The Home Depot Center in Carson, California will be the site of one of the most intriguing clashes of boxing’s summer season, as Argentinean knockout artist Marcos Maidana faces off against Josesito Lopez in a 12 round fight for Maidana’s WBA intercontinental welterweight belt in the main event of a Showtime tripleheader set for Saturday, June 8.
The card will also feature a 12-round junior middleweight showdown between all-action warrior Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo and number one rated WBC super welterweight contender Erislandy Lara. There is also a clash for the vacant WBC super middleweight world title between number one contender Sakio “The Scorpion” Bika and Mexico’s Marco Antonio Periban, the number four rated 168 pounder.
“If you’re a fan of action fights, there is no better card to see than this one on June 8th,” said President of Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya. “All three high-stakes bouts have the potential to be the main event and the winners who walk out of the Home Depot Center with their hands raised will know they’ve been in a fight.”
Stephen Espinoza, General Manager of SHOWTIME Sports added: “Like all of our recent fights, the fight between Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez is a matchup in which there is no clear-cut favorite. You can make a legitimate argument for either fighter. Maidana is one of the most exciting fighters in any division, and he’s facing an opponent, Josesito Lopez, who scored the biggest upset of 2012 and is now back in his most natural weight class.
“Top to bottom, this card is filled with fan-friendly, all-action fights. There is no question that Maidana versus Lopez will be one of the most entertaining, hard-fought matchups of the year, and the Angulo-Lara and Bika-Periban are sure to be hotly contested and action-packed as well.”
On his opponent, Maidana said: “Josesito Lopez is a tough challenge, but I’m ready for everything he will bring to the ring on June 8th. Beating him is the next step to getting a world title shot and I know I’ll get the victory.”
Lopez said: “I fight my best at home, and with the fans in my corner on June 8th, Maidana doesn’t have a chance. He’s going to push me hard from start to finish, but that’s when I truly shine. I promise this will be a great fight for the fans.”
On Lara, Angulo stated: “[He] is one of Cuba’s greatest talents, but I’ll have the California fans on my side and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to win. This is the most important fight of my career and I will perform like it when the bell rings.”
Lara added: “Angulo hits hard and is a tough fighter making this a classic boxer vs. puncher match up. I’m really excited for this fight. Come June 8th, I’m going to put on a boxing display and finally get the ‘W’ over a top fighter that has been taken from me in my past fights.”
Bika thanked Golden Boy: “I’m thankful to Golden Boy Promotions and the WBC for giving me this opportunity and I will make the most of it. Ever since I turned pro, my only goal was to win a world championship and on June 8th, Marco Antonio Periban won’t be able to stop me from getting that belt.”
“I’ve trained hard, I’ve made many sacrifices and I feel that my time is now to become Mexico’s next world champion. Sakio Bika will be my toughest challenge, but I have the skills, determination and heart to beat him. I’ll beat him and become the first Mexican super middleweight world champion and make history for all of Mexico.”
After two years of talking, the wait is almost over and Vanes Martirosyan will finally fight Cuban star Erislandy Lara. Two highly-ranked junior middleweight contenders, Lara and Martirosyan will put everything on the line in a 12 round WBC super welterweight world title elimination fight that will headline the Saturday, November 10 edition of HBO Boxing After Dark at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. from the Lafite Ballroom at Wynn, Las Vegas.
“The fight is almost here and the fans are in for a great night of action,” said the number one rated WBC contender who has wanted to corner the trash-talking Martirosyan in the ring since 2010. “My goal is to punish Vanes in this fight because he’s been talking so much trash. This fight has been a long time in coming and I’m going to make him pay for his disrespect.
“I’m extremely focused and mentally prepared to give fans a great performance on November 10,” continued Lara. “I’ve worked hard my entire life to get into position to fight for a world championship and Martirosyan stands in my way. Like all Cuban fighters, we bring a lot of heart and soul into the ring and this fight will be no different. I’m coming to establish myself as the best super welterweight in the world.
“This fight is dedicated to all those who are suffering and have lost their lives to Hurricane Sandy including the 11 Cubans who were killed by the storm,” continued Lara. “My prayers go out to all of their families. God Bless!”
Oscar de la Hoya said: “I’m excited to see Lara show his skills on November 10th against Martirosyan. This fight has been a long time coming and we’re excited it is finally happening. I have full confidence that Lara will come out victorious and make a statement that he is a force in the 154 pound weight class.”
