Ruslan Provodnikov admits he ‘sniffed glue’ as a young man in Russia

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Ruslan Provodnikov (left) will defend his title Saturday against Chris Algieri. (Photo courtesy of Banner Promotions)

Ruslan Provodnikov, who will defend his junior welterweight belt Saturday against Chris Algieri at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on HBO), was very candid recently when talking about his younger days in Russia.

“I did not have an easy time growing up in Siberia,” Provodnikov said. “I don’t know where my childhood friends are now. Most are probably in jail. I stole food, sniffed glue, smoked and drank. My amateur boxing coach saved my life and helped to redirect my life toward being a productive person.”

Provodnikov, 30, is a real brute in the ring. He is 23-2 with 16 knockouts and has become one of the more vicious fighters out there.

Algieri, of Huntington, N.Y., is 19-0 with eight knockouts.

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Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad Jr. and Joe Calzaghe inducted into Hall of Fame

Photo by Associated Press

Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad Jr. and Joe Calzaghe were inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday in Canastota, N.Y.

De La Hoya, 41, of East L.A., compiled a record of 39-6 with 30 knockouts and won world titles in six weight classes. De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, retired a few months after he was stopped by Manny Pacquiao after eight rounds in December 2008.

“I was fortunate enough to win an Olympic gold for my country, and winning world titles in boxing is great and not too many people can do that,” De La Hoya told USA Today. “But to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, it’s quite an honor, and I’m so grateful and blessed that I can be part of such a wonderful group, like (Felix) Trinidad and (Joe) Calzaghe.”

De La Hoya not long ago completed his second stint in a drug & alcohol rehabilitation clinic. Also, this past week his longtime CEO – Richard Schaefer – resigned from the company.

One of De La Hoya’s losses was to Trinidad. They tangled in a welterweight title-unification bout in September 1999 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. De La Hoya definitely out-boxed Trinidad, who was more interested in going toe-to-toe. But De La Hoya ran the last three rounds and lost the bout via majority decision.

Trinidad, of Puerto Rico, is 41. He compiled a record of 42-3 with 35 knockouts from 1990-2008. A longtime welterweight champion, he also won titles in the junior middleweight and middleweight classes.

Calzaghe, of Wales, will go down as one of the top super middleweights of his era. He went 46-0 with 32 knockouts from 1993-2008.

He won the super middleweight title in October 1997 and made 21 defenses, becoming a unified champion along the way.

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Report: Floyd Mayweather Jr. will no longer use Golden Boy to promote his fights

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Photo by Associated Press

It didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop. Only hours after Richard Schaefer announced Monday he was resigning as CEO of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, Floyd Mayweather Jr. declared through the CEO of Mayweather Promotions – Leonard Ellerbe – that he will no longer use Golden Boy to help promote his fights, according to a report on ESPN.com

Mayweather had been using Golden Boy to promote his past nine fights on a handshake. But it was not surprising that Ellerbe told ESPN.com that Mayweather will “absolutely not” use Golden Boy any longer.

Mayweather and De La Hoya have never liked each other much. To the contrary, Mayweather and Schaefer and Ellerbe have solid relationships.

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Richard Schaefer resigns as CEO of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions

To the surprise of probably no one, Richard Schaefer – CEO of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions – on Monday afternoon handed in his resignation after some 12
years with the company that was founded in 2002.

“After more than 10 years with Golden Boy, it is time to move on to the next chapter of my career,” Schaefer said in a statement. “This decision has required a great
deal of personal reflection, but ultimately I concluded that I have no choice but to leave. I have succeeded in banking and I have succeeded in boxing, and I look forward to the next opportunity. I am proud to remain a shareholder (in Golden Boy), so I have a strong interest in the continued success of the company. I am proud of what we have accomplished at Golden Boy, but I now look forward to new challenges.”
Schaefer has been De La Hoya’s right-hand man, and then some. The financial brains of the outfit, the former Swiss banker helped build De La Hoya’s company into a monster in the industry, taking a back seat to virtually no one.

Along the way quite a bit of animosity materialized between De La Hoya’s former promoter – Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. – and De La Hoya and Schaefer. The ongoing beef resulted in what boxing insiders referred to as “The Cold War” as the companies refused to do business with each other.

When De La Hoya recently got out of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for the second time, he went on record as saying he wanted to patch things up with Arum
and again begin doing fights with Arum’s high-powered company.

By this time Schaefer had gone on record as saying he would never do business with Arum ever again. Schaefer would not say much on top of the statement during a telephone interview with this newspaper shortly after he resigned. He did provide some hints.

“I can’t really say anything on the advice of my attorneys,” he said, when asked about his main reason for leaving. “I’m just going to leave it at this; the statement pretty much says all it needs to say.”

Schaefer was asked if, because his attorneys advised him not to talk, that means there is impending litigation.

