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November 4th, 2015.

The World Boxing Council’s 53rd annual convention continued today at the InterContinental Hotel. Most of the day’s general assembly meeting was devoted to mandatory world title defenses.

Heavyweight world champion: Deontay Wilder (US)

No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin of Russia, who also holds the WBC Silver title, is scheduled to fight Mariusz Wach tonight in Kazan, Russia. A representative for Povetkin told the assembly today that Povetkin will not be ready for his mandatory title challenge in January, when it’s due, but if he wins tonight, he will be ready in April or May. If Povetkin loses tonight, the WBC will address the mandatory situation. A voluntary title defense was approved for Wilder on January 16.

Cruiserweight world champion: Grigory Drozd (Russia)

Drozd is scheduled to make his mandatory title defense against No. 1 ranked Ilunga Makabu of Congo in March.

Light heavyweight world champion: Adonis Stevenson (Canada)

The WBC ordered a mandatory title defense last year against WBC Diamond champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia in what would be one of the biggest fights possible. An agreement was not reached between the fighters’ representatives, but the WBC continues to fully support both parties in their continued negotiations for this super fight. In order to determine a mandatory challenger, No. 1 ranked NABF champion Isaac Chilemba of Malawi will fight No. 2 ranked WBC Silver champion Eleider Alvarez of Colombia in a final eliminator on November 28 in Quebec City.

Super middleweight world champion: Badou Jack (Gambia/Sweden)

Jack is in a voluntary stage – he successfully defended the title against mandatory challenger George Groves on September 12. Jack stated at this convention that he wants to make a voluntary title defense against former WBC middleweight world champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., who is also at this convention, said that his son also wants the fight.

Middleweight world champion: Miguel Cotto (Puerto Rico)

Cotto is scheduled to make a voluntary title defense against No. 1 ranked former super welterweight world champion Canelo Alvarez on November 21, with the winner committed to make a mandatory defense against WBC interim champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan.

Super welterweight and welterweight world titles: Vacant

In honor of his incredible career that spanned almost 19 years and in which he won WBC world titles in five weight divisions, Floyd Mayweather Jr. was awarded the WBC Lifetime Achievement Award here yesterday and named Champion Emeritus in the super welterweight and welterweight divisions. With Mayweather’s recent retirement, both titles are now vacant. The WBC has ordered tournaments in both divisions to determine the world champions, and will contact the representatives of the top-rated fighters in both divisions to determine their participants. The WBC is currently preparing the guidelines for the tournaments.

Super lightweight world champion: Viktor Postol (Ukraine)

Since Postol won the vacant title – with a sensational performance against Lucas Matthysse on October 3 – he is required to make two mandatory defenses according to WBC rules. No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Amir Imam of the U.S. is contracted to fight on November 28 in Quebec City, so Postol was approved for a voluntary defense, with the winner of that fight to next make the first mandatory defense. The second mandatory challenger is to be determined.

Lightweight world champion: Jorge Linares (Venezuela)

Linares won the vacant title on December 30, 2014, and made his first mandatory defense against Kevin Mitchell. Dejan Zlaticanin of Montenegro is his second mandatory challenger, and the WBC will start the process for free negotiations for that fight on its return to Mexico City after this convention.

Super featherweight world champion: Takashi Miura (Japan)

Miura is scheduled to make a defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Francisco Vargas of Mexico on November 21 in Las Vegas.

Featherweight world champion: Gary Russell Jr. (US)

Russell was scheduled to make a voluntary title defense against Oscar Escandon of Colombia on November 14, but it was confirmed at the convention today that Russell was injured in training and the fight has been cancelled. No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Robinson Castellanos of Mexico, who also holds the WBC Silver title, had accepted a step-aside agreement so that Russell could make the voluntary defense against Escandon. The WBC today approved Castellanos vs. Escandon for the interim featherweight world title.

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman commented, “The interim champion concept was created for unique situations, basically for when a champion is injured or when a champion has a legal contractual situation that does not allow him to be active. The WBC, with much regret, has seen the concept of the interim championships be diminished, and it has become a circus in some parts of the world. The WBC has limited, very much, the interim championships. However, in this case, I believe there’s merit. I’m very surprised and I’m very sorry to hear the news about Russell’s injury, because Russell and Escandon were supposed to fight in September, then it was moved to October, and then it was moved to November.”

Super bantamweight world champion: Julio Ceja (Mexico)

Ceja won the vacant title on August 29, 2015. The WBC today approved final eliminators to determine the two mandatory challengers.

