Lewis has admitted that the offer of such an enormous sum is going to be hard to turn down.
The Mirror quotes Lewis as saying, "I'm making a comeback later this year. The money is up to £21million right now and I simply can't turn that much cash down."
It should be noted that Lewis' advisor, Jerome Anderson has thus far refused to confirm Lewis is set to make a return to boxing.
Lewis also told the Mirror, "I've had to listen to a lot of rubbish from Klitschko and he is starting to get on my nerves."
Bernd Boente, manager of WBC heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko, told BBC Five Live, "I have talked to Vitali and he's happy to go."
Lewis' last fight was against Klitschko, the fight ending after Lewis opened up a series of bad cuts on Klitschko's face. As Klitschko was narrowly ahead on the scorecards at the time, debate ensued as to who would have emerged heavyweight champion had the ring doctor not stopped the fight.
With heavyweight boxing in such a state of atrophy at present, it may be that it will take a Lewis-Klitschko rematch to revive the moribund division.
Mayweather is not likely to be extended much in this bout, and the numbers at various internet sportsbooks reflect it. Among the sites we surveyed, Diamond Sports International appears to be the most generous to Mayweather backers, as you can lay 18/1 (-1800) on the former junior lightweight and lightweight belt-holder. Olympic Sports and World Sports Exchange have Mayweather at -2000 (lay 20/1), as does BetOnSports.com.
At Intertops, Mayweather is also listed at -2000, but the 'takeback' on Bruseles is just +600. Obviously, when you see a spread like that, it's the sign that says, 'We don't want you to bet on this fight'. Blue Square and Paddy Power require you to lay 33/1 on Mayweather, with Bruseles fetching a price of just 10/1.
In terms of the over/under action, there is limited availability. Diamond and World Sports Exchange have the number at 9-1/2 rounds, with WSEX, for example, shading the 'under' proposition (-140), with the 'over' at +110. Since there's little value to be gained playing the side in this fight, the total rounds is certainly a reasonable place to look. But this proposition is tricky, because your success depends on which Floyd Mayweather is going to show up. Will he be the guy who comes to search and destroy, as he did against Philip Ndou or Diego Corrales, or will he be content to skate through the fight and get a decision? What mood will the guy be in? Also consider that Mayweather has had hand problems in the past, has fought just once in the last fourteen months, and just once at this weight....................
Underneath the Mayweather-Bruseles bout, heavyweights Samuel Peter and Yanqui Diaz will battle for the USBA crown. Peter (21-0, 18 KO's) is a Nigerian native who is considered at the very top of the heap of heavyweight prospects, so he has a chance to move up fast in what is a thin division. In his last fight, which was just seven weeks ago, he scared everyone when he put Jeremy Williams down and out for several minutes with a left hook in the second round. He weighed in at 247, which is right in line with recent weights. Diaz, a 6'4" Cuban native, had 205 amateur bouts but only fourteen as a pro (13-1, 8 KO's). He shocked previously undefeated Juan Carlos Gomez with a first-round stoppage last August, and in his last fight won a split decision over former contender Vaughn Bean. Diaz' only loss was to the difficult Tony Thompson, but he'll encounter a much different style in this one.
Peter is the betting favorite - at Diamond he's -320, with +260 on Diaz. World Sports Exchange has a similar number, with Peter a -330/+270 choice. The best price on the favorite is probably at BetOnSports.com, where you can lay -300 on Peter. The total on rounds for Peter-Diaz is 8-1/2, laying -115 either way.
In terms of caliber of opposition, Diaz has a slight edge. But Peter has a decided advantage in raw punching power. In matchups like this, where clearly Peter is being 'steered' somewhere, it sometimes makes sense to trust the matchmaker a little.
