Jason Quigley stoked to have cracked the top 15 in middleweight division

Jason Quigley would seem to be getting relatively close to fighting for a world title/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Anyone who has followed the career of Jason Quigley knows there is a strong chance the middleweight from Ireland will eventually win a major world title. He recently cracked the top 15 rankings – he’s ranked No. 14 by one organization – so he is well on his way.

Quigley, 25, on Saturday will attempt to continue his rise when he takes on Jorge Melendez (30-7-1, 28 KOs) of Puerto Rico. They’ll tangle underneath the light heavyweight main event between Bernard Hopkins and Joe Smith Jr. at the Fabulous Forum (on HBO).

Quigley on Tuesday via telephone spoke in excited tones about his ranking.

“That’s exactly where I want to be,” he said. “This is the stage of a career that I’m at, these are the steps that I want to be taking. And it’s all happening at the right time and at the perfect moment. I’m starting to climb that ladder, I’m getting my foot on the ladder and getting my feet in the door of the top 15 world rankings.”

Quigley realizes that along with being ranked comes more scrutiny.

“People are going to start seeing my name now, people are going to start recognizing me,” he said. “And people are going to start saying, ‘Who’s this kid?’ It’s up to me now to show everybody who I am, what I am and what I’m going to do.”

Quigley (11-0, 9 KOs) is now eligible to fight for a world title, but he’s still probably a couple of fights from that.

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Bernard Hopkins wants to go out with a bang Saturday against Joe Smith Jr.

 

Bernard Hopkins Should Retire Following Loss to Sergey Kovalev

Bernard Hopkins hits the deck during his fight with Sergey Kovalev in 2014/Getty Images photo by Al Bello

 

Bernard Hopkins wants to go out with a bang, even if he is 51.

“On Dec. 17, I want to give a performance where you beg me to stay,” Hopkins said during a recent conference call promoting his fight Saturday against light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. at the Fabulous Fourm (on HBO). “And it’s a challenge that Joe Smith will have to take on. For fighters to show their greatness, they need someone to bring it out.

“Timing is everything and I am doing it in my calculation. I proved a bunch of people wrong already. There is no stone that has not been unturned, meaning that when I look back, I would have done everything that I wanted to.”

Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), one of the great middleweight champions of all time, is also a former light heavyweight champion. He hasn’t fought since losing a very wide decision to Sergey Kovalev in a light heavyweight title-unification bout in November 2014. Hopkins was 49 at the time.

That means Hopkins will have been out of the ring for two years and a month when he steps in against Smith (22-1, 18 KOs), a top 10 fighter who is just 27.

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Richard Schaefer likes the notion that he was missed during his time away

Former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, center, looks on as boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr.  and Canelo Alvarez  pose before their 2013 fight. Schaefer left Golden Boy and is now starting Ringstar.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Promoter Richard Schaefer, center, said he found out he was missed during his time away from boxing/Photo by Ethan Miller, Getty Images

 

Promoter Richard Schaefer has spent more than two years on the sidelines after resigning his post as CEO of Golden Boy Promotions in June 2014. He didn’t go to a lot of fights during that time, but the few he did attend contained a message he really liked.

“I went to only a handful of fights during that time, maybe five or six,” said Schaefer, who is president and founder of Ringstar Sports. “I went to Floyd (Mayweather Jr.’s) fights, I went to a couple of fights in New York. And I was sort of touched by the kind of reception I got from the fans when I came into the venue, ‘Hey, Schaefer, we need you back, we want you back. Boxing is not the same.’

“The same with fighters. Fighters said, ‘We need you to create these events you used to create and the hype and everything which goes with it.’ ”

Schaefer is back in the saddle and will be co-promoting Saturday’s card at USC’s Galen Center that will be headlined by the featherweight title fight between Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens and champion Jesus Cuellar of Argentina (on Showtime).

Ringstar will also be co-promoting the Jan. 28 featherweight championship rematch between champion Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland and Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights (on Showtime).

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Richard Schaefer confirms his Ringstar Sports will co-promote Frampton-Santa Cruz rematch in Las Vegas

Carl Frampton celebrates his win after defeating Leo Santa Cruz in the 12 round WBA Super featherweight championship bout at Barclays Center on July 30, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough in New York City. (Photo by Anthony Geathers/Getty Images)

Carl Frampton celebrates his victory over Leo Santa Cruz on July 30 in New York City/Photo by Anthony Geathers, Getty Images

 

Promoter Richard Schaefer on Wednesday confirmed that his new company – Ringstar Sports – will co-promote the Jan. 28 rematch between featherweight champion Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland and Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. RingTV.com reported this on Friday.

