NEW YORK — Peter Quillin sat on a dais late Saturday night with a toothy smile and hardly a scratch on his face. Hours earlier, Quillin, the undefeated WBO middleweight champion, the charismatic transplanted Brooklynite who has made the Barclays Center his new home, defended his title, stopping Fernando Guerrero in the seventh round. At 29, Quillin is a fighter with a bright future. Or at least he should be.
Posts Tagged ‘Danny Garcia’
NEW YORK — Three thoughts on Danny Garcia’s unanimous decision win over Zab Judah:
For Garcia, a learning experience
No question, Garcia won the fight. He dominated most of the early rounds and picked up a knockdown in the eighth, countering a straight left hand from Judah with a stinging right that sent Judah tumbling to the canvas. But Judah showed tremendous heart, refusing to quit and rallying to win most of the final rounds. He hurt Garcia repeatedly in the tenth, seeming to catch his second wind while Garcia started to slow down. But Judah gave away too many rounds early, and the judges’ scoring (115-112, 114-112, 116-111) was spot on.
• In a shocker, Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov won a purse bid for the right to promote Wladimir Klitschko’s future heavyweight title defense against Alexander Povetkin with a whopping $23.3 million bid, far more than K2 Promotions ($7.1 million) or Sauerland Event ($6.01 million) put up. Assuming both Klitschko and Povetkin make it through their upcoming bouts, the fight will take place August 31 in either Moscow, Berlin or Las Vegas. Under the terms of the bid, Klitschko would receive $17.5 million with Povetkin entitled to $5.8 million. As big as Hryunov’s bid was, it falls well short of the $32.1 million Las Vegas businessman Steve Wynn put up to secure the rights to Buster Douglas’s title defense against Evander Holyfield in 1990.
The obvious question: Can Hryunov come up with the cash? Occasionally, a promoter will come in and submit an outlandish bid for a fight, and then default. Don King has done it twice in the last year, first with a $1.1 million bid for the right to promote a heavyweight fight between Cris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne and later with a $1.5 million bid for Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi. King would default on both, losing the ten percent deposit he was required to put down. Sources involved with the bid told SI.com that Hryunov, who is being backed by a Russian-based businessman and real estate developer, will spend the next few weeks exploring ways to monetize the fight.
• Some numbers from a busy boxing weekend: Last Saturday’s Showtime-televised fight between Saul Alvarez and Austin Trout peaked at 734,000 households and 1.061 million viewers, a modest increase from the 1.031 viewers Alvarez attracted for his September fight with Josesito Lopez. Meanwhile Saturday afternoon’s fight on NBC, headlined by heavyweights Tyson Fury and Steve Cunningham, did a strong overnight rating that translated to 1.2 million viewers. Expectations are that when the full numbers come in later in the week, peak viewership will exceed 1.8 million.
• I love Juan Manuel Marquez-Tim Bradley. Like most, I was surprised that Marquez didn’t take a fifth fight with Pacquiao. Despite all the rhetoric, I figured Marquez would go for the biggest check. But in fighting Bradley, Marquez can still cash a big check and give himself a chance at history by becoming the first Mexican to win titles in five weight classes. And if he beats Bradley — and Pacquiao gets past either Mike Alvarado or Brandon Rios — a Pacquiao fight will still be there.
• I don’t think I’ve ever been less interested in a notable fight than this Saturday’s heavyweight bout between Deontay Wilder and Audley Harrison. It’s another absolute joke of a fight for Wilder, a 2008 bronze medalist whose résumé as a pro is pathetic.
• If Danny Garcia beats Zab Judah on Saturday, I think he becomes the favorite to face Floyd Mayweather in the fall. Mayweather clearly isn’t overly interested in facing Saul Alvarez; if he were, he would have agreed to face him already and fought together on the May 4th pay per view. I’ve been told that during negotiations with HBO and Showtime Mayweather’s representatives mentioned Garcia often as a possible opponent.
• Ishe Smith-Carlos Molina: The very definition of not-made-for-TV.
• Golden Boy’s ability to get Bernard Hopkins’ upcoming title defense against Karo Murat on premium television could get interesting. The fight stinks. Murat (25-0-1) is not a particularly big puncher and a complete unknown in the U.S. And everyone knows that at this stage of his career Hopkins (53-6-2) needs a certain type of opponent (Tavoris Cloud, Jean Pascal) to look impressive. I’m told Showtime is interested in showing the fight, but will require a strong co-main event to make it worth their while.
• There is still nothing to make me think that a fight between Nathan Cleverly and Bernard Hopkins will be anything but dull.
– Chris Mannix
For the last year, HBO has watched as Golden Boy Promotions has moved many of its top fighters from HBO to Showtime. On Monday, HBO struck back: The network announced that it would no longer buy any fights from Golden Boy Promotions.
