A few notes from the boxing world:

• Mexico's Sergio Thompson (29-3, 26 KOs) squares off with Adones Aguelo (21-9-2, 13 KOs) of the Philippines in a junior lightweight title eliminator on Saturday night (Fox Deportes, 10 ET) in Thompson's hometown of Chetumal, Mexico. The winner moves a step close to a mandatory shot against titleholder Takashi Miura of Japan. Thompson challenged Miura for his belt last August in Cancun, Mexico and got knocked down twice in a unanimous decision loss (in which he also floored Mirua). Thompson has won two fights in a row since, including on March 8 in Las Vegas, where he outpointed Ricardo Alvarez (Canelo Alvarez's brother) on the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo undercard.

• After bantamweight titlist Tomoki Kameda of Japan knocked out Pungluang Sor Singyu of Thailand with a seventh-round body shot July 12 on the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara undercard in Las Vegas, he was ordered to make his mandatory defense against mandatory challenger and interim titleholder Alejandro Hernandez (28-10-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico. The camps, apparently close to a deal, received on Thursday what the WBO says is a one-time extension for the purse bid, which is now scheduled for Aug. 8. It was originally scheduled for Aug. 4. Minimum bid is $100,000. Kameda (30-0, 19 KOs), who plans to fight in North America, has made two defenses, and recently signed with adviser Al Haymon.

• Cruiserweight titlist Krzystof Wlodarczyk (49-2-1, 35 KOs) of Poland is due to make his seventh title defense when he faces European champion Grigory Drozd (38-1, 27 KOs) of Russia on Sept. 27 in Moscow. According to Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, Wlodarczyk's co-promoter, the final details are being ironed out. He said the card will also include another cruiserweight title bout on the undercard as Denis Lebedev (25-2, 19 KOs) of Russia is due to defend against Pawel Kolodziej (33-0, 18 KOs) of Poland, who pulled out of a July 26 eliminator against Ola Afolabi to take the title fight.

Arroyo title shot date changed

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Puerto Rican flyweight contender McWilliams Arroyo's mandatory shot at world titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng will come even sooner than he expected.

The fight, originally scheduled for Sept. 14 at the Liptapanlop Hall in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, will instead take place on Sept. 10 at the same venue, Arroyo promoter Peter Rivera of PR Best Boxing Promotions said on Thursday.

Rivera said that Ruenroeng promoter Jimmy's Boxing said that the reason for the change was due a television network conflict between the fight and 2014 Asian Games programming.

Arroyo (15-1, 13 KOs), 28, a 2008 Olympian and 2009 world amateur champion, knocked out Froilan Saludar in the second round of a title elimination fight to become Ruenroeng's mandatory challenger on June 19. Ruenroeng (13-0, 5 KOs), 34, also a 2008 Olympian, will be making his second title defense.
Shawn Porter Rob Carr/Getty ImagesShawn Porter will defend his welterweight title on Aug. 16 against Kell Brook in Carson, California.
Unless a promoter is being paid a site fee for a fight -- typically by a casino -- the promoter usually will look to hold the card in a venue where he can sell the most tickets and, thus, maximize revenue.

That's why, for example, Miguel Cotto fights in New York's Madison Square Garden so often, why Top Rank took lightweight titlist Terence Crawford home to Omaha for his first defense last month and why Golden Boy loads up its cards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, with New York fighters.

So when Golden Boy announced that its excellent Aug. 16 Showtime tripleheader would be at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, I was a bit surprised.

Don't get me wrong -- StubHub Center is one of the best boxing venues in the country. There have been numerous great fights there in its relatively short history.

But the Aug. 16 card features welterweight titlist Shawn Porter (from Akron, Ohio) against Kell Brook (England), super middleweight titlist Sakio Bika (Australia) against Anthony Dirrell (Flint, Michigan) and lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa (Weslaco, Texas) against Daniel Estrada (Mexico).

They are all solid and worthy matchups, but not a single bout has any local tie to Southern California and none of the fighters is a remotely notable ticket seller in the region.

