Click here to watch Friday’s live stream by Yahoo!Sports of the weigh-in for Saturday night’s clash, where Russian power puncher Sergey Kovalev pursues his fourth straight knockout victory and the seventh in his past eight fights against Gabriel Campillo as part of NBC Sports’ Fight Night from the Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville, Conn.
Kovalev (19–0-1, 17 KOs) is 7-0-1 over that time, and has built a huge following as he takes on the southpaw Campillo (21-4-1, 7 KOs). Campillo will have been out of the ring for more than a year since his last appearance, a controversial split-decision loss to IBF beltholder Tavoris Cloud on Feb. 18 of last year.
The Kovalev-Campillo undercard will feature heavyweight Jarrell Miller (4-0 4 KOs), a 6-foot-4 prospect from Brooklyn, N.Y., against Joey Dawejko (7-1-1 3 KOs), of Philadelphia, in a four-rounder.
“I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity to be on TV, and I plan on making a lot of new fans. I’m going to put a new spin on the heavyweight division, and I think people will appreciate my outlook,” said Miller.
“So plan on getting familiar with me. I know what I’m capable of doing, it’s everyone else that is unfamiliar with my talents and I plan on taking everyone to school on Jan. 19.”
Miller and Dawejko are part of a series entitled “Future Stars,” which will include Joseph Perez (10-1, 3KO), of Hartford, Conn, opposite Jason Sosa (7-1-3, 3KO), of Camden, N.J., in a junior lightweight bout, and Marcus Upshaw (14-8-2, 6KO), of Jacksonville, Fla., opposite Vladine Biosse (14-1-1, 7KO), of Providence, R.I., in super middleweight clash.
Their performances will be taped and rebroadcast on dates and at times to be determined.
“Boxing fans will now get the chance to see up-and-coming talent through our Fight Night Future Stars telecasts,” said Jon Miller, president of programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
“Up until now, the only way to watch the development of this kind of talent was to attend the live fights. Now, the most promising young performers will get the chance to showcase their talents to a national audience.”
MANAGER CAMERON DUNKIN: BRANDON RIOS-MIKE ALVARADO II NOT DONE
Dunkin said that Rios, who scored a seventh-round knock out of Alvarado in a bloody Fight-of-The-Year-caliber clash in October, is “not happy about the money” being offered by Top Rank.
“We’re far apart on the money,” said Dunkin. “It’s not me. My guy’s not happy.”
“Tim’s opponent is a secret, but you guys are going to go wild when you hear it,” said Dunkin, of a show that could take place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
“We have nobody you’ve been thinking of. Believe me. I was hoping to tell you this week. But you’re going to be surprised and happy with it.”
Dunkin also manages RING junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire, who would like to fight either WBC counterpart Abner Mares or WBA 122-pound beltholder Guillermo Rigondeaux. Top Rank promotes Donaire and Rigondeaux, while Mares is handled by Golden Boy.
Along with Rigondeaux, however, it appears that other candidates include unbeaten RING No. 2-rated featherweight Chris John and ex-beltholder Vic Darchinyan, whom Donaire stopped in the fifth round in July of 2007.
DUNKIN TO SIGN CANADIAN AMATEUR BRODY BLAIR?
Dunkin said he is attempting to sign Canadian 165-pound amateur Brody Blair, a 21-year-old who won 67 of 81 bouts.
“He’s ranked No. 3 in the world,” said Dunkin of Blair, a resident of Nova Scotia. “I look forward to trying to sign him and get him started and to get him fighting. I would like to get him fighting in March, like March 30 in Las Vegas or something like that.”
Blair is anxious to get started.
“Signing with Cameron would be a dream of a lifetime,” said Blair. “I’m ready to get at it, I’m ready to do it, and I think that Cameron is the guy.”
ORLANDO SALIDO WANTS NONITO DONAIRE IF HE GETS BEYOND MIKEY GARCIA
If WBO beltholder Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs) gets beyond Saturday night’s HBO-televised featherweight defense against Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs), his promoter, Fernando Beltran, would like to see him face Donaire.
