Promoter Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing is working on a pair of quadrupleheaders -- Oct. 4 and Nov. 1 -- that will air on Showtime.

Although the cards are not finalized, some of the fights are. Margules told ESPN.com that the Oct. 4 card at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut, will be headlined by junior lightweight titlist Rances Barthelemy (20-0, 12 KOs), a Miami-based Cuban defector, in his first defense against Argentina’s Fernando Saucedo (52-5-3, 8 KOs). The fight was made three weeks ago.

Also on the card will be a junior middleweight bout between contenders Vanes Martirosyan (34-1-1, 21 KOs), whose lone loss was a decision to Demetrius Andrade for a vacant world title in November, and Willie Nelson (23-1-1, 13 KOs), who has won seven fights in a row.

A third bout will feature former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson (32-3, 18 KOs), who scored a first-round knockout of journeyman George Blades on June 21 in Dawson’s first fight since losing the title by first-round knockout to Adonis Stevenson in June 2013. Dawson-Blades was contracted at 179 pounds, but an out-of-shape Dawson weighed in at 182¾ but promised to be better conditioned for his next bout.

The fourth fight on Oct. 4 has not yet been determined.

The Nov. 1 card, which will take place at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, will be headlined by light heavyweight contender Andrzej Fonfara (25-3, 15 KOs), a popular Polish fighter who lives in Chicago and is one of adviser Al Haymon’s newest signees. Fonfara, whose opponent is not set, gave champion Adonis Stevenson a very tough fight on May 24 but lost a decision in a grueling fight in which Fonfara survived two knockdowns in the first half of the fight to mount a huge rally and drop Stevenson in the ninth.

Also on the Nov. 1 card, bantamweight titlist Tomoki Kameda (30-0, 19 KOs) of Japan will make his mandatory against Alejandro Hernandez (28-10-2, 15 KOs) of Mexico. Margules does not promote either boxer, but won an Aug. 8 purse bid for the right to promote the bout.

The two other fights will feature welterweight Roberto Garcia (36-3, 23 KOs) and middleweight Caleb Truax (24-1-2, 14 KOs) in separate bouts against opponents to be determined, according to Margules, who has both dates thanks to his close relationship with Haymon, with whom he has been working closely of late.

Barthelemy, Martirosyan, Dawson, Fonfara, Kameda, Garcia and Truax are all with Haymon, who has been on a signing binge this year and whose stable is now around 115 fighters, which is around the same number as promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy have combined.
Peter Quillin, Fernando GuerreroJoe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsPeter Quillin has until Thursday afternoon to sign his contract to face Matt Korobov on Nov. 1.
On Monday, I wrote a blog post detailing what was going on with regard to the delay in getting the mandatory fight between middleweight titleholder “Kid Chocolate” Peter Quillin and Matt Korobov signed.

Roc Nation Sports, the new boxing promotional company owned by music mogul Jay Z, won promotional rights to the fight at a purse bid last month for $1,904,840, a dramatic overbid that easily beat Quillin promoter Golden Boy Promotions ($1,207,000) and Korobov promoter Top Rank ($515,000). Both fighters are guaranteed the biggest purses of their careers by far.

Korobov signed last week with no issues, but the Quillin side not only has not signed but had not even been in touch with Roc Nation Sports about any potential changes to the agreement. Instead, Golden Boy, on behalf of Quillin, requested that the WBO extend the signing deadline from Aug. 28 to 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, which was granted.

There is speculation from Roc Nation Sports that the Quillin camp -- namely adviser Al Haymon -- is not interested in consummating the deal. Now the Quillin side has asked for a second extension.

Golden Boy attorney Arnold Joseph wrote to the WBO (with Top Rank and Roc Nation Sports copied): “I acknowledge and thank you and your committee for the extension, which you previously granted Mr. Quillin for the execution of the bout agreement. Mr. Quillin has had to continue to address certain personal matters over the past few days and has therefore not had an opportunity to fully focus his attention on the agreement. Please accept this letter as Mr. Quillin’s final request for an extension of time until the close of business Pacific Coast Time on Thursday September 4, 2014, for the execution of his bout agreement.”

Quillin’s wife gave birth to their first child, a boy, last week. That is the personal matter Joseph is referring to, although spending an hour or two going over a contract with an attorney for a career-high payday does not seem unreasonable several days after a healthy birth.

Roc Nation Sports and Top Rank both objected to Quillin’s request for a second delay. But the WBO gave Quillin an extension on Tuesday.

Luis Batista-Salas, an attorney and the WBO championship committee chairman, responded to Joseph, Top Rank and Roc Nation, writing that the extension had been granted -- until 4 p.m. ET Thursday.

