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Unbeaten heavyweight Malik Scott (32-0, 11 KOs) is back after over three years out of the ring. The 31-year-old Scott will be fighting Kendrick Releford (22-15-2, 10 KOs) on February 18 at the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas on the card headlined by Paul Williams, Tavoris Cloud and Chris Arreola in separate bouts. Scott previously won a unanimous decision over Releford in 2006. “I’ve come back strong from a lot of adversity and climbed a lot of obstacles to get to this point, physically and mentally,” said Scott. “I’m totally reincarnated, and a completely different fighter than I was before, and I’m ready to show the people that a powerful American in the heavyweight division is right here, and I’m prepared to reintroduce them to that person next Saturday.” Scott’s bout can be seen on Showtime Extreme.
Aris Ambriz (16-2-1, 8 KOs) of Azusa, Calif., will replace the injured Jose Reynoso and face unbeaten Thomas Dulorme (13-0, 10 KOs), of Carolina, Puerto Rico, for the vacant NABF welterweight title in the main event on Showtime February 17. Ambriz, 26, accepted the fight Thursday after Reynoso withdrew with a hip injury. Like Dulorme, Ambriz will be making his ShoBox and 2012 debut in a bout with a contracted weight limit of 143 pounds. Unlike Dulorme, this will be his first scheduled 10-round fight. Ambriz turned professional in June 2007.
The co-feature at Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, Calif., remains in tact: power-punching Puerto Rican, Jonathan “Mantequilla” Gonzalez (14-0, 13 KOs), of San Juan, versus Billy Lyell (24-10-2, 5 KOs), of Youngstown, Ohio, in a 10-round junior middleweight match.
Video: Joel Colón/PR Best Boxing Promotions
Looking in great shape, former two-time world champion Juan Manuel “Juanma” Lopez weighed today 30 days from his March 10 title rematch with world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido to be held at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Lopez (31-1, 28 KOs), weighed in 143 pounds of a 144.9 pounds maximum allowed by the Puerto Rico Boxing Commission. “We are working hard. I’m feeling good, very good”, Lopez said. “This time will be different (against Salido).”
Also WBO Latino super bantamweight beltholder Jonathan “Polvo” Oquendo (22-2, 15 KOs), who is also the #2 ranked by the WBO at 122 pounds, weighed in 137.7 of a 140.3 maximun. Oquendo will face a foe to be announced for his regional title in a ten-round fight. And WBO Latino lightweight titlist Jose “Chelo” Gonzalez (18-0, 13 KOs) weighed in at 152.8 pounds of a 155.25 maximum. Gonzalez, #5 ranked by the WBO in the lightweights, will defend his regional belt against a rival to be determined in a ten-round fight.
The IBF has made Carl Froch the mandatory challenger to Lucian Bute’s super-middleweight title. The former two-time WBC champion had been linked to a “home and away” clash with Bute and now the 34 year-old looks set to challenge the Canadian for the title after the IBF installed him as the number one contender for the belt. Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that he has been in constant and constructive talks with Bute’s Interbox team since Froch completed his Super Six Boxing Classic journey in the final against Andre Ward in December, and he hopes that the projected two-legged contests between the pair could begin in Froch’s hometown of Nottingham in May.
“I’m delighted that Carl has been installed as the mandatory for Lucien Bute’s next bout,” said Hearn. “Positive discussions have been ongoing with Interbox since the Super Six final and we hope to get this fight made. It is Carl’s dream to have his next fight in the UK and that is something very important to both of us. After recent discussions, I believe we can bring Lucian here in May and we will be happy to give him the rematch in Canada once Carl has taken the IBF title from him.”
By Gabriel F. Cordero
IBF super flyweight champion Rodrigo “El Gato” Guerrero (16-3-1, 10 KOs) will make the first defense of his title on Saturday against Juan Carlos “Zurdito” Sanchez (12-2-1, 7 KOs) in the new Arena Union in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico. Sanchez is a local favorite and a finalist in the “Champion Azteca: Round 3″ tournament.
