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Philippine Coast Guard makes Manny Pacquiao a “one-star general.” More
Former great Evander Holyfield calls Pacquiao-Mayweather a “toss-up.” More
Video: Andy Lee “blown away” by hometown reception on return. More
Speaking of hometown reception, Amir Khan was honored in Boulton. More
Story and photos by Boxing Bob Newman
A busy final day of topics took place in Las Vegas today at the Mirage Hotel and Casino as the WBC wound down it’s 52nd annual convention. The day opened up with a mini birthday celebration for WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman (December 30). Legal counsel Robert Lenhardt presented the early birthday boy with some mementos of his favorite NFL team- a Dallas Cowboys spit bucket, Dallas Cowboys box of tissues (to drown his sorrows) and a rosary to pray for the last two weeks of the season that could’ve been!
Referee Frank Garza of the WBC Low Blow Band which performed at last night’s talent show, presented his own personal guitar- signed by nearly twenty world champions to the birthday boy, who in turned pledged $15,000 toward the WBC retirement fund for boxers.
Kunming, China has been all but confirmed as the the site of the 2015 WBC convention. Chinese Boxing Federation president Lin Tao accepted the passing of the WBC flag as representative of the next host city (much like the Olympic tradition). (more…)
All five-time world champion Antonio “Magic Man” Tarver (31-6, 22 KOs) wants for Christmas is a signed contract to fight former two-division world champion David Haye (26-2, 24 KOs), ideally, during the first-quarter of 2015. Tarver had been sending direct tweets for the past six months to Haye, who hasn’t fought in more than two years, without receiving a response. Coming off last week’s impressive seventh-round knockout of veteran Johnathan Banks (29-3-1, 19 KOs), Tarver has taken off the proverbial gloves and he is now publicly calling out Haye, who insists, once again, that he is coming out of retirement. (more…)
Photos: Amanda Kwok/SHOWTIME
Adonis Stevenson 174.5 vs. Dmitry Sukhotskiy 173.5
(WBC light heavyweight world championship)
Jo Jo Dan 146.75 vs. Kevin Bizier 146.75
(IBF welterweight title eliminator for #1 spot)
Andre Dirrell 167.75 vs. Derek Edwards 167
(IBF super middleweight eliminator for #2 spot)
Artur Beterbiev 174.5 vs. Jeff Page Jr. 174.25
Venue: Pepsi Coliseum In Quebec City, Canada
WBC heavyweight world champion Bermane “B. Ware” Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) and undefeated heavyweight contender and mandatory challenger Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) participated in an international media conference call to discuss their eagerly anticipated heavyweight world title fight on January 17 on Showtime from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Bermane Stiverne: “Nobody is going to beat me. This belt is going no where! January 17 will be a short night. A short, painful night. Instead of telling you about it here, I will show you…Don’t blink!”
Deontay Wilder: “It’s my time to make history. I’m giving American their next heavyweight world champion. I’m on my way to becoming the heavyweight champion of the world, I’ve had to work hard for it and it’s my time…I have heard nothing but excuses for my 32 wins by KO and when I get 33, I don’t want to hear anything about it!”
By David Finger
Photo: Roy Jones Jr. Boxing
Roy Jones Jr. and Roy Jones Jr. Boxing CEO Keith Veltre have announced the signing of former IBF bantamweight champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko (29-5, 22 KO’s) to a three year deal. “Joseph is a great addition to the RJJ Boxing family,” Veltre said of the signing, “He is already TV worthy and possess the talent to regain a world title.”
The three year deal includes two fights in the United States and one fight in Ghana. Agbeko is tentatively scheduled to fight for the IBF Intercontinental title in March in Ghana. “We have big plans for him in America and in Ghana,” Veltre added. “We plan to hold one fight a year in Ghana (for Agbeko).” (more…)
By Pat Hamilton
IBF super bantamweight world champion Carl Frampton and challenger Chris Avalos both predicted a knockout in a feisty press conference for their February 28th clash at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The Europa Hotel in Belfast was the location as promoters Blaine and Barry McGuigan, trainer Shane McGuigan, Carl Frampton, Chris Avalos and Alvalos’ manager Mike Criscio set the stage for a fight dubbed “The World is Not Enough.”
