Lem’s latest: Wilder, Russell return; Golovkin-Oosthuizen in talks
Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., will be after his 26th knockout in as many wins without a loss opposite unbeaten Kelvin Price at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in a Showtime-televised bout on Dec. 15.
The 6-foot-7 heavywieght prospect will face the 37-year-old Price (13-0, 6 KOs), of Pensacola, Fla., on the undercard of a main event featuring former IBF and WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan, of England.
Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) will attempt to rebound from a two-fight losing streak when he returns to the ring against Carlos Molina (17-0-1, 7 KOs), of Norwalk, Calif.
A 2008 Olympic bronze medalist who turned 27 on Oct. 22, Wilder is coming off a second-round knockout over previously undefeated Damon McCreary in September. McCreary had come up with stoppage victories in three of his previous four fights.
Prior to facing McCreary, Wilder scored a first-round stoppage of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kertson “The Warrior” Manswell, which had followed June’s third-round knockout of former heavyweight title challenger Owen Beck.
GARY RUSSELL JR. FACES ROBERTO CASTANEDA ON NOV. 9
Undefeated southpaw featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr., of Capitol Heights, Md., will return to the ring against Mexican Roberto Castaneda (20-2-1, 15 KOs) on a Nov. 9, Showtime ShoBox: The New Generation card from Fantasy Springs Caxsino, Indio, Calif.
The Olympians to appear are Dominic Breazeale, Marcus Browne, Terrell Gausha, Errol Spencer and Rau’shee Warren, according to a joint announcement by Golden Boy and Showtime.
WBA STRIPS DANIEL GEALE, ELEVATES GENNADY GOLOVKIN
In a procedure that was called “a short-sighted move” by his promoter, Gary Shaw, Australian IBF middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale was stripped of the WBA’s “super champion” status, while Kazakhstan-born counterpart Gennady Golovkin was named the organization’s sole beltholder on Thursday.
Geale (28-1, 15 KOs) has won seven straight fights, two of them by knockout. Geale won 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.
Golovkin (24-0, 21 KOs) is coming off September’s fifth-round knockout of middleweight contender Grzegorz Proksa.
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.
“Whilst I enjoyed unifying titles and being crowned the WBA super champion, it has become ultimately clear to me that it is impossible to keep all the belts. I am aware of my mandatory obligations, however, I felt that the challenge from Anthony Mundine was an opportunity to settle the score once and for all,” said Geale in a prepared statement.
“I want to thank the IBF for granting me the exception that creates a fight which will please all Australian boxing fans. As I proudly remain the IBF. world champion, I wish the WBA, and whoever they crown, the same short-lived pleasure as I will be coming to reclaim what is rightfully mine.”
Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions, claims that Geale turned down a lucrative fight against Golovkin on HBO to sign for the Mundine fight.
“We commend the WBA for clearing up this long-overdue situation and recognizing Gennady as their only champion in the middleweight division. Gennady is proud to be the WBA and IBO champion and looks forward to returning to the ring soon,” said Loeffler.
“We don’t blame Geale and his team for taking a safer fight, however, they knew the obligations they would have prior to the Sturm fight. Geale is still IBF champion, and if he continues to win, this might be a great unification fight in the future.”
Golovkin is considering a rise into the super middleweight division, where he could face 6-4 South African Thomas Oosthuizen (20-0, 13 KOs).
“If it happens, Gennady would only move for the one fight. As we have said all along, he will fight anyone from 154 to 168, but he will remain middleweight champion, which is his best weight,” said Loeffler.
“Sometimes, if nobody at 160 will fight, you have to move up where the fighters think they have come advantage. But with GGG, it won’t matter at which weight he fights. That is why he is such an extraordinary athlete.”
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.
DiBella, who co-promotes Oosthuizen with Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves, told BoxingScene.com, “we are having talks but nothing is done yet.”
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.