SAN DIEGO, September 29, 2012 – Our boxer briefs this week cover the return of HBO’s Boxing After Dark series for the Fall 2012 season, and news (or noise) from the bigger names in the sports sounding off.
Fights from Foxwood on HBO’s BAD: The fall season of HBO’s “Boxing After Dark” series which features up and coming fighters gets underway from the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut on Saturday night, September 29, at 9:30 p.m. Eastern/Pacific. The Lou DiBella Entertainment show is called “Road to Glory,” with all fighters in the lineup hoping to make a great impression and advance their careers.
Three fights from the entire card will be aired live, led by a 10-round super middleweight fight between Edwin “La Bomba” Rodriguez (21-0, 14 KOs) against Jason “Monstruo” Escalera (13-0-1, 12 KOs). Both are northeastern fighters; Rodriguez from Massachusetts and Escalera from New Jersey, so plenty of fans should be in the house. The fighters not all that well matched. Rodriguez has an extensive amateur career. Although Escalera has 12 knockouts in his 13 fights, his opponents weren’t much of a challenge. He’s only fought 39 professional rounds of boxing at age 27. Still, he is a big brawling puncher and anyone can get lucky (see Julio Caesar Chavez Jr., round 12 on September 15).
The co-feature on the show is Luis Del Valle (16-0, 11 KOs) versus the veteran Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1-, 27 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight fight. Hard to believe that the 36-year-old veteran champion Darchinyan has never fought on HBO before. Also on the card is welterweight Antonin Decarie (26-1, 7 KOs) from Quebec against Alex Perez (16-0, 9 KOs) from New Jersey.
All of the fighters made weight, all said the right things at their news conference about training hard, being excited about their fights, and putting on a good show. They’re lucky Here Comes Honey Boo Boo isn’t on or I might be watching via DVR delay. Still, anytime Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. are around entertaining me with their conversation, I’m willing to check it out.
Bienvenido a Miami, Bradley: Timothy Bradley Jr. won’t get his rematch with Manny Pacquiao, but Top Rank promoter Bob Arum announced that Bradley will headline a card on Saturday, December 15 at Marlins Park in Miami, the first boxing card ever held there. Arum says the stadium will hold the ring in the baseball infield and be configured for between 20,000 and 25,000 fans.
The opponent hasn’t been named. Arum promised “a top welterweight” and reportedly told Yahoo! Sports it could be former champion Andre Berto. But Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports that Berto (28-1-0, 22 KOS) is close to finalizing a deal to fight Cornelius Bundrage on HBO November 24 in a junior middleweight title bout. It’s been rough for Berto lately. He lost to Victor Ortiz in Apri 2011, and was set for a rematch until he tested positive for steroids and was dropped from the bout. That didn’t work out too well for Ortiz, either; substitute Josesito Lopez broke Ortiz’ jaw and won himself the chance to fight Canelo Alvarez two weeks ago.
Arum said he will also feature Cuban fighters such as WBA super bantamweight champion Guiermo Rigondeaux.
Pacquiao declined the option for a rematch with Bradley in favor of a fourth fight with Juan Manuel Marquez Jr. Tickets went on sale Friday and a reported 10,000 tickets have already been sold.
Cotto, Trout make the scene: Miguel Cotto and Austin Trout appeared in New York on Monday and Puerto Rico on Wednesday to promote their upcoming world title fight at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, December 1. News conferences with popular Puerto Rican fighters like Cotto are quite a sensation. This one was held outdoors at the Anfiteatro Paseo De Las Artes Calle Padial in Caguas. The public was invited and they enthusiastically accepted, packing the place to support Cotto. The presser was broadcast live on Showtime, which will air the fight. Trout declared his intention to win; Cotto guaranteed a victory: “Thank you all for coming today. We are very happy to see you all and (I thank you for) your great support. I can only say that I will train as hard as I can like I always do, and on December 1, I will become world champion again. I’ll guarantee you all that I will return to Puerto Rico as a champion.”
Pacman shoots hoops: The website BoxingScene.com published photos Friday of Manny Pacquiao shooting hoops after his training session at Calumpang Sports Complex in General Santos City, Philippines, with a few pals. Pacquiao will fight Juan Manual Marquez for the fourth time December 8 in Las Vegas. Pacquiao won a narrow decision over Marquez in their last fight, and trainer Freddie Roach blamed Pacquiao’s excessive basketball playing sessions for leg cramps that hampered Pacquiao during that fight. He had reportedly given up playing basketball during training. But Roach also said during a news conference prior to Pacquiao’s fight with Timothy Bradley that boxing wasn’t Pacquiao’s favorite sport, it’s basketball.
Ricky Hatton Returns: Popular English boxer Ricky Hatton retired after a brutal defeat by Manny Pacquiao three and a half years ago. But the Hitman is ending his retirement on November 24 for a bout with former WBA welterweight champion Vyacheslav Senchenko in Manchester. Senchenko lost his first professional fight to Paulie Malignaggi. Despite his layoff, Hatton is still ranked the number five welterweight contender by the WBA, with 21 knockouts to his credit.
Ladies First: The best boxing Saturday night on television might not be on HBO. Televisa and FOX Deportes will air the Golden Boy/Canelo Promotions WBC women’s silver bantamweight title bout between Zulina “La Loba” Munoz of Mexico and Gabriela Bouvier of Uruguay at 11 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Pacific from Morelia, Mexico. Munoz, 34-1-2, 23 KOs, is a 25-year-old powerhouse, boxing professionally since she was 16. Bouvier is only 8-2-1, with 2 KOs, but is coming off a first round knockout win. She is just 20 years old, enthusiastic and eager. While Munoz is expected to win, it’s going to be an action packed, fun fight. Let the ladies show you what they can do.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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