Mikey Garcia to return July 30 in Brooklyn after layoff of nearly 2 1/2 years

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.

Mike Garcia of Oxnard will come out of a 2 1/2-year layoff on July 30/Associated Press file photo

 

Mikey Garcia has not fought in nearly 2 1/2 years, no thanks to contractual issues with his former promoter – Top Rank Inc. Don’t look now, but Garcia is back and the ultra-talented former world champion will make his long-awaited return to the ring when he takes on Elio Rojas on July 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (Showtime).

Garcia was one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world before his long layoff, having won world titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions while going 34-0 with 28 knockouts. Suffice to say, he can’t wait to get back in there.

“I just have to get one fight in,” said Garcia, 28, of Oxnard. “This first fight with Elio will be somewhere between 135 (lightweight) and 140 pounds (junior welterweight), but I want to fight at 135 and win a title there. I want to win a title there and keep going after champion after champion. Now that all that (uncertainty) is behind me, I look forward to the next stage of my career. This next stage of my career will be what people remember me for.”

Garcia last fought on Jan. 25, 2014 when he defended his super featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Juan Carlos Burgos at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Garcia and Rojas (24-2, 14 KOs) – a former featherweight champion from the Dominican Republic – will fight underneath the featherweight title fight between champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland.

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Viktor Postol does not want to hear that he’s underdog to Terence Crawford

Viktor Postol/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Terence “Bud” Crawford is a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter. Viktor Postol is not – not yet, anyway. That means that Crawford will likely be picked by more experts to win when he squares off with Postol in a junior welterweight title-unification bout July 23 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Postol, of the Ukraine, couldn’t care less.

“I do not consider myself an underdog in this fight,” he said. “Terence Crawford’s fans might consider me as the underdog, but that does not bother me. I’m 100 percent confident in myself and in my victory on July 23 and the reasons are simple:

“I work harder in training camp than my opponents because I have to.  Because I want to. I have the best trainer working with me and his name his Freddie Roach. He has been named Trainer of the Year a record seven times and he is in the Hall of Fame.”

Postol, speaking from his camp in Hollywood, dug deeper.

“Crawford has no one like that on his team,” he said.

Roach spoke in equally feisty tones.

“I do not feel that Viktor is an underdog going into this fight,” he said. “Why should I?  In his two toughest tests – Lucas Matthysse and Selcuk Aydin – he didn’t just knock them out, he took their will to fight away.  He broke them down brick by brick.”

Postol stopped Aydin in the 11th round at the Fabulous Forum in May 2014 and he knocked out the hard-hitting Matthysse in the 10th round in his most recent fight in October at StubHub Center.

“His experience against blue-chip opposition has been great preparation for his fight with Terence Crawford,” Roach said. “Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Crawford. He has a lot of talent.  But I think this is going to come down to resumes and I think Postol has fought tougher and better opponents than Crawford.

“Postol even spent an entire training camp with Manny Pacquiao in 2014 when Manny was preparing for Chris Algieri. Viktor more than held his own against Manny. Crawford is going to find out that defending a title against Hank Lundy and Dierry Jean is a lot different than fighting a fellow undefeated world champion like Viktor Postol.”

Crawford, who also has won a title at lightweight, has made his two junior welterweight title defenses against Lundy (TKO 5) and Jean (TKO 10).

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

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Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford stoked about headlining in Las Vegas for first time

Terence Crawford/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Terence “Bud” Crawford has become one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. But the two-division world champion has never headlined a big card in Las Vegas.

That will change July 23 when he takes on Viktor Postol (28-0, 12 KOs) of the Ukraine in a junior welterweight title-unification bout at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Crawford, of Omaha, Neb., on Monday talked about his big moment from his camp in Colorado Springs.

“It is an honor to fight in Las Vegas, especially at the MGM Grand where so many historic fights have taken place and so many great fighters have made their mark, said Crawrod, who sports a record of 28-0 with 20 knockouts. “It’s the same way I felt when I headlined my first card at Madison Square Garden earlier this year.”

Crawford this past February defended his junior welterweight belt for the second time with a fifth-round TKO of Hank Lundy at the Madison Square Garden Theater.

“Many fighters dream of fighting on such a big stage, but it’s something you have to earn,” said Crawford, 28. “I have worked very hard to get to this point in my career – to earn the right to headline my first pay-per-view event. I can’t think of a better place to do it than in the fight capital of the world. It’s very exciting, but I need to keep my eye on the ball.

“There will be a lot of hard work to do in training camp to make my pay-per-view debut successful. This isn’t just opening night for a new phase of my career. I want this to be the beginning of a long run as boxing’s next pound-for-pound star and a worthy successor to Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr.