Thus far, no expert I've talked to gives Diaz has very much of a chance. So on the Charles Jay Line, which you can play 'for fun' over through BetCharlesJay.com, I've posted Peter as the -500/+450 favorite, with a special knockdown prop - for 'under' 2-1/2 knockdowns, you lay 2/1, while getting +180 (9/5) on the 'over'. With Peter's power, none of this is a slam dunk. I do not have a straight price posted on the Mayweather fight, although it's -190/+170 that the fight WILL enter Round 10, and -160/+150 that there WILL be a knockdown. I've made numbers on a couple of fights that are 'off the board' - in Louisiana, heavyweight Oleg Maskaev (who has a KO over Hasim Rahman under his belt) continues his comeback against Quinn Navarre. The CJ Line makes it -130/+120 that the fight WILL end before Round 7. Johnny Tapia fights in Texas tonight against Nicky Bentz, and we have it -130 that the fight will not go the distance, with a 'takeback' of +120 that it will.
All information is presented for entertainment purposes only. Odds posted were current as of noon Eastern time on January 22. Odds naturally are subject to change, so check first with each individual sportsbook. And good luck.
Calvin Brock vs. Clifford Etienne Calvin Brock had Clifford Etienne down for the third time at 1:35 of the 3rd round. The referee called a halt to proceedings after the third knockdown, as Etienne struggled to get to his feet.
David Estrada vs. Chris Smith David Estrada landed left and right hooks at will to notch an 11th round TKO over Chris “The Mechanic” Smith in an International Boxing Federation (IBF) welterweight elimination bout for the No. 2 ranking
Action from the UK
Enzo Maccarinelli vs. Rich Montagne Enzo Maccarinelli stopped American Rich LaMontagne after 4 rounds in the Welshman’s 6th defence of his WBU title. LaMontagne had no answers for Maccarinelli’s steady pressure. Maccarinelli said he would like to fight WBO champion Johnny Nelson next, and he may get his wish as Nelson was receptive to the possibility whilst speaking to the media after the Maccarinelli bout.
David Haye vs. Garry Delaney David Haye applied a measured beating over the course of three one-sided rounds, stopping trialhorse Garry Delaney. Delaney was down in the 3rd, and did not answer the bell for the 4th round.
(Autor Note: would the Gielty from Cleveland please contact me again as I have lost your contact details.)
Cotto’s turn is coming. And if Arturo Gatti continues to balk at negotiating for a June fight with Mayweather, Cotto’s time could come sooner than expected.
Next month in an 11,000-seat Puerto Rican arena, Cotto returns to action. Among the other things Mayweather said and Cotto heard within the last couple of days is that he’s interested in moving to Puerto Rico. If the two-time former champion gets a move-on, and relocates in time for Cotto’s next fight, he could become a what-might-have-been witness to his own career, circa 1998-99.
Mayweather was supposed to be Cotto.
Instead, he has become Cotto’s validation ticket.
Mayweather will see this a little bit differently, of course. And with good reason.
Thirty-two professional fights without a defeat, and only one of those even close, doesn’t quite do full justice to the depth of his boxing acumen. I have known him since he was 10 years old, covered his three National Golden Gloves titles, attended his Olympic fights, and covered his professional career. He has been too sound, for too long, to discount against Cotto.
But there are so many obstacles in front of him that he can’t possibly determine a career direction until first coming to a complete halt. That basically is what has happened during his career-long 245-day layoff which ends tonight. And it is will happen again after this fight, until resolution of his misdemeanor assault trial next month in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The trial in Mayweather’s hometown was scheduled for Dec. 16, but he didn’t show up in court until 11 days later. He pleaded guilty to contempt, had his bond doubled, and had his trial rescheduled.
That isn’t as bad as it could have been. But now Gatti’s promoter Main Events is looking at Mayweather’s possible 93-day jail sentence in February, then looking at his August felony domestic battery trial in Las Vegas, and questioning how a June fight will work.
Promoting a major pay-per-view event requires time - not doing time.
Mayweather can squawk about Gatti’s reluctance, if that’s what it turns out to be, all he wants. But if Gatti petitions the World Boxing Council and is granted a delay on his mandatory defense pending resolution of Mayweather’s legal situation, a direct precedent exists in Mayweather’s career.
