Froch/Groves II is On!

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Story by:  Chip Mitchell

The weigh-in for tomorrow’s highly anticipated rematch between Carl “The Cobra” Froch and George Groves took place earlier today. IBF and WBA Super Middleweight champion Carl Froch weighed in at 167.6. Challenger George Groves came in at 166.25.

It has been six months since the first fight between Froch (32-2, 23 KOs) of Nottingham, England, and Groves (19-1, 15 KOs) of London, England, which ended in controversy. More than 80,000 fans are expected to fill Wembley Stadium.  I keep hearing about boxing being dead.

In their prior bout, Groves was ahead through most of the battle and seemed to be seizing control of the fight. In the ninth round, however, Froch came to life and landed enough shots to cause referee Howard Foster to halt the bout.

I expect the atmosphere at Wembley to be bananas!  This is a return battle between two guys who obviously have no love lost between them. Prior to facing Groves, Froch’s only losses were to Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward. Groves entered the contest undefeated, with his biggest wins coming against Glen Johnson and James DeGale.

Prediction: I’m going with Froch to win this one by decision or late TKO.

Froch/Groves II will air live on HBO at approximately 4:45pm eastern. At 4:00pm eastern, HBO cameras will take us to Macau, China for a featherweight title fight between challenger Nonito Donaire (32-2, 21 KOs) and champion Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-2, 16 KOs).

Immediately following Froch/Groves II, HBO will show the first episode of Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7.

Immediately after Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7, HBO will broadcast 2 Days:  Portrait of a Fighter “Sergio Martinez”.

Fans, it doesn’t stop there. At midnight on HBO2, another doubleheader takes place as Javier Fortuna (24-0-1, 18 KOs) takes on Juan Antonio Rodriguez (26-4, 23 KOs) in a super featherweight event scheduled for ten rounds.  Also Luis Rosa (16-0, 7 KOs) and Luis Orlando Del Valle (18-1, 13 KOs).

Don’t miss the action!

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Cotto vs. Martinez 24/7 Premiers Saturday on HBO!

NEW YORK – HBO Sports’ groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise, which has captured 18 Sports Emmy® Awards, returns for its 20th boxing installment with 24/7 COTTO/MARTINEZ, it was announced by Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. Debuting SATURDAY, MAY 31 (11:15-11:45 p.m. ET/PT), the behind-the-scenes series follows two elite fighters as they prepare for their middleweight title showdown June 7 at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden. The series will also be presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.

“Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez are barreling toward the most-anticipated fight of 2014, and their backstories will make for great storytelling in this all-new edition of ’24/7′,” noted Bernstein. “This is an intense showdown made even larger by the backdrop of New York and Madison Square Garden playing host to the event.”

Episode two of 24/7 COTTO/MARTINEZ debuts Thursday, June 5 (8:30-9:00 p.m.) two nights before the high-stakes bout.
24/7 COTTO/MARTINEZ will provide exclusive behind-the-scenes access, along with in-depth interviews, as the fighters prepare for their first encounter.  Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, is attempting to become the commonwealth’s first four-division world champion.  His formidable foe is Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, the lineal world middleweight champion, who has turned back an impressive list of challengers since first capturing the crown in 2010.

Making his fourth “24/7” appearance, Cotto is working with Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach at the famed Wild Card Gym in Hollywood, Cal.  Martinez, who works with trainers Pablo and Gabriel Sarmiento, is making his second appearance on the show and holding camp in Miami, Fla.

24/7 COTTO/MARTINEZ is the latest installment of the acclaimed franchise that began in 2007.  The most-honored sports series on TV over the past seven years, the show has earned 18 Sports Emmys®, receiving five of the last six Emmys® in the Outstanding Editing category.

ESPN The Magazine called the series “a masterfully entertaining reality show.”

“Cotto vs. Martinez” takes place at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden on Saturday, June 7 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)/6:00 p.m. (PT), and will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.

The executive producer of 24/7 COTTO/MARTINEZ is Rick Bernstein; senior producer, Dave Harmon; coordinating producer, Bentley Weiner; producer, Abtin Motia; writer, Aaron Cohen. Liev Schreiber narrates.

