Different motivations for Ali, Abregu

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
Luis Carlos AbreguAP Photo/Alex MenendezLuis Carlos Abregu, right, is hoping to close in on a world title shot when he faces Sadam Ali.
Welterweights Sadam Ali and Luis Carlos Abregu are winding down their training camps as they finish preparations for their pivotal showdown on Nov. 8 (HBO) on the Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev undercard at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

A victory will put the winner into the mix for a big-time fight in boxing's deepest weight class. It's also a chance for Ali (20-0, 12), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, to notch his most significant victory, and for Abregu (36-1, 29 KOs) to score yet another strong victory after already having beaten Thomas Dulorme and Antonin Decarie in the past two years.

Ali, 26, of Brooklyn, New York, and Abregu, 30, of Argentina, are both highly motivated but for different reasons.

Ali said his motivation is being on HBO for the first time.

"I've been growing up watching HBO and watching the most famous guys shine and I've always envisioned myself in that position," Ali said. "I want to be in everybody's eyes and I want to be known as something special. That's very important to me."

Abregu, whose only loss was by decision to Timothy Bradley Jr. in 2010, is motivated strictly because he wants to fight for a world title and a win would move him closer to that goal.

"My motivation is to get this win, so that I will have a chance to fight for a world title," he said. "This dream was put on hold after I hurt my hand in my fight with Tim Bradley, but I'm ready to go now."

Neither man said he feels pressure by fighting in the co-feature of one of the year's most significant fights.

"I'm used to the pressure because I've always seen myself in this position so it's not really anything to get me nervous," Ali said. "I'm definitely ready and excited. To be on the Hopkins card is exciting. He's such a great speaker and he says things that just inspire you."

Said Abregu, "I feel no pressure at all. I have been the main event in many important boxing shows. To the contrary, I love to be part of important cards that people want to see."

Gamboa plots comeback in Mexico

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
When last in the ring, former featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa was getting dropped four times and violently knocked out in the ninth round challenging lightweight titleholder Terence Crawford in a fight of the year candidate in June.

[+] EnlargeYuriorkis Gamboa
Chris Farina/Top RankYuriorkis Gamboa looks to bounce back from his first defeat when he meets Joel Montes de Oca in Mexico.
That was Gamboa's first career defeat and now he is getting ready for a comeback in a fight not nearly as high profile as many of his bouts.

Gamboa, a Cuban defector and 2004 Olympic gold medalist, is headed to Cancun, Mexico, to fight on the undercard of a show promoted by Pepe Gomez, Gamboa adviser and attorney Tony Gonzalez told ESPN.com. Gamboa's promoter is rap star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, but he doesn't have any upcoming cards, so Gomez agreed to put Gamboa (23-1, 16 KOs) on his card.

Gamboa will face Mexico's Joel Montes de Oca (18-3, 10 KOs), who has won 14 fights in a row but against woeful opposition. Gamboa intends to move back down to 130 pounds, where he once held an interim title. But the fight with Montes de Oca is contracted at 132, Gonzalez said.

"It's strictly a tune-up fight to get back in the ring with the hopes of a bigger fight in 2015," Gonzalez said.

The card is supposed to be headlined by featherweight (and former unified junior bantamweight champion) Cristian Mijares (50-8-2, 25 KOs) of Mexico against Lester Medrano (14-2-1, 9 KOs) of Nicaragua.
The 27th annual WBO convention wrapped up on Thursday at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The most significant activity at any sanctioning body convention comes on rankings and mandatory day, which is when the floor is open for promoters to make their cases for their boxers to receive favorable rankings. The organizations also will typically go over each division's title status and make any necessary rulings.

Here's an update with a few notable items from the convention, division by division:

• Super middleweight: Although the WBO declined to order a mandatory rematch between titlist Arthur Abraham and Paul Smith in the wake of Abraham's controversial decision win on Sept. 27, it said the fighters likely will face off in an optional rematch in February. It's no secret that their promoters have been in talks.