“No further extension requests will be considered nor granted,” Batista-Salas wrote.

If Quillin signs, the fight is scheduled for Nov. 1 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Quillin’s hometown, with television plans to be determined.
If you are regular reader of my blog or weekly chat, you obviously know that I am not a fan of boxing’s sanctioning organizations as they are currently run.

However, every now and then we can agree on something, and this is one of those times as the organizations are embracing a wider use of video replay. So look out the window because pigs might be flying!

Three of the alphabet organizations (WBC, IBF, WBA) have had recent meetings, and one of the outcomes was an agreement to use replay for title bouts. Of course, the local commissions regulating any fight have the final say on the rules governing a fight, but they will often take the rules of a sanctioning body into account.

The organizations will have their own rules for implementing replay, which is already used in some jurisdictions, including Nevada, although not very often and only in very specific instances.

The WBC, however, recently issued its instant replay guidelines, which I found interesting and potentially a very good thing if administered properly. It could save some terrible calls, such as correctly identifying the specific cause of a cut or determining whether a punch was delivered after the bell.

Here are the WBC’s guidelines:

• In conjunction with the local commission, the WBC will appoint a panel in charge of instant replay. The panel will consist of the WBC supervisor, the local commission supervisor and the specifically appointed monitor supervisor.

• The promoter, with the support of the television network, will provide a monitor to be placed at the head table of the commission with headphones for audio commentary to receive the live feed.

• Instant replay is limited to review (a) whether a cut or other injury to the face is the result of a punch or otherwise; or (b) whether a punch is thrown after the bell signaling the end of a round and (c) in any major situation that can change the outcome of the bout and where the replay clearly shows the actions are contradictory to the live ruling of the referee.

• The referee may call "time out" during the bout and consult with the instant replay panel, if in doubt, as to any scenario. However, it is recommended that all reviews are done during the resting minute period.

• The instant replay panel will review any controversial instance that may have occurred in any round. A determination of the referee may be overruled solely if the instant replay monitor clearly and conclusively reveals, according to each member of the panel, that the ruling of the action by the referee was mistaken in his original determination.

• The referee may request to verify the action by watching the TV monitor or may choose to accept the panel's recommendation, which is the final decision and the ruling that will be enforced.

• Both corners and the audience will be notified of the final decision.

Quillin-Korobov in trouble?

September, 1, 2014
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Quillin-RosadoJoe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsPeter Quillin would earn a career-high purse for his mandatory title defense against Matt Korobov.
Middleweight contender Matt Korobov has signed for his mandatory shot against titlist "Kid Chocolate" Peter Quillin, doing so last week after promoter Top Rank received the contract from Roc Nation Sports, the sports agency founded by music mogul Jay Z that is now licensed as a boxing promoter.

But Quillin's side? Pretty much radio silence, according to Roc Nation Sports, which shocked everyone by winning a purse bid for the fight for a whopping $1,904,840 to handily defeat two other bids by Quillin promoter Golden Boy Promotions ($1,207,000) and Korobov promoter Top Rank ($515,000).

The Korobov side couldn't wait to sign. It received the contract from Roc Nation Sports, asked for a minor adjustment and returned the signed contract with no issues, according to both Roc Nation Sports and Top Rank vice president Carl Moretti.

The Quillin side, however, has been almost silent, which is perplexing when you consider the money on the table from Roc Nation Sports' clear overbid.

Roc Nation Sports is looking to make a splash in boxing, and it certainly has everyone's attention now.

It plans to put the fight on Nov. 1 in Quillin's hometown at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, as long as he signs for the fight. Roc Nation Sports originally intended to put the fight on Nov. 8, but moved off the date so as not to conflict with the HBO telecast of the Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight unification bout that night in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

There is no television deal yet for Quillin-Korobov, but the date and site are locked in after Barclays Center agreed to move a concert off Nov. 1 to accommodate the fight for Jay Z.

"Top Rank requested a change which we made and are very excited about the fight," Michael Yormark, president and chief of branding and strategy for parent company Roc Nation, told ESPN.com.

The Quillin side, however, was not nearly as excited as Top Rank/Korobov, even though Quillin stands to make by far his biggest purse -- more than $1.4 million, which is more than three times his biggest payday.

According to Yormark, Golden Boy asked for an extension to sign the contract, which the WBO granted. Instead of being due back by Aug. 28, the deadline was extended to Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

"With the exception of asking for an extension they have been very quiet, which is unusual with this kind of purse on the table," Yormark said. "We don't understand why they haven't rushed to sign this contact or ask for changes to move this fight forward. We're not sure. We're puzzled. We're very curious. With Top Rank, there was 100 percent cooperation. With Golden Boy, there seems to be indifference."

