
Francisco Vargas is the undefeated WBC Super Featherweight champion of the world, and is currently getting ready for his highly anticipated showdown with fellow brawling Mexican Orlando Salido. In late April, Vargas, also tested positive for Clenbuterol. He tested positive while both fighters were under the VADA program (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency), and Vargas claims that he is innocent. His excuse was that he must have gotten the drug in his system while eating contaminated meat in his native Mexico (an excuse that fellow Mexican fighter Erik Morales used in 2012.) Wildly enough, the fight is still scheduled to go on as planned. Salido did not question the result, and does not see it as being a problem. Since the California state commission did not perform the test, instead being tested by another party, in VADA, the commission cannot rule in Vargas’ fate. The fight will go on as planned, and we will see what happens after June 4th.
Finally, the fight for the WBC heavyweight championship of the world, which was to take place in Moscow, Russia between the champion Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin has been cancelled. Povetkin has tested positive for the steroid Meldonium. Wilder was weary of going to Russia only for the fear of being drugged, as Lucas Browne has claimed, but instead it was the Russian who came up positive in his own Country. The WBC has not banned Povetkin, who denies knowingly taking the substance, and will start its own investigation into the matter.
The differences here are all similar with small changes. Browne did not test positive until after the fight. He was paid in full, won and went home. After the fact, his victory was overturned, he was stripped of his “regular” title and banned by the WBA (again, he can still fight, just not under any WBA sanctioned events). Vargas and Salido are still going to fight. The fact is, if a fighter does not fight, he does not get paid, which leaves the innocent Salido in a predicament. He has put in the work, hired the trainers and members of his team. If he does not fight Vargas, even though Vargas came up positive for a steroid, neither man will get paid, and that’s a lot of time and money to lose out on. Wilder, the heavyweight champion, seemed to make the easy decision and leave. For him, the money did not matter, since his wellbeing would be at an even greater risk, fighting a professional heavyweight in their own backyard. Wilder will not receive his multimillion dollar payday, but it will not be hard to find another fight to take this one’s place.
On another note, late last year, during the Klitschko vs. Fury heavyweight championship fight that took place in Germany, Fury refused to drink or eat anything until he was out of the country entirely. Germany is Klitschko’s second home and Fury was very fearful of any of his post-fight meals or drinks to be contaminated and being wrongfully accused of cheating and his upset victory being overturned. People saw Fury as being a bit of a “wacko” for even thinking that, but now looking back at the Lucas Browne story, Fury might have been really onto something.
In the end, penalties have to be put in place universally for fighters that test positive for banned substances. Too much is at risk for steroids in this sport. Not only should boxers have to serve lengthy suspensions and fines that will deter anyone else from taking the chance of using these drugs, but the fighters on the other end who did absolutely nothing wrong should be able to get compensation for the monetary losses that they endure. Remember this isn’t a man trying to run or swim faster than another man. This is boxing, where any punch can end your life. It’s not a joking matter when it comes to steroids in the sport.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Lara, Fury, Wilder, Povetkin, Canelo, Hagler, Leonard, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Lara, Fury, Wilder, Povetkin, Canelo, Hagler, Leonard, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of May 10th to May 17th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit: Edward Jackson
Erislandy Lara Camp Notes
WBA Super Welterweight World Champion Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara is set to defend his world title and settle his score against Vanes “The Nightmare” Martirosyan when the two meet in the main event of a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING® tripleheader featuring the top 154-pound talent in the sport on Saturday, May 21 from The Chelsea, inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Live televised coverage on SHOWTIME begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and features unbeaten IBF Junior Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo taking on former champion Austin “No Doubt” Trout and his twin brother Jermell Charlo battling top challenger John Jackson for the vacant WBC Super Welterweight World Title.
Lara and Martirosyan will meet after their 2012 bout ended in a technical draw. See below for the Cuban-born champion’s thoughts on training camp, the rematch and more:
On his rematch with Vanes Martirosyan:
“This is a very important fight for me. Our last fight unfortunately ended in a draw because of a clash of heads so we have some unfinished business to take care of. This time I’m not going to leave any doubt on who the better fighter is. I’m coming to dominate and retain my world championship.”
