Dan Rafael: Adrien Broner

Broner-Molina added to May 3 card

March, 26, 2014
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First came the announcement that Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana would meet in a welterweight unification fight May 3 (Showtime PPV) at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in one of the year’s biggest fights.

On Monday came the announcement that former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan would move up to welterweight to tangle with former titleholder Luis Collazo in a strong co-feature.

And on Tuesday came the announcement of the remaining two fights on the pay-per-view: former three-division titleholder Adrien Broner, moving down to junior welterweight and coming off his December loss to Maidana, against Carlos Molina, who hasn’t fought since a knockout loss to Khan in December 2012, and super middleweight J’Leon Love against Marco Antonio Periban in what should be a competitive fight in the opener.

With the announcement of the two final bouts also came comments from those four fighters. Here’s what they had to say:

• Broner (27-1, 22 KOs): "I had minor setback, but I am back on May 3. Everybody needs to understand that I just took a loss. I haven't lost it. I'm still ‘The Problem,’ and anyone can get it, whether you are Afri-can, Puerto Ri-can, Domini-can, Cuban or Mexi-can."

• Molina (17-1-1, 7 KOs): "I am so excited to be able to fight on a card of this magnitude against Adrien Broner. Sure he's tough, but we all saw what happened in his last fight when he was under pressure. I have the boxing ability and punching power to beat him, and that is exactly what I plan to do on May 3."

• Love (17-0, 10 KOs): "It is always an honor to be on the same card as my boss, Floyd Mayweather. I train with him in the gym every day and see what it takes to compete at the highest level in boxing. I can't thank Floyd and Mayweather Promotions enough for these opportunities. My opponent is a very tough competitor, but I have no doubt that I will be victorious and move one step closer to a world championship. May 3 can't get here soon enough."

• Periban (20-1-1, 13 KOs): "This is a great opportunity for me, and I will represent my country and Mexican boxing fans all over the world on this Cinco de Mayo weekend. J'Leon Love might be a member of 'The Money Team,' but that won't matter on May 3, when he has to face someone like me. We'll see who comes out victorious. I will not let my people or my country down."

Dawson latest to join Haymon

March, 8, 2014
Mar 8
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LAS VEGAS -- Powerful adviser Al Haymon usually signs top titleholders, contenders and elite prospects. He is not known for signing reclamation projects, but that is exactly what he has done by adding former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson to his star-studded stable, Sam Watson, Haymon’s right-hand man, told ESPN.com on Friday at the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo weigh-in.

Watson said the plan is to get Dawson back in the ring “probably in May.”

“Chad’s still only 31,” Watson said. “We know he’s had some tough times but he can fight. And all he wants is an opportunity. We’ll get him an opportunity. The rest is up to him.”

Dawson (31-3, 17 KOs), a southpaw from New Haven, Conn., was long one of the best fighters in the world and the class of the light heavyweight division. As recently as April 2012, he easily outpointed Bernard Hopkins in their rematch. Dawson also owns two wins apiece against Antonio Tarver and Glenn Johnson and wins against Adrian Diaconu and Tomasz Adamek.

But things went south very quickly for Dawson after the Hopkins win, getting knocked out twice in a row. After the Hopkins win, he dropped down to super middleweight -- an ill-advised moved -- and challenged champion Andre Ward, who cleaned his clock and stopped him in the 10th round of an utterly one-sided fight.

Dawson returned in June 2013 and lost the light heavyweight title when Adonis Stevenson -- who signed with Haymon two weeks ago -- drilled him in the first round for the 2013 knockout of the year.

Dawson is a promotional free agent following the expiration of his contract with Gary Shaw, but it would seem likely that he will wind up fighting on a Golden Boy card since Haymon does nearly all of his business with the company.

Haymon represents numerous top fighters, most notable pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. But there are so many more, including junior featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz (who is on Saturday night’s Alvarez-Angulo card and the reason Watson is in Las Vegas), Marcos Maidana, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Beibut Shumenov, Devon Alexander, Deontay Wilder, Peter Quillin, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Luis Collazo, Paulie Malignaggi, Chris Arreola, twins Jermell and Jermall Charlo, and Stevenson.
Luis CollazoMaddie Meyer/Getty ImagesSigning with powerful adviser Al Haymon will open many doors for welterweight Luis Collazo.

Add one more guy to the list of fighters who undoubtedly will say at his next news conference or after his next victory, “I’d like to thank Al Haymon.”

Former welterweight titlist Luis Collazo became the latest fighter to sign with Haymon, the most powerful adviser in boxing, whose vast stable includes many of the best fighters in the world, including Floyd Mayweather Jr., Marcos Maidana, Danny Garcia, Adrien Broner, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Peter Quillin, Deontay Wilder, Devon Alexander, Lucas Matthysse and many others.

Collazo, 32, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is coming off a second-round knockout of Victor Ortiz, another Haymon client, on Jan. 30.

"I'm excited to be joining Team Haymon," Collazo said. "I'm looking forward to the doors this opportunity is going to open for me. I can't wait to get this partnership going."

Collazo (35-5 18 KOs), who held a welterweight world title from 2005 to 2006, has won four in a row and put himself in position for a major fight in a deep 147-pound weight class.