• Middleweight: The Nov. 29 fight between Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. was sanctioned as the final eliminator to produce the mandatory challenger for the winner of the Dec. 13 vacant title bout between Matt Korobov and Andy Lee.

• Welterweight: Former welterweight titlist Shawn Porter, who held another organization's belt, and former junior welterweight titlist Mike Alvarado requested to rankings in the welterweight division, which are likely to be granted.

• Junior welterweight: In a surprise move, the WBO announced that titleholder Chris Algieri, who challenges welterweight titlist Manny Pacquiao on Nov. 22, will have his belt vacated with the commencement of the fight with Pacquiao -- rather than be able to pick a division to defend in should he win or have the ability to return to junior welterweight to defend if he loses.

• Junior lightweight: Titleholder Orlando Salido may go to Russia to defend against Andrey Klimov, but whomever he fights he expects to defend in February or March.

• Junior featherweight: The organization said it would sanction a bout for the vacant interim title. Full titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux had been ordered to face mandatory challenger Chris Avalos. Rigondeaux's team won a purse bid, but Avalos, also mandatory in the IBF, elected to go that route for a bigger fight with titlist Carl Frampton. So the WBO wants the winner of the interim title bout -- participants TBA -- to face Rigondeaux in a mandatory fight. It's pretty silly to sanction the interim title bout if that's the reason. The WBO should either go down its rankings until it finds somebody willing to accept the mandatory assignment against Rigondeaux or it should order the top contenders to fight and call it a title eliminator, not an interim title bout.

• Junior bantamweight: Titleholder Omar Narvaez will defend in December, but no date or opponent was specified.

• Junior flyweight: Titleholder Donnie Nietes will defend his belt against Carlos Velarde on Nov. 15 in the Philippines, but after that Nietes plans to go up to flyweight, which would leave the junior flyweight belt vacant.
The Goossen Promotions fight card on Dec. 11 on ESPN2 -- in honor of company founder Dan Goossen, who died at age 64 on Sept. 29 -- will include several name fighters.

I wrote about Austin Trout (27-2-0, 14 KOs) meeting Luis Grajeda (17-3-2, 13 KOs) in a junior middleweight main event the other day, along with the fact heavyweight contender Chris Arreola (35-4, 31 KOs), whose opponent is not set yet but could be Joe Hanks (21-2, 14 KOs), would also be on the card, as will be former light heavyweight champ Antonio Tarver in a heavyweight bout.

Tarver (30-6, 21 KOs) probably will face Johnathon Banks (29-2-1, 19 KOs), but the final details are still being ironed out, according to Goossen Promotions’ Tom Brown. Tarver and Banks were due to meet Sept. 29 but the fight was postponed after Tarver fractured his thumb training.

But on Friday more fighters -- all in the vast stable of manager Al Haymon but not signed to Goossen Promotions -- were announced for the card, which will take place at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California.

Colombia’s Oscar Escandon (23-1, 16 KOs) will face Haiti’s Tyson Cave (22-2, 6 KOs) for a vacant interim junior featherweight title.

Also appearing against opponents to be announced will be former junior middleweight titlist Sergio Mora (26-3-2, 9 KOs) in a middleweight bout; light heavyweight Edwin Rodriguez (25-1, 16 KOs), who is making a quick return from an Oct. 18 victory that came after a year off; former junior featherweight titlist Rico Ramos (23-4, 12 KOs); light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne (12-0, 9 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian; and light heavyweight prospect Ahmed Elbiali (7-0, 7 KOs).

ESPN2 will televise three hours' worth of fights from the card beginning at 10 p.m. ET. Some of the non-televised fights likely will stream live on ESPN3 before the telecast.

Bute, Pascal doubleheader on PPV

October, 31, 2014
Oct 31
With HBO and Showtime not interested in airing a Dec. 6 card featuring former super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute and former light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal in separate bouts from the Bell Centre in Montreal, where they are both stars, the card will air on pay-per-view in the United States.