On training camp:
“I’m taking this fight very seriously. I’ve been pushing my body to get in the best shape possible. My body feels incredible and I couldn’t ask for a better training camp. I’ve been sparring a lot and my timing is getting better with each session. Everything is going as planned.”
On the May 21 card:
“It’s great to be fighting on this card, especially when there is so much on the line while I defend my title. In addition, the Charlo brothers are fighting on the undercard, which makes for a great night of boxing for the super welterweight division. The landscape of the 154-pound division will be laid out after May 21.”
On the state of the super welterweight division:
“Honestly I believe the 154-pound division is one of the strongest in all of boxing. I feel I’m leading the pack and my goal is to unify all the belts. I’m going to take it one fight at a time with the mindset to clean out the division.”
On fighting in Las Vegas:
“Vegas is the boxing capital of the world and fighting there is unbelievable. The fans are very supportive. The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan is very intimate and every seat in the building is a good seat. I anticipate a lively crowd.”
On his relationship with Ronnie Shields:
“Ronnie is a great coach and his game plans are very well thought out. He keeps everything simple. If we have to make adjustments during the fight, he’ll be able to point them out. We both have a great mutual respect for one another.”
NextVR Delivers Virtual Reality Highlights of Canelo vs. Khan
Golden Boy Promotions and NextVR have teamed up to deliver virtual reality highlights from the May 7 WBC, Ring Magazine and Lineal Middleweight Championship fight between Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) and former two-time world champion Amir “King” Khan (31-4, 19 KOs), originally telecast live on pay-per-view from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The virtual reality highlights will be offered for free starting at 10:45 p.m. (ET) following HBO’s exclusive replay of the fight at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Saturday, May 14.
The virtual reality highlights of Canelo vs. Kahn will be available for 30 days on the NextVR app for Gear VR owners.
NextVR’s immersive virtual reality highlights will bring fans to the weigh-in, to the pre-fight training room with Canelo and ultimately into the ring to experience Canelo take down Kahn with a devastating right hand in the sixth round.
“Golden Boy Promotions is fully committed to giving fans the best possible experience, and our partnership with NextVR takes that experience to the next level,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Short of being in the ring with Canelo, Virtual reality offers the clearest picture of what it’s like to box the biggest star in the sport.”
“I worked with NEXTVR during my training camp for Canelo vs. Khan and the results were fantastic,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I am looking forward to have my fans witness what it feels like to be in the ring on a personal level and I trust NextVR to deliver an exciting and explosive experience.”
In addition to the VR boxing match, fans can watch a powerful training session in virtual reality as Canelo prepares for his fight from his gym in San Diego. The behind the scenes footage, released earlier this month, is also available on the NextVR app for 30 days.
Deontay Wilder’s Statement on Title Fight with Povetkin
In the wake of the news on Friday that Alexander Povetkin tested positive for the banned substance meldonium, WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder and his representatives have been made aware of the WBC’s decision on Sunday that the fight will not occur in Moscow on May 21.
“I’m very disappointed that due to Povetkin’s failed drug test the fight is not going to happen on May 21 in Moscow,” said Deontay Wilder. “I had worked very hard to prepare myself for this important title defense, spending the last two weeks training in England to get accustomed to fighting in Europe. I wanted to give the fans a great show, but we understand the WBC’s position that the fight occur on an even playing field.”
Povetkin, the WBC No. 1 heavyweight championship contender, tested positive for the substance in a urine test conducted by the Las Vegas-based Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) on April 27.
“Based upon Povetkin’s positive test for meldonium, and with the health and safety of Deontay Wilder the paramount consideration, this fight could not take place next Saturday,” said DiBella. “As a result of Povetkin’s use of a banned substance and breach of contract, Deontay Wilder was deprived of an opportunity to defend his title as he was prepared to – on an even playing field. He and his team have suffered substantial damages as a result. Any talk of rescheduling by Mr. Ryabinskiy at this point is unfounded and premature. Team Wilder will await further communications from the WBC and will weigh all our options given what has transpired.”
The 30-year-old Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) and his team were supposed to fly to Moscow on Sunday for a week of preparation and promotion leading up to the fight. Now, Wilder will return home to Tuscaloosa,
Alabama and await further information from the WBC.
“This is a huge disappointment and a setback to my goals in boxing. I want to be an active heavyweight champion and it is still my goal to collect all the belts and become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world,” Wilder said.