"I'm looking forward to a big year ahead and signing with Team Haymon is just one of the first steps," Collazo said. "He works with a lot of guys in my division and with this new step in the right direction, I'm sure I will be fighting some of them in the near future."

Collazo, like everyone else, would love a piece of Mayweather and the big payday that goes with it. Collazo called out Mayweather after knocking out Ortiz, who had previously been knocked out by Mayweather.

"God willing I'll get the chance to be in the ring against Mayweather and prove what I've always thought, that I'm the best in the world,” Collazo said.

Haymon, as always, had no comment.

Mayweather: Khan can get fight

March, 3, 2014
Mar 3
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Floyd Mayweather Jr.Getty Images

Even though pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather Jr. has decided to fight fellow welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana on May 3, rather than the undeserving Amir Khan, Mayweather continued to taunt Khan on how he could get a fight with him.

Mayweather wrote on his Twitter account that if Khan could beat Adrien Broner -- one of Mayweather’s pals -- he would fight him.

“I don't have an easy fight on May 3, 2014, so I can't over look Maidana but Amir Khan, if you and Adrien Broner end up fighting each other on my show and you win (which you won’t), I'll fight you,” Mayweather wrote.

Mayweather is due back in action in September and if he beats Maidana, Khan could potentially be the opponent. But a bitter Khan, however, didn’t take the bait, tweeting, “FM is full of s---. Just like (his) 'my next opponent ' poll.”

Mayweather posted a poll on social media in which fans could vote for whom they preferred Mayweather fight on May 3. The only choices were Khan and Maidana. Khan won the vote on Mayweather’s poll, but he picked Maidana anyway. Maidana buried Khan on polls conducted by other outlets, including ESPN.com.

Rumors have swirled since Mayweather announced that he would fight Maidana last week that Khan, a former junior welterweight titleholder, and Broner, a former three-division titleholder who lost his welterweight title in a 12-round beatdown Dec. 14 to Maidana, would meet on the May 3 Showtime PPV undercard.

However, don’t count on it.

“[It’s] very unlikely,” Showtime Sports chief Stephen Espinoza told ESPN.com on Monday. “It's my understanding that Broner is going down to 140 and that Khan wants to fight at 147, so the weight classes don't match. Fighting at a catch weight doesn't help either of them in terms of adjusting to the new weight. It’s a good 'fantasy boxing' matchup, but it doesn’t fit with each guy’s objectives going forward.”

Stevenson signs with Haymon

February, 19, 2014
Feb 19
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Al HaymonRamon Cairo for ESPNPowerful adviser Al Haymon works behind the scenes with some of the best fighters in boxing.
Light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson surprised many on Tuesday when he signed with powerful adviser Al Haymon.

Stevenson signed the papers in California with Sam Watson, Haymon's right-hand man. Watson said he has known Stevenson for a while and that Stevenson has wanted to sign with Haymon because the boxer has seen what Haymon has been able to do for his numerous clients.

"This is a big signing for me," Stevenson told ESPN.com. "I've known Sam a long time and wanted to be with Al. It will be better for me and my career and give me better opportunities."

Said Watson, "It's big fights for Adonis."

What is unclear is whether the signing will have an impact on the game plan already in motion for Stevenson, or if it just means that Haymon will work to get Stevenson a better deal for the fights that are in the works.

Stevenson (23-1, 20 KOs) is supposed to be back in action for his third title defense on May 24, when he is planning to headline an HBO card in his hometown of Montreal against Chicago-based Poland native Andrzej Fonfara (25-2, 15 KOs). However, that fight is not signed yet. A Stevenson victory would supposedly lead to a fall unification showdown with titleholder Sergey Kovalev, who fights his interim bout against Cedric Agnew on March 29 in Atlantic City, N.J., in the main event of his own card. That fight is not signed either, and Haymon may have other ideas for Stevenson.

Haymon, of course, is essentially a recluse and does not speak to the media, so don't expect to hear from him on the matter.

However, it is common knowledge that HBO -- which has made Stevenson-Kovalev one of its 2014 priorities -- and Haymon are on the outs following the defection last year of Haymon’s No. 1 client, Floyd Mayweather Jr., to Showtime.

Additionally, Haymon represents numerous Golden Boy fighters, including Marcos Maidana, Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Beibut Shumenov, Devon Alexander, Deontay Wilder, Peter Quillin, Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman. After Mayweather left HBO, the network banned Golden Boy fighters and those boxers wound up on Showtime, even though HBO had poured considerable resources into many of them.

HBO did make one exception for a Haymon fighter -- when Edwin Rodriguez (who is promoted by Lou DiBella, not Golden Boy) fought super middleweight champ Andre Ward in November. However, the deal for that fight was way down the road to being completed before Rodriguez signed with Haymon. Perhaps it will be the same thing with regard to Stevenson and the fights against Fonfara and Kovalev that are being lined up for him by promoter Yvon Michel.

Watson said Haymon and Michel spoke on Tuesday about the signing and had a "good conversation."

Michel told ESPN.com that he expected to still go forward planning the fights with Fonfara and Kovalev.

"Adonis' goals have not changed," Michel said. "He wants three fights [in 2014], wants to unify the titles, be considered in the top five pound for pound before the end of the year and keep winning by spectacular knockout. I can also add making a lot of money. We are still moving forward in our negotiations. Al Haymon is certainly a great asset for Adonis and for us and his presence can only be positive."