McGuigan opened proceedings by announcing that Cyclone Promotions has teamed up with CWM FX, claiming it would take Cyclone Promotions to the “next level” although he chose not to elaborate further. He thanked Carl Moretti of Top Rank for making the fight so easy to make and said that Frampton was ready to take the “next step” in his career and that 2015 would be “huge” for the ‘Jackal.’ (more…)
The undercard is set for January 9 Fox Sports 1-televised Roc Nation Sports debut card headlined by welterweights Dusty “The Beltway Boricua” Hernandez-Harrison (24-0, 13 KOs) vs. Tommy “The Razor” Rainone (22-5-1, 4 KOs) in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. In the co-featured bout, 2008 Olympian Tureano Johnson (16-1, 11 KOs) and Alex “El Principe” Theran (17-1, 10 KOs) will battle it out over 10 rounds. In another welterweight clash, Cecil McCalla (20-1, 7 KOs) takes on South Africam Chris “The Heat” Van Heerden (21-1-1, 11 KOs) in a 10-rounder. 2008 Beijing Olympic Silver Medalist Zhang “Big Bang” Zhilei (1-0, 1 KO) is an imposing figure at 6’6″ and 250 lbs. will face Kaleb Slaughter (Pro Debut) in a four-round bout. (more…)
Congratulations to WBA/IBF/WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and actress Hayden Panettiere on the birth of their daughter, Kaya.
Wlad will reportedly be defending his belt next in a voluntary defense at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 25. The opponent is still TBA. Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant Jennings is the likely challenger, but the camps are said to be still far apart on negotiations for Jennings’ purse. With the fight taking place in the hometown of Klitschko’s YouTube nemesis Shannon Briggs, could Briggs be K2’s backup plan?
It’s been another busy year for manager Frank Espinoza. Not only does he have several undefeated top prospects under his helm, Espinoza is always on the search for new talent and business opportunities for his existing talent.
We caught up with the well known L.A. businessman and manager for a few moments and he shared with us his outlook for 2015. (more…)
Report & photos by Boxing Bob Newman
In what has become the most entertaining tradition of the annual WBC conventions, the talent show was held in the Beatles Revolution Bar Wednesday night at the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Acts included the standard WBC Low Blow Band (referee Frank Garza, judge Craig Metcalfe alternating on drums with Mauricio Sulaiman), Paris St. John (Mia’s daughter), Victor Duran (Roberto’s son), The Mighty Sensations (Referees Tony Weeks, Russell Mora, Kenny Bayless and judge Robert Hoyle) and Elvis impersonator and as always the comedy stylings of WBC legal counsel Robert Lenhardt.
Victor Duran performed wonderful Spanish ballads accompanied by acoustic guitar. Paris St. John reprised her talents from Tuesday evening’s Mia St. John Foundation where she entertained, by again knocking out some righteous blues tunes while playing bass, backed up on drums by WBC member Mikhail Denisov. (more…)
Report & Photos by Boxing Bob Newman
The WBC’s World Boxing Cares arm paid a visit to hall of fame referee Richard Steele’s Boxing Club today with it’s customary band of champions in tow to brighten the day of the gym’s youth members. Champs such as Marvin Camel, Iran Barkley, Michael Spinks, James “Bonecrusher” Smith, Wilfredo Gomez, John H. Stracey, Humberto “Chicquita” Gonzalez, Edgar Sosa, Jelena Mrdgenovich, Klara Svensson, Markus Beyer, Chauncey Welliver, “Bronco” Billy Wright and Laura Serrano posed for photos, signed autographs and handed out T-shirts, hats, key chains and WBC stickers to the gym’s youth members.
While the various champs arrived, a mariachi band entertained the attendees with traditional music, and refreshments were served. (more…)
The final UFC card of 2014 takes place with a trip to Brazil this weekend, as former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida takes on CB Dollaway in the main event. Machida returns after losing a decision to middleweight champ Chris Weidman in July while Dollaway has won four out of his last five fights as he makes his first career push into the top 10 of the division . . . click here for more
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COMING UP NEXT: FIGHT NIGHT BARUERI airs on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, December 20 at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT . . . Click here for more
British boxer Anthony Crolla is hospitalized after being clobbered by burglars with a slab of concrete. More
Andy Lee gets a hero’s welcome in Ireland. More
More on Mickey Rourke’s alleged fight fix.
Photos: JC Photographer
Caribe Promotions and Versailles Cuban Restaurant held court with media and fans to showcase two-time Cuban Olympic Gold Medalist and WBA/WBO jr featherweight world champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux at an outdoor open workout. Versailles Restaurant (commonly referred to as simply Versailles) is a landmark eatery located on Calle Ocho (8th St) in Little Havana, Miami. Today was the first ever open workout at the Versailles in over forty three years since the establishment opened back in 1971 by Felipe Valls, Sr. and his family.
