The rematch between Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones is set for April, and the world title fight between undefeated IBF bantamweight titleholder Yonnhy Perez and undefeated top contender Abner Mares is set for May.
A non stormy Monday provided some thunder for once.
It’s been more than 16 years since Jones beat Hopkins by decision and discovered that the Philadelphia fighter had more skills than first thought. In that span both have journeyed toward Hall of Fame credentials.
But they never could agree to fight again.
Hopkins meets Jones on April 3 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Golden Boy Promotions and Square Ring Promotions are staging the rematch.
That wasn’t the only fight made on Monday.
While having lunch with Alex Camponovo, who commandeers Thompson Boxing Promotions that sponsors two world champions in Southern California, he told me that Mares (19-0, 12 KOs) and Perez (20-0, 14 KOs) have signed to fight each other on May 22, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“It will be on the under card of Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez IV,” said Camponovo, whose company promotes Colombia’s Perez and WBO junior welterweight titleholder Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley. “The fight between Yonnhy and Abner is going to be a great one.”
If you weren’t familiar with Perez, then you probably were shocked when he and Ghana’s Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko put on one of the best fights of the year in 2009. After 12 brutal rounds, Perez was deemed the new world champion. He returned to Colombia as its newest hero.
“Yonnhy is a terrific volume puncher,” said Camponovo.
Mares, who is managed by Frank Espinoza and promoted by Golden Boy, is considered by many boxing experts to be the best prizefighter in California without a world title. Many consider him the best bantamweight without a world title.
“Abner is such a great fighter,” said Espinoza, who signed Mares last year. “He’s got great defense and great offense. He’s just a complete fighter.”
Both Mares and Perez have sparred each other on numerous occasions. They even lived together for a while in Montebello.
Other boxing notes
Poland’s Tomasz Adamek (39-1, 27 KOs) fights Jason Estrada (16-2, 4 KOs) on Saturday in Newark New Jersey. Now fighting at heavyweight, should Adamek win, he plans to fight Riverside’s Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola on April 24 at the Citizen’s Business Bank Arena in Ontario. “We’re all going to watch Adamek this weekend,” said Henry Ramirez who trains Arreola. “We want to see him fight in person.” That fight card will also feature Alfredo “Perro” Angulo against Colombia’s Joel Julio.
Tyrone Harris (24-5, 16 KOs) gets the nod to fight South Korea’s big puncher Ji Hoon Kim (19-5, 16 KOs) in a junior lightweight clash at Pechanga Resort and Casino on Friday Feb. 12. Harris, a southpaw slugger out of Michigan, has become a regular to Southern California boxing fans. Harris has fought seven times in Southern California. This is Kim’s first fight in Southern California.
Mexico’s Jorge “Travieso” Arce (53-6-1, 40 KOs) won the WBO junior bantamweight title by technical decision after six rounds over Indonesia’s Angky Angkota (23-5, 14 KOs) by unanimous decision after six rounds. The fight took place in Mexico City. It’s Arce’s third world title. A clash of head caused a bad cut over Angkota’s left eye and the fight was stopped and went to the score cards where all three judges scored it for Arce who was dominant on the inside.
The son of Mexico’s legendary Ricardo “Finito” Lopez, who retired undefeated 10 years ago, won his third pro match. His name is Alonso Lopez and he looks identically like his papa and carries his dad’s nickname “Finito.” The junior version took out his opponent Sergio Cruz with a punch to the nose and another to the stomach forcing the referee to stop the fight at 2:02 of the third round.
Oxnard’s Brandon Rios (23-0, 17 KOs) continues his trek toward a lightweight world title fight but must first meet Jorge Teron (23-1-1, 15 KOs) in McAllen, Texas on Friday. The fight card will be shown on Fox Sports Net on Saturday Feb. 6 at 8 p.m.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?