By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of January 21st to January 28th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley 2 Officially Announced
Bob Arum and Todd duBoef, CEO and President of Top Rank, respectively, and Michael Koncz of MP Promotions are pleased to announce that an agreement was reached today for undefeated two-division world champion TIMOTHY “Desert Storm” BRADLEY to defend his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title against Fighter of the Decade Congressman MANNY “Pacman” PACQUIAO. Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with MP Promotions and Tecate, Pacquiao-Bradley 2 will take place, Saturday, April 12, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View.
Both fighters and their teams will embark on a U.S. media tour the week of February 3, including press conferences in Los Angeles and New York on Tuesday, February 4 and Thursday, February 6, respectively. Ticket information and other details on the promotion and the media tour will be released shortly.
When Pacquiao and Bradley rumbled the first time, on June 9, 2012 at the MGM Grand, Bradley’s hand was raised via a controversial split decision, ending Pacquiao’s welterweight title reign as well as his seven-year, 15-bout winning streak. Though both fighters claimed victory neither was satisfied. Destiny may have played a hand in their first battle but it will be survival of the fittest that determines the winner of this exciting rematch.
Rustam Nugaev Issues Challenge to Mikey Garcia
Gary Shaw Productions lightweight contender Rustam Nugaev (26-6-1, 16 KOs), who is ranked WBA # 3, WBC # 7 and IBF # 9, is issuing a challenge to WBO Jr. Lightweight champion Mikey Garcia (34-0, 28 KOs), if the Oxnard, California based fighter were to move up to the Lightweight division.
“If you move up to 135 you need to go through me, a real fighter,” said Nugaev. “Not Gamboa who will run the entire fight. If you want a fight, then fight me…if you want to bore the fans on HBO, fight Gamboa. Just like you, I’m a warrior with a lot of heart, who wants to put on a great show for the fans. Let’s make it happen. ”
In 2013, Nugaev made big strides in his career, going undefeated in four bouts winning them all by knockout. Promoter Gary Shaw believes his fighter is on the brink of greatness.
“Since returning to the U.S. from Russia in 2013, Nugaev has been unstoppable,” said Gary Shaw. “No one has been able to withstand his aggressive come forward style. He’s the type of fighter everyone loves to see because he is all action.”
“A fight with Mikey Garcia, who I believe is one of the best pound for pound fighters in boxing, and Nugaev, would be sensational. If Garcia moves up to 135, HBO should consider making this a main event. This would be one hell of a fight for the fans.”
Top LA “Boxing Superstars” Meet Fans at Heroes Boxing Sponsorship Agency’s 4th Annual Event
More than thirty professional boxers gathered before a lively crowd on Saturday for the fourth annual “Boxing Superstars” meet-and-greet event presented by Heroes Boxing Sponsorship Agency.
Hundreds of excited fans enjoyed the rare opportunity to see their favorite fighters, get autographs and pose for photos. The free public event, hosted by the city of Pico Rivera, also featured boxing demonstrations and prize giveaways.
An impressive roster, ranging from rising stars to world title-holders, included Josesito Lopez, Israel Vazquez, Freddy Hernandez, Sergio Mora, Efrain Esquivias Jr., Miguel Vazquez, Oscar Molina, Carlos Molina, Sergio Nunez Jr., Ivan Redkach, and Heroes Boxing’s own Alfonso Gomez. Pros Sindy Amador and Lissette Medal represented the female fighting contingent.
Heroes Boxing’s annual “Boxing Superstars” is one of the only events in the sport that lets fans meet one-on-one with so many professional fighters at once. The attending boxers also appreciate interacting with the community and serving as role models for local youth.
“It makes me feel like a true champion, sharing my time and memories with friends, fans and young dreamers looking to the future with bright eyes,” said boxer Enrique Ornelas.
“Boxing Superstars” also gives professional fighters the chance to talk and connect with each other as a group outside the ring.
“In addition to being a boxer, I’m a huge fan. I follow Alfonso Gomez’s and Sergio Mora’s careers and it was great to meet them. I can only imagine how the fans felt,” said participating fighter Marco Antonio Rubio.