So I asked Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya why he put the show in a place that didn't seem to make much sense given the composition of the card. I was not surprised when De La Hoya made the case for the StubHub Center, which is an outdoor tennis arena that holds about 8,000 for boxing.

"The StubHub Center was a perfect fit for this type of card," De La Hoya said. "As you know, StubHub Center has the reputation of staging some of the best fights in recent years. We saw [Robert] Guerrero and [Yoshihiro] Kamegai, which was a tremendous, tremendous fight [on June 21]. When putting this event together, the StubHub Center was the first choice. The fact that you have no local fighters does not matter.

"I feel that the fans in Los Angeles who will be attending are just accustomed to watching some great fights no matter where they're from, and the fact that the fighters will be performing at the StubHub Center, there's a bit of added pressure for every single fighter because you must perform. It reminds me kind of like the 'Thunderdome' movie with Mel Gibson. I mean, you have to fight there, you have to. The atmosphere is great. The fans are expecting great fights and I believe this is what Kell Brook and Shawn Porter and every fighter on the card will give us -- a tremendous, tremendous fight."

Indeed, the StubHub Center has been home to some modern classics besides Guerrero-Kamegai. It has also hosted such great fights as Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez I and III (the 2008 fight of the year), Timothy Bradley Jr.-Ruslan Provodnikov (the 2013 fight of the year), Lucas Matthysse-John Molina (a strong 2014 fight of the year contender), Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado I, Erislandy Lara-Alfredo Angulo and Marcos Maidana-Josesito Lopez (on the same card in June 2013) and Paul Williams-Antonio Margarito.

Here's hoping at least one of the fights on Aug. 16 joins that list.
Jessie VargasChris Farina/Top RankUnbeaten Jessie Vargas defends his junior welterweight title against Anton Novikov on Saturday.
When Jessie Vargas won his junior welterweight belt in April, he did so by debatable decision against then-undefeated Russian southpaw Khabib Allakhverdiev, a technical boxer, who gave him fits.

Many thought that Allakhverdiev won the fight, but Vargas got the nod at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, his hometown.
For his first defense, nobody did Vargas (24-0, 9 KOs) any favors as he is stuck facing another undefeated Russian southpaw, "The Pick Hammer" Anton Novikov (29-0, 10 KOs), who is also a technical boxer.

They meet on Saturday night (HBO, 9:45 ET/PT) at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas in the opening bout of a split-site tripleheader.

"Styles make fights and this fight against Novikov is going to be a rough one," Vargas said. "He's an extremely well-conditioned, undefeated fighter, who is left-handed. My trainer, Ismael Salas, has given me a game plan to deal with Novikov and the direction he moves. I won the world title against a left-hander and here we are again."

Part of Vargas' confidence going into the fight is that he is again fighting at home and also because he has experience against lefties, including in his last fight.

"The big thing is that we are fighting in our hometown," Vargas, 25, said. "I am very excited about that. I am used to fighting against great fighters. As an amateur, I boxed for the Mexican national boxing team and took on the best American fighters. So I've been in the ring with big punchers and with left-handers.

"They now call me 'The Pride of Las Vegas.' It means a lot to me."

Novikov, 26, a pro since 2006, has fought several times in the United States and said he has no fear of fighting in Vargas' hometown.

"I am not worried about hometown scoring," Novikov said. "I plan to win every round."

In the main event, Brandon Rios (31-2-1, 23 KOs) faces Diego Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout while HBO will also televise light heavyweight titlist Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs) in a title defense against Blake Caparello (19-0-1, 6 KOs) from the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
WilliamsGoossen BoxingThomas Williams Jr. puts his unbeaten record on the line Friday against former titlist Gabriel Campillo.
Light heavyweight Thomas Williams Jr. is one win away from moving a step closer to a world title shot and former titleholder Gabriel Campillo is one win away from moving a step closer to getting another opportunity.

