Brähmer and Bolonti make weight

By Togorashi Jürgen Brähmer 174.4 vs. Roberto Bolonti 174.2 (WBA light heavyweight world title) Cecilia Braekhus 141 vs. Jessica Balogun 145.2 (WBO/WBA/WBC female welterweight titles) Enrico Kölling 175 vs. Patrick Bois 173.1 (WBA intercontinental light heavyweight title) Venue: Sport und Kongresshalle, Schwerin, …



Cotto vs Martinez odds and preview: Sergio remains the slim favorite as a B-side

By Tom Craze

Sergio Martinez is favored to retain his middleweight crown tomorrow night, but not by much. Can Miguel Cotto pull off the technical upset in what is close to a 50-50-fight on paper?

At best, Saturday’s HBO pay-per-view main event can be viewed as a triumph of matchmaking; an intriguing style clash between two proven, elite, fighters.

At worst, it could be perceived as a money-grab by two thirty-something boxers whose best days are almost certainly now well behind him; a peculiar, discrepant squaring off between an injury-ravaged – albeit lineal – middleweight champion and a man best regarded for his travails at, or just south of, welterweight the best part of a decade ago. In reality, it’s probably some combination of the two. What’s harder to argue is that Miguel Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) and Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) aren’t legitimate headliners in their own right, and that two big names coming together for a contest of this stature – even after some protracted negotiations – isn’t a good thing for the sport.

There are few more reliable indicators to a can’t-miss fight than the questions it raises and, throughout its build-up, Cotto-Martinez has raised more questions than most. What version of Martinez are we going to see on Saturday night? Was that struggle against Martin Murray a one-off, or an undeniable red flag that age and wear and tear have finally caught up with him? What effect, if any, will fighting without a knee brace? Will Cotto simply be giving up too much size? Will Cotto, under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, persist with the body attack that served him so well last time out against Delvin Rodriguez? Will it even be effective against somebody who isn’t Delvin Rodriguez?

When the fight was first announced, the oddsmakers sided with the conventional wisdom that Martinez would present a step too far for Cotto, already far from the world’s largest light-middleweight, and made the Argentine a touch bigger than a three-to-one favourite (-275) at the leanest, and no bigger than -225, with Cotto a two-to-one (+200) underdog. There’s been a bit of jostling across the board since though, but it’s been one way – and all the movement’s been with the Puerto Rican. It’s a viewpoint that has its merits, of course. Cotto is the younger, probably fresher of the two, and is coming off an emphatic stoppage under a coach who appears to know how to play to his man’s strengths. In the case of Martinez, those involved early have found plenty of reasons to oppose the champion: surgery, age, and scraping a contentious decision win in a fight he was expected to win much more comfortably are perhaps just three of them.

You suspect, though, that the key to the betting upset tomorrow night lies with Martinez’ mobility. It would be a surprise if Cotto’s strategy didn’t include trying to walk down Martinez to set up that body assault, and if the movement from the champion fails him, then he could be in for a long night. If it doesn’t – and it wasn’t so long ago that we saw him running rings around Chavez Jr, to name but one – then the entire argument against Martinez not winning this fight, one on the basis of physical breakdown and geriatric failings, could fall rather flat.

There’s no consensus in exactly how this fight will be won either – another clear sign of a bout that hinges on ifs, buts, and maybes. Looking first at the upset, it’s Cotto by stoppage that’s slightly favoured – at best a four-to-one (+400) shot, but available elsewhere at threes. Going by the stats alone, it would appear a reasonable route for those who fancy Cotto to dethrone the titleholder – five of the Puerto Ricans last six wins have ended inside the distance, and all of his last four victories, coinciding with his move to 154lbs. There have, of course, been some high-profile defeats to disrupt that trend – and some questionable opposition in those contests he has prevailed in – but you have to look back nearly five years to find the last time that Cotto had his hand raised after consulting the judge’s scorecards. Backing the stoppage is a vote that he handles the size discrepancy without much ado, however, and those who fancy him to get the job done over the full twelve rounds can do so at a best-priced 11/2 (+550), but there’s a considerable range of opinions across varying firms here, and the Cotto decision is as short as 7/2 (+350) in places.