Said Stevenson, "We haven't made any fights yet but whatever my promoter and Al say I should do, that's the way I'm going to go. I'll fight anybody. Al has a plan that will be good for me. I'm ready for anything. My job is to knock everybody out."

Watson said that Haymon has also signed John Molina (27-3, 22 KOs), the former lightweight title challenger who fought at junior welterweight in his last fight in November. Watson said Molina plans to continue to fight at 140 pounds.

A lot to be thankful for

November, 26, 2013
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Paulie MalignaggiNick Laham/Getty ImagesPaul Malignaggi could get another title opportunity ... if he defeat Zab Judah on Dec. 7.

Several fighters are training over Thanksgiving for their Showtime fights on Dec. 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Dec. 14 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

But while they won’t get stuff themselves with turkey on Thursday, they’re still thankful for what they have. Golden Boy’s media relations team asked the featured fighters on the two shows what they are thankful for year.

Dec. 7 fighters

Paulie Malignaggi (training in Brooklyn): "[I am thankful for] My family and my true friends, especially those that have stuck with me from the start."

Zab Judah (training in Las Vegas): "I am thankful for this time and that I get to be together with my family."

Devon Alexander (training in St. Louis): "I am very thankful just to be living and in the position I'm in to help a lot of kids and inspire them too. I'm really thankful for so many things in my life, but I can't mention them all because then the list would go on and on.”

Shawn Porter (training in Las Vegas): "I am most thankful for family because they are the most important thing to me.”

Erislandy Lara (training in Houston): "I am most thankful for being in the United State of America and for the freedom I have been given."

Austin Trout (training in Houston): "First and foremost I am most thankful for God, the Son of Jesus. Also, I am thankful for the love from my family, friends and fans. I have so much that I am grateful for including my health and career that allows me to provide for family."

Sakio Bika (training in St. Louis): "I am most grateful to have my family. Also, I am thankful that I have my health and a roof over my head because in this world there are a lot of disabled and homeless people."

Anthony Dirrell (training in Del Rey, Fla.): "I am most thankful for my family and getting this (super middleweight) world championship title opportunity. What I have been through has been amazing with the cancer (Non-Hodgkin lymphoma) and the motorcycle accident. Having the opportunity to recover and fight for the title means a lot to me."


Dec. 14 fighters

Adrien Broner (training in Colorado Springs, Colo.): "I am thankful to God for giving me the ability to take care of family, friends and children."

Marcos Maidana (training in Oxnard, Calif.): "I'm thankful for this opportunity that Golden Boy Promotions is giving me. I'm really excited about this fight because of the many more opportunities that will come my way if I win. I'm also grateful to the fans, all the Mexican fans that are showing me their support."

Keith Thurman (training in Clearwater, Fla.): "I am most thankful for my career in boxing. Boxing is the only job that I have ever had and the only job I have ever wanted and I am truly grateful for that."

Jesus Soto Karass (training in Los Angeles): "I am most thankful for my life and my family. I am grateful to have the love of my wife, kids, parents and siblings. I have the best in life with them. I am also grateful for my health."

Leo Santa Cruz (training in Los Angeles): "I am most thankful for my family, especially my brother. He still suffers from his illness [lupus], but he is doing much better.”

Cesar Seda (training in Salinas, Puerto Rico): "I am thankful to God for my health and all of the good things in life that have happened to me and my beautiful family. I know that this Thanksgiving I won't be able to be with my wife, kids, mother or my grandparents and the rest of my family, but they understand the sacrifice that I am making for their good. This Thanksgiving I pray that God blesses the whole world and that he brings a lot of peace. I am so grateful for the new opportunity he gave me to fight for a world title again."

Beibut Shumenov (training in Las Vegas): "As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I am most thankful for my family. My father and mother raised me to be the person I am today and the continuous love and support from my brother, Chingis.”

Tamas Kovacs (training in Budapest, Hungary): "I am very thankful for my family and feel very grateful every day to see my kids and my wife. When I am preparing for a fight my family is always on my mind and in my heart. In my career I am very grateful for the opportunity that I can fight for the WBA title.”

WBC announces mandatory fights

November, 6, 2013
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Floyd Mayweather Jr.Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY SportsFloyd Mayweather has to decide soon on an opponent for his next fight.

As much as I rail against the WBC’s rule-breaking and divisional rankings, those rankings affect the mandatory fights that are made for the organization’s belt. So that makes its annual convention notable in that many of those mandatory situations are clarified.

This year’s convention is going on this week in Bangkok, where organization officials, promoters and managers gathered to argue and debate the rankings and mandatory fights that are not yet set.

Here’s a look at some of the key rulings related to mandatory fights made Wednesday:

• Heavyweight: The situation with titleholder Vitali Klitschko is up in the air. He is running for president of Ukraine in 2015 and has made no decision about his boxing career, even though his mandatory defense against Bermane Stiverne is way overdue. Klitschko addressed the crowd at its opening, but not about his boxing plans. Stiverne, however, was still traveling to Thailand on Wednesday, so the debate was put off until at least Thursday.