That's what at stake when Williams (17-0, 12 KOs), 26, of Washington, D.C., and Campillo (23-6-1, 9 KOs), 35, of Spain, meet in a title eliminator in the main event of this week's "Friday Night Fights" (ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, 9 ET).

A victory will move the winner into the No. 2 ranking for a shot at one of the belts held by Bernard Hopkins.

Williams, who scored knockouts of Cornelius White and Enrique Ornelas on "FNF" already this year, is the much younger man and the fighter on the rise while Campillo is just 2-3 in his last five fights and has looked like an old man, especially in knockout losses to Andrzej Fonfara and Sergey Kovalev during the stretch.

"I've seen Campillo fight in person," Williams said. "I fought on the undercard when he fought [light heavyweight titlist] Tavoris Cloud [in 2012]. I sat and watched because it was a championship fight in my weight class, and I just wanted to look at him."

Campillo lost a controversial split decision to Cloud, but Williams said he was not impressed.

"He didn't really impress me, he's definitely beatable," Williams said. "He's going to try to run around, but he won't run around for that long. If you negate everything and cut the ring off, he won't be able to move too much. I'm going to catch him. They can run, but they can't hide. I'm going to catch up with him and when I do, I'm going to put the work in."

Campillo and his team are aware this is a must-win fight if he wants to get back to a title shot at his age and given the recent slump.

"For Campillo, it's the last tango. He has got to do his best and win, or it could be his last time in boxing," adviser Sampson Lewkowicz said. "Campillo feels the same way and has said so, but he is confident that he can win this fight and then go on to win the world title."
When welterweight titlist Shawn Porter and mandatory challenger Kell Brook agreed to their fight they also agreed to undergo random drug testing -- blood and urine -- that would be overseen by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

However, neither fighter had been tested as of last week, raising questions about what was going on for a fight that is scheduled for Aug. 16 (Showtime) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.

Even Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya and Porter were a bit confused about what was up with the testing when they spoke to the media on a teleconference about the fight last week, and I asked about the drug testing protocol.

“Well, the drug testing was handled through [Golden Boy vice president] Eric Gomez and through [Porter adviser] Al Haymon,” De La Hoya said. “There is a drug testing in place, which the fighters should already have been taking, and going through the process.”

Porter, however, said he had not yet been tested and was expecting it.

“Well, boxing, you roll with the punches. ... I just know that we are supposed to be testing,” Porter said.

Gomez explained what happened in an email, saying the issue happened because the fight was originally scheduled for Sept. 6 but was moved up to Aug. 16. He also assured that there would be testing over the final few weeks before the fight.

“In order to use USADA, they need at least six weeks to get all the required documents and testing done,” Gomez said. “When the date changed to Aug. 16, there wasn’t enough time. We then, collectively [Golden Boy and Brook promoter Matchroom Boxing], agreed to have the California State Athletic Commission handle the testing. The UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory, through the [California] Department of Consumer Affairs, will handle the testing for us. They start testing this week.”

Gomez said the testing would include blood and urine, although he was unsure if it would follow the exact protocol that USADA uses.

Porter (24-0-1, 15 KOs), 26, of Akron, Ohio, will be making his second defense when he faces Brook (32-0, 22 KOs), 28, of England.
The ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” season ends on Aug. 22, but there will be more boxing on the network in the fall.

ESPN2 is in the process of finalizing plans to carry a Wednesday night boxing special on Oct. 1 (9 p.m. ET) from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. The card will be headlined by the middleweight title elimination bout between Curtis Stevens and Hassan N’Dam, a fight with great potential to be action-packed.

The winner of the fight will become the mandatory challenger for 160-pound titleholder Sam Soliman (44-11, 18 KOs) of Australia, who won a belt via unanimous decision against Felix Sturm on May 31 in Germany.

The Oct. 1 card will be the first televised card put on by promoter Michael King. The undercard is still being worked on.

King, who promotes former titleholder N’Dam, won the rights to Stevens-N’Dam at a purse bid earlier this month, outbidding Stevens promoter Main Events $80,000 to $62,000 in a bit of a surprise.

