Dan Rafael: Juan Carlos Sanchez

Anthony Joshua's pro debut foe set

September, 25, 2013
A few notes from the boxing world:

• Anthony Joshua, the 2012 British Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, had his Oct. 5 pro debut opponent announced on Wednesday. Joshua will face 32-year-old Emanuele Leo (8-0, 3 KOs) of Italy in the six-round main event of a big card at the O2 Arena in London, Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn announced. The card also includes Scott Quigg against Yoandris Salinas for a vacant junior featherweight title, lightweight contender Kevin Mitchell against Marco Lopez and featherweight prospect Lee Selby defending his British and Commonwealth titles against Ryan Walsh. Also, lightweight prospect Luke Campbell, the 2012 British Olympic bantamweight gold medalist and Joshua’s teammate, will have his second pro fight on the card.

• Super middleweight contender Thomas Oosthuizen (21-0-2, 13 KOs) of South Africa, who is coming off a poor performance in a 10-round split draw against Brandon Gonzalez on June 29 in his HBO debut, returns Nov. 9 in his home country, co-promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN.com. Oosthuizen will square off with Argentina’s Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (20-1, 13 KOs) in a scheduled 12-rounder at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, near Johannesburg, on a card being put on by Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman, DiBella’s partner on Oosthuizen. Maderna won his only fight since suffering his lone defeat, a 10-round decision loss to Edwin Rodriguez in the semifinals of the Monaco Million Dollar Super Four tournament in March.

• Former junior bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Sanchez (17-1-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico and Zolani Tete (17-3, 15 KOs) of South Africa have both told the IBF in writing that they are willing to participate in a final eliminator to produce the mandatory challenger for titleholder Daiki Kameda (29-3, 18 KOs), who won the vacant belt Sept. 3. It became vacant because Sanchez failed to make weight for a June defense. But Sanchez plans on staying at 115 pounds and will meet Tete in the eliminator. The sides have until Oct. 7 to make a deal or a purse bid will be ordered.

Kameda-Guerrero for belt at 115

July, 18, 2013
Former flyweight titlist Daiki Kameda (28-3, 18 KOs) of Japan and former junior bantamweight titlist Rodrigo Guerrero (19-4-1, 12 KOs) of Mexico will meet for a vacant junior bantamweight belt on Sept. 3 in Japan.

The title became vacant last month when Juan Carlos Sanchez failed to make weight for a June 8 defense against Roberto Sosa in Las Vegas. The fight went on anyway, with only Sosa eligible to win the vacant title, but Sanchez won a unanimous decision, leaving the belt vacant.

Guerrero lost the title to Sanchez by decision in February 2012 and has won three fights in a row since. Kameda won a flyweight belt in 2010 and made two defenses before vacating to move up in weight. He has won six fights in a row since losing a decision challenging Tepparith Kokietgym for a junior bantamweight title in December 2011.

Cotto stays busy promoting

May, 14, 2013
A few updates on fighters and upcoming fights:

• Miguel Cotto, who likely will return to the ring in September, is keeping busy with his promotional company. In his June 7 card on Showtime from Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y., junior middleweight Jorge Melendez (26-2-1, 25 KOs) of Puerto Rico will headline against Mexico's Luis Grajeda (14-1, 10 KOs) in a 10-rounder. Puerto Rican bantamweight Jonathan Vidal (17-0, 9 KOs) will face Mario Munoz (13-0-1, 10 KOs) of Mexico in the eight-round co-feature.

• Junior bantamweight titlist Juan Carlos Sanchez (15-1-1, 8 KOs) of Mexico will make a mandatory defense against Argentina's Roberto Sosa (24-0, 14 KOs) on June 8 (UniMas) at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Top Rank announced. Hot prospect Jessie Magdaleno (14-0, 10 KOs), who is from Las Vegas, will fight in the eight-round junior featherweight co-feature against Henry Maldonado (16-1, 11 KOs) of Nicaragua. Also on the card: heavyweight prospect Andy Ruiz (18-0, 12 KOs) in an eight-rounder against Carl Davis (16-5, 12 KOs). It's a tune-up fight for Ruiz, who is scheduled to face fellow undefeated prospect Joe Hanks on July 27 in Macau.

• The ESPN2 card headlined by junior featherweight Chris Avalos (21-2, 16 KOs) and former interim junior bantamweight titlist Drian Francisco (24-1-1, 19 KOs) of the Philippines, originally scheduled for June 14 at Texas Station Gambling Hall & Hotel in Las Vegas, has been moved to July 12. Junior middleweight prospects Glen Tapia (18-0, 10 KOs) and Abie Han (19-0, 12 KOs) will meet in the 10-round co-feature.

