Dan Rafael: Danny Garcia

Garcia, Postol reach an 'agreement'

October, 13, 2014
Oct 13
Danny Garcia and Lamont PetersonGetty ImagesThe agreement with Viktor Postol could open a door for a 2014 Danny Garcia-Lamont Peterson fight.

When the WBC announced on Saturday that the purse bid for the mandatory fight between junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and Viktor Postol, the organization’s No. 1 contender, had been canceled the initial thought was that the camps had made a deal for a pretty interesting fight.

Usually, a purse bid is delayed when the camps tell the organization they are close to a deal, so perhaps it was true all along that the reps for Garcia (Golden Boy and adviser Al Haymon, although it is Haymon who calls the shots) and Postol (co-promoters Elite Boxing and Top Rank and manager Vadim Kornilov) were getting closer to making the fight.

And when a purse bid is canceled it usually means a deal has been struck. In the case of Garcia-Postol a deal was struck -- but not for the fight.

Instead, the WBC announced that “both parties have reached an agreement, the specific details of which will be announced in the near future.”

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman went so far as to say, “I am extremely satisfied with the good faith agreement reached by the parties involved which will generate very good opportunities for the fighters, which is the top priority for all of us involved in this great sport."

What Sulaiman and nobody else will say is that there is almost no chance that Garcia and Postol ever share the ring and that is a shame. Sulaiman using the phrase “good faith” made me laugh because, in my opinion, there is nothing about this deal that is in “good faith.”

The deal they made was for Haymon to pay Postol a substantial fee to step aside and not force the mandatory fight, with both fighters permitted to take optional bouts within the next four months, after which Postol will still be the mandatory challenger (assuming he wins his interim bout).

All that this means, in my view, is that Garcia has no intention of ever facing Postol (26-0, 11 KOs). Or, rather, that Haymon has no intention of allowing the fight to happen since he has no control over Postol, who looked excellent knocking out Selcuk Aydin in the 11th round of the title eliminator in May on HBO on the Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado undercard and who would give Garcia a very hard night.

Sounds familiar, right? This Garcia-Postol fight avoidance is the same thing Haymon did by having middleweight titlist Peter Quillin vacate his belt in August in order to avoid facing dangerous mandatory challenger Matt Korobov (for a career-high purse of more than $1.4 million) since Haymon did not control Korobov. That happened after the purse-bid deadline was extended time and again on Quillin’s behalf until the WBO finally gave a hard deadline. A half hour before that hard deadline, Quillin vacated.

[+] EnlargeViktor Postol
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesViktor Postol defeated Selcuk Aydin by stoppage last May.
“There is a step-aside agreement that we have finalized with Al and Golden Boy,” Kornilov told ESPN.com, although he declined to reveal the dollar figure. “Postol and Garcia will both [have] an option to take other fights in the next four months and then Postol will again be in the mandatory position.”

Kornilov said the agreement calls for the interim bouts to take place by the end of February with the Garcia-Postol fight due within 90 days after that, assuming they both win the interim bouts.

“This option worked out well for all of us at this time and we decided to let Garcia fight a big fight that they are planning before defending [against] Postol,” Kornilov said.

Kornilov holds out hope that Garcia will ultimately face Postol, but more likely what is at work here is that Haymon bought enough time to finally match Garcia with another of his fighters, fellow titlist Lamont Peterson, in the unification bout that should have happened in August but instead resulted in each fighting separate bouts on the worst card of the year as they each blitzed pathetic opponents for premium cable money in pure mismatches.

So perhaps Philadelphia’s Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs) and Peterson will meet, or maybe Garcia will fight somebody less threatening than Postol. And then my prediction is that Garcia will vacate his WBC belt. He could hang on to the other alphabet belt he has or, more likely, move up to welterweight, which Garcia talked about doing in the wake of his poor performance in a controversial majority decision win against Mauricio Herrera in March. Garcia said he had trouble making weight for the fight.