In the semifinal match, super flyweight Daniel “Bad Boy” Rosas (21-1-1, 17 KOs) takes on Fernando Vargas (18-5-2, 12 KOs) in a ten-rounder.
By Ron Jackson
Former SA champion Vusi Malinga is set to fight for the vacant IBF bantamweight belt shortly. Malinga and AJ Banal, a Filipino, will meet on a date and at a venue to be decided by their promoters within 30 days. If the promoters can’t come to an agreement, the fight will go to purse bids.
Malinga beat Michael Domingo, also from the Philippines, on points in a final eliminator in Mafikeng, now Mahikeng, on October 30, 2010. The South African, whose record now stands at 20-3-1, with 12 knockouts, was due to challenge Abner Mares of Mexico for his belt. But Mares, who won the belt from Joseph Agbeko of Ghana in August last year, has relinquished the belt. Malinga and Mares were scheduled to meet on September 30 but the IBF ordered a rematch in December between Agbeko and the champion after their foul-filled first bout. (more…)
A unique film on the final years of Joe Frazier’s life recently premiered on Hulu. The film is free to view on www.hulu.com throughout February. The direct link to the film is: http://www.hulu.com/watch/322857/joe-frazier-when-the-smoke-clears.
Over four years in the making, “Joe Frazier: When the Smoke Clears” tells the story Frazier’s life, career and the sad demise of his Philadelphia gym. Narrated by Joe’s son Marvis, the film has quite a story behind it. With unprecedented access to Joe’s life during his last years, the doc reveals a human side to the legendary fighter and shines a light on a unique icon.
Joe was due to attend the film’s festival premiere at New York’s DocNYC in November but in a sad and strange coincidence it turned out the premiere took place on the day Joe passed away. (more…)
If there’s one thing practically every mixed martial arts writer can say, it’s that there’s no such thing as a bad Diego Sanchez interview. When The Ultimate Fighter season one winner and former world title challenger gets rolling (and it usually doesn’t take much), it’s best to just set up your recorder and let him roll, because you’re about to get enough quotes to last you for a week’s full of stories. With his UFC on FUEL main event against Jake Ellenberger approaching a week from today, here’s a sampling of memorable musings from “The Dream.” . . . Click here for more by Thomas Gerbasi, UFC.com
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Hot featherweight Mikey Garcia (27-0, 23 KOs) will risk his undefeated record, his NABF and NABO featherweight titles and his lofty WBA #1, WBC #2 and WBO #3 rating when he faces two-time world championship challenger Bernabe Concepcion (34-4-1, 17 KOs) on March 10 at Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Garcia-Concepcion featherweight clash will be the co-main event to the Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Orlando Salido world featherweight championship rematch. Both fights will be televised live on SHOWTIME.
By Gabriel F. Cordero
A reliable source indicates that Venezuelan former two-division world champion Jorge Linares could fight in La Guaira, Venezuela, on March 31 probably against Mexican Noe “Platanito” Bolaños (24-5-1, 16 KOs). Linares, who is hoping to land a rematch with Mexican Antonio DeMarco, the current WBC lightweight world champion in the summer, would be returning to the same city he faced Dominican Francisco Lorenzo in March 2010, the last big event for Venezuelan boxing. Promoter BoxTrack will also try to include other world title fights with current Venezuelan world champions Johan Perez (WBA interim super lightweight), Liborio Solis (WBA interim super flyweight) and Ogleydis Suarez (WBA interim featherweight).
By Gabriel F. Cordero
Mexican prospect Salvador Sanchez II (27-4-3, 15 KOs) returns Saturday against compatriot Mario Flores (10-7-1, 4 KOs) in a 10-rounder at the Sindicato de los Trabajadores del Metro in Mexico City Metro in an event presented by Boxeo de Gala and broadcast by Televisa. Sanchez II will defend his WBC Cabofe feathwerweight crown for the third time in his first bout of the year after eight ring appearances in 2011.
