Summer’s Schedule Comes Together
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (May 23, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
Boxing Gloves
Plenty of things were finalized by the boxing world’s powers-that-be on Tuesday as various fights were set in stone (pending unforeseen injuries or more VADA testing, of course). But one fighter who is not going on as planned for July 14th at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas is Juan Manuel Marquez, who couldn't come to an agreement with Top Rank when it came to the right opponent for the proper price.
The show was supposed to be a pay-per-view event and various names like Zab Judah, Mercito Gesta, Brandon Rios and then Erik Morales were bandied about to fill Marquez's dance card. Eventually, none were deemed suitable for one reason or another.
Bob Arum explained to Top Rank, “Well, we were busy making a fight for [Marquez] on July 14th but he wouldn't fight any of the people that made any sense. He confused marketability with ability. I'm not saying the fights he asked for weren't good fights but with the purse that he wanted, they were just a license to lose money.”
The reality is that some pay-per-view events (like the April 14th show featuring Rios’ struggle versus Richie Abril) are about keeping fighters active and living up to their contractual agreements. Basically, they are loss leaders designed to keep a career moving forward. Others are about actually trying to make a few bucks. This here was about the latter and the problem was that Marquez and his trainer, Nacho Beristain, preferred to face a southpaw in the lead-up to their fourth encounter with Manny Pacquiao in the fall (you'd think after 36 rounds, he probably has a pretty good grasp on Pacquiao and his left-handed stance). While Judah may have been too risky, Gesta would have been a tough sell to the public. Rios and Morales came at a certain price tag and the math just may not have added up.
In this instance, the boxing aspect of things and the business realities just didn't align properly.
“I think that's fair,” said Arum. As for Marquez, it looks like he will now take a tune-up fight in Mexico on July 21st or the 28th.
It's now a done deal. WBO junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire will try and unify his belt against IBF titlist Jeffrey Mathebula.
“It looks like it's ready to go and we've already agreed to a contract. It was a TBA but we've already signed; we're ready to go on that date,” said Donaire's manager, Cameron Dunkin. “I was told by Carl Moretti (V.P. of Boxing Operations for Top Rank) that he's got a deal with Branco [Sports Promotions] and Mathebula.” On that same HBO card will be a junior welterweight clash featuring ‘Bam Bam’ Rios. “He's going to be the opener,” said Dunkin, who also manages the former lightweight titlist who struggled mightily in his last outing versus Abril. “I'm working on the details on finances and things like that right now. But, yes, he's supposed to be on that show.”
On Tuesday, Mauricio Herrera was finalized as Rios' foe that night at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. The question was on just what date would this fight card land? “It's June 30th or July 7th. If the Amir Khan fight shifts to July 14th, then we'd prefer to go July 7th. But if the Khan fight- whoever he's going to fight stays at July 7th- then we'll go fight on June 30th. So we're looking at both dates,” said Arum.
Later on, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told Maxboxing via email that Khan would indeed move to the 14th of July. So the Donaire/Rios doubleheader will take place on the 7th of July. The AEG management wanted the “Filipino Flash” on their property, believing there is a sizable Filipino community around that area to draw upon.
Nothing like watching boxing on a warm summer night at the HDC.
On Wednesday afternoon, a press conference will be held at the Staples Center to officially announce Josesito Lopez as Victor Ortiz's new opponent on June 23rd. The timing couldn't have been any better given that Lopez was scheduled to face Kendall Holt on June 22nd before Holt dropped out of that fight, citing the fact he didn't want to fight outdoors (no, seriously; he did).
Alex Camponovo of Thompson Boxing (which co-promotes Lopez with Goossen Tutor) explained, “We found out- as everybody else did about the unfortunate events with [Andre] Berto and him testing positive for some substance- I talked to Tom Brown [matchmaker for Goossen Tutor]. I was on my way back on a trip from Colombia; I went to see some of our fighters over there and he told me there was a possibility [of filling in] and they were scrambling, looking for somebody. I had been in conversations with Henry Ramirez [who trains Lopez] all week long, figuring out what we were going to do with the fight. It was originally going to be a fight for the number one position against Holt. And that presented a lot of problems for us, trying to find a suitable opponent so we could get the same position. Nobody was really available; we went back and forth a bunch of times between Tom Brown, myself and Henry. 
“And we had a plan for it that we were going to put in motion but this popped up and starting Thursday morning, Friday morning, we presented Josesito and they accepted him. We basically finalized the deal basically on Saturday, Sunday, and it was squared away yesterday [Monday] morning.”
So has the IBF made a ruling on Lamont Peterson?
“No, not yet,” said their Championship Chairman, Lindsey Tucker. “We're still waiting for more information. We haven't really decided anything yet. Plus, we were waiting to see what Nevada was going to do.”
The NSAC has a hearing with Peterson on June 13th, as does the Washington D.C. commission. Tucker says he and IBF President Daryl Peoples will most likely split up and attend both sessions. As for a decision on Peterson's title status, Tucker told Maxboxing, “It will probably be some time shortly after that.”
“Lightning” Lem Satterfield of The Ring magazine (@ringmagazine) tweeted out on Tuesday afternoon: “Oscar De La Hoya: [Saul] Alvarez-[Paul] Williams is on, done deal, MGM Grand, Sept. 15. #boxing.” Later on, Schaefer confirmed that this was a go. I might be in the minority but while “P-Will” might have lost a few inches off his fastball, I think he gives “Canelo” all he can handle with his length and activity.
The co-feature on this pay-per-view card very well might be WBC featherweight champion Jhonny Gonzalez facing the rock-throwing Daniel Ponce de Leon.
Johnathon Banks is being prominently mentioned as Seth Mitchell's next opponent...WBC junior welterweight titlist Danny Garcia is still in the mix to face Khan in July despite the presence of his mandatory challenger Ajose Olusegun. Bottom line, Al Haymon, who reps Garcia, could be putting the screws to Gary Shaw and Lou DiBella (who co-promote Olusegun) to step aside for the good of his client. Yes, as it has been said before, there are guys who are monkeys to his organ grinder. They do as he says...According to “Classy” Frank Espinoza, WBC super bantamweight titlist Abner Mares’ next assignment could be a fight in Mexico in the late summer...And, yes, Chris Arreola will be part of the Showtime broadcast on June 23rd...Just my opinion but based on who was realistically available, I think Lopez is a fine replacement for Berto under these conditions. At the very least, he'll empty his bucket and bring a fight to Ortiz...The Kobe Era has officially ended for the Lakers; it's that simple...The Angels and Albert Pujols are a flat-out bust; no other way to put it. They are just a far more expensive version of my Padres...Whoa, Rihanna is quite the homewrecker:

More of Steve's recent work below his contact info...
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