For Ukraine’s Postol, accepting the step-aside deal was a no-brainer. He’s receiving a six-figure payout to wait no more than seven months to either fight Garcia for a big purse (as unlikely as that is of actually happening) or to get a shot at the vacant belt while also being able to take an interim bout against a handpicked opponent.

“[That’s] exactly why we decided to do this, and the bonus was significant,” Kornilov said. “We want to have Viktor fight by the end of the year, but we have an agreement that he fights on Garcia's undercard as an option if we want to.”

If Postol indeed fights on Garcia’s next undercard that is probably about as close as they will ever get to sharing the ring, because this so-called agreement is nothing more than a means for Garcia -- really Haymon -- to avoid the fight.

Andrade's Showtime fight Dec. 13

October, 10, 2014
Oct 10
A few notes from around the boxing world:

• I wrote earlier this week that junior middleweight titlist Demetrius Andrade (21-0, 14 KOs) was leaving HBO for Showtime for a December fight against one of the Charlo twins because his promoters, Artie Pelullo and Joe DeGuardia, could not come to an agreement for his next fight with HBO, which has televised his last two fights. The deal has not been announced yet, but according to a source with direct knowledge of the deal, Andrade will face Jermell Charlo (24-0, 11 KOs) on a Dec. 13 card at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. That means Showtime and HBO will have competing cards on the same night in the same city as HBO has a show -- likely a tripleheader -- topped by former welterweight titlist Timothy Bradley Jr. versus Diego Chaves down the Strip at The Cosmopolitan.

• The purse bid for junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia’s mandatory defense against Viktor Postol continues to be moved. First it was scheduled for Sept. 12 but delayed until Oct. 1. Then it was moved to Oct. 6, and now it has been moved yet again to Oct. 20. There are a lot of games being played right now for a fight that that seems unlikely to ever happen. Why the WBC continues to move the date is unclear because, from what I am told, there have not been any serious talks between the camps.

• It’s bad enough that the WBA has at least two titleholders in every weight classes and three in several of them, giving it a total of 41 titleholders in 17 divisions. At heavyweight the real champion is Wladimir Klitschko, but it also recognizes “regular” titleholder Ruslan Chagaev and interim titlist Luis Ortiz. Thankfully, there will soon be one less heavyweight titleholder, as Chagaev (33-2-1, 20 KOs) and Ortiz (22-0, 19 KOs) have been ordered to face each other in a mandatory bout. They have until Nov. 2 to make a deal or a purse bid will be ordered.

• A second fight has been added to the HBO Latino telecast of the Oct. 18 (tape-delayed, 12:45 a.m. ET/PT) undercard fights from the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California. In addition to the previously announced return of Edwin Rodriguez against Azea Augustama in a move up to light heavyweight following a year off since a one-sided loss to Andre Ward, middleweights Marcos Reyes (32-1, 24 KOs) and Abie Han (22-1, 14 KOs) will clash in the 10-round opener. The fights are on the undercard of the Gennady Golovkin-Marco Antonio Rubio/Nonito Donaire-Nicholas Walters doubleheader on HBO.
There could be a lot of boxing activity outside the ring on Sept. 12 in Las Vegas, and it will have nothing to do with the next day's big fight, the rematch between unified welterweight champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. and former titlist Marcos Maidana.

Since much of the boxing world will be gathered at the MGM Grand for Mayweather-Maidana II, Sept. 12 is the date for a pair of potential WBC purse bids.

The organization has ordered two mandatory fights, heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne's first defense against Deontay Wilder and junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia's sixth defense against Viktor Postol. The camps were all notified that they should begin negotiating the fights but if the Stiverne and Wilder camps and Garcia and Postol camps don't negotiate deals then purse bids will take place on that date.

The fight between Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) and Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) has been anticipated since Stiverne knocked out Chris Arreola in their rematch on May 10 to win the belt Vitali Klitschko vacated upon his retirement in December.

With Stiverne nursing a hand injury, Wilder took a stay-busy fight on Aug. 16 and knocked out Jason Gavern in the fourth round in the final hurdle before the title bout, which is expected to take place in November or December.