The layers have made the decision win for the favourite their most likely outcome, but not overwhelmingly so. Martinez’ last two wins have come by way of the cards – the first, over Chavez Jr, snapping a streak of four straight early nights (Williams II, Dzinziruk, Barker, and Macklin) – which mirrors the fact that Cotto’s last two defeats have been at the behest of the judges – and a repeat can be backed at a market-best +163, with +140 more widely available. For those who presume Martinez will simply be too big, too strong for Cotto, and that he’ll look closer to his devastating best than many anticipate , the 11/4 (+275) that he’ll win emphatically inside the twelve will hold plenty of appeal. There’s a vote from the bookies that we’ll see this go the distance, albeit tight, and it’s -137 that we hear the final bell, with Ladbrokes going +125 that proceedings are more abruptly brought to a close.

Follow Tom Craze on Twitter @Box_Bet

Source: Bad Left Hook


Cotto vs Martinez live streaming weigh-in today at 2:30 pm EDT (June 6, 2014)

By Scott Christ

Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez hit the scales for tomorrow night’s middleweight title clash on HBO pay-per-view.

Today at 2:30 pm EDT, you can watch live right here on Bad Left Hook as Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez take to the scales for their Saturday night middleweight championship fight on HBO pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden.

Cotto (38-4, 31 KO) is moving up to middleweight for the first time, and the bout’s 159-pound catchweight limit is really nothing more than Cotto enforcing a one-pound drop because he can. Martinez (51-2-2, 38 KO) is the defending champion, but also the B-side of the fight promotionally, and there are concerns about his health — in particular, a bad knee — as he hasn’t fought since having physical issues against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in September 2012, and then Martin Murray in April 2013.

The undercard will feature a rematch between super bantamweights Wilfredo Vazquez Jr (23-3-1, 19 KO) of Puerto Rico and Marvin Sonsona (18-1-1, 15 KO) of the Philippines; Andy Lee (32-2, 22 KO) facing John Jackson (18-1, 15 KO) in a junior middleweight clash; and Jorge Melendez (28-3-1, 26 KO) against Javier Maciel (28-3, 20 KO) of Argentina.

Source: Bad Left Hook


Hall of Fame 2014: Joe Calzaghe – Perfection

By Brian Harty

A bloodied Roy Jones Jr (L) of the US de

Joe Calzaghe (R) on his way to a unanimous-decision victory over Roy Jones Jr. on Nov. 8, 2008. It was Calzaghe’s final fight. Photo by Don Emmert/AFP-Getty Images.

The following story originally appeared in THE RING Magazine. To subscribe — both the print and digital versions — click here. You can also purchase the current issue on that page.

Joe Calzaghe still remembers the first one 31 years ago. And he’ll never forget the last one even though it has been 23 years since they raised the hand of a Romanian amateur named Adrian Opreda instead of his own. He remembers them all, which might be why there were so few of them.

This weekend, Calzaghe will join Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad in the latest class of inductees into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, an honor he neither pursued nor thought much about until last year. What he thought about was not crying, or at least not putting himself in a position where he knew his tears would flow.

“I cried every time I lost a fight,” Calzaghe recalled recently while on a skiing holiday in Bulgaria. “I always felt empty when I lost. I lost my first fight. I was 10, and I cried even after my coach told me one of the judges was the other boy’s father. I can’t remember most of the amateur fights I won (110 of 120), but I still remember what losing felt like. I beat that boy five times after that, so I guess that’s been well paid back.”

Calzaghe focused on keeping his tear ducts from flowing by constantly training inside an unheated, hardscrabble shack in Tre Celyn, South Wales, a barely standing building with a corrugated tin roof that his father and lifelong trainer, Enzo, called the Newbridge Boxing Club. That tottering building would produce no hot water, but would build three world champions and one fighter time will not forget.

The road from that dank place with a carpet for a ring mat to boxing immortality was a long march littered with a string of injuries to his hands and very few times those hands weren’t raised at the end of a fight. The latter happened just enough to keep someone whose biography would be titled No Ordinary Joe focused on making sure that would be the case. Joe Calzaghe, in the end, would be anything but ordinary.

“If I have one regret, it’s not going to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992,” said the 41-year-old former undisputed super middleweight and light heavyweight champion who finished his pro career 46-0 (with 32 knockouts). “I won my first schoolboy title when I was 13. I weighed about 30 kilos (66 pounds). I still remember to this day what that felt like to be a winner, to be champion of something. From that day I dreamed of being world champion.

