PHILADELPHIA (July 18, 2013)—On Saturday September 7th at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Brian Vera will step into the ring with former WBC Middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. in what will be the biggest test of Vera’s career.
The fight is promoted by Top Rank, Banner Promotions and Zanfer Promotions and will be televised live on HBO Championship Boxing.
Brian Vera (23-6, 14 KO’s) is currently ranked number-one by the WBO in the middleweight division. Vera is currently on a four fight win streak with victories over former world champions Sergiy Dziznriuk (37-2-1, 24 KO) and Sergio Mora (24-3-2, 7 KO).
This fight had been in the works since May and due to the fight being close to finalized a few times, Vera has been training for weeks in Houston, Texas.
“I will be fully prepared. I have never had this much time to train and prepare”, said Vera.
“I feel like I already have a head start and I am going to make everyone proud. I am going to win”
The fight will be contested at 168 pounds, which Vera has no problem with.
“I have actually fought three times at that weight and Chavez hasn’t. I know the weight will not affect me and I will be strong at the weight”
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KO’s) is coming off his first defeat in his much anticipated showdown last September against Sergio Martinez. Vera believes he is set up in the right spot to pull the upset.
“He is probably taking me lightly but it doesn’t matter. I will be 110% on fight night”.
Chavez Jr. like his father, is a darling among the Los Angeles sports fans, as this will be his 3rd appearance at the STAPLES Center. (Chavez Jr. won his world title in the arena versus Sebastien Zbik) but Vera sees a silver lining going into the hostile environment.
“Fighting in Los Angeles is better than fighting him in Mexico City”.
Vera knows that a win will only bring him the biggest fights in the Middleweight division.
“A win will turn my whole career around and it will change my life”.
Chavez Jr. who tested positive for a banned substance after the Martinez fight and sat out the subsequent nine month suspension has had his share of outside the ring negatives and Vera knows that it could factor in as the fight draws near.
“He is only human like everyone else. Of course the suspension, the fines and some of the other stuff that has been said about him will play on his mind.”
“I just want to thank my trainer Ronnie Shields and the people at Plex Performance as well as my manager David Watson, my promoter Banner Promotions and the rest of my team. I will make them proud on September 7th”.
Tickets go on sale this Friday at $250; $150; $100; $75 and $50 (Plus applicable taxes and fees) and can be purchased online at www.axs.com, by telephone at (888) 929-7849 or at the STAPLES Center box office, Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6pm.
For fight updates go to www.toprank.com, www.banner-promotions.com or www.hbo.com/boxing,on Facebook at facebook.com/trboxing, facebook.com/trboxeo, facebook.com/banner-promotions orfacebook.com/hboboxing, and on Twitter at twitter.com/trboxing, twitter.com/trboxeo,twitter.com/bannerboxing or twitter.com/hboboxing.
By Bart Barry (Ringside)
LAS VEGAS – And in an instant, Martinez-Chavez went from Pacquiao-De La Hoya to Chavez-Taylor.
Not since Manny Pacquiao retired Oscar De La Hoya had a small southpaw looked so profoundly dominant against a larger titlist as Sergio Martinez looked against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for 11 rounds. And not since Chavez Sr. came back to stop Meldrick Taylor in the final seconds of a fight he was losing lopsidedly had such a profound change of fortunes been brought to a world champion the way Chavez brought it to Martinez in the 12th.
Saturday night, in a match at Thomas & Mack Arena that disappointed all expectations of suspense for 33 minutes before becoming an unforgettable thing in its final three, Argentine middleweight champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez (50-2-2, 28 KOs) rose from the canvas in the final round to survive and decision Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1-1, 32 KOs) by unanimous scores of 117-110, 118-109 and 118-109. The 15rounds.com ringside scorecard concurred, marking 117-110 for Martinez – while marking the final round 10-7 for Chavez.
“We are two professionals,” Martinez said afterwards. “And we comported ourselves as professionals.”
The fight began the way all prognosticators believed it would. Martinez’s class was too much for Chavez in the first round and each of its successors. What little sense of geometry Chavez showed in the opening round, extending Martinez’s circles to the perimeter somewhat, was gone by the third.