• Super middleweight: Titleholder Sakio Bika must make two mandatory defenses. The first is against Anthony Dirrell on Dec. 7. The winner of the fight was approved for one optional defense. Marco Antonio Periban and James DeGale were ordered to meet in a semifinal eliminator with the winner ordered to meet Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to determine the second mandatory challenger. Keep in mind that these orders are the WBC’s wishes and that often what it lays out does not wind up happening because either a fighter decides to go in another direction or, as often happens, the WBC ignores its own ruling.

• Middleweight: If champion Sergio Martinez, sidelined with a knee injury, can’t make his mandatory defense against Marco Antonio Rubio, Rubio will be ordered to face Domenico Spada for the interim belt. This will be interesting because Martinez has no interest in Rubio and instead hopes for a June pay-per-view megafight with Miguel Cotto. It seems that Martinez, who has been very loyal to the WBC, will be allowed to face Cotto upon his return from injury with Rubio settling for the interim title bout for the time being.

• Junior middleweight and welterweight: Floyd Mayweather Jr. holds the WBC title in both divisions, as well as another alphabet junior middleweight title. Holding titles in multiple weight classes is against sanctioning organization rules, but that hasn’t stopped the WBC from allowing Mayweather to get away with it for 1 years. Finally, the WBC ruled that Mayweather must decide which division title he wants to keep by Dec. 15. If Mayweather doesn’t notify the WBC, however, I won’t believe it would strip him of the title until I see it happen. He is one of the WBC’s favorite sons in that he fills the coffers with enormous sanctioning fees.

• Junior welterweight: Danny Garcia’s last fight in September was his mandatory against Lucas Matthysse, but a final eliminator to determine the next mandatory was approved between Viktor Postal and Selcuk Aydin.

• Lightweight: Adrien Broner has the title, but he also won another organization’s belt this year -- in the welterweight division -- and has been allowed to keep both since the summer, which is against the rules. Broner is never going to see 135 pounds again -- did you see how he looked on Showtime on Oct. 26? -- but his request to wait to make a decision until after his Dec. 14 welterweight defense was approved. Daniel Estrada is the mandatory challenger. What should have happened is that Broner should have been forced to pick, and if he picked the welterweight belt (which he obviously would do), interim titlist Omar Figueroa should have immediately been elevated. But that would be too easy.

• Junior featherweight: A final eliminator between Hugo Cazares and Andres Gutierrez was approved to determine Leo Santa Cruz’s mandatory.

• Bantamweight: An eliminator was approved for Stephane Jamoye to face Julio Ceja, with the winner to fight Suriyan Sor Rungvisai in a final eliminator to determine Shinsuke Yamanaka’s mandatory.

• Junior flyweight: Adrian Hernandez’s mandatory will be the winner of an eliminator between Javier Mendoza and Yodmongkil Wor Saengthep.

• Strawweight: A final eliminator was approved between Wanheng Menayothin and Osvaldo Novoa to determine Xiong Zhao Zhong’s mandatory challenger.

Broner, Maidana fire first shots

October, 31, 2013
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Marcos Maidana, Richard Schaefer and Adrien BronerEthan Miller/Getty ImagesMarcos Maidana and Adrien Broner headline a stacked card from the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The stacked Adrien Broner-Marcos Maidana card will close out the year for the American premium cable schedule on Dec. 14 (Showtime) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, where those involved gathered on Thursday for the kickoff news conference.

Broner (27-0, 22 KOs) is making the first defense of his welterweight title against mandatory challenger Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) in the main event. Interim welterweight titlist Keith Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs) will face Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) in the co-feature.

There are also two other world title bouts on the card as junior featherweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz (25-0-1, 15 KOs) makes his first defense when he faces Cesar Seda (25-1, 17 KOs) and light heavyweight titlist Beibut Shumenov (13-1, 8 KOs) meets Tamas Kovacs (23-0, 14 KOs).

The card will also feature the return of former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz (29-4-2, 22 KOs) from an 18-month layoff because of a broken jaw. He was supposed to fight Alfonso Gomez, but now is in need of an opponent after Gomez suffered a hand injury this week and withdrew.

Here's what the fighters had to say about the card, which Golden Boy Promotions is calling "Danger Zone," even thought it already used the same name a few years ago for Oscar De La Hoya's pay-per-view fight against Ricardo Mayorga.

• Broner: "Maidana is one-dimensional and not in my league. I'm a Ferrari and he's a go-kart and my fans will see that in my return to Texas. It's been over four years since I've fought [in Texas] and I'm going to put on a show. Watch me light Maidana up like a Christmas tree on Dec. 14."

• Maidana: "Everyone knows that Broner has a big mouth, but that doesn't bother me, because his mouth can't fight for him. Whether he has the guts to stand in front of me or if he runs I'll definitely go for the KO and, either way, I'm leaving the ring with the belt."

• Thurman: "Soto Karass is a tough guy, there's no question about that, and I respect him a lot. But his style is tailor-made for me and I expect to defend my title and win by knockout."

• Soto Karass: "Thurman is a young, talented fighter with good power, but as I proved in my fight with Andre Berto, when I'm on top of my game, no one can beat me. I will become a world champion on Dec. 14."

