Monday’s news that a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Bryan Vera is a done deal for March 1 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas (on HBO) was good.
The two tangled Sept. 28 at StubHub Center in Carson with Chavez coming away with an unpopular unanimous decision. Vera fought the fight of his life, and Chavez was taken to task in a big way. Vera was the busier of the two, Chavez landed the harder blows.
What really steamed many was two scorecards that seemed well out of line. Carla Caiz had Chavez winning 96-94. But Marty Denkin and Gwen Adair had Chavez winning by scores of 97-93 and 98-92, respectively.
This was on the heels of Chavez being so unprofessional as to tell his camp the week of the fight that he could not make the 168-pound limit. Just like magic, Chavez and his team – including co-promoters- Bob Arum and Fernando Beltran – came up a new weight of 173. (Only in boxing, right?). Vera did make extra cash for agreeing to the change. But whatever joy he might have gotten from that quickly turned to misery when the scorecards were read following his gallant effort.
Glad this rematch is happening because Vera deserves it. By the way, the contracted weight for this fight is again 168, the super middleweight limit. Let’s see if Chavez, the former middleweight champion from Mexico, can train hard enough so we don’t have to see boxing embarrassed again when he comes up with another new weight.
Vera, 32, is from Austin, Texas. He is 27-3 with 14 knockouts. Chavez, 27, is 47-1-1 with 32 knockouts.
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.
Super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba and Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko of Ghana both made weight for their title fight Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Rigondeaux, who holds two of the major titles, tipped the scales at 121 pounds, one under the limit. Agbeko, a former bantamweight champion, came in at 121.6 pounds.
Rigondeaux, 33, is a two-time Olympic gold-medal winner who did not turn pro until May 2009, when he was already 28. He is 12-0 with eight knockouts. Agbeko, also 33, is 29-4 with 22 knockouts.
The fight will be televised on HBO along with two other fights. James Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs) will take on Glen Tapia (20-0, 12 KOs) in a junior middleweight bout and Matthew “Mack The Knife” Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) will square off with Lamar Russ (14-0, 7 KOs) in the middleweight division.
Kirkland and Tapia are actually fighting at a catch-weight of 156, two pounds over the junior middleweight limit.
Adonis Stevenson has become a much-talked about fighter these days. The light heavyweight champion from Canada on Saturday gave people even more to talk about with yet another defense that ended inside the distance.
Stevenson, 36, stopped Tony Bellew of England in the sixth round of their main event in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.
That gives Stevenson a record of 23-1 with 20 knockouts; he has a knockout ratio of 83.3 percent.
The fight was televised by HBO.
Another light heavyweight champion – Sergey Kovalev of Russia – also defended his title in impressive fashion in the semi-main event. Kovalev knocked out Ismayl Sillakh (21-2) of the Ukraine in the second round.
Kovalev, 30, is now 23-0-1 with 21 knockouts. He has a knockout ratio of 87.5 percent, leaving one to wonder what a fight between Stevenson and Kovalev would produce.
There were differing opinions as to just how good Manny Pacquiao fought last Saturday when he easily defeated Brandon Rios over 12 rounds, really battering Rios’ face along the way in Macau, China. Some thought Pacquiao looked great. Others thought he looked good but perhaps was shy about finishing off Rios inside the distance. Pacquiao, of course, was coming off a crushing 6th-round knockout loss at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez in December 2012.
Tonight, fans who did not purchase last week’s pay-per-view can judge for themselves when HBO shows a replay of the fight. It is part of a telecast that will also have two light heavyweight title fights from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 19 KOs) of Quebec will defend his title against Tony Bellew (20-1-1, 12 KOs) of England. In the other, Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs) of Russia defends his belt against Ismayl Sillakh (21-1, 17 KOs) of the Ukraine.
Manny Pacquiao weighed 145 pounds and Brandon Rios tipped the scales at 146 1/2 Friday at the weigh-in for their welterweight main event Saturday at the Venetian Resort in Macau, China (on HBO pay-per-view).
Pacquiao, 34, is 54-5-2 with 38 knockouts. This will be his first fight since being knocked out in the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez in December in Las Vegas.
Rios, 27, is 31-1-1 with 23 knockouts. The former lightweight champion last fought in March when he lost a unanimous decision to Mike Alvarado in Las Vegas.
According to an Associated Press story, Manny Pacquiao wants to make the Brandon Rios camp pay for its strength and conditioning coach, Alex Ariza, mocking Freddie Roach’s speech just before Ariza kicked Roach in the chest during a brawl between the camps Wednesday in Macau, China.
Roach indicated Pacquiao will do that by dispatching Rios early when the fighters duke it out Saturday at the Venetian Resort in Macau (on HBO pay-per-view).
Roach, who has Parkinson’s, and Ariza are bitter enemies. Ariza worked in the Pacquiao camp for years before he was let go, apparently at the behest of Roach. The camps tangled at a Macau gym because the Rios camp was there longer than it was supposed to be, cutting into Pacquiao’s time.
Roach said in the AP story that Pacquiao watched video of the incident, and that he was not pleased.
“(Pacquiao) said to me, ‘Are those the guys that made fun of you?’ ” Roach said. “And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘That’s all I need to know,’ and he walked away.
“He told me he’s going to take care of this guy quickly.”
Junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov of Russia will be ringside at the Venetian Resort in Macau, China on Saturday when Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios square off there in the welterweight main event (on HBO pay-per-view).
Provodnikov and Pacquiao are friends and former sparring partners. Both are trained by Freddie Roach.
“I made sure I was in Macau to support my friend Manny Paquiao in his big return to the ring, and I will be rooting for him in this fight.”, Provodnikov said.
Provodnikov, a hard puncher, is coming off a 10th-round TKO of Mike Alvarado in October; Provodnikov took Alvarado’s title in the process.
Provodnikov’s moniker is “Siberian Rocky.”
The third and final episode of HBO’s “24/7: Pacquiao/Rios” will be televised tonight at 7 (Pacific time). This could be the best of the three if HBO shows some of the brief brawl that took place between the respective camps of Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios Wednesday (Tuesday in the U.S.) in Macau, China.
Pacquiao (54-5-2, 38 KOs) and Rios will tangle in the welterweight main event at the Venetian Resort.(31-1-1, 23 KOs) in Macau (on HBO pay-per-view). It will be Pacquiao’s first fight since being knocked out in the sixth round by Juan Manuel Marquez in December at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Manny Pacquiao and Brandon Rios will both do 1-hour satellite tours that will be streamed live and can be viewed by the public.
Rios’ tour will begin at 4:30 p.m., Pacquiao’s at 5:30. Fans can take them in at either www.toprank.tv or www.insidehboboxing.com. Pacquiao and Rios will square off Saturday in the welterweight main event in Macau, China (on HBO pay-per-view).