“I won four schoolboy ABA titles and three consecutive senior ABA titles in Britain [between 1990-1993]. I was ranked No. 1 in my weight by the ABA in 1992, but they took Robin Reid to Barcelona instead of me. They said it was because I hadn’t fought in an international tournament because of an injury.

“My wrist was already bothering me, as it would my whole career, but I hadn’t lost since the [1990] European Junior championships [in Prague]. It was a disappointment.”

It was also the last time anyone would defeat him. That the details remain as fresh to him today as they did then sheds some light on why it never happened again.

“Adrian Opreda,” Calzaghe says immediately when asked if he can recall his opponent’s name. “He was Romanian. It was one of the first times I’d ever worn headgear. I hated the thing. I didn’t even use them in sparring, but they were required in Europe. I wasn’t used to it, and I spent most of my time fiddling with my headgear while he kept putting his left foot on my right foot and tapping me like he was fencing. He just kept one long arm out there.

“It was close, but in those days the Soviet bloc still existed, and the fight was in Czechoslovakia, so you knew what was going to happen. I thought the decision was a bit dodgy. When it was over I cried my eyes out. I was absolutely gutted. When I got back to Wales, I told myself I wouldn’t lose again. Then I had a long run.”

Indeed so, a run that didn’t end until he retired in 2009, three months after soundly defeating a fighter he’d long admired, Roy Jones Jr. It was the 46th and final professional victory of a 15-year career in which he had successfully defended the super middleweight title 21 consecutive times over a 10-year reign and then moved up to 175 to defeat two legends of their sport, Bernard Hopkins and Jones, before deciding he’d had enough.

Yet when asked about victories, Joe Calzaghe first recalls defeat. One might think its sting would be long faded by now, erased by a professional career so brilliant he was elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. But for Calzaghe it is victory that fades quickly while defeat lingers, a dark reminder of a feeling he never wanted to experience again.

“Not going to Barcelona was probably a blessing,” Calzaghe says now. “I remembered that just as I remembered every loss. It made me train harder. I trained like a challenger even after I was world champion. I never wanted to feel the way I did when I was 10 again. I never wanted to feel the way I did in Prague.

“Would I have been as determined if I’d gone to Barcelona and maybe won a gold medal and been given a million dollars to sign? No, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t.”

Instead of gold Calzaghe signed with Britain’s biggest promoter at the time, the late Mickey Duff, for less than a pittance in September 1993. He made his debut less than a month later against Paul Hanlon, who didn’t last a round with him, at Cardiff Arms Park on the undercard of the Lenox Lewis-Frank Bruno heavyweight title fight, which was one of the biggest British promotions of the time.

“I turned pro for a 3,000-pound loan,” Calzaghe said, laughing at the memory. “I was on a wage for 21 fights. I didn’t spend much money because I didn’t make much money. I was in the gym training and trying to pay off the mortgage on my house. And it was a small house!”

Three years later he would sign with promoter Frank Warren, who had once managed Nigel Benn, a world champion with one of the best nicknames in boxing history. “The Dark Destroyer,” Chris Eubank and Steve Collins would together engage in some of the most stirring super middleweight title fights of the mid-1990s. So it came as a shock to British boxing fans when Warren announced upon signing Calzaghe that “Joe is a far better prospect [than Benn had been].”

Four fights and 18 months later, Calzaghe would prove Warren right, winning the vacant WBO super middleweight title by defeating Eubank after Collins chose to retire claiming an injury prevented him from going through with an already arranged title defense against Calzaghe.

In the days leading up to the fight, Eubank made a promise to Calzaghe, which all these years later Calzaghe admits he delivered on.

“Steve Collins didn’t want to fight me, so he gave up the title,” Calzaghe said. “Nigel was shot by then, and Steve was old, so I understood his decision. Chris was coming back from losing twice to Steve, but I was more apprehensive about Chris than I would have been fighting Collins.

“I’d never been 12 rounds. The most I’d gone was eight. The week of the fight he told me he was going to take me to a place I’d never been. He was right. I dropped him about 15 seconds into the fight, and I spent the next three rounds trying to take him out. I didn’t pace myself, and by the eighth round I was so exhausted. Those last four rounds were exactly what he promised.

