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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Former two-champion Mikey Garcia eyeing big accomplishments in 2017

ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE After a lengthy legal battle with Top Rank, Oxnard's Mikey Garcia is free to sign with another promotional company and hopes to get back into the ring in the near future.

Mikey Garcia will fight for a title in a third weight class Jan. 28 in Las Vegas/Associated Press file photo

 

Mikey Garcia has big goals for 2017. He will start trying to accomplishing them Jan. 28 when he challenges Dejan Zlaticanin of Montenegro for his lightweight title at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime).

“I’m really happy to have been given this opportunity to claim a world title in a third division,” said Garcia, who has won titles at featherweight and super featherweight. “This is going to be an amazing fight. He’s a hungry world champion, he’s very dangerous. These are the kind of fights I want. This is what I need to prove myself.

“This is only the beginning. This is going to be a huge year for me. I want to win multiple titles and maybe conquer multiple divisions this year.”

Garcia, of Oxnard, did not fight for 2 1/2 years because of a contract dispute with his former promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. After a settlement, Garcia got back into the ring this past July 30 and stopped Elio Rojas in the fifth round at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Garcia, 28, is 35-0 with 29 knockouts. Zlaticanin, 32, is 22-0 with 15 knockouts. They will tangle underneath the featherweight championship rematch between Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland.

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Carl Frampton: In spite of Leo Santa Cruz’s personal issues, he fought hard

Leo Santa Cruz vs. Carl Frampton: Winner, Scorecard and Reaction

Carl Frampton will take on Leo Santa Cruz in a Jan. 28 rematch in Las Vegas/AP photo by Peter Morrison

 

There has been some chatter about how difficult it must have been for Leo Santa Cruz to train for his fight this past July 30 against Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland. Santa Cruz’s father, Jose, was very sick from his battle with cancer, so it’s understandable if the younger Santa Cruz wasn’t entirely focused on the task inside the ring. (Jose Santa Cruz is now in remission).

Frampton, who took Santa Cruz’s featherweight title via majority decision that night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, concedes Santa Cruz had a lot going on from a personal standpoint. But he finds it hard to believe Santa Cruz could have fought much harder than he did.

“There’s no doubt that Leo went through a difficult time with his father’s illness,” said Frampton, who Jan. 28 will tangle with Santa Cruz in a rematch at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime). “I also know that Leo trained very hard anyway. He threw about a thousand (1,002) punches last fight and was throwing all the way to the end. You can’t throw much more than that, so I don’t think he’s going to improve his work rate.
“I believe he’ll come up with a different game plan, but I genuinely believe that I’ll be able to deal with anything he brings to the ring. It’s not going to be an easy fight, but I’ll do whatever it takes to win and I believe I will.”

 

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Dejan Zlaticanin predicts knockout of Mikey Garcia on Dec. 10 at Galen Center

Dejan Zlaticanin

Dejan Zlaticanin/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Dejan Zlaticanin of Montenegro won the lightweight world title with a third-round stoppage of Franklin Mamani of Bolivia in June in Verona, N.Y. It made him kind of a big deal in his homeland.

“To be the first world champion from Montenegro is historic,”  Zlaticanin said. “I think it’s made me a national hero in the country and I’m honored. The people in my country love me and I love them back.”

Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs)  wants them to love him even more and he figures a successful title defense over someone like Mikey Garcia will do just that. The two square off Dec. 10 at Galen Center (on Showtime) underneath the main event between Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens and featherweight champion  Jesus Cuellar of Argentina.