Adonis Stevenson Survives Fonfara

imageAdonis Stevenson W12 Andrez Fonfara… Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (24-1, 20 KOs) successfully defended his world light heavyweight title for the third time Saturday night in a thrilling 12-round battle with world-ranked challenger Andrzej Fonfara (25-3, 15 KOs) at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Stevenson won via unanimous decision, with the three judges scoring the bout 115-110 (twice) and 116-109 in his favor. “Superman” started strong and knocked Fonfara down in the first and fifth rounds and looked to be en route to an easy win. But Fonfara showed his mettle and battled back to floor the champion in the ninth. From there, Stevenson and Fonfara went toe-to-toe, trading powerful shots and asking each other for more up to the final bell.

“Superman” started strong and knocked Fonfara down in the first and fifth rounds and looked to be en route to an easy win. But Fonfara showed his mettle and battled back to floor the champion in the ninth. From there, Stevenson and Fonfara went toe-to-toe, trading powerful shots and asking each other for more up to the final bell.

In the end, Stevenson secured the victory on the strength of his early round dominance and his resilience in latter part of the fight. Stevenson landed a notable 59% of his power shots, according to Showtime’s stats.

After the fight, Stevenson told ringside reporter Jim Gray, “(It was a) good fight. I hurt my left hand in the second round. He did very well. I threw the punch but I caught the elbow and I hurt my hand.”

Stevenson was satisfied with his victory despite getting knocked down. “Everyone gets knocked down. But I came back strong. I showed the world because I’m a true champion.

“I told everybody (Fonfara) is strong. He’s been training since December… He was ready for this fight. I never overlooked him because he’s a tough fighter.”

When asked by Gray about the prospect of fighting Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev, Stevenson said, “I accept any challenge. Bernard can be next. And I have no problem with Kovalev. If I fight him, I fight him.”

Fonfara, despite the loss, made an emphatic statement. After the fight, he said, “I survived because I have the heart to fight. Every time he hit me I felt the punch. Tonight Stevenson is better. I’m still young. I’m only 26 years old. I’m training hard and one day I’ll be a world champion.” Continue reading

Weights from Montreal, Canada

Chip Mitchell

Adonis Stevenson 173.5 vs. Andrzej Fonfara 174.5
(WBC light heavyweight world title)

David Lemieux 159 vs. Fernando Guerrero 159.5
Jermell Charlo 153.7 vs. Charlie Ota 153
Eleider Alvarez 175 vs. Alexander Johnson 171.6
Julian Willians 154.8 vs. Michael Medina 154
Kevin Bizier 150 vs. Carlos Herrera 151.8
Carlos Olivera 142.2 vs. Junior Ulysse 143.6
Jaudiel Zepeda 179.2 vs. Erik Bazinian 174.3

Fans don’t miss Stevenson vs. Fonfara and Lemieux vs. Guerrero. I think there a solid chance that both fight end in explosive fashion!

Showtime will show a total of 5 (count ’em) FIVE fights on Saturday evening. The broadcast starts on Showtime Extreme at 7:00pm eastern and then moves to Showtime at 9:00pm.

Don’t miss it!

Monroe Wins Boxino Middleweight Final!

Willie Monroe, Jr has followed the family bloodline to pay-dirt. Monroe, Jr, great-nephew of Willie “The Worm” Monroe, a Philadelphia boxing legend and the only professional fighter to record an uncontested victory over “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler (in 1976).

Monroe, Jr (18-1, 6 KOs) outboxed previously unbeaten Brandon Adams (14-1, 9 KOs) by using his length and movement to stay out of punching range most of the night. Scores were 99-91 on all cards. 

Cotto: Beating Martinez Would be Greatest Accomplishment

Miguel Cotto and Freddie Roach let their feelings be known on a conference call. Read the transcript about what they had to say below, leading up to the fight on June 7 against Sergio Martinez:

CO-PROMOTER TODD duBOEF OF TOP RANK: I would like to welcome everyone to Miguel’s conference call. This fight is one we have all been waiting for. Obviously Miguel wants to show time and time again how great New York is and how passionate he is for the fans there and how he has created a great brand with the Puerto Ricans on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend. But more importantly he has a goal to become the first Puerto Rican fighter to win world titles in four different divisions. In regards to the event, I’m not going to talk about Miguel and how he feels and how he is training – I’ll let Freddie and Miguel do that. Let’s talk about the event. As we went on sale, The Garden told us it was the fastest selling sporting event it has had in many years. The demand has been incredible. The match is right. The fans are behind both Sergio and Miguel and we know that The Garden is going to be electric the night of June 7. So, let’s go to Freddie and Miguel…

COTTO’S TRAINER FREDDIE ROACH: We are having a great training camp. Miguel is working really hard and we have great sparring partners – some really awkward southpaws. Everything is right on schedule. Miguel is in great shape and I can’t wait for this fight to happen.