During Mayweather’s entire reign of three-plus years as WBC 130-pound champion, his mandatory contender was Jesus Chavez. But Chavez was under a deportation order and could not enter the U.S. Rather than forcing Mayweather to leave the country to fight.
Chavez, the WBC granted him an ongoing waiver until Chavez’s situation cleared up. Finally, in 2001, in his ninth and final 130-pound championship bout, Mayweather fought and defeated Chavez - the only time he ever faced his top-ranked challenger.
So Bob Arum stood before the assembled media this week, promotionally provocative as ever, and proclaimed this 140-pound era much like the 1980s Duran-Hagler-Hearns-Leonard dynamic. Except those guys all fought each other.
Today’s sensational 140-pound crop includes universally recognized champion Kostya Tszyu (31-1), his next challenger Ricky Hatton (38-0), Mayweather (32-0), and Cotto (22-0).
Gatti (38-6), resurgent recently, has a big following, and adds steam to boxing’s best division.
It all sounds great until the socio-political stuff factors in. Tszyu fights for Showtime.
Mayweather, Cotto and Gatti all fight for HBO. It’s a highly unusual situation that the smaller of the two subscription-cable boxing giants holds sway over a division populated by so many of the larger network’s fighters, but that is the position.
"I would love to fight Kostya Tszyu,” Mayweather said. “If the money's right, I'll go to Russia to fight him. I just want to show I'm the best. But with HBO and Showtime, I know it's going to be hard to make the fight."
Mayweather’s first order of business is a June pay-per-view fight with Gatti, which is a long, long way from a done deal.
He would like Tszyu after that, unless Oscar De La Hoya wants to rumble. Mayweather still craves that fight, though De La Hoya consistently has remained three weight divisions heavier. But if De La Hoya drops back to welterweight as advertised, they will be separated by just one division and seven pounds.
"It's part of history. My uncle's a two-time world champion, we've got a lot of controversy with my dad and my uncle, two fighters from the same family, one training the Golden Boy (Floyd Mayweather Sr.) and one training the Pretty Boy (Roger Mayweather). It's a fight I think should be made,” Floyd Jr. said. "I know at the end of the year, it's going to be me and Oscar. We've got to get it on. He can't keep ducking and dodging."
De La Hoya has said on several occasions that he never will fight his trainer’s son. If Mayweather is trying to convince De La Hoya otherwise, you might think he would try a little sweet talking. But that is against Mayweather’s nature, and De La Hoya surely understands why, considering how much time as he has spent with Floyd Mayweather Sr.
With De La Hoya still relatively fresh off his fourth loss, on a body-shot knockout by Bernard Hopkins, Mayweather couldn’t resist a verbal shot to the ribs.
“Hopefully, we can fight at the end of the year, and when me and Oscar fight, he don't quit like he did with Bernard Hopkins,” Mayweather said. “Me being a true champion, I think I'm going to retire undefeated. But if I do go out, I'm going out on my back. That's how a true champion's got to go out."
So Mayweather wants Tszyu, but television contracts keep them apart.
He wants Gatti, but the legal situation has made negotiations balky.
He wants De La Hoya, but Oscar has taken a firm stance against fighting him.
Cotto can fight Gatti, but why would Top Rank make a fight in which its man gets a substantially smaller percentage of the pie, when it could make Mayweather-Cotto instead?
Gatti-Mayweather is the immediate plan. But Top Rank is taking a close look at this, and seeing this backup solution: Mayweather-Cotto in a pay-per-view clash this summer, instead of Gatti-Mayweather. Then, if Cotto wins, make a pay-per-view mega fight against De La Hoya in late 2005.
“Cotto needs a couple more tune-ups. Right now he’s a little too green,” Mayweather said.
Those words come from a man with few other options if: A) His legal situation puts him on ice; or, B) Main Events uses the legal situation to protect Gatti’s burgeoning franchise from the risk of a Mayweather fight.