“I look forward to a good start in 2012,” said Sanchez II. “We are well prepared for good fights. I want to continue in my quest for a world title opportunity. I hope to do well in this fight and to try to fight again as soon as possible. “
By Przemek Garczarczyk
Photo: Boxing Bob Newman
In an exclusive Fightnews.com interview, highly respected international matchmaker Don Majeski talks about the new “Heavyweight Regeneration” boxing series, which will bring elite heavyweight contenders back to American boxing rings. “U.S. promoters decided that because there’s not a big American name in the heavyweight division, no fan following, there’s no point of doing events for heavyweights,” said Majeski. “A Catch-22 situation: Without heavyweight events, people are losing interest in this weight class which was so prominent for decades. This is why I’m so happy that Mariusz Kolodziej from Global Boxing, Jimmy Burchfield from CES, Frank Maloney who I know since his Lennox Lewis days and Andrzej Wasilewski from 12round KnockOut Promotions are working together to bring not one but a whole series of great heavyweight events to the U.S.”
The first event of the “Heavyweight Regeneration” series on March 24 in Atlantic City, will present the WBC International title defense 6’7 Mariusz Wach (26-0, 14 KOs) against 6’7 Tye Fields (49-4, 44 KOs), the U.S. debut of Great Britain’s new heavyweight star, 6’8 Olympian David Price (12-0, 10 KO) and 22-year old, but already getting a lot of attention from fans and boxing greats Artur Szpilka (9-0, 7 KO). (more…)
Report and photo by Przemek Garczarczyk
Well known Chicago trainer Sam Colonna is a happy man. The reason? He didn’t have to choose between being in the corner of hard-hitting WBO #9 ranked light heavyweight Andrew “Polish Prince” Fonfara (20-2, 11 KOs) or another of his proteges super middleweight Don “Da Bomb” George (22-1. 19 KOs). Previously, both fighters were scheduled to fight on the same day, March 17, George in New York’s Madison Square Garden Theater on an HBO show against another title contender Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (20-0, 14 KOs) and Fonfara at UIC Pavilion in Chicago against seasoned veteran Byron Mitchell (29-9, 22 KOs) for vacant USBO title.
Fortunately, promoters were able to move Fonfara’s bout to March 16 and Colonna will be a very busy man, flying almost directly from Fonfara’s fight in the Windy City to New York City. Fonfara and George are currently sparring against each other and both are happy to have Colonna at their side. “Boxers always want to have people we know and trust close when the fight time comes,” said George. “It would be unfair for Sam to choose between me or Andrew.”
Report and photos by Francisco Salazar
Former bantamweight and super bantamweight contender Jose Aguiniga (31-0, 14 KOs) will return to the ring against Juan Ruiz (23-8, 7 KOs) on Saturday, February 25th at the Oceanview Pavilion in Port Hueneme, CA. The eight-round bout will headline a scheduled seven-bout “Comeback” card, presented by El Dorado Entertainment. Both Aguiniga and Ruiz, along with notable fighters on the card, were present at the El Dorado Mexican restaurant in downtown Oxnard to formally announce the card.
The fight card will be the first to take in the Oxnard-area in about five years. Promoter Armando Renteria is promoting the card and hopes to put on more shows the fight fans of Ventura County. (more…)
Once again the popular series of “Boxeo TELEMUNDO” returns to Florida’s Space Coast with a show this Friday, February 10th at the Palm Bay Community Center in Palm Bay, FL. Something “BIG” has been added to the show, undefeated prospect, WBA FEDELATIN and WBC FECARBOX Champion Luis “Big Thing” Ortiz (14-0-12 KO’s) of Cuba will face spoiler Epifanio Mendoza (32-13-1-28 KO’s) of Barranquilla, Colombia in a ten round bout for the WBO Latin Heavyweight Title.
