It’s official! Golovkin-Rubio on October 18

August 20th, 2014 | By

WBA/IBO middleweight champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin will defend his world titles against WBC interim middleweight beltholder Marco Antonio “Veneno” Rubio on Saturday, October 18th at the StubHub Center in Carson, California and televised Live on HBO. Presented by K2 Promotions and GGG Promotions in association with Promociones Del Pueblo, the scheduled 12-round championship battle will headline a card billed as “Mexican Style.”

“I’m very excited to fight in California,” said Golovkin. “I always enjoy attending fights at the StubHub Center and look forward to a “Mexican style” fight against Marco Antonio Rubio.”

Said Rubio, “I’m excited to fight another world champion. I always accept the biggest challenges and without a doubt this will be the greatest of my career. I will show Golovkin a real “Mexican Style” fight on October 18th.”

“We’re looking forward to promoting the West Coast debut of Gennady Golovkin,” stated Tom Loeffler, Managing Director of K2 Promotions. “His growing popularity across the country compels us to bring this highly anticipated fight to the StubHub Center, which has hosted so many exciting boxing events in recent years. Marco Antonio Rubio is among the toughest fighters in boxing and this battle with Gennady should provide fireworks from the opening bell.”

“It will be a tremendous fight,” said Oswaldo Kuchle of Promociones Del Pueblo. “I can assure you that Rubio will make this a war.”

Sporting a record of 30-0-0 with 27 knockouts, the highest knockout ratio (90%) of any active world champion, Golovkin has become a must-see international attraction with his aggressive all-action style and breathtaking knockouts.

On July 26th at Madison Square Garden, Golovkin stopped two-time former world champion Daniel Geale in the third round with an extraordinary knockout punch that will be at the top of most “Knockout of the Year” media and fan lists.

Against Geale, Golovkin made his 11th title defense while scoring his 17th knockout in a row. Golovkin will head to Big Bear, California next week to begin preparations under the watchful eye of longtime trainer Abel Sanchez

Fighting out of Torreon, Mexico and training in Oxnard, California with former world champion Robert Garcia, Rubio has compiled a record of 59-6-1 with 51 knockouts against some of the best fighters in the sport.

The hard-hitting Rubio has faced Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Kelly Pavlik, David Lemieux, Kassim Ouma, Frankie Randall and Jose Luis Zertuche.

The 34-year-old Rubio is currently 16-1 in his last seventeen bouts most recently stopping Italian veteran Dominic Spada in the tenth round on April 5th in Chihuahua, Mexico, winning the WBC Interim Middleweight Title.

Klitschko, Pulev to fight Sept. 6

August 14th, 2014 | By

By Dan Rafael

Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko’s mandatory defense against Kubrat Pulev will take place Sept. 6 at the O2 World arena in Hamburg, Germany, Klitschko’s K2 Promotions announced Thursday.

“Kubrat Pulev has an impressive record as an amateur and as well as professional. He has very good skills and I will definitely not underestimate him,” Klitschko said. “I am looking forward to boxing in Hamburg. Everybody knows I have a special relationship to this city and the atmosphere in the O2 World has always been unbelievable.”

[+] EnlargeWladimir Klitschko

Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty ImagesWladimir Klitschko will make his 17th title defense when he faces unbeaten Kubrat Pulev on Sept. 6.

Klitschko (62-3, 53 KOs), 38, of Ukraine, who will be making his 17th title defense, will be boxing in Hamburg for the eighth time as a professional, including his pro debut in 1996 and his wipeout unanimous decision against David Haye in their 2011 title unification bout.

Klitschko’s 16 successful defenses during his second title reign are the third most in heavyweight history behind only Joe Louis (25) and Larry Holmes (20), and his eight-year-plus reign is second all-time to Louis’ record 11 years, 8 months, 8 days. Klitschko, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist, moved to 23-2 overall in world title fights with a one-sided fifth-round knockout of Australia’s Alex Leapai, a mandatory challenger, on April 26 in Oberhausen, Germany.

Pulev (20-0, 11 KOs), 33, of Bulgaria, a former European champion, earned his mandatory challenger status in August 2013 with a unanimous decision against American Tony Thompson, who had twice been knocked out by Klitschko in mandatory title fights.

Since becoming the mandatory challenger, Pulev, known as “The Cobra,” has fought twice, scoring a fourth-round knockout of Joey Abell, who knocked him down, in December followed by a third-round knockout of Ivica Perkovic on April 5.

“I will get the titles. I am ready to replace Wladimir Klitschko as the world champion,” Pulev said. “This fight is the highlight of my career. I will show the fans worldwide that Klitschko is no invincible machine and fulfill my dream. I have worked hard for this chance.”

K2 Promotions on Tuesday won the purse bid to gain promotional control of the fight, offering $7,250,131 to easily top the only other, which was $5,290,144 by Sauerland Event, Pulev’s promoter. As champion, Klitschko is entitled at 80 percent of the winning bid ($5,800,105) and Pulev is entitled to the remaining 20 percent (a career-high $1,450,026

Mike Perez suffers shoulder injury

May 14th, 2014 | By

By Dan Rafael

Heavyweight contender Mike Perez suffered a left shoulder injury in a sparring session this week, forcing him to withdraw on Friday from a title elimination bout against Bryant Jennings, the promoters announced.