“What got me through was hunger and will. I pushed myself through it. When they raised my hand, I was over the moon. I never thought I’d be champion for 10 years, but it was just the start.”

The start of a run of consecutive title defenses the likes of which only four prize fighters have ever exceeded. Perhaps more significantly, despite constant wrist and hand woes and an inability until the final fights of his career to land the big-money matches he craved, Calzaghe never wavered.

He prepared himself for whomever was put in front of him and he won … and won … and won again until he clearly outpointed then undefeated Mikkel Kessler (39-0 at the time) on Nov. 3, 2007, at Millennium Stadium in Wales to claim the RING, WBC, WBA and WBO super middleweight titles in his 44th fight. Although boxing politics had denied him the IBF strap he’d won in the ring a year earlier, he was universally seen as the undisputed 168-pound champion. He also was a fighter with only one world left to conquer: America.

Despite 44 consecutive victories and an undisputed world championship, Calzaghe had never fought in the United States. It was a blemish some held against him, implying he had been carefully handled to avoid the best U.S. fighters despite the fact he had repeatedly tried to make such fights and in fact had destroyed Jeff Lacy, the American who held the IBF title, a year earlier.

Weary of criticism and his aching hands but still in search of the taste of victory, Calzaghe knew his career needed a final jolt and so he gave it one, moving up to 175 to face Hopkins for the RING light heavyweight title on April 19, 2008, in Las Vegas.

By then Calzaghe was 36 and tiring of the demands of boxing, yet he knew to end his career as he hoped, to be recognized finally for the skills he’d so long exhibited in Europe, he needed to push back against his desire to stop.

“I’d been through so many injuries and so many disappointments, not getting the big fights I wanted,” Calzaghe said. “After I beat Eubank, I couldn’t even spar for three fights because of my elbow, and if you can’t spar, it’s hard to hit a moving target. I struggled in those fights, and people wanted me to get rid of my father and get a new trainer. That’s the only difficult time we really ever had.

“We talked about it, and he was disappointed, but he was going to do what was best for his son. In the end I thought what was best was to stay with him. I always wanted the unification fights but they were hard for us to get. Boxing is politics, and that was a very, very frustrating time for me.

“At one point I’d had wrist surgery and was told I’d never punch again. I didn’t believe the surgeon. I kept fighting and training. I’d have been a good fighter it I wasn’t hurt all the time.

“The last couple of fights I’d started to cut corners. After beating Kessler I knew I was approaching the end. I was 44-0 and had just fought in front of 50,000 people. I felt I’d accomplished all I could. I needed a new goal. I kept believing and I finally got my dream fights at the end. Frank wanted me to fight Clinton Woods in the U.K. but what else was there to achieve? The only thing left was to come to America.

“What a big win [beating Hopkins by split decision] was for me. It was a messy fight. I wasn’t at my best and I know he thinks he won but I fought two American legends and won. It was a blessing to get those fights late in my career.

“All things come to those who wait if they keep working. I was always tremendously fit, and in the ring I was always calm. Even Hopkins, with all the things he tries and all the things he says, he couldn’t get under my skin.”

Nearly everyone but judge Adalaide Byrd had Calzaghe winning handily against Hopkins, the other two judges scoring the fight 116-111 and 115-112, and he dominated Jones in what would be his final fight on Nov. 8, 2008. In his last two appearances Calzaghe had fought in boxing’s two biggest venues, Las Vegas and Madison Square Garden. There was nothing left to do but listen to a message he knew had been delivered to him in those last two fights.

“I knew Jones would be my last fight,” Calzaghe said. “I really wanted to fight in Madison Square Garden, the mecca of boxing. It was really quite emotional for me knowing that after all I’d been through, this was the end of it.

“In the first 25 years I fought I’d been dropped two times. Then I got dropped in my last two fights. Roy really pushed me down, but still I was on the floor. Was that a coincidence or a message? Maybe I could have gone on but my time was up. It was such an honor to fight Roy in my last fight. After that, I’d had enough.”

In the five years that have passed Calzaghe said he has not been tempted to follow the footsteps of so many of his predecessors and come out of retirement, instead opting to remain one of only a handful of world champions to retire undefeated. In the end he had done what he’d always hoped for. He’d left on top.

