Dan Rafael: Ricardo Mayorga

Rios-Alvarado III possible

September, 16, 2014
9/16/14
2:29
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Mike Alvarado and Rusian ProvodnikovJosh Hedges/Getty ImagesBrandon Rios and Mike Alvarado could face for a third time next year.
A few notes from the boxing world:

• Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado are 1-1 in their two hellacious fight of the year contenders. A rubber match to settle the score is a must, and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that he hopes to make the fight for early 2015.

“We’re talking about it, maybe in January, on HBO,” Arum said.

In October 2012, Rios (32-2-1, 23 KOs) stopped Alvarado in the seventh round of a brutal junior welterweight slugfest and then dropped a close, unanimous decision in the immediate and equally brutal rematch for a vacant interim title in March 2013. Rios went on to lose a decision to Manny Pacquiao at welterweight and then scored a ninth-round disqualification victory against Diego Chaves on Aug. 2.

Alvarado (34-3, 23 KOs) has lost two in a row since beating Rios in the rematch. Having been elevated to a full titleholder, Alvarado lost the belt in his first defense, getting stopped in front of his hometown Denver crowd by Ruslan Provodnikov in October and then losing a unanimous decision to Juan Manuel Marquez in May.

• The heavyweight rematch between former world title challenger Tony Thompson and Odlanier Solis will take place Oct. 18 in Düsseldorf, Germany, promoter Ahmet Oner announced Tuesday. When they first met March 22 in Oner’s native Turkey, Thompson pulled an upset, winning a split decision. Thompson (39-5, 26 KOs), 42, of Washington, D.C., who has twice been knocked out challenging world champion Wladimir Klitschko, lost his next fight in France to contender Carlos Takam. Solis, 34, the former Cuban Olympic gold medalist now living in Miami, has not fought since the defeat. He was stopped in the first round (knee injury) challenging then-titleholder Vitali Klitschko in 2011.

• Long-faded former welterweight and junior middleweight titleholder Ricardo Mayorga (29-8-1, 23 KOs), 40, of Nicaragua, who has not boxed since suffering an 12th-round knockout loss to Miguel Cotto challenging for his junior middleweight world title in 2011, will face Allen Medina (9-23-1, 1 KO), 36, of Denver, in an eight-round middleweight fight, Epic Sports and Entertainment promoter Ivaylo Gotzev announced. The fight is on a Sept. 27 card at the OKC Downtown Airpark in Oklahoma City that also includes former heavyweight titlist Samuel Peter (34-5, 27 KOs), 34, coming off a 3½-year layoff, and 43-year-old faded former junior middleweight titleholder Luis Ramon “Yory Boy” Campas (102-17-3, 79 KOs) in other eight-round bouts. Peter faces club fighter and former minor league hockey enforcer Ron Aubrey (12-3-1, 12 KOs), and Campas faces Nicaragua native Julio Cesar Lanzas (8-19-6, 1 KO) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in a middleweight contest.

Glen Johnson staying busy

February, 11, 2014
2/11/14
11:27
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Johnson-FrochAl Bello/Getty ImagesGlen Johnson, right, will be looking for a third straight victory on Feb. 21.

Apparently, promoter Jimmy Burchfield wants his customers to party like it’s around 2004.

He had scheduled former welterweight champ Ricardo Mayorga to headline his Feb. 21 card at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I. But what was to be the 40-year-old Mayorga’s first fight since 2011 was quickly canceled when promoter Don King claimed he still has Mayorga under contract and sent a legal letter to Burchfield warning him against putting him on the card.

A week after pulling Mayorga off the show, Burchfield on Tuesday added another name fighter whose best days came in the previous decade to take Mayorga’s place in the eight-round main event: former light heavyweight champion Glen Johnson.

Johnson (53-18-2, 36 KOs), who turned 45 on Jan. 2, will face Jamie Velazquez (11-5-2, 6 KOs) in the cruiserweight bout. The contract weight is 180 pounds, according to Henry Foster, Johnson’s manager.

Since a four-fight losing streak Johnson, including in super middleweight world title fights against Carl Froch and Lucian Bute, has won two fights in a row. On Dec. 18, he took the place of Roy Jones Jr. and outpointed Bobby Gunn over eight rounds at cruiserweight.

Now Johnson is getting right back to work on short notice once again.

“We’re delighted to step up on a week’s notice. Glenn is already ready to go,” Foster told ESPN.com. “Glen is always in shape. We take anything that comes along and, hopefully, somebody (with a big name) will decide he will make a good opponent and we turn the tables and get that underdog victory that Glen has gotten many times before.”

Even a diminished Johnson should not have much trouble with Velazquez. Frankly, it’s surprising the bout would even be approved by a commission.

Velazquez, 42, is 0-4-2 in his last six fights with three of the losses coming by knockout. And, oh, yeah, he has not fought since getting knocked out in his last fight -- 15 years ago.

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