Donaire to move up in weight if he doesn’t get Rigondeaux or Mares in March or April

donaire2334By Rob Smith: WBO super bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire (31-1, 20 KO’s) will be fighting in March or April, 2013, and he wants to unify the 122 pound titles in fights against WBA World super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux or Abner Mares.

The Mares fight is something that will have to wait for a little while longer, however, because Donaire’s promoter Bob Arum is reportedly interested in matching Donaire with Rigondeaux in an in house Top Rank fight.

It makes a lot of sense for Arum to do this because it’s not a difficult fight to put together like it would be if he tried matching Donaire with the Golden Boy promoted Abner Mares, and Rigondeaux has been asking for the Donaire fight for a long time. At least this way Arum will give Rigondeaux what he wants while at the same time giving boxing fans a good fight.

Donaire said to Philstar.com “That’s [Donaire-Rigondeaux] the fight I want to happen, but I know not to wait for anyone. If they can’t make the fight happen, then I’ll move up in weight [to featherweight].”

Donaire has been saying recently that it could be difficult to set up a fight with Rigondeaux because of what the Cuban fighter might ask for in terms of money for the fight. It doesn’t look like Donaire is going to be patient with Rigondeaux like he was with the much more popular – and far less dangerous – Jorge Arce.

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Khan to fight in April; thinks he’ll be fighting for title

By Michael Collins: Amir Khan says he’ll be fighting in April in a title fight against one of the world champions at 140. Which champion is still unknown, but he thinks he’s going to be facing one them and he plans on then taking on WBA/WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia after that with the belt that he wins in his April bout.

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Khan: I was beating Danny Garcia easier than I was Carlos Molina

khan5634By Michael Collins: Amir Khan (27-3, 19 KO’s) still is under the impression that he lost to WBC light welterweight champion Danny Garcia last July by getting hurt by a lucky punch thrown by the 24-year-old Garcia. Khan thinks he would have continued to dominate him like he’d done in the first two rounds had he not got hit by that big left hook shot that connected to his neck in the 3rd round.

Khan is now saying that he was having more problems with his last opponent 5’6” lightweight Carlos Molina than he was with Garcia.

Khan said to sportinglife.com “I was beating (Garcia) convincingly and then got caught with a shot. I think I was beating him more easily for the first two or three rounds than I was Molina…I got caught with a shot that I shouldn’t have been caught by.”

Khan was dominating Garcia pretty easily in the 1st round, but in the 2nd round, Khan began to get hit with some hard left hooks from Garcia, and you could tell that Khan was going to have problems in this fight unless he got to Garcia to take him out. Garcia was hitting Khan a lot more regularly than Khan’s other opponents Marcos Maidana and Lamont Peterson early.

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Can Amir Khan make it back to the top?

By Jacob Roberts: Last Saturday Amir Khan gained his first win for nearly 18 months with a TKO victory against overmatched Carlos Molina. It was a must win fight for Khan, who’s reputation was in tatters after successive defeats in the last year. Forced into a rebuilding process, he is now remoulding his style with the help of new trainer Virgil Hunter.

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“Fast” Eddie Chambers graciously accepts Denis Lebedev’s post-fight challenge

chambers54353By Joseph Herron – On December 17th, at the Crocus City Hall in Myakinino, Russia, WBA Cruiserweight Champion Denis Lebedev (25-1, 19 KOs) impressively dispatched Santander Silgado in just four rounds, giving the fight fans in attendance a devastating knock-out of the year candidate to remember.

After the successful title defense, the hard punching Russian fighter precariously issued a post-fight challenge to perennial Heavyweight contender turned Cruiserweight pugilist, “Fast” Eddie Chambers (36-3, 18 KOs).

The versatile Philly based fighter recently appeared on this week’s edition of “The Pugilist KOrner’s: Weekend Wrap” to graciously accept Mr. Lebedev’s proposal.

“The idea of competing for the WBA Cruiserweight Championship in my first bout within this talented division sounds awesome,” admits Eddie Chambers. “I didn’t think most Cruisers would want to give me the opportunity right away, but I guess my body of work in the Heavyweight division precedes me.”

Although the 30 year old fight veteran is a little surprised about being targeted by a current title holder, “Fast” Eddie can see why a hungry and driven fighter like Denis Lebedev would pursue a former Heavyweight title challenger.

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Today’s Heavyweights: Breaking Down The Best Young Guns In The U.S – Wilder, Jennings, Arreola, Hanks, Scott, Banks, Mitchell, Hamer

004WildervsPriceIMG_4870By James Slater, pohoto by Tom Casino/Showtime – Astonishingly, America has not been able to lay claim to even a portion of the heavyweight championship of the world for over half a decade. For not since Shannon Briggs lost his WBO title to Sultan Ibragimov in early 2007 has America – once the superpower of heavyweight boxing – held a major crown in the sport’s one-time glamour weight class.

Today, at the end of what has been an eventful 2012 for the young guns that might, just might be able to regain the prestigious championship, there are a handful of talented, hard working big men who, both individually and as a group of contenders, aim to bring the titles back home. At one point, for a good year or so, former linebacker turned heavyweight contender Seth Mitchell was looked at as the top dog, yet this young heavyweight was recently blasted out inside a couple of wild rounds by experienced Klitschko sparring partner and former cruiserweight title challenger Johnathon Banks.