Lara’s manager Luis DeCubas Jr added: “Lara and Martirosyan are two of the top fighters at 154 pounds. I can guarantee they will put on a great show for everyone watching on HBO. Lara is ready to show the world he’s the best fighter in the division. The winner of this fight will be in a great position and that will be Erislandy Lara!”
A decorated member of the renowned Cuban amateur boxing program, 29-year-old Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11ko) is one of the most respected-and avoided-fighters in the world today.
In 2011, Lara was on the short end of one of boxing’s most controversial decisions in a July 2011 loss against Paul Williams after which all three judges were suspended indefinitely. Undeterred, the slick and powerful southpaw rebounded in 2012 with a 94 second technical knockout win over Ronald Hearns and a ten-round decision victory over Freddy Hernandez.
Now he looks forward to his upcoming November 10 title elimination bout against number two rated WBC super welterweight contender Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20ko), a 26-year-old Californian who is coming off of a third round technical knockout win over Troy Lowry in February.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Victor Ortiz has a durable mandible, according to Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya, who also lauded the former WBC welterweight world champion’s desire to stand and trade. Ortiz clashes with 147lb rival Josesito Lopez on Saturday, June 23 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and de la Hoya enthused the match-up, claiming the contest to be “what boxing is all about” as it pits two young fighters in their prime against each other.
“Victor is a fighter who comes forward and has a great chin,” said de la Hoya, himself a noted prizefighter due to his gold medal achievement at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and his championing of six weight classes as a professional.
Taking Las Vegas as his fighting home, de la Hoya did make one appearance at STAPLES Center, albeit a split decision loss to Shane Mosley in 2000. The Golden Boy returns to the famous California stadium later this evening as an interested representative of Ortiz (29-3-2, 22ko), whom he has booked a lucrative showdown with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez later in the year should Victor triumph over Josesito (29-4-0, 17ko).
“Victor and Josesito are at their peaks,” de la Hoya continued. “They could fight older guys, but this is what boxing is about. I think Victor has what it takes to be the best. If you want to be the best, you have to fight the best. Keeping fan’s’ interest in boxing takes making these types of fights.”
Ortiz is perceived to be the favourite against Lopez. He has been in with the tougher competition and is also a world titlist, having championed the WBC welterweight belt in 2011 due to his storming win over Andre Berto. Regardless of Ortiz’s pedigree, de la Hoya claims Lopez will be highly motivated to “derail the Ortiz express” as it is “Josesito’s opportunity of a lifetime”.
Ortiz’s trainer, Danny Garcia, though, has been preparing and coaching Ortiz to handle Lopez physically as well as mentally. He said: “We are prepared and ready to beat Josesito. He will come 100 percent ready, but we are ready too. I know Josesito’s style. He is always coming forward and throwing punches. Victor is too strong and too fast. He is a much better fighter.”
Words: Tommy Barber – London
Photos: Gene Blevins/Hogan Photos
Ahead of former WBA/IBF super lightweight world champion Amir Khan‘s fifth fight on American canvas, the 25-year-old dubbed King was subjected to a dissident’s protest as Angel Garcia, the father of his July 14 opponent Danny Garcia, brandished him “over-rated“. Garcia recently edged ring legend Erik Morales to claim the vacant WBC championship at 140lbs and makes the first defence of the belt against Amir at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
On a night that Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya believes will “be exciting” and in a match-up that Freddie Roach regards to be “the best fighting the best”, Khan (26-2-0, 18ko) is set to participate in his eighth successive world title bout but does so against an undefeated boxer. Khan, though, regards Garcia (23-0-0, 14ko) to be the one who should be experiencing fear.
“I have seen him fight and he has a dangerous style,” said Khan of his opponent, who has already defeated one fighter from Britain; Ashley Theophane at Don Haskins Convention Center in El Paso, Texas, a little over two years ago. “He is tough,” Khan continued, “but he has never faced anyone like me. I promise this is going to be a good fight… a legendary fight.”
Both fighters could be highly motivated but for alternative reasons. Khan, for instance, is coming off a loss – to Lamont Peterson, whom he relinquished his brace of world titles to in Washington in a 12-round fight not short of controversy in 2011. The last time Khan fought having just been beaten was in 2008, when he demolished Oisin Fagan inside two rounds.
