Lem’s latest: Wilder ‘ready’ for likely berth on Hopkins-Murat card
Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer informed RingTV.com recently that heavyweight knockout specialist Deontay Wilder could land on the undercard of Bernard Hopkins’ IBF light heavyweight title defense against Karo Murat on Oct. 26 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
After speaking over the weekend to Wilder’s advisor, Al Haymon, about the prospect of appearing on the Showtime card, Wilder’s trainer and co-manager, Jay Deas, said the fighter is “preparing like we’re on.”
“I talked to Al Haymon, like, maybe the day before yesterday. So that would have been Saturday. He indicated that all systems were go. It’s not 100 percent confirmed yet, but he told us that everything looks good for that date. We told him that we would be ready…Our understanding is that we’re on, and that we’re preparing like we’re on,” said Deas.
“It’s looking really good. We don’t have an opponent lined up as of yet, but we’ve accepted it as far as would we be ready by Oct. 26. We said yes, absolutely, we’d be ready. Hopefully they’ll bring in somebody. A big name is what I’d like. We’ll see what’s available on a month or so notice. But we’re getting the same notice that whoever we’re fighting is getting, so it’s all good.”
Schaefer indicated that part of the idea of bringing Wilder to the East Coast would be to piggyback on the wave created by Maryland-based heavyweight Seth Mitchell, who is 2-1 in Atlantic City after having stopped Chazz Witherspoon there and split bouts with Johnathon Banks. Mitchell lost his last fight by first-round stoppage to Chris Arreola on Sept. 7 in California.
“I think that the people appreciate the great, young promising American heavyweight,” said Schaefer. “Talk about putting people in the right slots, I do believe that putting Deontay Wilder there in a heavyweight fight will add to the attraction.”
“The main thing for me is that Deontay does better when he’s busy, and we’re on board with anything that keeps Deontay busy,” said Deas, who trains the 27-year-old alongside 1984 Olympic gold medalist and professional titleholder Mark Breland.
“As far as Atlantic City goes, being up on the East Coast, that’s the site of a lot of Arturo Gatti’s fights, and it’s the site where Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks, which I was there for that fight. It’s just a tremendous boxing area. It’s a great opportunity for the media out of New York to see Deontay, so it’s a great opportunity for exposure on all fronts.”
DEAS: WILDER ‘HAD A REAL GOOD EXPERIENCE’ SPARRING DAVID HAYE
Wilder served as a sparring partner for former heavyweight titleholder David Haye before his clash with unbeaten contender Tyson Fury was postponed after Haye suffered a cut during his final day of sparring on Friday, Sept. 19.
Deas said that Wilder “wasn’t the one that cut” Haye, having left camp on Thursday, the day prior to the incident, according to Deas.
“Deontay was there over the course of about two and a half weeks. I don’t know the number of rounds that they got in, but I’m going to guess that it was around 15-to-20 rounds, because you had, like, four guys there,” said Deas.
“Deontay said that he had a real good experience with David Haye. He wasn’t the one that cut him. Deontay said that contrary to popular belief, there weren’t any knockdowns or anything like that, but they just fought real hard and had a real good camp.”
Wilder celebrated his 27th birthday last Oct. 22 in Austria while spending time as the primary sparring partner for RING, IBF, WBA and WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko as he trained for his unanimous decision victory over Mariusz Wach in November of last year.
Wilder had served in a similar capacity for Haye leading up to his unanimous decision loss to Klitschko in July of 2011.
ARREOLA REFLECTS ON VICTORY OVER MITCHELL
Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs) said worked my ass off to beat the s–t out of” Mitchell (26-2-1, 19 KOs), adding that he craves a rematch of April’s unanimous-decision loss to Bermane Stiverne.
“You know what? Honestly, I worked my ass off to beat the s–t out of Seth Mitchell,” said Arreola (36-3, 31 KOs). “I respect him as far as his athleticism, and his power, and I knew that he was going to come into the fight in shape. So I had to make sure that I was in shape, also. So I didn’t want to give him no opportunity to beat me, so that’s why I did what I did.
“I made sure that I took him out as quickly as possible. Honestly, I want my rematch with Bermane Stiverne. I really do. Everybody talks about Deontay wilder this, and Deontay Wilder that. Hey, he’s done what he’s done, but he has to prove himself. When I was coming up, I was fighting all of the up and coming American heavyweights. I’m over that. I’m trying to be the best, world heavyweight champion. Not the best American. I’m past that.”
Having once challenged WBC beltholder Vitali Klitschko in September of 2009, Arreola believes he’s past the point of being just a gatekeeper in the division.
“Watching those young guys fight, I’m honored, because those are the guys that I’ll have to fight later on. It doesn’t piss me off. I respect every fighter. Every fighter who goes into the ring, you have to respect. I respect what they have done, and what they’re going to do. But that’s not going to happen with me. I’m not a guy that you’re going to use to put a notch on your belt,” said Arreola.
“Earn your s–t, and then come back and talk to me. I earned my s–t. I beat all of the top prospects when I was coming up. Now, you do the same. I don’t even think about the young guys. I don’t. I don’t think about Ruiz’s. I don’t think about the Deontay Wilders. I don’t think of none of them. I’m past them. I’m looking for the world heavyweight title. Let them fight that s–t out amongst themselves, not me.”
ADONIS STEVENSON-TAVORIS CLOUD; JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR.-BRYAN VERA ON SATURDAY
Haye-Fury was to begin an HBO-televised tripleheader featuring former and current titleholders in three marquee divisions fighting in three different countries,
Saturday’s event will, instead, be a split-site doubleheader starting with a defense by RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (21-1, 18 KOs) against Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs) in Montreal at 10:15 p.m. ET/PT, and then switching to a matchup being former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs) against Bryan Vera (23-6, 14 KOs) in a super middleweight bout from Carson, Calif.
Chavez is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to RING champion Sergio Martinez last Sept. 15 in Las Vegas, having floored Martinez in the 12th round.
Stevenson is coming off last month’s 76-second stoppage of former champion Chad Dawson, while Cloud was derailed as IBF beltholder by Hopkins in March.
Then, at approximately 12:30 a.m., ET/PT, HBO will debbut 24/7: Bradley-Marquez as a preview to WBO welterweight titleholder Tim Bradley’s defense of his belt against four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on HBO Pay Per View.
ALL-ACCESS: MAYWEATHER VS. CANELO EPILOGUE AIRS WENESDAY
Showtime will air the All Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo epilogue on Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. ET/PT in the wake of Floyd Mayweather Jr.s majority decision victory over RING and WBC junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez at the MGM Grand.
Mayweather (45-0, 26 knockouts) also defended his WBA 154-pound belt against Alvarez, which he’d won by unanimous decision over three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto in May of 2012.
Mayweather-Alvarez became the highest-grossing boxing event of all time with nearly $150 million in revenue reported, and Schaefer is predicting totals of “over $200 million.”
Lem Satterfield can be reached at [email protected]