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Boxing Chatter

BY David A. Avila ON April 02, 2006
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Floyd and No Zab

A couple of speedy welterweights tangle at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on April 8 when Floyd Mayweather Jr. meets Zab Judah, who lost to Carlos Baldomir in his last fight.

Mayweather said he’s not worried or concerned about Judah.

“Last time we met in the ring I spanked him,” said Mayweather about a sparring session they engaged in more than a year ago. “After a couple of rounds his (Judah’s) father called it off.”

Mayweather said he is totally focused on beating Judah then seeks to move up in weight.

“I just want to fight the best and that means Oscar De La Hoya,” said Mayweather at a Mexican restaurant in Universal Studios. “He’s a Hall of Fame fighter and I’m a Hall of Fame fighter, it would be an honor for me to get in the ring with someone of his caliber.”

Mayweather said other fights could be made but a match with De La Hoya is his ultimate goal.

Mayweather’s contest with Judah will be shown on HBO pay-per-view.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s Judah failed to show up for a telephone press conference on Tuesday. Instead, his father and Don King took turns conversing with reporters.
Judah’s father said his son was busy training.

Junior lightweight world champion Chevelle Hallback

Chevelle Hallback, one of the top female fighters in the world, seeks a fight with just about anyone from lightweight to featherweight and she’s itching to meet with Jelena Mrdjenovich.

“I’ll fight her anywhere, even in Canada,” said Hallback who has the IBA and WIBA junior lightweight world titles. “It don’t matter if she doesn’t want to fight outside of
Canada. I’ll take her over there too.”

Hallback said a rematch with Mary Jo Sanders is another fight she wants, adding that it’s difficult to beat Sanders, Kara Ro and Holly Holm who only fight in their home states.

“You have to knock them girls out to get a win,” Hallback said, who lost to Sanders in a junior welterweight bout two years ago. “Sanders is a good fighter but I felt I won.”

The Floridian sought a match with Jessica Rakoczy but was ignored. Two years ago one of the best battles between topnotch female boxers took place when Hallback met the talented Layla McCarter at Pala Casino. The bout ended in win for Hallback but the display of boxing skills was never better than in that fight that took place on July 2, 2004. It was shown on ESPN so somebody probably has a tape of it.

“It’s getting harder to get fights,” said Hallback, who walks around at 135 pounds. “I don’t expect to be fighting more than a year.”

California vs. Michigan

Josesito Lopez definitely will meet Wes Ferguson on April 8 at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas. The lightweight out of Riverside recently lost his trainer Andy Suarez who died more than a week ago. There were hints the match would be canceled but Lopez decided to keep the date. “Josesito has accepted the fight and is preparing 100 percent for Wes Ferguson,” said Alex Campanovo of Thompson Boxing Promotions. Lopez hopes a win vaults him to a contender spot in the lightweight division. Ferguson fights out of Michigan and is sponsored by Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Julio Diaz back

Coachella’s Julio Diaz will be fighting for the vacant IBF lightweight title against Ricky Quiles said Joel Diaz, brother and trainer of the former lightweight champion. Jesus Chavez injured his arm and the title was declared vacant. However, the winner of the Diaz-Quiles match must face Chavez. Since losing the IBF title to Jose Luis Castillo a few years back, Julio Diaz has won all of his fights by decisive first round knockouts.

Conflicts

The emergence of Mixed Martial Arts in California has brought some interesting predicaments. At the last meeting of the California Athletic Commission it was mentioned that no boxing event would be allowed on the same day as an MMA event. On May 27, Golden Boy Promotions penciled in that date to match WBO bantamweight titleholder Jhonny Gonzalez of Mexico City against WBO junior bantamweight titleholder Fernando Montiel of Los Mochis, Mexico at the Home Depot Center. It’s also the same day that Ultimate Fighting Championship will stage its first event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “We’ll have to look into that,” said Richard Schaffer CEO of Golden Boy Promotions.

Marc Ratner Moves to MMA

Speaking of Ultimate Fighting Championship, Marc Ratner resigned as president of the Nevada Athletic Commission to accept a position with UFC as a vice president of regulatory practices with the MMA group. Ratner was considered one of the foremost boxing experts in the country and was respected as a straight shooter. He’s best known for his handling of several investigations regarding boxing deaths such as Leavander Johnson last September.

Hopkins and Tarver

Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver met in Los Angeles recently to promote their upcoming bout on June 10 in Atlantic City. It’s the first time in more than five years that Hopkins goes into a fight as the underdog. Tarver, a natural light heavyweight, has both a reach and height advantage over Hopkins.

“I like being the underdog, In fact I love being the underdog,” said Hopkins at the Turf Club at Hollywood Park Race Track.

Tarver recently took part in “Rocky 6” with Sly Stallone. The experience left him with a hunger to do more acting work.

“I consider myself an actor now, not just a boxer,” said Tarver. “After boxing it’s something I’d like to pursue. I liked doing it.”

Golden Boy Promotions and Star Boxing are coordinating the light heavyweight match. Hopkins, who administers Golden Boy East, said it’s his last fight. “There won’t be another fight for me,” he said.

Southern Cal Gold Gloves

Elizabeth Quevedo, the four-time U.S. National champion, entered and won the district Gold Gloves in East Los Angeles last week. She faced Mayra Lopez who fights out of the Wild Card Boxing Gym in Hollywood. Quevedo fights out of the Commerce Boxing Club, located across the street from East Los Angeles.

Lopez, who is almost 5-9 in height, was a willing opponent and scrapped with the veteran Quevedo on even terms the first round.

“My trainer told me that I’m doing her a favor fighting inside like that,” said Quevedo who captured the junior welterweight Golden Gloves. “So I used my jab in the next round and it was a much easier fight.”

Quevedo immediately bloodied Lopez’s nose with a ramrod jab that stopped the Hollywood fighter in her tracks. She continued to advance but was unable to land significant punches. One-two combinations from Quevedo turned the bout one-sided and forced the referee to halt the match. Though Lopez was willing to continue, she was bleeding heavily from her nose and getting routed.

“I’ve been sparring with mostly guys lately,” Quevedo said. “It’s different than sparring with women. Guys are quicker and stronger so when you fight a woman, it throws your timing off.”

Patricia Manuel also captured the district Golden Gloves with her victory over Christina Avalos of out of Los Angeles. The lightweights battled only two rounds before the referee stopped the fight. A three-punch combination by Manuel snapped Avalos head back. The Commerce boxer is trained by Roberto Luna who also trains Quevedo.

The Commerce Boxing Club also has another outstanding boxer in Carlos Molina. The 132-pounder looked extremely sharp against Santa Ana’s Roberto Vargas a Pan Am Games medal winner. Molina pulled out an impressive victory over Vargas and snapped off some pro-like combinations in the process.

New partnership

Golden Boy Promotions and Sycuan Ringside announced they have agreed to co-promote Joan Guzman, a talented junior featherweight who has had problems getting a title fight with Scott Harrison. Guzman will be part of the May 6 under card featuring Oscar De La Hoya and Ricardo Mayorga at the MGM Grand.

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