In one, No. 1 ranked Qiu Xiao Jun of China, who also holds the WBC Silver title, will fight No. 4 ranked No. 4 ranked Alexis Kabore of Burkino Faso, who also holds the WBC International title.

In the other, No. 2 ranked Rey Vargas of Mexico will fight No. 3 ranked Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba.

Bantamweight world champion: Shinsuke Yamanaka (Japan)

The WBC ordered a final eliminator between No. 1 ranked Suriyan Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, who also holds the Asian Boxing Council title, and No. 2 ranked Anselmo Moreno of Panama to determine the mandatory challenger. The WBC has been advised that Yamanaka might vacate the title to move up in weight. If that is the case, the Rungvisai-Moreno fight would be for the vacant WBC world title.

Super flyweight world champion: Carlos Cuadras (Mexico)

Cuadras is contracted to make a voluntary defense against No. 2 ranked Koki Eto of Japan on November 28 in Miyagi, Japan, with the winner to next make a defense against No. 1 ranked mandatory challenger Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand, who also holds the WBC Silver title.

Flyweight world champion: Roman Gonzalez (Nicaragua)

A final eliminator was ordered between No. 1 ranked Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai of Thailand and Edgar Sosa of Mexico to determine the mandatory challenger, but Gonzalez made a voluntary defense against Sosa instead and the mandatory challenger was not determined. In view of this situation, the WBC approved Sor Rungvisai as mandatory challenger.

Light flyweight world champion: Pedro Guevara (Mexico)

Guevara is currently in a voluntary stage. The WBC approved a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger between No. 1 ranked Jonathan Inguito Taconing of the Philippines, who also holds the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation title, and No. 4 ranked Juan Hernandez of Mexico.

Minimumweight world champion: Wanheng Menayothin (Thailand)

Menayothin is scheduled to make a voluntary defense against No. 9 ranked Young Kil Bae of South Korea on November 24 in Chonburi, Thailand, and is scheduled to fight again next February. The WBC approved a final eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger between No. 1 ranked Denver Cuello of the Philippines and No. 2 ranked Saul Juarez of Mexico on December 5. If the winner of the eliminator is not ready to fight again in February, the winner of Menayothin-Young will be allowed a voluntary defense



Three Punch Combo: What’s in the Cards for Spence, Kell Brook, and Cotto?



 THREE PUNCH COMBO: Errol Spence Jr. scored an impressive knockout victory against Kell Brook on Saturday to take Brook’s IBF welterweight title. Both fighters now face interesting possibilities as they move forward in their respective careers.

Spence, who entered the fight with a lot of questions, not only showcased his tremendous skills but proved he has a very good chin as well as the willingness to dig deep when needed. He is without a doubt a future superstar in this sport. With momentum strong right now, he would be wise to be as active as possible even if not landing one of the big names his next time out.

I sense that Spence’s advisor, Al Haymon, will in fact get him back in the ring this summer. One name I would speculate as an opponent is Adrian Granados. Coming off a debatable loss to Adrien Broner, Granados has earned another shot at a top fighter. Granados is not a big puncher, but will put forth a good effort. The translation here is that he is someone that can be sold to the public as an opponent for Spence while bigger names are lined up, and also someone against whom Spence can in all likelihood look impressive once again.

After a summer tilt, I would expect to see Spence back in action towards the end of the year in a more substantial fight. Keith Thurman will still be on the mend at this point, recovering from elbow surgery, so that fight is out until next year. But Haymon has plenty of other welterweights and one that I suspect he steers toward Spence will be Lamont Peterson. Peterson is a name and has a belt. He also has a stated desire to want one of the big names next along with the payday that it would command. With Thurman out, this would seem the likely immediate path for Spence as such a fight would draw plenty of attention and be easy to sell.

As for Brook, he is going to need an extensive rest before restarting his career. He suffered a beating as well as an eye injury in September against Gennady Golovkin and then suffered another beating as well as injuring his other eye against Spence. After a rest, expect to see a tune- up bout followed by a massive fight in the UK against Amir Khan. The Khan fight has always been big and one of the reasons it has not been made is that it could frankly be made anytime with it still being a very significant event. Considering where both fighters are presently in their respective careers, the timing seems right for it to happen sooner rather than later. They both get a big payday and the winner gets well positioned for another big payday in what is a loaded territory at welterweight and junior middleweight.

Errol Spence Jr. and Kell Brook gave us a great fight on Saturday. While their career paths will head in different directions, expect to see both involved in big events once again down the road.