Schaefer is the former CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. He recently founded Ringstar, and his first order of business will be to co-promote the Dec. 10 fight between another featherweight champion – Jesus Cuellar of Argentina – and Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens at USC’s Galen Center (on Showtime).

Frampton took Santa Cruz’s belt via majority decision in July.

 

 

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Bernard Hopkins never considered taking on a weak opponent in final fight

Kovalev dominates Hoplrins

In his most recent fight, Bernard Hopkins (right) was dominated by light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2014/Photo by Associated Press

 

Bernard Hopkins is 51. He’s a living legend and will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame on the first ballot.

Not one person would have blamed Hopkins if he decided to fight a tomato can for his farewell fight. Hopkins doesn’t roll like that, though. Instead, he’s taking on highly ranked light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr. in his final bout Dec. 17 at the Fabulous Forum (on HBO).

Hopkins and the rest of the interested parties played host to a news conference Monday to formally announce the bout. Hopkins was asked about taking on a guy who in his most recent bout stunned everyone by stopping Andrzej Fonfara in the first round this past June in Chicago, instead of an easy mark.

“That’s not me,” Hopkins said. “And you would look at it as, ‘Bernard wants the easy way out.’ I never want anything easy. And just give me an opportunity and I want to figure it out myself. And I think that is more of the credibility that’s in me even at this age, to understand that’s just me.

“I don’t want nobody to think anything different. Win, lose or draw, this is the final one. I will win and I will win impressively. And I’m in it with a guy that’s going to push me, that’s going to make me fight a young man’s fight in this sport.”

Hopkins, of Philadelphia, is 55-7-2 with 32 knockouts. Smith, 27, of Long Island, N.Y., is 22-1 with 18 knockouts. That’s a knockout ratio of 78 percent. He is ranked as high as No. 2 in the world.

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Luis Ortiz, Malik Scott will square off Nov. 12 in Monte Carlo on HBO

December 19, 2015; Verona, NY; Luis Ortiz and Bryant Jennings during their HBO Boxing After Dark bout at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY.  Photo: Ed Mulholland/HBO

Luis Ortiz/Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

 

Top-rated heavyweight contender Luis Ortiz of Cuba will take on Malik Scott of Philadelphia on Nov. 12 from Monte Carlo, and it will be televised on HBO.

“Fans know Luis Ortiz as a heavyweight knockout machine, and we’re happy to announce his showdown with Malik Scott from Monte Carlo live on our network on Nov. 12,” said Peter Nelson, executive vice president of HBO Sports.

Ortiz (25-0, 22 KOs) is 37. He previously boxed under the Golden Boy Promotions banner, but recently signed with Matchroom Boxing.

Scott, 36, is 38-2-1 with 13 knockouts.

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Bernard Hopkins’ final fight will be against Joe Smith Jr. on Dec. 17 at Forum

Kovalev dominates Hoplrins

Sergey Kovalev, left, lands a punch to the head of Bernard Hopkins during their fight in November 2014/Associated Press file photo

 

Living boxing legend Bernard Hopkins has been saying he wants to fight one more time, even though he’s 51. Hopkins will get his wish when he takes on Joe Smith Jr. in a light heavyweight bout Dec. 17 at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood (on HBO).

Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, confirmed late Monday morning that a verbal accord had been reached for the bout.

“We just got a deal done,” Gomez said.

Hopkins is a partner in Golden Boy, whose CEO and chairman is Oscar De La Hoya. De La Hoya, inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014, began his pro career at the Forum in 1992.

That irony is not lost on Gomez.

“It’s pretty cool that Oscar started his career at the Forum and now Bernard is going to retire at the Forum,” Gomez said.

Hopkins, of Philadelphia, is 55-7-2 with 32 knockouts. He hasn’t fought since losing a wide decision to light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in November 2014. Smith, 27, is from Long Island, N.Y. He is 22-1 18 knockouts.

Hopkins-Smith would have taken place on the same card as the interim super featherweight title fight between Orlando Salido of Mexico and Takashi Miura of Japan. But Salido sustained a back injury this past week and pulled out Monday.