“I began slowly,” Chavez said in the ring after the judges’ cards were read. “But I will not do that in the rematch.”
In fact, not till the sixth round did Chavez land anything consequential. Though Chavez was the much larger man, Martinez was the far more balletic, polished, athletic and accurate, hitting Chavez with nifty left uppercut leads and other inventive combinations. Chavez, sporting a knee brace and suffering abrasions and swelling round both eyes, was not dissuaded, however.
“This confirms me in boxing,” said Martinez, to an outnumbered but surprisingly vocal Argentinean group of fans. “Long live Argentina!”
More fatigued than he knew as the bell for the 12th rang, Martinez walked into a short Chavez left hook that wobbled and shocked him in the final two minutes. Martinez’s eyes bulged and he collapsed in the ropes. A pair of rights and lefts from Chavez then tossed him limply to the canvas. But Martinez rose, ran, held, slipped, and ultimately punched his way to the final bell, as suddenly enchanted Mexican fans rabidly urged their man on.
“Of course,” Martinez said when asked if he would grant Chavez a rematch.
“Long live Mexico!” cried Chavez at the end of his postfight interview.
ROMAN MARTINEZ VS. MIGUEL BELTRAN JR.
In an attempt at prophecy, or at least wishful thinking, Saturday’s excellent Top Rank co-main event featured a hard-pressing Mexican slugger named “Junior” against a foreigner named Martinez. Unfortunately for the emotional Mexican crowd, the Mexican did not prevail.
Fighting for a vacant WBO super featherweight title, Puerto Rican Roman Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) sneaked past Mexican Miguel Beltran Jr. (27-2-0-1, 17 KOs), besting him by split-decision scores of 116-111, 113-114 and 113-114. The fight would have been a majority draw, were it not for a penalty assessed to Beltran in the championship rounds.
Each round of Martinez-Beltran featured punches both well leveraged and well landed by both fighters, but in each of the opening six rounds, regardless of what Martinez did, Beltran appeared to do a little more. In the sixth, Beltran landed the match’s most-devastating punch, a right cross that snapped Martinez’s head back between his own shoulder blades.
The seventh round, though, saw Martinez begin to establish a more effective attack, catching Beltran on the way in, with oddly placed punches. But by the middle of the eighth, Beltran again appeared the stronger man. By the end of the 10th, Martinez, game as he was, did not appear to want much more.
The 11th brought a point deduction to Beltran’s tally from overly officious Nevada referee Russell Mora, though, tightening ringside scorecards somewhat. Martinez also flurried in the 12th, appearing to steal that stanza as well. Ultimately, the fight was a close one that might have gone either way and probably should have gone the way of a majority draw.
MATTHEW MACKLIN VS. JOACHIM ALCINE
Matthew Macklin makes his ring entrance to a hybrid song of “Mack the Knife” and “Rocky Road to Dublin,” in a two-part nod to his nickname and heritage. But Saturday, he didn’t have to take his opponent very far down a rocky road before knifing him.
In the penultimate match of the evening’s undercard, Macklin (29-4, 20 KOs) caught Canadian middleweight Joachim Alcine (33-3-1, 19 KOs) with a flush right cross in the opening moments of the fight then marched him down, dropped him a second time and brought the match to an exciting knockout conclusion at 2:36 of round 1.
Despite a record with four losses on it, Macklin again proved that he can rally a crowd and make an exciting, satisfying match whomever he is given for an opponent.
GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX VS. ROBERTO MARROQUIN
After a 2010 showing in Cowboys Stadium that brought loud boos from those fans not yawning, Cuban super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux needed two years of exciting knockouts to make fans forget how displeasing his defense-first style can be. Saturday in Thomas & Mack Arena, though, they were reminded once more.
Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) successfully, and rather easily, defended his WBA super bantamweight title against tough if limited Texan Roberto Marroquin (22-2, 15 KOs) by unanimous scores of 118-108, 118-108 and 118-109. And if there is a prizefighter today who fights like Floyd Mayweather as well as Mayweather does, he is Rigondeaux, right down to the cautiousness.
