Monday, September 13, 2010
Quick hits: Martinez-Williams not yet set
By Dan Rafael ESPN.com
Sergio Martinez, right, first made a name for himself by taking the fight to Paul Williams.
• Although HBO announced the long discussed Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams rematch during Saturday night's "Boxing After Dark" telecast, the fight remains unsigned and no venue has been determined, Lou DiBella, Martinez's promoter, told ESPN.com. DiBella said he felt the fight would get done and he has Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on hold for the Nov. 20 rematch, although it's not a lock as the host. "I've felt we have had a deal for a month, but for whatever reason the Williams side has not signed off yet," DiBella said. "I believe they will. More important, HBO believes they will, so they announced the fight. I was surprised when I saw it." Martinez, the middleweight champion, lost a tight decision to Williams in a December fight-of-the-year candidate. In his next fight, Martinez outpointed Kelly Pavlik to win the title.
• Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek (42-1, 27 KOs) will face brawler Vinny Maddalone (33-6, 24 KOs) in his next bout, Main Events promoter Kathy Duva told ESPN.com. She said she has a deal for the fight with Joe DeGuardia, Maddalone's promoter. "Maddalone is the opponent. He's raring to go," Duva said. The only issue is the date and venue for the fight, she said. Duva is planning on Dec. 4 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. However, she said Top Rank might move Miguel Cotto's fight on the same date from New York to Atlantic City, which would force her to move Adamek-Maddalone. "If worse comes to worse, I have Dec. 9 on hold [at the Prudential Center] in Newark," she said of the venue where Adamek has drawn big crowds. "That's a Thursday, which isn't the best, but we did Adamek's [cruiserweight title] fight with Steve Cunningham on a Thursday and his fans turned out." She said another possibility would be Nov. 20 in Atlantic City if the Martinez-Williams rematch does not take place there. She said whenever the fight takes place, Adamek-Maddalone will be available on pay-per-view, which is how his fight against Michael Grant was televised last month.
• Russia's Dmitry Pirog made a big splash by knocking out heralded prospect Daniel Jacobs to win a vacant middleweight belt on July 31 on the Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz II undercard in Las Vegas. Titleholder Felix Sturm of Germany returned from a 14-month layoff to retain his piece of the title with a lopsided decision against Giovanni Lorenzo on Sept. 4. Now, the two titleholders could meet each other. Artie Pelullo, who promotes Pirog, told ESPN.com that he is in talks with Sturm's team about a unification in November or December or the first quarter of 2011. Pelullo said he has also talked to Top Rank about a match with former champ Kelly Pavlik, although Pavlik first fights Nov. 13 on the Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito undercard. Pelullo said if he can't make a deal one of those fights, Pirog would return late this year to defend his belt in St. Petersburg, Russia.
• ESPN has made a deal for the American rights to super middleweight titlist Lucian Bute's mandatory defense against American Jesse Brinkley on Oct. 15 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, where Bute is a major star. ESPN3.com will carry the fight live, along with the undercard bout featuring former light heavyweight titlist Adrian Diaconu against Omar Sheika. The time isn't set yet, but the broadcast will begin at either 9:30 or 10 p.m. ET. ESPN will carry a taped replay of Bute-Brinkley at 2 p.m. ET on Oct. 17. That telecast will also include a taped replay of the Oct. 16 heavyweight title bout from Germany between Vitali Klitschko and Shannon Briggs. ESPN3.com will also carry live coverage of Klitschko-Briggs.
• There has been confusion over the broadcast schedule for Edin Dapudong-Wilbert Uicab flyweight bout in Cancun, Mexico on Friday in celebration of Mexican Independence Day. ESPN3.com will carry the fight, and undercard bouts, live beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Deportes will carry taped coverage at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday.