“I still feel like I can kick the ass of half the guys fighting, but I’ve never been close to a comeback,” said Calzaghe, who now has his own promotional company, has appeared on the British version of “Dancing with the Stars” and become involved in an anti-bullying campaign. “I didn’t punch a punching bag for two years. I’d run and go to the gym, but I never punched a bag. I didn’t want the temptation. With all the cortisone injections in my fists and the bad elbow and all, when I quit I was done.”

Done until his phone rang a few months ago and he was told those fists would have to be balled up one more time for the casting ceremony at the Hall of Fame. On that bright June day in upstate New York, Joe Calzaghe will be happy to do it one last time, the lasting proof he was indeed No Ordinary Joe.

Ron Borges is a columnist for the Boston Herald and hosts “Mouthpiece Boxing,” a weekly radio show on Yahoo!Radio Network Fridays at 10 p.m.

The post Hall of Fame 2014: Joe Calzaghe – Perfection appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring


Leonard, Trinidad, Tyson mull Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto

By Lem Satterfield

Puerto Rican countryman Felix Trinidad has selected three-division titlist Miguel Cotto to dethrone RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez by decision.

Sugar Ray Leonard also granted “a slight edge to Cotto” but retired former contender Micky Ward gave the nod to “Sergio by decision” in advance of their HBO Pay-Per-View battle on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City, in accordance with a poll taken of fighters and celebrities by Top Rank Promotions publicist Fred Sternburg.

Martinez (51-2-2, 28 knockouts), who turned 39 in February, is 35-1-1 with 22 knockouts since being stopped in the seventh round by Antonio Margarito in February 2000.

The Argentine veteran has been champion for four years since defeating Kelly Pavlik by unanimous decision in April 2010 and is 7-0 with four knockouts since falling by majority decision in December 2009 during a “Fight of the Year”-caliber brawl with Paul Williams that featured first-round knockdowns by each fighter.

Martinez avenged the loss to Williams by stopping him in the second round in November 2010, but has not fought since April 2013, when he rose from an eighth-round knockdown for a unanimous decision over Martin Murray in Buenos Aires.

The 33-year-old Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) will be in his second fight with six-time Trainer of The Year Freddie Roach, having fought at junior middleweight since 2010.

Cotto is moving up to a catchweight of 159 pounds for the first time in an attempt to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a fourth title in as many weight classes against Martinez.

“This will be a defining moment for Cotto,” said Hall-of-Famer Mike Tyson, a former undisputed heavyweight champion. “If he gives his absolute best and uses everything he has learned from his experience in boxing, he will give a great account of himself. I would like to see him do well because he has gotten some bad breaks in his career.”

Cotto is 9-1 with five knockouts in New York and 7-1 with four stoppages at the Garden, where he is fighting Martinez the night before the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Saturday evening is also one night before Trinidad is to be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.

“It is an interesting fight for the boxing world and also for Team Cotto,” said Trinidad. “Cotto should win by decision.”

Ward is best known for his trilogy with Arturo Gatti, whom he defeated and then twice lost to before retiring. Of the three Gatti-Ward bouts, the first and third earned THE RING magazine’s “Fight Of The Year” honors.

The late Gatti earned IBF junior lightweight and WBC junior welterweight titles and Ward was in attendance when Gatti was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

“Sergio by close decision,” said Ward, for whom an Oscar-winning move, “The Fighter,” starring Mark Wahlberg, was made. “He must use his smarts or Cotto will take it.”

Like Ward, Tyson and Trinidad, Leonard gives Cotto a shot to win, even as Leonard mulled whether Martinez’s injuries will be the determining factor or the fact that Cotto is prone to cuts.

“I’ve met both of these incredible fighters with such a wonderful demeanor outside the ring and the question is: Who has the most boxing ingredients left at this point in their career?” said Leonard, a five-division champion and Hall-of-Famer.

“Sergio always will have that power, which never leaves a boxer even past his prime and Cotto will always have that knowledge to break down an opponent during the fight. A slight edge to Cotto but don’t bet the house.”

Cotto is coming off a third-round stoppage of Delvin Rodriguez in October that helped him bounce back from consecutive decision losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout in May and December 2012, respectively. Cotto’s loss to Trout represented his eighth appearance at the Garden and his 10th in New York.

