Cunningham looks to win over his “home” fans

By Togorashi Photo: Darryl Cobb Jr./Main Events Philadelphia’s own Steve “USS” Cunningham (26-6-0, 12 KOs) hopes to win over his hometown crowd at the Liacouras Center at Temple University on April 4th when he attempts to take the USBA Heavyweight Championship belt …

Source: Fightnews.com

    

Bits & Pieces: Alejandro Perez stays busy, Chris Arreola trains in San Diego

By Doug Fischer

Featherweight veteran Alejandro Perez has earned his spot the hard way.

Lightly regarded through the early stages of his career, it wasn’t until the Salinas, Calif. native endured a few defeats before he began to find himself as a fighter.

A mesmerizing one-round knockout of former touted prospect Antonio Escalante in March of 2011 had him hopeful momentum was swinging his way. Instead, it forced a label of being a dangerous, high-risk, low-reward type fighter. That led to only getting offers to fight at 130 pounds despite Perez being at his best at 126 pounds.

After stringing together a couple of victories over fringe contender Art Hovhannisyan and spoiler Derrick Wilson, Perez (19-3-1, 13 knockouts) got a call from Top Rank. He signed with the Las Vegas-based company last year. Now almost 10 years into his career as a pro, Perez is the house fighter rather than the “opponent.”

Saturday, Perez has a stay busy fight against Juan Carlos Martinez in Las Vegas at Texas Station Casino, televised by UniMas. Should he get through it without a hitch, a shot awaits against unbeaten and largely unknown contender Nicholas Walters on May 31. The bout is projected to take place in Macau on the same bill topped by Nonito Donaire’s challenge to WBA featherweight titleholder Simpiwe Vetyeka.

The turmoil Perez endured early on in his career helped build toughness and experience at a stage when many young fighters are coasting against listless opponents.

“It was really difficult at the beginning because I had no promoter working with me by my side,” Perez told RingTV.com after putting in a workout at Hollywood’s famed Wild Card Boxing Club.

“I had to be ready at all times no matter what, day or night, rain or shine, because they could have called me at any moment. I always tried to stay positive with a good mentality and no matter what, keep pushing forward.”

Arreola camp opens Tuesday in San Diego

Prior to his important bout against Seth Mitchell last September, heavyweight contender Chris Arreola and his team took off for Scottsdale, Ariz., for training camp, choosing to get away from the distractions that came with training at home.

What resulted was a one-round shellacking of the former footballer in a Showtime-televised main event. Arreola and his trainer Henry Ramirez did nothing but rave about how good their camp was in Arizona.

Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) faces Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) in a rematch on May 10 for the vacant WBC heavyweight crown at USC’s Galen Center. Arreola’s team was unable to secure lodging in Arizona this time around and will instead open up camp on Tuesday in San Diego, Calif.

Arreola and stablemate Josesito Lopez will train at the House of Boxing gym, Ramirez told RingTV.com on Monday. Lopez faces Aaron Martinez on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights on Apir 24 as he looks to get back into the mix for a big fight.

San Diego is less than two hours from the Riverside area where problems often plagued Arreola while he got ready for fights. The popular Mexican heavyweight had a hard time staying away from friends and good times, which is why Ramirez set up shop five hours away in Scottsdale.

With such an important fight just around the bend, one wonders whether or not Arreola’s focus will drift. Though San Diego is still a bit of a drive from familiarity, it is an area known for being a good time.

Hopefully, Arreola avoids those good times and instead focuses on the task at hand. Time is running out for the 33-year-old contender and another misstep could end his dream of becoming the first heavyweight champion of Mexican descent.

Ramirez sells 3,600 tickets on first day for May 17 fight

2012 US Olympian Jose Ramirez sold 3,600 tickets the first day they became available ahead of his headlining bout on May 17 in Fresno, Calif., at the Selland Arena.

Despite a record consisting of less than 10 professional bouts, Ramirez (8-0, 6 KOs) has proven to be a hot commodity in the central California region where he grew up. Ramirez fights on Saturday in Las Vegas on the same bill as Alejandro Perez, but May 17 will mark his first appearance as a headliner.

