- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Golden Boy has a slew of shows coming in the next few months and has been getting things in order. Here are a few updates from CEO Richard Schaefer:
• Super middleweight contender Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21 KOs) has been added to the Feb. 16 Adrien Broner-Gavin Rees undercard in Atlantic City, N.J. Although the bout is not slated to be part of the HBO telecast, which also features a rematch between heavyweights Johnathon Banks and Seth Mitchell, Bika will face Nikola Sjekloca (25-0, 7 KOs). Schaefer said that with champion Andre Ward out of action for several months because of shoulder surgery, Bika-Sjekloca would be for an interim title, with HBO possibly showing highlights of the fight.
Schaefer also said that junior lightweight Vicente Escobedo (26-4, 15 KOs) will be on the card. He has not fought since being wiped out by Broner in July. That was the fight where Escobedo was supposed to challenge for Broner's junior lightweight belt but Broner came in overweight and was stripped. Escobedo was eligible to win the vacant title but was blown away by Broner in the fifth round.
• The Feb. 23 Showtime card headlined by welterweight titlist Devon Alexander against Kell Brook, along with junior middleweight titlist Cornelius "K9" Bundrage facing Ishe Smith, will be hosted by the MGM Grand Detroit and take place at the Masonic Temple Theater in downtown Detroit.
• Junior middleweight prospect Jermell Charlo (19-0, 9 KOs) has an opponent for his opening bout on the Jan. 26 Showtime card at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas -- Harry Joe Yorgey (25-1-1, 12 KOs), a 35-year-old best known for being crushed in a third-round knockout by Alfredo Angulo in 2009. Interim junior welterweight titlist Lucas Matthysse headlines the card against Michael Dallas Jr. with welterweights Selcuk Aydin and Jesus Soto Karass squaring off in the co-feature.
• The March 2 Showtime tripleheader -- featherweight titlist Daniel Ponce De Leon defending against Jayson Velez, Richard Abril facing Sharif Bogere for a vacant lightweight belt and featherweight Gary Russell Jr. facing an opponent to be determined -- will take place at the famed Apollo Theater in New York.
• Welterweight prospect Frankie Gomez (14-0, 11 KOs), 20, getting back on track after outside-the-ring issues kept him out of action for most of 2012, will face Lanard Lane (13-2, 8 KOs) in the main event of a Fox Deportes/Fox Sports Net card on Feb. 2 at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Junior featherweight Joseph Diaz (1-0), a 2012 U.S. Olympian, will have his second pro bout on the telecast.
Golden Boy has a slew of shows coming in the next few months and has been getting things in order. Here are a few updates from CEO Richard Schaefer:• Super middleweight contender Sakio Bika (30-5-2, 21 KOs) has been added to the Feb.