Former three-division world champion Miguel Cotto has turned down an offer of over $10 million to fight former junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a fight that would have taken place in March, according to a report on ESPN.com.
Cotto apparently did so because he wants to instead pursue a fight with middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. According to the story, Cotto wants to fight June 7 in New York City on the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade, and he wants to fight for the middleweight title. Those two things out-weigh the notion that he will not get as much money to fight Martinez. If Cotto and Alvarez were to fight, it would have to be in March and no title would be up for grabs.
Golden Boy Promotions would have been lead promoter in the case of a Cotto and Alvarez fight as Golden Boy promotes Alvarez; it would have been televised on Showtime pay-per-view. If Cotto and Martinez is made, Top Rank will act as Cotto’s promoter, the story said, and the fight would be on HBO pay-per-view.
Lou DiBella, who promotes Martinez, said that while there have been talks for a fight with Cotto, the fight is not a done deal. DiBella also said Martinez wants the fight.
At question would be the weight. The fight presumably would be for Martinez’s 160-pound middleweight belt. The story suggests Cotto will be asking Martinez to meet him somewhere between junior middleweight (154) and middleweight.
Cotto has won titles at junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight.
Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens sustained a rib injury during training for his rematch with Jhonny Gonzalez that was scheduled for Feb. 15 at Staples Center, postponing the bout, according to several reports
The two tangled Aug. 24 at StubHub Center for Mares’ featherweight world title, Gonzalez stunningly knocking out Mares in the first round and taking the belt.
No new date has been given.
Dan Rafael, the boxing writer for ESPN.com since 2005, has been named winner of the 2013 Nat Fleischer award for “Excellence in Boxing Journalism,” the Boxing Writers Association of America announced.
Rafael covered boxing for USA Today from 2000-05 before moving over to ESPN.com. He will be honored at the 89th BWAA awards banquet in the spring of 2014.
Roy Jones Jr. on Saturday won a 12-round unanimous decision over Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf of France at Dynamo Palace of Sports in Moscow, Russia.
Jones has won world titles in the middleweight, super middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions. He took on Benmakhlouf in the cruiserweight division.
Jones, 44, of Pensacola, Fla. is now 57-8. Benmakhlouf, 36, is 17-4-1.
Indications are that at least some of the boxing public would like to see Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin square off in a middleweight title unification bout. The biggest roadblock to making that fight is that Golovkin fights on HBO, Quillin on rival Showtime.
That said, it was interesting to hear HBO Sports president Ken Hershman talk about that fight the other day via telephone from his office in New York City. Apparently, he’s not all that high on that fight.
“As far as Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin go, I wouldn’t put it in the top three fights that I want to see Gennady Golovkin get in,” Hershman said. “So I’m not that motivated to talk about it. Yet, I’m open to any ideas that people have.”
Hershman has some of his own.
“I’d like to see him fight Sergio Martinez,” Hershman said. “I’d love to see him fight Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., I’d love to see him fight Andre Ward, I’d love to see him fight (Adonis) Stevenson, I’d love to see him fight the winner of (Jean) Pascal-(Lucian) Bute. All of those fights I’d like to see before Peter Quillin. Just from a style standpoint as a fan, not even as a network executive.”
Golovkin has said he is willing to fight as high as super middleweight, meaning Stevenson, Pascal and Bute would have to move down from light heavyweight.
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.