In the main event, WBO Latino featherweight champion and #6 contender Orlando “El Fenomeno” Cruz (17-2-1-8 KO’s) of San Juan, Puerto Rico, will put his ranking and title on the line against WBC Mundo Hispano Champion Alejandro “Pique” Delgado (15-5-7 KO’s) of Ciudad Neza, Mexico in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds. (more…)
Fight Night Productions and Ker’s WingHouse Bar & Grill will present the first “WingHouse Fight Night” show of 2012 on Friday, February 10th, at the A La Carte Event Pavilion (4050 Dana Shores Dr., Tampa, FL 33634). This will be a special night of boxing, as Fight Night Productions will be dedicating the evening, along with a special 10-bell salute and a moment of silence, to the memory of Hall of Fame trainer, Angelo Dundee.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Angelo Dundee at my restaurants and at our boxing shows on numerous occasions,” said Crawford Ker, Founder and President of Ker’s WingHouse®. “He was a very endearing person, a great boxing trainer and an even better person. I’m proud to be dedicating our show to his memory.” (more…)
The contracts have been signed and filed with the IBF and tickets will go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, Feb 9th. Brooklyn will be the host site on Saturday, March 24th when Zab “Super” Judah fights in his native borough for the first time in his storied pro career vs. “The Iceman,” Detroit’s undefeated Vernon Paris. This is the mandated junior welterweight elimination bout for the right to become the number one contender in the IBF. Tickets for the bout, which will take place at the Aviator Sports and Event Center, located at Floyd Bennett Field, are priced at $200, $100 and $75 and may be purchased by calling (215) 765-0922.
The intimate Aviator has hosted several boxing events in the past, but this bout, to be televised as part of the new Fight Night Boxing Series on the NBC Sports Network, will be its biggest boxing event, by far. The non-televised undercard fights will begin at 7:30 p.m., the NBC Sports Network Fight Night broadcast will begin at 10 p.m. ET on Mar 24th. (more…)
The four fighters who will compete in 12-round bouts on February 18 on SHOWTIME at American Bank Center Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas, took part in a national media conference call on Wednesday. Here’s what they had to say…
Nobuhiro Ishida: “I didn’t expect to get a knockout against Kirkland. You never really expect that. I’m not sure about a knockout against Paul Williams, but I think I will get the win. I’m going to make it a very long night for Paul Williams.”
Paul Williams: “I’m excited to be given this opportunity and to be able to prove myself again. I love that because it’s just more motivation and that come February 18 I’m going to put on a helluva show for my fans and the people who aren’t my fans….I’m going to show my fans that I’m not done. They will always try and write you off but I will show them that I’m not done. Every time I get into the ring I try and make a statement.”
Gabriel Campillo: “I’m preparing everything with my coach and trainer Pablo Sarmiento to come up with a game plan to win this fight. I’m going to show on the day of this fight how fast I am and how hard I have trained for this fight.”
[on why he’ll win] “No. 1 is better physical condition and then more speed and quickness and then intelligence and smarts.”
Tavoris Cloud: “I just don’t give a damn. I don’t care how hard they train. I don’t care who their trainer is. I know I’ve trained harder than them and my trainer is better than theirs. They are trying to come and take something that people have tried to take from me several times. It’s like I’m defending my house and I’ve got thieves trying to break in. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I can’t put it into words what I plan to do to my opponent. I’m going out there to win and put on a good show.”
Photo: Phil Soto
During a press conference on Feb. 8 at Casino Del Sol Resort, boxing promoter Showdown Promotions, in association with Top Rank Inc., announced the televised bouts on March 23 at 6 p.m. at the Casino Del Sol Resort Event Center. The event, called Firepower, will feature 25-year-old Las Vegas super featherweight Diego Magdaleno (21-0, 7 KOs), taking on heavy-handed Mexican, Miguel “Barreterito” Beltran Jr. (26-1, 17 KOs), out of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, for the NABF super featherweight championship.
Pictured above ar Magdaleno, his manager/trainer Pat Berry and former world champion Antonio Margarito. (more…)
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