Rigondeaux established a superiority of reflex over Marroquin – a superiority of reflex Rigondeaux enjoys over most every opponent he faces – and then put the match on a form of cruise control that did little to entice fans. Possessed of every punch and step in the boxing lexicon, Rigondeaux does not appear to enjoy physical matches with larger men, and he certainly did not look for one with Marroquin, who appeared a weight class or two larger than Rigondeaux on Saturday.
Twice in the match Marroquin managed to land a pulled left hook that temporarily destabilized the Cuban southpaw’s otherwise flawless footing, but from each of those faux scares, Rigondeaux quickly recovered and returned to mastering Marroquin technically if not combatively.
In round 10, bored by Rigondeaux-Marroquin, the crowd – partisan Mexican though with an Argentinean contingent – began to sing futbol songs at one another till the match was over, despite Rigondeaux’s scoring the match’s one knockdown in its final two minutes.
MIKE LEE VS. PAUL HARNESS
Mike Lee is undoubtedly the best light heavyweight on the Notre Dame campus, but he is decidedly not the best light heavyweight in the world. Further evidence of this came at the midway point of Saturday’s undercard when Lee (11-0, 6 KOs) whacked away at Kansas City opponent Paul Harness (4-4-1, 3 KOs) for four rounds and ultimately prevailed by unanmious scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 40-36.
Questions about Lee’s power – he landed at least four clean right hands in every round without once felling Harness – and his defense, though, remain, and grow, with every showing. Despite leading comfortably in the fourth round, Lee nevertheless was tagged by several knee-buckling shots by Harness.
Highly regarded super welterweight John Jackson brought his undefeated record in the Thomas & Mack Center ring for Saturday’s third bout, against Cleveland’s Willie Nelson, and Jackson’s ‘0’ left the ring before Jackson did. In a close fight that might have been scored either way, Nelson (19-1-1, 11
KOs) decisioned Nelson (13-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 98-92.
Before that, in an eight-round super welterweight match, Mexican Michael Medina (26-3-2, 19 KOs) scored a lopsided decision victory over North Carolinian James Winchester (15-5, 5 KOs). All three judges had the match 80-70 for Medina.
The evening began with an eight-round, unanimous-decision victory for California welterweight Wale Omotoso (23-0, 19 KOs) over Puerto Rican Daniel Sostre (11-7-1, 4 KOs).
Opening bell rang on a sparsely populated Thomas & Mack Center at 3:17 PM local time.
LAS VEGAS (September 15, 2012) – Contrary to some erroneous reports circulated yesterday that World Boxing Association World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs) had agreed to an 18-month contract extension with Top Rank, the two-time Olympic gold medalist will become a promotional free agent after his fight tonight against Robert Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs), on the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. HBO Pay-Per-View event, at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“I met with Bob Arum on Thursday and he increased his earlier proposal considerably, but ‘Rigo has not signed a promotional deal with Top Rank or any other promoter for that matter,” Rigondeaux’ manager Gary Hyde explained. “I am waiting for Top Rank to send its proposal to my attorney, Patrick English, and then I will consider it. We have two other lucrative offers and will decide which promoter we will sign with after thoroughly reviewing each all proposal. Tonight’s fight against Robert Marroquin will be Rigondeaux’ final fight for Top Rank as his promotional contract expires after tonight’s one-fight deal.”
Atty. English sent the following email to Top Rank’s attorney last night:
Earlier today I send an e mail inviting a written proposal for review. I have now read two articles quoting Bob Arum to the effect that Mr. Rigondeaux will remain with Top Rank. Those statements seem to be offered as fact and not opinion. Let me make this clear. Any offer must be placed in writing and will be considered. However, it is not accurate to suggest that any new contract is in any way a fait accompli and Bob should be so advised. The sole commitment made is to consider any written proposal.”
By Bart Barry
LAS VEGAS – The weekend’s first upset happened Friday, and it wasn’t by way of a punch at Thomas & Mack Center. In what may turn out to be the greatest surprise of Martinez-Chavez, barring of course an early stoppage, Argentine Sergio Martinez outweighed Mexican Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Friday afternoon at Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore Theater. But if either man was surprised, neither showed it.
Martinez, considered by most to be a small middleweight champion, and Chavez, considered by all to be an enormous middleweight titlist, shared a one-pound disparity on the scale: Martinez made 159, and Chavez made 158.