“Now we’re either going to replace Salido with a suitable replacement, or replace the entire fight,” Gomez said. “We don’t know yet.”

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Canelo Alvarez gets second opinion on thumb, and he will not need surgery

Canelo Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez of Mexico received a good report Wednesday when he visited Los Angeles-area hand and wrist specialist Dr. Kenneth R. Sabbag to get a second opinion on the avulsion fracture of his right thumb.

Alvarez had been told by his personal physician in Mexico he did not need surgery. That was confirmed by Dr. Sabbag.

“So the verdict – he doesn’t need surgery, which is great,” said Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, for which Alvarez fights.

Gomez said Alvarez will go back to Dr. Sabbag on Nov. 10. If given a clean bill of health, Alvarez will be able to start using the hand to “punch a little bit,” Gomez said.

Gomez also said there is still a chance Alvarez could fight again early next year, but that will only happen if he is 100 percent.

Alvarez sustained the injury during his ninth-round knockout of Liam Smith on Sept. 17 in Arlington, Tecas.

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Canelo Alvarez in Los Angeles for second opinion on fractured right thumb

Canelo Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Newly crowned junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez of Mexico was in Los Angeles on Wednesday to get a second opinion on the avulsion fracture in his right thumb sustained during his ninth-round knockout of Liam Smith on Sept. 17 in Arlington, Texas.

Alvarez fights under the Golden Boy Promotions banner. Its president, Eric Gomez, said Alvarez was going to visit hand and wrist specialist Dr. Kenneth R. Sabbag to make sure that the therapy ordered by Alvarez’s personal physician is all it will take for Alvarez’s recovery.

Gomez said that depending on how things go, Alvarez could be ready to fight again by “early next year.” As for an opponent, Gomez was asked if Willie Monroe Jr. remains a possible opponent for that next fight.

There was talk from Gomez before Alvarez beat Smith that the winner of the undercard fight between Monroe (21-2, 6 KOs) and Gabriel Rosado, who also fights for Golden Boy, could be next for Alvarez. Monroe emerged via wide unanimous decision. But Monroe said in a statement this week he now believes Golden Boy has no intention of giving him the fight.

“I don’t think it’s Canelo himself, but it is his team,” said Monroe, who boxes for Banner Promotions. “I know Canelo would fight me. I think it is his trainers who fear that they can’t prepare Canelo for my style.”

Monroe, of Rochester, N.Y., is a southpaw.

“If he is a true man, they should stick to their word,” Monroe said. “The plan was for the winner of that fight to be able to fight Canelo. They thought Rosado would win, and he would just be a guy that would get pounded by Canelo.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and it was me who did not want to fight an aggressive fighter, I would look like a punk.”

Gomez during an Aug. 29 conference call did not say the winner of Monroe-Rosado would definitely get Alvarez, but he did say, “The winner of this fight very well could be fighting Canelo in December.”

Well, December wasn’t going to happen once Alvarez injured his thumb, but that hasn’t changed Monroe’s desire to fight Alvarez. Gomez on Wednesday addressed that, saying all options remain possible.

“As is customary with Canelo, we’re going to leave all the doors open,” Gomez said. “We would consider anybody. That’s what’s customary. We’re not going to close any doors.”

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Art Hovhannisyan wants to put on show Friday in main event at Belasco Theater

Art Hovhannisyan addresses reporters at this week’s media workout in Los Angeles/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

If Art Hovhannisyan of Glendale stays true to his credo, fans could be in for a good time when he takes on Diego Magdaleno in the junior welterweight main event Friday at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles (on Estrella TV).

“I started my boxing career when I was 12, and was inspired by my favorite boxer, Mike Tyson,” Hovhannisyan said. “I’m the type of fighter that loves to put on a show in the ring.”

Hovhannisyan could have his hands full with Magdaleno, a southpaw out of Las Vegas who is 29-2 with 12 knockouts.

“… I have watched him fight a few times,” Hovhannisyan said. “I know what I have to do in the ring to earn the victory.”

Magdaleno is the older brother of Jessie Magdaleno, who Nov. 5 will challenge Nonito Donaire for his super bantamweight title on the undercard of the Jessie Vargas-Manny Pacquiao welterweight title fight at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95.

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