Funny moment at today’s Home Depot news conference for Lopez-Maidana

Josesito Lopez of Riverside and Marcos Maidana of Argentina will square off in what figures to be a terrific welterweight main event Saturday at Home Depot Center (on Showtime). The final news conference promoting the Golden Boy Promotions event was held Thursday at HDC. It got kind of funny at the end.

As is always the case, the main event fighters are the last to speak after being introduced by their respective promoters. Ken Thompson co-promotes Lopez along with Dan Goossen. Thompson, a building materials mogul, is an excitable type. As he was introducing Lopez, he said that when the night is over, one great fighter – Maidana – will be on the canvas while the other – Lopez – will have his hand raised.

That evoked a rather hilarious, if not silly, comment from Maidana.

“This gentleman is saying I’m going to be laid flat, but it’s not that easy,” Maidana said, pointing to Thompson. “It looks easy as a spectator, but why doesn’t he (Thompson) get in there?”

The couple of hundred in attendance laughed out-loud. Guess that’s because Thompson is at least in his late 60s.

Perhaps Maidana should have just taken what Thompson said and kept his mouth shut. After all, Maidana was over an hour late to the news conference, which made a lot of people there unhappy.

Maidana, 29, is 33-3 with 30 knockouts. Lopez, 28, is 30-5 with 18 knockouts.

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Jesse Magdaleno preparing for hard-hitting Henry Maldonado of Nicaragua

Jesse Magdaleno of Las Vegas will put his unblemished record of 14-0 with 10 knockouts on the line Saturday when he takes on hard-hitting Henry Maldonado of Nicaragua in the super bantamweight semi-main event at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas (on UniMas).

Magdaleno seems to understand he needs to box well in this one if he is to stay undefeated.

“Use my jab to set up every shot and use my speed as well,” the southpaw said of his strategy. “I’ve been working a lot on footwork, so you will see an improvement there.”

Magdaleno should also realize that the fifth round might be the round in which to go after Maldonado (16-2, 11 KOs). Both of Maldonado’s defeats have come via 5th-round knockout – to Johnny Garcia in 2010 and to Julio Ceja in his most recent start in February.

The main event on this Top Rank Inc. card will feature Juan Carlos Sanchez (15-1-1, 8 KOs) of Mexico defending his super flyweight championship against Roberto Domingo Sosa (24-0, 14 KOs) of Argentina.

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Fox Deportes to televise previous Broner, Malignaggi fights ahead of theirs

Golden Boy Classics, a series televised on Fox Deportes, on Sunday will show previous Paulie Malignaggi and Adrien Broner fights ahead of their June 22 welterweight title clash at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).

The 2 p.m. telecast will replay Malignaggi’s 10-round unanimous decision over Jose Miguel Cotto in April 2011 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was just Malignaggi’s second fight at welterweight.

It will also show Broner’s 10-round unanimous decision over Daniel Ponce De Leon in March 2011 at Honda Center.

Broner, one really talented fighter, is 26-0 with 22 knockouts. He has won major titles in two weight classes and is jumping up two weight classes from lightweight. Malignaggi is  32-4 with just seven knockouts and is a former junior welterweight champion.

One thing about Malignaggi, he doesn’t have much of a punch, but he has big-time heart, and that can make any fight interesting.

Look for Broner to take Malignaggi’s belt.

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Top Rank announces signing of light heavyweight “Irish” Seanie Monaghan

Top Rank Inc. has added yet another potential world champion to its roster with the announcement it has signed light heavyweight contender “Irish” Seanie Monaghan of Long Beach, N.Y.

Monaghan, 31, is 18-0 with 11 knockouts. In his most recent start, he stopped Dion Stanley in the first round in April at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

“It’s an honor to sign with Top Rank,” Monaghan said. “I have really improved and I know Top Rank will work hard to get me the big fights.”

Top Rank chairman Bob Arum is excited about the acquisition.

“We are delighted that Seanie has decided to be promoted by Top Rank,” Arum said. “He is a fan-friendly fighter who has a large and loyal fan base.”

Arum said he expects Monaghan’s first fight under the Top Rank banner to be Oct. 12 on the undercard of the welterweight title fight between Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).