Yormark's speculation is that perhaps Al Haymon, Quillin's adviser, is not so eager to finalize the deal, that perhaps he has other plans.

Even still, what other fight out there in the coming months could Haymon get Quillin that would pay him anything close to what the Korobov fight will? There isn't one. And for any other fight Quillin would also have to give up his title.

"I have to tell you that it feels that way," Yormark said of his belief that Haymon is trying to block the fight. "We are concerned but at the same time very puzzled.

"For us this is about the fighters, like it is with our other clients [in other sports and entertainment]. We want to make sure the fighters get paid. They deserve to get paid. These guys deserve to get paid the amount of money we [bid]. Both of them deserve it. They earned those dollars and we're anxious to move forward for them and put this fight on."

If Quillin doesn't sign by the deadline, he could be stripped of his title and would lose out on the payday.

Golden Boy vice president Eric Gomez told ESPN.com it requested the delay in the contract deadline because Quillin's wife gave birth to their first child (a boy) last week and wanted him to enjoy some family time.

"His baby was just born so we asked for a little more time so he can be with his family and then review [the contract] with his attorney. He's not rushing to meet with his attorney a few days after the baby was born," Gomez said. "There are also concerns from Al about the TV because Peter is a Showtime fighter and he's trying to figure out the TV. It is a concern if you are a manager who has a fighter who fights regularly on Showtime and all of a sudden you are on a different network. There's something out there known as an image. There is some concern there. But the money is great.

"Out of respect to Peter and his wife he wanted a little bit more time [to sign] and the WBO granted it."

Three thoughts:

1. With that much money at stake, you'd think Quillin would sign the paperwork as soon as humanly possible, as long as it was a good contract, especially with a new member of the family to support.

2. Quillin is not contractually signed to Showtime or any other network. None of Haymon's clients are with the exception of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Amir Khan, both of whom have Showtime deals.

3. Roc Nation Sports said it would be happy to make a TV deal for the bout with Showtime -- or any other network interested.

As of Monday evening, there still had been no additional communication between Golden Boy and Roc Nation Sports on the deal. It'll be interesting to see what happens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.

Pascal continues to chase Stevenson

August, 31, 2014
Aug 31
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Jean Pascal AP Photo/The Canadian Press/Ryan RemiorzJean Pascal is a big draw in Quebec where he has fought his last 10 bouts.

Light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson has blown fights with Sergey Kovalev and Bernard Hopkins for the fall, so they are unifying their belts with each other on Nov. 8.

The next best choice for Stevenson is an all-Montreal showdown with former champion Jean Pascal, who has one of the biggest names in the division and a quality resume that includes a win over Chad Dawson (long before Stevenson knocked him out to win the title), Lucian Bute, Adrian Diaconu (twice), a draw and competitive loss to Hopkins and a competitive loss to Carl Froch at super middleweight.

Stevenson-Pascal was in talks, too, but quickly went nowhere because of a disagreement over the revenue split for a fight that Showtime is interested in.

Stevenson’s side has thrown around a 70-30 split in favor of the champ while Pascal -- who is the mandatory challenger -- is seeking a 50-50 deal.

The 50-50 deal is what is fair considering that Pascal is a much greater draw in Montreal than Stevenson. Bottom line, while Stevenson brings the title to the table, Pascal brings a bigger name and more financial muscle.

Pascal’s camp is putting on the hard press in an attempt to lure Stevenson back to the table for a more equitable split of the money.

Greg Leon, CEO of Jean Pascal Promotions, laid out the argument, which makes a lot of sense. Included in his case:

• Pascal has taken part in three of the five highest grossing fights (including No. 1, with Bute), in the history of Canadian boxing. Stevenson was not involved in the other two.

• In those three fights, Hopkins I and II and the Bute fight in January, Pascal generated more gate revenue than Stevenson has in his entire career.

• The biggest money fight available to both Stevenson and Pascal is to fight each other. There isn't another fight for Stevenson that gives him the chance to become a 10,000-plus ticket seller in Quebec, not to mention that Stevenson would reap a career-high payday and be favored against Pascal.

• Leon claims that Pascal is willing to allow Stevenson promoter Yvon Michel, who used to promote Pascal, to become involved with Pascal in another multi-fight deal as part of making a Stevenson fight.

[+] EnlargeAdonis Stevenson, Tavoris Cloud
AP Photo/The Canadian Press/Ryan RemiorzIn 2014, Adonis Stevenson, right, left on the table fights with light heavyweight titlists Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev.
“Now it's up to Stevenson to grow a pair and accept a major challenge or blatantly duck his third big fight in the last year or so,” Leon said. “A champion who ducks three big fights in favor of bouts against second tier opponents is a champion nobody respects and is easily forgotten, especially at 36 years old.