• Santa Cruz: "I'm looking forward to getting back in the ring and making my debut in Texas against Cesar Seda. Seda is a quality fighter and a top contender, but I'm not ready to give up my belt to him or anyone."

• Seda: "I admire Santa Cruz for his talent and his accomplishments, but styles make fights, and I have the style to beat him and bring the world championship back to Puerto Rico."

• Shumenov: "I am excited to be back in the ring and to compete on such an amazing event. It's been a long time [18 months] for me, and I'm hungry to beat Kovacs in impressive style and retain my title."

• Kovacs: "It has been my dream to fight in the United States against the best in the world, and on Dec. 14 I finally get my chance. Shumenov is a great champion, but I am confident in my ability to take his title."

Broner-Maidana, Alexander-Khan closer

September, 14, 2013
9/14/13
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Marcos Maidana, Richard Schaefer and Adrien BronerEthan Miller/Getty ImagesGolden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer (center) is working on a deal for Adrien Broner (right) to face power puncher Marcos Maidana in December.

LAS VEGAS -- Although the focus of the week has been on Saturday night’s Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez showdown at the MGM Grand, a lot of other stuff has been going on, especially with so many of Golden Boy’s fighters in town for the fight. Here’s a look at the latest:

• Part of Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer’s plans this week was to get closer to finalizing a deal for welterweight titlist Adrien Broner to face mandatory challenger and former junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana. The fight is supposed to headline a Dec. 14 Showtime pay-per-view card at the MGM Grand. Schaefer is now convinced it will get done after the fighters nearly came to blows on Thursday night at the Shawn Porter-Julio Diaz card.

“Maidana stood up and walked over to Broner during the undercard and I knew I better stand up and be right there,” Schaefer said. “I could tell this is not going to be a 'nice to see you' conversation.”

Schaefer was in the middle of the confrontation that began when Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) told Broner (27-0, 22 KOs), “Let’s fight,” to which Broner responded, “Let’s do it.”

“It got very heated and Maidana almost threw a punch,” Schaefer said. “Broner said, ‘I don’t want to wait until December, let’s get it on now. But we have to wait to December so let’s get [the deal] done.’ I’m gonna get it done. It’s a helluva matchup. Maidana wants to knock his head off. Both fighters made it clear to me they want to fight each other. That spark was lit [Thursday] night."

• Welterweight titlist Devon Alexander, former junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan are in town with their teams, and Schaefer said a deal for them to meet “will get done.” Assuming he’s right, the fight will take place Dec. 7 (Showtime) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., not Dubai, which had been a possibility.

I talked to Alexander (25-1, 14 KOs) and he said he was anxious for the deal to be finalized. Schaefer said he met this week with Alexander adviser Al Haymon as well as Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) and his team and is in the process of working out the particulars.

“What we need to work out is the financial stuff,” Schaefer said. “Devon has the title and feels he deserves the most money. But Khan has the multifight deal with Showtime, so he has the TV date and he thinks he deserves more money. I think it should be a 50-50 split and I will try to get that done.”

• Interim lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa (22-0-1, 17 KOs), who won his belt by decision in an epic July 27 slugfest against Nihito Arakawa, is out for the rest of the year. I ran into Figueroa the other night and he said the hands he hurt in the fight would keep him out. He said he would let the hands heal and look to return in early 2014 to defend his belt. By that time he likely will be the full titleholder since Broner eventually will vacate it and stay at welterweight, where he also has a title.

Schaefer said he thought it was good for Figueroa to rest after such a brutal fight.

“It was quite a slugfest. He’s a young kid, so there’s no rush,” Schaefer said. “Let his hands heal, let him rest after that fight and first quarter of next year he will be back when his hands are 100 percent.”

• Junior welterweight contender Dierry Jean (25-0, 17 KOs) of Montreal has signed a co-promotional deal with Golden Boy, Schaefer said. Jean is the mandatory challenger for titlist Lamont Peterson (31-2-1, 16 KOs), who is also promoted by Golden Boy. The signing means they will likely be able to avoid a purse bid and make the fight, which has been ordered. Schaefer said he will find a spot to put the fight on before the end of the year.

Picking Mayweather-Alvarez

September, 11, 2013
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LAS VEGAS -- Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Canelo Alvarez is the biggest fight of the year, but if you look at the picks compiled by Showtime, Mayweather is the overwhelming favorite to win Saturday night’s pay-per-view headliner at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Showtime polled 69 fighters and media members. The result was 60 picks for Mayweather, seven for Alvarez and two picked a draw.

Here’s a look at how some of the fighters see the fight:

• Mike Tyson: "I've only seen Canelo fight twice -- against [Josesito] Lopez and [Austin] Trout. Trout gave him some trouble and he isn't as experienced and as technically skilled as Floyd is. Floyd stays in tip-top shape and is a very relaxed fighter. He is at his peak. It's going to be hard for anybody to beat Floyd now unless he doesn't train. Floyd has transcended the game so much that the best fighters out there now try to emulate his style. Floyd wins by a decision."

• Lennox Lewis: "Mayweather will win because of his speed and experience. He's been at this level before so that will also be an advantage. He's the best until proven otherwise. Canelo is talented, young, strong and dangerous -- makes it all the more exciting."

• Zab Judah: "Mayweather is too fast and has great timing. I just don't see Canelo hitting him. I don't see Canelo being able to do anything to Floyd."

