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|Jean-Marc Mormeck will have to wait a few months to get a chance to swipe heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko's belts.|
|Although Brandon Rios struggled mightily to drop weight before his most recent fight -- and ultimately fell short -- he may not be done at 135 pounds.|
|Top Rank has plans for a San Antonio card that would feature Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., left, and Nonito Donaire in separate bouts.|
• Top Rank and HBO are working on a Feb. 4 doubleheader at the Alamodome in San Antonio that would feature middleweight titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and pound-for-pound star Nonito Donaire in separate fights. Chavez (44-0-1, 31 KOs) would make his second defense in the main event, with opponent discussions centered on junior middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (31-0, 19 KOs) and former middleweight title challenger Marco Antonio Rubio (52-5-1, 45 KOs).Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told ESPN.com that Donaire (27-1, 18 KOs), the bantamweight champion who is moving up in weight, will face former junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (21-1-1, 18 KOs) for a vacant belt -- the one Vazquez lost to Jorge Arce via 12th-round knockout in May. Arce vacated and moved down to bantamweight last month and won one of the bantamweight belts Donaire vacated. "Vazquez is a real tough, solid guy," said Cameron Dunkin, Donaire's manager. "He makes good fights. It's a tough fight, but I believe in my guy and he likes the fight."
• The rematch between former welterweight titleholders Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) and Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KOs), which was agreed to two weeks ago, now has a date and a home: Feb. 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer, Ortiz's promoter, told ESPN.com. The fight will be televised by Showtime, which outbid HBO -- the network that had been heavily involved in the careers of Berto and Ortiz for years -- for the rights to the fight. Ortiz outpointed Berto in April in a fight of the year candidate to win the welterweight belt he lost in his next fight, to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sept. 17. Berto returned from the loss to Ortiz to stop Jan Zaveck on Sept. 3, winning another version of the 147-pound title, but he vacated it when no network would buy his mandatory fight against Randall Bailey -- and also because he wanted to face Ortiz again to try to avenge the defeat. Schaefer said the promotional push for the rematch would begin next week in Atlantic City, N.J. He said both fighters would attend Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic final between super middleweight titleholders Andre Ward and Carl Froch on Dec. 17 to meet the media and appear on the broadcast.
• When flyweight titlist Brian Viloria (29-3, 16 KOs) makes his mandatory defense against Mexico's Giovani Segura (28-1-1, 24 KOs), the former junior flyweight champion who is moving up in weight, the fight will be available live on Integrated Sports PPV in the United States on Saturday night (8 ET). The fight, which will take place in Manila, is on Sunday afternoon Philippines time, making an American prime-time Saturday night telecast possible. The American pay-per-view ($29.95), however, is only available on Dish Network or via U-Stream Internet PPV."I've sparred with Segura in the past, and we beat the hell out of each other," Viloria said. "It was the kind of sparring where we could have charged the audience for an entrance fee, and they wouldn't have complained. Segura is a very dangerous opponent for me." Also on PPV, junior lightweights Martin Honorio (31-16-1, 16 KOs) of Mexico and Fahsai Sakkreerin (36-2, 20 KOs) of Thailand will meet in a title eliminator. In another televised bout, lightweights Al Sabaupan (17-0-1, 12 KOs) and Roy Mukhlis (23-3-2, 18 KOs) will meet.
• Although heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko's defense against Jean-Marc Mormeck on Saturday in Dusseldorf, Germany, was called off because of Klitschko's bout with kidney stones, promoter K2 will go on with most of the undercard fights. But they will now take place on Friday night at the Intercontinental Hotel (instead of the 53,000-seat Esprit Arena) in Dusseldorf. Middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin's defense against Philadelphia's Lajuan Simon (23-3-2, 12 KOs) will headline the scaled-down show."I had a great training camp, and I am happy that the fight is going to take place. I am also excited to be working together with K2 Promotions," said Golovkin (21-0, 18 KOs), who recently signed with the promotional company owned by Klitschko and his brother, fellow heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. "I am looking forward to following in the footsteps of the Klitschko brothers and want to be as successful as they are." Said Wladimir: "It is good that Golovkin's fight will take place. He is a very talented fighter, and I am sure that he will beat [middleweight titlist] Felix Sturm next year if he dares fight Golovkin." Golovkin, a native of Kazakhstan living in Germany and a 2004 Olympic silver medalist, will make his third defense.