A few hundred boxing aficionados were present and given autographed posters and T-shirts by the champion. The event was in advance of Rigondeaux’ title bout with Hisashi Amagasa, scheduled for December 31st in Osaka, Japan. (more…)
Lightweight contender Anthony Crolla, who was scheduled to challenge WBA lightweight champion Richar Abril on January 23 is reportedly in a Manchester, England hospital with a fractured skull and a broken ankle. According to the BBC, Crolla was injured when he confronted burglars robbing his neighbor’s home. Promoter Eddie Hearn was quoted as saying he is looking to reschedule the Abril-Crolla fight on a later date, however Crolla’s trainer Joe Gallagher told Sky Sports he doesn’t even want to think about Crolla boxing right now because his injuries are “career-threatening.”
Photos: Amanda Kwok/SHOWTIME
Jo Jo Dan, Kevin Bizier, Artur Beterbiev and Jeff Page Jr. held a final press conference at Houston’s Bar & Grill in Quebec City on Wednesday just two days before their bouts on the undercard of this Friday’s Showtime telecast from Pepsi Coliseum. Bizier (23-1, 16 KOs), of Quebec, will face the only man to defeat him, Canadian-based Romanian Dan (33-2, 18 KOs) in a 12-round IBF welterweight eliminator – the winner to face World Champion Kell Brook – in the co-feature of a four-fight telecast, live on SHOWTIME (9 p.. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
In the opening bout of the telecast, two-time Russian Olympian Beterbiev (6-0, 6 KOs), who twice beat WBO/WBA/IBF Champion Sergey Kovalev in the amateurs, will square off with fellow unbeaten Page (15-0, 10 KOs), of Andover, Kansas, in a 10-round light heavyweight scrap.
In the main event, WBC Light Heavyweight Champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) will defend his title against Russian challenger Dmitry “The Hunter” Sukhotskiy (22-2, 16 KOs) in a 12-round bout. Rounding out the telecast, super middleweight contender Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell (23-1, 16 KOs), will face Derek “The Black Lion” Edwards (27-3-1, 14 KOs) in a 12-round IBF super middleweight elimination bout. (more…)
A 10-round featherweight fight between 2008 U.S. Olympian and former world title contender Gary Russell Jr. (24-1, 14 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md., and former California State Champion Christopher Martin (28-4-3, 9 KOs) of Chula Vista, Calif., has been elevated to co-feature of this Saturday’s Showtime Boxing on Showtime Extreme live telecast (10 p.m. ET/PT) from Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash. The Russell vs. Martin scarp is co-headlining the telecast in replacement of previously announced bout between Anthony Peterson and Yakabu Amido. Peterson will now box on the non-televised portion of the card against Mexican veteran Héctor Velázquez (56-24-3, 38 KOs).
In another change to the televised lineup, promising undefeated world-class prospect Julian “J Rock” Williams (17-0-1, 10 KOs), 24, of Philadelphia, will now be opposed by Jamar Freeman of Wilson, N.C. in a 10-round junior middleweight clash. Freeman (13-3-2, 7 KOs) is a late substitute for Mexico’s Edgar “Nene” Ortega, who withdrew due to an injury suffered in training.
The final Showtime Boxing event of the year – and the fourth and final of back-to-back Showtime telecasts on consecutive weekends – is presented by Goossen Promotions.
Report and photos: Boxing Bob Newman
Day 3 of the 52nd annual WBC convention in Las Vegas commenced with a jam-packed mandatory defenses meeting. Interspersed with those discussions were acknowledgments and appearances by champions and other notables as well as other related topics of discussion. The WBC board of directors got right down to business this morning concerning mandatory defenses starting with the heavyweight division and working down to the minimumweight division. The mandatory status for each weight class is as follows:
Heavyweight: Having won a vacant title, champion Bermane Stivern is obligated to make two successive mandatory defenses. The first will be Deontay Wilder on January 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. The winner of that fight is obligated to face the second mandatory Bryant Jennings. However, it is rumored that Jennings may face WBA/IBF/WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko in the Spring. If that transpires, Mike Perez and Alexander Povetkin will square off to determine the next mandatory to the Stivern-Wilder winner.
Cruiserweight: New champion Grigory Drozd Will face the winner of the final eliminator between Thabiso Mchunu and Ilunga Makabu. Curretn silver champ and #1 rated Rakhim Chakhkiev has expressed his interest in defending his WBC silver & European title belts instead of taking a shot at Drozd.
