A defense by WBC junior featherweight beltholder Abner Mares against rising WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno, a WBO lightweight title bout matching contenders Richard Abril and Sharif Bogere and an appearance by undefeated featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. are planned for a Showtime-televised boxing weekend on Oct. 13-14 from The Mandalay Bay Hotel.
After the professional bouts on Saturday night, the venue could also host the pro debuts of several standout boxers from the 2012 Olympic Games aired live on the CBS television network in the afternoon following an NFL game on Oct. 14 (Sunday), according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
“Sunday, obviously being a CBS network date from 3-to-4 p.m. Eastern Time, which is going to be following a CBS NFL football game as a lead-in,” said Schaefer of an agreement between Golden Boy, Showtime Sports and CBS Sports.
“It’s going to be right after that where some of our young, emerging fighters will be showcased and will have the opportunity to have their stories told to millions and millions of sports fans which regularly tune in to watch the NFL. It’s going to be combined with Oct. 13, which is a boxing celebration, so-to-speak.”
A 26-year-old Mexican-born fighter from Montebello, Calif., Mares (24-0-1, 13 knockouts) will try to end a 27-bout winning streak that includes 10 knockouts for Moreno (33-1, 12 KOs), who turned 27 in June.
With a decision over Eric Morel in April, Mares won the vacant WBC belt during his debut in the 122-pound weight class. On the Mares-Morel undercard, Moreno scored a ninth-round knockout of David De La Mora.
“We are in the process of finalizing Abner Mares versus Anselmo Moreno,” said Schaefer. “We have not finalized it yet, and it’s not 100 percent done, but it looks good.”
A Cuban-born fighter living in Miami, Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs), who is 30, is coming off a disputed split-decision loss to former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios (30-0-1, 22 KOs) in April. Bogere (23-0, 15 KOs), who turns 24 on Oct. 8, is after his fourth straight knockout and is coming off a second-round stoppage of Manuel Leyva in June.
Russell Jr. (20-0, 12 KOs), who turned 24 in June, is out of of Capitol Heights, Md., and is coming off June’s third-round stoppage of Chris Perez of Mexico.
“The idea would be to have Gary Russell on the card,” said Schaefer. “Along with that, possibly as well, a WBO world title fight between Richard Abril and Sharif Bogere.”
Schaefer was at the Olympic Games in London, where he observed the boxing tournament which began on July 28 and the games ended on Aug. 12. There, Schaefer scouted the men and women representing the United States as well as other countries.
Schaefer said he has decided on several Olympians from varying countries, both men and women, including those who did not win medals.
“We are looking at a handful of fighters, one of them from the United Kingdom, one of them from Mexico, one of them from Puerto Rico and a couple of them from the United States. Our plan is to really create a dream team of Olympians, whether they were medal winners or didn’t win medals. I’m not so worried about that. What happens is that sometimes, even when they medal, and they turn pro, they just don’t have the style to succeed as a pro,” said Schaefer.
“Some of them who didn’t medal have a better style in the pros. Led by [Golden Boy President] Oscar [De La Hoya] and our matchmakers, we kept a keen eye on the tournament, and looked on whom we felt would fit very well in the pro ranks, and we’ve identified five or six fighters and we’ll pursue them in the coming weeks. We were impressed by the female Americans and some of the British as well, and we’ll see to what extent we’ll get involved there.”
Cotto to return on Dec. 1 in New York City
Schaefer has targeted former three-division titleholder Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 knockouts) for Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden.
Cotto is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather in May that ended his winning streak of three consecutive knockouts. Mayweather-Cotto was promoted by Golden Boy, Mayweather Promotions and Miguel Cotto Promotions.
In addition, Schaefer said former IBF and WBA beltholder Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) is expected to return to the ring on either Dec. 8 or Dec. 15 at a site and against an opponent to be determined. Khan is coming off of losses to Lamont Peterson and Danny Garcia by split-decision and fourth-round knockout last December and on July 14, respectively.
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]