“Our willingness to give the old man a rematch clause is above and beyond our requirements as WBC mandatory challenger. At 36 years old Adonis Stevenson can assure himself at least two big paydays before he turns 40. At the end of the day, boxing is a business and Team Stevenson isn't using their best business sense. They have already lost millions of dollars with the Kovalev and Hopkins bouts and have the potential to lose millions more by choosing another second tier opponent over Jean Pascal. Considering all of the facts, how does 50-50 not make sense to Team Stevenson? If Jean Pascal is as difficult to deal with as Yvon Michel would have the world believe, then clearly it is impossible to deal with Adonis Stevenson.

“If Superman continues to run and hide behind his manager (Al Haymon) and promoter, Jean Pascal's new nickname will be ‘Kryptonite.’ And everybody knows what would happen to Superman if he were in a boxing ring with ‘Kryptonite. ‘

So instead of facing Kovalev, Hopkins or Pascal, the names being thrown around to face Stevenson later this year include the unimpressive likes of Umberto Savigne and Gabriel Campillo.

Hopefully Stevenson, Michel and Haymon will spare us that dreck. And the excuses.

Andre Berto back in action

August, 31, 2014
Aug 31
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Andre Berto and Jesus Soto KarassRonald Martinez/Golden Boy/Getty ImagesAndre Berto returns to the ring for the first time since a tough loss to Jesus Soto Karass last year.

After 14 months out of action because of a seriously injured right shoulder, former two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto is ready to fight again.

On July 27, 2013, Berto tore a tendon in his shoulder during the second round of a fight with Jesus Soto Karass in San Antonio. Berto showed immense toughness by fighting with the injury into the 12th round, when he finally got knocked out in the all-action fight.

The loss was Berto’s third in four fights. Surgery and rehab followed. Surely some self-doubt did, also.

But Berto (28-3, 22 KOs), of Winter Haven, Florida, gets back in the ring against Philadelphia’s Steve Upsher Chambers (24-3-1, 6 KOs) for a scheduled 10-round fight at a maximum weight of 149 pounds on Saturday night (Showtime, 9:30 ET/PT) in the opening bout of a tripleheader from U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati.

Former three-division titlist Adrien Broner headlines the card in his hometown in a junior welterweight bout against Emanuel Taylor with junior welterweight slugger Lucas Matthysse facing Roberto Ortiz in the co-feature.

Berto finishes training camp with Virgil Hunter in Oakland, California, on Monday and heads to Cincinnati on Tuesday.

"The shoulder is feeling good and we've had a tremendous camp,” Berto said. “I was able to get out here really early for this fight and train with all the great champions in our gym. I'm just excited to get back under the lights and perform on Sept. 6," Berto said.

Berto trained alongside fighters such as Andre Ward, Abner Mares, Alfredo Angulo and Amir Khan.

Besides the three fights on Showtime, preliminary fights from the card will air on Showtime Extreme (7 ET/PT).

The two scheduled 10-round fights set to air on Showtime Extreme are:

• Junior welterweight Michael Perez (20-1-2, 10 KOs) of Newark, New Jersey, against South Carolina's Jared Robinson (15-1, 7 KOs).

• Three-time U.S. Olympian Rau'shee Warren (11-0, 3 KOs), who will be fighting in his hometown for the first time as a professional, taking on Jose Luis Araiza (34-8-1, 25 KOs) of Mexico in a bantamweight match.

In untelevised bouts, two of Warren’s 2012 U.S. Olympic teammates will fight: Cleveland middleweight Terrell Gausha (11-0, 6 KOs) and New York lightweight Jamel Herring (8-0, 5 KOs), who are both in scheduled eight-round bouts.

Canelo headed back to HBO?

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
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Alvarez/LaraJosh Hedges/Getty ImagesCanelo Alvarez could make HBO his next home in November or December.

In late 2013, when Richard Schaefer still ran Golden Boy Promotions, he and Canelo Alvarez announced that Alvarez would fight three times on Showtime PPV this year: March 8, July 26 and Nov. 22.

Indeed, Alvarez knocked out Alfredo Angulo on March 8 and then outpointed Erislandy Lara, albeit on July 12. Both were on Showtime PPV and both did solid numbers -- a little over 300,000 buys -- considering Alvarez had never before headlined a pay-per-view as the A side of the promotion.

But fight No. 3 of this year? Well let’s just say things aren’t what they were a year ago.