The post Bits & Pieces: Alejandro Perez stays busy, Chris Arreola trains in San Diego appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring

    

Adrien Broner: ‘I just took a loss, I haven’t lost it’

By Lem Satterfield

Three-division titlewinner Adrien Broner plans to return from what he calls “a minor setback,” his loss to Marcos Maidana, by fighting at 140 pounds for the first time on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Maidana undercard.

Ex-140-pound titleholder Amir Khan and unbeaten super middleweight J’Leon Love will also fight on the May 3 undercard of the Showtime Pay Per View event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Golden Boy officially announced on Tuesday.

“This is a testament to the strength of a boxing event that involves Floyd Mayweather and Mayweather Promotions,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “It will definitely be a moment no one will want to miss. Floyd gave his orders to make sure these fights were part of this show, and we were able to make it happen.”

Khan will face former welterweight beltholder Luis Collazo, Broner is being matched against Carlos Molina, and Love opposite Marco Antonio Periban, a rugged Mexican contender who is coming off draw with Badou Jack in September.

“It would be easy for us to simply put a great fight like Floyd Mayweather vs. Marcos Maidana on top of this card and leave it at that, but that’s not fair to the boxing fans that demand and deserve more,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, in a prepared statement.

“So with the rest of this pay-per-view card, we’ve stacked it with an important bout between former world champions Amir Khan and Luis Collazo, the return of one of boxing’s top young superstars as Adrien Broner faces tough Carlos Molina, and an opener between J’Leon Love and Marco Antonio Periban that could produce the next super middleweight world title challenger. It will be an unforgettable night for all boxing fans.”

The 27-year-old Khan (28-3, 19 knockouts) has declared himself to be “ready for this challenge” of making his full welterweight debut against Collazo (38-5, 18 KOs), who turns 33 in October and is coming off a second-round stoppage of Victor Ortiz in January.

Khan will be looking for his third straight victory in as many fights under trainer Virgil Hunter, who replaced Freddie Roach after Khan was stopped by RING 140-pound champion Danny Garcia in July 2012. Before facing Garcia, Khan had lost a disputed split-decision to current IBF 140-pound beltholder Lamont Peterson in December of 2011.

Khan rebounded with triumphs in his last two fights by 10th-round knockout over Carlos Molina (a California-based lightweight prospect not to be confused with the IBF junior middleweight titleholder of the same name) in December of 2012 and by unanimous decision over former titleholder Julio Diaz last July.

Collazo has gone 6-1 with four knockout victories in his past seven bouts, and is 4-0 with two knockouts since losing a 10-round unanimous decision to Freddy Hernandez in October of 2011. Collazo lost controversial unanimous decisions in welterweight title matches against Ricky Hatton in 2006 and Andre Berto in 2009 along with a one-sided unanimous decision to Shane Mosley in 2007.

“I think that Luis Collazo against Amir Khan is a 50-50 fight,” said Schaefer, during an interview with RingTV.com. “I could tell you 10 reasons why Amir Khan is going to win, and I can tell you 10 reasons why Luis Collazo is going to win. So that’s a terrific fight.”

Dropped twice and dethroned as WBA welterweight titleholder by Maidana in December, Broner (27-1, 22 KOs) will compete in his fourth weight class against Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs), who was last in the ring against Khan.

“I had minor set back, but I am back on May 3. Everybody needs to understand that I just took a loss,” said Broner, 24. “I haven’t lost it. I’m still ‘The Problem,’ and anyone can get it, whether you are African, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban or Mexican.”

After having been beaten, let alone, stopped, for the first time in his career, Molina claims that he’s ready to make Broner a two-time loser.

“I am so excited to be able to fight on a card of this magnitude against Adrien Broner,” said Molina, 28. “Sure he’s tough but we all saw what happened in his last fight when he was under pressure. I have the boxing ability and punching power to beat him and that is exactly what I plan to do on May 3.”

Love (17-0, 10 KOs) will be after his third straight stoppage win against Periban (20-1-1, 13 KOs), having last been in the ring for last month’s 10th-round knockout of Vladine Biosse.