Mitchell and Banks will meet again in February, but most good judges feel former Emanuel Steward-coached Banks, no slouch of a fighter, will repeat the win. But as dangerous and as durable as Banks is (unbeaten as a heavy, beaten just once as a cruiser), the former Kronk pupil will not be the man to end the reign of the mighty Klitschkos. Banks has more or less said he will not even try to land a fight with either sibling; so close to them is he (even adopting the role of head trainer for Wladimir, since the sad passing of Steward). Banks prefers a shot at “regular” WBA boss Alexander Povetkin. If he can topple the unbeaten Russian, Banks will no doubt get a hero’s welcome in the U.S, even if he will only have won a dubious at best version of the world title (everyone knows Wladimir is the REAL WBA champ).

So which of the other young (or youngish) and unbeaten (or close to it) U.S heavies are worth investing hope on when it comes to achieving world domination?

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The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 6: Perspective from Tarick Salmaci

The Legacy of Emanuel Steward Part 6: Perspective from Tarick Salmaci

“So his selflessness—that’s what I’ll remember most is his selflessness. I remember that most, and he always made us feel like we were something, and we always wanted to impress him as kids.”—Tarick Salmaci

Exclusive Interview by Geoffrey Ciani – This is Part Six of an ongoing series dedicated to the memory and legacy of an remarkable individual, Emanuel Steward, whose contributions to the world of boxing are simply extraordinary. In this installment, former Kronk fighter Tarick Salmaci shares his views and some of his unique experiences growing up in the Kronk Gym throughout his childhood. Here is a complete transcript of my discussion with Tarick:

GEOFFREY CIANI: Tarick, it was a big loss for the boxing world, especially the Kronk community, when we lost an exceptional individual when Emanuel Steward passed away. As someone who had the opportunity to work with Emanuel, what are your personal views on his personal impact on the world of boxing?

TARICK SALMACI: Good question. I think he’ll always be a part of boxing. He’s part of the game. He’ll always be part of the game. He helped make boxing what it is as far as training world champions, being involved in all these mega fights he was involved in throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, and current. It’s just when it comes to boxing he’s a legend. That’s a given right there.

CIANI: Can you tell the fans out there a little bit about what it was like the first time that you worked with Emanuel?

SALMACI: Let me start by saying that Emanuel, I mean I first met him when I was 11 years old. So I kind of grew up around Emanuel, and from the first time meeting him as a kid he always made you feel important. You know what I mean? That’s one thing he always did, and I noticed that as a kid. He made us feel important, and we always tried to impress him. I mean we were like 11 and 12 years old, here we are, kids from the ghetto, and this man would take us. We were young kids! And with Emanuel this was like the 80s. So he was already on top of his game. He would pick us up and take us to the most expensive restaurant in Detroit. There was a steakhouse called “Carl’s Chop House”, and he’d take about 14 or 15 of us there randomly. Every month, every couple of months, he would take us all there to experience something we never experienced before.

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Nigeria’s Isaac Ekpo demands James DeGale clash

Ekpo being decorated as new WBO AFrica Super Middleweight kingBy Prince Dornu-Leiku: Fresh from winning the Interim WBO Africa Super Middleweight belt, Nigerian pugilist, Isaac Ekpo has declared his readiness to take on the very best Super Middleweights in world boxing beginning with Briton James DeGale, against whom he is demanding an immediate match-up.

Ekpo, nicknamed ‘Grenade’ claimed the vacant WBO title courtesy a round 2 knockout victory over Algerian Said Mada Hamou at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos Nigeria on December 2.

In fact, Nigerian fight fans enthusiastic to see mostly Ghana-based Ekpo who was fighting in the homeland for the first time in over a year and half, were highly disappointed at the short duration of the fight. Opponent, Hamou appeared to have a good start but after two minutes of the first round, Ekpo delivered quality shots and blows that soon had the Algerian dazed. In the event, the second round lasted just 20 seconds when Hamou couldn’t continue any longer.

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Team Oquendo Wants a Showdown with Magomed Abdusalamov

Oquendo WBC Convention Cancunby Pavel Yakovlev, photo: Carlos Baeza – Fres Oquendo is ready for action, and his team is eyeing a showdown with power-punching Magomed Abdusalamov. Recently, Sampson Lewkowicz – Abdusalamov’s promoter — offered to match his fighter with any contender for “a sum of one dollar.” Oquendo’s manager Tom Tsatas is interested. “We accept, but because both guys are so high in the ratings, we want to make it an eliminator for the WBC’s #2 spot,” said Tsatas. “The winner will be in line for a title fight.”

Oquendo definitely wants the bout. “If they can make this fight, it will be a great Christmas gift for me,” he said. “I’ve seen Mago. He’s very strong. He has devastating power. He’s good, but I’m on a higher level. If I beat Mago, my next shot will be against Klitschko.”

In the latest WBC ratings, Oquendo is ranked 12th and Abdusalamov is 10th. Oquendo, a world-rated heavyweight for most of the past decade, has fought twice for world championships. He won three fights this year and has a record of 35-7 (23 KO’s). Abdusalamov, whose record is 16-0 (16 KO’s), is a former two time Russian amateur champion. The 31-year-old Dagestani is known for his pulverizing power: ten of his KO’s have come in the first round. Recently, Abdusalamov stopped former top contender Jameel McCline in two rounds.

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