“In order to achieve our goal of the best fighters in the most compelling matchups we’ve decided to focus our efforts and resources on those strategic relationships where we better share common goals and business philosophies,” HBO Sports President Ken Hershman said in a statement.
The decision is a decisive move from HBO to strike back at Golden Boy. Since Stephen Espinoza — a former Golden Boy attorney — took over as the head of the sports department at Showtime, Golden Boy has pulled several of its top fighters including Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Canelo Alavarez and Andre Berto off of HBO and onto Showtime. Last month, Floyd Mayweather — who works closely with Golden Boy —announced he was leaving HBO, his broadcast partner for virtually his entire career, to sign a lucrative deal with Showtime.
Among the casualties of HBO’s decision is Adrien Broner, a rising star who has been a staple on HBO. HBO sources made it clear that it was nothing against Broner, but they will not put him on the network as long as Golden Boy represents him. Likewise for Bernard Hopkins, a longtime HBO fighter who last week became the oldest man to win a major title when he defeated Tavoris Cloud on HBO.
The decision to stop doing business with Golden Boy is being called indefinite.
Golden Boy CEO called the decision “retaliation” and “ill advised.”
I’m not really surprised,” Schaefer told SI.com. “I have not had a conversation with Ken Hershman since last November or December. They are upset at me, I’m sure they are upset at Al Haymon. But the ones getting hurt are the subscribers. Whether you like Golden Boy or you don’t, our stable is second to none. I wished them well. (HBO Vice President) Kery Davis, (VP) Mart Taffet, (CEO) Richard Plepler, I consider them friends. But there are people making decisions in the HBO sports department that don’t know the difference between Floyd Mayweather and Jessie Vargas.”
— Chris Mannix
Quick jabs: Austin Trout flattered after signature win over Miguel Cotto, David Price keeps winning and more
Some quick jabs …
• Count Austin Trout among those not surprised that Golden Boy may try to move forward with plans to match Saul Alvarez with Miguel Cotto next year. In the aftermath of Trout’s lopsided decision win over Cotto, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer would not rule out an Alvarez-Cotto fight.
“It’s flattering,” Trout told me on Sunday. “They obviously want no part of Austin Trout. But at some point, they are all going to have to face me.”
Trout told me that he knew he had Cotto after the third round, when he noticed that Cotto was moving a lot after getting hit.
“That’s not Cotto,” Trout said. “He boxed with Manny Pacquiao when he was in trouble. Against me, he was starting to move, bouncing around on his toes. When I was watching film the only time I saw him do that was when Pacquiao had him hurt.”
• British heavyweight David Price — who knocked out countryman Matt Skelton in the second round last weekend — says he wants his next fight to be in the U.S. And he already has an opponent in mind: Tony Thompson, the former title challenger who was knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko last July. According to Thompson’s trainer/manager, Barry Hunter, no one from Price’s team has contacted him about the fight. However, Thompson came back to Hunter’s Washington D.C. gym two weeks ago and mentioned an interest in fighting Price.
Hunter told me he still wasn’t sure he was interested in continuing to work with Thompson. He said he was very disappointed with Thompson’s effort against Klitschko and needs to see him work for a few weeks in the gym to see if he still has it.
• Hunter says one of his other fighters, Lamont Peterson, is in the gym and is only a couple of pounds off the 140-pound limit. Peterson has a mandatory IBF title defense against Kendall Holt, but that fight has yet to be scheduled. Hunter says he is hoping he and Holt’s promoter, Gary Shaw, can schedule Peterson-Holt for late January, preferably in the D.C. area.
• Buckle up for Gabriel Rosado-Gennady Golovkin on Jan. 19 in NYC. It’s going to be a war.
• Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said welterweight Victor Ortiz — last seen getting his jaw broken by Josesito Lopez last June — is recovering well and will be ready to return to the ring early next year. ”He’s doing much better,” Schaefer said. “He had some infections to deal with but the swelling has gone down and he is going to be ready to go in March or early April.”
Schaefer said Ortiz “did not want any tune-up fights” and in addition to a rematch with Lopez said a fight with WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center was a possibility.
• The more people I talk to, the more I think Floyd Mayweather’s next fight will be against Robert Guerrero. I don’t get the feeling Mayweather wants to fight at 154 — Alvarez’s weight class — and Guerrero is a marketable fighter coming off an impressive win on HBO. It just seems like the right fit.
• Boxing press conferences are a joke. On Saturday, I attended a presser to announce the Feb. 9 fight at the Barclays Center between junior welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia and Zab Judah. During the press conference Garcia’s father/trainer, Angel — a known agitator — took some shots at Judah. Judah took offense and before long a melee broke out, with members of Judah’s entourage (who should not have been there in the first place) storming the dais. The brawl effectively ended the press conference and prevented several reporters from speaking to the fighters.