Tyson Fury Issues a Statement
Tyson Fury, the Heavyweight Champion of the World, was interviewed last week by a video media outlet known as SportsView London. During the interview, Mr Fury made comments that have been viewed by some as offensive.
Mr Fury would like to apologize to anyone who may have taken offence to these comments.
As a man of Traveller heritage, Mr Fury has suffered bigotry and racial abuse throughout his life and as such would never wish anyone to suffer the same. He has many friends of a wide range of backgrounds and races and wishes no ill to anyone of any race, religion or sexual orientation.
Mr Fury is a devout Christian and a family man, however he accepts that in the past he has said things publically which are misrepresentative of his beliefs and usual good character. He appreciates he has a duty as the Heavyweight Champion of the World. He knows it comes with certain responsibilities and anything he says publicly will be heavily scrutinized.
Mr Fury now wishes to move past this and instead concentrate on what he does best, which is boxing, starting with his defence of the Heavyweight Championship of The World in the rematch against Wladimir Klitschko on July 9th at the Manchester Arena.
Mr Fury said: “I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence at any of my comments. I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do.
Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public. I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard.
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in no way a racist or bigot and I hope the public accept this apology.”
Gorman Added to Klitschko vs. Fury Undercard
NANTWICH heavyweight Nathan Gorman has been given the opportunity to appear on the undercard of Tyson Fury’s mammoth heavyweight title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.
Fights are coming thick and fast for the Ricky Hatton-trained 19-year-old as he has racked up four victories with three knockouts since turning professional in December.
This past weekend Gorman floored Poland’s Kamil Sokolowski three times en route to a fifth round stoppage in Walsall and just two weeks earlier he wiped out Hrvoje Kisicek in just one session at London’s Copper Box Arena.
The opportunity to feature on the Fury v Klitchsko 2 card is huge for a boxer at this early stage in his career and Ricky Hatton believes fight fans will be pleased with what they see in Manchester on July 9.
“For a young prospect, things don’t get any bigger than this,” Hatton said. “The chance for a teenage heavyweight to box on the same bill as a world heavyweight title fight is massive.
“Nathan only started boxing around three years ago and he had to pinch himself when we told him where his next fight would be.
“I expect Nathan to shine on the night regardless of who he’s in with. In his last couple of fights he’s shown the power and shot picking we’ve been working on and I believe fans at the Manchester Arena will be very impressed with what they see from him.”
Like Tyson Fury, Gorman comes from proud travelling stock. His uncle, Bartley Gorman, was a legend of bareknuckle boxing and was often referred to as ‘The King of the Gypsies’ thanks to an unbeaten run that lasted more than 20 years.
In fact, respect between the Gormans and the Furys played a part in getting young Nathan this chance.
“We have to thank Tyson and Peter Fury for getting Nathan on this card,” Hatton explained.
“The Fury family are close to Nathan’s and they’ve seen him in action since he first put on a pair of gloves.
“Tyson said he wanted Nathan on his undercard and Peter put the wheels in motion to make it happen. After training Tyson and Hughie, Peter knows a good heavyweight when he sees one and he was instrumental in pushing for Nathan to be included on the bill because he thinks he’ll had some excitement to the bill.
“We really can’t stress how grateful we are to Tyson and Peter for their belief in us and their support.”
Boxcino Champions and World Title Challengers to Face Off
It will be a battle of the Boxcino champions when former world title challengers, Willie Monroe Jr. and John Thompson, square off in a 10-round middleweight bout in the main event of SHOWTIME BOXING on SHO EXTREME on Saturday, June 11, live 7 p.m. ET/PT from The Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y.
In the SHO EXTREME co-feature, Boxcino 2015 heavyweight champion Andrey Fedosov (28-3, 23 KOs) will face Mario Heredia (11-1, 9 KOs, 1-2 in WSB) in a 10-round heavyweight bout.
The SHO EXTREME bouts will precede a SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader that will feature Ruslan Provodnikov taking on John Molina Jr. in what should be an action-packed junior welterweight bout for as long as it lasts.
“I am glad to be back, and I look forward to fighting in front of my loyal fans who will come from Rochester to see me fight,” Monroe said.
“I have been training hard, and I look forward to fighting another Boxcino champion like Willie Monroe,” Thompson said. “It should make for a great fight.”
