It was quite a shocker when Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico knocked out Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens in the first round to take Mares’ featherweight title on Aug. 24 at StubHub Center. Now, Mares will get the chance to avenge that loss when he challenges Gonzalez for that title Feb. 15 at Staples Center (on Showtime).
Mares can’t wait.
“I’d like to thank Jhonny Gonzalez for this opportunity. It will be an honor to fight him a second time,” Mares said. “Aug. 24 was his night and I take nothing away from him, but Feb. 15 will be my night and I’m going to get my title back.”
Gonzalez doesn’t think so.
:”Abner Mares gave me my shot and now I’m giving him his,” he said. “I respect what he’s done in the ring and the heart he shows every time he fights, but I worked too hard for this to give it up now. I will keep my title on Feb. 15.”
Mares, 28, is 26-1-1 with 14 knockouts. Gonzalez, 32, is 55-8 with 47 knockouts.
Lamont Peterson will begin his 2014 campaign at home when he defends his junior welterweight belt against Dierry Jean of Canada at DC Armory in Peterson’s native Washington D.C. (on Showtime).
It will be Peterson’s first fight since he was stopped in the third round by Lucas Matthysse in May at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. However, Peterson kept his belt because it was not on the table.
Peterson, 29, is 31-2-1 with 16 knockouts. Jean, 31, is 25-0 with 17 knockouts.
Peterson is stoked to be fighting in his backyard.
“This is a perfect way for me to kick off 2014, with a great fight against a tough opponent in my hometown,” he said.
Jean aims to spoil Peterson’s homecoming.
“Peterson has been in the ring with many good fighters, but he hasn’t been in the ring with me,” Jean said. “I’ve worked hard for this for a long time. I have already started training camp and I’m in great shape.”
Vitali Klitschko has stepped down as WBC heavyweight champion so he can concentrate on running for president of his native Ukraine. Klitschko, 42, has not defended his title in some 15 months. Accordingly, the WBC has named him champion emeritus, meaning if and when he decides to continue his career, he can challenge the champion at that time.
This could mean that Bermane Stiverne and Riverside’s Chris Arreola, the Nos. 1- and 2-ranked contenders, will fight for the vacant title. But if Stiverne does not settle his litigation with his promoter – Don King – and is unable to fight, Arreola and No. 3 Deontay Wilder could fight for the title.
Josesito Lopez of Riverside won an eight-round technical decision over Mike Arnaoutis in the welterweight main event Friday at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio.
Arnaoutis (24-10-2). of Queens, N.Y., was badly cut over the the left eye in the eighth courtesy of an accidental head butt. Arnaoutis could not continue and the bout, which was slated for 10 rounds, went to the scorecards after the eighth. Lopez (30-6) won by scores of 77-74, 77-74 and 76-75.
Also, Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte stopped Carlos Rodriguez of Mexico in the seventh round of their super bantamweight bout slated for eight rounds. Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, is 8-0 with six knockouts. Rodriguez is 18-13-4.
Julian Ramirez (9-0, 6 KOs), an undefeated featherweight from Los Angeles, was supposed to be on this Golden Boy Promotions card as well. But his fight with Jose Angel Veranda fell out.
Keith “One Time” Thurman on Saturday will defend his interim welterweight title against Jesus Soto Karass (28-8-3, 18 KOs) of Mexico on the undercard of the welterweight title fight between champion Adrien Broner and Marcos Maidana at the Alamodome in San Antonio (on Showtime).
Thurman (21-0, 19 KOs), of Clearwater, Fla. was recently asked about previously calling out Paulie Malignaggi while Malignaggi was still champion, or before he lost his title to the aforementioned Broner this past June in Brooklyn.
“Paulie was on my mind due to that title, but when Adrien Broner took it, then that makes me look forward to stepping into that ring with ‘AB’ in 2014,” Thurman said. “A lot of fans want that fight and I want what the fans want.”
Indeed, a fight between Broner and Thurman would be highly anticipated. Broner is well established and about as cocky as they come. Thurman is a legitimate world-class fighter who would give just about any welterweight in the world a run for his money on a given night.
The 9th Watson Celebrity Basketball Game will be held Sunday at Cal State Northridge and the host will be none other than world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
The game is played to benefit local charities and this year a portion of the proceeds will go to Lifedriven Foundation, an organization that works with children with cancer.
“It’s great to give back,” Mayweather said in a statement. “The Watson family has always been good to me. If it’s for a great cause, I am here to support it.”
Several boxers are among the celebrities expected to attend. Advance tickets can be purchased by calling 818-677-2488. They are priced at $10 for general admission and $25 for reserved seating.
It was recently reported that Manny Pacquiao owes as much as $50 million in back taxes in his native Philippines. TMZ now reports that the Filipino icon owes $18,313,668.79 in taxes to the IRS for money made in fights in the U.S from 2006-10.
The TMZ report listed the money Pacquiao allegedly owes the IRS year by year, with 2009 carrying the heaviest bill of $8,022,915.87.
Pacquiao’s U.S. fights during these five years are at the center of his tax problems in the Philippines as well.
Heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov of Russia has been taken out of a medically induced coma and is expected to be moved out of the intensive care unit at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, ESPN.com reported.
Abdusalamov sustained a serious brain during his Nov. 2 loss to fellow contender Mike Perez of Cuba at Madison Square Garden. He underwent surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain and was put into a medically induced coma, during which time he also suffered a stroke.
Abdusalamov’s promoter, Nathan Lewkowicz, told ESPN.com that Abdusalamov is unable to speak, but is aware of his surroundings.
Darren Barker’s reign as middleweight champion didn’t last long. Having won the title less than four months ago with a split-decision over Daniel Geale in Atlantic City, Barker lost it Saturday when he was stopped in the second round by former champion Felix Sturm in Sturm’s native Germany.
Sturm decked Barker, of London, twice in the second round with the fight being stopped at 2:09 as Barker’s corner waved a white towel in surrender.
Sturm, 34, is 39-3-2 with 18 knockouts. Barker, 31, is 26-2.
The Villa-Parke Boxing Club on Dec. 14 will play host to an amateur show dubbed “Cops in My Corner” at the Villa-Parke Community Center, which is located at 363 E. Villa St. in Pasadena.
A total of 20 bouts featuring boys and girls age 8 and older are on tap. Competition begins at noon and is scheduled to end at 6 p.m. A donation of $5 could be made by those 12 and older in lieu of admission.
The Pasadena Police Department, the South Pasadena Police Department as well as the Police Activities League have been long supporters of the Villa-Parke boxing program.
“PAL gives beginning boxers training classes, which is a fun way for youth to learn the fundamentals of boxing and fitness while being supported by dedicated professionals who emphasize sportsmanship and respect for others. I believe that every kid needs a PAL and a ‘Cop in their Corner’,” said Phillip Sanchez, Pasadena Police Chief, in a news release.