“Cotto is going to have to cut Martinez off in the ring because Martinez is a great mover,” said Tyson. “He’s like a tango mover when he boxes. My personal opinion is that I think this is going to be one of the greatest fights of the year.”

The post Leonard, Trinidad, Tyson mull Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring


Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto live round-by-round updates

By Lem Satterfield has a live round-by-round update of Saturday’s 159-pound catchweight bout between RING and WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and three-division titlist Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in New York on HBO Pay-Per-View.

Click here for who wins Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto?

Martinez (51-2-2, 28 knockouts), 39, has vowed to retire Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs) – who has been prone to cuts – by slicing the Puerto Rican challenger’s face to ribbons much as he has those of past opponents.

The 33-year-old Cotto is in his second fight with six-time Trainer of The Year Freddie Roach, who has stated that Martinez – injury-ravaged over the course of his past two fights – will last just “four rounds.”

Martinez is 7-0 with four knockouts since falling by majority decision to Paul Williams in December 2009, having avenged that loss by stopping Williams in the second round in November 2010.

Having fought at junior middleweight since 2010, Cotto is moving up to a middleweight catchweight of 159 pounds for the first time in an attempt to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a fourth title in as many weight classes.

The event is the night before the Puerto Rican Day Parade; Cotto is 9-1 with five knockouts in New York and 7-1 with four stoppage at the Garden.

Cotto is coming off a third-round stoppage of Delvin Rodriguez in October that helped him bounce back from consecutive decision losses to Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Austin Trout in May and December 2012, respectively. Cotto’s loss to Trout represented his eighth appearance at the Garden and his 10th in New York.

The HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast begins at 9 p.m., ET/6 p.m., PT

Martinez vs. Cotto

Refresh this page often for updates.

Referee: Michael Griffin, Canada

Judges: Max DeLuca, California, Guido Cavalieri, Italy, Tom Schreck, New York

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The post Sergio Martinez-Miguel Cotto live round-by-round updates appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring


Could Abner Mares sign with Al Haymon?

By Lem Satterfield

Three-division titlist Abner Mares said his contract with Frank Espinoza has ended; he still has a valid contract with Golden Boy Promotions but has not signed with powerful advisor, Al Haymon, contrary to what a recent report by indicated.

“I’m no longer with Frank Espinoza and my contract with him is done. It ended already on May 24. It’s been five successful years with Frank but I have not signed with any other manager,” said Mares. “I’m still with Golden Boy, so my contract is still good there. I’m their first home-grown champion from zero professional fights until now. I’m really pleased with them.”

Espinoza could not be reached for immediate comment.

If Mares does sign with Haymon, his move would follow the footsteps of junior lightweight Rances Barthelemy, RING light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, IBF 140-pound titleholder Lamont Peterson, lightweight Anthony Peterson, former RING 175-pound champ Chad Dawson, former titleholders Amir Khan and Robert Guerrero and ex-welterweight beltholder Luis Collazo.

The recepient of the 2013 Cus D’Amato “Manager Of The Year” award by the Boxing Writers Association of America, Haymon’s stable includes Floyd Mayweather Jr., Danny Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi among many others.

In a transition from longtime cornerman Clemente Medina, Mares (26-1-1, 14 knockouts) will face Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16 KOs) in his first fight under trainer Virgil Hunter on the Showtime Pay-Per-View undercard of the July 12 Saul Alvarez-Erislandy Lara main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Mares was last in action in August, when he lost his WBC featherweight title in a shocking first-round knockout loss to Jhonny Gonzalez and later suffered a rib injury that scuttled his rematch with Gonzalez slated for February. Mares was similarly injured in June 2012, when rib damage led to the cancelation of a clash with bantamweight Christian Esquivel.

Mares was THE RING’s number five-rated pound-for-pound fighter entering the bout with Gonzalez. He was floored twice by the Mexican veteran during the first defense of the belt he won in his 126-pound debut, a ninth-round stoppage of Daniel Ponce de Leon.

Ponce de Leon was the last man to defeat Gonzalez in an eighth-round technical decision in September 2012, ending Gonzalez’s 12-fight winning streak which included 11 knockouts.

The post Could Abner Mares sign with Al Haymon? appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring