week in Houston, Texas at the Reliant Arena, what looks to be an
entertaining “Boxing After Dark” doubleheader takes place featuring WBC
junior welterweight titlist Erik Morales defending against upstart Danny
Garcia with a junior middleweight support of James Kirkland vs. Carlos
Molina. It begins a long stretch with Golden Boy Promotions offering
cards on HBO, Showtime and pay-per-view and at casino venues and local
arenas all over the country.
It’s as busy a stretch as this company has ever had.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer while
speaking to Maxboxing. “We have Morales next week and James Kirkland and
then we have those two guys on April the 20th (a “ShoBox” telecast with Erislandy Lara facing Ronald Hearns. Fernando Guerrero is also on the card), April the 21st at the Don Haskins Center (when Abner Mares faces Eric Morel as the headliner on Showtime), April the 28th at the Boardwalk Hall, HBO- that fight is selling like hot cakes; it’s
unbelievable- Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson, Seth Mitchell and Chazz
Witherspoon, a great doubleheader. Then a week later, we have the big
event with Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto and “Canelo” (Saul Alvarez)
and [Shane] Mosley and then two weeks later after that, it’s Amir Khan
and Lamont Peterson (May 19th at the Mandalay Bay on HBO) and then on May the 26th,
we have Winky Wright and Peter Quillin as part of the Antonio Tarver
card [on Showtime] and so I have to tell you, I’m pretty excited.”
Boy is as active as any company in the world right now. This is in
addition to its “Solo Boxeo” series and fight cards which are broadcast
in Mexico on Televisa.
“We’ve never been more excited or busier and that’s the end of May and
then in June,” continued Schaefer. “We’re back with [Victor] Ortiz and
[Andre] Berto (June 23rd on Showtime). We are going to be doing something on June 30th, as well, from the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. I’m working with Gary Shaw on July 7th [for the rematch between Antonio DeMarco and Jorge Linares].”
the second go-round of that thrilling bout that took place last October
could wind up in familiar surroundings, the Home Depot Center in
Carson, California, a favorite of hardcore fight fans in Southern
California. “I was talking to Gary; I said, ‘Y’ know, when we did those
fights with Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez and we did it from there,
this is like, ‘The Story Continues.’ It was unbelievable and this fight,
right here, fits. This is probably never going to be a fight like that
one [Vazquez-Marquez III] but there will be many other good fights. But
if you have to come up with a fight, if you can sort of, like, put it in
the continuum, that series, I think this is the perfect fit. It’s the
perfect venue. I mean, I’m really, really excited about that.
“So that’s that. We also have [Robert] ‘The Ghost’ Guerrero and Selcuk Aydin (July 28th on Showtime from San Jose) and then I’m working on an August show from Cincinnati, August the 18th,”
said Schaefer, who confirmed the show from Cincy would feature Adrien
Broner (who might make his return on the Peterson-Khan II card in Las
Top to bottom, it’s a solid lineup of fights.
have so much momentum and I was telling our matchmakers, ‘You look at
our fighters, put them in with anyone, you look at Devon Alexander,
‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Broner, Guerrero, Khan, Linares, [Marcos] Maidana,
Mares, Morales, Ortiz, Kirkland, Lara, [Lucas] Matthysse, Mitchell, Gary
Russell, you look at our stable; we’ve never had- since we started
Golden Boy- a better and more exciting stable.”
so is the second edition of Ortiz-Berto taking place in Los Angeles?
According to Schaefer, “It’s not official yet. I have not worked out the
deal yet; that’s why we can’t officially announce it. But I feel pretty
confident it’s going to be at the Staples Center.”
As for Gary Russell Jr., he will not be appearing on the April 20th edition of “ShoBox” as originally planned.
“He’s going to be fighting on April 21st from the Don Haskins Center on the card with Abner Mares against Eric
Morel- which is now [for] the 122-pound WBC title because the Japanese
guy [Toshiaki Nishioka] vacated- and so that fight has been elevated for
the world title. Then Anselmo Moreno versus David De La Mora and then
Gary Russell is going to be fighting an opponent we had announced
before, Dat Nguyen,” said Schaefer.
It was announced on Saturday via Top Rank press release that on April 14th,
a split-site doubleheader featuring Brandon Rios from the Mandalay Bay
and Juan Manuel Marquez from Mexico would be on a pay-per-view card
distributed by HBO PPV.
paying $44.95 for Rios against Richie Abril and Marquez versus some
unknown Russian isn’t ideal. But as the shenanigans of Yuriorkis Gamboa
blew up the highly anticipated bout with Rios on that date and HBO and
Top Rank failing to agree on who would face “Bam Bam,” this was really
the only alternative. Pay-per-view cards like this aren’t moneymakers
for those involved but they are a necessary evil to keep boxers active
while advancing their careers when a network slot is not available.
just wonder, with Mayweather and Pacquiao slated for pay-per-view cards
in May and June, respectively, how many boxing fans will have room in
their budgets for this card?
a few interesting emails over the past few days from my readers that I
wanted to address regarding defending middleweight champion Sergio
Martinez, who held off the spirited challenge of Matthew Macklin in 11
Here comes the Sergio Martinez train again....
never seen a fighter get such praise for beating such limited and
un-accomplished opposition (Barker and Macklin). Not only would Floyd or
Manny not be allowed to fight such opponents, but they would get
frowned upon for struggling. Pacquiao is now looked as a lessor fighter
because he struggled vs the great Juan Manuel Marquez.
A few points I wanted to speak to..
Everybody is bragging about this "sell out". Honestly, I think it says a
lot that the supposed third best fighter is fighting in the theater
that seats only 4,700. He’s arguably the "B" side in a fight being
promoted more around an event (St Patricks Day) than the actual fight.
I am also sick of people accusing Floyd and Manny of ducking him. The
last time I checked, Floyd and Manny are much smaller fighters fighting
two weight classes beneath him (save for the occasional trips to 154 to
fight other DRAWS).
Sergio has also weighed in at 180+ lbs at
the 30 day weigh vs Paul Williams, so enough with this "Small
middleweight" nonsense from his fans. Go fight Pirog, Sturm, etc and
worry about building your own brand first.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Class of ’09
Bachelor of Arts, Economics
all I can say is that for that salient email, Frank Beamer would not
only give you a game ball but a lunch pail to carry around (given to the
Hokies’ hardest working defensive player). And it’s deserved, given
that you have a better understanding of the business than about 98
percent of my colleagues, many of whom carry pom-poms for “Maravilla.”
yeah, not only would Manny and Floyd be castigated for struggling at
all versus the likes of Darren Barker and Matthew Macklin, they’d be
ripped ad nauseam for even facing them to begin with. Hey, some believe
Martinez is “number three pound-for-pound”; that’s what matters right?
Here’s what Carlos Acevedo of The Cruelest Sport had to say about that whole matter in another one of his fine pieces: (http://thecruelestsport.com/2012/03/16/hardchaw-dreaming-sergio-martinez-matthew-macklin-preview/):
29, will be the third consecutive fairly anonymous European to face
Martinez, whose mythical “P-4-P” status allows him to call out
welterweights, hold press conferences to bewail his lot as a
prizefighter, and face run-of-the-mill opponents for exorbitant purses
despite an inability to sell tickets or produce significant ratings
points for HBO. If you think all this P-4-P nonsense does not affect
reality, think again. By having a free PR campaign comprised of media
members, pound-for-pound penthouse dwellers eventually come around to
believing their own blogspot clippings. It is also the reason why
tickets to Martinez fights are so expensive, since his standing as a
“superstar” is used by Lou DiBella, rightly so, it should be noted, as a
promotional tool to hype any fight involving “Maravilla.”
I give DiBella his due for at least creating an atmosphere at one of
his fights. Now let’s see if he keeps that promise of fighting his man
three times in 2012 thus keeping him in the public eye. Lou deserves a
lot of credit; this past week, they actually promoted this event and
didn’t just mail it in like so many others do when given an HBO license
fee. As for facing the other middleweights, well, to be fair, Top Rank
and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. aren’t willing to step to the table yet (or
ever). Felix Sturm is safely tucked away in Germany and isn’t going
anywhere. Now the hot new name is Gennady Golovkin but really, if you
thought Martinez’s last few guys were anonymous (and he’s actually a
real threat)…As for Dmitry Pirog, yeah, this is where I put some of the
blame on HBO, back when he beat Danny Jacobs for the vacant WBO title.
Instead of showcasing this guy and building him up as a potential foe
for Martinez, the network punished him for having the temerity of
knocking out an Al Haymon client.
Back when HBO was really HBO under Seth Abraham and, ironically, DiBella, they understood that
for every marquee star you have, it behooves you to develop B-sides for
them. One example is Ike Quartey, who, like most African fighters, was
never a draw in the States but because HBO continually showcased him in
solid fights, he was a guy that held value as an opponent for the likes
of Oscar De La Hoya and Fernando Vargas.
I’m not convinced- based on what you pointed out- that Martinez is even
an A-side but I do think what took place at the Theater this past
weekend is a good step forward.
I read your article this morning about Sergio Martinez,
and I cannot say I completely agree with your implication that Sergio
Martinez not been well promoted by Lou DiBella in the past. When
Martinez was looking to sign with a promoter back in 2007, no one was
willing to give him a shot, except DiBella. Lou did a terrific job
getting his new fighter into position for an HBO date against Alex
Bunema (whom he wrecked) followed by seven HBO fights (Saturday night’s
tilt will be his eighth fight on HBO). During that time, DiBella helped
guide Martinez into an HBO mainstay, putting him in a fight of the year
candidate against Paul Williams, matching him against Kelly Pavlik for
the middleweight crown, which ultimately got him named Fighter of the
Year for 2010. In the process, Martinez has made a fair amount of money,
even if he has been unable to line up a megafight.
call DiBella a "TV packager," but he guided his fighter from being a
complete unknown in the US to a top level guy earning substantial
dollars. Isn’t that a large portion of the job of the fight promoter? I
agree with you that DiBella and Martinez have left money on the table by
not taking on a more active ring schedule and by not getting his name
out more to the wider public (I still think my idea of Sergio hooking up
with Spanish-speaking actresses was a good one). But DiBella has
handled his fighter very nicely and deserves more credit than he does
criticism for the job he’s done.
P.S. Your comment
about Mikey Garcia looking a bit like a young Juan Manuel Marquez sent
me to Youtube to watch Marquez fights from the mid-to-late ’90s. I think
Marquez was a bit more technically proficient with his punches, but not
by much. Garcia is a damn good boxer, and I look forward to seeing him
against someone who can give him a tough fight.
I don’t deny anything you pointed out. But by not doing anything else,
for the most part just being at the behest of HBO (as they have been),
never putting up your own money for cards and just chasing the likes of
Chavez Jr. is the very essence of “TV packaging.” A real bona fide
promoter’s job is to create an attraction, one that will be called out
by the other significant names in the business and is put into real
events. So far, that hasn’t happened for “Maravilla.”
think Lou has been highly successful in many aspects of handling
Martinez’s career, no doubt- sorely lacking in others. We’ll see at age
37 if it’s too late to rectify some of the past failures and get him
into the big pay-per-view fights they’ve been yearning for.
year was a good one for boxing on ESPN2. This year, it’s been more like
“Friday Night Farces.” And it continued again this past week when
Kendall Holt blew out the uninterested Tim Coleman in two. And while
DiBella tried to promote his event to the hilt, once again, Gary Shaw
just mailed it in at an Indian casino (this time, the Morongo), where
you saw a swath of empty seats all over and an atmosphere as lively as a
Here’s some of my Twitter timeline during that broadcast:
- Yeah, anyone notice all the empty sears as Lopez and Tolmajyan start their fight? Yeah, it’s a Gary Shaw ’promotion’
- This crowd for Friday Night Fights reminds me of a Charlotte Bobcat-Washington Wizards game
Folks, still plenty of tickets available for Holt-Coleman at the
Morongo Casino. In fact, just about all of them it looks like
- Somewhere out there Joe Tessitore is really happy he got this Friday night off
- I’m hearing all 57 people at the fights at Morongo want their money back and a buffet comp after Holt-Coleman
- Honestly, FNF’s this year has been like Sarah Palin for
#boxing writers and fans, it provides great punchlines and material
Thank you, thank you; you’ve been a great audience. I’m here every day at Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing and, please, try the veal.
the way, I like this week’s edition of “Friday Night Fights” on “The
Deuce.” I think Antwone Smith-Robert Garcia can be a good scrap...Yes, I
am going to Houston (a favorite city of mine) for the Golden Boy
show...Omar Figueroa isn’t poetry in motion but he is a heavy-handed
banger that will be fun to watch...Randy Caballero showed that perhaps
he isn’t really a ten-round fighter just yet, as he struggled down the
stretch versus Jose Luis Araiza...Brian Viloria’s defense of his WBO
flyweight title against Omar Nino has been pushed back to April 21st as Nino still has some issues to iron out with the Nevada State
Athletic Commission and the WBO...If he can make 135, Carlos Molina will
be involved in some very good fights in the future. He looked good
versus Angino Perez in Pharr (from home), Texas on “Solo Boxeo”...I have
to say, “The Office” has shown that there is life after Michael Scott
but right now, “The Big Bang Theory” is my favorite sitcom...It’s great
seeing a Lakers point guard who can blow past defenders, isn’t
it?...Does anyone wanna play QB for the Miami Dolphins?...So is Matt
Flynn “Matt Hasselbeck: Part II” in Seattle? ...