Many hoped that Garcia (29-0, 17 KOs), who drilled no-hope lightweight Rod Salka in the second round on Aug. 9 in a gross mismatch, would next face titleholder Lamont Peterson -- who defended his belt on the undercard in a similar mismatch against Edgar Santana -- in a unification fight next. That appears out the window, and the Aug. 9 card even more pointless (if that is even possible) now that the WBC has ordered Garcia's mandatory defense against Postol (26-0, 11 KOs).

Postol gained the mandatory position on May 17 by knocking out Selcuk Aydin in the 11th round of an impressive performance on the Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado undercard in the return of boxing to the refurbished Forum in Inglewood, California.

De La Hoya eyes Garcia-Peterson

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15

Like most boxing fans, Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar De La Hoya would have preferred to see junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia facing titleholder Lamont Peterson in the main event of last Saturday’s Showtime card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

For whatever reason, the fight was not made. De La Hoya and Showtime both said it was the fight they preferred but that the match could not be made for that date -- even though both boxers said they were willing to fight each other. That leaves only their adviser, Al Haymon, who did not want to make the fight. And when he doesn't want to make a fight involving the fighters he works with, it doesn't happen.

Instead, Garcia smoked no-hoper Rod Salka in two lopsided rounds in a nontitle bout at 142 pounds, dropping him three times, including for a devastating knockout on the third knockdown.

Peterson retained his title in his own mismatch, battering helpless Edgar Santana for 10 one-sided rounds before the abuse was finally called off.

If De La Hoya has his way we won't see that kind of card again. He told ESPN.com on Thursday that he was going to press Haymon to make the fight for the end of the year.

"I’m sitting down with Al [on Friday] and we're going to discuss it," De La Hoya said. "That's the fight I'm going to push for. That's the fight that must be made.

"Al knows it and understands. We're on the same page. We must make the best fights happen because the fans are speaking, the media is speaking and the fighters want these fights. It's a matter of me sitting down with Al and talking it over. Al understands that."
Unified junior welterweight world champion Danny Garcia is always proud to identify himself as a Philadelphia fighter.

After all, Garcia was born and bred in the legendary fight city that has produced so many great champions, including Joe Frazier, Bernard Hopkins, Matthew Saad Muhammad and even the most famous fictional fighter ever, Rocky Balboa.

But Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) has fought in his hometown only three times as a professional, once in 2009 (a second-round knockout of Enrique Colon) and twice in 2010 (a seventh-round KO of Christopher Fernandez and fourth-round KO of Mike Arnaoutis).

Golden Boy Promotions has never arranged any of his six world title bouts in Philadelphia, instead putting them in locations such as Houston, Las Vegas, New York and Puerto Rico.

Garcia again will fight in New York when he meets big-time underdog Rod Salka (19-3, 3 KOs) in a non-title bout at 142 pounds on Saturday night (Showtime, 9 ET/PT) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where Garcia will be fighting for the third time.

One of Garcia's dreams was to have a title fight in Puerto Rico, where his parents are from, and Golden Boy made that come true when he took on Mauricio Herrera in Bayamon in March in what was a tough struggle to a majority-decision win.

Garcia hopes to eventually have a world title fight in Philadelphia.

"Actually, that was a dream of mine, to fight in Philadelphia in a world title fight," Garcia said. "I don't think there has been a world title fight here in quite an amount of years. But it wasn't available at this time. We tried; it wasn't available. A lot of the venues were booked for the time, the fight that they were trying to schedule in that time period, so we went with Barclays Center.

"Barclays Center is a great place. I love it. It feels down home to me. It's a good place for the people in Philadelphia. If they want to go out, they feel like they want to get out of the city, they just take a two-hour drive to New York, watch boxing and go out in New York after the fight. So it's a good getaway for the people in Philadelphia, and a lot of people from Philly are going to be there and it's going to be like I'm fighting in Philly anyway."