Heroes Boxing Sponsorship Agency’s latest “Boxing Superstars” meet-and-greet surpassed the previous three years in attendance, sponsors and champions. The event supports Heroes Boxing’s mission of providing professional fighters with marketing opportunities both in and outside of the ring.
Chisora and Fury Start Countdown to Grudge Match
When British heavyweight titans Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury clash this summer in a blockbuster rematch it could be an eliminator for the WBO World title promoter Frank Warren said today.
The public will get to see both big men in action on Saturday 15th February when they both feature at the Copper Box Arena, Chisora headlines with a WBO and WBA International title defence against tough American Kevin Johnson – who replaces injured Andriy Rudenko – while Fury is chief support in a ten-rounder against experienced Argentine Gonzalo Omar Basile, live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/Virgin Ch. 546).
Chisora has a score to settle with Fury who beat him back in July 2011 taking the Londoner’s British and Commonwealth belts plus his unbeaten record.
Warren said, “I’m delighted that Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury, the two leading heavyweights in Europe behind unified world champion Wladmir Klitschko, will both feature on the big Copper Box Arena show on Saturday 15th February,”
“Dereck faces the well respected American Johnson who Tyson beat on points just over a year ago. He’s got a win over the current WBO number one Alex Leapai, plus he took Vitali Klitschko the distance in their world title fight. It’s unfortunate that Rudenko pulled out injured, it’s not ideal, but things happen and Dereck’s a pro, but he knows he can’t afford to slip up,”
Chisora said, “Johnson comes in with a great record and is name that fans know. This is by no means an easy fight, he’s taken Tyson and Vitali the distance and he stopped Leapai. I’m excited and looking forward to it. I have to beat Johnson and then Tyson is waiting for me in a world title eliminator which is a great incentive to really do a demolition job on Johnson.”
Fury, who slammed David Haye for pulling out of two fights against him, said, “The heavyweight division has been wide open for a long time but not many people have been there to go and smash the titles off the Klitschkos. Wladimir promised to fight the winner out of me and Chisora in the first fight and I never got the fight against him. Good riddance to Vitali, Grandpa robot, he wouldn’t fight any real opposition and he retired because he knew I was coming for him. I just can’t wait to get the rematch in the summer against Chisora and then get to take Wladimir’s head off. I’m glad that me and Chisora will be a final eliminator, Wladimir can either vacate the WBO title or fight me. I see a 100 percent improvement in Chisora, he’s a lot fitter and stronger, he’s better conditioned and a real athlete now. I’m focused on beating Basile first then it’s Chisora. The first fight was a good one, but I hope that this fight is one of the best ever all-British heavyweight fights.”
David Price Back with a Bang
The rebuilding process has begun for David Price (16-2, 14 KOs). The British heavyweight is back to winning ways following the first-round knockout of Istvan Ruzsinsky (12-10-1, 8 KOs) at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart. Price landed two devastating right hands in the opening round to send Ruzsinsky crashing to the canvas and unable to continue.
‘’It feels great to get back under the lights and get going again,’’ said Price. ‘’I knew I had an opponent in front of me who was nowhere near my level but I still had to get in there, stay focused and do a professional job. I am happy to get the win and now we can crack on.’’
Promoter Kalle Sauerland: ‘’There will be no screaming and shouting from us yet. This was the first step of the journey for David and he did what he needed to do. We still have a long way to go but it was important to get this first win under his belt. It is great to see the big man back in the ring, reminding us all of what he is capable of!’’
Don King Welcomes Back Ricardo Mayorga
World renowned boxing promoter Don King is thrilled to welcome back his former three time world champion Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga. Rarely do boxers love to fight the way Ricardo Mayorga does. He always fought with the reckless abandon and fearlessness of a teenager in a street brawl. Mayorga last fought in March 2011 against Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas, Nevada and immediately announced his retirement from the sport. However, growing up in the rough streets of Managua, Nicaragua, instilled a fire in him that still burns to this day and he recently announced that he has decided to return to boxing. With Don King as his exclusive promoter,
Mayorga is set on becoming world champion once again.
Who can forget Mayorga’s comments after his shocking 3rd round KO of the late Vernon “The Viper” Forrest to become WBC Welterweight Champion in 2003. The first thing Mayorga said after winning his first title was that he needs a cigarette and a beer!