[+] EnlargePascal/Bute
Eric Bolte/USA TODAY SportsJean Pascal and Lucian Bute will appear in separate bouts on a Dec. 6 card that will now be available in the U.S. on pay-per-view.
Inegrated Sports announced on Thursday that it has made a deal with Jean Bedard of InterBox, Bute's promoter, to distribute the card in the U.S. as a $24.95 pay-per-view beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The card is also on pay-per-view throughout Quebec, as all of Bute's fights are.

Bute (31-2, 24 KOs) will face Argentina's Roberto Bolonti (35-3, 24 KOs in the light heavyweight main event while Pascal (29-2-1, 17 KOs), who easily outpointed Bute in January in the Quebec's biggest-ever fight, will appear in the light heavyweight co-feature against Chicago's Donovan George (26-4-2, 22 KO), assuming George is licensed in the wake of a failed summer drug test.

Bute and Pascal are both fighting for the first time since they faced each other. Bute is the bigger draw in Quebec, which is why he is in the main event despite losing to Pascal.

"We're excited to bring this great card to American fight fans," Integrated Sports' Doug Jacobs said. "Bute and Pascal are still two of the top, most popular light heavyweights in the world. They both have incredibly passionate fan bases. There's nothing more exciting than broadcasting a major boxing event from Bell Centre in Montreal."

Macklin set for Heiland, eyes Cotto

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
MacklinJoe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsMatthew Macklin is hoping to secure a fourth shot at a middleweight world title.
Middleweight contender Matthew Macklin is going into his world title eliminator against Argentina's Jorge Sebastien Heiland knowing a win will lead him to an eventual fourth shot at a belt.

The winner of the Nov. 15 bout at The 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, will become the mandatory challenger for world champion Miguel Cotto, although Cotto won't have to face the winner immediately.

Cotto likely will first face Canelo Alvarez in May in a massive fight, with the winner of that bout obligated to next face titleholder Gennady Golovkin, who, by virtue of his acquisition of an interim belt to add to his full title, is next in line.

But Macklin (31-5, 20 KOs) is using the prospect of another title shot as motivation against Heiland (24-4-2, 12 KOs), whom he was initially supposed to face Aug. 30 at the National Stadium in Dublin before the fight was postponed after Macklin's trainer, Jamie Moore, suffered gunshot wounds during an incident in Marbella, Spain.

"Challenging Cotto in New York would be an incredible experience -- to face someone of his stature there. But that's a lot of wins to put together first," said Macklin, who has come up short in title shots against Felix Sturm (by highly controversial split decision), Sergio Martinez (TKO11) and Golovkin (KO3).

Since Macklin would have to wait for a mandatory shot at the belt Cotto currently holds, he would also be interested in challenging the winner of the Dec. 13 vacant title bout between Matt Korobov and Andy Lee. A Macklin-Lee fight has been talked about for years since they both have big Irish fan bases.

"I think Andy has got a good chance," Macklin said. "Styles make fights and Korobov is a technical counterpunching southpaw. He'll give Andy [also a southpaw] room and time and Andy performs better if he's allowed that. He's a class act. If he can win that then me and Andy fighting for the world title is massive. It's a huge fight anyway but a world title is that key element.

"I'll be rooting for him for selfish reasons but also because he's flying the flag for Irish boxing too and he's a good lad, so I hope he does the business for himself and also as it sets up a potential fight for us."
Former featherweight titlist Billy Dib (37-3, 21 KOs) of Australia returns to action Friday against Indonesia’s Ruben Manakane (14-11-1, 9 KOs) in Melbourne in a junior lightweight bout scheduled for 12 rounds.

Dib, 29, is seeking his second win a row since moving up in weight in the wake of getting stopped in the ninth round of a world title rematch with Evgeny Gradovich in Macau in November 2013. Gradovich won a split decision against Dib in March 2013 to take his featherweight belt.

