WBA welterweight beltholder Adrien Broner called hard-hitting rival Marcos Maidana “one-dimensional” vowing to “light Maidana up like a Christmas tree” in advance of their Dec. 14 clash at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, that is part of a blockbuster Showtime card entitled “Danger Zone.”
“Maidana is one-dimensional and not in my league,” said Broner who is 27-0 with 22 knockouts. “I’m a Ferrari and he’s a go-kart, and my fans will see that in my return to Texas.”
Broner is fighting in Texas for the first time since August of 2009, when he stopped Edgar Portillo in 97 seconds.
“It’s been over four years since I’ve fought there, and I’m going to put on a show,” said Broner, who is 24. “Watch me light Maidana up like a Christmas tree on Dec. 14.”
Maidana (34-3, 31 KOs) has won three straight fights, all by knockout, entering the bout with Broner.
“Everyone knows that Broner has a big mouth, but that doesn’t bother me, because his mouth can’t fight for him,” said Maidana. “Whether he has the guts to stand in front of me or if he runs I’ll definitely go for the KO and either way, I’m leaving the ring with the belt.”
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer is, obviously, enthused by the talk between the two fighters.
“On paper this is the classic boxer versus puncher matchup, but Broner is also willing to stand and trade, and Maidana can box,” said Schaefer. “So I’m expecting this to be a Fight of the Year candidate to end 2013. There’s a lot on the line for both fighters, and I can’t wait to see who comes out of the Danger Zone with the belt.”
On the Broner-Maidana undercard, WBC junior featherweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz will defend his belt against Cesar Ceda, hard-hitting welterweight standouts Keith Thurman and Jesus Soto-Karass will face each other, and WBA light heavyweight beltholder Beibut Shumenov will defend his belt against unbeaten Tamas Kovacs.
In a recent development, however, Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez informed RingTV.com that the opponent for former welterweight titleholder Victor Ortiz, Alfonzo Gomez, is injured and Golden Boy is in search of a replacement.
Below are statements from the other participating fighters:
Thurman: “Soto Karass is a tough guy, there’s no question about that, and I respect him a lot. But his style is tailor-made for me and I expect to defend my title and win by knockout.”
Soto Karass: “Thurman is a young, talented fighter with good power. But as I proved in my fight with Andre Berto [12th-round knockout] when I’m on top of my game, no one can beat me. I will become a world champion on Dec. 14.”
Santa Cruz: “I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring and making my debut in Texas against Cesar Seda. Seda is a quality fighter and a top contender, but I’m not ready to give up my belt to him or anyone.”
Seda: “I admire Santa Cruz for his talent and his accomplishments, but styles make fights, and I have the style to beat him and bring the world championship back to Puerto Rico.”
Shumenov: “I am excited to be back in the ring and to compete on such an amazing event. It’s been a long time for me, and I’m hungry to beat Kovacs in impressive style and retain my title.”
Kovacs: “It has been my dream to fight in the United States against the best in the world, and on Dec. 14 I finally get my chance. Shumenov is a great champion, but I am confident in my ability to take his title.”
ERISLANDY LARA PLANS TO KNOCK OUT TROUT
It was back in July during separate interviews with RingTV.com that camp members of southpaw junior middleweights Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara expressed mutual interest in facing each other.
Trout and Lara are both advised by Al Haymon.
“If they’ll pay for it, I’m with it. I want to get back to a title shot, so if it looks like it’s going to mean going through Lara, then so be it,” said Trout (26-1, 14 knockouts), a 28-year-old who is coming off a unanimous decision loss in April to RING champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.
“Advisor Al Haymon is the management. We’ll see if he can get me the best fight. So, of course, there’s Lara. To keep my face and my name around those people…I want to be right back in there with the top names. Whoever I have to beat to get there, that’s what I want to do.”
Meanwhile, Lara (18-1-2, 12 knockouts), who rose from knockdowns in the fourth and ninth rounds to score a 10th-round stoppage of Alfredo Angulo in June that helped him to rebound from a disputed draw with Vanes Martirosyan in November of 2012, said of Trout, “If we fight, and I hurt him, I will look to stop him and not let him survive.”
It appears that Trout and Lara wil get their wish on Dec. 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where they have been paired on a Golden Boy card headlined by former junior welterweight and welterweight titleholders Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah.
Adding incentive to their matchup is the fact that the winner of Lara-Trout could be in line to face Alvarez, who was dethroned as RING 154-pound champion following last month’s majority decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Alvarez informed Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer that he plans to fight on March 8, July 26 and Nov. 22 of 2014, with the Lara-Trout winner being listed behind three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto, RING/WBC 160-pound champ Sergio Martinez and IBF 154-pound beltholder Carlos Molina.
“The winner of this fight puts himself in a tremendous position. A fight between Alvarez and me would be tremendous. I feel I have the skills to dominate Alvarez, but first, I have to be victorious against Trout,” said Lara.
“My whole focus is on Trout, and nothing else…Austin Trout is a worthy opponent who gave Canelo a tough fight, and some writers had him winning that fight. [But]I didn’t [Trout] threw enough punches [against Canelo.]”
Prior to facing Alvarez, Trout had scored a unanimous decision victory over Cotto in December of last year.