“No, not necessarily,” he said. “I just gave my resignation today; I don’t have all the answers.”

Schaefer, however, did say something that intimated De La Hoya’s change of heart toward Arum was part of why he left.

“I’m sure guys involved in boxing saw what was going on and probably figured out that sooner or later something like that was going to happen,” Schaefer said.

De La Hoya, as of late Monday afternoon, had yet to issue a response to Schaefer’s departure. De La Hoya, of East Los Angeles, will be inducted into the International
Boxing Hall of Fame on Sunday in Canastota, N.Y.

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Hawaiian Gardens’ Abner Mares ready to rumble again, fights July 12 in Las Vegas

Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens has suffered just one loss in his professional career, but it was a devastating one. It happened Aug. 24, when he lost his featherweight world title when he was knocked out in the first round by Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico at StubHub Center in Carson.

Mares has not fought since, but he’ll lace up the gloves again when he takes on Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo (24-3, 16 KOs) in the featherweight semi-main event July 12 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view). Headlining will be former super welterweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico taking on Erislandy Lara of Cuba.

When Mares (26-1-1, 14 KOs) steps in the ring against Oquendo, it will have been nearly 11 months since he was demolished by Gonzalez. Mares claims he is ready to rumble.

“It’s been a long time, but I can’t wait to step into the ring and hear my name called again,” Mares, 28, said. “Jonathan Oquendo is a respectable fighter and I know he’s coming to win. But  he is in the way of another world title, so I have to get him out of there.”

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HBO’s 24/7: Cotto/Martinez to debut Saturday night ahead of June 7 showdown

HBO’s 24/7: Cotto/Martinez featuring an inside look at Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez ahead of their June 7 middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City, will debut Saturday night on HBO. The second of two episodes is on tap for June 5 – a week from Thursday – and two days before the fight that will be available on HBO pay-per-view.

Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), of Argentina, will be attempting to make the second successful defense of the title he took from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September 2012. Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs), of Puerto Rico, will try to become the first fighter from the island to win world titles in four weight classes.

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Adonis Stevenson goes for 11th consecutive knockout Saturday night in Montreal

Hard-hitting light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson of Canada will be the favorite Saturday night when he defends his belt against Andrzej Fonfara of Chicago via Poland from Bell Centre in Montreal.

The two figure to square off about 8-8:30 p.m. Pacific time in a fight that will be televised lived by Showtime.

Stevenson, 36, is 23-1 with 20 knockouts. He has won his past 10 fights via knockout, three of those knockouts coming in the first round. Fonfara, 26, is 25-2 with 15 knockouts.

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Manny Pacquiao signs two-year contract extension with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc.

Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. has extended his promotional contract with Manny Pacquiao, and it will now run through 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 said in a statement.

Pacquiao’s contract was due to expire at the end of this year. He recently won a rematch against Timothy Bradley, along with it the welterweight championship. His next fight could be a fifth go-round with Juan Manuel Marquez, who will be offered the fight, Arum said. However, Marquez said after his unanimous-decision victory over Mike Alvarado on Saturday at the Fabulous Forum that he will confer with his team and family members before deciding if he wants it.

Marquez is 1-2-1 against Pacquiao. Marquez knocked Pacquiao cold with one punch in the sixth round of their fourth fight in December 2012.

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Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado due to square off at Fabulous Forum

If you don’t have a ticket, catch the Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado welterweight main event Saturday night from the refurbished Fabulous Forum in Inglewood on HBO.

The winner of this bout is expected to be offered a fight with welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao.

The main event is expected to go off about 8:15 p.m.

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Chris Arreola stoked to hear what Hasim Rahman said about him eight years ago

Chris Arreola of Riverside on Saturday will take on Bermane Stiverne for a vacant heavyweight world championship at Galen Center in Los Angeles (on ESPN).

Arreola was reminded during a recent conference call about a sparring session he had with Hasim Rahman in August 2006 ahead of Rahman’s loss to Oleg Maskaev for a heavyweight title that month at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

As story goes, Arrreola was really going at it with Rahman in a Big Bear training camp. Afterward, Rahman apparently told a reporter that he expected Arreola to someday become heavyweight champion. Arreola never heard that, but he was stoked to find out about it.

“Well, first of all, that’s an honor, man, because I never knew he said that about me, man,” Arreola said. “And that’s a big honor to hear that because, honestly, I was there and I was working, man, and I loved being up there in his training camp, man. That’s the first big training camp I was ever involved in, and I watched him work, and I watched him work real hard. And one thing I do remember is that every time I got in that ring I wanted to make sure I gave him my all, because I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to keep getting those paychecks every week.”

This will be Arreola’s second chance to make Rahman’s prediction come to fruition. Arreola was stopped after 10 rounds in a challenge to then-heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in September 2009 at Staples Center.

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