Monday, January 17, 2011
Matt Remillard signs with Top Rank
By Dan Rafael
Top Rank, already deeply involved in the talented featherweight division, added another 126-pounder on the verge of a significant fight Monday, announcing the signing of 24-year-old Matt Remillard.
"Matt is a skilled, exciting fighter. We are pleased he has joined our company," Top Rank's Bob Arum said in a statement.
Remillard (23-0, 13 KOs), of Manchester, Conn., turned pro in 2005 and is headed toward a notable fight and some television exposure.
He is a possible opponent to face Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia (24-0, 20 KOs), one of the most heralded featherweight prospects in boxing, on March 26 on HBO. The network has approved the fight. If Garcia-Remillard comes off, it would take place on the televised undercard of featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa's next defense, which likely will come against Jorge Solis.
Top Rank's Carl Moretti told ESPN.com that there are two other possible spots where Remillard could make his debut for the company. One is on April 16, in an opening bout on a Showtime card headlined by featherweight titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez in Puerto Rico. The other possibility is as the main event of a "Top Rank Live" card March 19 on Fox Sports Net.
"It's a matter of locking things in this week," Moretti said. "He could be on any one of the three cards."
Remillard's signing adds depth to Top Rank's roster at featherweight. The company promotes Lopez, who is widely regarded as the No. 1 fighter in the division and is its biggest attraction. It also promotes Gamboa, Garcia, Solis -- an interim junior lightweight titleholder who is dropping down in weight -- and contender Bernabe Concepcion.
"Top Rank has some of the best fighters in the world," said Remillard, who had previously been promoted by financially-troubled TKO Boxing. "It's the best promotional company in terms of moving fighters and getting them big fights. I'm really excited about signing with Top Rank. I remember when I first started fighting that Top Rank was the best promoter and now I'm finally there with them. Bob Arum and his team will get me to the next level."
Remillard, who is known as "Sharpshooter," holds top-five rankings in two of the major alphabet organizations, although he has yet to face a contender. He fought three times in 2010, all at the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Conn., scoring early knockouts of Rafael Lora and Carlos Rivera and going the eight-round distance with Oscar Cuero.
"Dealing with Top Rank was very professional," said Bret Hallenbeck, Remillard's manager. "We're looking forward to working with a quality promotional company like Top Rank."
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.