A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
A ‘Bad’ Rematch
NEW YORK — There is going to be a wonderful doubleheader that will be televised on HBO’s famed “Boxing After Dark” telecast. Saturday, June 27 is the date.
The Staples Center in Los Angeles will be the place when Victor Ortiz (24-1-19 KOs) battles Marcos Maidana (25-1, 24 KOs) in the main event. The co-featured attraction features a rematch between WBA featherweight champion Chris John and Rocky Juarez.
Ortiz, a 22 year-old southpaw, brings a lot of power and excitement to the ring every time. He has stopped his last eight opponents. Ortiz will challenge Maidana, another powerhouse, for the interim WBA junior welterweight championship.
Maidana is coming off the first loss of his career, a 12-round split decision loss to WBA lightweight champion Andriy Kotlink in February.
“I hope everyone is up for a great show, because we are both in great condition and this is going to be a good fight,” Ortiz said. “We’re going to have some fun in the ring. We’re going to dance with the devil a little.”
Prior to losing to Kotlink, Maidana had knocked out fifteen consecutive opponents. Maidana has ten career-first round KOs.
“I know my opponent is good and people are going to enjoy this fight,” Maidana, 25, Argentina, said. “But, in the end I know I will win.”
WBA 126-pound champion Chris John (42-0-2, 22 KOs) carries his unbeaten record into a rematch with Rocky Juarez (28-4-1, 20 KOs), a former 2000 Olympic Silver medalist. It will mark John’s 12th defense of his world championship.
It will not be an easy fight, as Juarez has promised to make good on winning his sixth attempt to win a world title. The last time John and Juarez fought on the same show when Juan Manuel Marquez’ scintillating knockout of Juan Diaz in February. Juarez was the hometown favorite in Houston.
Juarez gave John all he could handle for 12 rounds, but came up short on the judges scorecards losing a unanimous draw. All three judges scored the bout 114-114 even.
“On June 27th, I promise you will all see a different Chris John,” the champion said. “I will win this fight and I will keep my championship belt.”
Juarez, naturally, disagrees.
” When Chris John and I fought on February 28th it ended in a draw,” Juarez said. “It was a good, tough fight and Chris John is tough fighter. You are going to see a new Rocky Juarez on June 27th. There is going to be a new World Champion.”
Chagaev-Valuev rematch cancellation a low-blow
The surprise cancellation of one of the most anticipated rematches in recent heavyweight memory was a punch below the beltline. Hours before Ruslan Chagaev (25-0, 17 KOs) and Nikolai Valuev (50-1, 34KOs) were set to answer the question as to who was the real WBA heavyweight champion on May 30, in Finland; there was a discrepancy over Chagaev’s health.
Under Finnish law, a person’s medical records are private and should not be disclosed. However, Chagaev, who in 2007 was diagnosed with having hepatitis B, an inflation of tissue cells in the liver, apparently failed a blood test.
Chagaev, along with his personal physician Dr. Michael Ehnert, Universum Boxing promoter Klaus Peter Kohl, and independent physician Dr. Heiner Wedemeyer held a press conference in Hamburg, Germany on Monday to address the issues relating to Chagaev’s health and the cancellation of the fight.
” Ruslan Chagaev is completely healthy after the sifting of the documents,” Dr. Wedemeyer said to the press. “Mr. Chagaev has a completely normal liver achievement and is not as illto regard, he is only carrier of the hepatitis b of antigen.”
Dr. Ehnert (Chagaev’s physician) added that Chagaev’s blood levels carrying the Hepatitis remained the same.
” These values of Ruslan Chagaev are in the last years alwaysequivalent remained, so among other things in the fight 2007 under sour land supervision against Nikolai Valuev,” Dr. Ehnert said. ” The results from Finland do not differ from those from Germany.”
The news shocked the boxing world and added to the growing confusion the WBA appears to be unable to sort out. In the last two years, the WBA heavyweight championship has been shared between both Chagaev (champion in recess) and Valuev (interim champion) even though Chagaev out-pointed the 7-foot-3, 325-pound giant to claim the belt over two years ago.
Injuries and health issues has led to three postponements of the fight. Also, fighters like John Ruiz, Evander Holyfield filed protests against the WBA believing they were robbed of controversial decision losses to Valuev and are in line for rematches.
Also, Matt Skelton and Carl Davis Drummond were undeservedly awarded title shots against Chagaev. His promoter Klaus Peter Kohl added: ” Valuev is thelargest and heaviest Schwergewichtler of the world and is the largest and heaviestcoward of the world.”
Adamek defends cruiserweight title in July
IBF cruiserweight champion Tomasz Adamek may not have received his wish to fight Bernard Hopkins on July 11, at the Prudential Center. However, the boxing community can mark that date down on their calendar and make arrangements to be in Newark because, Adamek will be in action.
Making the second defense of the IBF 200-pound title he won in an exciting 12-round affair with Steve Cunningham, Adamek (37-1, 25 KOs) has signed to meet local favorite Bobby “The Celtic Warrior” Gunn (21-3, 18 KOs) of Hackensack, NJ.
“I love performing in front of my fans at Prudential Center in Newark,” Adamek said in a statement. “I can’t wait to get back there in July and give them another good show.”
Adamek really wanted to fight Hopkins, the former world middleweight champion of 10 years with 20 consecutive defenses and light-heavyweight contender. The fight didn’t materialize because one of the reasons was the money offered to Adamek. There was talk of Golden Boy Promotions offering Ademek and his handlers at Main Events a flat fee of $500,000 for the fight.
Remember, Adamek is the house fighter and has proven to sellout the Prudential Center in his last two bouts against Cunningham and a spectacular KO of Jonathan Banks in February. Adamek’s IBF title would have also been on the line and there would have been interest from TV networks to air the fight live.
Without Hopkins, however, the show must go on and Gunn is excited about his opportunity.
“I’m over the moon,” Gunn said. “I’m going to make everyone proud of me. Just wait and see. I am so excited.”
Tickets for Adamek-Gunn start at a mere $38 with ringside seats beginning at $253. There will also be a Fan Festival outside the Prudential Center and there will be lots of food and music for all to enjoy.
For more information, contact the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ at (800) 745-3000 or www.Prucenter.com
Berto retains welterweight title, Cintron is back
WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto successfully defended his title for the third time. Berto(25-0, 19 KOs) , who for the third consecutive bout, won a twelve round unanimous decision over IBF junior welterweight champ, Juan Urango (21-2-1, 16 KOs).
The judges scored the bout 118-110 (twice) and 117-111 for Berto.
The bout was the featured main event attraction of HBO’s Boxing After Dark telecast at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida this past Saturday.
Watching Berto work was like watching an artist complete a beautiful piece. Whenever Urango attacked, Berto relied heavily on moving and countering effectively.
Urango simply couldn’t make Berto fight uncomfortably. Berto was in rhythm from start to finish, as the judges scored the bout a near shutout for the world 147-pound champion.
In the co-feature: Former two-time welterweight champion Kermit Cintron (31-2-1, 27 KOs) became the WBC 154-pound No. 1 contender following a 12-round unanimous decision against previously unbeaten Alfredo Angulo (15-1, 12 KOs).
Cintron, best recognized for his two KO defeats to Antonio Margarito, landed the cleaner punches and often surprised Angulo with his power. Angulo didn’t faze Cintron until the final round when the former world champion was stunned.
Angulo couldn’t finish, as Cintron boxed a very good fight and deserved to win the decision. All the judges scored the contest 116-112.