N’Dam (30-1, 18 KOs), 30, of France, has won three fights in a row since losing a decision in a world title fight to Peter Quillin in 2012.

Stevens (27-4, 20 KOs), 29, of Brooklyn, New York, has won two fights in a row by knockout since being stopped in the eighth round challenging titleholder Gennady Golovkin in November.

Notes: Crawford to defend title

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Caught up with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday and here a couple of interesting tidbits:

[+] EnlargeTerence Crawford vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa
Chris Farina/Top Rank Lightweight titleholder Terence Crawford's second title defense is set for Nov. 29 in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska.
• Lightweight titleholder Terence Crawford's second defense is penciled in for Nov. 29 (HBO) at the CenturyLink Center in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska, likely against top contender Raymundo Beltran (29-6-1, 17 KOs) of Mexico. That is the same arena where Crawford (24-0, 17 KOs) put on a dazzling performance in his first defense on June 28 by knocking out previously unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa.

"It's Thanksgiving weekend and we have the building on hold," Arum said. "HBO loves the fight."

Crawford won the title by unanimous decision from Scotland's Ricky Burns, beating him on his home turf on March 1.

In his previous fight, Burns was the recipient of a gift draw against Beltran, who also traveled to Scotland, dropped Burns, broke his jaw and pounded on him only to be robbed of the decision. Beltran is a very deserving challenger.

• Arum also said Chinese flyweight star Zou Shiming's fight on the Manny Pacquiao-Chris Algieri undercard on Nov. 22 (HBO PPV) in Macau, China, will be his first scheduled 12-round bout, perhaps a title eliminator. With a victory, Arum said they would pursue a title shot for Zou (5-0, 1 KO), the two-time Chinese Olympic gold medalist, in the fight after that against the winner of the Sept. 14 fight between Thai titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng (13-0, 5 KOs) and Puerto Rican mandatory challenger McWilliams Arroyo (15-1, 13 KOs).

Ruenroeng, a 2008 Olympian, who faced Zou multiple times in the amateurs, was ringside for Zou's fight in February in anticipation of a possible showdown.

The Pacquiao-Algieri televised undercard is also likely to include a bout involving welterweight contender Luis Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29 KOs) of Argentina.

• Arum said the media tour to promote the Pacquiao-Algieri fight will begin Aug. 25 in Macau with two stops in Asia -- Shanghai, China and Taipei, Taiwan -- before they come to the United States for stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco (big Filipino population) and New York, with a stop in Las Vegas also possible.
videoMoments after Gennady Golovkin drilled Daniel Geale in the third round on Saturday night at New York's Madison Square Garden to retain his middleweight belt for the 11th time, GGG called for a unification fight with Miguel Cotto.

"I am very happy and now I only want unification fights. I want Cotto," Golovkin said. "I want to fight Miguel Cotto and I want to fight him next. I want to prove to the world that without a doubt that I am the best middleweight in the world. That is very important to me."

On June 7, also at MSG, Cotto made boxing history, becoming the first Puerto Rican fighter to win a world title in four weight classes when he dominated and stopped Sergio Martinez in the 10th round to win the legitimate 160-pound championship, along with an alphabet belt.

Golovkin and Cotto are both slated to fight one more time this year but nobody should go holding their breath that it will be against each other, no matter how much Golovkin wants it.

"Certainly, it's up to Miguel who he wants to fight but I think the Canelo [Alvarez] fight is a much more attractive fight," Top Rank's Bob Arum, Cotto's promoter, told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "Even though I love Golovkin and [K2 Promotions managing director] Tom Loeffler -- and nobody can say that Golovkin isn't a great fighter -- it's risk-reward in boxing. We don't know about Golovkin's ability on pay-per-view."

More likely, Golovkin will fight in October or November. Cotto is penciled in to fight again in December at the Garden, and likely not against anyone nearly as tough as Golovkin so as not to jeopardize the possibility of the Alvarez fight next spring.

Gaby Penagaricano, Cotto's adviser, said he wasn't surprised to hear Golovkin call out Cotto and said the fight would be one of the various possibilities they'd consider.