“He's only 21 years of age, so I'm expecting him to come out fast and do all he can to seize the moment,” Dib said. “I never take any of my opposition lightly and I know that Manakane stands in the way of my journey to another world championship. One step at a time."
As an up-and-coming fighter, Randy Caballero of Coachella, California, fought 18 of his first 20 professional bouts in the home comforts of Southern California, with most of those fights coming at the Fantasy Springs resort in Indio, where he developed a healthy fan following.

But when it came to go get a world title, Caballero had to go on the road. So off he went to Japan in April and knocked out Kohei Oba in the eighth round to become a mandatory challenger for a 118-pound world title.

Last Saturday, Caballero got his title shot, but again had to go on the road to Monte Carlo to face England’s Stuart Hall, a former titleholder, for a vacant belt. It was a tough, hard-fought match but the 24-year-old Caballero (22-0, 13 KOs) won a unanimous decision in a solid performance.

So now that he had a title in hand, where do you suppose he will make his first defense? If you guessed back at home, you’d be right.

"Randy is so popular around his home of Coachella, and Fantasy Springs was the venue for so many of his fights as he climbed the championship ladder. Put those facts together and there's only one possible spot for his first title defense,” said Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya, whose company promotes Caballero.

“I've been saying for a long time that Randy is a true future star of boxing, and he continues to deliver on that promise. The fans at Fantasy Springs should buckle up for another fantastic fight in the near future.”

There is no date or opponent yet, but it figures to take place in early 2015.

Gearing up for a new season of 'FNF'

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
Petr PetrovESPNBoxcino lightweight tournament champ Petr Petrov is back on "Friday Night Fights."

The return of ESPN’s “Friday Night Fights” can’t come soon enough, right? Well, the network powers that be are in the process of planning the early part of the new season.

Although the bouts are not yet set, the first three cards have dates, sites and promoters.

The new season will open Jan. 9 at the Chumash resort in Santa Ynez, California, with a card promoted by Gary Shaw.

The second card will be Jan. 16 at the Turning Stone resort in Verona, New York, with a show promoted by Artie Pelullo’s Banner Promotions. The main event will feature the return of Petr Petrov (35-4-2, 17 KOs) in his first bout since winning ESPN's 2014 Boxcino lightweight tournament in May with an eighth-round knockout of Fernando Carcamo. Petrov likely will face Juan Carlos Burgos (30-2-2, 20), who has not fought since a lopsided decision loss challenging then-junior lightweight titleholder Mikey Garcia in January.

The third card will take place at the Foxwoods resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut, on Jan. 30. The promoter will be Main Events, whose exclusive deal with NBC Sports Net expires in December and was not renewed.

Lara-Smith title bout in works

October, 30, 2014
Oct 30
Erislandy LaraMark Ralston/AFP/Getty ImagesJunior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara will defend his belt against Ishe Smith on Dec. 12.

A few notes from around the boxing world:

• The fight has not been formally announced yet but junior middleweight titlist Erislandy Lara (19-2-2, 12 KOs) is supposed to defend his belt for the first time against former titlist Ishe Smith (26-6, 12 KOs) on Dec. 12 (Showtime) in a fight that was originally scheduled to take place on May 2. The likely site is San Antonio. Although Lara lost a decision in his last fight to Canelo Alvarez in July, he still holds a title because the fight was at 155 pounds, one over the division limit and, therefore, not a title bout. Smith lost his title in his first defense to Carlos Molina in September 2013 and, in his return, stopped journeyman Ryan Davis in the second round May 2. Smith was originally supposed to challenge Lara on that date, but when he dropped out of the fight in order to accept the big fight with Alvarez, Davis replaced him.