Golden Boy Promotions on Thursday announced the undercard for the Aug. 9 card it is putting on at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Showtime will televise the top three bouts: a nontitle welterweight fight between junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and lightly regarded Rod Salka, junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson in a defense against Edgar Santana and a fight between Daniel Jacobs and Jarrod Fletcher for a vacant middleweight belt.

The top name among the preliminary bout fighters is 2008 U.S. Olympian and Brooklyn resident Sadam Ali (19-0, 12 KOs), who will take on Jeremy Bryan (17-3, 7 KOs) of Paterson, New Jersey. Ali-Bryan will air on the Showtime Extreme portion of the telecast.


• Washington, D.C., lightweight Anthony Peterson (33-1, 21 KOs), Lamont’s brother, will face an opponent to be determined in a 10-rounder. This fight will also be on Showtime Extreme.

• Light heavyweight prospect and 2012 U.S. Olympian Marcus Browne (11-0, 8 KOs), of Staten Island, New York, will box in his first scheduled 10-rounder against Paul Vazquez (10-5-1, 3 KOs) of Oakland, California.

• Brooklyn junior welterweight prospect Zachary Ochoa (7-0, 4 KOs) will face Palm Spring, California's Luis Cervantes (7-7-3, 2 KOs) in a four-rounder. Time permitting, Ochoa-Cervantes will be on Showtime Extreme.

• Puerto Rico's Prichard Colon (10-0, 10 KOs) will face Lenwood Dozier (9-6-1, 4 KOs) of Washington, D.C., in an eight-round junior middleweight bout.

• Washington, D.C., super middleweight prospect D'mitrius Ballard (5-0, 4 KOs) kicks off the card in a six-rounder against Barry Trotter (2-1, 1 KO) of Hayti, Montana.

In late June, when Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime announced their Aug. 9 card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, it was supposed to include three world title bouts -- all of dubious distinction -- but now it's down to two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"The WBC is not sanctioning the Garcia versus Salka fight,” he said in a statement given to ESPN.com. “Danny Garcia had the opportunity to do one voluntary defense before his mandatory and he opted to fight Salka, who is not eligible to fight for the title. It will not be a WBC title defense. If Garcia loses, the title will be declared vacant. If Garcia wins, he will make his mandatory defense after Salka."

Kameda signs with Haymon

July, 17, 2014
Jul 17
Bantamweight titlist Tomoki Kameda, who looked great in his one-punch body-shot knockout in the seventh round against Pungluang Sor Singyu on last week’s Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara undercard in Las Vegas, has been ordered to make his mandatory defense.

Japan’s Kameda, who also signed this week with powerful adviser Al Haymon -- meaning we are likely to see him fighting regularly in the United States -- must next face mandatory challenger and interim titleholder Alejandro Hernandez. The WBO made the order on Tuesday. The sides have 30 days to make a deal or a purse bid will be ordered. Minimum bid is $100,000.

Kameda (30-0, 19 KOs), who turned 23 on the day of his fight last Saturday, has made two defenses. He is the latest addition to the growing Haymon stable that includes numerous top fighters, most notably Floyd Mayweather Jr., along with others such as Danny Garcia, Marcos Maidana, Adrian Broner, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Lucas Matthysse, Amir Khan and dozens of others.

Hernandez (28-10-2, 15 KOs), 28, of Mexico, claimed the vacant interim belt via unanimous decision against Daniel Rosas on June 14. Hernandez scored a first-round knockdown and won on scores of 117-110, 116-111 and 114-113.

Video: FNF News And Notes

June, 28, 2014
Jun 28
ESPN.com senior writer Dan Rafael joins "Friday Night Fights" to look at the Aug. 9 card featuring junior welterweight titlists Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson, preview the July 12 pay-per-view bout between Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara and update the latest on a possible featherweight tournament.

D. Garcia to top Aug. 9 card

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23
Danny GarciaEthan Miller/Getty ImagesDanny Garcia's next fight could pave the way for a 140-pound showdown with Lamont Peterson.
Whether the mandatory fight between welterweight titlist Shawn Porter and England's Kell Brook takes place or not, it won't be on Aug. 9, as originally planned.