Furthermore, Khan was due to box Peterson in a rematch, but the bout was called off when the latter failed a drug test due to testosterone pellets that were later found to have been inserted inside the armpit as early as the build-up to their first match-up. The disruption to Khan’s fighting schedule may have provided the 2004 Olympic silver medalist with an appetite for destruction.
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old from Philadelphia, Garcia, is slowly leapfrogging significant fighters in the world ranks and is determined to improve with every in-ring appearance he makes. Garcia’s last three opponents include Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt and Morales, all of whom he defeated via points decisions and he is banking on adding Khan’s name to his resume: “I bring blood, sweat and tears. You haven’t seen the best of Danny Garcia.”
Any respect shown proved to be exclusive to the boxers as Garcia’s father, Angel, angered Amir by stating that he “is an overrated fighter”. Khan swiftly riposted: “When I beat your son, am I still going to be overrated? Maybe it’s Danny who is the one who is overrated.”
Danny even acknowledged that he will have to be on top of his game if he is to return to the East Coast with the W on his record, as he labelled Khan “a great fighter”. He added: “When you put two great fighters together, you have to fight your best to get the win. This is a big fight, but every fight is a big fight for me.”
Words: Petra Kirsch – Gelsenkirchen
Photo: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
American pugilist and guaranteed future hall-of-famer Shane Mosley (46-8-1, 39ko) has hung up the gloves at age 40, stating he is proud of his “great career” and that he “loved every minute“. The Californian also went on to explain that the catalyst for his retirement was his desire to “help young boxers, not fight them”. Mosley may have lost on eight occasions, but his victories were outstanding and On The Beak have listed ten of his greatest…
10: Golden Johnson – January, 1999 – Pensacola – IBF lightweight world title defence – 7th Rd KO
As both a lightweight campaigner and then champion, Mosley was fierce, unforgiving and always looking for a highlight reel finish. Not only was he undefeated at the weight, he had incredible speed and fine power. Against Golden, he demonstrated acute body-punching ability and stopped the fight at the end of the seventh round when a deflated Johnson took a knee and refused to get up.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Marvindiggla)
9: John John Molina – May, 1998 – Atlantic City – IBF lightweight world title defence – 8th Rd TKO
Like his triumph over Johnson, Mosley’s dominant victory at Molina’s expense was fought within the confines of the 135lb weight class. Molina was an archetypal tough man from Puerto Rico but Mosley produced a textbook jab, launched exquisite right hands over the top, threw startling combinations and fortified his reputation as a body-puncher whilst standing up to the cracks that Juan – or John John – landed on his chin.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Marvindiggla)
8: Luis Collazo – February, 2007 – Las Vegas – interim WBC welterweight title challenge – 12 Rd UD
At 35-years-old, Mosley demonstrated his ability to fight like a man ten years his junior as he battled closely with Collazo during the opening half of the bout, but pulled away and took complete control in the second half as Collazo’s determination drained. Mosley was too strong, conditioned and too busy and inflicted a more comprehensive defeat onto the welterweight southpaw than British pressure fighter Ricky Hatton did.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Deledero160191)
7: Fernando Vargas II – July, 2007 – Las Vegas – non title junior middleweight fight – 6th Rd TKO
In their 2006 ruckus, Fernando was on point while Mosley was not himself, however, Vargas’ face swelled up to the size of a Nikolai Valuev fist, forcing an unsatisfactory stoppage in the American’s favour. Their duel the next year, though, was markedly different as Sugar Shane slaughtered the popular Oxnard pug with a precise jab, ring generalship, surprise lead left hooking, swift combos and all too often beat Vargas to the punch.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Rocio997)
6: Shannan Taylor – March, 2001 – Las Vegas – WBC welterweight world title defence – 6th Rd TKO
Mosley’s best form was regarded to be as a lightweight, yet his performance over Shannan Taylor – a pure beatdown – cemented his status as a serious player at welterweight, as well as providing him with a second successful defence of the WBC championship at 147lbs. Mosley cut up the Australian, made him wrench with body blows and almost out-landed him by a ratio of 3:1. Taylor finished the fight on his stool, before combat could resume in the sixth.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, 456Blaine)
5: Jesse James Leija – November, 1998 – Mashantucket – IBF world title defence – 9th Rd TKO
