Dan Rafael: Warriors Boxing

Warriors wins Dib-Munoz purse bid

November, 27, 2012
Featherweight titlist Billy Dib of Australia thought he would be defending his title Saturday against Puerto Rico's Jayson Velez at New York's Madison Square Garden on the Austin Trout-Miguel Cotto undercard. But Showtime decided it did'nt want Dib -- because he's been in several boring fights -- on its air.

So Velez, one of Cotto's fighters, got another opponent in Salvador Sanchez II and Dib -- promoted by hip hop star 50 Cent (whose real name is Curtis Jackson) -- was left to instead make a lower profile, less lucrative mandatory defense against Argentina's Mauricio Munoz.

On Tuesday, Warriors Boxing was the lone bidder at the IBF purse bid, winning promotional rights to the bout for $50,000. That means Dib is entitled to $37,500 (75 percent of the winning bid) while Munoz is entitled to $12,500 (25 percent).

Warriors Boxing is owned by Leon Margules, who bid on behalf of Jackson's SMS Promotions. Margules is also an attorney and represents Jackson in his boxing business.

The date and location of the bout has not been determined, but Warriors has 90 days to put on the fight.

Dib (35-1, 21 KOs) will be making his third title defense. Munoz (26-3, 12 KOs) became the mandatory challenger when he won a split decision in Argentina against Luis Franco on Oct. 13.

Promoter: Urango a no-go without us

April, 13, 2012
In March 2010, Devon Alexander scored a spectacular eighth-round knockout of Juan Urango to unify two junior welterweight titles. It was a shocking scene because Alexander isn't known for big knockout power and Urango had a reputation for having a great chin.

After the fight, Urango (22-3-1, 17 KOs) disappeared from the fight scene. Many months later, his promoter, Leon Margules of Warriors Boxing, had told me Urango had retired and (no joke) bought a pig farm in his native Colombia.

However, Urango, 31, reportedly has accepted a fight against Cristian Chavez (23-18, 11 KOs) and is scheduled to face him April 26 on a card in Mexico City.

Margules was fine with Urango retiring to the pig farm. He is not fine with Urango taking a fight without his approval.

"Juan Urango is still under contract to me," Margules said. "He's still under contract to Warriors Boxing and does not have permission to do this fight, and we intend to pursue our legal remedies and will seek redress against anyone who interferes with our contract.

"He fought Devon Alexander and, after the fight, told me he was going to retire. I congratulated him on his retirement and told him if he ever decided to fight again, he still had a certain period of time left on his contract."

Urango won versions of the 140-pound title twice. In 2006, Urango won a unanimous decision against Naoufel Ben Rabeh to claim a vacant belt. In his next fight, Urango lost it via lopsided decision to British star Ricky Hatton. In 2009, Urango again won a vacant belt when he outpointed Herman Ngoudjo. During Urango's second title reign, he got an opportunity to challenge then-welterweight titlist Andre Berto later in 2009 and lost a decision, prompting him to return to 140.

"I am outraged and disappointed," Margules said of Urango's actions. "We took him to the world title twice. He earned way over a million dollars in the ring and had many big fights, including Ricky Hatton, Devon Alexander, Randall Bailey, Andre Berto. How many boxers can say that?

"I don't know who is talking to him or leading him to believe he no longer has an obligation to Warriors, but they should be aware: I have an exclusive promotional contract, and whoever is putting him on is interfering."