First up for Mayweather is Bruseles, a 21-2-1 (13) native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, same hometown as Cotto. Both are trained by Cotto’s uncle, Evangelista Cotto, and they sparred 40 rounds in training camp. Cotto says Bruseles has a chance, but of course he’s going to say that. They have known each other since they were boys.
"A lot of people look at Henry Bruseles as a pushover,” Mayweather said. “I don't look at anybody as a pushover. How do guys get known? They come in and upset top guys. I'm not letting some guy come in and upset me."
"Henry Bruseles, he's not going to win, but he might fight the best fight of his life. Miguel Cotto, because styles make fights, I might go out there and clip him quick. You never know how the fight game goes."
You sure don’t. The big design to the next two weeks, with HBO telecasts of Mayweather-Bruseles tonight and Gatti-James Leija next week, is prelude to Gatti-Mayweather. But with Plan A possibly on tilt, Mr. Plan B himself was watching closely here, soaking in the scene which soon will surround him.
Roger Mayweather said he considers Tszyu the true champion, but thinks Cotto actually would be his nephew’s most difficult fight at 140 pounds.
As he watched the buzz circulate, Cotto was asked this week if he considers himself Mayweather’s new chief nemesis. A broad grin crossed his face.
"We’re rivals,” Cotto said. “Mayweather is a star of the sport and we’re in the same company. Mayweather was a great champion at 130 and 135. We don’t know about 140. When the company says the time is right to make the fight, I’ll fight him. I think it's a good fight. I know Mayweather's a great fighter. But I know I can beat him."
Estrada (18-1, 9 KOs), of Chicago, dictated the pace of the bout with volume punches and constant pressure. A hard right dropped Smith in the seventh; however, Estrada lost his mouthpiece as he went to finish the fight, allowing Smith to escape the round. With the legendary Angelo Dundee in his corner, Estrada winged vicious right and left hooks alternately to Smith’s body and face, prompting the referee to stop the fight at 1:11 of the 11th round. In his second SHOWTIME and “ShoBox” appearance, Estrada dealt previously undefeated Nurhan Suleymanoglu his first defeat and captured the vacant United States Boxing Association (USBA) welterweight crown with an impressive 12-round unanimous decision by the scores 120-108 and 117-111 twice July 15, 2004, in Santa Ynez, Calif. Estrada’s, only loss came in his “ShoBox’’ debut when he dropped a 10-round decision to undefeated Ishe Smith on July 31, 2003, in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Smith (19-1-1, 12 KOs), originally of Mandeville, Jamaica, looked his sharpest in the fifth and sixth rounds. He pressed forward, but often smothered his own punches en route to his first career loss. The native Jamaican, now residing in Queens, N.Y., utilized a crushing body attack to score a ninth-round TKO over Marlon Haynes on Sept. 12, 2002, to win the interim North American Boxing Association (NABA) welterweight title. In his initial title defense, Smith controlled the early going before eventually tallying a 10th-round TKO over veteran Sam Garr on Feb. 14, 2003, in Louisville, Ky. The former New York Golden Gloves Champion successfully defended his NABA title three additional times.
Powell (15-0, 9 KOs), of Brooklyn, N.Y., looked sharp, landing combinations at will against the overmatched Thompson. In the sixth round, Powell staggered Thompson with an uppercut that nearly ended the fight. Powell got floored and was nearly knocked out in the fifth round of his SHOWTIME and “ShoBox” debuts on June 17, 2004, in Laughlin, Nev., but managed to survive the round and triumph by the scores 76-75 twice and 75-76 after the eighth. During a nine-year amateur career, Powell compiled a 147-9 record, but suffered a heartbreaking disqualification loss in the 2000 Olympic Trials.
Thompson (8-4-1, 4 KOs), of Lincoln, Neb. by way of Chicago, could not figure out Powell’s southpaw style. Undeterred, Thompson moved forward throughout the fight, stalking Powell, but taking a beating. Thompson is a substitute for Aslanbek Kodzoev who withdrew to remain in Russia with his girlfriend, Dardina. Thompson got a late start in boxing. After winning the majority of his 14 amateur fights, he turned pro at the age of 29 with a third-round TKO over Gary Moore in Lincoln, Neb., Aug. 11, 2002.
