Kubrat Pulev (24-1, 13 KOs) and Kevin Johnson (30-7-1, 14 KOs) came face-to-face at a press conference today at the Hotel Marinela in Sofia ahead of their WBA Intercontinental Heavyweight title clash on Friday night at the Arena Armeec.
Pulev makes the first defence of the WBA strap he claimed with a third-round stoppage victory over former World Champion Samuel Peter in December, and also risks his IBF mandatory position, which would see him in line to face the winner of Saturday’s World title showdown between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko.
Johnson, the former World title challenger from New Jersey, USA, insists he is not there to make up the numbers, and is also targeting a second shot at World honours as he looks to upset the Bulgarian hero in front of his home fans.
‘’Kevin Johnson is a good boxer who will give everything, but he will not succeed,’’ said Pulev. ‘’My goal is to become World Champion. I know a loss will set me back a long way, but I’m confident in my abilities. My opponent is an experienced fighter, who will be difficult to break down, but we’ve prepared for that. On Friday, I want to put on another great show for the Bulgarian people, and then I want my shot at the World title.’’
‘’If Pulev thinks he’s in for an easy night, he’s got another thing coming,’’ said Johnson. ‘’I’m no Samuel Peter. I’m not here to lie down and collect a cheuque, I’m here to cause an upset. I’m going to take this boy to school and show the Bulgarians what a Jersey boy can do. I’m going to give him an ass whopping on Friday, the likes of which nobody has seen before. We’ve both been through the same obstacles and we’ve both fought for World titles before, but only one of us is going to get that second shot, and that’s going to me.’’
Having taken in the sights of Sofia, Johnson also revealed he plans to leave Bulgaria with two souvenirs. ‘’The women here are very beautiful,’’ he said. ‘’And I’m looking to get married. On Saturday, I’m going to be leaving with a new belt and a new wife!’’
Said promoter Nisse Sauerland: ‘’It’s a great weekend for heavyweight boxing. Kubrat is mandatory challenger to face the winner of Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF World title. Either they fight him or they vacate the belt. He’s fought hard to get back into this position, and he’s risking it all in this fight against a rejuvenated Kevin Johnson. Kevin also knows what’s at stake and what a win would mean for his career. Both men have been training hard, and are ready to give it their all in the ring on Friday night.’’
Blockbuster Fights at Barclays Center, Olympian Charles Conwell’s Debut and the Crowning of New Interim World Champion Avtandil Khurtsidze in the UK
New York, NY (4/25/17) – It was an eventful weekend for DiBella Entertainment (DBE) that spanned two continents, and saw the beginning of one career and a career-best victory for another. In addition to promoting the Showtime Championship Boxing event, headlined by Shawn Porter vs. Andre Berto at Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, NY, DBE saw one of its fighters, 2016 United States Olympian Charles Conwell, make his pro debut and begin his journey toward a world title, while another, Avtandil Khurtsidze, capture the interim WBO world middleweight championship across the pond in Leicester, England.
Avtandil Khurtsidze (33-2-2, 22 KOs), who hails from Kutaisi, Georgia, but now lives in Brooklyn, traveled to England to face Tommy Langford (18-1, 6 KOs) in a 12-round affair. The contest ended early in the fifth round when Khurtsidze, who stalked his opponent mercilessly, landed a left hook that sent the previously unbeaten Langford to the canvas. He would not recover and Khurtsidze was crowned the interim WBO world middleweight champion. He is now first in line to challenge Billy Joe Saunders (24-0, 12 KOs) for the WBO world middleweight title in July.
“Whether you call him ‘Mini Tyson,’ ‘Homicide,’ or ‘Suicide,’ Avtandil Khurtsidze is a man with bad intentions by any name,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “He put British boxing on notice by knocking out Tommy Langford. I look forward to working with Frank Warren so that he can deliver the same message to Billy Joe Saunders.”