That was the date that Golden Boy, representing Porter, and Brook promoter Eddie Hearn settled on as they made a deal for the fight and avoided a purse bid.

However, both sides told ESPN.com over the weekend that the fight likely will be moved to another date while Golden Boy will still go ahead with an Aug. 9 Showtime card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Topping the show will be junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia (28-0, 16 KOs) with junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson (32-2-1, 16 KOs) defending on the undercard.

Neither has an opponent yet, but Golden Boy's intention, if they both win, is to match them later in the year to unify their titles. That means Garcia, who talked about a move to welterweight following his tough decision win against Mauricio Herrera on March 15, probably will remain at 140 pounds for at least two more fights before moving up next year.

Also on the card, Brooklyn's own Daniel Jacobs (27-1, 24 KOs) will face Australia's Jarrod Fletcher (18-1, 10 KOs) for a secondary middleweight belt; Gennady Golovkin has the same organization's main title.

Porter-Brook headed to Aug. 9

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
Despite Richard Schaefer’s resignation as Golden Boy Promotions CEO last week those at the company say it’s business as usual.

There are fights to arrange and cards to promote. President Oscar De La Hoya, fresh off his Sunday induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, is coming into the office regularly and working on events.

The company is promoting a June 21 Showtime tripleheader at the StubHub Center in Carson, California -- welterweight Robert Guerrero’s return against Yoshihiro Kamegai, Vasyl Lomachenko against Gary Russell Jr. for a vacant featherweight title and former welterweight titlist Devon Alexander against Jesus Soto Karass -- and also working on other events later in the summer.

One date in the works is tentatively an Aug. 9 Showtime card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

One of the fights ticketed for that show is welterweight titlist Shawn Porter’s mandatory defense against England’s Kell Brook. Golden Boy and Brook promoter Eddie Hearn reached an agreement and a purse bid scheduled for last week was canceled, according to the IBF and Golden Boy vice president and matchmaker Eric Gomez.

“We have a verbal agreement, but there are still some little issues,” Gomez told ESPN.com. “But we have enough of an agreement that (the IBF) was comfortable enough to call off the purse bid. The date we’re shooting for is Aug. 9 but that could change. We have to dot our I’s and cross our T’s but everything is moving in the right direction.”

Several other potential bouts have been mentioned as possibilities for the card. One of them is a fight between Daniel Jacobs of Brooklyn, New York and Jarrod Fletcher of Australia for a vacant secondary middleweight title (since Gennady Golovkin was made a “super champion” by an organization).

Junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia has also been mentioned for the card as has junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson. (No, they are not fighting each other.)

But Garcia could also wind up fighting in September instead, according to Gomez.

Golden Boy also has addressed the mandatory defense of lightweight titlist Omar Figueroa against Daniel Estrada. A purse bid had been scheduled for June 6 in Mexico City, but Gomez said the sides made a deal.

“We have a deal in place but no date just yet,” he said.
Lamont Peterson and Lucas MatthysseAl Bello/Getty ImagesLucas Matthysse had been destroying opponents until he met Danny Garcia in 2013.

In 2012 and for most of 2013, junior welterweight slugger Lucas “The Machine” Matthysse was all but untouchable against a series of good opponents.

Many viewed him as the best 140-pound fighter in the world and he was the favorite when he squared off with unified titleholder Danny Garcia last September on the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez undercard in one of the year’s most anticipated fights, other than the main event.

It was understandable why Matthysse, who had an interim belt at the time, was expected to win after watching him obliterate his previous four opponents.

He crushed former lightweight titleholder Humberto Soto in the fifth round; became the first to beat then-undefeated Olusegun Ajose, knocking him out in the 10th round; annihilated poor Mike Dallas by way of pulverizing first-round knockout; and then walked through junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson, dropping him three times in a destructive third-round tour de force in a nontitle bout.