“He said it’s going to be a war,” Martinez said immediately after a talkative stare-down with Chavez that followed both making weight for their middleweight world championship match. “I want a war.”
Martinez, known as much for his cool demeanor and handsome countenance as his jazzy southpaw style, appeared uncharacteristically anxious Friday afternoon. Dressed in a black sweatsuit and dark shades, Martinez preceded Chavez to the stage and the scale and made a show of rallying a small Argentinean contingent waiving robin’s-egg-blue and white flags, stage left.
“He said that he is going to rip my head off,” said Chavez, when asked what words Martinez spoke to him after he climbed off the scale. Then Chavez, easily the cooler character Friday, laughed and shrugged.
While Saturday’s match for the lineal middleweight championship of the world – along with belts from The Ring, WBC and surely a few others – will be the biggest fight of both men’s careers, Chavez shows the demeanor of a man who knows other superfights will inevitably follow. Martinez, about whom the same cannot be said, appears to be channeling some of his handlers’ nervousness.
Part of what led to onlookers’ general surprise at Friday’s weighin, and specifically Chavez’s coming-in two pounds under the middleweight limit, were reports of undertraining by the Mexican champion. Numerous sources reported Chavez had skipped scheduled sessions with trainer Freddie Roach during his camp, preferring to work-out at home instead.
But Chavez’s promoter, Top Rank, expressed no concern. Chavez made weight easily, and apparently needs little instruction in how to cut-off a prizefighting ring, as he is expected to have to do against Martinez on Saturday.
Early Friday afternoon, one last thread of controversy was stitched in the Martinez-Chavez tapestry: Trainer Nazim Richardson will attend the wrapping of Chavez’s hands in behalf of the Martinez camp, Saturday. Richardson, of course, was the man who caught a hardening substance on the wraps of Antonio Margarito before the Mexican champion’s 2009 match with Shane Mosley.
Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer said on Friday that while he’ll be at both of Saturday’s fight cards – Martinez-Chavez, and Saul Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez a few blocks away at MGM Grand Garden Arena – the main event he’ll be attending is Chavez-Martinez, as Kizer anticipates potential prefight controversy at Thomas & Mack Center.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. 158 – Sergio Martinez 159
Rocky Martinez 129 – Miguel Beltran Jr. 131
Gulliermo Rigondeaux 122 – Robert Marroquin 122
BETHLEHEM, PA – Just because the key players of next week’s nationally televised NBC Sports Network Fight Night triple header inBethlehem, PA are locked away for their final preparations before their own fights, it doesn’t mean they aren’t looking forward to the two monster fights scheduled for this weekend – just like the rest of us.
For certain, all eyes will be on both the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sergio Martinez and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vs. Josesito Lopez world championship fights this Saturday night. So how does the crew on the Bethlehem card see these fights going down?
WHO WILL WIN THE JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR. vs. SERGIO MARTINEZ FIGHT?
Gabriel Rosado: CHAVEZ by KO
“I actually got Chavez winning that fight, probably stopping Martinez. I think Chavez is really coming along. 24/7 makes him out to be lazy, but I think they just do that for ratings. For him to be as big and strong and cut-up like he is, you don’t get that being lazy. Chavez is a legit middleweight now and Martinez is probably slowing down a little bit. In his last couple fights he didn’t really fight guys that were as strong as Chavez, and he didn’t dominate those fights until the later rounds. So I think the pressure Chavez is going to apply and the body punches are probably going to break Martinez down.”
Charles Whittaker: MARTINEZ by DECISION
“It’s going to be a very good fight. I like Martinez. He came up the hard-knocks way. He took his bumps along the path, and it took him a long time. He showed his desire and determination. He got there late in his career, and cannot be underestimated. In a lot of ways, Martinez is more a man now than Chavez. I think Chavez is a better fighter than he’s gotten credit for, but I like Martinez because he has the better skills. He has the ability to move his feet and keep punching. He’s very busy.”
Billy Briscoe (Trainer of Gabriel Rosado): CHAVEZ by KO
“I’m leaning toward Chavez. He’s a big guy. His size and his body punching is going to break Martinez down. And if you look at Martinez, he’s starting to look old. He’s got crow’s feet and everything else.”