"I saw it on Saturday. Not surprised," Penagaricano told ESPN.com. "Everyone wants to call out the big names, right? We have not begun to discuss options for the next fight. Probably I will be sitting down with Miguel in the coming days to start planning. It's a fight to consider. I am sure we will be discussing it soon among other options."

Golovkin's name is sure to come up, but I just don't happen to think it will be a serious consideration because why would Cotto, who is winding down his great career, gamble by fighting a beast like Golovkin and risk the much bigger payday that would go with a possible fight with Alvarez?

One piece of good news from Arum is that he said Cotto's fight in December probably won't be on pay-per-view, no doubt in part because the numbers for the June fight with Martinez were so disappointing.

"I don't think it will be," Arum said. "I think we have to start doing more live premium television shows, so I don't think this will be on pay-per-view. It would be on HBO. We are meeting with HBO this week in Las Vegas and we'll be talking about it.

"We have to realize that pay-per-view, no matter if it's boxing, MMA or wrestling, the numbers are way down. People aren't buying the pay-per-view like they used to buy. You can see it in Cotto-Martinez, in [Floyd] Mayweather's [relatively] dismal numbers and in [Manny] Pacquiao's less-than-glorious numbers for the [rematch with Timothy] Bradley fight in April."

GGG's viewership figures down

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Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin's wipeout of former titlist Daniel Geale on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York lasted less than three full rounds, which was probably one of the factors that hurt Golovkin's viewership figures for the first bout of his new deal with HBO.

According to Nielsen Media Research, Golovkin-Geale averaged 984,000 viewers for the live airing (with a peak at 1.048 million viewers). That ranks as the eighth-most-viewed fight of the year on American television. (HBO has televised the top nine.)

[+] EnlargeGennady Golovkin, Daniel Geale
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsDespite finishing Daniel Geale in exciting fashion on Saturday, Gennady Golovkin delivered a surprisingly low rating on HBO.
The average was a significant drop from Golovkin's last HBO fight in November, when he knocked out New York's Curtis Stevens in the eighth round of a fight that averaged 1.41 million viewers (by far the best of any of Golovkin's five HBO bouts) and had many labeling Golovkin as boxing's next big star.

Usually, as a fight goes deeper the audience grows, but with Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) scoring his 17th knockout in a row in short order, there was no opportunity.

HBO officials were disappointed with the figure but attribute the brevity of the fight as one of the key reasons for the decline, not to mention the fact that it took place in the dead of summer, which is always the lowest viewership time of year.

Other factors are also significant, including that HBO had not had any live, prime-time boxing in a month, meaning there were fewer opportunities to promote the event to its boxing audience. Also, despite Geale's credentials as a quality, top-5 middleweight, the Australian is an unknown in the United States. The fight with Golovkin was only his second American television appearance.

Here are the average viewership figures for all five of his Golovkin's HBO fights, in chronological order:

• Gregorz Proksa (Sept. 1, 2012): 685,000

• Gabriel Rosado (Jan. 19, 2013): 813,000

• Matthew Macklin (June 29, 2013): 1.1 million

• Stevens (Nov. 2, 2013): 1.41 million

• Geale (July 26, 2014): 984,000

Saturday's co-feature -- heavyweight Bryant Jennings' lackluster split-decision victory against Mike Perez in a title elimination contest -- averaged 714,000 viewers, peaking at 780,000.
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NEW YORK -- Middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin took care of business inside the ring when he knocked out Daniel Geale in the third round of a dominant performance to retain his title for the 11th time (and score his 17th consecutive stoppage) on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

The day before the fight, Golovkin took care of his business outside of the ring when he signed a multi-fight contract extension with HBO, K2 Promotions managing director Tom Loeffler told ESPN.com following the fight.

“We are looking forward to continuing our long-term relationship with HBO,” Loeffler said. “They've invested a lot in Gennady, and we feel they are the best television partner we could have to help take his career to the next level.”