“ShoBox: The New Generation” features up-and-coming prospects determined to make a mark and eventually fight for a chance at a world title. The best of the new generation of hungry, young boxers will have an opportunity to showcase their talent and heart as they battle each other in competitive fights in front of a national television audience. “ShoBox: The New Generation” is pure, basic boxing, reminiscent of the golden days of the sport.
Nick Charles called Friday’s action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast was Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.
The next “ShoBox” telecast on Feb. 4 features four talented prizefighters with a combined 77-3-1 record. In the main event, World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 2/World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 14 140-pound contender David Diaz risks a possible shot at the WBO title when he takes on Kendall Holt in a 10-round junior welterweight bout. The eight-round co-feature will pit once-beaten 140-pounders Oscar “El Matador” Diaz and Al “Speedy” Gonzalez. SHOWTIME will televise the doubleheader at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast).
The following night, Feb. 5, SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING features a grudge rematch between World Boxing Association/World Boxing Council/International Boxing Federation (WBA/WBC/IBF) Welterweight Champion Cory Spinks (34-2, 11 KOs) and former two-time world champion Zab “Super” Judah (32-2, 1 NC, 23 KOs). SHOWTIME will televise the undisputed welterweight world championship at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast).
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.
February 5th on the undercard of the Cory Spinks vs. Zab Judah rematch in St. Louis, Missouri, cruiserweights O’Neil “Give ‘em Hell” Bell and Kelvin “Concrete” Davis will serve up a tasty appetizer to the welterweight main course.
The Showtime broadcast will feature a rematch between Bell and Davis, who met in March 2003, when Bell escaped with a TKO11 victory. In the 11th round of that fight Bell rocked Davis with a five-shot flurry that dropped Davis to the canvas where Bell hit him again. When Davis rose he was met by more than a half-dozen unanswered shots. That led referee Bill Marshall to stop the bout. Davis did not appear to be in serious danger, but he didn’t answer back with anything to counter the oncoming Bell.
Prior to that ending, the two had engaged in a spirited battle, which featured knockdowns, cuts and point deductions.
Georgia’s O’Neil Bell, 23-1-1 with 22 knockouts, was rocked in the second round of the first fight and suffered a wicked cut over his right eyebrow, courtesy of an accidental clash of heads, which his corner did an excellent job of controlling throughout the bout. Just as the second round ended he was caught by a chin-rattling uppercut and shot to the body. An early night looked to be in store as Bell went down, only to have the knockdown be ruled a slip by Marshall. Davis didn’t let up and jumped on Bell and righted that wrong by dropping him with a solid right hand flush on the jaw as the seconds ticked away. Saved by the bell, O’Neil got his breath of life.
By the sixth round Bell had turned the bout in his favor, with Mississippi native Kelvin Davis, 21-2-1 and 16 knockout victories, absorbing some heavy shots and with not much left in the tank with which to answer back. The tide had completely turned on Davis as Bell landed flush hooks and straight rights that led to the knockdown in the eleventh round. With Davis clearly on a knee, Bell couldn’t contain himself in the heat of the battle and nailed Davis with a right behind the ear that sent him flat on the canvas. Davis beat the count but succumbed to the constant volley of blows from Bell and the bout was stopped.
With a touch of controversy - both fighters knocked down, an accidental clash of heads and two heavy-handed big men - O’Neil Bell vs. Kelvin Davis Part I offered a little bit of everything . . . but it also left some unfinished business. The IBF ordered a rematch, which Bell and his management refused. That action cleared the way for Davis to claim the IBF cruiserweight title with a TKO 8 victory over Ezra Sellers. On February 5th Bell and Davis will finally get it on again, this time for the IBF belt now belonging to Davis.
