Hard-hitting Jerry Odom will step in to face Julius Jackson on Showtime card

Jerry Odom/Photo courtesy of GH3 Promotions

 

It’s funny how things work out sometimes.

Jerry Odom is coming off a draw with Ronald Ellis in a super middleweight bout in February in Atlantic City. Ellis was supposed to next fight Julius Jackson on July 22 from Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. Ellis on Thursday sustained a hand injury that will prevent him from fighting, and now Odom will be tangling with Jackson (on Showtime).

“I have been training for a few fights that fell through,” said Odom, of Bowie, Md. “I’m in shape and ready to go. When my team got the call, we decided it was the right decision to take this opportunity.”

Odom has one real nice thing going for him – he can punch. He is 13-2-1 with 12 knockouts.

“My power will be a big factor,” Odom said. “Jackson has faced punchers before, but he hasn’t faced one like me. This is a great opportunity, and I will put on a show next Friday.”

Jackson (19-1, 15 KOs) is the son of former two-division world champion Julian Jackson. They are out of the Virgin Islands.

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Viktor Postol is playing psychological games with Terence Crawford

Viktor Postol/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Viktor Postol is coming off a 10th-round knockout of hard-hitting Lucas Matthysse this past October at StubHub Center. Postol is now just eight days from a junior welterweight title-unification bout against Terence Crawford on July 23 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

It sounds like Postol is trying to get into Crawford’s head by suggesting that Matthysse is a better fighter than Crawford, who has won titles in two weight classes and possesses a record of 28-0 with 20 knockouts.

It is my subjective opinion, but it is my opinion from what I have seen and from the opposition that Matthysse has had before he fought me and the opposition that Crawford has had,” Postol said this week during a conference call. “I think that Matthysse is a better fighter and more experienced fighter.”

Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) won his title with the win over Matthysse.

 

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Chris Arreola out-weighs Deontay Wilder by 20 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in

Chris Arreola

Chris Arreola/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Chris Arreola at 6-foot-3 is four inches shorter than Deontay Wilder. But Arreola on Friday weighed in 20 pounds heavier than Wilder for their heavyweight title fight Saturday from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on Fox).

Arreola tipped the scales at 246.2 pounds with the 6-7 Wilder coming in at 226.2.

Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., is 36-0 with 35 knockouts. He’ll be looking to make the fourth successful defend of his title. Arreola, of Riverside, is 36-4-1 with 31 knockouts. He will be trying for the third time to become the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a major heavyweight championship.

 

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Deontay Wilder likes what Chris Arreola will bring into the ring – backbone

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Chris Arreola knows he doesn’t really deserve the title shot he’s going to have Saturday when he challenges Deontay Wilder for his heavyweight world title at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on Fox). Arreola has admitted as much. Based on Arreola’s recent work – he’s 1-0-1 with a no-decision in his past three bouts – Wilder knows that, too.

What Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) seems to care about more than anything, however, is what Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs) will bring to the fight – backbone.

“We need someone who will fight with their heart and take this opportunity and make the most of it,” Wilder said at Thursday’s final news conference. “Does he deserve the title shot? No, he doesn’t. He knows it. But is Chris Arreola the perfect guy for this fight? Of course, he is.”
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Former boxer/trainer Gabe Lira dies at 54 after 10-month battle with illness

Gabriel L. Lira's Profile Photo

Gabe Lira, left, with his father Ben

Gabe Lira, a former boxer and trainer from Whittier, died Wednesday following a 10-month battle with a fungal brain infection. Lira, just 54, succumbed after his heart gave out at Pomona Valley Hospital.

Lira helped his father, longtime area trainer Ben Lira, train boxers out of the Teamsters Youth Boxing Club in South El Monte. Gabe Lira was also a parks and recreation worker and his father learned during the ordeal that made him more susceptible to a fungal brain infection by being around eucalyptus as well as bird and pigeon droppings.

Gabe Lira, who attended Pioneer High in Whittier, boxed professionally from 1982-86. He went 7-3-1 with four knockouts as a featherweight and super featherweight.

Details on his services are pending.

 

 

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Freddie Roach has threatening message for Terence Crawford and his team

Viktor Postol/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach on Thursday had some rather threatening words for the Terence Crawford camp. Crawford and Viktor Postol, who is trained by Roach, will tangle in a junior welterweight title-unification bout July 23 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

During a conference call, Roach intimated Team Crawford might be taking a victory for granted.

“I think this is a great opportunity,” Roach said. “I think that maybe they (Team Crawford) are underestimating us a little bit. But they’ll pay for that.”

