Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Giovani Segura-Ivan Calderon II set
By Dan Rafael
Junior flyweight champion Giovani Segura and Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon, who waged one of the most intense and action-packed fights of 2010, will meet again April 2 in Campeche, Mexico.
Mexico's Segura traveled to Calderon's native Puerto Rico for the first fight on Aug. 28 and knocked Calderon out in the eighth round in one of the leading Fight of the Year candidates. He handed longtime champion Calderon his first defeat, unified alphabet belts and claimed the lineal championship of the 108-pound division.
For the rematch, however, Calderon will travel to Mexico to meet Segura on his turf.
"Now it will be different because I'm going to fight with better training and without injuries," Calderon said Tuesday at a news conference in his hometown of Guaynabo to announce the bout, which will be televised on Integrated Sports pay-per-view in the United States. "We are working right now and no matter that the fight is in Mexico, I'm going to show my boxing, my movements to win this title again. I want to thank Segura for giving me this opportunity."
Said Segura, "He gave me the opportunity and now we give him the same opportunity, but I'm going to the fight in the best condition to retain this title against a great boxer like Calderon."
Calderon, 36, a longtime strawweight champion before moving up in weight to claim the title at junior flyweight, was a regular on the pound-for-pound list and one of the most dominant fighters of the past decade, a peerless technician with superb defense.
However, Segura, 28, a wild swinging brawler with tremendous punching power, stalked him throughout their first fight. He eventually caught up to him, broke him down and stopped him with a vicious body assault.
Their contract called for a rematch, but terms were not spelled out, including the specific weight. Segura (26-1-1, 22 KOs), who has trouble making the 108-pound junior flyweight limit, wanted the rematch to take place in the 112-pound flyweight division.
After months of negotiation between the camps, Segura agreed to make the weight one more time if Calderon (34-1-1, 6 KOs) agreed to fight him in Mexico.
"I guess it's the biggest fight for the most money for him," said Richard Mota, Segura's manager. "When you're in the small weight classes there are not too many options. Giovani said, 'He wants the rematch, I'll give it to him.' He knows he will struggle to make the weight, but he'll give it to him. He said he could make the weight one more time. He really wanted to move up to 112, but this is the right fight. Everyone wants to see the rematch, and it's the biggest money fight for him.
"I know we're getting more money than Calderon and we got a good deal with the pay-per-view [upside] and all that. We couldn't say no, so we're going to do the rematch. We have nothing but respect for Calderon. He's a great champion. He's proven it. Giovani has nothing bad to say about Calderon. I know Giovani is very excited to come back to Mexico for a big fight like this. He's training very hard. He's already in shape. It's just the weight. He'll struggle a little bit."
Calderon and Segura will continue their promotional efforts for the fight with a news conference in Las Vegas on Saturday.
Dan Rafael covers boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter.