Dan Rafael: Abner Mares

At its monthly meeting Tuesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission appointed the officials who will work the “Honor & Glory” card headlined by the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara fight on July 12 (Showtime PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Robert Byrd will referee the junior middleweight main event. The judges will be Dave Moretti, Jerry Roth and Levi Martinez.

For the Abner Mares-Jonathan Oquendo featherweight co-feature, Kenny Bayless will be the referee and Adalaide Byrd, Burt Clements and Glenn Feldman will serve as judges.

Vic Drakulich will referee the Juan Manuel Lopez-Francisco Vargas junior lightweight bout, with the judging panel consisting of Tim Cheatham, Robert Hoyle and Don Trella.

Referee Tony Weeks will work interim junior welterweight titlist Johan Perez’s defense against Mauricio Herrera. The judges will be Lisa Giampa, Max DeLuca and Glenn Trowbridge.

In another bout, which is not part of the pay-per-view broadcast, Tomoki Kameda defends his bantamweight world title against Pungluang Sor Singyu. Russell Mora was appointed referee, and Dick Houck, Patricia Morse-Jarman and Cathy Leonard will judge.

Hopkins-Shumenov nearly set

January, 30, 2014
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One fight that has been in the works probably will be finalized and another probably won't, according to Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer.

Golden Boy has been working on the light heavyweight unification fight between 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins and Beibut Shumenov. Schaefer told ESPN.com that he is putting the finishing touches on the deal for the fight, which will be carried by Showtime, assuming it is finalized. Schaefer said the fight will take place either April 19 or April 26 at a site to be determined. With the other top light heavyweights -- champion Adonis Stevenson, titleholder Sergey Kovalev and former champ Jean Pascal -- fighting on HBO, this is the one top-level fight at 175 pounds that Schaefer and Showtime can make.

Incidentally, whichever date Hopkins-Shumenov lands on, Schaefer said he will put together another Showtime card for the other April date.

Another fight, however, that probably won't happen as initially planned is the rematch between featherweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez and former titlist Abner Mares, who lost the belt to Gonzalez via first-round knockout on Aug. 24 in a major upset.

The fighters were supposed to meet in a Feb. 15 rematch on Showtime at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, but the fight was postponed because Mares suffered a rib injury in training. Right after the fight was postponed there were plans to immediately reschedule the bout. But that is seemingly no longer the case.

Schaefer said that Gonzalez, who isn't represented by Golden Boy, and his team have been itching for another defense first. (Translation: Gonzalez wants an easy fight and payday before a very tough rematch with Mares.) Schaefer said Mares' manager Frank Espinoza has also been talking to him about the prospect of a tune-up fight first.

"So I think they will have other fights first before we do the rematch," Schaefer said.

Presumably, if the interim fights happen and they both win, the rematch would come after that.

Danny Garcia's next fight date set

January, 21, 2014
Jan 21
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Danny Garcia and Lucas Matthysse Hoganphotos/Golden Boy PromotionsAfter dispatching Lucas Matthysse, Danny Garcia will wait on a Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight.

Junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia finished 2013 strong by dropping and outfighting slugger Lucas Matthysse in a September fight that many expected "The Machine" to win. But Garcia did what he has done before: win a fight that many didn't think he would.

Garcia, who outpointed Zab Judah in his other 2013 fight, is now ready to kick off 2014. He will begin with a 140-pound title defense on March 15, Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com on Monday.

There is no set opponent or site -- at least none Schaefer wanted to discuss -- but the date is locked in, he said. Schaefer also said Garcia would remain at junior welterweight, squashing speculation in some quarters that he would move up to welterweight, where he would be a prime candidate for a future fight with Floyd Mayweather Jr. In fact, when Garcia defeated Matthysse, the fight was on the undercard of Mayweather's win against Canelo Alvarez, making it very obvious that the Garcia-Matthysse winner was auditioning for an eventual fight with Mayweather.

Garcia's camp, from what I was told by multiple sources involved in the decision-making process, removed its fighter's name from the sweepstakes to land the Mayweather fight, scheduled for May 3. His representatives simply didn't want the fight for Garcia yet. Therefore, Garcia will fight in March instead, with a Mayweather fight still possible down the road.

Schaefer and Showtime Sports boss Stephen Espinoza will be together on Tuesday in Los Angeles for the press conference to formally announce Alvarez's March 8 Showtime PPV fight with Alfredo Angulo. Schaefer said he will meet with Espinoza and that one of the items on the agenda is to discuss Garcia's next fight, which will air on Showtime.

Schaefer said there are other things on the agenda for the meeting as well, including:

• The likely Bernard Hopkins-Beibut Shumenov light heavyweight unification fight in the spring.

• Rescheduling the Jhonny Gonzalez-Abner Mares featherweight title fight (postponed because of Mares' rib injury).

• Middleweight titlist Peter Quillin's next fight, which could wind up on the Garcia undercard.

Mares card should lick summer lull

July, 12, 2013
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The summer is usually a slow time for boxing, but there are at least a handful of higher-profile shows here and there to get us all through, including one for which the promotion kicked off on Thursday at a news conference at a Los Angeles Mexican restaurant.

Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya formally announced a world title doubleheader on Aug. 24 (Showtime, 10 p.m. ET) at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., and it's a good-looking show: featherweight titlist Abner Mares making the first defense of his belt against former titlist Jhonny Gonzalez in the main event and junior featherweight titlist Victor Terrazas in a mandatory defense against former bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz in the co-feature.

Mares (26-0-1, 14 KOs) won the belt -- his third in three divisions in just 19 months -- on May 4 by knocking out Daniel Ponce De Leon in the ninth round on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Robert Guerrero undercard in Las Vegas.

Last September, Gonzalez (54-8, 46 KOs) suffered a bad cut from an accidental head-butt and was unable to continue in an eighth-round technical decision, losing the belt to Ponce De Leon. Gonzalez is seeking to regain his old title.

Terrazas (37-2-1, 21 KOs) won a vacant 122-pound world title on April 20 in Mexico City via split decision against former junior bantamweight champion Cristian Mijares. He will be making his first defense against Santa Cruz (24-0-1, 14 KOs), who vacated a bantamweight belt to move up in weight.

Here's a little of what the fighters and De La Hoya had to say at Thursday's news conference:

Mares: "I'm looking forward to fighting in front of my hometown fans on Aug. 24 at StubHub Center. Jhonny Gonzalez and I have a lot of respect for each other, but we know what's at stake. I'm confident that we're going to put on an explosive fight that fans will want to see."

Gonzalez: "The belt belongs to me. It's time it returns to my waist. I will give it everything I've got on Aug. 24."

Terrazas: "I've made many sacrifices throughout my career to win this belt and I'm not about to give it away. It's obvious that Leo Santa Cruz is a talented fighter, but it's going to take more than that for me to go back to Mexico without the belt."

Santa Cruz: "I'm very honored to be fighting for the WBC world championship and I'm extremely motivated to train hard to take this belt home. I will not let this opportunity get away from me. I will become world champion once again."

De La Hoya: "This doubleheader reminds me of great Los Angeles fight nights when you would see great Mexican fighters battling it out in the ring while the crowd went crazy. That's what we have with Mares versus Gonzalez and Terrazas versus Santa Cruz -- four Mexican warriors fighting not only for a world championship, but for pride."

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