Sunday, March 26, 2023  |



Lem’s latest: Golovkin lands; Kovalev gears up for Campillo



WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin has arrived in New York for Saturday night’s HBO-televised defense of his belt against rising Philadelphia junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden.

Golovkin (24-0, 21 knockouts) was accompanied by junior middleweight training partner Tony Harrison (11-0, 8 KOs), of Detroit, who helped him to prepare for Rosado (21-5, 13 KOs) and will face an opponent to be determined on the undercard.

The main event features featherweight contender Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs) challenging Mexican WBO beltholder Orlando Salido (39-11-2, 27 KOs), with opening bout of the triple-header being Puerto Rican WBO junior lightweight titleholder Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) against Mexico’s Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1, 20 KOs).


Russian power puncher Sergey Kovalev will be after his fourth straight knockout victory and the seventh in his past eight fights when he steps into the ring opposite Gabriel Campillo on Saturday as part of NBC Sports’ Fight Night at 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).

“Fans had a chance to see me in the ring on NBC Sports Network, and now people talk more about my fights. Even my family, friends, and fans in Russia saw my last fight live,” said Kovalev, whose last appearance was September’s televised third-round stoppage of Lionell Thompson.

“He [Campillo] is the strongest, most talented opponent in my professional career. In my opinion he should be the champion after his last fight.”

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.

“Southpaws have the stronger left hand, but I have the stronger right,” said Kovalev. “The only problem with fighting left-handed fighters is getting good sparring partners. Everything else is the same.”



In a clash of Mexicans, the 25-year-old Garcia will be in against a foe unlike any he has previously faced when he meets Salido, a rugged, 32-year-old winner of his last five fights by knockout, including two stoppages of ex-titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez.

Garcia scored his eighth consecutive stoppage victory over Argentina’s tough former titleholder Jonathan Victor Barros in the eighth round of November’s HBO-televised bout.

But since falling by unanimous decision to Juan Manuel Marquez as a featherweight in September of 2004, Salido is 16-2 with 12 knockouts and a no-contest, the latter being an overturned triumph over Robert Guerrero in November of 2006.

Although Salido was initially awarded a unanimous decision — 115-113, 117-111, 118-110 — over Guerrero, he was later stripped of the IBF’s 126-pound belt after testing positive for steroids.

Salido has also split bouts with former beltholder Cristobal Cruz, and stopped rugged contender Rogers Mtagwa in the fifth round.

In 2011, Salido sandwiched knockouts over Kenichi Yamaguchi and Weng Haya between the two against Lopez. He ended Yamaguchi’s run of 13 straight wins, three by stoppage, and Haya’s streak of three consecutive victories, two by knockout.

Coming off July’s third-round knockout of Moises Gutierrez, Salido last suffered defeat by unanimous decision in September of 2010 against unbeaten former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa, a Cuban Olympic gold medalist and current WBA interim 130-pound beltholder.



The Puerto Rican-Mexican rivalry bout between Burgos and Martinez could be a show-stealer on the Salido-Garcia card.

A 29-year-old who will be after his third straight victory, Martinez is being trained by Raul Torres in the hopes of ending the five-fight winning streak of Burgos that includes two stoppage wins.

Martinez last suffered defeat by unanimous decision against Ricky Burns in September of 2010, and Burgos, by unanimous decision opposite Hozumi Hasegawa in November of 2010.

Martinez-Burgos will take place on a card featuring Rosado in pursuit of his eighth straight triumph and his sixth stoppage win during that run against Golovkin, who will be after his 12th consecutive knockout.



Recent Top Rank signee Felix Verdejo will pursue his second junior lightweight victory against Tomi Archambault (1-3, 1 KO) on the Salido-Garcia undercard


Promoter Sampson Lewkowicz has announced the signing of Colombian junior featherweight Oscar Escandon (21-0, 14 KOs) to a promotional agreement.

“It’s an honor to have his trust and I will not disappoint him. Oscar is a tremendous talent, who has been waiting for the right opportunities,” said Lewkowicz.

“I will now secure those opportunities for him and show the world what he’s made of. This is a notice to the boxing world that Oscar Escandon is coming.”

The 28-year-old Escandon began boxing at the age of 10 under the guidance of his father, Luis Alfonso Escandon, totaling more than 200 amateur bouts and representing his country in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

“I have been waiting my whole career for someone to get me the fights I want,” said Escandon, the first athlete from Tolima, about 130 miles from Bogota, to represent Colombia in an Olympics. “Sampson is the one who will do it. I have put all my trust in him.”

Escandon’s manager, Francisco Herrera, agrees.

“Oscar is more than ready for this. We will now be looking to face Guillermo Rigondeaux or Nonito Donaire,” said Herrera. “These are the level of fights Oscar belongs in.”

Photo by K2 Promotions

Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank

Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]