• Promoter Frank Warren said he will press for a rematch between his fighter, England's Dereck Chisora (15-2, 9 KOs), and Robert Helenius (17-0, 11 KOs), who was awarded a highly controversial split decision on his home turf of Finland last Saturday to claim the vacant European heavyweight title."I know that sometimes I have a moan about decisions, but what happened on Saturday night in Helsinki was one of the worst decisions I've seen in the sport in a very long time," Warren said. "I don't know how Helenius can hold his head up high and claim that he won the fight when he knows he lost. Helenius was supposed to be the next big thing and the man to challenge the Klitschkos, but Dereck totally exposed him, and I'm being generous to give Helenius four winning rounds in the fight. "I'll be speaking to the EBU [European Boxing Union] as well as the other organizations about an immediate rematch, which is the only course of redress for this injustice to Dereck. Dereck fought his heart out and showed just what he can do when he gets himself in good shape, is lighter and is really up for a fight. One thing's for sure: Dereck really proved that he is one of the top heavyweights in the world, and he'll have Helenius' number when they meet again."
• Former middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham (32-3, 26 KOs), a bust in Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic, is scheduled to return Jan. 14 in Offenburg, Germany, promoter Sauerland Event announced. Abraham is due to face Argentina's Pablo Oscar Natalio Farias (19-1, 11 KOs) in a super middleweight bout. Against the best of the super middleweight division, Abraham didn't measure up. After knocking out Jermain Taylor in the opening stage of the Super Six, Abraham lost his next three tournament bouts: an 11th-round disqualification to Andre Dirrell in a fight in which he trailed badly, and lopsided decisions to Carl Froch and Andre Ward. In all, Abraham has lost three of his past four bouts, but he's ready to give it another go."I want to put on a good fight for my fans," Abraham said. "Of course, I have learned from my defeats. But now is the time to look ahead and get ready to fight again. I want to win back the hearts of my fans, and in order to do so, I need a convincing victory. Jan. 14 will be the start of something new for me. I want to begin the new year with an exciting victory and then set my sights on a world title again." The fight will take place on the same card as super middleweight titlist Robert Stieglitz (40-2, 23 KOs) defending against Henry Weber (15-0-1, 3 KOs) -- an interim bout before Stieglitz is slated to face former titlist Mikkel Kessler (44-2, 33 KOs) in a spring fight, which was supposed to take place Nov. 5 but was rescheduled because of Kessler's hand injury.
• When Ricky Hatton was a star fighter, he left longtime promoter Frank Warren -- and not in a friendly way -- to sign with Artie Pelullo. Now that Hatton is retired, his Hatton Promotions is a direct competitor of Warren's in the United Kingdom as they battle for fighters and television dates. Hatton, however, hopes they can work together to make a United Kingdom showdown between two of the country's leading lightweights, interim world titleholder Ricky Burns (33-2, 9 KOs) of Scotland, who is with Warren, and British champion Anthony Crolla (23-2, 9 KOs) of England, who is with Hatton."The main forces in the domestic lightweight scene are Ricky Burns and Anthony. Promoters should try and work together in order to give the British boxing fans the fights I'm sure they would love to see," Hatton said. "Although I and Frank have had our differences in the past, the respect I have for him has never been in question. I would sit down with Frank in order for British fans to see the best fights." Burns sat ringside to watch Crolla retain his British belt via decision against Willie Limond on Nov. 25.
• Promoter Frank Warren has postponed Friday's card in Liverpool, England, until Jan. 27, although no reason was given. European super middleweight champion James DeGale (11-1, 8 KOs), the 2008 British Olympic gold medalist, was due to headline against Spain's Jose Maria Guerrero (29-2-1, 11 KOs), although not in a European title defense. Earlier, British super middleweight champion George Groves (14-0, 11 KOs), who beat DeGale in May, withdrew from the card because of a hand injury. Warren had been moving them toward a rematch.
"It was like beating up a child. I was expecting a very tough fight, but it was so easy."
-- Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, on watching his brother, fellow heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko, dominate Tomasz Adamek en route to a 10th-round TKO in a September title defense
"I know you think you have a lot of experience, and you do have a lot of experience, but I haven't been in the ring with anybody of your caliber. But trust and believe me, you haven't been in the ring with anybody of my caliber, as well. So I'm looking forward to a war."
-- Heavyweight Seth Mitchell, on a recent teleconference with boxing reporters, speaking to Timur Ibragimov, his opponent on Saturday night (HBO, 9:45 ET)
"You know what? I love to go to somebody's home and beat the person in his own home. I love this. I go to Germany and beat Timo Hoffmann. I go to Miami and beat Oliver McCall."
-- Ibragimov, embracing that he will face Mitchell in Washington, D.C., making it home turf for the Brandywine, Md., fighter
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at danrafaelespn.