News Wrap: On Ortiz-Lopez, Randall Bailey, LeRoy Nieman

BY The Sweet Science ON June 21, 2012
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GoldenboySHOWTIME EXTREME® TO AIR DOUBLEHEADER FROM STAPLES CENTER IN LOS MEDIA WORKOUT QUOTES & PHOTOS: VICTOR ORTIZ, JOSESITO LOPEZ,
HUMBERTO SOTO & LUCAS MATTHYSSE

‘Ortiz vs. Lopez’ Live This Saturday, June 23, From STAPLES Center, Los Angeles,
At 9 p.m. ET/PT (Delayed on the West Coast) on SHOWTIME®

LOS ANGELES (June 20, 2012) – Former World Champion Victor Ortiz (29-3-2, 22 KO's) of Ventura, Calif., former NABF Champion Josesito Lopez (29-4, 17 KO's) of Riverside, Calif., former Three-Time World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto and hard-hitting, top rated contender Lucas Matthysse took part in a final media workout on Wednesday at Fortune Boxing Gym in Los Angeles, just days before they do battle on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on Saturday, June 23 live on SHOWTIME® (9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

The vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver Welterweight title is on the line in the 12-round Ortiz vs. Lopez bout while Soto (59-7-2, 34 KO’s), of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, will battle Trelew, Argentina native Matthysse (30-2, 28 KO’s) in 12-round co-featured bout for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title.

Tickets priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50 are available online at www.staplescenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000 or at STAPLES Center box office.

Here are what the fighters had to say on Wednesday:

VICTOR ORTIZ:
“Fans can expect a great show on Saturday night. There haven't been many changes in this camp. I have always had a goal to be one of the greatest fighters of all time and that goal is still there. I have trained hard for a good fight and I am ready.

“Josesito is a hell of a fighter. I’m not taking anything away from him, but right now he is stepping into the wrong den.I will show it Saturday night.”


JOSESITO LOPEZ:
“I just recently started watching tapes. It does make a difference. I used to just let my coach watch, but it does give a clearer idea about what you have to look forward to. Training has been going great. I moved up in weight and it’s given me that much more energy. I’ve had the energy, power, and strength throughout camp to not have to slow down.

“I am at a position where there are bigger things I want to achieve, and that’s motivation right there.  On Saturday it all starts.  On Saturday the smarter fighter will win.”
 
Regarding the Canelo Alvarez vs. Ortiz announcement:
“I find it disrespectful to announce the fight ahead of time, but if anything it gives me more motivation to achieve what I want to achieve. I think (the result) is going to surprise everyone.”


HUMBERTO SOTO:
“I am a very professional fighter. I feel very good at 140 pounds. Whoever said I lost speed and power, well that’s not true. I proved with my last three fights in this division that I can handle it.”

With regards to his game plan:
“Things change in the ring. I have my game plan, but once the bell rings I am going to see what’s in front of me, but I always prepare to win. I know Matthysse has as well, so it’s going to make for a very good fight.”


LUCAS MATTHYSSE:
“I expect to win by KO. I think I was robbed against Zab Judah and Devon Alexander in the United States, so expect a KO. I don’t want it going to the judges on Saturday, so expect a good fight.

“I respect Soto because he was a three-time world champion. He comes from lighter divisions and my strength will help me win.

“I trained in Junin, Buenos Aires, for two months. I sparred with nine sparring partners.I am in the best shape of my life.”


“Ortiz vs. Lopez,” a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship taking place Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif., is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. The co-feature will see former Three-Division World Champion Humberto “Zorrita” Soto battle Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title which is presented in association with Baja Boxing Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader begins live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights airing on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

ANGELES, CALIF.
LOS ANGELES, June 20 - SHOWTIME EXTREME will bring some exciting undercard action home to fight fans on Saturday, June 23 when it televises two live co-featured undercard fights from Los Angeles' STAPLES Center beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

In the featured SHOWTIME EXTREME fight scheduled for 10 rounds in the junior middleweight division, undefeated Jermell Charlo faces off against fellow prospect Denis Douglin of New Jersey. Plus, unbeaten Texas knockout artist Omar Figueroa seeks another victory when he battles Mexico's Alain Hernandez in an eight-round super lightweight matchup.

"Ortiz vs. Lopez," a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Silver Welterweight Championship taking place Saturday, June 23, at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif., is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Goossen Tutor Promotions and Thompson Boxing Promotions and sponsored by Corona, DeWalt Tools and AT&T. The co-feature will see former Three-Division World Champion Humberto "Zorrita" Soto battle Argentinean knockout artist Lucas Matthysse in a 12-round fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Lightweight title which is presented in association with Baja Boxing Promotions and Arano Box Promotions. The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING doubleheader begins live at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) with preliminary fights airing on SHOWTIME EXTREME at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast).

Tickets priced at $250, $150, $100 and $50 are available online at www.staplescenter.com, www.ticketmaster.com, via Ticketmaster charge-by-phone lines at (800)745-3000 or at STAPLES Center box office.