Leija was not the greatest of Mosley’s opponents, but Shane’s beating of him was so resounding, so brutal, that it has to be included amongst his best wins. Leija tasted the canvas in the sixth round, as well as the eighth and ninth and couldn’t box on in the tenth. While Sugar ended his career with underwhelming performances against Floyd Mayweather, Sergio Mora, Manny Pacquiao and Saul Alvarez, it was in the late ’90′ when vintage Mosley could be seen.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Marvindiggla)
4: Philip Holiday – August, 1997 – Uncasville – IBF world title challenge – 12 Rd UD
One of Floyd Mayweather’s best fights is regarded to be his first title fight against Genaro Hernandez, who was deemed to be one of the best in the division at the time. Similarly, Holiday too was perceived to be the finest 135lb boxer when Mosley took him apart. Shane won between eight and nine rounds (dependent on judgement) and limited Holiday’s output. It was Mosley’s fight… and turned out to be his coming out party.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, Mangler411)
3: Wilfredo Rivera – September, 1999 – Temecula – non title welterweight fight – 10th Rd KO
Like throwback fighters who boxed before the existence of ‘Super’ and ‘Junior’ weight divisions, Mosley jumped up from lightweight to welterweight and took on three-time world title challenger Rivera, a durable Puerto Rico. In a tussle that could have gone either way on the judges’ scorecards, Mosley – inspired by father/trainer Jack’s pep talk – fought like a man possessed in the tenth and final round as Rivera received a kayo.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, 4mirkhan)
2: Oscar de la Hoya – June, 2000 – Los Angeles – WBC/IBA welterweight challenge – 12 Rd SD
Mosley twice defeated de la Hoya and while his second win saw him bounce back to elite significance following two defeats to Vernon Forrest and a no contest against Raul Marquez, it was his first – the debut event at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles – that elevated Mosley to a superstar and a champion of two weight classes. Considered one of 2000′s classic encounters due to it’s two warriors going back and forth, de la Hoya’s reputation was also enhanced – even in defeat.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, FaceofBoxing)
1: Antonio Margarito – January, 2009 – Los Angeles – WBA welterweight challenge – 9th Rd TKO
While some may point to the de la Hoya win deserving the number one spot, veteran Mosley was a 4/1 underdog against an avoided Margarito in 2007 but trounced Antonio en route to a ninth round technical knockout. There is an old adage in boxing that every great fighter has one last great performance… and this was Mosley’s as the brutality bestowed upon the Mexican made analysts and fans reminisce about Shane’s lightweight pomp.
(Embedded video above credit – YouTube, BorgesProductions)
On The Beak – Admin
HBO Sports has today reported that 1.5 million pay-per-view buys were generated from the May 5 super welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The current buy rate total generated $94 million in PPV revenue and the performance of Mayweather-Cotto ranks as the second highest grossing non-heavyweight pay-per-view event in boxing history.
Roberto Delgado – Los Angeles
Reigning WBC junior middleweight world champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will not only defeat future-hall-of-famer Shane Mosley when the two collide on Saturday, May 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but will emulate the dominant performances enjoyed by Mosley’s recent conquerors: pound-for-pound favourites Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao, according to event promoter Oscar de la Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions.
“I would expect him to look better than Pacquiao and Mayweather did against Mosley because that’s the type of talent that Canelo has,” proclaimed de la Hoya, however, whilst the 39-year-old is hopeful his Mexican prodigy will oversee Sugar Shane (46-7-1, 39ko) in one-sided combat, he refuses to predict a knockout-winning performance. “I don’t expect him to go and look for the knockout with Shane Mosley,” he said, before adding: “If you look for the knockout, you won’t get it.”
In his illustrious professional career, Mosley, now 40, has picked up world titles in three weight divisions whilst also recording two victories over Oscar de la Hoya, two over Fernando Vargas and one thumping win over Antonio Margarito. Whilst the skillset of the Californian is undeniably on the wane, he did manage to go the distance with Pacquiao and Mayweather, despite losing virtually all the rounds.
De la Hoya continued: “[Saul] didn’t look for the knockout when he fought [Carlos] Baldomir [who had only once been stopped prior to meeting Alvarez], so you just never know what’s going to happen in that ring, especially when you’re facing Canelo.
“I would be pleasantly surprised if Canelo knocks him out. Obviously, it would catapult him to just another stratosphere. Nobody has ever been able to knockout Shane Mosley, including myself, including the best in the world. If a 21-year-old fighter named Canelo can do it, then that will be huge.”