“I feel that against Cotto, Trout clearly won that fight. So he’s certainly a top tier fighter. I know everyone watching my fight with Trout will compare each fight and give their assessment on who is the better fighter. I feel that I’m the best fighter in the junior middleweight division, and I”m going to prove that on Dec. 7,” said Lara.
“If he comes to fight, he’s getting knocked out. If he comes to survive, he’s gonna get hit with some heavy artillery. The fact that I stopped Angulo gives me great confidence in my ability to win by KO against Trout. Although Trout comes with a different style, Angulo is much more durable. I feel I can stop him. His chin is vulnerable, and I’m gonna put it to the test.”
Malignaggi-Judah will be supported by IBF 147-pound beltolder Devon Alexander defending against unbeaten prospect Shawn Porter, as well as WBC super middleweight beltholder Sakio Bika‘s first title defense against unbeaten prospect Anthony Dirrell.
In related news, Lara will be trained by Bob Santos, who had been working with junior middleweight James Kirkland (31-1, 27 KOs) before it was announced that Kirkland would also be fighting on Dec. 7 opposite opposite Glen Tapia (20-0, 12 KOs) in a 156-pound bout at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Kirkland’s publicist, Tanesha Nash Laird, said that Kirkland has flown to Austin, Texas, where he is scheduled to begin working with former trainer, Ann Wolfe.
“James wanted help, and I’ve known James for a while. I was in camp with James in Las Vegas before, so I’m familiar with him. He needed help getting in shape, so we were working together. But with both Lara and his fights falling on Dec. 7, I had worked with Lara the past couple of fights, and, unfortunately, tough decisions have to be made. I think that it’s best that he go back with Ann Wolfe, and that I go with Lara,” said Santos.
“Because at the end of the day, I do have more of a loyalty with Lara, because I’ve been with him for the past couple of fights. But everything’s good with James. He’s been in pretty damn good shape. His weight is good right now, and he looked really good, and he was working hard. We still have a great relationship, but at the end of the day, he’s never lost with Ann Wolfe, so if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I think that might be the best route for him to go and it’s best for all parties at this point.”
MATTHEW MACKLIN TO HAVE NEW TRAINER VERSUS WILLIE NELSON
Kirkland-Tapia will take place as part of an HBO-televised tripleheader headlined by RING, WBA and WBO junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux and former beltholder Joseph Agbeko and featuring a middleweight matchup between Matthew Macklin (29-5, 20 KOs) and Willie Nelson (21-1-1, 12 KOs).
A three-time title challenger, Macklin is 1-3, with one knockout victory in his past four bouts, with losses by split-decision to Felix Sturm and stoppage against RING 160-pound champion Sergio Martinez and WBA counterpart Gennady Golovkin.
“Obviously, I was very disappointed with the loss to Golovkin, but I have to keep things in perspective, and it’s pretty clear that Golovkin is a special fighter. In hindsight, I probably used the wrong tactics in that fight, but I’ve no excuses. He’s the best I’ve ever fought,” said Macklin.
“That was my third world title fight, but I was robbed against Felix Sturm in Germany in my first attempt, and then pushed Sergio Martinez very hard in my second crack. Obviously, things didn’t go my way against Golovkin, but both he and Martinez are in pretty much everyone’s top five pound-for-pound list, so I know I still have what it takes to win a world title.”
As a junior middleweight earlier in his career, Macklin lost by 10th-round stoppage in September of 2006 to Jamie Moore, the latter of whom has replaced former titleholder Buddy McGirt as Macklin’s trainer for Nelson.
“I think working with Jamie will definitely be a fresh start for me, and I’m very excited about working with him,” said Macklin, whose move was confirmed by McGirt.
“We’ve have known each other for years, and our fight back in 2006 only strengthened the respect we have for each other, and, obviously, he brings a wealth of experience from his own career.”
BANTAMWEIGHT RANDY CABALLERO RETURNS ON NOV. 26
Bantamweight Randy Caballero (19-0, 11 KOs) will face southpaw Jessy Cruz (10-5-1, 4 KOs) on the Nov. 26 edition of Golden Boy Live! main event on Fox Sports 1 from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
“This is only my second fight outside of California,” said Caballero, of Coachella, Calif. “I’m looking forward to putting on a great show for the Florida fans on Nov.26. This is a big night for me and I can’t wait to get into the ring.”
The originally scheduled co-main event featuring Cuban heavyweight star Luis Ortiz (19-0, 16 KOs) will now be moved to a later date to be announced, according to Golden Boy.
“Caballero is a tough kid and I’ve watched him on the way up. But he’s not coming into my house and beating me here,” said Cruz. “My trainer Herman Caicedo has prepared me well and I will shock the world when we fight.”
Also on the card, former light heavyweight titleholder Antonio Tarver, who has not fought since June 2012 when he tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid drostanolone following a draw-turned-no-contest with Lateef Kayode, will return to the ring against West Virginia’s Mike Sheppard five days after Tarver’s 45th birthday.
KARL DARGAN-MICHAEL BROOKS ON TOMASZ ADAMEK VYACHESLAV GLAZKOV CARD
A lightweight clash of prospects Karl Dargan (13-0, 7 KOs) of Philadelphia and southpaw Michael Brooks (10-0-1, 2 KOs) of Long Island will take place at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino, in Verona, NY, as part of Fight Night on NBC.
Photo by Soobum Im, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Emily Harney, Fightwireimages.com
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]