Kazakhstan-born WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin will make a defense of his belt against an opponent to be determined on Jan. 19 at New York’s Madison Square Garden in an event to be co-promoted with Golovkin’s K2 Promotions, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
The other bout targets unbeaten featherweight contender Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (29-0, 25 knockouts), of Oxnard, Calif., opposite Mexican WBO beltholder Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs), said Arum, who promotes Garcia.
But first Garcia, who turns 25 in December, will pursue his eighth consecutive stoppage victory against Argentina’s rugged Jonathan Victor Barros (34-3-1, 18 KOs) on Saturday night’s HBO-televised undercard to a main event featuring undefeated junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan against fellow contender Erislandy Lara in a WBC title elimination bout.
“We’re looking to make Garcia against Salido, and then, a second fight,” said Arum of the promotion, which has been contracted to The Garden and approved by the New York State Athletic Commission. “So we have one fight that we hope to make, as well as a backup fight.”
Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs), who is coming off a fifth-round knockout of middleweight contender Grzegorz Proksa in September, became the WBA’s sole beltholder for the division after the organization stripped Australian IBF counterpart Daniel Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) of its “super champion” status.
A winner of seven straight fights, two of them by knockout, Geale captured the IBF belt with a split-decision over Sebastian Sylvester in May of last year, and defended that crown three times — the last with a unification victory which dethroned Felix Sturm as the WBA’s “super” strap holder in September.
The WBA had ruled that the winner of Geale-Sturm had to face the winner between Golovkin and Proksa by Dec. 31, but Geale had announced that he was pursuing a rematch with Australian countryman and a three-time titleholder, Anthony Mundine, whose split-decision victory in May of 2009 is Geale’s only loss.
Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions, claims that Geale turned down a lucrative fight against Golovkin on HBO to sign for the Mundine fight, and also said that Golovkin is considering a rise into the super middleweight division, where he could face 6-4 South African Thomas Oosthuizen (20-0, 13 KOs).
Oosthuizen’s promoter, Lou DiBella, confirmed that talks have, indeed, taken place concerning an HBO-televised bout with Golovkin that would happen on Jan. 19 in The Theater at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Oosthuizen must first safely get beyond a Nov. 10 clash with former super middleweight title challenger Fulgencio Zuniga (25-5-1, 22KOs), for the Golovkin bout to happen.
WBC TO DONATE $5000 TOWARD ‘SANDY RELIEF FUND’
The WBC has initiated the “Sandy Relief Fund” with a donation of $5,000 dollars, and will begin “different dynamics to raise funds all over the world,” according to a release by the organization.
“Boxing has always stepped up to the plate in times of crisis,” said WBC President Jose Sulaiman. “Boxing has always presented events to show the world that people who suffer, work hard and get up to overcome any crisis.”
The gesture comes in advance of next week’s WBC’s lightweight defense by beltholder Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) against former WBO junior lightweight beltholder Adrien Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) on Nov. 17 at Boardwalk Hall in an HBO-televised clash from Atlantic City, which was severely ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.
“The WBC fully supports the great boxing event which will be presented in Atlantic City on November 17 when Antonio DeMarco battles Adrien Broner for the WBC lightweight world championship,” read the release.
“We invite you to listen to your heart and reach out and help those in need in any way possible. There are many ways to provide aid, and it is now when you can make a difference.”
OMAR HENRY RISES INTO THE MIDDLEWEIGHT DIVISION
Former junior middleweight Omar Henry, of Oakland, Calif., will rise into the middleweight division for the third time in his past four bouts to meet Juan Ubaldo Cabrera, from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in a clash of unbeatens in the main event of a Nov. 16, Showtime ShoBox: The New Generation card from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Henry (12-0, 9 knockouts) was initially intended to face James de la Rosa (21-1, 12 KOs), of San Benito, Texas, but instead will take on Cabrera (20-0, 14 KOs), a winner of six of his past nine bouts by stoppage.
Henry, 25, and Cabrera, 33, will headline a whose promoter is Don King.
Also on the card is Miami lightweight Angelo Santana (13-0, 10 KOs), a 24-year-old southpaw from Cuba who will be after his seventh consecutive knockout victory against Juan “Johnny” Garcia (13-0, 8 KOs), a 30-year-old resident of Holland, Mich.
Santana is coming off June’s career-best third-round, technical knockout victory over highly-regarded Justin Savi, who entered their bout with a mark of 26-1 that included 18 knockouts.
FORMER TITLEHOLDER CHRIS BYRD HAS ONLINE BOXING TALK SHOW
Among the topics on the latest show were the death of Hall of Fame trainer Emanuel “Manny” Steward, the surging mixed martial arts culture and the notion of retirement for fighters.
The show can be viewed on ChrisByrd.com.
BLACK TIE COLLEGIATE BOXING INVITATIONAL
The Los Angeles Athletic Club will play host to its third annual Black Tie Optional Collegiate Boxing Invitational on Friday, Nov. 16, an event being promoted by Espada Boxing.
The main event will feature cross town rivals, USC and UCLA, with teams from University of San Francisco, Cal State Berkeley and West Point also being part of the eight-bout card.
“I am very excited to present this event. This is our third year teaming up with the LAAC, and it just keeps getting better,” said Espada. “This is a great event to showcase the amazing talent that is on each and ever team involved. It’s a chance for boxing fans to come and see great fights.”
Ticket information can be obtained by calling 213-630-5255 for the show, whose doors open at 5:30 P.M., with the fights beginning at 7:30 P.M.
“I’ve coached those two teams in the past, but I’ve now stepped away from coaching UCLA, and they have their own head coach,” said Ramos.
“Now, both programs are growing independently. It’s taken off tremendously, so I’m feeling pretty good about that, and the participation has been increasing.”
Photo by K2 Ukraine
Photos by Tom Hogan, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]