Mayweather and Baldomir in L.A.
During the Thursday rush hour for lunch in Beverly Hill’s restaurant row, the two most commanding fighters in the welterweight division, Carlos Baldomir and Floyd Mayweather Jr., met to kick off their looming matchup.
Mayweather, an 8-1 favorite, eased into Arnie Mortons’ Steakhouse in a stretch limousine. Dozens of reporters waited outside for the press conference to begin. Baldomir arrived almost secretly.
But it’s no secret that Mayweather is taking a chance fighting the undisputed welterweight champion Baldomir, who rose from obscurity to near legendary status following his last two wins.
“Those odds should be a lot closer,” said Mayweather, who is brutally honest when it comes to his craft. “He’s a very good fighter. He’s beaten two good fighters to get here.”
Organized by Goossen Tutor Promotions, the much anticipated collision takes place on Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Baldomir, who regularly trains less than two miles from Beverly Hills, felt quite at home and was more than willing to give his assessment of the outcome.
“I’m going to knock him out,” said Baldomir, who says very little. “I’m real happy to demonstrate who I am and fight hard with all my soul.”
Mayweather, ever the cool surgeon, sat listening with the slightest of smiles. As if knowing the public will be curious to see if the usually quiet Argentine can replicate his underdog victories over Zab Judah and Arturo Gatti.
“He went into guys’ hometowns repeatedly and beat them,” said Mayweather, almost admiring his next opponent’s fortitude and ability. “He’s a real tough fighter. He thinks he can beat me and he better think that way ‘cause he’s fighting the best.”
Mayweather said his uncle, Roger Mayweather, will train him for the fight but will not be able to work his corner as dictated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his part in the melee during the Judah fight last April.
“He’s a good fighter, but he can’t be great until he beats me,” said Mayweather.
Frankie Duarte back in L.A.
Frankie Duarte, one of L.A.’s favorite fighters from the 1970s, is back in Los Angeles helping train fighters. He occasionally shows up at the Wild Card Boxing club where he helps with some of the fighters at the popular boxing gym.
“I got tired of the barbershop,” said Duarte, who is Pima Indian and part Mexican. “I wanted to get back into boxing.”
Duarte, who grew up in Venice, California, fought from 1973 to 1989, including superb bouts against fighters such as Alberto Davila, Daniel Zaragoza, Jesus Salud and Bernardo Pinango for the WBA bantamweight title in 1987. He just turned 52 on Sunday.
Heather Percival on San Manuel fight card
Junior bantamweight contender Heather Percival (8-3) will be fighting Sharon Gaines (10-7) at San Manuel Casino on Thursday Sept. 14, says Larry Ramirez who trains and manages Percival. The Fontana-based prizefighter lost her last fight against New Mexico’s Monica Lovato but it was an extremely close decision. Ramirez said Percival is sparring with Kaliesha West. Tickets are now on sale. For more information call (800) 359-2464.
Son of Mexican Great fights in Montebello
El Monte’s Santiago Perez, son of the great former world champion Sugar Ramos, meets Sergio De La Torre of San Diego for the state welterweight title at the Quiet Cannon restaurant in Montebello. The fight card takes place on Friday Sept. 15. In a junior welterweight showdown between Southern California prospects, Oxnard’s David Rodela is slated to meet Los Angeles-based Cleotis Pendarvis. Also on the fight card will be Oxnard’s Crystal Morales against San Diego’s Kerry Vera. For tickets or more information call (323) 816-6200 or (323) 781-4871.
Diego Corrales sighting
WBC lightweight world champion Diego Corrales has been training for his upcoming fight against Joel Casamayor that takes place on Oct. 7, in Las Vegas. The lightweight champion witnessed the fight card at the Staples Center and gave his analysis for a local television station. “I loved it, look at me I don’t have any bruises,” said Corrales about doing television boxing commentary. “I could do this forever.”
Juan Manuel Marquez signs with Golden Boy
Former featherweight world titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez signed with Golden Boy Promotions last week. The Mexico City native recently beat Thailand’s Terdsak Jandaeng by technical knockout last month. “He’s one of the most dangerous fighters in the world and a serious threat to any fighter from 126 pounds to 130 pounds,” stated Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions.
Golden Boy re-signs Ponce De Leon
Golden Boy Promotions also re-signed WBO junior featherweight titleholder Daniel Ponce De Leon. The native of Chihuahua recently knocked out Thailand’s rugged Sod Lookgyangtoy with one single left hand in the first round last July in Las Vegas. “I had no doubts about re-signing,” stated Ponce De Leon who now lives in Los Angeles. “They treat me with honesty.”