• Heavyweight Andy Ruiz (23-0, 17 KOs) is due to take on the severely faded former titlist Sergey Liakhovich on Dec. 20 (UniMas) in Phoenix, according to Top Rank. Ruiz scored a first-round knockout of low-level opponent Kenny Lemos last Saturday. While Ruiz, 25, won easily he was in poor condition, weighing a soft 272 pounds, 22 more than his previous fight in May. The 38-year-old Liakhovich (26-6, 16 KOs) has lost three of his past four by knockout, including two fights ago to Deontay Wilder, who drilled him so badly in the first round of their August 2013 fight Liakhovich was left literally twitching on the canvas when he hit the deck and was out cold. Liakhovich won his last fight, an eight-round decision against Chad Davis, whose record was 5-11 entering the fight.

• Golden Boy has announced opponents for junior featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. (12-0, 8 KOs), featherweight Julian Ramirez (12-0, 7 KOs), junior featherweight Diego De La Hoya (7-0, 5 KOs) and Chinese heavyweight Taishan Dong (1-0, 1 KO), all of whom are scheduled to fight on “Golden Boy Live” on Nov. 13 (10 p.m. ET, Fox Spots 1/Fox Deportes) at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will face Roberto Castaneda (21-7-1, 15 KOs). Ramirez, nephew of the late former junior lightweight champion Genaro Hernandez, will face Pedro Melo (11-5-2, 2 KOs). De La Hoya, Oscar De La Hoya’s first cousin, faces Ali Gonzalez (6-3, 1 KO). Dong faces Michael Lane (0-3).

• Zanfer Promotions canceled its card Saturday night in Tijuana, Mexico. The reason was because featherweight Manuel Garcia injured his right hand and was forced to drop out of the main event against former junior bantamweight titleholder Tomas Rojas (44-14-1, 29 KOs). The card was due to be televised in the United States on beIN Sports Espanol.
David Lemieux and Gabriel RosadoRich Kane/Hoganphotos/Golden Boy PromotionsDavid Lemieux, left, is looking for a convincing victory over Gabriel Rosado.

Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin and junior middleweight star Canelo Alvarez may one day face each other in what would be a huge pay-per-view fight. But until that happens -- if it happens -- HBO, which has both under contract, has a vested interest in helping develop opponents for them.

That’s where HBO’s Dec. 6 “Boxing After Dark” tripleheader (10 p.m. ET/PT) comes in. The card, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, could go a long way toward helping develop opponents for them. But even if it doesn’t, it’s a quality show -- and if you’re a fan, it's a stunning bargain. At the kickoff news conference at the Barclays Center on Wednesday, Golden Boy announced that tickets start at $15.

The main event features Montreal middleweight David Lemieux, a big banger making his American debut, against entertaining gatekeeper Gabriel Rosado, who usually tests every opponent. Lemieux’s job is to beat Rosado convincingly. Fighters who defeat him probably can take the next step. Fighters who can’t, well, they’re probably not going far.

The 25-year-old Lemieux (32-2, 30 KOs) wants in on the big-fight sweepstakes, which means an eventual fight with GGG or Alvarez, who, sooner than later, will be a middleweight. Beating Rosado is a good way for Lemieux to start making his case.

"I'm really looking forward to this fight," Lemieux said. “My training camp has already started and I am in great shape. I want to take this opportunity to prove that I represent a real threat to the middleweight division. Gabriel Rosado is a tough fighter and he has fought a lot of talented boxers and has established his credibility. This will be a good test for me and I'm working really hard to deliver an amazing performance."

Said Camille Estephan, Lemieux’s manager, “I'm extremely happy for David to get this opportunity on the big stage in the U.S. against a very well respected Gabriel Rosado. We are not looking past this fight. Nonetheless, we believe David is capable of competing with the cream of the crop in his division."

Rosado (21-8, 13 KOs), 28, had his shot against Golovkin, who sliced and diced him en route to a bloody seventh-round TKO in January 2013. That loss started a poor run for Rosado, who is in an 0-3 (with a no contest) rut, including another cut-induced TKO loss to Peter Quillin in a title bout. Rosado won a non-official boxing match by sixth-round knockout of Bryan Vera in the Big Knockout Boxing event in August when they fought in a “pit.”