“It is always an honor to be on the same card as my boss, Floyd Mayweather. I train with him in the gym everyday and see what it takes to compete at the highest level in boxing,” said Love, 26, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.

“I can’t thank Floyd and Mayweather Promotions enough for these opportunities. My opponent is a very tough competitor but I have no doubt that I will be victorious and move one step closer to a world championship. May 3 can’t get here soon enough.”

Prior to facing Jack, Periban, 29, lost by majority decision to Sakio Bika in a failed bid to earn the WBA’s 168-pound belt last June.

“This is a great opportunity for me, and I will represent my country and Mexican boxing fans all over the world on this Cinco de Mayo weekend,” said Periban.

“J’Leon Love might be a member of ‘The Money Team,’ but that won’t matter on May 3 when he has to face someone like me. We’ll see who comes out victorious. I will not let my people or my country down.”

According to Ellerbe, neither will the card.

“I think boxing fans are going to be extremely pleased with what we have put together for them,” said Ellerbe. “Mayweather Promotions’ J’Leon Love is training very hard for this fight. He knows a win over Periban brings him closer to a world championship. On May 3, I expect nothing less than a great night of boxing for everyone.”

The post Adrien Broner: ‘I just took a loss, I haven’t lost it’ appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring

    

Mickey Bey to fight on Erislandy Lara-Ishe Smith card on May 2

By Lem Satterfield

Lightweight Mickey Bey returns to the ring against Alan Herrera, and junior middleweight Erislandy Lara will battle ex-beltholder Ishe Smith on May 2 on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Golden Boy announced on Tuesday.

A third bout will match Argentine featherweight Jesus Cuellar against former titleholder Rico Ramos. The card takes place the night before Floyd Mayweather Jr. defends his RING and WBC welterweight championships against WBA counterpart Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime Pay Per View.

“With the entire boxing world focusing on Las Vegas, we’re giving fans another stacked card the night before ‘The Moment,” said Richard Schaefer, CEO of Golden Boy. “Two championship fights and a great matchup between top prospects will get the weekend started right on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Deportes.”

Bey (19-1-1, 10 KOs), who is 30, had to pull out of last month’s scheduled bout on Showtime’s ShoBox series due to a sinus infection and will return against Herrera (32-5, 21 KOs) of Mexico, and the left-handed Cuellar (23-1, 18 KOs) will tackle Ramos (23-3, 12 KOs).

“May 2 should not be overlooked by any means,” said Leonard Ellerbe, CEO of Mayweather Promotions. “We have put together a card with a roster of top tier talent that will be showcased come fight night. I’m sure no one in the building or watching from home will be disappointed.”

A southpaw nicknamed “The American Dream” who turns 31 next month, Lara (19-1-2, 12 knockdowns) scored an 11th-round knockdown during a one-sided unanimous decision win over fellow leftie Austin Trout in December that followed his rising from knockdowns in the fourth and ninth rounds of a 10th-round stoppage of Alfredo Angulo last June.

“Ishe Smith talks a lot on the internet. Let’s see if he fights as well as he talks. I’m on a different level, and he’ll know that as soon as the first bell rings,” said Lara of Smith, who is promoted by Mayweather Promotions.

“He’s fighting the best super welterweight in the world, and the pressure is mounting on him, so he’s trying to build himself up mentally. Come May 2, I’m going to do Mayweather a favor and retire him.”

The 35-year-old Smith (25-6, 11 KOs) was last in the ring for September’s split decision loss to Carlos Molina, who earned the IBF belt Smith had won from Cornelius Bundrage by majority decision in February 2013.

“This is a dream come true…To be doing it in front of my hometown fans and family is a blessing. I’m truly honored. Lara was offered a chance to fight me back in 2012, and he turned it down to fight Freddy Hernandez instead,” said Smith.

“I will show him he was right in turning the fight down the first time. I’m ready to lay it all on the line to regain one of the super welterweight championships. Come May 2 I will turn his American Dream into an American Nightmare.”

The post Mickey Bey to fight on Erislandy Lara-Ishe Smith card on May 2 appeared first on Ring TV.

