Sakio Bika must be dreaming if he thinks he’s going to KO Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson

Adonis Stevenson/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Perhaps Sakio Bika had a vision because he must have been dreaming when he said what he said at Wednesday’s final news conference promoting his challenge to light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson on Saturday. The two will square off at Pepsi Coliseum in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada (at 12 p.m. on CBS).

“He’s knocked people out, but I’ve never been knocked out,” said Bika, of Australia. “On Saturday, I’ll be the one to knock him out.

Stevenson, of Laval, Quebec, is a beast in the ring. His nickname is “Superman.” He is 25-1 with 21 knockouts for a knockout ratio of 80.7 percent. He won the title when he knocked out Chad Dawson in the first round in June 2013 and has made four successful defenses.

Bika is 32-6-3 with 21 knockouts, a knockout ratio of 51.2 percent. Bika is a former super middleweight champion, and this will be his first fight at light heavyweight.

There is always the chance that Stevenson will be looking past Bika to fellow champion Sergey Kovalev, as that fight could be on the horizon. Stevenson intimated that will not be the case.

“I’m very focused because I know Bika is very dangerous,” Stevenson said. “I know he’s going to come into the ring and try to give me trouble.”

 

 

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Oscar De La Hoya can’t wait for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez-James Kirkland fight

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Oscar De La Hoya on Monday spoke in excited tones during a telephone conversation with this newspaper. If we had been face-timing, chances are we would have been able to see that the smile never came off De La Hoya’s face. He’s that jazzed about the May 9 junior middleweight fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and James Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston (on HBO).

De La Hoya was stoked to report that, so far, at least 30,000 tickets have been sold.

“It’s incredible, it’s unbelievable,” said De La Hoya, who is promoting the fight under his Golden Boy Promotions banner. “I mean, look, ‘Canelo’-mania is stronger than ever.”

De La Hoya said he has no doubt the fight will sell out. The seating capacity at Minute Maid is 40,950.

There’s more that has De La Hoya chomping at the bit for this fight. It’s what might happen in the fight itself. Alvarez, just 24, has only one loss and that was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. With a record of 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts, Alvarez has a knockout ratio of 67.3 percent. Kirkland, of Austin, Texas, at 32-1 with 28 knockouts has a knockout ratio of 84.5 percent. Plus, Kirkland is a southpaw.

This could be vicious.

“I think given the fact that Kirkland is such an aggressive, in-your-face type of fighter, the fact that he’s just really, really motivated about fighting ‘Canelo’, I mean, it’s a dangerous fight,” De La Hoya said. “When you have a knockout artist up in the ring, it only takes one punch. So ‘Canelo’, given the fact that he’s a fighter with a lot of pride, he’s a fighter who wants to give the fight fans a good show – especially in Houston, practically in his hometown – it’s going to be one of those fights.”

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Gary Russell Jr. stops Jhonny Gonzalez in the 4th round to win featherweight title

This June 11, 2008 file photo shows bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr., training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Vasyl

Gary Russell Jr./Associated Press file photo

 

Gary Russell Jr. on Saturday night decked Jhonny Gonzalez three times, stopping in the fourth round to take Gonzalez’s featherweight world title at Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

It was the second shot at a major title for Russell, of Capitol Heights, Md. He fought Vasyl Lomachenko for a vacant title this past June at StubHub Center, but lost a majority decision.

Russell, 26, is now 26-1 with 15 knockouts.

Gonzalez, 33, was in his second reign as featherweight champion. The Mexico City native had won this title by knockout out Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens in the first round in August 2013 at StubHub. Gonzalez successfully defended that belt twice before running into Russell.

Gonzalez is 57-9 with 48 knockouts.

In the semi-main event, Jermell Charlo (26-0) of Houston won a 10-round unanimous decision over Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1) of Glendale. Charlo won by scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 97-93.

 

 

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Middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will appear in separate SoCal fights in April and May

AP Photo

Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Lionel Cironneau, Associated Press

 

Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will appear in separate fights in the Southern California area in May and April, respectively.

Chavez (48-1-1, 32 KOs), of Mexico, will take on Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs) of Poland in the light heavyweight main event April 18 at StubHub Center in Carson (on Showtime).

Then, four weeks later, Golovkin on May 16 will defend his middleweight championship when he tangles with Willie Monroe Jr. at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood (on HBO). Golovkin, of Los Angeles via Kazakhstan, is 32-0 with 29 knockouts. Monroe, of Rochester, N.Y., is 19-1 with six knockouts.

Directly underneath Golovkin-Monroe, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (42-0, 36 KOs of Nicaragua will defend his flyweight world title when he squares off against Edgar Sosa (51-8, 30 KOs) of Mexico. Gonzalez has also held world titles in the strawweight and light flyweight divisions.

 

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Joseph Diaz Jr. set to take on Juan Luis Hernandez at Belasco Theater in L.A.

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte tonight (Friday) will square off with Juan Luis Hernandez of Mexico in the featherweight main event at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The Golden Boy Promotions card will be televised by Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m.

Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, has a record of 14-0 with nine knockouts. He is a very good prospect and it won’t be surprising at all to see him fighting for a world title within the next couple of years. Diaz is just 22.

Hernandez, 32, is 17-4-1 with nine knockouts.

 

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Gennady Golovkin stops Martin Murray in 11th to retain middleweight title

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin, left, defended his middleweight title Saturday by stopping Martin Murray in the 11th round in Monaco, Monte Carlo/Photo by Action Images

 

Gennady Golovkin on Saturday retained his middleweight championship when he stopped tough Martin Murray in the 11th round in the main event from Monaco, Monte Carlo.

Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs) has now stopped his past 19 opponents inside the distance. He did so while decking Murray three times. Referee Luis Pabon finally stopped the bout in the 11th.

Golovkin, of Kazakhstan, is trained by West Covina native Abel Sanchez at Sanchez’s Summit Boxing Gym in Big Bear.

Murray, of England, is 29-2-1.

 

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Finally, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will square off in the ring

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, and Manny Pacquiao will square off May 2 in Las Vegas/Photo by Associated Press

 

Finally, after multiple failed attempts beginning as far back as late 2009, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao will get it on May 2 in a welterweight title-unification bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

Since Mayweather fights for Showtime and Pacquiao for HBO, both cable networks will make the fight available on their respective pay-per-view arms.
Mayweather on Friday afternoon displayed a photo of the signed contract on the social network Shots.

“I am glad my decision to meet with Manny and discuss making this fight happen helped get the deal done,” Mayweather said.

Mayweather and Pacquiao ran into each other at an NBA game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in Miami on Jan. 27. They met later that night in a hotel room to talk about the negotiations.

“Giving the fans what they want to see is my main focus,” said Mayweather, who is 47-0 with 26 knockouts and the consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world. “This will be the biggest event in the history of the sport. Boxing fans and sports fans around the world will witness greatness on May 2.

“I am the best ever … and this fight will be another opportunity to showcase my skills and do what I do best, which is win. Manny is going to try to do what 47 before him failed to do, but he won’t be successful. He will be number 48.”

This bout is a virtual cinch to break pay-per-view and live gate records. The highest number of pay-per-view buys is 2.4 million for Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya in 2007.

Previous negotiations went awry for a number of reasons, from Pacquiao not agreeing with the type of drug-testing Mayweather wanted he and Pacquiao to undergo, to Mayweather wanting too big a piece of the pie. Mayweather will reportedly receive 60 percent of the monetary split for the bout.
“I am very happy that Floyd Mayweather and I can give the fans the fight they have wanted for so many years,” said Pacquiao, who is 57-5-2 with 38 knockouts. “They have waited long enough and they deserve it. It is an honor to be part of this historic event.

“I dedicate this fight to all the fans who willed this fight to happen and, as always, to bring glory to the Philippines and my fellow Filipinos around the world.”

While Mayweather has never lost, Pacquiao has lost twice since this fight was first talked about more than five years ago. He lost a disputed split-decision to Timothy Bradley in June 2012 at MGM Grand. Then, six months later, he was crushed and knocked cold by Juan Manuel Marquez that December at MGM Grand. Pacquiao fell face first after eating a perfectly timed right cross from Marquez.

No problem, said Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach.

“Floyd should enjoy being the A-side while he can because on May 2 Manny is going to put him on his backside,” Roach said.

Bob Arum promotes Pacquiao. He, too, believes his fighter will come out on the winning end in this sure-to-be epic battle.

“It’s going to be a great fight,” Arum said. “We are confident our fighter, Manny Pacquiao, will emerge victorious.”

The only down side to this is the ages of the fighters. Experts and fans alike no doubt would have loved to see these guys tangle five years ago. As it stands today, Mayweather will be 38 on Tuesday and Pacquiao is 36.

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Two area heavyweights to fight Friday night in Boxcino tourney on ESPN2

Promoter Artie Pelullo/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

A week ago Friday it was the junior middleweight division that took center stage in the Boxcino tournament staged by longtime promoter Artie Pelullo and his Banner Promotions. Tonight (Friday) at 6 on ESPN2, it’s the heavyweights and there are two area boxers involved – Razvan Cojanu and Andrey Fedosov.

Cojanu, of Burbank via Romania, is 12-1 with seven knockouts. He’ll take on Ed “Tex” Fountain (10-0, 4 KOs) of Ferguson, Mo., in a quarterfinals bout.

Fedosov, of Hollywood via Russia, is 25-3 with 20 knockouts. He’ll square off against Nate “Heaven Sent” Heavern (9-1, 7 KOs) of Ocala, Fla.

The bouts will take place at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. The winners will advance to the semifinals in April.

All tournament bouts will be televised by ESPN2, with the champions being crowned with regional titles. They’ll also earn top-10 rankings in two of the four major governing bodies.

 

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Three local fighters to begin their quests for glory in Boxcino tournament

Promoter Artie Pelullo/Photo courtesy of boxrec.com

 

Three local fighters on Friday will begin their quests for a top-10 world ranking when they begin participation in the eight-fighter junior middleweight tournament known as Boxcino.

The creation of longtime promoter Artie Pelullo, Boxcino will give fighters an opportunity to  not only be crowned with two regional titles, but earn top-10 rankings in two major governing bodies. All tournament bouts will be televised by ESPN2. The heavyweight portion of Boxcino will begin a week from Friday.

Brandon “The Cannon” Adams of Norwalk via Lynwood, Vardan “Vito” Gasparyan of Burbank and Cleotis “Mookie” Pendarvis of Los Angeles will box in Friday’s junior middleweight quarterfinals at Mohegan Sun Casino in Unasville, Conn.

Adams (15-1, 10 KOs) will take on Alex Perez (18-1, 10 KOs) of Newark, N.J.; Gasparyan (14-3-5, 8 KOs) will go against Simeon “Candy Man” Hardy (13-0, 10 KOs) of the Bronx, N.Y.; and Pendarvis (17-4-2, 6 KOs) will square off with Ricardo Pinell (10-1-1, 6 KOs) of San Francisco.

Adams lost to Willie Monroe Jr. in the finals of the 2014 Boxcino middleweight tournament.

All quarterfinals bouts are six rounds, semifinals are eight rounds with the championship bout slated for 10.

 

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