After the loss to Bell, Davis took a solid decision win over 18-3-2 Louis Azille. Then he captured the IBF 190-pound title by pounding out the TKO win over Sellers. Bell has also won twice, a TKO 8 win over 24-5-0 Derrick Harmon and his own two round blowout of Ezra Sellers. Unfortunately Sellers doesn’t provide much of a measuring stick, as both men stopped him, Bell doing so six rounds before Davis. Common opponents don’t usually provide much help in terms of pointing us to a winner. While the first fight helps somewhat, the ebb-and-flow of that bout could have shifted back to Davis prior to the final bell and both men had their moments.
Fortunately for fight fans, these two will settle it the old-fashioned way: by lacing up the gloves and trading bombs in between periods of tactical boxing. It’s a rematch that is really a continuation of a very good first fight.
Also at stake will be some good paydays as the best of the cruiserweight division start their collision course. Big things should lie ahead for the winner of the Bell-Davis rematch, as two of the other top cruiserweights in the world, WBC champ Wayne Braithwaite and WBA king Jean Marc Mormeck, are set to meet in April. The winners of these respective bouts could set up a unification bout with the WBA, WBC and IBF belts. Only Johnny Nelson and his WBO title would be left unaccounted for.
This year marks the countdown to the Brawl For It All in the 190-pound division and after a few slow years in the cruiserweight division, things are set to return to the excitement they once enjoyed. Forget what you think you remember about the cruiserweights. It’s time to focus on what we know. And we know O’Neil Bell, Kelvin Davis, Wayne Braithwaite, Jean Marc Mormeck and Johnny Nelson will be taking the division off Cruise Control and hitting the accelerator in 2005.
For Haye, 11-1 (11), the fight represents his second since defeat to gnarled veteran Carl Thompson, 33-6 (25), back in September in arguably the most anticipated British fight of 2004. A torrid affair, the fight lasted just five rounds and in truth Haye probably just two as the youngster naively tried to overwhelm Thompson early. He came mighty close but his lack of stamina, having contested just 20 professional rounds prior to the contest, came back to haunt him and he was stopped.
Fighting Thompson in his eleventh contest was variously viewed as ambitious through to a mismatch, the consensus view that Thompson was 'shot' giving way to a post-fight suspicion Haye was over-hyped and under-trained. Whatever your conclusion, the result illustrated the sport's fickleness; the once golden boy of British boxing, with the film star smile, the unbeaten record and the BBC contract now found himself beaten, maligned and dumped, along with professional boxing, by the network that thought they'd signed a superstar.
So what will the Delaney fight prove?
Firstly, that Delaney 31-9-1 (17), is never going to make the Cruiserweight limit again having scaled 230lbs at yesterday’s weigh-in, more importantly if Haye's much vaunted power is a myth or reality and crucially whether Haye has learned from previous mistakes, i.e. developed some stamina. Depending on how much pride Delaney has left, he displayed plenty in rising off the canvas seven times versus Maccarinelli, I believe he can reach the final bell in a fight disappointingly set for just six rounds at heavyweight. Delaney, though tough, is clearly not the motivated force he once was and therefore unlikely to press the action sufficiently to test Haye's self-belief or stamina.
Which is a shame, because it would be naive to believe a leap to leading domestic names like Hobson, Thompson and Nelson would be successful from such an uncompetitive springboard. The British Boxing Board of Control appear to agree, moving to nominate Haye to fight John 'Buster' Keeton in an eliminator bout before any tilt at capable British champion Mark Hobson.
Meanwhile, fellow prospect Enzo Maccarinelli, 19-1 (14) continues his quest to establish his own validity as a contender in the division and specifically as a credible foe for WBO champion and Sports Network stable mate Johnny Nelson. The Welshman, like Haye with the BBC, has enjoyed sustained support from his promotional handlers and satellite broadcaster Sky Sports, both of who have presented Maccarinelli as a puncher with potential.
The WBU strap he defends for the sixth time tonight is of the 'low-rent' variety and provides little kudos to fight fans in the UK and certainly not across the pond. In truth, the fight is no more a world title fight than the half dozen bouts appearing on the under card. However, this is the model Frank Warren’s Sports Network employs to build support, profile and experience for their young protégés and it has proven to work for stable mates Joe Calzaghe and Ricky Hatton.