But then Garcia did what he always does. Win.

Garcia blew up Matthysse’s right eye, dropped him in the 11th round and won a hard-fought decision victory to not only retain his belts but stamp himself as the true champion at 140 pounds.

Matthysse (34-3, 32 KOs) is now ready to embark on his comeback, hoping to shake off the loss and get back on track to another title opportunity.

He returns to face powerful but limited John Molina on Saturday night (Showtime, 9:30 ET/PT with preliminary bouts on Showtime Extreme beginning at 7 ET/PT) at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., in the co-feature of the card headlined by interim welterweight titlist Keith Thurman defending against Julio Diaz.

"All fights are important but this one is especially very important for me to win so that I can get back to where I was in the division,” Matthysse said through a translator at Wednesday’s media workout. “In my last fight, I thought everything was going my way until I caught an elbow in my right eye. I don't think it was a punch, but it turned the fight around.

"I felt I was dominating, fighting with two eyes, but with one eye he got the momentum. It was disappointing. I thought my career was on the fast track and I gave it 100 percent, but I could not fight like I wanted.”

A win on Saturday should put Matthysse, 31, right back in the picture for another major fight at 140 pounds or perhaps he will want to move up to the talent-rich 147-pound division, where his promoter, Golden Boy, and adviser Al Haymon have numerous elite opponents that he would match up well with.

"I don't believe the defeat has derailed me too badly, but I need to win against Molina to show that I am back,” Matthysse said. "Molina is a strong, confident fighter who comes forward. In his knockout victory against Mickey Bey, I saw a very hungry fighter. But I didn't really see a whole lot more from him. I have fought and beat much better."

Molina was being taken to school by Bey when they met in a lightweight fight in July. Molina, 31, of Covina, Calif., had lost virtually every round but rallied for a dramatic knockout in the final minute of the 10th and final round.

Molina (27-3, 22 KOs) then moved up to junior welterweight for an easy second-round knockout win in November against a low-level opponent. Matthysse, however, is a serious foe and many expect him to test the chin of Molina, who got knocked out in 44 seconds challenging then-lightweight titleholder Antonio DeMarco in September 2012.

"Fighting at 140 is a gift for me,” Molina said. “This is my second fight at junior welter but I feel better than I ever have. So moving up from 135 will not be a factor. The bad loss to DeMarco was a few years ago but I needed that to become the pro that I am today. I now have the experience of fighting on the big stage that I didn't then.

"The odds are against me each time out but I have a fighting spirit and I have a desire to win against all odds that others don't. There was never any self-doubt. Against the kind of fighter Matthysse is, I have the opportunity to show what I'm really all about. I showed it once against Bey on Showtime and I'm confident I can do it again on Saturday."

Postol-Aydin made TV

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
When Top Rank and HBO initially made a deal for the network to televise the welterweight title elimination bout between Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado on May 17 from the refurbished Forum in Inglewood, Calif., it was planned as a one-fight telecast. The winner will be the mandatory challenger for Manny Pacquiao and his likely autumn opponent.

However, the network has changed its mind, for whatever reason, and will also televise an opening bout, the 12-round junior welterweight title eliminator between Ukraine’s Viktor Postol (25-0, 10 KOs), 30, and Selcuk Aydin of Turkey. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for 140-pound champion Danny Garcia.

Although Top Rank does not promote either fighter, Vadim Kornilov, who works with Postol, has a good relationship with Top Rank, including managing one of its top prospects, light heavyweight Egor Mekhontsev, a 2012 Olympic gold medalist from Russia.

“We were asked if we would put the fight on our show and we said fine,” Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com. “We told HBO, ‘Hey, it’s on the show anyway, why wouldn’t you televise it?’ And they agreed. HBO was only going to show the one fight and then this fell in our lap and they agreed to show it. Why they didn’t make a fight with us for the card at the start, I have no idea.”

HBO confirmed to ESPN.com that it would televise the bout but did not offer a reason for its sudden change of heart about adding a second fight to the broadcast.