 

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Vasyl Lomachenko vows to ‘spoil’ Puerto Rican Day weekend for fans of Roman ‘Rocky’ Martinez

Vasyl Lomachenko/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine will be seeking history Saturday night when he moves up in weight and challenges Roman “Rocky” Martinez of Puerto for his super featherweight world title at Madison Square Garden (on HBO). If Lomachenko wins, he will have won his second world title in just his seventh fight. The record of two titles in eight fights is held by flyweight champion Naoya Inoue of Japan.

However, Martinez will be defending his belt on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend, which is huge in New York City, so Lomachenko won’t be the only one filled with extra emotion.
With that said, Martinez couldn’t care less about what Lomachenko is trying to accomplish because looking good in front of his followers trumps everything else.

“I am only thinking about beating him,” Martinez said. “I don’t care if I stop his dreams or whatever. I just have in my mind that I have to beat him and to be ready to beat him. … I don’t care right now if he is thinking that he is going to make history or something like that.”

Similarly, Lomachenko has no problem trying to make Martinez look bad on his big night.

“I am going to spoil the Puerto Rican fans’ weekend,” Lomachenko said. “They will feel very let down.”

Lomachenko still holds the featherweight title he won in his record-tying third bout. If he takes Martinez’s belt at the higher weight, Lomachenko will have to decide which belt he wants to retain and defend. It’s likely he’d stay at super featherweight.

Lomachenko, 28, is 5-1 with three knockouts. Martinez, 33, is 29-2-3 with 17 knockouts.

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Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley to tangle a third time at MGM Grand

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

It may not be the most popular move Manny Pacquiao could have made, but it was announced Wednesday that the next – and, supposedly, final – fight of his fine
career will be a third go-round with Timothy Bradley.

Promoter Bob Arum told this newspaper and several others that the fight was done for April 9 at MGM in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). The contracts still have to be signed.

Bradley, of Palm Springs, holds one of the welterweight world-title belts.

The two first fought in June 2012 at MGM Grand. Bradley was scored a split-decision winner, but virtually every reporter covering the fight saw that as a terrible decision as Pacquiao seemed the clear winner.

They tangled again in April 2014, at MGM Grand, with ,Pacquiao emerging with a deserved unanimous decision.

Neither fight was electrifying. But Bradley (33-1-1, 13 KOs) did not have Teddy Atlas training him then. He does now, and Arum figures that will make this the most exciting bout of the trilogy.

“I don’t think there’s any question, but that it will be,” Arum said. “And I don’t think there’s any question that as good as Bradley has been, that he’s a much better fighter now with Teddy Atlas than he was before. Without any question, he’s a different fighter and his style is different.

“So people say, ‘My god, you’re doing a third fight with Pacquiao and Bradley.’ I say, ‘But this Bradley is different from the other Bradley.’ It’s really like a new opponent.”

Bradley, 32, fought for the first time under Atlas in November, and he stopped Brandon Rios in the ninth round at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

Pacquiao (57-6-2, 38 KOs) is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in May at MGM Grand. Pacquiao revealed after the bout he fought with a torn right rotator cuff, which has since been surgically repaired.

The other two opponents Pacquiao had been considering were junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford and former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan.

As for this possibly being the last fight Pacquiao, 37, Arum is not so sure.

“He told me that this would be his last fight, but I’ve heard that from fighters for the 50 years I’ve been promoting boxing,” said Arum, who began promoting in 1966. “So I take that with a grain of salt. So I’m not going to put myself in a position where im promoting this fight as Manny’s last fight when six months from now there’s a change of heart and he wants to fight again.”

The first two fights did approximately 900,000 and 800,000 pay-per-view buys, respectively, according to industry sources.

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Timothy Bradley, Jessie Vargas make weight for Saturday’s fight

Timothy Bradley/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Timothy Bradley and Jessie Vargas both weighed in at 146.4 pounds Friday for their vacant interim welterweight title showdown that will take place Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson.

HBO will televise the Top Rank Inc. card.

Bradley, 31, is 31-1-1 with 12 knockouts. He is a former junior welterweight and welterweight champion.

Vargas, 26, is 26-0 with nine knockouts. He is a former junior welterweight champion moving up in weight.

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Associated Press: TV part of Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. deal a go

Floyd Mayweather Jr. is shown here at a Clippers game in 2013/Staff photo by Michael Owen Baker, Los Angeles Daily News

 

By Tim Dahlberg, Associated Press

HBO and Showtime have agreed on how they would broadcast a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, promoter Bob Arum said Thursday, leaving only two remaining issues to be settled before the much anticipated May 2 fight can be signed.

