Dan Rafael: Robert Marroquin

Tyson promoting Moreno-Payano

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
A few notes from around the boxing world:

• Mike Tyson’s Iron Mike Productions announced that it is headed to the Mesquite Arena in Mesquite, Texas, for a show Sept. 26 that will be headlined by bantamweight titlist Anselmo Moreno of Panama defending his belt for the 13th time when he takes on Juan Carlos Payano (15-0, 8 KOs), a 2004 and 2008 Olympian from the Dominican Republic. The only fight Moreno (35-2-1, 12 KOs) has lost in 12 years was a decision challenging then-junior featherweight titlist Abner Mares for his belt in 2012.

“The state of Texas is the home to some of the toughest fighters and best boxing fans in the country. I’m thrilled to promote my first event there,” Tyson said. “With the highly anticipated bantamweight world title fight and a host of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s finest boxers, local fight fans are set for an outstanding evening of entertainment.”

The card will also feature middleweight Charles Hatley (23-1-1, 16 KOs) and featherweight Robert Marroquin (23-3-1, 16 KOs), the former junior featherweight title challenger and one-time top prospect recently released by Top Rank.

• Great news for fight fans. During Saturday night’s broadcast of the Antonio DeMarco-Lanardo Tyner fight, beIN Sports Espanol announced it would televise notable fights from Mexico for the next four consecutive Saturday nights (11 ET), including the much-anticipated fight between unified flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada against former junior flyweight champion Giovani Segura on Sept. 6.

Also on the beIN Sports Espanol upcoming schedule: David Sanchez defending his interim junior bantamweight belt against Anuar Salas on Aug. 30; Omar Chavez (brother of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.) taking on Ramon Alvarez (brother of Canelo Alvarez) on Sept. 13; and former featherweight titlist Orlando Salido taking on Terdsak Kokietgym for a vacant interim junior lightweight belt on Sept. 20.

• Junior welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano (27-4-1, 20 KOs), due to face Juan Pablo Lopez (25-3, 21 KOs) in Cancun, Mexico, on Saturday night in the “Golden Boy Live” main event (Fox Deportes), has dropped out of the fight because he broke a finger in training.

Martirosyan fit for June 15 bout

May, 29, 2013
Junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan's thumb is feeling better, and he's ready to fight again.

[+] EnlargeVanes Martirosyan
Landry Major/Getty ImagesVanes Martirosyan has recovered from a fractured right thumb and will appear on the undercard of the June 15 Mikey Garcia-Juan Manuel Lopez fight.
Martirosyan (32-0-1, 20 KOs), a 2004 U.S. Olympian from Glendale, Calif., suffered a fractured right thumb while training for a fight on the April 6 card in Macau, forcing him off the show. Now healed, Martirosyan has been added to the untelevised undercard of the Mikey Garcia-Juan Manuel Lopez featherweight title fight on June 15 (HBO) at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Martirosyan, who is coming off a ninth-round technical draw against Erislandy Lara in a November world title eliminator, will face Ryan Davis (24-10-3, 9 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder.

Obviously, this isn't a big fight for Martirosyan, who will ease back into action off the injury in hopes of landing a more significant fight later in the year. That's probably a good bet, especially now that he has signed with manager Cameron Dunkin, who also handles such top fighters as Garcia, Timothy Bradley Jr., Nonito Donaire and Brandon Rios.

"They contacted me and said they wanted to be with me," Dunkin said of Martirosyan and his family. "We talked a long time and got along great and said 'Let's do the deal.' He's a helluva fighter. He's only 27, strong and fast. He hits hard. He's a real talent, and I always want to work with fighters who have a lot of talent. We'll do this fight June 15 and then push him to a bigger fight."

Several fighters represented by Dunkin will be part of the June 15 show, including lightweight Terrence Crawford (20-0, 15 KOs), former Russian Olympic middleweight Matt Korobov (19-0, 11 KOs) and Quebec power-punching welterweight prospect Mikael Zewski (19-0, 15 KOs).