Source: The Ring

    

Promoter: Adonis Stevenson got ‘a better offer’ from Showtime than HBO

By Lem Satterfield

RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson got “a better offer” from Showtime than HBO, which opted not to renegotiate its deal with Stevenson, according to a statement released to RingTV.com by promoter Yvon Michel.

As a result of Tuesday’s development, Stevenson’s scheduled May 24 defense against Andrzej Fonfara will be on Showtime at Bell Centre in Montreal, in accordance with an earlier report by RingTV.com. The story was first reported by Yahoo!Sports.

“I have presented what I believed was an excellent multi-fight deal offer to Adonis from HBO with a deadline set for March 11th for approval. After discussions, we have decided to pass, and we got a better offer from Showtime. HBO had the right to match any offers, so we sent them a copy,” said Michel in a prepared statement.

“They had until today to match it, but have decided otherwise. This was a pure business decision for all parties involved, nothing personal or immoral. We wish to praise Mr. Stephen Espinoza of Showtime for his ambition to do business Adonis and GYM, which was reflected into the offer he has presented. We are thankful to him. We are looking forward for a fruitful association.”

Showtime already is the home of Golden Boy Promotions’ 175-pound counterparts Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov, who will put their respective IBF and WBA belts on the line against each other on April 19 on the network.

In February, Stevenson (23-1, 20 knockouts) signed with powerful advisor Al Haymon, most of whom’s fighters are promoted by Golden Boy and fight on the Showtime network.

Given that HBO has severed ties with Golden Boy, and Hopkins has expressed the desire to face Stevenson, that could well be in the cards should he beat Shumenov.

Hopkins declined to focus on Stevenson upon hearing the news from RingTV.com. Stevenson could not be reached for an immediate comment.

In February, Stevenson (23-1, 20 knockouts) signed with Al Haymon. Most of the powerful advisor’s fighters are promoted by Golden Boy and fight on the Showtime network.

Sergey Kovalev will defend his WBO 175-pound title against Cedric Agnew on HBO on Saturday. Kovalev’s promoter, Kathy Duva, of Main Events, said that her boxer has a mulit-fight deal with HBO.

Below is the full statement from Michel:

“First we want to thank HBO for the ride with Adonis in 2013. They gave him his first chance, and they have raised him to the star status. We only have great comments for all of HBO’s executives with whom we have worked very well and have established a great relationship.

“I have presented what I believed was an excellent multi-fight deal offer to Adonis from HBO with a deadline set for March 11th for approval. After discussions, we have decided to pass, and we got a better offer from Showtime. HBO had the right to match any offers, so we sent them a copy. They had until today to match it, but have decided otherwise.

“This was a pure business decision for all parties involved, nothing personal or immoral. We wish to praise Mr. Stephen Espinoza of Showtime for his ambition to do business Adonis and GYM, which was reflected into the offer he has presented. We are thankful to him. We are looking forward for a fruitful association.

“Adonis Stevenson was the Fighter of The Year for many websites and publications in 2013, and feels he is treated that way. His goals are to keep fighting and winning spectacular fights by knockout, to unify the light heavyweight titles, and to raise his recognition to the top five, pound-for-pound this year. The next step is May 24 at the Montreal Bell Centre against young No. 1 IBF and WBO and No. 3 WBC contender Andrzej Fonfara.”

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Source: The Ring

    

Iwasa retains OPBF 118lb belt

By Togorashi By Joe Koizumi Photos by Boxing Beat Only once beaten by current WBC bantam champ Shinsuke Yamanaka, WBC#1/WBO#4/IBF#10 Ryosuke Iwasa (17-1, 10 KOs), 117.75, kept his OPBF 118-pound belt by winning a majority but well-received decision (116-112, 116-113, 114-114) over …

Source: Fightnews.com

    

Amagasa, Otake keep OPBF, Japanese belts

By Togorashi By Joe Koizumi Photos by Boxing Beat Elongated Japanese, WBC#11/IBF#8/WBO#11 Hisashi Amagasa (26-4-2, 16 KOs), 125.75, retained his OPBF featherweight belt as he floored top contender Vinvin Rufino (34-16-3, 16 KOs), a southpaw Filipino, twice in the third round and …

Source: Fightnews.com