Maccarinelli, in reality, is a work in progress, despite the 'world-champion' tag shamelessly bestowed on him - but he does possess telling power, strength and appears willing to learn. However, his recent contest with stubborn Belgian Ismail Abdoul suggested that power could be overstated and the youngster appeared flustered when pressed, though Abdoul lacked the ambition to pursue it.
Tonight he faces an aggressive, walk forward fighter with an available chin and a mixed record at anything approaching world level. Selected to appear physically aesthetic and credible on paper, LeMontagne, 29-6-1 (24), will doubtless try and unsettle the youngster early, but he's seven years removed from his best form, which for context was taking three rounds from Vassily Jirov, and 30 months since his knockout of 'chinny' American prospect Michael Bennett.
If he catches Maccarinelli on the 'button' a shock is possible. Maccarinelli has been flattened when fancied before against awkward Lee Swaby and renowned puncher Bruce Scott. Whilst that looks increasingly unlikely with Maccarinelli the more seasoned he becomes, LeMontagne is expected to meet the Welshman at centre ring and it will be interesting to see how he reacts if the American succeeds in backing him up. In all likelihood, Maccarinelli should dispatch LeMontagne inside six rounds.
Maccarinelli's recent record does also offer a form guide for the Haye/Delaney encounter, having dropped Delaney seven times en route to an eighth round stoppage a year ago. The cynics suggest this contributed to the six round distance Haye faces Delaney over, diluting any direct comparison of their performances should Haye fail to stop the rugged Londoner.
But it is just such comparisons that inject meaning and interest to tonight's contests. The boxing forums have sizzled with the exchanges between the camps of David Haye and British champion Mark Hobson in the past year and they continue to buzz with debate over who will emerge from the cruiserweight pack were they to meet or tackle the senior citizens in the division, Thompson and Nelson.
With Haye potentially two fights from tackling Hobson and Maccarinelli maybe just two away from a summer showdown with Nelson, the British fans will be hoping they're discussing real fights instead of mythical match-ups come the year end.
Interesting Cruiserweights, what next an undisputed world middleweight champion from Britain?
In the main event, World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 2/World Boxing Association (WBA) No. 14 140-pound contender David Diaz risks takes on Kendall Holt in a 10-round junior welterweight bout. The 10-round co-feature will pit once-beaten 140-pounders Oscar “El Matador” Diaz and Al “Speedy” Gonzales.
SHOWTIME will televise the Duva Boxing doubleheader at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast). The telecast represents the 56th in the popular “ShoBox” series, which debuted on SHOWTIME in July 2001. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Foxwoods Box-Office at (800) 200-2882 or online at www.foxwoods.com.
David Diaz (26-0, 14 KOs), of Chicago, is a highly regarded 28-year-old action fighter who completed his eighth consecutive undefeated campaign by going 4-0 in 2004. A member of the 1996 United States Olympic team, Diaz scored one of his most impressive victories when he dominated former WBO 140-pound champion Ener Julio en route to a spectacular 10th-round TKO on May 15, 2004, in Chicago. After winning the 1996 Golden Gloves National Championship, Diaz earned a berth on the U.S. squad after defeating Zab Judah in the U.S. Box-Offs.
“If Ricky Hatton fights (International Boxing Federation Champion) Kostya Tszyu, I will become the mandatory challenger for (WBO titleholder) Miguel Cotto, so all fights are big for me right now,” said Diaz, who is coming off a ninth-round TKO over Jaime Rangel on Dec. 10, 2004.
Between fights late last year, the southpaw traveled to Australia and served as a sparring partner for Tszyu prior to his world title rematch against Sharmba Mitchell.
“I worked with Tszyu in Australia for more than a month,” Diaz said. “He obviously is the best at 140 pounds, and I learned a lot working with him. He was very complimentary about my skills. That meant a lot.”