MIGUEL COTTO: Everything is going very well and I am having fun with the guys at Wild Card Boxing Club in every part of the training camp. I’m just waiting for the time for the fight to happen.

Was there a time in your career that you ever thought you’d be fighting for a world title at middleweight?

MIGUEL COTTO: Never did it cross my mind that I would be able to go up to 160 pounds. After the fight in October, that was the best scenario. Sergio agreed with us and we moved on to this fight.

You could be the first Puerto Rican to win world titles in four divisions. How do you feel about that?

MIGUEL COTTO: It is a personal matter. A personal achievement that I want to win and I am working for it on June 7th. It doesn’t mean that I am going to be better than Wilfredo Gomez, better than Félix Trinidad, better than all of the great champions that Puerto Rico has produced, but for me, Miguel, it will be the greatest accomplishment of my career.

Whether you win the fight or not, most people would think you would be in the conversation with those great champions. Do you feel a victory would put you in the elite group of the Puerto Rican greats?

MIGUEL COTTO: I am just waking up every day trying to do my best in preparation so I am at my best for every opportunity that I have to fight. I don’t want to be named, myself, as one of the elite boxers of Puerto Rico – that’s for the fans and for the people that know about boxing. I just want to do my job the best I can and I am going to do that the rest of my career.

Miguel seems as though he is a smaller person in terms of his build. Are you concerned that he may be over-reaching in terms of size for this fight?

FREDDIE ROACH: Well, we moved up the weight a little bit and put on more muscle – I think he may actually be taller and he will be stronger on the inside and much more physical on the inside than Martínez is, and we are going to push him around with no problem. I think on the inside we are the bigger stronger fighter.

Do you think Sergio will be as elusive as he has been in the past due to recent injuries?

FREDDIE ROACH: We are going into the fight thinking Sergio is going to be the best that he can be and that’s the way it should be. It sounds like he’s already making excuses but we plan for him to be at his best and we are going to beat him at his best.

You looked so great and 147 and 154 – how do you feel about 160?

MIGUEL COTTO: I feel that I can do the pounds that I need to do. Freddie and Gavin [MacMillan] have given me the opportunity work well with the weight – I don’t see that as an issue at all – I have put that out of my mind. I just work hard and get my work done.

Is it difficult to carry that much weight – will it be a disadvantage?

MIGUEL COTTO: I feel at 160, I don’t need to lose the weight. It’s not about gaining the weight, it is about no having to lose the weight, coming down and trying to cut weight. It is important to stay fit and do the things that I need to do and I think that my body recuperates better during training camp because I don’t have to lose the weight.

You have fought in New York many times [nine times] winning a lot of fights there. The last fight you did not win – is that motivation for you to come back and win at The Garden?

MIGUEL COTTO: You know, you go in there and you are going to win or you are going to lose. The last time I did not come out the winner but I always go in and do my best. I am glad I have the opportunity to go in and show the fans again what I can do.

Against Austin Trout you had a difficult time getting inside. How do you plan to amend that for this fight?

MIGUEL COTTO: These are two different scenarios. You have Austin Trout, who is a gym fighter who has a lot of mobility; and you have Sergio Martínez, who is not a gym guy who moves around a lot but he has a couple issues with his knees. We are going to do our best. I know how I am going to fight Sergio and I can guarantee you we are going to win this fight.

Freddie, what do you think is different today than when he fought Austin Trout?

FREDDIE ROACH: I think he knows how to control the ring a lot better now – we really work on that, ring generalship, quite a bit. I wasn’t part of the Trout fight but I did see the fight. I know Miguel can do a lot better and he has been showing that in training with the bigger, stronger sparring partners and we are more scientific about our approach to this fight and how to control the ring a lot better. I think he’s come a long way this being our second fight together. We have had a great training camp and have a great rapport with each other. I think the problem has been solved in how to cut the ring off from our opponent.

