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NEW STAR ON THE BROOKLYN BLOCK? “If You’re Worried About ‘Triple G’, There’s a New Name…Lemieux”

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David Lemieux, the Canadian power puncher who is auditioning for a star slot on Dec. 6, on HBO, walked up to Barclays Center, the new-ish building in the hottest borough of NYC, Brooklyn.

Wow. This ain’t the Bell Centre, he thought to himself, while checking out the big barn with manager Camille Estephan. This place is BIG. And shiny. And a proper place for an ascent up the ladder, to where I want to be, which is fighting the Canelos, the Cottos, the Golovkins.

Ah, but that proverbial “first things first.” The 32-2 hitter, who impressed mightily in his last time out, stopping Fernando Guerrero (KO3) in Montreal at the Bell in May, has to get past Gabriel Rosado. That is something that has been done, a few times in fact, as the North Philly hitter has lost four straight, to Golovkin, J’Leon Love, Peter Quillin and Jermell Charlo in his last outing, on Jan. 25. That said, he’s no steppingstone sort who will know his role, show up to put up a plausible fight, wing a few hay/praymakers, and “win” by going the distance. This is a guy who can be stopped, though, as Fredo Angulo, Peter Quillin and Golovkin have proven. The task for Lemieux, who lost to Marco Antonio Rubio (by TKO7) in his previous star audition (in 2011) and then Joachim Alcine in his next outing (12-10-11), via MD12, will be to stop Rosado, and in fine fashion.

“I’m going to be a beast on December 6 and it’s going to be dangerous,” Lemieux said at a Wednesday presser at Barclays, touting the Dec. 6 show, which has tix on sale starting at $15 (!) bucks. “I can’t wait. I’ve always trained hard, for people who don’t know my background; I’ve never cheated myself. I always put in all the work in the gym.”

And here’s his quote that I dug so much, which told me he’s thinking grande, he’s craving a star-making showing on Dec. 6, on a show promoter by Golden Boy, whose boss Oscar de Hoya presided over the presser. “Not everybody knows me here, but after December 6, you will,” said the 28-year-old. “If you’re worried about ‘Triple G’, there’s a new name that’s coming in…Lemieux. Wait until you see my fight and then we will speak.”

Indeed. Check out BoxingChannel.TV for coverage format he presser.

http://www.boxingchannel.tv/david-lemieux-vs-gabriel-rosado-december-6-at-barclays-center

Also, here is a press release which went out this afternoon, with quotes from some of the other principals.

DAVID LEMIEUX, NABF Middleweight Champion

“Thank you to everybody for being here, it is a great honor and great opportunity for me to be able to fight in Brooklyn at Barclays Center.

“I’m very excited. I didn’t sleep much last night just getting excited to talk in front of you all.

“I can’t wait for the fight. Gabriel Rosado is a great fighter. He comes to fight and he’s a very tough opponent. However, I’ve never felt so strong in a camp and trained so well. If you saw my fight against Fernando Guerrero, it is going to be a new David again.

“I’m going to be a beast on December 6 and it’s going to be dangerous. I can’t wait. I’ve always trained hard, for people who don’t know my background; I’ve never cheated myself. I always put in all the work in the gym.

“We’ve had some miscalculations and setbacks, but we’re back on track and we’re here to stay on top of the pyramid.

“Brooklyn is a great city, when we landed here we could feel the energy. Then when we came here in front of Barclays Center we said, ‘wow’. This feels like home.

“Not everybody knows me here, but after December 6, you will. If you’re worried about ‘Triple G’, there’s a new name that’s coming in…Lemieux. Wait until you see my fight and then we will speak.

“I’m here to put on the best show and with Rosado, he’s a great fighter so it’s going to be fireworks and dynamite in the arena. I can’t wait.”

GABRIEL ROSADO, Middleweight Contender

“It’s interesting how this fight came about. I was supposed to be the co-main event on Hopkins’ card against Kirkland and that fight fell through. Golden Boy told me not to worry and they stuck to their word. The next thing you know, I’m the main event. One door closes another one opens.

“I’ve been in a lot of fights that were controversial, but that is boxing. Fans love the drama. Now I have the opportunity to showcase my talent.

“Jesse Reid [Rosado’s trainer] has brought new life to boxing for me. A lot of the fights that I study are old fights so I knew about Jesse. One day I needed Jesse to wrap my hands and I realized this was the guy for me.

“I respect Lemieux. He is a tough fighter. Just because I respect him doesn’t mean I am going to give him too much respect [in the ring].

“When it comes to the caliber of fighters I have faced, I’ve faced better names. I need to use my experience and intelligence in this fight.

“I’m excited to fight in New York City – the Mecca of boxing. It’s close to Philadelphia so I know the fans are going to come out. I’m Puerto Rican and there’s a big Puerto Rican population in New York and all of the Latinos will want to watch this fight.

“I’m excited and I can’t wait to put on a show.”

EDDIE GOMEZ, Junior Middleweight Contender

“As we all know, my last fight did not go in my favor. I lost my first fight as a professional, so now I’m just looking to bounce back and do what I have to do.

“I’m happy to be fighting again at Barclays Center, so a lot of my friends and family will come out and show support. You never know, my luck might just be right here at home.

“I’m looking to put on an impressive show in my first comeback fight. I’m happy to be fighting before Christmas and New Years and I’m hoping to close out the year with a good victory.”

ZACHARY OCHOA, Junior Welterweight Prospect

“Since I’ve started boxing I’ve dreamed of an introduction like that from Oscar De La Hoya. I’ve studied him for a long time, especially that jab. I want to thank him and Golden Boy Promotions.

“I want to thank Brett Yormark, Barclays Center and everyone who gave me the opportunity to fight on this great stage.

“It’s going to be a great fight, this has been my best year since signing with Golden Boy and I’m ready to go.”

OSCAR DE LA HOYA, President & Founder of Golden Boy Promotions

“It is satisfying to know that we are coming back once again to the ‘Mecca of Boxing’ in New York – Barclays Center and to be able to give the fight fans real fights that they deserve to see.

“What better venue than Barclays Center? We are always happy to be back in a town where boxing is appreciated this much. The fight fans know boxing. The fight fans live for boxing here in Brooklyn.

“It is very important for Golden Boy Promotions and Barclays Center to keep bringing boxing back to Brooklyn on a regular basis. This is quite a treat for us. Quite a treat for Barclays Center because we know that the fight fans are going to get close to 10 competitive fights from top to bottom.

“I’m really happy to be working with CES Boxing, Gary Shaw Productions and Eye of the Tiger Management. It shows the direction in which Golden Boy Promotions is heading – in terms of bringing the best fights to the fans. It shows that Golden Boy Promotions is willing to work with anybody in order to satisfy the boxing fans.

“The three televised fights are competitive, compelling fights that the fans will enjoy. There is a lot at stake in the 150-pound and 160-pound weight ranges – you think tough competition. There will be no losers because every fighter is going to give it their all. Every fighter knows what is at stake.

“We are really excited about all of the fights on this card. The winners will move on to bigger and better things.”

CAMILLE ESTEPHAN, President of Eye of the Tiger Managements

“We spoke for a while about this and now it is a dream come true. What better place than Barclays Center, what a beautiful place. Being here in New York City, all I can think is ‘wow.’

“We’ve been working towards this for a long time, way before any news about Rosado’s other fights. We have a lot of respect for Rosado and he is a guy that is respected in boxing. What we want to do is stamp the boxing world with David Lemieux.

“A couple of years ago when David and I started working together, we were sitting in a restaurant planning out what we wanted to do. We were sitting near a nice wall of bricks. There are a lot of difficulties in a boxer’s career, and what I said to him is that we we’re going to build a wall, every single day in the gym and every day is another brick in that wall. One day will end up with a great wall.

“We have a grand vision and we’re going to prove it on Dec. 6. We think the best possible place to do it is here so we want to thank everyone who made it possible.