Perez and Jennings were due to meet in an HBO-televised main event on May 24 at the American Bank Arena in Corpus Christi, Texas.

With the main event off indefinitely, the entire card was canceled, including the significant middleweight co-feature between former titlist Daniel Geale (30-2, 16 KOs), 33, of Australia and longtime contender Matthew Macklin (30-5, 20 KOs), 31, of England.

“I was floored when I got the call this morning from Perez’s manager, Patrick Thomas, that he injured his shoulder in sparring,” said Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions, Perez’s promoter. “Mike is flying back to Ireland to see a shoulder specialist. I’m hoping to hear good news that the injury is not too serious and the fight can be rescheduled in the near future. I know Mike is devastated because of this setback but looks forward to continuing his dream of marching toward a WBC world title fight.”

Vitali Klitschko vacated his version of the heavyweight title in December and retired, leaving Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola to fight for the vacant belt on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET) at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

The winner is required to make back-to-back mandatory defenses under the WBC’s rules. Deontay Wilder, the 2008 U.S. Olympic bronze medal winner, is up first and will face the winner next. The fighter who emerges the winner from Stiverne, Arreola and Wilder will be due to face the winner of Jennings-Perez in his next bout.

“When I received the news this afternoon that Perez got injured I felt so bad for Bryant because I know how hard he trained for this fight and how much he was looking forward to fighting for this WBC elimination bout,” Gary Shaw, Jennings’ promoter, said. “I hope that Perez’s injury is minor and we can get these guys back in the ring in a timely manner.”

Jennings (18-0, 10 KOs), 29, of Philadelphia, had a breakout year in 2012 with five nationally televised victories.

He only fought once in 2013, but opened this year strong with an HBO-televised 10th-round knockout of previously undefeated Artur Szpilka.

Perez (20-0-1, 12 KOs), 28, a former Cuban amateur standout who defected to Ireland and turned pro in 2008, has fought his past two fights on the big HBO stage.

In November, he won a 10-round decision in a brutal fight against Magomed Abdusalamov, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in the fight and — after spending a month in a coma — is in a rehabilitation clinic unable to speak or move much. Dedicating his next fight to Abdusalamov, Perez returned in January and fought Carlos Takam to a 10-round draw.

 

Vitali Klitschko seeks presidency

March 19th, 2014 | By

By Dan Rafael

Heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko did Thursday what many have expected him to do for quite some time.

“I have decided to run for president of Ukraine [in] 2015,” Klitschko said during a speech in front of the Ukrainian parliament.

Klitschko, 42, who is the leader of the UDAR political party in Ukraine, has been deeply involved in his home country’s politics for the past several years. Klitschko, who had been serving on the Kiev city council, won a seat in the 450-person parliament in the elections last fall, as did more than 40 others from his party.

ESPN The Magazine


How heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko is preparing to run for president of Ukraine. Brett Forrest »

The presidential run could signal an end to Klitschko’s boxing career. Klitschko, who has talked about retirement in favor of politics for the past few years, has not fought since making a ninth successful defense of his world title in September 2012, when he stopped Manuel Charr in the fourth round on a cut in their fight held in Moscow.

Klitschko, a three-time world titleholder and older brother of fellow heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, was due to make a mandatory title defense against Bermane Stiverne (23-1, 20 KOs) this fall, but the fight was called off after Klitschko said he suffered a right hand injury in August. Stiverne moved for Klitschko (45-2, 41 KOs) to be stripped of the title, but the WBC put off any discussion of the situation until the first quarter of 2014.

When Klitschko was training for the fight against Charr, he told ESPN.com that politics was his future and that his training for the fight was his vacation from politics.

Klitschko has been around politics for years, but he became much more interested in it when he and his wife and children left Los Angeles, where they had been living, and returned to Ukraine several years ago.

He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Kiev, the capital of the country, in 2006. That same year, he also was elected to city council.

[+] EnlargeVitali Klitschko

AP Photo/Sergei ChuzavkovVitali Klitschko helped form the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms in 2010 in an effort to clean up government corruption.

In 2010, Klitschko helped found the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reforms (UDAR), a political party he said was determined to clean up government corruption and give ordinary people a fair shake that Klitschko said they do not have now.

“We want to build democracy in Ukraine,” Klitschko told ESPN.com before the Charr fight. “In Ukraine, you can buy everyone. You can buy every position, every judge, you buy every court decision. The biggest enemy to democracy is that there are no clear rules and so much corruption. Ukrainian politics is simple business and we have to change that. It’s painful to say that Ukraine is the most corrupt country in world and we need to change that. We are for more democracy [and] freedom of speech.”

According to the UDAR platform, the party’s vision is “to liberate the citizens from excessive state control and to limit government intervention into private life. A citizen, not an official, must be the pinnacle of the state pyramid. The government apparatus must serve the citizens and be fully controlled by them.”

Klitschko said the party is growing because there are so many in Ukraine disenchanted by the lack of opportunities and immense government control over many aspects of people’s daily lives. He has tried to work on the problems as part of the city council.

“It’s tough job, to be honest,” he said. “I have learned lessons about Ukrainian politics, and I want to make changes in Ukraine. I am not alone. Together, me and many other people, we have a vision. We are fighting for changes in Ukraine and real democracy in Ukraine.”

HBO Boxing: Golovkin vs. Stevens

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