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Report and photo by Pasi Taavitsainen
Former EBU middleweight champion Amin Asikainen (28-3, 19 KOs) will face Piotr Wilczweski (28-1, 9 KOs) in an EBU super middleweight title fight on March 4th at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland. The last time Asikainen fought for a Euro title was at a lower weight class in 2009. Soon to be 35 years old, Asikainen had big weight problems at 160, however at super middleweight he has been unbeaten and won both bouts by KO. Wilczewski’s only loss was to Curtis Stevens in 2009. He has fought his whole career in the super middleweight division. “I remember Asikainen from our amateur days, and have seen most of his professional matches. He has a really good funamentals for boxing. This will really be a tough and crowd-friendly fight,” said Wilczewski. Asikainen also expects the fight to be tough and doesn’t predict a KO win. “I’m fighting a good fighter, Polish boxers are very physical, and I bet this fight will also be a tough fight. I’m ready to fight the full twelve hard rounds. Training has felt good, and I’m in good shape,” commented Asikainen, who is leaving for training camp in Tenerife, Canary Island.
According to promoter Frank Warren, the WBO has ordered light heavyweight champion Jürgen Brähmer to start negotiations with interim champion Nathan Cleverly. Warren hopes to stage the fight in the UK, possibly in March. Brähmer was scheduled to face WBA champion Beibut Shumenov in a unification fight last week in Kazakhstan, but had to pull out due to illness on late notice. It’s now unlikely that bout will be rescheduled.
Universum is planning to move to a new training facility in the summer, closing down the famous “Universum Gym” on Walddörferstraße in Hamburg where many world champions have trained. “Lately there have been too many defeats for our boxers,” said promoter Klaus-Peter Kohl. “We must create more professional training facilities for our athletes so that they can do up-to-date training. Our heart bleeds, but rebuilding the old gym would be too big of an investment. We’re considering several possibilities and will make a decision on the best possible new location.”
By Karl Freitag
Seemingly ageless former world champion Bernard Hopkins (51-5-2, 32 KOs) celebrates his 46th birthday today. Thus far, “The Executioner” has shown few signs of slowing down as he gave WBC light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal all he could handle last month. In 2011, Hopkins is in line for a WBC-mandated immediate rematch with Pascal and if he should emerge victorious, he would become the oldest man ever to win a major world title, breaking the record of George Foreman. He could well be the betting favorite going into the return match. Happy Birthday Champ!
WBCBoxing.tv will present a championship webcast – free of charge – tonight at 11:30PM ET/8:30PM PT. In the main event – scheduled for 12 rounds at Jose Cuervo Salon in Polanco, Mexico – WBC Silver super flyweight champion Oscar Ibarra, 24-4 with 16 knockouts, of Mexico City, will make his second defense of the title against Junichiro Sugita, 16-4 with 7 knockouts, of Tokyo, Japan. (Please note: the webcast is not available in Mexico.) (more…)
By Phil Doherty at ringside
Photos by Lisa Ross
Russian-born Denis “The Pirate” Grachev (9-0-1, 5 KOs) plundered the unbeaten record of Azea Augustama (9-1, 6 KOs) on Friday night in their light heavyweight main event at the Magic City Casino in Miami, Florida. Grachev scored an eight round majority decision. For more details and photos click here…
The Ultimate Fighting Championship®, in partnership with Spike TV and Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, is once again hosting a special live event to raise funds for the honorable men and women in the United States Armed Forces who suffer from traumatic brain injuries. Already featuring a main event pitting highly-ranked lightweight Evan Dunham against explosive knockout artist Melvin Guillard, UFC® Fight For The Troops 2 is shaping up to be a can’t-miss card. (more…)
People around the world are eager to be a part of history at The Greenbrier. We’re pleased to make single ticket pricing and additional packages available for the spectacular American comeback story starring Evander Holyfield.
Event Ticket Only: $500: (1) Silver Ticket to Redemption In America: The Journey Back Begins Now
Due to overwhelming demand, a limited number of additional Standard Packages have been made available. (more…)
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Lovemore Ndou is a former two-time world champion who recently battled with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez over twelve rounds in Veracruz, Mexico. Ndou talks to Fightnews about his thoughts on Alvarez also his bout with Miguel Cotto and how Bernard Hopkins gives him inspiration as one of the world’s best pound for pound boxers at 46 years of age.