The deal calls for a minimum of four fights, although the Geale bout was the first one under the contract. The agreement also has provisions for overseas fights and potential pay-per-view fights, meaning there could be far more than four bouts. The bottom line is that all of Golovkin’s fights, wherever they may take place, will be on HBO or HBO PPV for the foreseeable future.

The fight with Geale was supposed to be the final bout of Golovkin’s previous agreement with HBO, but the terms for Saturday’s fight were renegotiated, and the old deal was ripped up and replaced by the new deal.

Since making his HBO debut in September 2012, Golovkin’s star has steadily risen, as have his viewership figures, which are among the network’s best for boxing. Golovkin (30-0, 27 KOs) has fought five of his last seven fights on HBO, with his two overseas fights in Monaco not being on the network, which took some criticism for not showing his February fight with Osumanu Adama. That won’t happen again under this agreement.

HBO declined to comment on Golovkin’s contract, saying it won’t talk about its multi-fight agreements -- the same stance it took when it declined to discuss the exclusive deals it has recently made with Manny Pacquiao and Sergey Kovalev.

Golovkin is expected back in the ring for one more fight this year, likely in October or November.
Welterweight contender Kell Brook isn’t the only British fighter headed to the StubHub Center in Carson, California, to fight on Aug. 16.

Two of his Matchroom Boxing stablemates -- lightweight Luke Campbell and super middleweight Callum Smith -- will be joining him, promoter Eddie Hearn announced on Friday.

Brook, the mandatory challenger, will face world titleholder Shawn Porter in the main event of the Showtime card.

Campbell (6-0, 4 KOs), 26, a 2012 London Olympics gold medalist, and Smith (12-0, 9 KOs), 24, two of England’s best prospects, will both face opponents to be determined.

"I’m delighted to be able to get Luke and Callum their first taste of action in America as pros," Hearn said. "I believe both fighters will be a real hit with both fans and pundits across the pond, and I expect that they will both return there in the future in world-title fights.

"It's all part of the development of our great, young fighters. New experiences, new atmospheres, all part of making them the finished articles. It’s also a great bonus for Kell’s traveling fans to see two rising stars from Britain perform on such a massive stage."

Golden Boy is promoting the card, but undoubtedly part of the deal to avoid a purse bid was for Hearn to get some spots for his fighters on the undercard.

In addition to Porter-Brook, there are two other world-title bouts on the card. Omar Figueroa defends his lightweight belt against Daniel Estrada, and super middleweight titleholder Sakio Bika meets Anthony Dirrell in a rematch of their draw.

Broner awaiting opponent

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Adrian Broner, Carlos MolinaEthan Miller/Getty ImagesAdrien Broner, right, is still looking for an opponent for his Sept. 6 fight.

Former three-division titleholder Adrien Broner, who will headline a Sept. 6 Showtime card (probably in his hometown of Cincinnati), said he’s been training for about a month in Washington, D.C., while awaiting word on who his opponent will be for the junior welterweight bout.

“I’m chilling at camp but I still don’t got an opponent,” Broner told ESPN.com on Thursday night. “I really don’t care who I fight Sept. 6. Somebody got to come to Cincinnati to get their ass kicked.”

Broner (28-1, 22 KOs), who turns 25 on Monday, lost his welterweight belt to Marcos Maidana in December and then moved down to junior welterweight, where he returned on May 3 (on the Floyd Mayweather-Maidana undercard) and easily outpointed Carlos Molina in 10 rounds.

“By the end of the year, I should have a junior welterweight world title,” Broner said.

One name mentioned as a possible opponent for Broner is former lightweight titlist Paul Spadafora. Although Golden Boy said that fight is not in the works, Broner said if they met “Spadafora would get his ass knocked out.”

A more likely opponent is Emanuel Taylor (18-2, 12 KOs), who dropped and outpointed Karim Mayfield on ESPN2 on July 18.