And this fight needed as much local press as it could get: Though plenty of lip service was paid to Judah’s Brooklyn roots, he has never been a draw at the box office. By popping off like that, Judah and Garcia essentially cost themselves money.
• Had a chance to catch up with U.S. Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields this weekend for a story that will run later this month in Sports Illustrated. Shields told me she has not made a decision yet on making another Olympic run, and had an interesting reason why.
“I’m not really recognized,” Shields said. “I got a lot of credit for being the first woman Olympic gold medalist. I feel like if one of the men won gold they would have these endorsements or a huge signing bonus. It’s just different for the women. We weren’t showcased like we should have been. A lot of people who were watching couldn’t find me on TV. I think I should get more credit. I have already done the hard work, I shouldn’t keep doing it without reaping the rewards. So I have not decided on what I am going to do. I’m going to do what is going to help keep food on the table.”
• Shameless plug time: Pick up SI this week for my column on why fighters’ unwillingness to seek out the biggest challenge has created a watered-down era in boxing.
– Chris Mannix
NEW YORK — Danny Jacobs called it the greatest victory of his life.
After what he’s been through over the past year-and-a-half, it’s easy to understand why.
Jacobs, who has overcome cancer and paralysis caused by a large tumor on his spine, was back in action for the first time in 19 months on the undercard of Saturday’s fight card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He needed just 73 seconds to knock out Josh Luteran, closing the show with a devastating left-right combination that left his opponent supine on the canvas.
“Everyone in the world is affected by cancer, whether they have it themselves or whether they know someone with cancer,” Jacobs said. “For me to overcome this, I feel like I give people hope and I take pride in that. When I’m in there, I represent all cancer patients.”
Nicknamed “The Golden Child,” Jacobs hails from Brownsville, the Brooklyn neighborhood that produced world champions Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe and Shannon Briggs. So the significance of fighting on the undercard of Saturday’s Danny Garcia-Erik Morales fight — which included the first world title bouts in Brooklyn since 1931 — was not lost on him.
“To be able to be a part of this historic event, it doesn’t get any bigger than this,” Jacobs said. “Mike Tyson never had a Brooklyn venue such as this, (nor did) Zab Judah or any of the greats. For me to have this venue, it means the world to me.”
Jacobs turned pro in 2007 after one of the most decorated amateur careers in New York’s storied fistic history, with a 137-7 record and four consecutive Golden Gloves titles. He was a rising star in the middleweight division, with a 22-1 record and 19 knockouts, when he was diagnosed with cancer in May 2011.
“With everything that I’ve been through, this is my dream coming true,” said Jacobs of fighting before a hometown crowd that included the three doctors from New York Presbyterian Hospital who saved his life. “This was a goal for me to open up the Barclays. When I was laying in my house in bed, this is what motivated me, because I knew that this moment was a possibility even when they told me it wasn’t. That’s the hunger that kept me driving and pushing when I was getting better.”
As he adroitly fielded interviews from dozens of print and TV media in the bowels of the Barclays Center, Jacobs said he was looking forward to staying active and fighting for a title in the not-so-distant future.
“I want to fight,” he said. “I want to get back to the top.”
For now, the title of cancer survivor will do.
– Bryan Armen Graham
NEW YORK — Why is the New York State Athletic Commission allowing Erik Morales to fight for Danny Garcia’s junior welterweight titles Saturday in Brooklyn after Morales failed two of three pre-fight drug tests conducted by the United States Anti-Doping Agency?
Morales had tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, which can be used to assist in weight loss, in two random tests conducted by the USADA at the 36-year-old’s training camp in Mexico on Oct. 4 and Oct. 10.
But instead of prohibiting Morales from fighting in Saturday’s main event at Barclays Center, the NYSAC deferred the decision to Garcia, who holds the WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine titles at 140 pounds. Rather than pass on a career-high $1 million purse, the 26-year-old Garcia decided to go through with the fight after a third test given to Morales on Friday came back negative.
Morales had blamed contaminated meat for the positive results of the two earlier tests, the same alibi given by cyclist Alberto Contador, who also tested positive for clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France. Contador was banned from professional cycling for two years.
The commission defended its decision to license Morales, a four-division champion who lost on points to Garcia in March, in a statement given just as the first undercard bout of Saturday’s nine-fight card was getting under way.