• Adrien Broner: "Floyd Mayweather will win by KO in the late rounds.”

• Paulie Malignaggi: "You can't count Canelo out because he's a natural junior middleweight, so he has a chance. But at the end of the day it's Mayweather winning on points."

• Cristobal Arreola: "[Mayweather has] the experience and he's been in a lot of big fights before. That is not to say Canelo hasn't, but Mayweather has been in more and knows what to do in a fight of this magnitude. I think Canelo took this fight two fights too soon. Mayweather by decision."

• Seth Mitchell: "Floyd's boxing IQ is just too great. His offense, defense is just too good."

• Rafael Marquez: "The winner of this fight is the boxer with the most intelligence and power, and I hope it is going to be Canelo."

• Gary Russell Jr.: "In order for Floyd to beat Canelo, he has to keep Canelo on the outside and outbox him and pot shot him. Floyd needs to make it clear that he's landing the cleaner and more effective punches. For Canelo to win, he needs to make the fight ugly and finish his combinations with a hook. He has to make it ugly and rough for Floyd. If Canelo makes it close, he will win."

• Carlos Molina: "At first it looks like Mayweather's experience and speed will be too much for Canelo. But then you think about it and Canelo is young and strong. This is boxing. You just never know. I would say at this point it is 60-40 Mayweather."

• Lucas Matthysse: "If the fight goes the distance then Floyd Mayweather will win. But if Canelo Alvarez fights intelligently, he could win the fight."

New date for proposed Broner bout

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
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One of the fourth-quarter fights on Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer's drawing board is welterweight titlist Adrien Broner against hard-punching Marcos Maidana, a former junior welterweight titlist and Broner's mandatory challenger.

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Jeff Bottari/Getty ImagesAdrien Broner's debut as a pay-per-view headliner, a proposed bout against Marcos Maidana, is likely for Dec. 14 in Las Vegas.
Initially, the date proposed for the Showtime PPV main event at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was Nov. 9. However, Schaefer told ESPN.com on Tuesday that the date of the card is being moved to Dec. 14, also at the MGM.

"We're still doing a Showtime card on Nov. 2, but the pay-per-view we are moving to Dec. 14 and I have the date confirmed with the [pay-per-view] industry and the MGM," Schaefer said.

Finalizing Broner-Maidana and several other late 2013 fights is the reason Schaefer was headed to New York on Tuesday. Top of his agenda is meeting with Showtime Sports chief Stephen Espinoza to hash out the particulars of the many fights they are planning together for the rest of the year. In fact, Schaefer was on the plane in Los Angeles waiting to leave for New York when we spoke about the new date for the proposed Broner-Maidana card.

Schaefer and Showtime have high hopes that Broner can become a pay-per-view attraction and this fight would be his first.

No word yet on the particulars of the Nov. 2 card.

Guerrero not interested in Thurman

August, 28, 2013
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Golden Boy chief executive Richard Schaefer told me on Wednesday that he is working on 13 different fights for various cards before the end of the year. But one of the bouts he had hoped to make -- interim welterweight titlist Keith Thurman versus Robert Guerrero -- is not on that list.

That is because Guerrero (31-2-1, 18 KOs), coming off a lopsided points loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May, declined the fight, which Schaefer had projected to take place either as a Nov. 2 Showtime bout or as part of a Nov. 9 Showtime PPV card he is working on. The pay-per-view card could be headlined by welterweight titlist Adrien Broner against Marcos Maidana, which is one of those 13 bouts Schaefer said he was working on (although he declined to list all 13).

“Keith Thurman against Robert 'The Ghost' Guerrero is a fight I would be interested to see. Sometimes I have crazy ideas but I like to see good fights,” Schaefer said. “I’m no different than any fight fan whether I’m the promoter of the fight or a spectator, and I felt Thurman against Guerrero would have been an interesting fight. But Guerrero and his team were not interested.”

Guerrero co-manager Luis DeCubas Jr. also acknowledged that it was not a fight they were interested in.

According to Schaefer, Guerrero was more interested in challenging the winner of the proposed Broner-Maidana fight for the belt.

“I said, ‘OK, but that wouldn’t be until next spring,’ and they said they would be OK with waiting,” Schaefer said.

It seems to me that because Guerrero’s purse was $3 million to face Mayweather, he doesn’t need the money right now so why not kick back and relax, and wait for a world title fight?

With Guerrero off the table as an opponent for Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs), who won his interim belt with an exciting 10th-round knockout victory against Diego Chaves on July 27, Schaefer said he is thinking about giving Jesus Soto Karass a shot.

That absolutely has action fight written all over it. In the main event of the card that included Thurman-Chaves, Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) battered former two-time welterweight titlist Andre Berto into a 12th-round knockout in a barnburner for his second big win in a row. He also outpointed Selcuk Aydin in January.

“One of the fights we’ll look at now is Thurman against Soto Karass,” Schaefer said. “I would love to see it. You know it would be another toe-to-toe battle.”