Rosado is happy to be getting another opportunity on HBO, where he faced Golovkin.

"A fight like me against David Lemieux is what HBO is all about, and the type of fight the boxing world craves," Rosado said. "I'm both excited and motivated to fight again on the East Coast. I'm from Philly and I know my fans will be in Brooklyn to represent [Philadelphia] alongside my New York fans. Records can be deceiving and I believe David Lemieux will learn that first hand, and I'm hungry to get back in the mix with the best in the middleweight division."

The junior middleweight co-feature pits Hugo Centeno Jr. (21-0, 11 KOs), 23, of Oxnard, California, and James De La Rosa (23-2, 13 KOs), 26, of San Benito, Texas, in a 10-rounder. Perhaps one will emerge as a fighter to watch at 154.

"I'm really excited about this great opportunity,” Centeno said. “I will take complete advantage of it and showcase my talent.”

De La Rosa scored his biggest win Sept. 13, a 10-round decision against Alfredo Angulo on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana II undercard.

"Here I am again on the big stage, this time against Hugo Centeno Jr. on HBO," De La Rosa said. “I'm dedicating this fight to my mentor Emanuel Augustus, who I'd been sparring against since I was 14 years old. People know he came to put on a show and I'm coming to do the same Dec. 6 in Brooklyn."

Augustus is hospitalized in critical condition after recently being shot in the head in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"The winners of these two fights will find themselves positioned for huge match-ups in their next bouts, while the losers will experience a major setback," said Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya, whose company is putting on the card and promoting the top two bouts.

The third fight is an even match between junior welterweights Thomas Dulorme (21-1, 14 KOs), 24, and 30-year-old Hank Lundy (25-3-1, 12 KOs). While not an official eliminator the winner very likely could propel himself into a world title opportunity.

“This is a great opportunity for me to showcase my talent against a very good opponent,” Dulorme said. “I know a victory against Lundy will open up many doors for my career. I'm coming to win and win convincingly for my fans back home in Puerto Rico.”

Said Lundy, “This is what we've been waiting for, to fight on a big stage -- HBO. This is a great opportunity to show the world Hammerin' Hank is the best-kept secret in the 140-pound weight class. On Dec. 6, I'm coming to New York to put on a hell of a show. As a Philadelphia kid, everyone knows that I've fought hard. Nothing comes easy. The fans know I'm going to bring it.”

Gonzalez, Estrada on collision course

October, 29, 2014
Oct 29
Roman GonzalezAP Photo/Toru TakahashiRoman Gonzalez could face Juan Francisco Estrada for flyweight supremacy in 2015.

For those who have not been paying attention, this is a great time to be a fan of the flyweight division. Sure, it doesn’t get much love from the major boxing TV networks in the United States, but that doesn’t change the fact that there have been some excellent fights recently, with another likely to happen in the early part of 2015.

That would be a rematch between lineal champion Roman Gonzalez, also owner of an alphabet belt, and unified titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada.

Gonzalez (40-0, 34 KOs), who has also held titles at strawweight and junior flyweight, made his final junior flyweight defense against Estrada in November 2012. It was a tremendous battle, one Gonzalez won by unanimous decision at the Sports Arena in Los Angeles before vacating the title and moving up in weight.

On Sept. 5, Nicaragua’s Gonzalez, the best fighter in the world most people are not very familiar with, finally got a shot at the flyweight title, going to Tokyo and knocking out Akira Yaegashi in the ninth round to win the world championship.

After Estrada (30-2, 22 KOs) lost to Gonzalez, he moved up to flyweight and in his next fight outpointed Brian Viloria in another excellent fight to claim two belts. He has made three defenses, including an impressive 11th-round knockout of big puncher and former junior flyweight champion Giovani Segura on Sept. 6.