Houston's Jermell "Iron Man" Charlo (17-0, 8 KO's) has long been considered a promising up and comer in the junior middleweight division, and beginning in late 2010 and continuing in 2011, the former amateur star began making a lot of noise with wins over Luis Grajeda, Larry Smith and Francisco Santana. In March of 2012, a third round technical knockout over highly-regarded Chris Chatman got even more people talking and this weekend, he aims to make another statement by beating Denis Douglin.

Proudly nicknamed "Momma's Boy" because his mother Saphya is his trainer, Marlboro, New Jersey's Denis Douglin (14-1, 8 KO's) is a respected east coast prospect looking to introduce himself to west coast fight fans. The 24-year-old has gone 2-0 since an upset loss to Doel Carrasquillo in February of 2011 including an eight round win over previously unbeaten Steve Martinez in January in his last outing.

Currently riding a five fight knockout streak that includes four finishes in two rounds or less, Omar "Panterita" Figueroa (17-0-1, 14 KO's) has been staying busy and wrecking anyone who dares to stand and trade with him. Getting ready for his fifth fight of 2012, the 22-year-old from Weslaco, Texas has every intention of making it another short night's work when he meets up with Tijuana's Alain Hernandez (18-10-2, 10 KO's). The 33-year-old Hernandez is a 10-year-professional who has been in with former World Champion Paul Spadafora and he has every intention of putting a stop to Figueroa's meteoric rise on Saturday.

A bout scheduled for four rounds in the featherweight division will see Los Angeles' Julian Ramirez (2-0, 2 KO's), the nephew of the late Genaro "Chicanito" Hernandez, stepping into the ring for the third time as a professional against Santa Ana's Israel Navarrete (6-4, 1 KO) which, time permitting, will be televised on SHOWTIME EXTREME.

In off-television action, Coachella, Calif. favorite Randy Caballero (14-0, 7 KO's) will make his second start of 2012 in an eight round fight against St. Louis' Jamal Parram (5-5-1, 4 KO's). The 21-year-old Caballero is coming off of a 10-round unanimous decision victory over Jose Luis Araiza in March that earned him the NABO bantamweight title and he's looking forward to scoring another big win on Saturday against the hard-hitting Parram.

Opening up the night of boxing is Pahrump, Nevada's Michael Finney (8-0, 7 KO's) who takes on Joel Vargas (3-6-1, 3KO's) of Durango, Mexico in a four round junior middleweight fight. Finney is making his second appearance of 2012 following a six-round win in January over heavy hitter Hector Orozco.

MIAMI, FL (June 21, 2012) - Newly crowned International Boxing Federation ("IBF") Welterweight World Champion Randall "The Knockout King" Bailey is finally in position of leverage with his third world title belt and a recent "Knockout of the Year" performance against previously unbeaten Mike Jones. Now, it's time for this feared slugger to cash in, after 16 often frustrating years as a professional prizefighter.

Bailey (43-7, 37 KOs) would love to welcome Floyd "Money" Mayweather Jr. when he gets out of jail in a few months but, if the price is right, Randall also wants to make it perfectly clear that he'll fight any deserving 147-pounder in the world.

"I've been avoided forever," Bailey said, "but now I'm coming off a world title fight win that ended with a punch people are going to be talking about for a long time. If I had a choice, I'd fight Mayweather next. I like the way Floyd's fighting. He's not running around so much to try to win on points. He's giving guys an opportunity to hit him and that's my type of fight.

"I told him (Jones) that I was going to knock him out. In my mind, that was the only way I'd win the fight. I watched a few of his fights that were close, like the (Jesus Soto) Karrass fight, and I was concerned about winning a decision. I knew when I grazed him in the first round that he'd take off like a thief in the night. The kid ran from me a lot and I caught a lot of his punches with my gloves. I waited for him to sit down for a second. I didn't have that much on my punch (straight right) in the 10th round (Jones was decked for the first time as an amateur or pro) because my leg was twisted. In the 11th, he was laying in under his jab so I couldn't hit him with my overhand right. I decided to back up and as we got closer, he kept his chin down to keep away from my overhand right. It was just natural for me to come with my uppercut like I did. That was my best punch ever. It had so much on it that it looked like my fist was in his face. I hit his nose and it felt like meat coming out."

The Knockout

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_5_c8UGlkM

"That punch was similar to the punches he knocked out (Jackson Osei) Bonsu and (Frankie) Figueroa with," Bailey's manager Si Stern noted, "but this was the best punch I've ever seen Randall land. I'm so proud of Randall. He's at the top of his game and a three-time world champion. His one punch produced the 'Knockout of the Year', if not the 'Knockout of the Decade'. We have the world title belt and won't fight on the cheap. We already have a half-million dollar offer to fight overseas, so why would we take a cheap fight? Once Mayweather gets out of jail, he won't find a better opponent to fight than Randall Bailey, who is one of the most dangerous fighters in the world. Mayweather-Bailey has the potential to be a classic fight.