Crawford, of Omaha, Neb., who beat Breidis Prescott at junior welterweight as a late substitute on March 30, is moving back down to his more natural lightweight to face Mexico's Alejandro Sanabria (34-1-1, 25 KOs) in the 10-round televised co-feature. Korobov will face experienced veteran Ossie Duran (28-10-2, 11 KOs) in an eight-round fight, and Zewski will meet Damian Frias (19-7-1, 10 KOs) in an eight-rounder.

In another fight on the card, 22-year-old blue-chip prospect Oscar Valdez (4-0, 4 KOs), a two-time Mexican Olympian, will face Gil Garcia (5-4-1, 1 KO) in a six-round junior featherweight fight.

Top Rank, which is putting on the Garcia-Lopez show, also announced a card on June 29 (UniMas), which will take place at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Okla.

Featherweight contender Robert Marroquin (23-2, 16 KOs) of Dallas will face Nicaragua's Daniel Diaz (19-5-1, 15 KOs) in the scheduled 10-round main event. Junior welterweight Jose Ramirez (3-0, 2 KOs), a 2012 U.S. Olympian from Avenal, Calif., will fight an opponent to be determined in a four-rounder.

Rigondeaux offered contract extension

September, 15, 2012
LAS VEGAS -- Top Rank's Bob Arum said Friday that he has offered a contract extension to junior featherweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux, contingent upon him defeating Robert Marroquin on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez undercard on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The fight with Marroquin is the last one on Top Rank's contract with Rigondeaux. There has been litigation over his deals with manager Gary Hyde, as well as nominal co-promoter Caribe Promotions. Because of the legal maneuvering, Rigondeaux didn't even know for sure if he would be on the card until earlier in the week.

Still, Arum is very high on the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, who was one of the greatest amateurs ever. Arum said he met this week with Rigondeaux's team and offered him an 18-month contract for a minimum of three fights and a maximum of five, with minimum purses that Rigondeaux's side was happy with.

"We've made a proposal to them and we're trying to get it done," Arum said.

Under the deal, if it is completed, Arum said Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs) would fight again before the end of the year.

"Rigondeaux fits right in our wheelhouse at 122 and 126 pounds," Arum said. "And he has no problem fighting anyone, anywhere -- Mexico or wherever. That makes him attractive to us."

Arum is heavily involved in those two divisions, promoting such fighters as unified junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire (whom Rigondeaux badly wants to fight), featherweight titlist Orlando Salido, featherweight contender Mikey Garcia (who will fight Salido in the fall) and former titlist Juan Manuel Lopez.

Luis DeCubas Sr., a close adviser of Rigondeaux's who was at the meeting with Arum, said he hoped to finalize Arum's offer.

"It was a great deal," DeCubas said. "I love the deal, but there are still a few hurdles. But I think everyone was happy when we left those meetings."

Hyde said although he is considering the offer from Arum, it's too early to say they have a deal.

"I met with Bob Arum on Thursday and he increased his earlier proposal considerably, but Rigo has not signed a promotional deal with Top Rank or any other promoter, for that matter," Hyde said. "I am waiting for Top Rank to send its proposal to my attorney, Patrick English, and then I will consider it. We have two other lucrative offers and will decide which promoter we will sign with after thoroughly reviewing each all proposal."

Saturday's Martirosyan bout moved

June, 15, 2012
Junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KOs) was originally scheduled to face Ryan Davis (24-9-3, 9 KOs) in a stay-busy fight on Saturday night's Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Andy Lee undercard in El Paso, Texas. But Top Rank decided to move him to the July 7 Nonito Donaire-Jeffrey Mathebula undercard in Carson, Calif., which is close to Martirosyan's Glendale, Calif., home, believing he might be able to draw some of the fans from the Armenian community there.

Replacing Martirosyan in Saturday's El Paso co-feature is lightweight titlist Miguel Vazquez (30-3, 13 KOs), who will face journeyman Daniel Attah (26-10-1, 9 KOs) in a 10-round nontitle bout. Featherweight prospect Robert Marroquin (21-1, 14 KOs) is also on the card. He's in soft against Arturo Santiago (7-5-1, 4 KOs) in an eight-rounder.