Arum told The Associated Press that the rival networks have come to terms on an announcing team and other details for the pay-per-view blockbuster, and that talks this week have narrowed the remaining differences between the Mayweather and Pacquiao camps.

“We had four issues and we resolved two,” said Arum, who promotes Pacquiao. “Now we’re working on resolving the other two. Unless something else comes up at the last minute, that’s what my take is.”

Arum declined to say what those two issues are, saying he didn’t want to sabotage the negotiations just as they are reaching a critical juncture. And it was not clear whether the Mayweather side views the negotiations the same as Arum, or even if Mayweather will agree to the fight.

Mayweather’s adviser is Al Haymon, who reportedly has been doing the negotiating on his fighter’s behalf. But Haymon doesn’t talk to the media, and Mayweather communicates almost exclusively through social media.

Mayweather’s latest postings showed him enjoying a trip on a private jet to the Caribbean and getting a fish pedicure. He did post on social media last week that a media report the fight was a done deal was a “lie.”

Arum said the major financial points of the fight have been agreed to, including a reported 60-40 split in the purse in Mayweather’s favor. Based on the fight doing a record $200 million or more in revenue, Mayweather’s payday could be at least $120 million.

“There’s a lot of devil in the details and that’s what we’re sorting through now,” Arum said. “The remaining issues are obviously important to the participants, and are things we have to work out.”

Mayweather’s representatives have dictated most of the terms of the fight, and Arum said Mayweather will be the one to announce it if it is made.

Mayweather fights under contract to Showtime and Pacquiao to HBO, and there was speculation the two networks could hold up the fight by not coming to terms themselves. But talks between top executives have been ongoing for weeks, and HBO issued a statement Monday saying it was not an “impediment” to the fight.

“We stand ready to go,” the statement said. “The principals need to agree to terms and come to a deal.”

An HBO spokesman declined comment Thursday, and Showtime executives were not immediately made available for comment.

While Mayweather has been vacationing, Pacquiao was heading home Thursday to the Philippines after a trip to the U.S. and England. While in Miami for the pageant, Pacquiao attended a Miami Heat basketball game the same night Mayweather was there and the two fighters exchanged numbers and discussed the fight.

They later met for an hour, and Arum said the meeting convinced him that Mayweather wanted to make the fight.

Before heading home, Pacquiao also met in Washington with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and on Thursday attended the National Prayer Breakfast, where President Barack Obama spoke.

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Junior lightweight contender Diego Magdaleno re-signs with Top Rank Inc.

Diego Magdaleno

Diego Magdaleno/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Diego Magdaleno, ranked as high as No. 3 in the world as a junior lightweight, has re-signed with promoter Top Rank Inc., it was announced Thursday morning by Top Rank.

Magdaleno, 28, is a 5-foot-6 southpaw out of Las Vegas via Los Angeles. He’s 27-1 with 11 knockouts.

“Top Rank is where I want to be,” Magdaleno said. “This is a big day for me and my family.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“It’s great to have Diego re-sign because 2015 is going to be a great year for Diego in both the junior lightweight and lightweight divisions,” said Carl Moretti, vice-president of operations at Top Rank. “We plan to announce his next bout shortly.”

Magdaleno most recently stopped Hevinson Herrera in the third round in November in Pharr, Texas.

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Nonito Donaire takes on Nicholas Walters underneath Golovkin-Rubio

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Nonito Donaire/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

With all the hoopla being created by middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin defending his title against Marco Antonio Rubio on Saturday at StubHub Center in Carson (on HBO), let’s not forget that the main undercard fight shouldn’t be too shabby, either.

In it, Nonito Donaire (33-2, 21 KOs) of San Leandro via the Philippines will defend his featherweight belt against Nicholas Walters (24-0, 20 KOs) of Jamaica. This could be a good one.

“I am very excited for this fight,” Donaire said.

He’d better be as Walters is no slouch. And he’s hungry to make an even bigger name for himself.

“This is my dream fight,” said Walters, who also owns a piece of the title. “It’s now the time to show everyone who is the best 126-pound world champion in the entire world.”

 

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Terence Crawford, Yuriorkis Gamboa make weight for Saturday’s title fight

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Terence Crawford

Terence Crawford/photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

Terence Crawford and Yuriorkis Gamboa both made weight Friday for their lightweight title fight Saturday night in Crawford’s native Omaha, Neb. Crawford weighed in at 134.8 pounds, just under the 135-pound limit. Gamboa came in at 134.4 pounds.

Crawford (23-0, 16 KOs) will be making the first defense of his title. Gamboa, of Cuba, has the identical record of 23-0 with 16 knockouts. The two will square off at CenturyLink Center and their fight will be televised on HBO.

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