 Miguel Cotto’s Future

 Miguel Cotto announced this week that he would be returning to the ring on August 26th to face Japanese brawler Yoshihiro Kamegai for the vacant WBO junior middleweight championship. Cotto, who split from his promoter Roc Nation last week, will work with Golden Boy Promotions for this fight which will be televised by HBO.

This is an interesting development in the career of Cotto. Reportedly HBO had not been interested in televising the proposed Kamegai fight unless it received assurances from Cotto that it would lead to a bigger fight to be televised by the network. Also, Golden Boy’s involvement in the promotion signals that they could be involved in Cotto’s future. Obviously, this would mean the opponent for a big fight for Cotto would come from under the Golden Boy banner.

The obvious choice for Cotto’s big fight opponent is David Lemieux. Lemieux has been chasing a fight with Canelo Alvarez. However, with Alvarez deciding to go after Gennady Golovkin, Lemieux gets left on the outside looking in. In need of a big fight for Lemieux, Golden Boy saw an opportunity with Cotto having been previously negotiating the Kamegai fight with Roc Nation. A fight between Cotto and Lemieux makes sense for both as Cotto wants a name who isn’t a slick boxer and Lemieux wants a big fight with the payday it commands as well as the opportunity to put a signature win on his resume to bolster his future ambitions.

But I also think Golden Boy has another potential plan for Cotto. Golden Boy’s main cash cow, Canelo Alvarez, is in a high risk, high reward fight with Golovkin in September. There is no rematch clause if Alvarez wins and, of course, a win by Alvarez cements him as a mega star in the sport. He will be eyeing a return in May 2018 during Cinco de Mayo weekend. With momentum behind him, Alvarez would be wise to seek a name opponent to further boost the event. A rematch with Cotto would not only do huge business but keep the momentum going. For Cotto, it would be a chance to avenge the loss from 2015 to Alvarez and give him one massive payday as his career nears a conclusion.

Miguel Cotto is determined to close his career out with something big and it appears likely he will get his wish.

Kudos to Golden Boy

 When Golden Boy announced its new series on ESPN this winter, I was cautiously optimistic in the fights they would produce. I must say that the matchmaking thus far on this series has been superb and is getting even better with some recently announced cards. These are the types of televised shows the sport needs to generate some badly needed positive buzz.

On June 17th, Pablo Cesar Cano takes on Fidel Maldonado in a junior welterweight contest. This fight is not only very evenly matched but can’t be anything except a slugfest given the styles of the two fighters. Cano is a high pressure fighter who is willing to exchange to get his own punches home. Maldonado has the ability to box, but often gets drawn willingly into wars. In 2015, he had a back and forth shootout with Amir Iman in a fight that got some talk in fight of the year chatter. As a matter of fact, round three was probably round of the year that year. Maldonado has a tendency to fire back when he gets hit and with Cano’s style Maldonado is going to get hit a lot. This one is guaranteed action and a perfect fight for television.

About two weeks later, Golden Boy returns with another ESPN card featuring a high stakes junior featherweight contest between Randy Caballero and Oscar Negrete. Caballero is an undefeated former bantamweight belt holder and is a very skilled boxer puncher. Negrete, also undefeated, has shown much improvement inside the ring in his last few contests. The styles of these two should mix well to provide an entertaining fight. It is also evenly matched, and with so much at stake we should see the best of both men inside the ring.

One point I harp on a lot is the importance of good matchmaking, especially in televised fights. Golden Boy is doing an excellent job so far with their new ESPN series providing high quality, well-matched fights. The boxing public is taking notice and Golden Boy deserves much praise in delivering excellent events for the fans.

Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel.

IBF welterweight title

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Canada & Usa

George Foreman Youth Center in Houston Hosts Amateur Event



George Foreman Youth Center

George Foreman Youth Center –  -Starting with the ring of the bell on October 22nd, local area boxers will be fighting for a spot to represent the Gulf Coast Region at the USA Boxing National Championships & in International Travel.

Weight categories will include: Pee Wee 8-9, Bantam 10-11, Intermediate 12-13, Juniors 14-15, Youth 15-16, & Elite 18-40 in both Open and Novice divisions. Winners will represent the Gulf area at the 2016 USA Boxing Elite, Youth and Junior National Championships to be held in Kansas City Missouri December 4-10, 2016. This tournament is a sanctioned event through USA Boxing the National Governing Body of Amateur Boxing and is a feeder to National and Olympic recognition.