Crawford, 28, is from Omaha, Neb. He is 28-0 with 20 knockouts. Postol, 32, is from the Ukraine. He is 28-0 with 12 knockouts.

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Chris Arreola not concerned about Deontay Wilder’s hometown advantage

Chris Arreola

Chris Arreola/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

When Chris Arreola challenges Deontay Wilder for his heavyweight world title Saturday from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala., he’ll be doing so in front of Wilder’s fans as Wilder is from Tuscaloosa, Ala.

That would seem to make Arreola even more of an underdog than he already is, but he claims he’s not worried about that part of his task.

“I expect him to have a lot of fans and he’s very deserving of that,” Arreola said of Wilder. “He’s made things happen in this state and this state is lucky to have a fighter like him. But no one can get in there with him. The fans can’t fight for him. I love the fans, but they’re just there to watch. It’s just me and Wilder in there Saturday.”

Arreola (36-4-1, 31 KOs), of Riverside, will be trying for the third time to become the first fighter of Mexican descent to win a major heavyweight title. He was stopped inside the distance by Vitali Klitschko in 2009 and by Bermane Stiverne in 2014.

Wilder is 36-0 with 35 knockouts and will be looking to make his fourth successful defense.

Arreola-Wilder will be televised live on Fox.

 

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Deontay Wilder believes Chris Arreola is tailor-made for his KO power

Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Deontay Wilder is 36-0 with 35 knockouts. To say he has been a knockout artist, would be an understatement. In Wilder’s mind, Chris Arreola  (36-4-1, 31 KOs) is tailor-made for him in this regard.

“When it comes to Deontay Wilder, people look for the knockouts and I deliver,” said Wilder, who will defend his heavyweight world title against Arreola on Saturday from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. (on Fox). “What separates me from other heavyweights is the fashion in which I knock guys out. I don’t just knock you out, I really put you out.
“Arreola definitely has a style prone to a knockout. He’s a pressure fighter who will come forward all night. That plays to my style. I love pressure fighters who give me a challenge. They keep me moving and thinking. I love the sweet science and the art to it.”
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Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez will move up to challenge Carlos Cuadras for his super flyweight title at Fabulous Forum

Roman Gonzalez

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, right, delivers a punch on McWilliams Arroyo in their fight in April at the Fabulous Forum/USA Today photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea

 

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua on Sept. 10 will move up in weight to challenge Carlos Cuadras of Mexico for his super flyweight title at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood (on HBO).

Gonzalez (45-0, 38 KOs) is considered by some to be the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He has won world titles at minimumweight, light flyweight and flyweight.

“I’ve very happy to challenge Carlos Cuadras for a world title in my fourth weight class,” said Gonzalez, 29. “It’s an honor to return to fight at the Forum in front of the great Los Angeles fight fans.”

Cuadras will be looking to make the 10th successful defense of the belt he won in September 2012. He’ll have his hands full, and he seems to know that.

“Roman Gonzalez is a great champion and I have a lot of respect for him,” Cuadras said. “I will prepare myself to be in the best condition of my boxing career to defend my WBC belt.”

 

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Mikey Garcia doesn’t buy notion he’ll have ring rust in comeback fight

MIkey Garcia shakes out for reporters Tuesday at City of Angels Boxing Gym in Los Angeles/Photo by Esther Lin, Showtime

It’s always interesting to hear fighters try to convince themselves that sparring is the same as a real fight, or at least close. By and large, that’s the type of comment a fighter coming off a long layoff will make. It’s what Mikey Garcia told reporters Tuesday during a workout at City of Angels Boxing Gym in Los Angeles.

Garcia on July 30 will make his long-awaited return to the ring following a hiatus of 2 1/2 years, no thanks to a contract dispute with his former promoter Bob Arum. Garcia will take on Elio Rojas of the Dominican Republic in a 10-round junior welterweight bout underneath the featherweight title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).

Garcia was asked about the difficulty of shaking the cobwebs after being out of the ring so long. His response was curious, but not surprising.

“I don’t believe there will be ring rust because I was never really outside of the ring,” said Garcia, of Oxnard. “I’ve been in the gym the whole time, sparring and training. I would spar 10 or 12 rounds, just to do it. Not because I had a fight, but just to keep me active. I know it seems like a long time, but I don’t really see it. I feel like I was gone six months.”

Garcia, 28, is 34-0 with 28 knockouts. He has won titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. Although this fight is at junior welterweight, afterward he wants to move down to lightweight.

Rojas, 33, is a former featherweight champion. He is 24-2 with 14 knockouts and is perhaps the perfect opponent for Garcia as he himself has been out of the ring nearly two years.

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