“I am glad that I will finally be getting back in the ring,” Fedosov said. “I got some time to rest and now I feel better and stronger than ever. I just want to get in that ring on June 11. I am looking forward to putting on a great show as I look for a major fight.”
Derrick Webster to Headline D&D Promotions on June 4th
On Saturday night June 4th, a brand new boxing series will be launched as D and D Promotions presents its inaugural “Rumble at the Rink” Boxing series that will take place at The Grundy Arena in Bristol, Pa.
Scheduled to appear in the six-round main event will be super middleweight Derrick Webster.
Webster of Glassboro, New Jersey has a record of 19-1 with 10 knockouts and will be looking to get back in the win column after an eleven-month layoff.
Webster won his first nineteen bouts, which was highlighted by a 22-second knockout over 23-1 Obodai Sai. He is coming off his first professional blemish when he was stopped by undefeated Arif Magomedov on July 17, 2015.
Also scheduled to appear will be super welterweight Elijah Vines (1-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia; super bantamweight Vidal Rivera (3-0, 3 KO’s) of Camden, New Jersey and two-time National Golden Gloves champion Mike Hilton (1-0, 1 KO) of Philadelphia.
Marvin Hagler Jr. to Face Ray Leonard Jr.
On April 8, 2017, Feldman Brothers, Ritesh Parikh and former Heavyweight champion of the world, Larry Holmes will present a special night that will feature a bout 30 years in the making.
Marvin Hagler Jr. and Ray Leonard Jr. will square off in a battle for legacy in a contest that will come exactly 30 years after the Father’s squared off in a memorable fight.
The third man in the ring will be the same referee that officiated Leonard Sr’s win over Hagler Sr. That being Richard Steele.
The event will distributed worldwide live on Pay-Per-View.
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Kovalev, Wilder, Berto, Verdejo, and more…
Boxing Insider Notebook: Broner, Kovalev, Wilder, Berto, Verdejo, and more…
By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of April 19th to April 26th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Adrien Broner Tells TMZ Sports that People Sent Him Money In Jail
TMZ Sports reported that Adrien Broner said he did get letters from pen pals while he was spending ten days behind bars in an Ohio jail, and that some people even sent him money.
Broner was also seen joking about his pending bowling alley assault charges against him, which Broner denies happened. He also told TMZ that he has the same jeweler as Fetty Wap.
Read more at http://www.tmz.com/2016/04/25/adrien-broner-money-jail-bowling-fetty-wap/
Kovalev to Return to Russia on July 11th Against Chilemba
WBO, WBA and IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion, Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev (29-0-1, 26 KOs) returns to his home country of Russia to defend all three of his belts against Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba (24-3-2, 10 KOs) on Monday, July 11 in Ekaterinburg. The fight will take place on the opening night of the International Industry Trade Fair “INNOPROM-2016” at the DIVS Palace of Sports and is sponsored by Russian Copper Company and Igor Altushkin and presented by Main Events and Krusher Promotions in association with German Titov Promotions.
Ranked as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Kovalev, 33, a native of Chelyabinsk, Russia has not fought in his home country since 2011. Sergey earned his WBO belt in 2013 when he knocked out then-undefeated champion, Nathan Cleverly, in Cleverly’s backyard of Cardiff, Wales.
After three consecutive successful title defenses, all knockouts, Sergey faced the legendary Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins in 2014 and unified his WBO belt with the WBA and IBF belts. After his unanimous decision win over Hopkins, Krusher had three more successful title defenses, all knockouts, of his three unified belts, including two knockouts of former WBC Light Heavyweight World Champion Jean Pascal. This will be his first title defense in Russia.
According to Krusher, “I am so excited to fight in my home country of Russia. It gives me great pride to bring my titles home at last. I would like to thank my manager, Egis Klimas, my promoter, Kathy Duva and Igor Altushkin of Russian Copper Company for making this dream of mine a reality. Chilemba is a tough opponent and I will be ready for him on July 11.”
