Dan Rafael: Hector Alfredo Avila
Chris Farina/Top RankPromoter 50 Cent, left, hasn't been able to secure an interim title fight for Yuriorkis Gamboa.Three notes from the fistic world:
• Interim junior lightweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa is supposed to fight June 8, but it has not been easy for promoter Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and HBO to finalize the opponent. Gamboa is supposed to fight at lightweight and an agreement was made for him to face Juan Carlos Burgos, who was on the bad end of a draw with junior lightweight titleholder Rocky Martinez in January. However, according to Artie Pelullo, Burgos’ co-promoter with Thompson Boxing, after accepting an offer from Jackson for the fight about a month ago, Jackson came back to them recently apologizing for being unable to pay the dollars they had agreed to.
“So the fight is off,” Pelullo told ESPN.com. “I made a deal with 50 Cent for a certain number but a month later he was unable to deliver the number he was supposed to pay me and then he wanted us to take seriously less money and I said we couldn’t do that.”
Pelullo said he has talked to Top Rank’s Carl Moretti about the possibility of a Martinez-Burgos rematch.
Meantime, the search continues for a Gamboa opponent. At one point the fight was going to take place at its own site and be part of an HBO split-site card topped by the Chad Dawson-Adonis Stevenson light heavyweight championship fight at the Bell Centre in Montreal. But now, according to the network, if Gamboa fights June 8 the bout will be in Montreal on the Dawson-Stevenson undercard.
• Junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade (19-0, 13 KOs) of Providence, R.I., is on the cusp of getting a world title shot. The 25-year-old former world amateur champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian has great talent but faced pretty soft opposition so far as a pro but is now the mandatory challenger for titleholder Zaurbek Baysangurov (28-1, 20 KOs), 28, of Russia. A purse bid is scheduled for Friday morning at WBO headquarters in Puerto Rico.
Pelullo and Joe DeGuardia, Andrade’s co-promoters, told ESPN.com that they are in talks with K2 Promotions Ukraine promoter Alexander Krassyuk but that they are prepared to go to the purse bid.
“We are trying to make a deal, trying to work it out,” Pelullo said.
The minimum purse offer is $200,000. HBO has shown interest in Andrade but for some reason has not committed to this fight, which is easily the most interesting of Andrade’s career. Baysangurov, who will be making his third defense, is a good fighter but not nearly as quick as Andrade. Still, it’s a very solid fight on paper. Pelullo and DeGuardia said they and Andrade are willing to fight Baysangurov in Russia or Ukraine but, obviously, would like to win the bid and hold the bout in the United States. Their chances of winning a purse bid would be greatly enhanced if they knew HBO would buy the fight so they could know what kind of money they have available to make a more intelligent bid.
• Former heavyweight title challenger Dereck Chisora (15-4, 9 KOs) of England has a new opponent for his fight on April 20 in London, Argentina’s Hector Alfredo Avila, promoter Frank Warren announced. The fight is on the undercard of light heavyweight titlist Nathan Cleverly’s mandatory defense against Robin Krasniqi and will be part of the Epix telecast in the United States. Chisora is seeking to end a three-fight losing streak -- his rip-off split-decision loss to Robert Helenius, a decision loss to heavyweight titlist Vitali Klitschko and a fifth-round knockout loss to former titleholder David Haye last July. As usual, Chisora is talking a big game. “I’m back in business and I’m on the road back to the world title,” Chisora said. “I’m looking to destroy Avila first at Wembley Arena and then face one of the other so-called rivals next. If it’s David Price then great. I know he wouldn’t be able to stand up to my power and he’d be a good step in the right direction for me.”
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