Ronald Cruz: MARTINEZ by DECISION
“Chavez looks really strong, but he’s a little wild. He’s really not a technical fighter, he just a pressure fighter. He comes forward, sort of like his Dad did. But he looks strong and looks like he can put a lot of pressure on Martinez. But Martinez can maybe outbox him. I think in the later rounds the pressure will give Martinez some problems, even though I think Martinez will come up with the win, but not look very good toward the end of the fight. He’ll win the decision, but barely.”
Antwone Smith: CHAVEZ by KO
“I think Chavez. I think if he catches Martinez early, he can take care of him. He’s a big dude.”
Indio Rodriguez (Trainer of Ronald Cruz): CHAVEZ WILL WIN
“My personal opinion is that it can go both ways, but I think the way Chavez came in for his last fight (against Andy Lee), means he can beat Martinez. Martinez did not look good in his last fight. But Martinez proved that he can end a fight with one punch. But when you pressure him, he doesn’t know what to do. So if Chavez can make him go backwards, Martinez will be in a little bit of trouble. ”
Sergey Kovalev: MARTINEZ WILL WIN
“It’s very hard to say. In boxing, anything can happen. But I favor Martinez because he has very strong boxing legs. We have a saying in Russia that goes, ‘the legs feed the wolf’. If a wolf has strong legs, he eats well. It’s the same thing in boxing. Martinez has the strong legs, so I’m going with Martinez.”
Lionell Thompson: MARTINEZ by KO
“I got Martinez winning hands down. Chavez is not really what people think he is. In my opinion, he’s been babied, and pampered because of who his father is. Who has he fought? All you have to do is outbox him. Martinez is a very mentally strong fighter. He boxes, he doesn’t get tired, and he throws punches in bunches. And that’s the blueprint you need to beat Chavez. He can eat him up all night. I actually got Martinez stopping Chavez in the later rounds. He gets tired because he has a hard time making weight. If the right Martinez shows up, I got him stopping Chavez, or winning a 12-0 decision.”
TOTALS: 4-4 EVEN
WHO WILL WIN THE SAUL “CANELO” ALVAREZ vs. JOSESITO LOPEZ FIGHT?
Gabriel Rosado: ALVAREZ by DECISION
“I like Josesito Lopez. He’s got a lot of heart. But I think the size is just too much. If he did it gradually it might be more natural. But this being his first time at 154, he’s not going to be a strong guy. I think Canelo is just going to overpower him. Canelo should stop him, but Josesito has a lot of heart. So I can see him making it through.”
Charles Whittaker: ALVAREZ by KO
“You have to like Canelo. Now you can’t underestimate a guy like Lopez because he’s coming off a fight he wasn’t supposed to win, but I like Canelo. I think it becomes a grind down fight and I like Canelo. I like Canelo all day.”
Billy Briscoe (Trainer of Gabriel Rosado): ALVAREZ by KO
“I think Canelo is just going to be too big for him. Josesito is really a 140 pounder. Later on in the fight, the size and the pressure of the bigger man will break him down. Maybe 10th, 11th round.”
Ronald Cruz: ALVAREZ by DECISION
“I don’t see Lopez coming up two weight classes and beating a stronger fighter like that. Lopez has a lot of heart. So he’ll probably finish the fight, but who know? Canelo is pretty strong, so he might stop him, but I think Lopez will make it to the end.”
Antwone Smith: ALVAREZ by KO
“I think Canelo should win easy, but Josesito will be in there for a little bit.”
Indio Rodriguez (Trainer of Ronald Cruz): ALVAREZ by KO
“Canelo Alvarez is going to kill Josesito Lopez. There’s no doubt about it, because Joseito Lopez, that’s not his weight. Josesito Lopez should have nothing to do with Canelo Alvarez. I don’t like that match.”
Sergey Kovalev: NO PICK
“I really don’t follow anybody else’s career, and I’m not a big expert with a prediction.”
Lionell Thompson: LOPEZ by DECISION
“That’s a toss-up. That’s going to be a good fight. I can’t wait to see that fight. They are both tough, and they both levy punches with murder on them. Lopez is coming off that Ortiz win, and Canelo has got a lot on his hands. But Canelo is tough. It comes down to who has the better conditioning. I’m going to go with Lopez.”