Schaefer resigned as Golden Boy CEO, Oscar De La Hoya has taken the day-to-day reins of the company and he is also quietly trying to repair the company’s fractured relationship with HBO, the network that basically put Golden Boy in business and the network on which De La Hoya became a mega PPV star. It is also the network that grew so tired of dealing with Schaefer and adviser Al Haymon, who controlled many of the fighters on Golden Boy’s cards, that HBO banished Golden Boy fighters from the network.

Canelo isn't going to go pay-per-view. We don't want to saturate the market. He's willing to go live on either Showtime or HBO. We'll see. Maybe another network. He has no contract with any network.

-- Golden Boy vice president Eric Gomez
And although Showtime has been the exclusive home for Golden Boy’s biggest cards since, behind the scenes there are issues, namely that many of those cards Golden Boy puts on are controlled by Haymon, and De La Hoya isn’t happy about it. Why else do you think we saw the Danny Garcia-Rod Salka/Lamont Peterson-Edgar Santana mess?

Most of Haymon’s fighters who regularly appear on Showtime are not under contract to Golden Boy, even though GB promotes the cards. This was one of the issues that came between De La Hoya and Schaefer.

There was a recent thaw in the Golden Boy/HBO relationship a few weeks ago when it made a deal to televise the Nov. 8 light heavyweight unification fight between Bernard Hopkins, who is with Golden Boy, and Sergey Kovalev, whom HBO has under contract.

As it relates to Alvarez, he is under contract to Golden Boy and not involved with Haymon. And he got his start on premium cable on HBO and, this is most significant, his biggest fight looms with middleweight champion Miguel Cotto, who is aligned with HBO, which plans to carry Cotto's Dec. 13 title defense against an opponent to be determined on HBO PPV.

Alvarez met in recent days with Golden Boy executives to talk about his next fight and I am telling you there is a good chance that it winds up on regular HBO (and not Showtime or Showtime PPV). That would be a big deal and would likely deliver a huge viewership number for HBO.

“We had a very good meeting with Canelo and we’re talking with him about opponents,” Golden Boy vice president Eric Gomez told ESPN.com on Friday. “We’re actually waiting for the date. He gave us a couple of dates and we’re looking into everything. But he wants to fight late November or early December. We have to work on it.”

The opponent is not set, but it is no secret that Alvarez could face big banger James Kirkland, whose last fight was on HBO (a knockout last December against Glen Tapia in a wild brawl).

Then Gomez caught me by surprise when he added, “Canelo isn’t going to go pay-per-view. We don’t want to saturate the market. He’s willing to go live on either Showtime or HBO. We’ll see. Maybe another network. He has no contract with any network. We’re working on things.”

Whoa.

That is the first time in a lonnngggg time that anyone in a position of authority has specifically stated that Alvarez was a television free agent and, further, used the H-word (HBO) in relation to his future.

It leads me to believe, without question, that Alvarez is likely headed back to HBO for his next fight. I believe it would be part of a deal that would also lock Alvarez into HBO for multiple fights, including a potential spring or summer 2015 showdown with Cotto for the middleweight title.

Let’s look at the late November and early December schedule, which means Nov. 15, Nov. 22, Nov. 28, Dec. 6 or Dec. 13.

Nov. 22 is out because that is Manny Pacquiao’s HBO PPV date with Chris Algieri. Nov. 28 is out because that is already ticketed for Terence Crawford’s next lightweight title defense on HBO. Dec. 13 is out because that is Cotto’s HBO PPV date.

That tells me that if Alvarez returns to HBO, it means a fight on either Nov. 15, which would be a huge telecast on which to promote Pacquiao’s PPV, or Dec. 6, which would be a great way to promote Cotto’s PPV the following week and remind people that wins by Alvarez and Cotto could lead to the super fight after that.

Now that Top Rank, Cotto’s promoter, and Golden Boy, Alvarez’s promoter, say they are ready, willing and able to make fights together, a Cotto-Alvarez fight could get done on HBO PPV without the involvement of Haymon, whom Top Rank does not work with.

All of this is not to say that Showtime couldn’t make a big offer to keep Alvarez for his next fight, but if I were a betting man here’s my take: Alvarez returns to HBO for a fight on Nov. 15 or Dec. 6 with the big payoff coming in May (Cinco de Mayo weekend) or June (Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend) for the biggest fight in boxing this side of Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao.

Check back with me in a few months to see how well my crystal ball works.
Sergio MartinezMike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesSergio Martinez's future depends on what his doctor has to say about his health.

A few weeks after Sergio Martinez got knocked down four times and eventually stopped in the 10th round by Miguel Cotto on June 7 in New York -- a defeat that cost him the middleweight championship -- Martinez vowed to fight on.