The George Foreman Youth and Community Center was founded 32 years ago in 1984 by Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-time heavy weight champion George Foreman. The GFYCC is dedicated to providing a safe and secure location for youth to participate in sports and after school activities.

“This year for the first time in Houston boxing history, we are developing an elite international youth boxing team,” said George Foreman, IV. “The team will be selected for the sole purpose of training and traveling to other countries to gain experience on an international platform and promote cultural diplomacy! Utilizing grant and donor funding this team will be representing the George Foreman Youth and Community Center and will be announced Saturday October 22, at the Gulf Region’s Boxing Championship. The team will be reviewed by my father, 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist and 2-Time Heavyweight Champion, George Foreman Sr. The first international trip for this new Houston team is scheduled for Jan. 2017.”

Doors open for the Gulf Gloves Championships on Saturday October 22nd at 11:00 am with announcements and the presentation of the colors by the United States Army Houston Recruiting Command Baytown Beaumont Company at 12:45 pm. The national anthem will be performed by the internationally acclaimed Houston Brass Quintet! Boxing will begin at 1:00 pm. Championship finals will begin at 1:00 pm on Sunday October 23rd.

Media open workouts for Houston amateur standout boxers will be held Wednesday October 19th at the George Foreman Youth and Community Center at 2202 Lone Oak Road Houston, Texas 77093 at 4:00 pm.

Confirmed attendees for interviews will be:

George Edward Foreman IV: Son of 2 Time Heavy Weight Champion, President of Foreman Public Relations

Marlen Esparza: 2012 Olympic Games Bronze Medalist, 2014 Amateur World Champion, 2006 & 2016 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, Nine-Time USA Boxing National Champion.

Rocky Juarez: 2000 Olympic Games Silver Medalist, 1999 Amateur World Champion, WBC Silver Featherweight World Champion.

Raul Marquez: 1988 Amateur World Championships Bronze Medalist, 1992 Olympic Games Quarter-finalist, IBF Light Middleweight World Champion.

Frank Tate: 1984 Olympic Games Gold Medalist, IBF Middleweight World Champion, NABF Light Heavyweight Champion.

Juan “Baby Bull” Diaz: WBA Lightweight World Champion, WBO Lightweight World Champion, WBA Super-Lightweight World Champion, IBF Lightweight World Champion.

“Sweet” Reggie Johnson: WBA Middleweight World Champion, IBF Light Heavyweight World Champion.

In addition to many Houston area professional boxers and Gulf Boxing Association alumni. Event is sanctioned by USA Boxing – Gulf LBC: 16-25-14268

George Foreman Youth Center / Check out more boxing news and videos at The Boxing Channel.

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Press Releases

Michelle Corrales-Lewis Named New CEO of NV Boxing Hall of Fame



Michelle Corrales-Lewis

LAS VEGAS, NV (October 5, 2016) – The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame (NVBHOF) a non-profit charitable organization which donates to boxing-related causes, is happy to announce Michelle Corrales-Lewis as its new CEO/President. Respected boxing announcer, Rich Marotta, who founded the NVBHOF in 2012, steps down after devoting years of his life to get the organization off the ground.

With a number of boxing greats already inducted, which include world champion fighters, judges, coaches and promoters, the NVBHOF has rapidly established itself as prestigious group not only here in Las Vegas, but around the world. The NVBHOF has multiple fundraising events throughout the year, helping local boxing organizations fulfill their goals to keep boxing alive within the community.

“I took this organization as far as I could and I’m very comfortable where it is at today,” said Rich Marotta. “Michelle is on the scene in Las Vegas, has a myriad of contacts, both in business and with the boxing community, especially the fighters, and is more than ready to completely run the company. She is incredibly capable and has been an indefatigable agent for growth of the NVBHOF the past three years, taking on additional responsibilities each and every year. It brings me great pleasure to announce her as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame.”

After serving as the NVBHOF Chief Operating Officer for many years, Michelle Corrales-Lewis, is thrilled at her new position within the organization.

“It’s an honor to be chosen as the new CEO of the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame,” said Michelle Corrales-Lewis, widow of former multiple world champion and 2013 NVBHOF inductee, Diego Corrales. “Rich Marotta did a fantastic job building the organization from ground up. His immense work ethic is a great example of how I plan to continue the vision he set forth. My goal is to find a home for the Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, one where fans from all around the world can visit on regular basis. The boxing community is filled with wonderful people that we will honor as inductees each year. I’m truly grateful for the wonderful opportunity that has been presented to me by my dear friend Rich Marotta.”

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