TOTALS: 6-1-1 for ALVAREZ
ABOUT SEPTEMBER 21
The Smith-Cruz, Kovalev-Thompson and Whittaker-Rosado fights top a seven-bout card at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. First fight is 7.15 pm (ET). Tickets priced at $80 and $55 can be purchased through the offices of Peltz Boxing (215-765-0922), all Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) or at the box office at the Sands Event Center (610-297-7414). Tickets also can be purchased online at www.peltzboxing.com, www.SandsEventCenter.com and www.Ticketmaster.com. Luxury suite tickets at $130 apiece also are available. In Bethlehem, tickets are available at Deja Brew, Inc., 101 West 4th Street (610-865-2739) and at Pronto Insurance Notary, 232 East 3rd Street (610-419-6790).
NBC Sports Network will televise the Cruz-Smith, Kovalev-Thompson and Rosado-Whittaker fights, beginning at 9 pm (ET).
The card is being promoted by Main Events and Peltz Boxing Promotions, Inc., in association with the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
NBC SPORTS NETWORK FIGHT NIGHT SCHEDULE (All Times ET)
Friday, September 21, 9-11pm – Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem
Saturday, December 8, 9-11 pm – Site TBA
To find the location of the NBC Sports Network on your local cable, satellite or IPTV provider, click here:http://www.nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/30092015/ns/sports/
Tweet the link to NBC Sports Network Fight Night channel finder: bit.ly/175UuU
Twitter: @main_events @NBCSN
By Norm Frauenheim
LAS VEGAS – News conferences came like a one-two punch Wednesday and Thursday for dueling promotions Saturday night featuring Sergio Martinez-versus-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at Thomas & Mack Center and Canelo Alvarez-Josesito Lopez at the MGM Grand.
It’s been a rhetorical food fight, boxing’s version of Republicans and Democrats after back-to-back conventions. First, it’s Top Rank to the bully pulpit. Then, it’s Golden Boy’s turn. It’s Home Box Office- versus-Showtime. Ego-against-ego. An insult-fest. But should it be?
After widespread criticism for scheduling two major cards on the same night and amid all the ongoing negativity, there’s a chance at some numbers that might put a surprising spin on the business. Attendance at each could provide a powerful counter to an epitaph so often repeated, yet never proven.
If boxing is really dying, then a lot of people – maybe more than 30,000 at two venues within a couple miles of each other – have yet to hear the news.
There’s plenty of debate about box-office numbers promised by Golden Boy for Alvarez-Lopez in a 154-pound bout televised by Showtime. Golden Boy President Oscar De La Hoya said Thursday at the Canelo-Lopez news conference that 13,000 tickets had been sold.
“We are expecting a sellout,’’ De La Hoya said of a weekend celebrating Mexican Independence.
Top Rank doesn’t believe it. On the surprise meter, that ranks somewhere between zero and yawn. If the situation was reversed – and it will be one day, Golden Boy wouldn’t believe it either. Remember, Republicans and Democrats trust each other more than Top Rank and Golden Boy do.
For Martinez-Chavez, Jr., in a HBO pay-per-view bout for the middleweight title, Top Rank already has a sellout, 19,186, a boxing record at Thomas & Mack. Even if a sellout is announced for Alvarez-Lopez, there will be suggestions that Golden Boy gave away tickets to get there.
As of Thursday, it wasn’t clear what number Golden Boy needed for a sellout. Seating capacity at The MGM Grand Garden Arena has been 14,800. But Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said 2,000 seats can be added before Saturday’s opening bell. If there’s time to construct the addition and the seats are filled, the crowd would be announced at 16,800. Add the Thomas & Mack sellout, and the total would be 35,186.
“That would tell you a lot about the sport,’’ Schaefer said.
With apologies to Mark Twain, t would tell you that all those dire warnings of imminent death are greatly exaggerated.
It might also tell you what could happen if Golden Boy and Top Rank made peace and did business together. But that’s another story, if not a miracle. It didn’t sound as if peace were even a remote possibility Thursday. The irony is that the fighters were the diplomats. Canelo and Lopez praised each other. The only real trash talk came from Keith Kizer, the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s executive.