Chilemba said, “First of all I thank God for the blessings and opportunities. I thank my manager, Jodi Solomon, for standing up for me whether I’m on the top or at the bottom. I thank Main Events for yet another opportunity for me to redeem myself and I thank my trainer Buddy McGirt for believing in me. I have met a lot of obstacles and every time I think I’ve got it right, I fall again, but I know my goals and I never stop following my dreams. When I received a call from Jodi regarding this opportunity, I was over the moon. I thank Sergey and his team for putting their titles on the line to face me, all I want to say to them is: they are in for a surprise, they gave the wrong guy an opportunity. I’ll work my ass off and I’m in to win it! Russia here we come!”
Vasyl Lomachenko, Rocky Martinez, and Felix Verdejo to Take Part in Puerto Rican Day Parade Weekend Title Fights
World champions VASYL LOMACHENKO and ROMAN “Rocky” MARTINEZ, the boxing gem of Puerto Rico and undefeated No. 2 world-rated lightweight contender FELIX “El Diamante” VERDEJO, and Hall of Fame promoter BOB ARUM will host a New York press conference Next Thursday! April 28, at Madison Square Garden’s Chase Square.
The participants will be announcing a Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend championship card on Saturday, June 11, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Lomachenko (11-1, 3 KOs), of Ukraine, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the reigning World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight world champion, will be moving up to challenge Martinez (29-2-3, 17 KOs), a three-time world champion from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, for his WBO junior lightweight world title. Verdejo (21-0, 14 KOs), of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be defending his WBO Latino lightweight title. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with Puerto Rican Best Boxing Promotions, both fights will be televised live on HBO®, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Deontay Wilder Media Workout Quotes
Deontay Wilder (36-0) will defend his title against mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin (30-1) on May 21st in Moscow, Russia. Wilder recently spoke to the media during a workout and offered the following:
(On his expectations going to Russia…)
“My expectation is, of course, to win. To come back with that victory for America. This is a big fight, not just for myself, for America. It’s like Russia vs. America. I’ve been getting nothing but positive feedback from fans all over. Even if they weren’t a fan of Deontay Wilder they are now for this very fight. Hopefully I can win them over to stay a fan of Deontay Wilder after this fight. I think it’s a great fight. I think it’s a great thing that we’re going over to Russia defending my title in somebody else’s backyard.
“Like I said before, it’s easier for me to fight here in American but that’s not what it’s all about to me. When I have a title that says the heavyweight champion of the world, I want to travel all over the world to defend my title. I’m living my dream, I’m getting an opportunity to do that with this fight.
I’m looking forward to Russia and I want to tell Russia,’Here I come.’ ”
(What it means to be the first heavyweight champion to fight in Russia…)
“It means a lot. It makes me even closer to my faith. God doesn’t make mistakes in lives. He doesn’t make a mistake in my life, your life or anybody else. Things happen for a reason and they happen at the right time in your life. Things may not come when you want it, but when they come it’s right on time. The things that have been accumulating throughout my career, it’s been amazing. How I’ve been able to make history, beat other records, and continue to make history. It’s amazing. I just want to know what else he has in store for my life. If it’s continuously history being made, what’s next? I’m excited.
“I can’t wait to see how my life unfolds at the end of my career. What happens at the end of Deontay Wilder when it’s time for him to say I’ve done all I’ve done in this sport and I don’t want to do it anymore. I want to see how much ground I can cover for those that have come before me.”
(How you predict the fight going…)
“I predict the fight as being a punishment in the first round and then knocking him out. All heavyweights want to knock somebody out so we have to say we’re going to knock them out. This is the cream of the crop division. The heavyweights. The hard-hitters. The heavy hitters, as they say. When we step in that ring, nothing is acceptable but a knockout. And I’m looking to knock him out.”
(On if he’s reached his peak…)
“Not at all and that’s the scary part about it. I haven’t even reached my peak yet and I’m still learning on the way up. I want to always learn. Each and every fight brings experience to me. It brings something that I’ve taken away from that fight and that I’ve added to the next fight. Looking forward to being very crisp and very good in this fight and showing people a little bit more of what Deontay Wilder is capable of. Especially those who haven’t seen anything thus far yet, stay tuned to this fight. This is one you don’t want to miss.”