• Unable to reach an agreement on the fight with promoter Golden Boy, interim junior welterweight titlist Marcos Maidana has been granted his request for a purse bid by the WBA on his mandatory bout with titleholder Amir Khan, which is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 11 -- site to be determined -- on HBO's "World Championship Boxing." The WBA agreed and ordered the purse bid for Sept. 21 at the organization's office in Panama. The minimum bid is $150,000 for any promoter registered with the organization. Khan is entitled to 55 percent of the winning bid with Maidana receiving 45 percent. The sides can still try to strike a deal before the bid. Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer, who promotes both fighters, told ESPN.com he has made offers to both camps, but neither side is happy. Schaefer added that Khan does not want to go to a purse bid, which could give his former promoter, England's Frank Warren, an opportunity to win the rights to the fight. Under the Golden Boy offer, Khan stood to earn approximately $1.5 million plus whatever his British television rights go for.
• Former junior lightweight titlist Juan Carlos Salgado suffered a hand injury Friday and on Sunday withdrew from his 12-rounder with Tyrone Harris. They were scheduled to meet Wednesday on the undercard of the featherweight bout between Jackson Asiku and former bantamweight titlist Jhonny Gonzalez, which headlines an Integrated Sports pay-per-view card (10 p.m. ET) taking place on Mexican Independence Day at the Las Vegas Hilton. With Salgado out, promoter Roy Englebrecht announced that Miguel Roman, who was scheduled for another bout on the undercard, would fill in for Salgado. The winner of Harris-Roman is supposed to fight Salgado when he returns. Also on the card is former Miami Hurricanes football player Quadrine Hill in a heavyweight fight against Yohan Banks.
• Junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade (10-0, 7 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian and one of boxing's most promising prospects, fights Dave Saunders on Wednesday night in Manchester, N.H. It will be his first without his father, Paul Andrade, in his corner as trainer after the two had a falling out. David Keefe, his longtime assistant trainer, is now in charge of the corner, promoter Artie Pelullo said. Paul Andrade is also out as manager and has been replaced by longtime friend Ed Farris. Demetrius Andrade, 22, moved out of his native Providence, R.I., to Mansfield, Mass., to be closer to Keefe for training. Welterweight prospect Danny O'Connor is also on Wednesday's card. Super middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez was supposed to be on the show, but dropped out. He was not ready with the bout coming just a couple of weeks after his wedding.
• Prize Fight has a prospect-heavy card scheduled for Sept. 25 on its regular "Fights At The Fitz" series at the Fitz Hotel & Casino in Tunica, Miss. Middleweight banger Dominic Wade (8-0, 6 KOs) headlines in a six-rounder with a pair of 2008 U.S. Olympians scheduled for six-rounders on the undercard, heavyweight bronze medal winner Deontay Wilder (11-0, 11 KOs) and featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (11-0, 8 KOs). Also on the show is cruiserweight Alex Guerrero (3-0, 1 KO), the brother of rising middleweight prospect Fernando Guerrero.
• ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" returns for its 13th season on Jan. 7. Doug Loughrey, who programs the series, said he has begun working on fights for the early part of the season. Jonathan Barros (29-1-1, 16 KOs), who lost a decision to featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa in March, is under consideration to face Celestino Caballero (34-2, 23 KOs) on HBO on Nov. 27 in a fight on the undercard of lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez's defense against Michael Katsidis.
"I know that there is a lot of talk about me fighting 'Juanma' soon. But it's not my job to worry about that. I will leave this up to the promoters who want to put the fight together. I can only say that I am ready and up for the challenge. I want to prove that I am the best and to do so I have to beat everybody they put in front of him, no matter if his name is [Orlando] Salido, [Elio] Rojas, [Chris] John, [Celestino] Caballero or [Juan Manuel] Lopez. Just bring 'em on." -- unified featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa, on facing the other top featherweights in the world, following his unanimous decision against Salido on Saturday night
"I congratulate Gamboa, but I also saw some things I might be able to take advantage of in case we will fight soon. There are lots of excellent fighters out there at 126 with Gamboa, Chris John and Celestino Caballero being three of the names I'm looking at." -- Lopez, who attended Gamboa-Salido on Saturday, on his own potential fights should he defeat Rafael Marquez on Nov. 6