In an apparent reference to the controversy over the judging of Tim Bradley’s decision over Manny Pacquiao in June at the MGM Grand, Kizer seemed to take exception at HBO’s criticism of judges Duane Ford, CJ Ross and Jerry Roth.
“There was another fight here in June, but some of the veterans at ringside that felt badly that night won’t feel so bad this time, because HBO, (Jim) Lampley and (Harold) Lederman won’t be there,’’ Kizer said. “I like the Showtime announcers much better.’’
Kizer’s shot followed one at Showtime from Top Rank’s Bob Arum.
“Half the people who’ve got Showtime don’t know they have it,’’ Arum said.
Shot, counter-shot. The beat goes on.
But if predictions are fulfilled and the numbers add up Saturday night, there won’t be an argument about whether the business still has a heartbeat.
By Norm Frauenheim
LAS VEGAS – There was a time when the son couldn’t mention his father’s name. It was too painful. Legends don’t die. But dads do.
It was 2010. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. watched substance-abuse wash away the immortality that Mexicans have attached to his famous dad, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
“I kept thinking this guy is going to die,’’ Chavez Jr. said Wednesday to handful of reporters after a formal news conference for his middleweight title fight Saturday night against Sergio Martinez at Thomas & Mack Center. “He’s going to die. I got used to thinking about it.’’
Dad changed his son’s mind, but only after the end so feared by his son ominously appeared one day in Tijuana. Julio Sr. said he didn’t feel well. His son recalls that he sought medical help. His father was sedated and then rushed to rehab.
Twenty-six months later, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. sat Wednesday – clean, sober and proud — near his son just days before the family business continues against Martinez in an HBO pay-per-view bout.
“Right now, our relationship is good,’’ said Chavez Jr., about a 2-to-1 underdog in betting odds posted late Wednesday. “It can withstand the disagreements we have.’’
The relationship has healed so much that the son can now often joke about a dad who doesn’t often like to be the intended target of any sort of mockery. Julio Chavez Sr. has been in gym with his son and trainer Freddie Roach. But Chavez says he listens only to Roach. The son is a smart guy. He knows that old lesson about dads, even Hall of Fame Fathers. They don’t belong in their son’s corners.
“Freddie is the last word,’’ Chavez Jr. said. “Sometimes, my dad will run to my corner and say something. I’ll tell him: ‘Work the corner or get the hell out.’ ‘’
Dad always gets the message, Julio Jr. said.
At least, he does now.
A couple of years ago, he wasn’t certain. His father, he says, would come home early in the morning after a night of drinking.
“He would come home, sometimes at 5 a.m. and sometimes on the day I’d fight, sit down and start talking, while I was trying to sleep’’ he said. “He’d just talk and talk, talk for three and four hours.’’
“Not sure,’’ Chavez said. “About everything.’’
In the couple of years since his dad underwent rehab, Julio Jr., once dismissed as a lazy rich kid, began to mature as a fighter under Roach’s steady guidance. His training schedule might be quirky. Roach said he often trains in the early morning hours. Workouts can start at 1 a.m. and end 4 a.m. But the work is serious, Roach said.
In part, Julio Jr. appears to have inherited some his dad’s toughness. There’s the durable chin. There are also the body punches. Both made a Hall of Famer out of his stubborn dad.
“That’s why I feel sorry for Sergio Martinez,’’ Bob Arum, Julio Jr.’s promoter, said Wednesday during the news conference. “He’s going to take body shots like he’s never felt before.’’
But there can also be dangers in what a son inherits from his dad. For Julio Jr., it is a lifestyle that put his dad in rehab. A warning sign was there in January when The Ring’s Lem Satterfield reported that Julio Jr. was charged with DUI within a couple of weeks of his victory over Marco Antonio Rubio.
It was a lesson then.
It’s a lesson now, especially for a family business that needs to remember them if it hopes to fight on.
FOR THE RECORD, JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ JR. vs. SERGIO MARTÍNEZ WORLD MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP IS OFFICIALLY SOLD OUT!