Are you worried your power may not translate to middleweight? Continue reading

Making the Case for Pacquiao-Broner


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Story by:  Tommy Canez

Oscar De La Hoya, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, recently vowed to end boxing’s “cold war” between his company and Bob Arum’s Top Rank. As boxing fans now, the cold war has prevented many great fights from being made in recent years, most notably Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao. If De La Hoya is able to accomplish his stated goal, it would be an extraordinary step forward for the sport of boxing. There are many dream fights that can be made between the rival promotional companies that fans would absolutely love to watch.

The sport of boxing needs both companies to reconcile instead of having people like Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer and boxing’s most influential manager/advisor Al Haymon attempting to form an oligarchy. A new Schaefer/Haymon entity, if it happened, would only hurts the fans and the sport because it would continue to block the best match-ups from being made. Notwithstanding, the number one fight that can be realistically be made right now is Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner. Afrter his last fight, Broner (pictured) made it very clear that he is willing to fight Pacquiao anywhere and at any weight. If Broner is serious, and Golden Boy and Top Rank Promotions are able to reconcile their differences, this fight would be an easy sell and every effort should be made to make it happen.

At this point, you might ask, why isn’t Pacquiao vs. Mayweather the biggest fight that can be made between Top Rank and Golden Boy? Well in theory it is, but not in reality. The fans can forget about that matchup ever taking place. In my opinion, Floyd Jr. clearly has no intention of ever fighting Manny. Too much time has passed, too many excuses have been made, and fans need to move on. It is a pipe dream.

Pacquiao vs. Broner would capture fans’ interest. It would give them plenty of ammunition to debate who would have won between Pacquiao and Mayweather had it ever taken place. Why? The answer is because many experts and fans view Broner as a Mayweather clone. Moreover, many claimed Marcos Maidana’s victory over Broner last year would not be indicative of how he would perform against a fighter of Mayweather’s caliber. Floyd Mayweather Sr. even went as far as stating that Mayweather would box circles around him before stopping him.

Ultimately, we learned that Maidana’s victory over Broner was a pretty solid indicator about how he would perform against Mayweather, because Maidana, after beting Broner, went on to give Mayweather the toughest fight of his career. Mayweather won, but it was a majority decision. The same can be surmised from a Pacquiao vs. Broner matchup– Pacquiao’s performance against a Mayweather-lite opponent like Broner would give us a real indication about how he’d do against Pacquiao.

A victory over Broner would also give Pacquiao and his fans plenty of bragging rights that he never feared a particular style. Many fans have stated that the true reason why Mayweather avoided Pacquiao is because Floyd fears a fighter with the skill set that Pacquiao possesses: a southpaw stance, blazing hand speed, the ability to punch from unorthodox angles, superior power in both hands, and the ability to dart in and out. Currently, there is no fighter in boxing, other than Pacquiao himself, that Mayweather can fight who possesses that skill set.

On the other hand, Broner is the boxer who most closely resembles Mayweather’s skill set. This would be a huge stylistic plus for Manny Pacquiao and his fans.

Similarly, a victory over Pacquiao would yield the same results for Broner. If Adrien Broner were to pull off the upset, he would form his own identity and remove himself from Mayweather’s shadow. Broner and his fans could also boast that he had the fortitude to share a ring with Pacquiao. More importantly, a victory over Pacquiao would catapult Broner into superstardom and, should he win, he would solidify his boasts that he is Mayweather’s heir apparent.

Heep in mind, even if De La Hoya and Arum are able to settle their differences, there would still be a sizeable roadblock that would keep a Pacquiao-Broner matchup from happening. Broner is advised by Al Haymon and he could potentially advise Broner to stay away from a fighter like Pacquiao if he hopes to become a major superstar in the sport. Boxing is as much a business as it is a sport. With Haymon being the smart businessman that he is, he may provide Broner with a plan that maximizes his profits while minimizing his risk, similar to the plan Broner’s “big brother” has followed with great success.