"We'll listen to any offers - (Paulie) Malignaggi, (Devon) Alexander, (Andre) Berto, (Victor) Ortiz, even (Manny) Pacquiao or (Timothy) Bradley - if the price is right. Randall has been avoided like the plague; they've been scared to death because of his one-punch power. We'll only have one or two opportunities for a big fight before his mandatory is due. It would be crazy for him to fight now for short money."


PROVIDENCE (June 21, 2012) -- Professional boxing returns to Providence on June 29 with 2004 U.S. Olympian Jason "Big Six" Estrada headlining the "Takeover" card, presented by Big Six Entertainment, at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence.

Providence favorite Estrada (18-4, 5 KOs) takes on 1992 Puerto Rican Olympian Alex Gonzales (20-6, 10 KOs), in the eight-round main event. One of the most decorated United States amateur boxers ever, Estrada is coming off of arguably his most impressive performance as a pro, a stunning second-round knockout of veteran Dominque Alexander last March. The 31-year-old Estrada went the distance on the road with World Boxing Association ("WBA") heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin and Tomasz Adamek, a two-time world champion. Jason's has also defeated notable heavyweights such as Lance Whitaker, Derek Bryant, Charles Shufford and Zuri Lawrence.

Gonzales, an experienced southpaw, is a former United States Boxing Association heavyweight champion who has been in the ring with former world champion Vassiliy Jirov and past world title challenger Calvin Brock.

"We're excited to be back in Providence promoting another exciting event headlined by Olympian Jason Estrada," Big Six Entertainments president Artie DePinho said. "Jason is coming off an impressive knockout victory and he is looking to 'Takeover' the heavyweight division. Jason is ready for meaningful fight with guys like Seth Mitchell or Bryant Jennings. Our goal is to provide local boxers with opportunities to improve and continue their careers, as well as providing competitive fights for fans to watch. We're building on the momentum and success we've had in our two previous shows in Rhode Island."

Former USBA/NABO middleweight champion Brian "The Bull" Barbosa (30-6, 22 KOs), also fighting out of Providence, continues his comeback against dangerous light heavyweight John Johnson (13-2, 10 KOs) in the six-round, co-feature.

Pawtucket (RI) welterweight Diego Periera (6-0-1, 2 KOs) will attempt to keep his unbeaten pro record intact against William "Chino" Correa (9-5, 8 KOs), of Framingham (MA), in a six-round bout.

Also fighting on the undercard in four-round match-ups are Providence welterweight Kali Reiss (4-1-1, 2 KOs) vs. Lyneisha Jefferson (0-1), of Newark (NJ), Providence junior welterweight Josh "Bam Bam" Beeman (4-11-3, 2 KOs) vs. Robert Hunt (0-2), of Hyannis (MA), light heavyweight Paul Gonsalves (4-2, 3 KOs), of Harwich (MA), vs. Borngood Washington (3-11, 1 KO), Waterbury (CT) light welterweight Jair Ramos (2-0, 1 KO) vs. New Bedford's Joel Alarcon (0-2), Providence's Rameil Shelton (0-4) vs. Puerto Rican junior middleweight Jesus Javier Cintron (7-4-1, 1 KO), and Cape Cod heavyweight Jesse Barboza (4-1-1, 3 KOs), of Hyannis (MA), vs. TBA.

Pawtucket lightweight Toka Kahn-Clary, a 2010 National Golden Gloves champion who has signed a promotional deal with Top Rank, makes his much anticipated pro debut against an opponent to be determined. All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets, reasonably priced at $35.00, $45.00 and $75.00, are available to purchase by calling 1.401.241.3490 (RI) or 1.617.312.5059 (MA), going on line at www.bigsixentertainment, com or www.ticketmaster.com, and at the Rhode Island Convention Center box office.

Doors open at 6 PM/ET with the first bout scheduled for 7 PM/ET.

CANASTOTA, NY - JUNE 21, 2012 - The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of legendary artist LeRoy Neiman. He passed away at a Manhattan hospital yesterday. He was 91.

Born June 8, 1921 in St. Paul, MN. As a child growing up in the city that produced boxing legend Mike O'Dowd and Hall of Fame brothers Mike and Tommy Gibbons, Neiman was introduced to boxing at the local Catholic Church where he participated in “basement boxing.” In 1942 he left high school and enlisted in the US Army and served four years. After leaving the military, he enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago. His first boxing subject was light heavy Bob Satterfield, a fellow classmate at the institute. His passion for the sport of boxing and his talent as an artist meshed together and through the years Neiman has drawn fight posters and program covers for such historic bouts as Ali vs. Frazier I, Ali-Foreman, Ali-Frazier III, Ali- Spinks II, Hagler vs. Hearns, Foreman vs. Moorer, Tyson vs. Lewis, De La Hoya vs. Vargas and De La Hoya vs. Whitaker. He also created art and appeared in Rocky II, III, IV and V. Regarded as super b draftsman and brilliant colorist, Neiman is revered for his ability to capture the essence of his subjects. His artwork romanticized boxing and captured the imagination of budding ring followers.

“Through his art, LeRoy Neiman made an indelible impact on the sport of boxing,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “The Hall of Fame joins the boxing world in mourning his passing.”

In 2007, Neiman was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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