Chávez Jr. vs. Martínez To Become
Thomas & Mack Center’s
Highest-Attended Boxing Event
LAS VEGAS, NEV. (September 11, 2012) – This week’s Méxican Independence Day weekend World Middleweight Championship event between undefeated World Boxing Council (WBC) middleweight champion and Son of the Legend, JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ JR. (46-0-1, 32 KOs), of Culiacán, México, and two-division world champion and pound for pound kingpin with the matinee idol looks, SERGIO “Maravilla” MARTÍNEZ (49-2-2, 28 KOs), of Quilmes, Buenos Aires, Argentina, sold its last remaining tickets today at 1:58 p.m. PT. Chávez Jr. vs. Martínez will become the highest-attended boxing event in the history of the Thomas & Mack Center with 19,186 seats, eclipsing the Lennox Lewis vs. Evander Holyfield heavyweight championship rematch, which previously held the record with 19,151.
“Viva Chávez and Martínez,” said Hall of Fame promoter Bob Arum. “The last two tickets were purchased just before 2 p.m. PT and our sellout has produced a paid gate of over $3 million. How appropriate that on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Julio César Chávez vs. Hector Camacho, the Thomas & Mack’s fourth highest-attended event [17,972], which took place on September 12, 1992, that Julio César Chávez, Jr. surpass his father’s record in an epic fight of his own. Father and son will be forever linked as two of the highest-attended paid boxing events in the building’s history. Naturally, the live pay-per-view telecast will be available to all cable and satellite TV systems in the Las Vegas area.”
“This is a celebration about everything that is great about boxing,” said promoter Lou DiBella. “This is obviously a fight that everyone wanted to see and thanks to Sergio and Julio everyone will have the opportunity to see — live on pay-per-view. I strongly recommend that boxing fans in the Las Vegas area buy their tickets to the closed circuit screenings at Wynn Las Vegas now before they sell out too.”
Promoted by Top Rank®, Zanfer Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, in association with Wynn Las Vegas, AT&T and Tecate, the Chávez Jr. vs. Martínez Middleweight Championship Event will take place Saturday, September 15, Méxican Independence Day Weekend, at the Thomas & Mack Center, on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. It will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®, beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT.
Remaining tickets to the Wynn Las Vegas closed circuit presentation are priced at $70 for reserved seating in the intimate Encore Theater and $50 for general admission in the Lafite Ballroom at Wynn. Tickets are inclusive of applicable taxes and fees and can be purchased by calling (702) 770-7118, through the website wynnlasvegas.com or by visiting the Wynn Ticket Office (Friday-Tuesday: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. PT / Wednesday-Thursday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. PT) or the Wynn Concierge (Daily: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. PT.)
The Chávez Jr. vs. Martínez world championship telecast, which begins at 9:00 p.m. ET / 6:00 p.m. PT, will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View and will be available to more than 92 million pay-per-view homes. HBO Pay-Per-View, a division of Home Box Office, Inc., is the leading supplier of event programming to the pay-per-view industry. Follow HBO Boxing news at www.hbo.com and at www.facebook.com/hboboxing. Use the hashtag #ChavezMartinez to join the conversation on Twitter. For Chávez Jr. vs. Martínez updates log on to www.toprank.com, www.dbe1.com or www.hbo.com.
MIAMI (September 11, 2012) — World Boxing Association Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux is expected to defend his title this Saturday evening against Robert Marroquin (22-1, 15 KOs), on the Sergio Martinez-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. HBO Pay-Per-View event, live from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A Circuit Court in Miami ruled on August 21 to enjoin Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs) from engaging in any bout not approved by his manager, Gary Hyde, and also enjoined Rigondeaux from participating in this Saturday’s scheduled show promoted Top Rank.
Last night, however, Hyde and Top Rank reached a resolution to allow the Rigondeaux-Marroquin title fight to go forward, and the Nevada State Athletic Commission was informed this morning.
“Thanks to my attorneys, Patrick English and Bill Brown, we have negotiated a far superior deal to fight Robert Marroquin on September 15th,” said Hyde, who has managed Rigondeaux since the two-time Olympic gold medalist defected from Cuba in 2007. “‘Rigo doesn’t get involved or side tracked by legal dramas. He has promised me that he is at his all-time best and that he will KO Marroquin.”