Lem’s latest: Mares-Gonzalez card announced
Junior welterweight Antonio Orozco and 2012 Olympians Joseph Diaz Jr. and Dominic Breazeale will be featured on Saturday’s Showtime Extreme card, followed by the premiere of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.–Canelo Alvarez All- Access episode and then the broadcast featuring current WBC featherweight beltholder Abner Mares against Jhonny Gonzalez.
Showtime Extreme will begin at 8 p.m. ET/PT, followed by All-Access at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, and the Mares and Santa Cruz doubleheader at approximately 10:25 ET/PT.
“A great card just got even better with the addition of the Showtime Extreme fights featuring three of the top young stars in the sport,” said Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions.
“The 2012 Olympians Dominic Breazeale and Joseph Diaz Jr. have made great strides since the London Games, and Antonio Orozco is on the verge of big things at junior welterweight. They’re all in tough this weekend, making for some exciting fights.”
A featherweight, Diaz Jr. (6-0, 4 KOs) will pursue his fourth straight knockout against Noel Mendoza (6-2, 1 KO), and Breazeale (5-0, 5 KOs) will meet heavyweight rival Lenroy Thomas (16-2, 8 KOs).
Orozco (17-0, 13 KOs) will be after his sixth consecutive stoppage victory when he fights junior welterweight opponent Ivan Hernandez (29-3, 23 KOs), who has four knockouts among his last five consecutive wins.
WILL MARES FIGHT SANTA CRUZ?
By challenging Terrazas, Santa Cruz is returning to the site of his victory over Vusi Malinga for the IBF’s bantamweight belt last June.
Santa Cruz (24-0, 14 KOs) defended the 118-pound strap three times — twice by stoppage — before winning his 122-pound debut by fifth-round knockout over Alexander Munoz in May.
Mares (26-0, 14 KOs) is entering his eighth straight title bout against Gonzalez, with his past seven wins coming against elite rivals over three divisions — bantamweight, junior featherwieght and featherwieght.
Santa Cruz and Mares share a common opponent in former titleholder Eric Morel, whom Mares unanimously decisioned in April of last year, and Santa Cruz knocked out in the fifth round last September.
“He’s my friend. I wouldn’t want to fight him,” said Santa Cruz. “But if the fans want it, then that would be good. If they want that fight, we can make it happen.”
Mares won’t discount a future meeting with Santa Cruz.
“I know they’re talking about me fighting Santa Cruz,” said Mares. “It would be a spectacular fight between two Southern California fighters. If you know me, you know I’ll fight anybody. But I have a tough fight in front of me.”
SHOWTIME VIDEO HIGHLIIGHTS DANNY GARCIA-LUCAS MATTHYSSE FIGHT
To promote Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Canelo Alvarez and the co-featured bout between RING, WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and RING No. 1-rated 140-punder Lucas Matthysse on Sept.14., Showtime has released highlight videos featuring the fighters..
MIKE TYSON DEBUTS AS PROMOTER ON FRIDAY
When Mike Tyson lost by sixth-round knockout to Kevin McBride in June of 2005, he called the final bout of his career “the best moment of my life when the fight was over, because I knew I was going to retire.”
Tyson reportedly earned more than $300 million in purses, much of which was squandered by the fighter once considered “the baddest man on the planet” after becoming the youngest heavyweight champion at the age of 20 years, four months and 22 days old.
But Tyson struggled with lifie after boxing, engaging in drug use and also experiencing the death in May of 2009 of his 4-year-old daughter, Exodus. The child was strangled after becoming entangled in the cable of a treadmill at the home of her mother, Sol Xochitl.
At his lowest, “I was planning on killing myself,” said Tyson.
But following memorable roles in Hollywood films, including the Hangover franchise, the 47-year-old who retired with a record of 50-6 (44 KOs) has reinvented himself, taking to the stage as the star of a one-man autobiographical show.
On Friday, Tyson will make his promotional debut at a show entitled “Tyson Is Back.” The card will take place at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y., in association with Acquinity Sports CEO Garry Jonas and Greg Cohen Promotions.
“This man, Garry Jonas, he’s an excellent business man. So we got involved because he gave me a great deal,” said Tyson, a 2011 International Boxing Hall of Fame inductee who received similar honors from The Las Vegas-based Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame earlier this month.
“At first, I didn’t think that I wanted to get involved in boxing because I knew it was going to be a headache, and I had demons from boxing. But I said ‘Let’s try it out,’ and my wife said, ‘Let’s try it out.’ So we’ve started this business, and it’s called ‘Mike Tyson Productions,’ I’m just happy just to be back involved in boxing.”
Also on the card, which will be televised on this week’s ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, undefeated featherweight puncher Alexei Collado takes on Hugo Partida, and welterweight Ed Paredes, who is 12-0-1 with nine knockouts in his past 13 fights, meets tough journeyman Noe Bolanos.
“A lot of my life went so fast, my boxing life. I didn’t really know where I was as a boxer. Being a professional promoter, I’m just really, really interested in helping young kids, giving back to the community. I don’t know how much money I made. If I did make money, I’m never going to have money,” said Tyson.
“I’m never going to be wealthy again, but I can still give back…Promoting is good. I’m going to work my way in on the training tip, because I really like training fighters as well. So that’s what I want to do. But this is just a dream come true, and I’m just fortunate enough to be involved.”
OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST VASYL LOMACHENKO ON TIM BRADLEY-JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ CARD
Top Rank CEO Bob Arum will see if Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko, a winner of his second Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London, has the goods to “become the greatest professional boxer of this era” when he makes his professional debut in a 10-round featherweight bout against Puerto Rico’s Jonathan Oquendo (23-3, 16 KOs). The bout will take place on the undercard of the Tim Bradley–Juan Manuel Marquez matchup on HBO Pay Per View on Oct. 12.
“Lomachenko must have a lot of confidence making his professional debut against a fighter like me,” said Oquendo. “He must think he’s really good. Let’s see what happens in the ring.”
Lomachenko, 25, who signed with Top Rank last month, won the featherweight gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, where he was the recipient of the Val Barker Trophy as the event’s Outstanding Boxer.
On the way to winning his second gold medal in the lightweight division in 2012, Lomachenko scored a victory over Puerto Rican Felix Verdejo, who is 7-0 with five knockouts after having signed with Top Rank.
“Vasyl ‘The Great’ Lomachenko has been the most outstanding boxer in the history of amateur boxing,” said Arum. “Now we will see if he can become the greatest professional boxer of this era.”
DUSTY HERNANDEZ-HARRISON FACES GUILLERMO VALDES ON FRIDAY
Welterweight Dusty Hernandez-Harrison (16-0, 9 KOs), of Washington, D.C., will face Miami’s Guillermo Valdes (12-4, 3 KOs) at The Dover Downs Hotel and Casino.
“Every fight the opponent seems to get better and better. This guy has the best record of any guy I have faced,” said Hernandez-Harrison. “I will be prepared. I have trained to go the distance, but if the knockout comes, that would be great, too.”
Photos: Gene Blevins-Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions; Ethan Miller-Gettyimages; Scott Heavey-Gettyimages
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]