On March 4, lightweight contender and former U.S. Olympian Vicente Escobedo (22-3, 14 KOs) and streaking veteran Walter Estrada (38-13-1, 25 KOs) will meet in the 10 round main event at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Also junior featherweight prospect Randy Caballero (7-0, 4 KOs) faces TBA in a six rounder. Telefutura will televise.
By Ray Wheatley — World of Boxing
Former Miss Universe entrant and world water ski champion Lauryn Eagle talks to Fightnews about her new career as a professional boxer and how two-time world champion Lovemore Ndou trains and manages her, Vic Darchinyan is a sparring partner and Bill Treacy of Grange Gym is her promoter.
By Rocco Morales at ringside
Photos by Big Joe Miranda
In the main event, southpaw middleweight Erislandy Lara annihiliated Delray Raines, dropping him to the seat of his pants with a perfect right hook, straight left cross combo that bloodied him in the process. Raines was counted out at 2:59 of the opening round and, in victory, Lara stays perfect and raises his record to 15-0, 10 KOs while Raines drops to 18-9-1, 13 KOs.
In the co-feature, a scheduled six round jr. welterweight contest, Frankie Gomez, despite his best efforts was unable to put away trial horse Luis Lugo, a loser of 9 of his previous 10 bouts, and was instead stretched the distance for the second consecutive time in winning an uninspired unanimous decision victory. With the victory, Gomez improves to 8-0, 6 KOs while Lugo drops to 11-15-1, 6 KOs. For more details and photos click here…
Photos by Bob Barton/www.BobBartonPhotography.com
IBF #9, WBC #11 middleweight Peter Manfredo Jr. (37-6, 20 KOs) scored a ten round unanimous decision over Daniel Edouard (23-4-2, 14 KOs) on Friday night outdoors on a clear 64° January night at Mallory Square in Key West, Florida. Edouard started strong, but Manfredo turned the fight around when he dropped Edouard with a right hand in round four and outpunched Edouard the rest of the way. Scores were 97-92, 98-91, 98-91. Manfredo was a finalist and star in the first season of the TV reality series The Contender. Edouard said he would retire if he lost this fight.
Unbeaten WBA #15 super middleweight Edwin Rodriguez (18-0, 13 KOs) scored a ten round unanimous decision over Aaron Pryor Jr. (15-3, 11 KOs). Scores were 96-93, 98-91, 97-92. Pryor, the son and namesake of the 1996 International Hall of Fame inductee Aaron Pryor (who was in his corner) was deducted a point in round eight. Click here for more photos…
Photos: Stefan Springer (box-info.net)
Today, IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham looked sharp as he finished his training at the Max Schmeling Halle located at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Cunningham is making final preparations for his upcoming fight with Enad Licina, which will be held January 22 in the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany. More photos…
By Karl Freitag
The new Alabama Athletic Commission has issued boxing license 001 to unbeaten Olympian Deontay Wilder, who will headline Alabama’s first sanctioned professional boxing card on February 19th card at Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa. The promoter of the card is Skyy Promotions, headed by Wilder’s trainer Jay Deas.
WBA heavyweight champion David Haye is currently working out at the famed 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach.
Ring legend Sugar Ray Leonard has agreed to serve as the honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades, California. Mayor Leonard takes office in June replacing the Love Boat’s Gavin MacLeod.
The March 12 Miguel Cotto-Ricardo Mayorga will be the first Showtime-distributed PPV fight since the November 2007 clash between Mayorga himself and Fernando Vargas. (Big thanks to Jody Partin)
Nice article about Fightnews.com photographer Emily Harney in the Salem News. Congratulations Emily!
Trainer Steve Canton will open the new SJC Boxing Gym this weekend in Fort Myers. The Florida Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2011 inductees will be announced at the event.
Mike Tyson’s pigeon reality show will debut March 6 on Animal Planet.
Heavyweight Eric “Drummer Boy” Molina (16-1, 12 KOs) has signed with DKP and is scheduled to appear on the March 12 Cotto-Mayorga card. He will be trained by Al Bonanni.
WBA super flyweight champion Hugo Cazares is considering giving up his 115-pound belt and moving to bantamweight.
Fightnews.com sends our deepest sympathies to frequent contributor Pepe Rodriguez, whose mother passed away this morning.