“I heard it could be the guy that just beat Mayfield,” Broner said. “So if I fight him I can shoeshine his ass. What’s his name? I don’t know him. He’s probably a guy who got my autograph. Adrien Broner is willing to fight anyone who will fight him. I think I can make 135 [lightweight], but I don’t want to fight at 135 because they’ll say I’m just bullying the little guys.”

Broner said he is comfortable training to fight at the junior welterweight maximum of 140 pounds, and after Thursday’s session he weighed 145 pounds. He is on the same card as top junior welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse, who is fighting an opponent to be named.

Unfortunately, Broner and Matthysse are not facing each other. That’s a very appealing fight, and Broner said he would be up for it.

“This is what they should do -- they should give me and Lucas Matthysse a warm-up fight at 6 and 7 [p.m.] and then we could fight each other at 11,” he said. “But I don’t know who I am fighting and I don’t care. I just want to fight. I just want somebody to show up on Friday, Sept. 5, at the weigh-in.”
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In late June, when Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime announced their Aug. 9 card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, it was supposed to include three world title bouts -- all of dubious distinction -- but now it's down to two.

In the main event, junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) was slated to defend against Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs). But while the fight is still on, the title defense part has changed. Salka is a lightweight who wouldn’t rank in anyone’s top 75 much less warrant a shot at the legitimate 140-pound world title. This is an absolutely laughable matchup.

The co-feature isn’t much better, with Lamont Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs) defending his version of the junior welterweight title against unaccomplished 35-year-old Edgar Santana (29-4, 20 KOs), who has never faced a legit contender.

And the opener pits Daniel Jacobs (27-1, 24 KOs), a fine young fighter, against Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs) for a secondary middleweight belt in a fight that is the very definition of why there are too many titles.

Ideally, Garcia and Peterson would be squaring off in the main event, but for some reason they aren’t. Some bogus reasons have been used, such as they’re not ready or it didn’t work out. They’re both with adviser Al Haymon, who could have made the fight in two seconds if he wanted to. Supposedly, they will fight near the end of the year if they both win on Aug. 9.

Instead, Haymon will extract an extra payday from Showtime -- which certainly could have said no -- for two mismatches.

So be it. But at least Garcia-Salka is no longer for a world title. It’s still a mismatch, but a world title isn't on the line.

Now brace yourself, because I am about to agree with the WBC and the WBA, whose titles Garcia holds. That does not happen very often.

Garcia-Salka was recently changed from the 12-round world title fight it was announced as to a 10-round nontitle match at 142 pounds, two over the junior welterweight limit. The reason is because the organizations declined to sanction it, which obviously came as a surprise to Golden Boy and Showtime.

The organizations have sanctioned a lot of horrible mismatches in the past and have had numerous undeserving fighters populate their top 10s in each division, but at least they didn’t try to pass off Salka as a legitimate title contender (although the IBF is doing just that with Santana). Salka is probably a great guy, and by all accounts he is a dedicated and hard worker, but a title contender he is not.

So now I leave it my frenemy, WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, to explain.

"The WBC is not sanctioning the Garcia versus Salka fight,” he said in a statement given to ESPN.com. “Danny Garcia had the opportunity to do one voluntary defense before his mandatory and he opted to fight Salka, who is not eligible to fight for the title. It will not be a WBC title defense. If Garcia loses, the title will be declared vacant. If Garcia wins, he will make his mandatory defense after Salka."
Up-and-coming bantamweight Ivan Morales, younger brother of Mexican legend Erik Morales, had his fight against countryman Sergio Frias (15-3-2, 8 KOs) scheduled for Friday night’s “Golden Boy Live” co-feature (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes, 11 ET) canceled on Thursday.

Morales (25-0, 14 KOs) had a visa issue at the U.S. embassy in Tijuana and could not come to the United States for the card at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California, according to Golden Boy.

Welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (17-0, 13 KOs) still meets Vernon Paris (28-1, 16 KOs) in the 10-round main event. An eight-round middleweight fight between 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (10-0, 5 KOs) and Ronnie Warrior Jr. (15-8-1, 5 KOs) has been elevated to the new co-feature.

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