A rematch between Gonzalez and Estrada seemed like a natural and that is what we just might get as both sides are interested in the sequel. To make it even better, HBO, which has generally ignored fights south of the junior featherweight division, is interested in the rematch. That’s a great thing because Gonzalez and Estrada deserve the exposure and fans deserve a can’t-miss fight that should feature plenty of action and a high degree of skill.

But there is still work to be done before the expected rematch comes together. Both fighters have to get through interim defenses.

Gonzalez, 27, is returning to Japan to make his first defense, which will be against the Philippines’ Rocky Fuentes (35-7-2, 20 KOs) on Nov. 22 in Kanagawa.

“I'm in optimum shape. My physical condition is top-notch to face Rocky Fuentes, who's a hard and dedicated rival,” Gonzalez said. “Rocky knows how to throw combinations and he is able to vary his punches. I hope all goes well, as it has in all my fights so far.”

Estrada, 24, had his fourth title defense announced this week: Dec. 6 in his hometown of Hermosillo, Mexico, against the Philippines’ Joebert Alvarez (14-0-1, 6 KOs). That bout likely will air in the U.S. on beIN Sports Espanol.

Ideally, Gonzalez and Estrada will come through their upcoming bouts unscathed and they will meet in a rematch that hopefully will give both men -- and their fun-filled division -- the attention they deserve.
These Manny Pacquiao fights in Macau are not just a one-shot, or even a two-shot, deal. As long as Pacquiao remains a top draw, expect the Filipino legend and boxing’s only eight-division world titleholder to fight in the Chinese gambling capital annually for the foreseeable future.

That is what Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said recently on the subject as Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) prepares for his second fight at the Cotai Arena at the Venetian Macao, where he will defend his welterweight title against junior welterweight titlist Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) on Nov. 22 (HBO PPV).

Last November, Pacquiao fought there for the first time, easily outpointing Brandon Rios in a nontitle bout. Pacquiao returned to Las Vegas for a rematch with Timothy Bradley Jr. in April, won a clear decision and reclaimed his welterweight belt.

Now it’s off to Macau again to defend the title, even though the pay-per-view numbers for the last overseas fight were off considerably (only 475,000), prompting HBO to say it did not want to go to Macau for another Pacquiao pay-per-view.

But Arum had the final say: If HBO wants to be in business with Pacquiao, which it does, then Macau is where the cameras will be.

“Who are they to say anything when it is my money,” said Arum, who is the one taking the risk on the event. “It’s Manny’s career, and we are fighting in probably the best location in the world, which is in Macau in the Cotai Arena, which is a tremendous place to watch a fight live.”

Arum, who has done several cards in Macau over the past couple of years in partnership with the Venetian, said the money generated in Asia more than makes up for selling fewer pay-per-views in the United States. He said Venetian officials want Pacquiao to fight there regularly and have made it worth their while.

“They said to me they wanted Manny to fight there once a year,” Arum said. “So, obviously, if Manny fights twice a year, he fights there in the fall and in the spring he fights either in the United States or some other place.”

Aguilar re-elected as NSAC chairman

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Nevada State Athletic Commission chairman Francisco Aguilar was unanimously elected to a second one-year term at the panel’s monthly meeting Monday in Las Vegas. That is a significant change from the norm as the chairman usually serves just one year before another member of the five-person commission is selected. However, Aguilar was given another year because the commission believes he has done a superb job during his term and because a lot of projects he would typically have spent time on, including the budget, took a backseat.

The reason for that was because Aguilar was much more involved with the commission on a day-to-day basis than commissioners usually are because he handled many of the duties of the executive director while overseeing the search for a new one in the wake of Keith Kizer’s resignation. The commission eventually hired Bob Bennett. Aguilar’s term will expire in October 2015.