Pacquiao Re-ups with Top Rank!

imageBob Arum, CEO of Top Rank, announced that Top Rank has signed an agreement with Manny Pacquiao and MP Promotions extending their promotional agreement through December 31, 2016. “We are pleased that together with our partners at HBO we will continue presenting to the public fights of the great Manny Pacquiao through the end of 2016,” Arum (pictured) said. “The partnership among Manny, Top Rank, MP Promotions and HBO has been a wonderful one for all parties and for the public and it’s great that is will continue for the years to come,” Arum said.

Featherweight Prospect Gervonta Davis Remains Unbeaten in 2014

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The 19 year old Baltimore prospect Gervonta “Rambo” Davis kept his perfect record last night when he earned a 2nd round TKO over Joshua Arocho. This was Davis’s first bout of 2014. Last year he made his pro debut and ended the year with the record of 6-0 (6 Kos).

With the win, Davis improves his record to 7-0 (7Kos) and we can expect Davis to rise through the featherweight ranks quickly. He is one of the most talented prospects coming up at this time, with his speed and power making him a deadly combination.

Now that he has joined the Al Haymon stable, expect to see more of Gervonta “Rambo” Davis. Baltimore has longed for a champion and they have faith that Davis will be just that.

Mayweather’s Should Face Only Unbeaten Fighters

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Story by:  Chris Williams

Floyd Mayweather Jr. (46-0, 26 KO’s) is at the point in his career where he no longer needs to waste his time fighting opposition that have already been exposed by other fighters in the past, as there’s no gain for him. Mayweather should focus entirely on legacy building fights against the unbeaten fighters in the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions rather than wasting time on guys that will give him nothing.

Mayweather’s father Floyd Sr. doesn’t want him to bother giving Marcos Maidana a rematch because of the fouling that Maidana did in the fight. Floyd Sr. is right, but not just because of the fouling. Maidana has already been beaten 4 times in his career, so there’s no real upside in Mayweather fighting him again, because he already beaten him once and three other guys did it as well.

Here are the fighters that Mayweather needs to pick from for his last three fights of his career:

Keith Thurman

Shawn Porter

Demetrius Andrade

Peter Quillin

Kell Brook

Danny Garcia

All of these fighters are unbeaten at this point, and those are the type of fighters that will help build Mayweather’s legacy, not guys that were already exposed over and over again. I’m sorry, but Manny Pacquiao has already lost so he doesn’t make the list. The same goes for Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez, Amir Khan, Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander and Lucas Matthysse. Those are all fine fighters, but they don’t have the perfect record and that removes them from Mayweather’s list. We could see either Porter or Brook falling out of the list depending on what happens with their upcoming fight in July.

Mayweather has achieving incredible things with his career, and he needs to keep his standards up by only facing the finest. If this was a wine selection or a car selection, Mayweather would only want the very best of those two things. The same applies to his career. He should only be facing opposition with perfect records from here on out.

SHOWTIME ANNOUNCES TRIPLE-HEADER SLATED FOR 06/21

Press Release: Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (pictured) will return to the ring to face Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai in a twelve-round welterweight bout on Saturday, June 21st at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT). Also on Showtime’s broadcast, Gary Russell Jr. faces Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko for the vacant WBO W126-pound title and former two-division titls holder Devon Alexander returns to meet Jesus Soto Karass in a ten-round junior middleweight match up.

“I’m excited to be making my ring return on June 21, especially for my fans in California,” said Guerrero, who last fought against Floyd Mayweather on May 4, 2013. “Although I’ve been out for a while, make no mistake about it, I’m in great shape. I’m hungry and I’m looking forward to the challenge Kamegai presents. I am just happy to be fighting again while bringing excitement to the hottest division in boxing, the welterweight division. I have no doubt that I will be victorious in my return.”

“It’s good to fight in the United States again at StubHub Center, especially after I was treated so well by the fans there the first time,” said Kamegai. “This time though, I’m going to get the win. While Robert Guerrero is a great fighter, I will be better than him on June 21.”

“This is the moment I’ve been waiting for, and now it is time to show the world my boxing skills and talent,” said Russell. “Lomachenko’s reputation speaks for itself. I respect him as a fighter but he doesn’t know what he is about to face fighting me. He’s going to find out that I’m on a whole different level and come June 21, that belt is going to be mine to take home.” Continue reading