Light Heavyweight: Adonis Stevenson will face optional challenger Dmitry Sukhotsky this weekend in Montreal. A motion from WBO/WBA/IBF champ Sergey Kovalev’s team to unify with Stevenson, provided he get by WBC diamond champ Jean Pascal this Spring, with a 50/50 purse split is being considered. If both champs get by their respective defenses, Stevenson will be allowed one more optional defense before facing Kovalev.
Super Middleweight: Anthony Dirrell’s mandatory is George Groves, no time table set for that defense.
Middleweight: Miguel Cotto will make an optional defense early in 2015, while champ Gennady Golovkin will defend his WBA and WBC interim belts against Martin Murray in Monte Carlo in February. If successful, the two will square off with the purse split to be negotiated later.
Super Welterweight / Welterweight: The unique position of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. reigning supreme in both division was discussed. In years past, the WBC had frowned upon this practice, forcing champion dual champions to decide in which weight class they wanted to reside. A new ruling will be decided upon soon, presumably to allow Floyd to hold titles in both weight classes. In the meantime, while a potential mega-fight between WBC/WBA welter champ Floyd and his WBO counterpart Manny Pacqiuao looms, Sampson Lewkowicz proposed an eight man tournament in both weight classes to determine the rightful next challenger in each category. WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman lauded the idea, claiming, “Sampson, the is the best idea you’ve ever had!”
Super Lightweight: Danny Garcia (WBC/WBA champ) has agreed to a step-aside deal with mandatory challenger Viktor Postol in order to make an optional defense, under the proviso that Postol meet the winner next.
Lightweight: Omar Figueroa has been named champion in recess due to an infection that occurred in the cut he sustained in his last defense, keeping him out of action for a prolonged period of time. On December 30 in Japan, Jorge Linares will square off against Javier Prieto for the vacant title. If Figueroa heals and chooses to remain in the division, he’ll get the first crack at his old belt. Then two mandatories will be in line. The first will be the winner of Dejan Zlaticanin vs. Hank Lundy, followed by the winner of Daniel Estrada vs. Kevin Mitchell.
Super Featherweight: Takashi Miura just made his mandatory in November 24 against Edgar Puerta. Silver champion Stephen Smith will face off against Javier Fortuna to determine the #1 slot, but NOT the mandatory challenger.
Featherweight: The last mandatory was more than a year ago vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon. Two mandatories will be due: The winner of silver champion Rocky Juarez vs. Robinson Castellanos will be first, followed by the inner of Marvin Sonsona vs. Jayson Velez. Where current #1 rated Abner Mares fits into the picture is unclear.
Super Bantamweight: Andres Gutierrez will face Hugo Ruiz in a final eliminator for the mandatory shot at champion Leo Santa Cruz.
Bantamweight: Champion Shinsuke Yamanaka is in a voluntary mode as he just made his mandatory on October 22.
Super Flyweight: Former champion Srisaket Rungvisai and recent challenger Jose Salgado agreed to square off in a final eliminator for the mandatory slot to face champ Carlos Cuadras.
Flyweight: Roman Gonzalez will await the winner of the final eliminator between Nawaphon Sor Ringvisai and Edgar Sosa.
Light Flyweight: After record setting novice Naoye Inoue captured the title, he made one defense then vacated to jump two divisions to Super Flyweight and challenge long time WBO champ Omar Narvaez. The vacant title will be contested by former two division champ Akira Yaegashi and Pedro Guevara on December 30 in Japan.
*Minimumweight: #1 Carlos Ortega and #2 Denver Cuello will go at it to determine the mandatory to new champ Wanheng Menayothin.
*Formerly known as the strawweight division in the WBC, a resolution to change over to the name used by the WBA was adopted by the WBC board of governors. Mauricio Sulaiman said this was one of several topics discussed at the two recent summit meetings between the WBC, WBA and IBF. He said he will approach the IBF and WBO to agree. (more…)
Yakubu Amidu (21-5-2, 19KO) was fight-ready for this Saturday’s Showtime bout versus Anthony Peterson (34-1, 22KO). He completed a brief but rigorous training camp, and completed the required medical exams. Showtime announced the fight in a Decmeber 4th press release, and on their telecast this past weekend. It came as a surprise when Amidu promoter Bobby Hitz of Hitz Boxing received a call this morning that the bout is off. Hitz was advised that Peterson trainer Barry Hunter did not want his boxer to fight Amidu.
“Hunter has been trying to get out of this fight since we signed the bout contract,” said Hitz. “The kid trained hard for this fight. It’s the holidays. This kid did everything asked of him, and now he’s not going to be paid because at the last minute, this guy pulls out because he is afraid of what Amidu might do to his fighter? (more…)
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