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Friday’s Showtime card features a semi-main event that could steal the show

Friday’s eight-round bantamweight fight between Jonathan “Pitbull” Vidal of Puerto Rico and Mario “Yayo” Munoz of Mexico is only the eight-round semi-main event, but don’t be surprised if it steals the show on the Showtime-televised card at Turning Stone Casino in Verona, N.Y.

Vidal is from Puerto Rico, Munoz from Mexico. That alone adds intrigue because of the long and great boxing rivalry between the two countries. They are also both unbeaten. Vidal is 16-0 with eight knockouts, Munoz is 13-0-1 with 10 knockouts.

It just seems tailor-made to be the fight of the night. And Vidal, whose idol is fellow Puerto Rican Felix “Tito” Trinidad Jr., gives us a preview of what it could be like.

“I want to be smart in the ring, always, cautious,” Vidal, 23, said. “But when it’s time to put the pressure on my opponent, I definitely know how to do that.”

Munoz, just 22, had a fine amateur career, compiling a record of 140-10.

“I’m an all-around fighter,” Munoz said. “I have technique, I like to go forward. I think I do a little of everything.”

The main event will be Jorge “Destroyer” Melendez (26-2-1, 25 KOs) going against Nick “The Machine Gun” Brinson (14-1-2, 6 KOs) of Rochester, N.Y. in a middleweight bout slated for 10 rounds.








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Jimmy Lennon Jr. to be inducted into Hall of Fame two days after Showtime card

Upcoming is induction weekend for the International Boxing Hall of Fame, with the actual ceremony to take place Sunday in Canastota, N.Y.

Longtime ring announcer Jimmy Lennon Jr. is being inducted, but two days prior he will do the Showtime card that will take place Friday in Verona, N.Y., only about 10 miles from Canastota.

“This is a great setting for a ShoBox show because Canastota is so close to Verona,” Showtime analyst Steve Farhood said. “Canastota is boxing heaven for fight fans and the Hall of Fame weekend is the greatest weekend of the year for them.”

The main event will feature knockout artist Jorge “Destroyer” Melendez (26-2-1, 25 KOs) of Puerto Rico against Nick “The Machine Gun” Brinson (14-1-2, 6 KOs) of Rochester, N.Y. in a 10-round middleweight bout.



This is a great setting for a ShoBox show because Canastota is so close to Verona (approximately 10 miles apart),’’ said ShoBox expert analyst and boxing historian Steve Farhood. “Canastota is boxing heaven for fight fans and the Hall of Fame weekend is the greatest weekend of the year for them.’’



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Bob Arum and Top Rank Inc. sign yet another big-time Olympian

Top Rank Inc. and promoter Bob Arum have signed Olympic gold-medal winner Ryota Murata of Japan to a promotional contract, and Murata will be introduced to reporters next week at a Los Angeles news conference.

Murata won the gold medal in the middleweight division in the 2012 London Games. It was the first gold medal won by a boxer from Japan since Takao Sakurai won the bantamweight gold medal in the 1964 Tokyo Games. Murata’s medal also was the first medal won by a Japanese boxer in a division other than flyweight or bantamweight.

Murata, 27, will campaign in the middleweight division as a pro.

Top Rank not long ago signed Zou Shiming of China to a contract. Shiming won gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games in the light flyweight division.

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Erislandy Lara of Cuba is not about to apologize for his style in the ring

Alfredo Angulo has tried to get under the skin of Erislandy Lara, his opponent Saturday at Home Depot Center, by insinuating that like many Cubans, Lara still has an amateur style that is not all that pleasing to fans.

“No, I’m a technical fighter,” said Lara, who defected from Cuba in 2008 after a failed attempt in 2007. “I’m a technical fighter and he’s a brawler, and we’ll see who has the longer career. But the Cuban fighters are the best technical fighters in the world.”

Lara, the 2005 amateur world champion at welterweight, is 17-1-2 with 11 knockouts. Angulo is 22-2 with 18 knockouts. Their junior middleweight fight will be televised by Showtime on the undercard of the welterweight main event between Marcos Maidana of Argentina and Josesito Lopez of Riverside.

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