But whether the 39-year-old Martinez (51-3-2, 28 KOs) really does continue to box will depend largely on what his doctor has to say, particularly about his knee problems, following an exam due to take place Sept. 16 in New York, Martinez's adviser, Sampson Lewkowicz, told ESPN.com.

Lewkowicz will be with Martinez in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Sept. 6 when junior featherweight titlist Kiko Martinez, whom Lewkowicz promotes and Martinez (no relation) manages, defends his belt in a rematch with Carl Frampton.

Lewkowicz said that following the fight, he and Sergio Martinez will travel to Las Vegas to attend the Sept. 13 rematch between pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana. They will be rooting for Maidana, Martinez’s countryman from Argentina.

“After the fight, we will go to New York together and Sergio will see his doctor,” Lewkowicz said of Dr. Answorth Allen, who is the orthopedic surgeon for the New York Knicks.. “He will have a complete checkup. We will listen to what the doctor has to say and then make a decision about his future."

Haymon signs Sampson Boxing trio

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
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Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, whose Sampson Boxing promotional company has been steadily growing, told ESPN.com that three of his fighters have signed with adviser Al Haymon.

The three are Dominican junior lightweight contender Javier Fortuna (25-0-1, 18 KOs), Dominican junior featherweight prospect Jonathan Guzman (16-0, 16 KOs) and junior featherweight Oscar Escandon (23-1, 16 KOs) of Colombia.

Guzman is the only fighter with a bout scheduled. He will fight in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Sept. 6 when Spain’s Kiko Martinez, whom Lewkowicz promotes, will defend his junior featherweight title in a rematch with Carl Frampton of Belfast.

“I’m very delighted that my boys signed with Al Haymon,” Lewkowicz said. “We have always had a nice relationship. We’ve talked many times. I believe this is the best thing.”

Haymon’s vast stable continues to grow. He has at least 75 fighters under contract and some estimate his stable in excess of 100 fighters -- including, of course, Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Martinez-Frampton II on American TV

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
7:52
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There are many quality fights that take place overseas that do not get the U.S. television coverage they deserve.

Epix tried to fill that void but eventually dumped its boxing program without explanation. HBO and Showtime have shown little interest in many of the bouts. And while ESPN has picked up its share and streamed many on ESPN3.com, the coverage has been sporadic. But AWE -- the former WealthTV -- is still here and doing a good job of picking up many of the significant fights.

It snagged another one this week, acquiring the rights to the rematch between junior featherweight titlist Kiko Martinez of Spain and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland.

They meet in a rematch on Saturday in Frampton’s hometown of Belfast, where a 16,000-seat temporary outdoor stadium is in the final stages of construction to host the fight, like they used to do in the old days at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

AWE will begin its live coverage of the undercard beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET. Existing members can also watch a stream on its website.

"We are very happy to bring this five-star title fight to the fans in the United States," AWE president Charles Herring said. “The first fight was sensational and now Martinez is coming back to Ireland as a world champion, so now the stakes have been raised. Frampton is undefeated and wants that belt. Martinez has that belt and wants revenge. With all these subplots, this fight had the makings of a classic rematch."

In February 2013, also in Belfast, Frampton (18-0, 13 KOs) won the European title by scoring a one-punch knockout of Martinez (31-4, 23 KOs) in the ninth round. But Martinez, who has been on a four-fight winning streak since, won a world title two fights later by scoring an upset knockout of Jhonatan “Momo” Romero in the sixth round in August 2013 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

R. Rios, Orozco in action Oct. 9

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
7:48
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Ronny Rios, Antonio Orozco and Diego De La Hoya, three of Golden Boy’s up-and-coming fighters, will all be in action on an Oct. 9 card announced Wednesday.

Rios (23-0, 10 KOs), a featherweight contender, will be fighting at junior lightweight in the main event of the "Golden Boy Live" card (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes) at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. Rios will take on Robinson Castellanos (19-10, 12 KOs) in a 10-rounder.

Aggressive welterweight Orozco (20-0, 15 KOs) will face the long-faded former junior lightweight titlist Steve Forbes (35-13, 11 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature. Forbes has lost five fights in a row and is 3-10 in his past 13.

In the six-round opener, De La Hoya, a 20-year-old cousin of Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya, will meet an opponent to be determined in a junior featherweight fight.

"Ronny Rios and Antonio Orozco are two of this [Southern California] area's most talented fighters and we'll see if they're ready for the next level on Oct. 9," said Oscar De La Hoya, who will be ringside. "I'm also looking forward to seeing the new De La Hoya era take charge with my cousin Diego in the ring again and meeting everyone on fight night and talking about this great sport and what we can do to make it even better."