Return in the works for Russell

June, 27, 2013
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Gary Russell Jr. and Roberto CastanedaTom Casino/ShowtimeGolden Boy is working on moving unbeaten Gary Russell Jr. to an Aug. 24 tripleheader on Showtime.
A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Featherweight Gary Russell Jr., the 2011 ESPN.com prospect of the year, has missed some fights because of injuries. But when his most recent bout was called off, it wasn't his fault. Russell (22-0, 13 KOs), recovering from a fractured hand, was supposed to fight July 13 on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins' mandatory light heavyweight title defense against Karo Murat before the Showtime-televised card was canceled because of Murat's visa issues.

Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that he is working to move Russell to his Aug. 24 card in Carson, Calif., and that the Showtime broadcast would become a tripleheader. Featherweight titlist Abner Mares defends against former titlist Jhonny Gonzalez in the main event with junior featherweight titlist Victor Terrazas facing former bantamweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz in the co-feature. Schaefer said he likes that spot for Russell because he could eventually challenge Mares, sooner rather than later.

"I'm not like some promoters who like to let fights marinate. I don't like to marinate," said Schaefer in a dig at Top Rank rival Bob Arum, who lost a very big fight between Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa because Arum said he wanted to "let it marinate" and Lopez got knocked out.

• Former junior middleweight titlist Cornelius "K9" Bundrage, who lost his belt to Ishe Smith in February, hopes to be back this fall against former titlist Miguel Cotto, who is coming off a December loss to Austin Trout in a title bout. "My sights are set on Miguel Cotto," Bundrage told ESPN.com. "Team K9 [is] working to make it happen. Gabriel [Penagaricano], who is Cotto's adviser, has been in communication with my adviser and management. Gabriel is a good guy and I have much respect for Cotto and his heart. ... We are warriors. This [proposed] fight will be the new Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward fight. I am so ready to get this battle of warriors done."

• Adrien Broner's Showtime debut last Saturday was a hit for the network. Broner, one of boxing's most polarizing figures, outpointed Paulie Malignaggi to win a welterweight title. Showtime announced the fight drew an eye-catching 1.3 million viewers, the second-largest audience for a Showtime bout since it began tracking individual fights in 2009. Showtime also said the average viewership for the tripleheader was the second highest average since Nielsen began separating Showtime from its multiplex channels in 2004. This is just a continuation of increased viewership for the network's boxing events over the past two years.

• Joan Guzman (33-1-1, 20 KOs) faces Vicente Mosquera (32-2-1, 17 KOs) for a vacant interim junior welterweight title in a battle of former titleholders Friday night (Telemundo, 11:30 ET) in Kissimmee, Florida. Guzman is coming off his only loss in November, when he was unable to continue in the eighth round after hurting his leg on an unintentional foul. It resulted in Guzman losing a technical decision to Khabib Allakhverdiev for a vacant world title. Guzman, a former junior featherweight and junior lightweight titlist, said his leg is fine. "I'm 100 percent recovered from my injury," Guzman, 37, said. "I'm looking forward to showing the boxing world that I'm still a force to be reckoned with."

• Middleweight prospect Anthony Ogogo, a 2012 British Olympic bronze medalist has been added to the July 13 card in Hull, England headlined by the pro debut of teammate Luke Campbell, the bantamweight gold medal medalist. Ogogo (2-0, 1 KO) will face an opponent to be determined in a six-rounder. The card also includes the rematch between welterweight contender Kell Brook and Carson Jones. Ogogo's addition to the card was made possible because his promoter, Golden Boy, was able to make a deal show promoter Eddie Hearn.

"It's great to be on the same card as my Olympic teammate and one of my best friends outside of the ring, Luke Campbell," said Ogogo, who turned pro in April in England and had his second fight May 18 in Atlantic City, N.J. "I expect a spectacular performance from Luke and I'm planning on delivering one myself and really give my home country fans a show."

Alexander: Yes to Khan, no to Dubai

June, 25, 2013
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A few notes from around the world of boxing:

• Welterweight titlist Devon Alexander was in Brooklyn, N.Y., over the weekend for the Adrien Broner-Paulie Malignaggi fight and I had a chance to talk to him at the fight hotel. He’s still sporting the soft cast on the left hand he broke in his knockout win against Lee Purdy on May 18. Alexander said he'll be in the cast for a few more weeks and is still on track for a probable Dec. 7 defense against Amir Khan. However, Alexander said he did not want to fight in Dubai, one of the places where Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer has said was a possibility venue because of the interest there in Khan.

• Newly crowned light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson, who blasted Chad Dawson to win the title on June 8, was also Brooklyn for the fight and I had a chance to meet him for the first time at the fight hotel. He said that while he was in New York he met with HBO executives, to talk about a plan for his future fights. One possibility is a match with former titlist Tavoris Cloud, who lost his belt to Bernard Hopkins in March. Stevenson, however, said he is more interested in fighting Hopkins, although he has a mandatory due against the reinstated Karo Murat.

• Sauerland Event promoter Chris Meyer said that Murat, who was dropped from a July 13 mandatory shot against Hopkins because he could not obtain a visa to enter the United States, has worked out the paperwork issues. However, when it looked like it might take six months to clear up his problem, Hopkins promoter Golden Boy and Showtime canceled the card. With Murat’s paperwork cleared up, he is the mandatory again, but Showtime has no plans to reschedule the card given its busy -- and expensive -- slate of upcoming shows, according to what Showtime boxing chief Stephen Espinoza told me on Saturday night at the Broner-Malignaggi fight. That would leave the fighters, Golden Boy and Sauerland Event in a tough spot, because HBO has no interest in the fight, either.