An emphatic victory for Alvarez (39-0-1, 29ko) is something de la Hoya is hopeful for as it would gain the further prerequisite momentum and fame that would make matching him with Mayweather – should Floyd see off the challenge of Miguel Cotto on the same card – that much more palatable to fans, writers and broadcasters.
“The winner will go on to bigger and better fights, that’s a given. [Canelo or Mosley] can either face the winner of Andre Berto versus Victor Ortíz or [they] can face the winner of Floyd Mayweather and Miguel Cotto. So, this is a very important fight.”
In a concluding statement, the Golden Boy remarked: “We could sit down and talk about [Alvarez v Mayweather] after May 5. That fight can get close to my fight with Floyd Mayweather.”
On The Beak – Admin
Dewey Bozella’s life changed forever when he was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison for a murder he did not commit. Throughout his 26 years behind bars, Bozella found strength and purpose through boxing, becoming the light heavyweight champion of Sing Sing Prison, and made it a goal to be proven innocent and box professionally once he was released. ESPN Films chronicles Bozella’s journey from prison cell to professional boxer in 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story premiering on Thursday, March 15, at 8:30pm ET on ESPN.
Unyielding in his innocence, Bozella never gave up fighting – both in and out of the ring. He was offered more than four separate chances for an early release if he would only admit guilt and show remorse, but Bozella consistently refused to accept freedom under such conditions.
After a law firm took on his case and uncovered new evidence that exonerated him, Bozella was released and returned to boxing as a volunteer trainer to kids and aspiring fighters. When Bozella was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at The 2011 ESPYs in July, he caught the attention of light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins and boxing great Oscar De La Hoya who then helped make his dream to fight one professional fight as a free man come true.
Directed by award winning producer/director Jose Morales, 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story follows Bozella on his quest to earn a professional boxing license at age 52, and sheds light on a man who never gave up fighting for his freedom. The film is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Laurence Fishburne and includes interviews from Oscar De La Hoya, Bernard Hopkins, and Bozella’s wife Trena and attorneys.
Dewey on why he continued to box after being released from prison: “I didn’t want to fight amateur. What I really liked to know was what it feels like to be a pro. And I believed that it was something that I needed to find out for myself.”
Oscar De La Hoya before Dewey’s second attempt at passing his boxing license: “I don’t wish for the commission to look at his speed and his punching power. I want them to focus directly on his heart and think about what he has accomplished, what he has gone through to be right here today. Doesn’t get any tougher than that.”
Dewey on how he felt going into his first professional fight: “Bring it. You can’t hurt me no more than I’ve already been hurt. Black eye, busted lip, busted nose, broken rib… you can’t hurt me no more. You can’t. I’ve been knocked down so many times I had no choice but to get back up or lay down and die.
“And I ain’t ready for that yet, so I’m going to fight.”
Ibrahim Harb – Birmingham
The status of an away fighter is sometimes seen to be a burden as the enemy’s home territory can provide a rousing atmosphere that influences the fistic action inside the ring, however, on December 10, at the Washington Convention Center in DC, British boxer Amir Khan takes on home-town favourite Lamont Peterson and is unencumbered by the prospect of fighting away from home as he has attracted a global following with an ever-loyal British-Asian support.
Khan (26-1-0, 18ko) has long been gathering a vocal fanbase who have been raucous when the Briton boxes at home and are not averse to leaving Blighty for foreign canvas in order to cheer their man.
There is a saying in Khan’s homeland that, when it comes to sport (and in particular, football/soccer), a good support can act like an extra man. In football, like a 12th man… something that, in the past, has perhaps even aided Khan’s local club, Bolton Wanderers, and something they may well rely upon if they are to leave the relegation zone in the Premier League this season. In boxing, on the other hand, it can act as an extra second and is a factor his opponent has already noted.
“Khan has got his army here, so we really need DC to come out and represent!” Peterson (29-1-1, 15ko) said today, Friday.
The American, a respectable boxer-puncher, bashed up and knocked out Victor Cayo in the final round of a July thriller in Las Vegas to move into a mandatory challenger position with the IBF. Khan – who holds both the IBF and WBA championship belts at super lightweight – not only honoured that status by accepting the fight, but took on Peterson in Washington.