“If he beats Mikey, I would love to see him look for Nonito Donaire,” said Beltran of Salido, who will fight Garcia at New York’s Madison Square Garden. “I think Donaire is looking to go up in weight, and, if not, we can look to go after the 130 pounders.”
Salido is a durable 32-year-old winner of his last five fights by knockout, including two stoppages of southpaw ex-titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez.
Another option for Salido would be Puerto Rican Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs), who will defend his WBO junior lightweight belt against Mexico’s Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs) on the Salido-Garcia undercard.
“We would take Burgos or Martinez,” said Beltran. “Either or.”
YOAN PABLO HERNANDEZ BREAKS HAND, FIGHT WITH ERIC FIELDS CANCELED
Southpaw IBF cruiserweight beltholder Yoan Pablo Hernandez (27-1, 13 KOs), of Cuba, has suffered a broken left hand that has forced the cancelation of his Feb. 2 defense against Oklahoma’s Eric Fields (21-1, 15 KOs), a winner of 10 straight fights, six of which have come via the stoppage route.
WEALTH TV TO SHOW PRIZEFIGHTER SERIES ON SATURDAY
WeathTV has secured the rights to The “Prizefighter” series of Matchrooom Sports, whose welterweight III event will be televised on Sunday from Wolverhampton, England, at 3 p.m. The show will feature eight rising 147-pounders all fighting in one evening in three-round single eliminator bouts.
Saturday’s participants are Calum Cooper (4-0), Sam Eggington (3-0, 3 KOs), Dale Evans (4-0-1, 3 KOs), Glenn Foot (7-0, 4 KOs), Chad Gaynor (9-0, 4 KOs), Steven Pearce (6-0, 1 KO), Rob Hunt (16-1-2, 1 KO) and Mark Thompson (24-2, 14 KOs)
The first-round match ups have Eggington against Evans, Gaynor against Cooper, Pearce opposite Foot, and Thompson taking on Hunt.
“This fast-paced format is great for boxing fans. It’s action-packed and an all-out war in the ring,” said Tommy Morris, WealthTV’s director of live events. “Previous ‘Prizefighter’ events have helped discover some of the world’s best fighters.”
DEONTAY WIILDER, SERGIO THOMPSON ARE IN SEPARATE BOUTS ON SATURDAY
Knockout artists Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder (26-0, 26 KOs), a heavyweight from of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Sergio Thompson (24-2, 22 KOs), a junior lightweight from Cancun, Mex., will be in action on Saturday night on Fox Deportes in the United States and on Televisa in Mexico.
Thompson will pursue his 11th straight win, his 10th knockout during that time, and his ninth straight stoppage win against Moises Castro (29-19-4, 13 koS), of Managua, Nicaragua, in the main event.
A 2008 Olympic bronze medalist who is coming off a Showtime-televised, third-round stoppage of previously unbeaten Kelvin Price (13-1, 6 KOs) on Dec. 15, Wilder will face Matthew Greer (15-8, 13 KOs), of St. Louis, Mo.
In other bouts, featherweights Robinson Castellanos (16-9, 10 KO’s), of Celaya, Mex., meets Sonora’s Edgar Ramirez (13-6, 12 KO’s), and Ivan Morales (19-0, 12 KOs), of Tijuana, Mex., takes on Patricio Camacho (13-7-1, 10 KO’s), of Guasave.
The Wilder and Morales bouts are untelevised.
LUCAS MATTHYSSE, MIKE DALLAS JR., JERMELL CHARLO FIGHT ON SHOWTIME
On Jan. 26, Mike Dallas Jr. (19-2-1), of Bakersfield, Calif., will face THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs), of Argentina, in the main event of a Showtime-televised triple-header.
The telecast will also feature once-beaten welterweight Selcuk Aydin (23-1, 17 KOs) against Jesus Soto Karass, and junior middleweights Jermell Charlo (19-0, 9 KOs) and Harry Joe Yorgey (25-1-1, 12 KOs) in an intriguing clash — all from The Joint at The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]