Hoping to derail Diaz is the up-and-coming Holt (17-1, 11 KOs), of Paterson, N.J. The 23-year-old won 15 consecutive fights at the outset of his career before suffering his lone setback against Thomas Davis on June 18, 2004, in Chicago. Holt staggered Davis twice and seemingly had him ready to fall before getting caught in the opening round. In his last outing, Holt recorded a six-round unanimous decision over Carlos Escobar on Dec. 9, 2004, in Newark, N.J. Before turning pro at age 19 on March 30, 2001, Holt won the New Jersey Golden Gloves three times (1998-2000) and was the Ohio State and Diamond Belt champion in 1997 and 2000, respectively.
Holt’s manager, the legendary Hall of Famer Lou Duva, has high hopes for his fighter.
“I see Holt as the second coming of Meldrick Taylor,” Duva said. “He throws a lot of punches and combinations just like Meldrick did. This is a big step up for him, but he is ready.’’
Oscar Diaz (18-1, 11 KOs), of San Antonio, will appear before a paying audience for the first time in nearly seven months. The Duva-managed, well-schooled youngster is an aggressive-minded, boxer-puncher who prefers to apply constant pressure. The 22-year-old won his initial 17 fights after turning pro at age 18 on March 16, 2001. Diaz suffered his only loss on March 26, 2004, when the more experienced Ebo Elder outpointed him across 10 action-packed rounds.
“I just did not do enough,” Diaz said. “I did not use my jab. I had Elder hurt in the second round, but I let him off the hook. I have to learn from my mistakes and do better next time out.’’
Diaz, who is trained by Tommy Brooks, learned his lessons well. In his next fight, he flattened Juan Carlos Amezcua in the second round on July 10, 2004, in Stateline, Nev.
Gonzales (16-1-1, 7 KOs), of Chicago, turned pro on Aug. 12, 2001, after just 10 amateur fights. Despite a lack of amateur experience, he quickly became one of the Windy City’s hottest pro prospects. The 24-year-old warrior won his initial 13 outings and went 14-0-1 before being dealt his lone loss on a controversial seventh-round technical decision to Demetrius Hopkins on June 18, 2004, in Chicago. The fight was stopped due to a cut caused by a headbutt earlier in the seventh round. Gonzales has rebounded to defeat his past two opponents, including a 10-round nod over Roberto Ortega in his most recent effort on Dec. 10, 2004, in Chicago.
Nick Charles will call the action from ringside, with Steve Farhood serving as expert analyst. The executive producer of the telecast is Gordon Hall, with Richard Gaughan producing.
The “ShoBox” presentation is the first of two excellent back-to-back telecasts on SHOWTIME. On Feb. 5 at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on West Coast), WBA/WBC/International Boxing Federation (IBF) Welterweight Champion Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (34-2, 11 KOs) will defend his titles in a grudge rematch against former IBF and World Boxing Organization (WBO) junior welterweight champion Zab “Super” Judah (32-2-23 KOs) .
For information on “ShoBox: The New Generation” and SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecasts, including complete fighter bios, records, related stories and more, please go the SHOWTIME website at http://www.sho.com/boxing.
"Preparation for my next fight has been put on hold," said the 32-year old Vanderpool, "until a new date in March is finalized."
Vanderpool remains optimistic that another big showdown can happen and would love it to be none other than fellow Canadian and former champ Eric Lucas.
"One of the match ups that I think can happen now is me versus Eric Lucas. Lucas previously stated that the reason he never fought me was because of his promoters' reluctance to make the fight happen," said Vanderpool. "Without a doubt, the winner of this fight would be worthy of a title shot against any of the current champions."
Vanderpool concluded saying, "now that Lucas is his own promoter, he can make his own opportunity to try and prove the fight fans wrong. I know I would in a heartbeat."
Wright was reportedly unhappy with what he was originally being offered by promoter Don King. However, King has reportedly offered Wright a shot at middleweight boxing's kingpin, Bernard Hopkins should Wright defeat Trinidad.
The non-title middleweight match will take place in May, according to the BBC.