Dan Rafael: George Blades

Notes: Marcus Browne gets new foe

December, 8, 2014
Dec 8
A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Light heavyweight prospect Marcus Browne (12-0, 9 KOs), 24, of Staten Island, New York, who will fight on the Thursday night ESPN2 boxing special (10 ET) at the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California, got a last-minute opponent for his televised bout. He will face former world title challenger George Blades (23-6, 16 KOs), 40, of Indianapolis. Browne was originally scheduled to face Henry “Sugar Poo” Buchanan (21-4, 14 KOs) but, according to Tom Brown of Goossen Promotions, which is putting on the show in conjunction with the network as a tribute to the late promoter Dan Goossen, Buchanan suffered injuries to his right hand and nose training last week.

• Heavyweight Charles Martin was supposed to face Raphael Zumbano Love in the 10-round main event of the first live CBS Sports Net card on Saturday night at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. However, the card has been canceled – and it comes as no surprise. Promoter Sal Musumeci, who was buying the time on the network with partner Gallery Studio Group, never put tickets on sale and never even formally announced the venue or the lineup of bouts, which was to also have included undefeated light heavyweight Mike Lee in the co-feature.

• According to multiple sources, the first card of the Al Haymon-spearheaded boxing series of time-buy fights on NBC Sports Net and NBC is supposed to take place on Feb. 7, although it is unclear where it will be or who will be on the card.

• Nehomar Cermeno has not fought since August 2013, when he claimed a vacant interim junior featherweight belt by split decision against Oscar Escandon, and has been stripped of that belt for inactivity. He had no fight in the works either. Escandon and Tyson Cave, who fight on Thursday on the ESPN2 boxing special, were supposed to fight a title eliminator. With Cermeno stripped, they will instead meet for the vacant interim belt.

Pascal-Bute promotion gearing up

November, 8, 2013
Montreal stars Jean Pascal, the former light heavyweight champ, and Lucian Bute, a former super middleweight titleholder, are gearing back up for their showdown, which was rescheduled for Jan. 18 (HBO) at Bell Centre.

The fight was originally scheduled for this past May 25, but was postponed after Bute (31-1, 24 KOs) suffered a serious hand injury preparing for the bout and needed surgery.

A frustrated Pascal (28-2-1, 17 KOs), who had not fought since December 2012, took an interim bout waiting for Bute and knocked out George Blades in the fifth round on Sept. 28.

Then Pascal went all conspiracy theorist in his remarks when the rescheduled date was formally announced recently.

“I have been waiting for this fight for years,” Pascal said. “I believe my opponent's team conspired to postpone the fight in an attempt to demoralize me. Believe me, it did not work. On Jan. 18th the ring will be too small for the both of us. Bute will not be able to hide. I will expose him.”

Bute got knocked out by Carl Froch and lost his super middleweight belt in May 2012 and returned for a very shaky decision win against Denis Grachev in November. Bute will have been out of the ring for more than a year when he faces Pascal and is moving up in weight for the fight.

Bute didn’t bother to respond to Pascal’s accusations, simply saying he would be ready for the fight that looms as perhaps the biggest in Canadian history.

“I will arrive to the ring very well prepared. This is a fight that I wanted,” Bute said. “I am going to have fun on Jan. 18th, and so are the majority of Quebecers present at the Bell Centre.”

InterBox’s Jean Bedard, Bute’s promoter, is just happy that they are finally ready to go with a fight years in the making.

“Our fans have waited a long time for this,” said Bedard, noting that 15,000 of the roughly 20,000 tickets available already have been sold. “Both boxers are ready, so believe me, nobody will regret the wait.”