Boxing commentator and trainer Teddy Atlas will be the special guest speaker this coming Tuesday night (Jan. 18 starting at 7 PM/ET) for the RING 8’s first meeting of 2011 at the historic Waterfront Crabhouse in Long Island City. “We’re thrilled to have one of boxing’s leading authorities, Teddy Atlas, as our guest speaker,” RING 8 spokesperson Tony Mazzarella said. “Teddy has a unique perspective as an analyst for ESPN Friday Night Fights, as well as a trainer for fighters such as heavyweight contender and 2004 Olympic gold medalist, Alexander Povetkin, and former world heavyweight champion Michael Moorer.” (more…)
The Boxing Promoters Association (BPA) held a meeting this week in Las Vegas at the Planet Hollywood Hotel. The meeting was well attended, and officially marked the first time that promotional powerhouse, Golden Boy Promotions (GBP), which was represented by CEO Richard Schaefer, was an active participant. One major development is that the BPA will be reaching out to U.S. Senator John McCain to discuss both past and present issues with boxing legislation. The group intends to specifically address the Muhammad Ali Act and the bill being proposed in the U.S. Congress. Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya will join BPA President, Joe DeGuardia, and some other members of the Board of Directors at the anticipated meeting with McCain.
WBC super middleweight champion Carl Froch told BBC Radio 5 Live that he is “very optimistic” that his Super Six semi-final clash against Glen Johnson will take place on May 21st. Froch said he wants to bring the fight to England. No word on whether the other semi-final between WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward and Arthur Abraham will land on the same date.
WBC mandatory welterweight challenger Selcuk Aydin is upset that speculations about Andre Berto’s next possible opponents do not include his name. “How can Berto and his promoter even talk to and about guys like Ortiz when they know exactly that they have to fight me first?”, asks Aydin who is currently in his hometown Trabzon (Turkey) where he already started training for his world title fight. “This is very disrespectful and really p*sses me off. They know exactly that I am the mandatory challenger. I stepped aside once and allowed them an easy win over a stiff. Now they want to take the easy way out again by just discussing possible fights and completely ignoring me. I don’t understand this kind of behavior.” (more…)
4-time world heavyweight champion and living legend Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield (43-10-2, 28 KOs) will be conducting open workouts on Monday and Tuesday at 10AM in New York City at the Church St. Boxing Gym (25 Park Place). Evander will be in town to promote his clash “Redemption in America” against veteran Sherman “Tank” Williams on January 22 at Colonial Hall, The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.
“Redemption In American,” presented by ARK Promotions in association with The Greenbrier, will be distributed in North American by Integrated Sports Media for live viewing at 9 PM/ET 6 PM/PT on both cable and satellite pay per view via iN Demand, DIRECTV, Avail-TVN and DISH Network in the United States, as well as Viewer’s Choice and Shaw PPV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.
Ticket/hotel packages can be purchased at www.greenbrier.com or by calling 1.800.453.4858. Deadline to book reservations is January 21.
WBC President Jose Sulaiman has announced that Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins deserve the opportunity of fighting in an immediate rematch for the opportunity to win the WBC Diamond Belt. He also addressed claims from promoter Gary Shaw that Pascal must fight a rematch with Chad Dawson before taking any other fight.
“We have read statements, articles and letters, some aggressive, from our longtime and good friend Gary Shaw, an active WBC promoter, and we understand the position of some promoters strictly in favor of their business. But neither he nor anybody else ever registered any contract for a second fight between our proud champion Pascal and Chad Dawson, which would have required WBC approval and sanction. The WBC never had any official knowledge of a condition to Pascal, who is the champion and not the challenger, to resign to his WBC world championship if he did not fight Dawson next. No promoter or boxer can agree to a fight for the WBC world title without first obtaining WBC approval and sanction. (more…)
By Karl Freitag
IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez (27-3-2, 12 KOs) will defend his title against unbeaten Lenny Zappavigna (25-0, 17 KOs) in an intriguing bout added to the March 12 SHOWTIME PPV extravaganza headlined by WBA super welterweight champion Miguel Cotto (35-2, 28 KOs) against Ricardo Mayorga (29-7-1, 23 KOs). Also in action on the PPV telecast is former WBA super welterweight champion Yuri Foreman (28-1, 8 KOs) against Pawel Wolak (28-1, 18 KOs) and female ring legend Christy Martin (49-5-3, 32 KOs) going for her 50th win. Martin will be facing Dakota Stone (9-8-4, 1 KO).