Postol's most notable victory came in March 2013, a unanimous decision against contender Hank Lundy. Aydin (26-2, 19 KOs), 30, has had previous American television exposure, losing twice in a row on Showtime via decision in welterweight fights against Robert Guerrero (for an interim title in July 2012) and Jesus Soto Karass (in January 2013). Aydin has won three fights in a row since.

The May 17 undercard, although not part of the HBO broadcast, is also scheduled to include junior lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno (25-1, 10 KOs) against Oscar Bravo (21-3, 9 KOs).

Khan joins Haymon's stable

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
The stable of powerful adviser Al Haymon continued to grow Wednesday as he added yet another prominent fighter -- former unified junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan of England.

The signing comes as little surprise, as Khan has talked about signing with Haymon in recent weeks.

“I am very happy to have signed with Al Haymon, who has not only shown that he is a very astute businessman, but is extremely knowledgeable of the fight game and always has his fighters’ best interests at heart,” Khan said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to building a long and successful relationship during this exciting stage of my career.”

Khan’s next fight is already set. He will face former welterweight titlist Luis Collazo -- another Haymon client -- in a welterweight bout on May 3 in the co-feature of the Showtime PPV card headlined by the welterweight unification fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana, both of whom also are Haymon clients.

The Khan-Collazo winner figures to be in great position to land a shot at Mayweather in the fall, assuming he defeats Maidana.

Haymon also recently signed light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson, welterweight contender Robert Guerrero, junior welterweight titlist Lamont Peterson and his brother, lightweight Anthony Peterson.

Haymon also handles, among others, top fighters Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Deontay Wilder, Chris Arreola, Peter Quillin, Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman, Paulie Malignaggi, Sakio Bika, Chad Dawson and Rances Barthelemy.

Mayfield confident against Dulorme

March, 26, 2014
Mar 26
Junior welterweight Karim Mayfield is unbeaten, but also has been inactive.

The San Francisco fighter boxed only once in 2013, knocking out a journeyman opponent. But in the fight before that, Mayfield clearly outpointed Mauricio Herrera in October 2012. That win looks pretty darn good now, considering that Herrera gave 140-pound champion Danny Garcia such a hard fight on March 15 and lost a controversial majority decision.

"I thought Herrera pulled off the victory against Garcia because he landed more punches and was the aggressor for most of the fight,” Mayfield said. “The fact that I dominated Herrera and he got the world title opportunity means there's something wrong. I've been calling Danny Garcia out for the last couple of years, but he's been running from me because I put it on him when he brought me in camp. I'll beat the breaks off Garcia if we ever fight. First I have to take care of [Thomas] Dulorme, and that is where my 100 percent focus is right now."

Mayfield’s victory against Herrera ranks as the best of his career on second look and now he is shooting for another big win when he meets Dulorme (20-1, 18 KOs), 24, of Puerto Rico, on Saturday night (HBO, 10 ET/PT) at the Adrian Phillips Ballroom at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.

The fight is the co-feature with light heavyweight titlist Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KOs) making his second defense against Cedric Agnew (26-0, 13 KOs).

"I'm very excited to be fighting on HBO again. This is a big opportunity to prove I'm one of the top fighters in the division,” Mayfield said. “This is the type of fight the fans are seeking, two guys at the top of their game who are hungry to prove their great.”

The Dulorme-Mayfield winner is a top candidate to land a June 14 shot at junior welterweight titlist Ruslan Provodnikov. Mayfield (18-0-1, 11 KOs) believes he can score a knockout against Dulorme, who was stopped in his only loss.

"Dulorme is a technical guy with a long jab who has some fast hands,” said Mayfield, 33. “He's nothing special though. I've seen him get knocked out before so I know his chin is suspect. I've fought guys who are long and rangy just like him, so I'm confident in my ability to land some powerful shots. If I touch that chin of his, there's no doubt, he's getting knocked out. ... [Trainer Virgil Hunter] has got me working on some new punches that I'll display against Dulorme.”