• Although promoters Don King and Golden Boy have not made an announcement and the fight still has no date, site or official television deal, the WBC announced that an agreement has been reached for the bout between heavyweight titleholder Bermane Stiverne and mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder, and that the purse bid process has been called off.

• Hiawatha Knight, the former president of the IBF, died last week. A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday in Detroit. “We were deeply saddened when we learned of the passing of our former president Hiawatha Knight last week,” the IBF said in a statement. “Hiawatha was part of the fabric of the IBF/USBA. She was a founding member of the organization and held a position on the board of directors until recently. Hiawatha became a leader in the sport when it wasn’t common to see a woman in such a position. She was one of the pioneers creating a path for many more women to come. Her passion and enthusiasm for boxing, and her dedication to this organization will always be remembered.

"Over the past few days we have received many condolence messages which we deeply appreciate. So many remember her with such fondness, but the common thread in all these messages is, ‘Hiawatha was a class act.’ While our hearts are heavy with this loss, we join the Knight family in honoring and celebrating Hiawatha’s life.”

• In January, 2012 Olympic bronze-medal winner Yamaguchi Falcao (brother of silver medalist Esquiva Falcao) turned pro in his hometown of Sao Paulo and fought to a third-round no-contest with Martin Fidel Rios because both were disqualified for excessive fouls in an extremely dirty fight. Golden Boy, Falcao’s promoter, announced on Monday that Falcao (2-0, 1 KOs) and Rios (13-2-2, 7 KOs) will meet in an eight-round middleweight rematch, also in Sao Paulo, on Nov. 15.

• Mike Tyson’s Iron Mike Productions announced that it will stage a Nov. 21 card at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with 2008 Olympic gold medalist Felix Diaz (15-0, 8 KOs) of the Dominican Republic headlining a welterweight 10-rounder against Adrian Granados (13-2-2, 9 KOs). The co-feature pits featherweight Claudio Marrero (16-1, 12 KOs) and Juan Antonio Rodriguez (26-5, 23 KOs).

Coyle-Campbell showdown on track

October, 27, 2014
Oct 27
British lightweights Tommy Coyle and Luke Campbell both did what they were supposed to do on Saturday night: knock out solid opponents in entertaining fights and stay on course for a summer showdown.

Coyle and Campbell, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, are good friends and are both from Hull, England, and their fight with each other is much anticipated.

"We both have the utmost respect for one another but through the city of Hull we are both loved and supported and the fight is being talked about a lot here," Campbell said after Saturday's victory. "Our job is to entertain the fans and for the business and entertainment side of things, we can put our friendship on hold for 30-odd minutes."

In Saturday's main event, Coyle (20-2, 9 KOs) scored a spectacular one-punch second-round knockout of Michael Katsidis (30-7, 24 KOs), sending him into la la land with a left hook.

"Pressure fighters can't go backwards," Coyle said of Katsidis. "[Trainer] Jamie [Moore] is the best pressure [fighter] there was and he told me if you offset his balance and get him going backwards, you will have success. We worked on that left hook in the dressing room before the fight and it has come off.

"I can't change my makeup and I was always going to have a war, but I was going to be smart about it. I know I am not the greatest fighter in the world but I am always going to deliver value for money, I am going to put bums on seats and put everything on the line every time. I was so scared and nervous about losing, I'd visualized being in the worst pain ever as I had put him on a pedestal for 12 weeks. The night was perfect and with Luke winning, it sets the fight up in the summer of next year."

In the co-feature, Campbell (9-0, 7 KOs) drilled Daniel Brizuela (26-4-2, 8 KOs) in the fifth round of a strong outing against his toughest pro opponent.

"It's a great win for me," said Campbell. "He had a very elusive and awkward style and I hit him with some cracking shots in the first round and he just nodded to say, 'OK, let's have some more.' He's a tough, tough customer so I had to nullify that and to get him out of there in five, I'm very happy."

Coyle and Campbell are both likely to have at least one more fight before a fight between them would materialize.