Friday, April 13, 2012
Promoter: Urango a no-go without us
By Dan Rafael
In March 2010, Devon Alexander scored a spectacular eighth-round knockout of Juan Urango to unify two junior welterweight titles. It was a shocking scene because Alexander isn't known for big knockout power and Urango had a reputation for having a great chin.
After the fight, Urango (22-3-1, 17 KOs) disappeared from the fight scene. Many months later, his promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, had told me Urango had retired and (no joke) bought a pig farm in his native Colombia.
However, Urango, 31, reportedly has accepted a fight against Cristian Chavez (23-18, 11 KOs) and is scheduled to face him April 26 on a card in Mexico City.
Margules was fine with Urango retiring to the pig farm. He is not fine with Urango taking a fight without his approval.
"Juan Urango is still under contract to me," Margules said. "He's still under contract to Warriors Boxing and does not have permission to do this fight, and we intend to pursue our legal remedies and will seek redress against anyone who interferes with our contract.
"He fought Devon Alexander and, after the fight, told me he was going to retire. I congratulated him on his retirement and told him if he ever decided to fight again, he still had a certain period of time left on his contract."
Urango won versions of the 140-pound title twice. In 2006, Urango won a unanimous decision against Naoufel Ben Rabeh to claim a vacant belt. In his next fight, Urango lost it via lopsided decision to British star Ricky Hatton. In 2009, Urango again won a vacant belt when he outpointed Herman Ngoudjo. During Urango's second title reign, he got an opportunity to challenge then-welterweight titlist Andre Berto later in 2009 and lost a decision, prompting him to return to 140.
"I am outraged and disappointed," Margules said of Urango's actions. "We took him to the world title twice. He earned way over a million dollars in the ring and had many big fights, including Ricky Hatton, Devon Alexander, Randall Bailey, Andre Berto. How many boxers can say that?
"I don't know who is talking to him or leading him to believe he no longer has an obligation to Warriors, but they should be aware: I have an exclusive promotional contract, and whoever is putting him on is interfering."