A 2004 silver medal Olympian, Khan became a professional protege of Oliver Harrison all the way up until 2008 when he switched trainers to Jorge Rubio. The unfamiliarity with a new coach, together with his well-documented struggle to make the lightweight limit of 135lbs, may have been a dual cause for his upset defeat to Breidis Prescott later in the same year. Whilst he has long had natural assets such as speed and power, it is his career that has been rebuilt since benefiting from the Wildcard Boxing Club tutelage of Freddie Roach.
This is not lost on Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar de la Hoya: “When Amir Khan won the Silver Medal in 2004, he already looked like a seasoned veteran. He had tremendous speed, power and foot work.”
And, for Roach, boxing in DC is personal. The acclaimed coach said: “I fought here on March 1 in 1986. Darryl Tyson kicked my butt, but we’re gonna change that in the upcoming fight. Amir Khan is really ready. We had a great training camp.”
Barry Hunter, who has guided Peterson’s career since he was a kid, commented: “It’s not often that you have someone like Amir take a fight in the other person’s hometown when you can have a fight anywhere else in the planet, but he chose DC, so he deserves all the thanks and praise in the world.”
Bernard Hopkins, a partner at Golden Boy, opined this week that Khan could claim a kayo within eight rounds, but sent a message to both headlining fighters: “Amir and Lamont, this is your time to shine. This is your opportunity to build your own legacy and your own careers starting Saturday.”
The championship bout will have both of Khan’s world titles on the line. It will likely be Amir’s last appearance within the confines of the super lightweight division before he leaves for welterweight challenges.
Related article: Khan elaborates on the ‘grow some balls’ diss he barbed Bradley with
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
The heavyweight division may be thriving in Europe, but Golden Boy Promotions president Oscar de la Hoya is adamant that he is introducing an American “saviour” in Seth ‘Mayhem’ Mitchell. The 29-year-old, who has a track record of knocking out his opponents, faces teak tough Uzbeki, Timur Ibragimov, on Saturday, December 10 and, together, they provide the chief support for the Capital Showdown card in Washington DC.
“Seth Mitchell can be the savior of the heavyweight division,” proclaimed de la Hoya of his heavyweight charge at an open media workout to help aid interest in his litmus test against Timur. “He’s a great, young prospect. I’m looking forward to the fight between Mitchell and Ibragimov [as] I think it’s a dangerous fight for Seth.”
Mitchell (23-0-1, 17ko) commented: “I am excited. It is going to be a good feeling to come out and fight in front of my hometown crowd and hopefully put on a good show so HBO can come out to DC again. I definitely believe I’m ready. My trainer and I have been working very hard in the gym. I will be prepared on December 10.
“I read a couple of his [Ibragimov] quotes saying he is too experienced for me. That remains to be seen. He hasn’t been stopped so it will be a feather in my cap to go and stop him. I don’t necessarily go for knockouts even though I have knocked out ten of my last 11 opponents.”
Boxing’s ‘Hollywood’ weight class has, throughout the sport’s history, typically been the heavyweight division. For the best part of the last decade it has been dominated by two stylistically different Ukrainian brothers: Wladimir Klitschko and older sibling Vitali and the American spotlight has largely veered toward the lower classes, particularly welterweight – where defensive talent Floyd Mayweather Jr and attack-happy Manny Pacquiao campaign.
“The heavyweight division is not in great hands right now,” said Seth. “I respect the Klitschkos but someone has to go out and beat them. I want to continue to progress,” he said, before indicating that the “someone” he spoke of, will be him.
“I want to be the man to dethrone the Klitschkos.”
For Mitchell to reach that point he must navigate his way past Ibragimov, a well-journeyed prizefighter who has lost just thrice, most recently against Jean-Marc Mormeck in a tight affair and most convincingly by Mitchell’s compatriot Tony Thompson – both by decision.
“Everything is going well in training camp,” Ibragimov commented. “I’m here in Los Angeles with my coach, my friends and am ready to fight. I’ve been to Washington a few times but never fought there. Seth Mitchell is young and strong but everyone is and that’s why you always have to be 100 percent.”
Ibragimov (30-3-1, 16ko) intends on providing Seth with an opponent willing to battle in order to a: stall Mitchell’s ascent up the global ranks and b: spoil his homecoming party: “Be ready for war!” the 36-year-old warned.