“When I beat Mikey Garcia, that will make me an even bigger star,” Zlaticanin said at Thursday’s news conference in Los Angeles. “I think Mikey is a good puncher, and he has good timing, but I can hit him easily and I’m planning to knock him out.”
Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs), of Oxnard, has won world titles at featherweight and super featherweight. He relishes the chance to win one in a third.
“I’m really happy to have been given this opportunity to claim a world title in a third division,” Garcia said. “This is going to be an amazing fight. He’s a hungry world champion. He’s very dangerous. These are the kind of fights that I want. This is what I need to prove myself.”
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Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton exchange pleasantries at L.A. news conference promoting their rematch

Leo Santa Cruz

Leo Santa Cruz/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Trash-talking is part of the sweet science. Heck, it’s part of every sport. But it’s always nice when there is none because there’s nothing wrong with athletes showing some class.

Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Belfast, Northern Ireland on Thursday played host to a Los Angeles news conference promoting their Jan. 28 rematch at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime). The two squared off on July 30 at Barclays Center in New York City, Frampton taking Santa Cruz’s featherweight world title via majority decision in a close, and terrific, fight.

“I think the rematch with Leo Santa Cruz is going to be an amazing fight,” Frampton said to reporters and fans outside the Los Angeles Central Public Library. “The first one is considered one of the fights of the year. I don’t think it’s going to be any different. I think we’re kicking off 2017 with a bang, and Leo is an amazing fighter.”

Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) thanked Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) for giving him the shot in July, and that he was only too happy to give him the rematch as quickly as possible.

“These are the type of fights I want to be involved in,” said Frampton, 29. “If you want people to remember you in 20 or 30 years time, when you thank boxing, you need to be thanking guys like Leo Santa Cruz. I respect him a hell of a lot, I respect him and his team.”

Santa Cruz, 28, was equally kind.

“Carl Frampton is a great fighter and you guys saw, he got the respect from you guys because he showed that he’s a great fighter, a great champion,” he said. “And I know it’s going to be a pretty even fight this time, too, a pretty close fight because we both are world champions and we both train really hard for our families, for you guys, for the fans – to give them great shows.”

Santa Cruz a couple of days earlier at a news conference in Belfast said that he’s looking forward to this training camp because for the first fight his father’s health was weighing heavily on him.

Promoter Richard Schaefer of Ringstar Spors announced at the news conference that Jose Santa Cruz’s cancer is in remission. A big round of applause followed.

Schaefer said more than half of the 13,000-plus tickets available for this were sold on the first day. They are priced $54, $104, $204, $304, $404 and $504.

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Jesus Cuellar confident ahead of his Dec. 10 defense against Abner Mares

Jesus Cuellar/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

 

There is a lot to be said for confidence. Featherweight champion Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) of Argentina appears to have that ahead of his Dec. 10 defense against Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens at USC’s Galen Center (on Showtime). But he knows no matter how good he feels about himself, he has to perform when the bell rings.

“This is an important fight that I’ve wanted for a long time,” Cuellar said Tuesday at City of Angels Boxing Club in Los Angeles. “It’s an important fight for my career and to prove to everyone how good I am.
“Abner Mares is a high-level fighter. I have to beat him to reach the next level of this sport. That’s what I’m preparing to do. You’re going to see everything I’ve learned on Dec. 10. I love to train hard and I’ve improved greatly as a fighter. I’m going to put it all together in the ring.”
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Abner Mares believes champion Jesus Cuellar is ‘strong competition’

View Abner Mares Profile

Abner Mares/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

Abner Mares on Tuesday talked a lot about having trainer Robert Garcia on his team for the first time. The two will combine talents Dec. 10 when Mares challenges Jesus Cuellar of Argentina for his featherweight world title at USC’s Galen Center (on Showtime).

But when we asked Mares to size up Cuellar, the hard-hitting champion with a record of 28-1 and 21 knockouts, Mares said very little.

“I think he’s strong competition,” Mares, of Hawaiian Gardens, said at the City of Angels Boxing Club in Los Angeles. “That’s it.”

Cuellar is going to be the hardest puncher Mares has faced since he was knocked out in the first round by Jhonny Gonzalez in August 2013 at StubHub Center.

Mares, who turned 31 on Monday, is 29-2-1 with 15 knockouts. He has won world titles in three weight classes.

Cuellar, 29, will be looking to make his second successful defense.