“We’re going to have lots of people from Montreal coming, they’re ready. They’re coming to support David. There are some other great fights on that night in Montreal, but a poll started online saying which fight people wanted to see most. So far 58 percent want to see David’s fight, so hopefully we will bring them hear with us.

JESSE REID, Rosado’s Trainer

“It’s my pleasure to be here. I first saw Gabe on television and he reminded me of the old time fighters like Rocky Graziano. You look at some of these young souls and you see tremendous power, tremendous speed and a big heart.

“I told my son, ‘If I could ever get a chance to work with this young man, I would love it.’ I’ve had some great champions in Johnny Tapia, Roger Mayweather, Hector Camacho and others. This young man has really brought my heart back into boxing. I’m 72-years-old and he makes me feel like I’m 21.

“He’s ready to fight anyone at any time, but he also has tremendous boxing ability and I don’t think that has ever been tapped into and I have the opportunity to work on these things.

“The aggressiveness of Gabriel Rosado is what makes boxing worthwhile.”

BRETT YORMARK, CEO of Barclays Center

“We are extremely excited to be hosting another great night of boxing. We thank Golden Boy Promotions for its support of boxing in Brooklyn and Barclays Center.

“This is the ninth boxing event with Golden Boy Promotions. We are very proud of that. Golden Boy put us on the map in terms of our boxing promotion in Brooklyn. We have only been open for a little more than 24 months and I think we have certainly become the home of boxing in the northeast.

“When I look back at 2014, it was a great year of boxing at Barclays Center. I am looking forward to ending it on a high note on December 6.

“I truly believe that 2015 will be our biggest year ever when it comes to boxing in Brooklyn and with the help of Golden Boy, we will continue to bring great fights.”

# # #

Lemieux vs. Rosado is a 12 round NABF middleweight bout which is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Eye Of The Tiger Management and sponsored by Corona Extra, AT&T and Mexico – Live It To Believe It! Dulorme vs. Lundy is a 10-round junior welterweight bout promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, Gary Shaw Productions and CES Boxing. The HBO Boxing After Dark telecast begins at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Tickets priced at $150, $80, $50, $25 and $15, plus applicable taxes and service charges are on sale now and are available for purchase at www.barclayscenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations, by calling 800-745-3000 and at the American Express Box Office. For group tickets, please call 800-GROUP-BK.

Photo Credit – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

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Michael Dutchover Remains Undefeated in Ontario, Calif.

Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

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Michael Dutchover

ONTARIO-Calif.-Transplanted Texan Michael Dutchover needed a little time to figure out Costa Rican Bergman Aguilar but when he did it was over quickly on Friday.

Lightweight prospect Dutchover (11-0, 8 KOs) knocked out southpaw Aguilera (14-4-1, 4 KOs) in the fifth round with a barrage of body blows that left the Costa Rican limp at the Doubletree Hotel.

For two rounds Aguilar used an awkward counter-punching style that had Dutchover a little tentative. But once he figured out that combination punching was the key, he opened up with barrages and floored Aguilar with body shots at the end of round four.

That signaled doom for Aguilar.

The fifth round saw Dutchover target the body with impunity as Aguilar tried holding, running and covering up with no success. Referee Wayne Hedgepeth signaled the fight over at 2:31 of the fifth round giving Dutchover the win by knockout.

In a bantamweight clash Santa Ana’s Mario Hernandez (7-0-1, 3 KOs) and Mexico City’s Ivan Gonzalez (4-1-2, 1 KO) fought to a majority draw after six back and forth rounds.

Hernandez targeted the body against the taller Gonzalez who relied on long range counters. Both found success but neither could prove superiority after six turbulent rounds.

After six rounds one judge saw it 58-56 for Gonzalez but the two other judges saw it 57-57 for a majority draw.

Other bouts

South Central L.A.’s Ruben Torres (7-0, 6 KOs) extended his undefeated streak with a knockout over Mexico’s Eder “El Koreano” Amaro (6-6, 2 KOs) in a lightweight fight. But it wasn’t easy.

Amaro switched from southpaw to orthodox and was matching Torres for two rounds until the taller local fighter began blasting away to the body and head with precision. Many in the crowd cheered “Koreano” in unison but it couldn’t help once Torres zeroed in.

At the end of the fourth round Amaro could not continue and the fight was stopped giving a knockout for Torres.

Richard Brewart Jr. (2-0) mowed through Edward Aceves (0-5) flooring him with body shots in the first round then overwhelming him in the second. After seven unanswered blows referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the fight at 1:32 of round two giving Rancho Cucamonga’s Brewart the win by knockout in the super welterweight bout.

Southpaw David Ortiz (1-0) won his pro debut by unanimous decision after four rounds in a welterweight match against San Diego’s Mario Angeles (2-11-2). Ortiz lives in Bloomington, Calif. and is trained by Henry Ramirez. No knockdowns were scored.

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Charr-Oquendo Scuttled When Charr Tests Positive; the Odious WBA Saves Face

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Manuel Charr

Manuel Charr and Fres Oquendo were scheduled to fight in Cologne, Germany, later this month (Sept. 29). Charr would be defending his WBA world heavyweight title, the “regular” version of it, not the “super” version which rests in the hands of Anthony Joshua.

The bout was quickly cancelled when it was revealed that Charr had tested positive for two banned anabolic steroids. The test was performed by VADA, the anti-doping agency identified with Las Vegas neurologist Dr. Margaret Goodman.

The 33-year-old Charr, born in Lebanon but a resident of Germany since the age of three, won the belt in his last start with a unanimous decision over 281-pound Russian behemoth Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany. The title was vacant. Charr won the right to fight for it with a 10-round decision over Albanian slug Sefer Seferi. The victory over Ustinov elevated his record to 31-4. He has been stopped three times, by Vitali Klitschko, Alexander Povetkin, and Mairis Briedis.

If it wasn’t for bad luck, as the old saying goes, Fres Oquendo wouldn’t have any luck at all. For various reasons, his fights keep falling out. Before long he’ll be drawing social security. Well, not exactly, but he turned 45 in April and hasn’t fought in more than four years.

Oquendo has competed for this belt before. In his last ring appearance in July of 2014, he lost a majority decision to Russia’s Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. As a concession for taking the fight on short notice, Team Oquendo negotiated a rematch clause in the contract, but a shoulder injury prevented Fres from activating it. When the injury healed, he had to go to court to compel Chagaev to fulfill his obligation. But then the Russian retired, muddling the water.

The WBA was legally bound to find Oquendo a title fight and in desperation turned to ancient Shannon Briggs. But the Oquendo-Briggs fight, scheduled for June 3 of last year in Hollywood, Florida, fell out when Briggs’ urine specimen showed an abnormally high level of testosterone.

Fres Oquendo was dogged by bad luck even before these recent developments. His professional record, 37-8, is somewhat misleading as six of his eight defeats were razor-thin including his 2003 setback to Chris Byrd and his 2006 setback to Evander Holyfield. However, Oquendo, something of a cutie, was never a crowd-pleaser and in none of his narrow defeats was there a public clamor for a rematch.

The cancellation of Charr-Oquendo cuts the World Boxing Association out of a sanctioning fee, but one would think that the WBA honchos are actually rather pleased by this turn of events. The fight, more precisely the WBA’s world title imprimatur, would have brought more unwanted publicity to the Panama-based organization.

ESPN’s Dan Rafael, who has the largest platform of any boxing writer, has been a persistent critic of the organization which once recognized 41 “champions” in 17 weight classes. In 2009, Rafael wrote, “(The WBA) has become such an absolute farce that even somebody like me, who follows boxing closely, sometimes has a hard time keeping track of all the nonsensical so-called world title belts the WBA has been doling out at an alarming rate. It almost reminds me of the ladies at Costco who hand out various samples on a busy Saturday afternoon.”

Rafael took note when WBA president Gilberto Mendoza promised to cull the herd by eliminating “regular” titles, and then became more caustic when Mendoza didn’t follow through. Recently, in one short, punchy diatribe, Rafael blistered the WBA as wretched, vile, and rancid.

Regardless of your opinion, it’s hard not to feel sorry for Fres Oquendo who keeps getting stranded at the altar. No, he’s not fun to watch and a man of his age shouldn’t be taking any more punches, but he has always been an honest workman and by all accounts he’s a very decent man. Born in Puerto Rico but raised in Chicago, Oquendo pitched right in when the island nation of his birth was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. He was personally responsible for relocating Puerto Rican boxing legend Wilfred Benitez and Benitez’s sister, his caregiver, to Chicago where their lives wouldn’t be as hard.

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Bob Arum Hails Terence Crawford (not Lomachenko) as Boxing’s Next Superstar

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Arum says Terence

Top Rank’s Bob Arum says Terence Crawford will become this generation’s Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao–elite boxers who became worldwide celebrity sensations. Arum, who promoted both Mayweather and Pacquiao on the way to their historic crossover statuses expects big things from the undefeated Crawford over the next few years.

“He’s the best fighter in the United States, and he’s so charismatic,” said Arum. “He comes from middle America, and In the next year or so, he will be huge.”

Arum’s assertion is noteworthy for two reasons. First, Arum is also the promoter for Vasyl Lomachenko. Lomachenko is ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. More importantly, Lomachenko seems to have a groundswell of support behind him both in the media and among fight fans.

Lomachenko has also been heavily featured through Top Rank’s television partnership with ESPN. While Crawford has achieved more in his career than Lomachenko (at least in my eyes) and, as noted by Arum, is a homegrown American talent, Lomachenko seems to be considered the more marketable commodity to that network judging by the amount of promotional materials ESPN has pumped out about the fighter over the last year.

The other reason Arum’s claim about Crawford is interesting is the performance of Canelo Alvarez over the weekend in his majority decision rematch win over Gennady Golovkin. Besides Mayweather and Pacquiao, Alvarez is the clear PPV leader among all of boxing’s current commodities, and his status as boxing’s new money fighter should only grow stronger after the best win of his career.

Still, Crawford is one of the few very elite fighters in all of boxing. He’s ranked No. 2 pound-for-pound by The Ring, the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.

While Lomachenko and Alvarez are also candidates to become boxing’s next big thing, there’s no doubt Crawford is also one of the few boxers in the sport right now with the right things in place to become the next Mayweather or Pacquiao.

Omaha’s Crawford is in the midst of an historic run. When he stopped Jeff Horn in round 9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in June, Crawford captured a world title in his third different weight class, welterweight. This after Crawford had already captured two lineal boxing championships, as well as multiple alphabet titles, in both the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.

By any measure, Crawford is truly one of the best boxers in the sport. Not only does he look the part in the ring on fight night (something more and more writers seem to value most when voting for pound-for-pound lists), but the fighter has already accomplished so much in his career that it seems Arum is doing more than the fiduciary duty of promoting his fighter when he ascribes to Crawford such lofty praise.

Crawford, still just 30 years old, is already halfway to matching Mayweather and Pacquiao’s shared record of most lineal championships. Over the course of his career, Mayweather captured lineal championships at junior lightweight, lightweight, welterweight, and junior middleweight. Pacquiao won his as a flyweight, featherweight, junior lightweight, and junior welterweight.

In order for Crawford to grab lineal championship No. 3, most believe he’ll have to go through welterweight phenom Errol Spence. While promotional entanglements might keep this superfight on the shelf for a while, Arum said he had no problem pitting Crawford against Spence in what would be one of the best matchups in recent memory.

“Absolutely,” said Arum when asked about working with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions, who represents Spence, to make the fight. Could any response from him be more exciting? Crawford vs. Spence might be the next superfight in boxing. Both fighters are among the very elite, and unlike what ultimately happened with Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, who fought each other well past their peak years, both would be in the prime of their careers.

Winning that fight would certainly go a long way to making Arum’s vision of Crawford’s future come true. And who knows? Maybe Crawford really is the next Mayweather or Pacquiao. Heck, for all we know, he could even be on his way to doing something more.

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