Dan Rafael: Felix Diaz

Tyson's promotional company on the rocks

December, 13, 2014
Dec 13
A few notes from around the boxing world:

•  Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson and Garry Jonas, who partnered 17 months ago to found promotional company Iron Mike Productions, are in the midst of a split, according to multiple sources. Tyson and Jonas have had a falling out and are going their separate ways, according to the sources. The Tyson and Jonas camps declined comment to ESPN.com.

Jonas apparently will have some of his fighters begin working with powerful adviser and manager Al Haymon and plans to remain in boxing promotion. Tyson also may remain in the promotional business and it would seem logical that he would retain the name of the company. What will happen to the fighter contracts owned by Iron Mike Productions is unclear, but the company has several fighters on its roster, including exciting welterweight Sammy Vasquez, lightweight Monty Meza Clay, welterweight Felix Diaz (a 2008 Olympic gold medalist) and blue chip prospects Erickson Lubin, a junior middleweight, and Ievgen Khytrov, a middleweight.

•  Former three-division titleholder Adrien Broner (29-1, 22 KOs) is penciled in for his next fight on March 7 against an opponent (and television network) to be announced. Broner is coming off a 12-round decision win against Emmanuel Taylor in a junior welterweight bout on Sept. 6. Broner has won two fights in a row since losing his welterweight belt by clear unanimous decision to Marcos Maidana in their action-packed fight in December 2013, after which Broner dropped down to junior welterweight.

•  Middleweight contender David Lemieux’s 10th-round knockout of Gabriel Rosado in an action-packed fight on Dec. 6 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, averaged 908,000 viewers for Lemieux’s HBO debut. It peaked at 1.161 million. Middleweight Hugo Centeno Jr.’s sensational fifth-round knockout in the middle bout of the tripleheader averaged 750,000 with a peak of 815,000. Welterweight Thomas Dulorme’s hard-fought decision win against Hank Lundy in the opener averaged 672,000 with a peak of 778,000.

Mike Tyson returns to Showtime

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
Former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson had a long association with Showtime during the 1990s through the end of his boxing career. In fact, 16 of his final 18 bouts were on the network.

Tyson is returning to Showtime, but now as a promoter as his Iron Mike Productions will promote a tripleheader on the network’s “ShoBox: The New Generation” series April 18 (10:45 p.m. ET/PT) at the Monroeville Convention Center in Monroeville, Pa., a Pittsburgh suburb.

Cuban light heavyweight prospect Alexei Collado (18-0, 16 KOs), who defected to Ireland, headlines the card against Rod Salka (18-3, 3 KOs), of Bunola, Pa., in a 10-rounder.

In the semifinal, southpaw Felix Diaz (14-0, 8 KOs), a 2008 Olympic gold medalist from the Dominican Republic who now trains with Robert Garcia at his Oxnard, Calif., gym, will face Emmanuel Lartey (15-1-1, 7 KOs), a Ghana native based in Brooklyn, N.Y. They meet in an eight-round welterweight fight.

Sammy Vasquez Jr. (13-0, 9 KOs), of Monessen, Pa., faces Juan Rodriguez Jr. (11-0, 5 KOs), of Union City, N.J., in an eight-round welterweight bout to open the show.

“Iron Mike Productions is fairly young but is a quickly growing company that has expeditiously risen to the achievement of world-class competition,” Tyson said in announcing the card. “I'm looking forward to continuing our rise to prominence in the field of championship boxing. I was the first fighter to bring Showtime to the apex of its prominence, and it is great to have my company start off where I finished.”