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Abner Mares believes nearly a year with Robert Garcia will benefit him Dec. 10

Abner Mares/Associated Press photo by Isaac Brekken

 

Abner Mares wants to again be a world champion in the worst way. Mares, who has won titles in three weight classes, parted ways with longtime trainer Clemente Medina and hired the more famous Robert Garcia to help fuel that endeavor.

That was 10 months ago. In the opinion of Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs), that makes this trainer change different than most. That was evident when he was asked Monday during a conference call to explain how he might have changed under Garcia.

“I know once you get a new coach they tend to get a fight right away, and they tend to fight the next six to eight weeks, and you don’t see much of a difference,” said Mares, who Dec. 10 will challenge Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) of Argentina for his featherweight title at Galen Center (on Showtime). “Why? Because you only have that small period of time to train and get to know each other. And I just mentioned a whole year with Robert and not only a whole year with Robert, a whole year of getting ready for this fight against a southpaw.
“And you guys know what type of coach Robert is. Not only does he bring  education to your boxing skills, but also that motivation. It’s always good to have that motivation, knowing that you have one of the best in your corner. So, you will see a different Abner and I think the best way to answer your question is you will just see a more mature fighter in me.”
 Mares has not fought since losing a majority decision to Leo Santa Cruz in a fight for a vacant featherweight title on Aug. 29, 2015.
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Taras Shelestyuk says he has learned a lot from ‘Sugar’ Shane Mosley

Taras Shelestyuk, left, and Jaime Herrera square off after Thursday’s weigh-in/Photo by Carlos Baeza, Thompson Boxing

 

“Sugar” Shane Mosley may be 45, but the future Hall of Famer showed in May he’s still a decent fighter when he went the distance with David Avanesyan before losing a unanimous decision. It’s therefore not surprising to hear Mosley has been sparring with welterweight contender Taras Shelestyuk ahead of Shelestyuk’s fight Friday night against Jaime Herrera at Omega Products International in Corona (on Showtime).

Mosley likes what he sees from Shelestyuk (14-0, 9 KOs), who recently moved to Los Angeles from his native Ukraine.

“He’s on that championship path, that level,” Mosley said.

Shelestyuk, who won a bronze medal for Ukraine in the 2012 London Games, is soaking up all Mosley has to offer.

“Sparring with Shane Mosley has been huge for me,” Shelestyuk said. “He’s such a great fighter. When I was younger, I’d watch his fights. Now we spar. He’s older but still very good. He knows all the tricks and gives me a lot of advice that helps me in and out of the ring. Everything he’s said to me, I’ve tried to apply.”

Herrera, of Franklin Park, Ill., is 15-3-1 with eight knockouts.

 

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Leo Santa Cruz will get opportunity to avenge his loss to Carl Frampton

Leo Santa Cruz

Leo Santa Cruz/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights is going to get a chance to avenge the only loss of his career when he takes on Carl Frampton in a featherweight world title fight Jan. 28 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. It was one of several fights announced Tuesday that will be televised by Showtime.

Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) lost his championship belt to Frampton when Frampton beat him via majority decision July 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Frampton (23-0, 14), of Northern Ireland, won by scores of 114-114, 116-112 and 117-111.

Also on this card, Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) of Oxnard will challenge Dejan Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs) of Montenegro for his lightweight world title.

Among the other fights announced was the March 4 welterweight title-unification bout between Keith “One Time” Thurman and Danny Garcia. There is not yet a venue for this one, and it apparently is contingent upon Garcia (32-0, 18 KOs) beating Samuel Vargas in a Nov. 12 tuneup bout in Garcia’s native Philadelphia.

Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla., is 27-0 with 22 knockouts.

Also, Abner Mares (29-2-1, 15 KOs) of Hawaiian Gardens will challenge Jesus Cuellar (28-1, 21 KOs) of Argentina for his featherweight world title Dec. 10 at USC’s Galen Center.

 

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