King is looking forward to meeting with Mayorga in the next few weeks to plan out the return of “El Matador”.
King has already met with his partner Vlad Hrunov to negotiate Mayorga’s fight with Dmitry Chudinov in Russia. “I can’t wait to get the Matador back in action” said King “I love Ricardo Mayorga and I am very happy to see him come out of retirement. I believe he can become the people’s champion again….” “He is one of the most promotable fighters in the world and I look forward with great anticipation on promoting him and the great people of Nicaragua.”
Garcia Steps in to Face Gonzalez in Place of Injured Mantequilla
Because of an injury forcing Jonathan Gonzalez to withdraw, tough veteran Roberto “La Amenaza” Garcia (33-3, 22 KOs) of Weslaco, Texas, via Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico, will step in to face Monterrey, Mexico’s Norberto “Demonio” Gonzalez (20-2, 13 KOs) in the Friday Night Fights-televised 10-round middleweight main event on Friday, February 7, 2014, at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago.
33-year-old Garcia makes a worthy substitute opponent to say the least, as he has lost just one fight in the last decade and that to legendary champion Antonio Margarito.
Presented by Mike Tyson and Garry Jonas (Iron Mike Productions), Dominic Pesoli (8 Count Productions) and Leon Margules (Warriors Boxing), Garcia vs. Gonzalez will also feature a 10-round, televised co-feature between undefeated featherweight prospect Kamil Laszczyk (15-0, 7 KOs) of Warsaw, Poland, and Nicaragua’s Daniel “El General” Diaz (20-5-1, 14 KOs), plus 18-year-old welterweight prospect Erickson “Hammer” Lubin (2-0, 2 KOs) opening the telecast in a four-rounder vs. TBA.
The switch in combatants became necessary on Saturday when Puerto Rico’s “Mantequilla” Gonzalez hurt his shoulder sparring and found he couldn’t lift arms above his head. Gonzalez visited the hospital this morning and underwent tests confirming a muscle pull that requires adequate healing time.
A victory over Garcia would still be a step forward for the 32-year-old “Demonio” Gonzalez, who got his career back on track with a surprise upset over Michael “Brazilian Rocky” Oliveira last November at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida.
Ghislain Maduma Headlines February 5th PPV
Undefeated North American Boxing Federation (NABF) lightweight champion Ghislain “Mani” Maduma (15-0, 9 KOs) will make his first NABF title defense Wednesday night, February 5 against Mexican knockout artist John Carlo Aparicio (26-7, 21 KOs), live on pay per view from New City Gas in Montreal, Canada.
Eye Of The Tiger Management (EOTT) will launch its new Boxing Lounge Series with a strong top-to-bottom card, which will be available to watch worldwide as a $19.99 PPV event being streamed in high-definition via www.PunchingGrace.com. Maduma vs. Aparicio will be the 12-round main event and world-class welterweight Antonin Decarie (28-2, 8 KOs) faces Cesar “El Dolar” Chavez (21-5, 9 KOs) in the eight-round co-feature.
“This series is made to be seen on the screen in HD,” EOTTM president Camille Estephan explained. “IPTV is the future in terms of watching entertainment. Our series is old school boxing with cigars, Scotch, tables and seats for 500, in an intimate environment. It really looks great on the screen. PunchingGrace will bring real-life boxing to viewers. They’ll be close to the action in the ring, as well in the back area before and after fights. It is available worldwide and we’re also developing a network of bars around the world to take it. We’re very excited about this undertaking.”
ESPN Friday Night Fights in West Orange, NJ on Super Bowl Weekend
The Jan. 31 edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights presented by Corona Extra and ESPN Deportes’ Noche de Combates presented by Corona Extra will feature undefeated Light Heavyweight contender Blake “Il Capo” Caparello (18-0-1, 6 KOs) and Elvir “The Kosovo Kid” Muriqi (40-5, 24 KOs) in the 10-round main event. Friday’s show, from the Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange N.J., will take place Super Bowl weekend and is less than 20 miles from MetLife Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLVIII.
The show will air live at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2, broadband Spanish-language ESPN Deportes+ and WatchESPN. ESPN Deportes will televise the fights Sunday, Feb. 2, at 2 a.m. The card is promoted by Dibella Entertainment.