• Mexico’s Sergio Thompson (27-2, 25 KOs) has been on a roll since a 2010 split-decision loss to Alisher Rahimov. Thompson has won 13 in a row and made a name for himself with an upset second-round knockout of Jorge Linares in March 2012. The streak has landed Thompson a shot at junior lightweight titlist Takashi Miura (25-2-2, 19 KOs). Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez told ESPN.com the contracts are signed for the fight, which will take place Aug. 17 (Fox Deportes) in Thompson’s hometown of Cancun, Mexico. Miura, who stopped Gamaliel Diaz in the ninth round to win the title in April, will be making his first defense.

• Although neither side is talking publicly, super middleweight champion Andre Ward and promoter Dan Goossen are headed to an arbitration hearing on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Ward, for reasons that have not been disclosed, is seeking to break his promotional contract with Goossen, who has promoted Ward for his entire career, including negotiating for him to have his world title shot against Mikkel Kessler during the Super Six in Ward’s hometown of Oakland, Calif.

• Puerto Rican featherweight contender Orlando Cruz (20-2-1, 10 KOs), who made headlines last year as the first active boxer to announce he was gay, was supposed to fight Friday night on promoter Tutico Zabala’s Telemundo-televised card. However, Zabala told ESPN.com on Monday that he pulled Cruz from the show. The reason, Zabala said, was because after Mikey Garcia was stripped of his featherweight title for not making weight for his June 15 defense against Juan Manuel Lopez, the WBO ordered Cruz to face the former titlist for the vacant belt and Zabala and Cruz didn’t want to risk the surefire title shot.

• Top Rank announced two UniMas cards: July 13 at the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood, Calif., headlined by junior lightweight Alejandro Perez (17-1-1, 11 KOs) against Edgar Riovalle (35-14-2, 25 KOs) with light heavyweight prospect Trevor McCumby (11-0, 9 KOs) on the undercard, and Aug. 10 at the Sands Casino in Bethlehem, Pa., headlined by featherweight Gamalier Rodriguez (21-2-3, 15 KOs) facing Jorge Pazos (19-5-1, 13 KOs).

• Top Rank also finalized one of the undercard bouts for the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez HBO PPV undercard on Oct. 12: light heavyweight Seanie Monaghan (18-0, 11 KOs) against Anthony Caputo Smith (14-1, 10 KOs).

Ward seeking split from Goossen

June, 19, 2013
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A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Super middleweight champion Andre Ward is seeking to end his promotional contract with career-long promoter Dan Goossen for unspecified reasons. Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) recently asked the California State Athletic Commission for an arbitration hearing on the matter. Word through the boxing industry is that Ward, who has not fought since September and is out until the fall because of a shoulder injury and subsequent surgery, wants to sign with Top Rank to ensure a money fight with former middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Goossen declined comment to ESPN.com and Ward did not respond to a message.

• Junior lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno of Las Vegas has hired trainer Joel Diaz, who also serves as the head trainer for welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. Magdaleno will train with Diaz in the Palm Springs, Calif., area. After losing a split decision challenging titleholder Rocky Martinez on April 6 in Macau, Magdaleno parted ways with career-long trainer and manager Pat Barry, who still trains and manages younger brother Jessie Magdaleno (14-0, 10 KOs), a top junior featherweight prospect. Diego Magdaleno (23-1, 9 KOs), 26, replaced Barry on the management end with Frank Espinoza last month before getting together with Diaz on the training end.

• Although welterweight contender Kell Brook (29-0, 19 KOs) of England made several remarks this week about how everything is going well in his preparation for a rematch against Oklahoma City’s Carson Jones (35-9-3, 25 KOs) on July 13 in Hull, England, Brook promoter Eddie Hearn acknowledged that he asked the Jones camp to amend the contract weight for the fight from 150 pounds to 152 because of weight issues. They are related to the fact Brook was limited in his workouts early in training camp because he was still recovering from a stress fracture in his right foot. The injury is what caused Brook to withdraw from a May 18 mandatory shot at welterweight titlist Devon Alexander. “I don't want to put too much pressure on him to make the weight and he was restricted early in camp because of [his] foot,” Hearn said. “Can see a move to 154 soon.” Jones manager Bobby Dobbs said their side rejected the push for the heavier weight.

• Light heavyweight titlist Bernard Hopkins, no longer training for his canceled July 13 mandatory defense against Karo Murat, will fill in some of his free time by serving as the guest commentator Saturday on Showtime’s telecast (9 p.m. ET) headlined by the Paulie Malignaggi-Adrien Broner welterweight title bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Hopkins will be filling in for Malignaggi, the regular Showtime expert commentator.

• Mercito Gesta suffered a rib injury in a sparring session and withdrew from a July 19 ESPN2 “Friday Night Fights” main event against junior welterweight contender Olusegun Ajose (31-1, 14 KOs). Ajose will still headline, but promoter Lou DiBella said he and ESPN are still working on a replacement opponent. Gesta (21-1-1, 14 KOs) was moving up to junior welterweight in the wake of a lopsided loss to lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez in December.

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