• Welterweight prospect Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (14-0, 8 KOs), an 18-year-old from Washington, D.C., who was just 17 when he turned pro, will headline a hometown card at the University of the District of Columbia's Sports Complex on Saturday night when he steps up a bit in competition against Puerto Rico native Eddie Soto (12-6, 4 KOs) of Pawtucket, R.I. Harrison is a student at the school. The card will be streamed live at Gofightlive.tv beginning at 7 p.m.

New dates for Broner, Gamboa?

March, 5, 2013
After the March 16 Ricky Burns-Miguel Vazquez lightweight unification fight was pushed off on Monday, Golden Boy Promotions' CEO Richard Schaefer said he revisited trying to make a unification fight between Adrien Broner and Scotland's Burns for June 15 in Las Vegas.

After Burns-Vazquez was postponed until April 20, still in London, Schaefer said he was in touch with Burns promoter Frank Warren about instead doing the Broner fight, which the sides had already tried to negotiate in February.

According to Schaefer, Warren said he was interested but that Burns' manager, Alex Morrison, wasn't. Schaefer said that was "unfortunate, because Ricky is going to lose to Vasquez for a fraction of the money he can make fighting Broner."

Schaefer wouldn't put a number on how much he offered for Burns but said, "I offered Frank a lot of money for Burns to come over. It's a very big number. I said to Frank, 'Why don't you come over here [to the U.S.]? At least Ricky is going to make double or triple what he can make in this fight with Vazquez.' Frank said, 'I'm on board, but the manager doesn't want to fight Broner.' He said there's nothing he can do."

With no Burns fight for Broner, Schaefer said there's a possibility the lightweight titlist will jump up two weight classes to challenge welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi on June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Malignaggi's hometown).

"Paulie told me he is interested, and HBO likes the fight," Schaefer said. "People will like that fight. Paulie did tell me he would take it. He's not sure Broner would take it. I put it to [Broner manager] Al Haymon to talk to Adrien. I think it would be a very interesting fight."

I like Broner-Burns, but Malignaggi-Broner? Count me in.

• Yuriorkis Gamboa, who won a vacant interim junior lightweight title with a less-than-impressive decision against Michael Farenas on Dec. 8, has no fight lined up yet, but there have been talks about a spring return, likely at lightweight. Gamboa, who is with promoter/rapper 50 Cent (Curtis Jackson), is looking for an opponent. From what I'm told, HBO is interested in his next fight and former titlist Antonio DeMarco came up as a possible opponent. DeMarco lost his title by eighth-round knockout to Broner in April. Although HBO owes DeMarco a fight based on the deal from the Broner bout, DeMarco promoter Gary Shaw told me they are not interested in Gamboa.

• Here's a late but nice addition to this weekend's television boxing lineup: Top Rank announced that the flyweight title eliminator between former junior flyweight titleholders Edgar Sosa (47-7, 28 KOs) of Mexico City and Ulises "Archie" Solis (35-2-3, 22 KOs) will headline "Solo Boxeo Tecate" (UniMas, 11 ET/PT) on Saturday night in Guadalajara, Solis' hometown. They will be meeting for the third time. Solis won both of their previous fights, a six-round decision in 2001 and a majority decision in a Mexican junior flyweight title fight in 2003.

• Javier Fortuna (21-0, 15 KOs) of the Dominican Republic, who won a vacant interim featherweight belt by outpointing Patrick Hyland on Dec. 8 on the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV undercard, will make his first defense against Mexico's Miguel Zamudio (25-1-1, 13 KOs) on April 13. The fight will headline ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" at a location to be determined.

• There was a purse bid held Tuesday at the IBF offices in New Jersey for Juan Carlos Sanchez (15-1-1, 8 KOs) of Mexico and Argentina's Roberto Sosa (24-0, 14 KOs). However, according to IBF championships chairman Lindsey Tucker, nobody showed up to bid on the fight. Tucker said he has rescheduled the bid for March 19. If nobody shows up a second time, Sanchez will be stripped of his title.

• HBO's new boxing series "Cornered" debuts Tuesday night (10:15 ET/PT). The 15-minute debut, which focuses on famed ring announcer Michael Buffer, is a behind-the-scenes series that will follow boxing personalities who aren't fighters themselves. HBO is calling the show a "companion series" to its popular "2 Days," which follows a fighter in the 48 hours leading up to his fight.