(On unifying the titles in the future…)
“Most definitely. I really feel when I say that I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, I don’t just say it to say it, but I also feel it inside me, deep inside me that I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world and add my name to the few undisputed champions that have come before me. My name will be placed in history on that. Why wouldn’t it? All the things I’ve done up to now, that will be the icing on my cake to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. I won’t stop, no matter how many hours I have to put in. No matter how many fights that I have to take. No matter how many countries I have to visit to defend my title. I will be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”
(On concerns about going to Russia…)
“I don’t have any concerns. I don’t let my brain sit back and think about if I don’t knock him out or are they going to rob me, or anything like that. I just don’t want my mind to be on that when I’m in a fight. I want to have a clear mind. I want to go in there and do what Deontay is capable of doing. Like I said, all things are in God’s hands and if it’s in his will for me to win, it’s going to happen. If not then, I don’t stop there. My legacy is not going to stop there. But I’m very confident in what I’m about to do and what I’m going to do, and we all know that if we knock him out then we don’t have to worry about that. So of course that’s going to be my priority on my list – to knock him out.”
Canelo vs. Khan Closed Circuit Tickets on Sale
Tickets for the closed circuit telecasts of Canelo vs. Khan are priced at $60, not including applicable fees. All seats are general admission and are ON SALE NOW at each individual property’s box office outlets or by phone with a major credit card at 866-431-7111.
Additionally, the premier of Canelo v. Khan 24/7 took place on April 23rd with Part 2 to take place on April 30th.
Andre Berto Training Camp Notes for Bout with Victor Ortiz
Andre Berto recently gave some statements during his training camp in preparation for his upcoming bout with Victor Ortiz.
On his improvements since his first fight against Ortiz:
“I’ve improved tremendously. Mentally and all the way around the board. There was so much that went into that fight and that camp the first time. I shouldn’t have fought that fight, but being who I am, I wanted to get in there. I was just a young fighter who didn’t take the fight seriously. I overlooked my opponent. Now I’m a much more mature fighter. I’ve pushed myself for this camp.
This fight has always been on my mind. Even when I tried to move on, other people continued to remind me about it. Everyone said I needed to get him back. That’s the fight everyone has wanted to see and that everyone deserves. I’m going to give everyone the fight they deserve.
“I believe that coming back from my shoulder surgery that I’ve been more motivated and improving as a fighter. Everyone has seen the improvements. We’re definitely ready for anything he wants to bring. If he’s aggressive we’re ready and everyone knows I can stand there and punch”
On this training camp with Virgil Hunter:
“Everything is going great. It’s been a long, tough camp. I’m excited and ready to close it all in. We’ve done all the work. We’re in great shape. No stone was left unturned. It’s been a great eight or nine week camp.”
On sharing training camp with Amir Khan and Andre Ward and the motivation it provides:
“We all feed off of each other. All of us have pretty much been in camp together leading up to and through all of our fights. Even now Andre is there to watch us spar and work. It’s great motivation for all of us to be there. We’re all pushing each other to get better every day.”
On how Virgil Hunter has helped him improve as a fighter:
“I call Virgil the professional because he’s a teacher. He works you mentally. Each and every day. It’s like being in school. He drills it in your head over and over. He doesn’t let you go through the motions. You have to stay on track mentally to work on all of the things that you’ve been working on. He’s more of a teacher than a trainer.”
On what he learned from his fight against Floyd Mayweather:
“A lot of people can’t handle the atmosphere and the buildup of that magnitude. I got the chance to really find out how to handle it all. I think I surprised a lot of people around me with how easy I was taking it. I think Floyd was surprised too, he thought I would get shaken like other guys. But I felt like I was supposed to be there. I wasn’t going to be the guy who stands there in shock.”
On preparing for Ortiz:
“You have to be prepared for whatever he brings to the table. You don’t know how Victor is going to fight and if he’s going to do his extra stuff. Or if he’s going to try to box. Who knows? Maybe you hit him two or three times and he feels like he doesn’t want to be there. I’m prepared for the Victor of five years ago.”
On Ortiz’s claim that he will knock out Berto:
“That’s what he said the first time. I’ve made it evident as well that I’ll finish him and finish this chapter. I want it to be over. Still for some reason my name comes up. People continue to cross us together. I just want to finish this chapter and finish in style.”
On what fans can expect Saturday night:
“The fans should expect an exciting fight. They might see the start of round 13 from the first one. It’s going to be extremely exciting. I doubt it’s going the distance. This is the fight the people deserve.”