Light heavyweight Beterbiev on fast track

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
7:06
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Light heavyweight Artur Beterbiev was a decorated amateur who twice competed on the Russian Olympic team (2008 and 20012), won a gold medal at the 2009 world amateur championships and twice defeated Russian destroyer Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev in the unpaid ranks.

Now living in Laval, Quebec, the 29-year-old Beterbiev (5-0, 5 KOs), who turned pro 14 months ago, is on the super fast track.

After making his pro debut in a four-rounder and then fighting scheduled six-rounders in his next four bouts, Beterbiev is stepping up to a scheduled 12-round fight for a regional title against former world titleholder Tavoris Cloud (24-2, 19 KOs).

Cloud, 32, is still regarded by many as a top-10 light heavyweight despite back-to-back losses, a decision that cost him his title against Bernard Hopkins in March 2013 followed by a seventh-round knockout loss challenging champion Adonis Stevenson in Montreal last September.

Beterbiev, whose wife gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago, will meet Cloud on Sept. 27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, promoter Yvon Michel announced Wednesday.

Cloud, who may not be what he once was, has vast professional experience, good power and a good chin. But Michel is convinced that Beterbiev is the next big thing. This fight should go a long way to making that determination.

"Artur Beterbiev is an extremely special talent and we have a boundless confidence in his abilities," Michel said. "It is unheard of for a fighter with only five fights of professional experience to headline an event at the Bell Centre against an opponent the caliber of Cloud."

Love looks to continue rise

August, 28, 2014
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J'Leon Love, Marco PeribanHarry How/Getty ImagesSuper middleweight J'Leon Love, right, headlines Friday's Mayweather Promotions show in Las Vegas.
There's yet another boxing card in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, on Saturday night, this one at the Palms Casino Resort. But it probably has more special meaning to pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. than usual.

It's the first card his company, Mayweather Promotions, is doing on its own since securing a promotional license in Nevada on July 30.

Although Mayweather, who lives and trains in Las Vegas, is training for his rematch with Marcos Maidana on Sept. 13, he will be at the show to watch the card filled with fighters he promotes and often trains with.

"It's great to be putting on another great card with Mayweather Promotions stars from top to bottom," Mayweather said. "Even though we will be two weeks away from my rematch against Maidana, there is no way I would miss this. These guys all live by the motto of 'hard work, dedication,' and I look forward to seeing that hard work pay off on [Friday]."

The "ShoBox: The New Generation" card (10 p.m. ET/PT) was originally supposed to be a quadrupleheader, but when junior middleweight prospect Chris Pearson (11-0, 9 KOs) suffered an injury, his undercard fight with Steve Martinez (15-1, 12 KOs) was called off.

The card is headlined by super middleweight J'Leon Love (18-0, 10 KOs) taking on Rogelio Medina (32-6, 26 KOs) in a 10-rounder.

Super middleweight Badou Jack (16-1-1, 11 KOs), looking to bounce back from a first-round knockout loss to unheralded Derek Edwards in February, faces Jason Escalera (15-2-1, 12 KOs) in the 10-round co-feature with super middleweight Ronald Gavril (9-0, 7 KOs) squaring off with Thomas Falowo (12-2, 8 KOs) in the scheduled eight-round opener.

Love is coming off his biggest victory, a 10-round unanimous decision against former title challenger Marco Antonio Periban, who lost a decision battling for a vacant belt against Sakio Bika in June 2013 and then fought to a draw with Jack in his next fight last September.

"My last fight was definitely a learning experience," Love said. "Periban was a title contender and a very experienced fighter. I faced some adversity and I was able to bounce back and come through with a win."

Love's win against Periban came on the Showtime PPV undercard of Mayweather's first fight with Maidana on May 3, his second time fighting on one of Mayweather's events.

"Every fight is a learning experience, but this one was under the big lights," Love said. "It shows I have the heart and determination to win. I know where I want to go with this and I know a world championship is on the horizon. I think I have maybe two more fights before I fight for a belt.

"I'm still growing as a fighter, but I've graduated from prospect to contender and I'm just a few wins away from graduating to world champion. Saturday night is just another step. I think I'm almost there."

Campbell, Coyle face tests

August, 28, 2014
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Lightweights Luke Campbell and Tommy Coyle face legitimate tests in their next fights when they box on the same card Oct. 25 (Sky Sports in the United Kingdom) at the Ice Arena in their hometown of Hull, England.

Campbell (7-0, 5 KOs), 26, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist, takes on Daniel Brizuela (26-3-2, 8 KOs), 28, of Argentina, in Campbell's first scheduled 12-rounder. Two fights ago, also at Ice Arena, Brizuela was stopped in the 12th round by Coyle in an epic fight of the year candidate as each man hit the deck four times in England in February.