“The New York (State) Athletic Commission has taken into consideration the testing of Erik Morales conducted by USADA, an independent non-governmental organization contracted by Golden Boy Promotions to conduct testing on its boxers,” NYSAC spokesperson Edison Alban said. “Based upon currently available information and the representations made by Mr. Morales that he unintentionally ingested contaminated food, it is the commission’s opinion that at this time there is inconclusive data to make a final determination regarding the suspension of Mr. Morales’ boxing license.
“The commission will continue investigating the allegations and will wait until official laboratory results are available before making a final decision.”
Alban clarified the statement to SI.com, saying that Saturday’s fight is “100 percent happening,” and any punishment stemming from Morales’ pending laboratory results will be issued retroactively. For example, a Morales victory could be altered to a no-contest if the commission’s investigation finds the Mexican’s excuse insufficient.
That, of course, will only happen after the receipts are counted.
– Bryan Armen Graham
Junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia, who may or may not defend his WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine titles against Erik Morales on Saturday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, appeared on the back page of the Philadelphia Daily News on Friday.
The story, written by veteran Daily News scribe John Smallwood, focuses on the young champion’s relationship with his trainer/father Angel.
– SI.com staff
BROOKLYN — The U.S. Anti Doping Agency, which is administering blood and urine testing for Danny Garcia’s junior welterweight title defense against Mexican legend Erik Morales, has found “irregularities” in Erik Morales’s ‘A’ sample, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer told SI.com.
Schaefer declined to disclose what substance Morales tested positive for.
According to Schaefer, USADA informed Golden Boy on Tuesday of the irregularities. On Wednesday, USADA informed both camps and the New York State Athletic Commission of the positive test.
“USADA has now started the process,” Schaefer told SI.com. “The process will play out. There is not going to be a rush to judgement. Morales is a legendary fighter. And really, nobody deserves a rush to judgement. You are innocent until proven guilty.”
Schaefer said as of Thursday night, the fight with Garcia was still on. Garcia-Morales headlines a show at the new $1 billion Barclays Center and is one of four world title fights on the card. In the event Garcia-Morales is canceled, the show — which will be broadcast on Showtime — is still expected to go on.
– Chris Mannix
Some quick jabs …
• Victor Ortiz, who parted ways with longtime trainer Danny Garcia after last June’s loss to Josesito Lopez, has reached out to Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach. Roach says he will meet with Ortiz once the former welterweight titleholder recovers from the broken jaw he suffered against Lopez.
• With Emanuel Steward battling a serious illness, Wladimir Klitschko will begin training camp for his Nov. 10 heavyweight title defense against Mariusz Wach without a chief cornerman. Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says that Klitschko is hoping Steward will be able to join camp in late October and work his corner for the fight.
• A dark horse candidate to face super middleweight kingpin Andre Ward: Denis Grachev, who will face Lucian Bute in November. Grachev (12-0) is coming off a stunning knockout win over top prospect Ismayl Sillakh last April. If Grachev beats Bute, he will likely become a very appealing possibility for Ward.
• I still think Kelly Pavlik is the most realistic big-name opponent for Ward.
• Miguel Cotto picked a dangerous tune-up opponent in Austin Trout. Trout isn’t exciting — his win over Delvin Rodriguez in June was as dull as it was decisive — but he is slick and savvy in the ring. If Trout isn’t overwhelmed by the moment, he has a great chance at an upset.
• What a wasted year this has been for Gary Russell Jr. For Andre Dirrell, too.
• While Cornelius Bundrage’s IBF junior middleweight title defense against Andre Berto isn’t done yet, I’m told it’s very close to being finalized for Nov. 24 on HBO. On paper, Berto, who has not fought in over a year after testing positive for a banned substance during training for his scheduled rematch against Victor Ortiz, would appear to be a big favorite. But Berto will be moving up in weight to face Bundrage, whose aggressive, awkward style could give Berto problems.
• The winner of Berto-Bundrage will be obligated to defend the title against Gabriel Rosado, who earned the position of mandatory challenger with a knockout win over Charles Whittaker last Friday. A year ago, high-profile opponents would have done everything they could to avoid Rosado. But because Rosado’s profile has risen considerably on the heels of three straight knockout wins on NBC Sports Network — wins that have sparked interest from the better paying premium networks — expect him to get that shot early next year.
• I like Main Events plan to focus on moving fighters up the IBF rankings. The IBF is regarded as the most respectable of the sanctioning bodies, which is to say if a fighter is ranked No. 1, he is going to get his title shot.
• Ricky Hatton has sold more than 18,000 tickets to his comeback fight in November — and he doesn’t even have an opponent yet. Incredible.
• Roy Jones-Kimbo Slice? Pass. Pass, pass, pass.
• Thoughts and prayers are with the family of former heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders, who according to police was shot and killed while celebrating a family member’s 21st birthday party in Cape Town, South Africa. Sanders was 46.
– Chris Mannix