The Cotto vs. Mayorga pay-per-view telecast has a suggested retail price of $49.95. The live pay-per-view telecast will be available in HD-TV for those viewers who can receive HD. The event takes place at the at MGM Grand in Las Vegas live on SHOWTIME PPV.
Good news for fans of heavyweight Sinan Samil Sam. The “Bull of the Bosphorus” has been released from a hospital in Istanbul after being admitted in mid-December with cirrhosis of the liver. The two-time heavyweight champion of Europe was rushed to the intensive care unit after he spat up blood and initially he was unresponsive, but now he has been given the all-clear in terms of his health. “I’m feeling better,” said Sam. “I thank all my friends and fans for their concern. In the future I must pay attention to myself and my health. Of course, I can’t even think of boxing after this. But I feel so fit again that I hope I’ll soon to be able to train young talent.”
Sam’s doctor Dr. Ayca Bozoklu confirmed that for the moment a liver transplant doesn’t appear necessary. Sinan is under medication and further observation. For the medium term, a transplant may be an option if a suitable organ donor is found.
Sherman “Tank” Williams (34-11-2, 19 KOs) will step into the ring with Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield on January 22 at the historic Greebrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. “My experience boxing Wladamir Klitschko for weeks on end has prepared me to fight the best in the world. While I respect Evander’s experience in the ring, having beat Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes and Buster Douglas, I’m in the best shape of my career and I’m going to make it a very long night for Holyfield on Jan. 22.”
In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day national holiday on Monday, Devon Alexander and Timothy Bradley spoke about Dr. King, and the influence he had upon them. The two undefeated American world champions meet in a title unification match on Jan. 29 at the Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. (more…)
Junior welterweight Ronald Cruz, coming off the biggest win of his career, takes on Dillet Frederick in the scheduled eight-round semifinal Saturday evening, February 26, in the Grand Ballroom of Bally’s Atlantic City. Gabriel Rosado and Jamaal Davis collide in the all-Philadelphia junior middleweight main event, set for 12 rounds. (more…)
Two time-world title challenger Mahir Oral (28-3-2, 11 KOs) will return to the ring on the undercard of the January 22 Sauerland Event promotion featuring IBF middleweight champion Sebastian Sylvester defense against Mehdi Bouadla at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany. Oral will face Jozsef Matolcsi (28-13, 19 KOs).
Oral says he considered retirement after his loss to Sylvester last October. “I was already in a world title fight against Arthur Abraham and lost. But for the fight [against Sylvester] in Rostock, I had the best chance of all. I really wanted to be world champion, but it didn’t work out. Then I dropped out of sight and was considering whether I should hang up my boxing gloves. My wife Ferda motivated me and built my confidence back up. Now I’ve analyzed the last fight and I know where my weaknesses are, so it makes sense to make a new start.” (more…)
Tickets for March 12 PPV clash between WBA super welterweight champion Miguel Cotto and former two-division world champ Ricardo Mayorga showdown at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas go on sale Monday, January 17, at 10 a.m. PT, and can be purchased at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino.) Seats are scaled at $400, $300, $200, $100, and $50 and are limited to 16 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster (800) 745-3000. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.mgmgrand.com or www.ticketmaster.com.
Former world title challenger and amateur standout, Matt “Too Smooth” Godfrey (20-2, 10 KOs), is now a promotional free agent and says he’s prepared to get right back into the cruiserweight picture with a new promoter. Godfrey was stopped for the first time in his pro career last August when he unsuccessfully challenged WBO champion Marco “Kapt’n” Huck in Germany. He is managed by Bret Hallenbeck and trained by “Iceman” John Scully.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
The WBA is planning to present “KO Drugs” festivals in three Latin American countries. The first is expected to be held in Costa Rica in February or March, followed by July or August in Venezuela and lastly in Panama in October. The last time the WBA staged the event in Venezuela was 2004 at the Poliedro de Caracas. Maracay is the leading candidate for 2011 as that is where the “KO Drugs” event was born in 1993. It was the idea of WBA president Gilberto Mendoza to raise money to donate to children’s institutions. (more…)
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