"This is a big step up for me but one I feel that I am ready for," said Campbell, who first has a tune-up fight Sept. 20 in London on the undercard of Christopher Rebrasse's European super middleweight title defense against George Groves. "Brizuela's fight with Coyle was unbelievable and I know I am in for a serious night's work, but I'm 7-0 now and with more rounds under my belt in September. I'm confident I can land my first [regional] title."

In the 12-round co-feature, Coyle (19-2, 8 KOs), 24, takes on Australia's Michael Katsidis (30-6, 24 KOs), 34, who twice claimed interim lightweight titles but is better known for his legendary brawls. Katsidis has won both of his fights since ending a two-year retirement in March.

"It's great to be fighting someone of Michael Katsidis' caliber," Coyle said. "There were many big names touted for this fight and I am delighted that it's Michael I'll be taking on. He has been in with [Kevin] Mitchell and Ricky Burns over here and also shared the ring with Robert Guerrero and Juan Manuel Marquez, so to beat him will be a huge achievement and a great scalp to have on my record."

Katsidis has boxed in the England before and one of his most famous brawls, a wild fifth-round knockout of Graham Earl in their first fight, came in London in 2007.

"It is nice to be fighting in England again and I am very much looking forward to the fight with Tommy," Katsidis said. "I have always enjoyed the passion of the fans and I feel at home when I fight there. I have had a number of offers from the UK and I am happy to come to Hull for the fight."

If Campbell and Coyle both win, Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn envisions a big all-Hull showdown next year.

"Tommy Coyle, who now has a reputation of being in regular wars, fights perhaps one of the most world-renowned warriors in Michael Katsidis, while for Olympic champion Luke Campbell, this is the acid test," Hearn said. "Brizuela, who came back from an impressive win following his fight of the year with Tommy, is a huge step up for Luke and one we believe he is ready for. Victory for both men will set up the battle of Hull in 2015, which will be a defining sporting occasion for the city."
videoFor almost 2 1/2 years, the WBC has broken its rules when it comes to Floyd Mayweather Jr., allowing him to simultaneously hold its welterweight world title and the junior middleweight title of the equally rule-ignoring WBA.

No surprise there, since the WBC likes to sanction fighters for cursing in postfight interviews (Chris Arreola) or making a remark perceived as racist (Adrien Broner), yet it took no action whatsoever when Mayweather was incarcerated on a domestic abuse conviction. The WBC's hypocrisy is legendary.

In any event, Mayweather reclaimed the WBC welterweight belt by knocking out Victor Ortiz in September 2011. In his next fight, Mayweather outpointed Miguel Cotto to win the WBA's junior middleweight belt in May 2012.

At that point, based on the rules (which I am not saying I necessarily agree with), both organizations were obligated to make Mayweather pick one belt or the other. It's against the rules of both organizations for a fighter to hold belts in multiple divisions.

Many times over the years a fighter has changed divisions and won another title only to be forced to make a decision on which one to keep within a short period of time, usually two weeks.

But not Mayweather. Now I don't blame him, because it's the organizations who broke their own rules, not Mayweather.

When Mayweather dropped back down to welterweight after the Cotto fight to defend the WBC welterweight title against Robert Guerrero in May 2013, the WBA just let him keep his junior middleweight belt. Why not? After all, that organization already had other multiple champions in the same division, so what's one more, right?

In his next fight, Mayweather schooled Canelo Alvarez to unify the WBC and WBA junior middleweight titles. Alvarez had entered the fight with the WBC belt and secondary WBA belt of the main title Mayweather already owned.

The WBC continued to allow Mayweather to also hold the welterweight belt, in clear violation of the rules it had subjected other fighters to over the years in terms of having to decide which belt to hold.

And when Mayweather beat Marcos Maidana to unify the WBC and WBA welterweight titles in May, he laid claim to unified titles in two weight classes, a historical achievement made possible by the organizations ignoring their own rules.

That brings us to Mayweather's rematch with Maidana on Sept. 13 (Showtime PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The WBC announced Wednesday that it will allow Mayweather to defend his titles in both weight classes against Maidana -- and undoubtedly collect a sweet sanctioning fee for the privilege. If Maidana wins, the WBC will recognize him as its titleholder in both weight classes. The WBA has made no announcement, but you can bet it will also follow the money.

It's not the first time this unusual allowance has happened. In 1988, the WBC allowed Sugar Ray Leonard to challenge Donny Lalonde for its light heavyweight title as well as for the WBC's vacant (and newly created) super middleweight title, but as weak as that instance was, at least the farce didn't carry on for more than two years, because Leonard vacated the light heavyweight title shortly thereafter.

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