Stateside, in Miami, OK, one of DiBella Entertainment’s newest prospects Charles Conwell made his long awaited debut, sensationally ending his first professional bout inside of a minute with a knockout win versus Jeremiah Page, of Andover, KS. The super welterweight, who inked a co-promotional pact with DiBella Entertainment and Holden Productions in March, ended the bout with a barrage of punches that left Page on the canvas and unable to continue.
“In 41 seconds, Charles Conwell sent the world a clear message that he won’t have any trouble adjusting from the amateur to professional ranks,” said DiBella. “Tony Holden and I hope to have him back in the ring in May and plan to make him one of the most active young prospects in boxing.”
Conwell’s half-brother, and fellow DBE stable mate, Isaiah Steen (7-0, 6 KOs) finished his super middleweight contest in four rounds, knocking down his foe three times en route to a stoppage. Also on the card, Cleveland’s Yuandale Evans (19-1, 14 KOs) was crowned the WBA-NABA-US junior lightweight champion, earning a unanimous decision over Billel Dib (21-2, 10 KOs).
CHRIS BLANEY says he “loved every minute” of his tussle with Christian Hoskin Gomez on Saturday night.The unbeaten Irishman defeated the Spanish-born Devon man 58-56 on Frank Warren’s City of Champions card in Leicester.
Stepping up to six rounds for the first time, Blaney, who is trained by Ricky Hatton, was forced to dig deep against a foe who never took a backwards step.“We knew exactly what he was going to bring and we prepared for it,” Blaney, now 6-0 (3 KOs), said.“He just came forwards and he was always in my face. It was a good learning experience, probably my toughest to date, and I loved every minute of it.
“Ricky told me afterwards that I hurt Hoskin Gomez a few times, but he disguised it well and I didn’t really notice it.“In the last round he spat out his gumshield so I think I was getting to him. Looking back, I think that maybe if I’d have had a round or two more I might have gotten him out of there.“It was my first six rounder and I think it went well. The last three rounds were probably my best so I think I’ll get better and show even more when I get into longer fights.”Blaney will return to action in Dublin this June.
Light Heavyweight World Champion Adonis Stevenson Faces
Andrzej Fonfara in Championship Rematch
Light Heavyweight Showdown Between Top Contender Eleider Alvarez and Former World Champion Jean Pascal
Featured as Co-Main Event
By Daxx Kahn
When you are a movie buff like I am, amazingly enough you can associate every situation, read in the news to one movie or another. As an example, every time an unconfirmed rumor starts circulating, I think of is the 1984 comedy “Johnny Dangerously” starring Michael Keaton. It’s a spoof, on old classic James Cagney type gangster films, where Keaton plays the lead role of gangster Johnny Dangerously. In one scene, a message is delivered to the prisons cafeteria and as its being passed down from prisoner to prisoner to Dangerously, by time the message is delivered its not even close to the original message. It starts out stating the following.
“Get this to Johnny on the grapevine. Vermin is going to kill Johnny’s brother at the savoy theater tomorrow night. Got it?” The nexzt prisoner says “Vermin is going to kill Johnny’s mother at the Savoy theater tonight. Pass it on”. Then by time it gets to Johnny the message is delivered as “Johnny and the Mothers are playing “Stompin’ at the Savoy” in Vermont tonight.” Johnny in turn repeats “Vermin’s going to kill my brother at the Savoy theater tonight.” I didn’t say that, the prisoner who delivered the message replies then Johnny replies back “No, but I know this grapevine”.
Unfortunately not everything, can be related to something funny as Johnny Dangerously. Instead the are more reminiscent, of a 1940’s “B Quality plot”, mystery where you know half way through “The Butler did it” and there is no more reason to continue watching. Which is quickly becoming the case with, four division world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner, who is once again in trouble and perhaps in danger of his story quickly coming to an end.
The career of Broner started out, as if he would be a front runner, to take over as boxing’s future “Pound for Pound” best once Floyd Mayweather Jr retired. He imitated Floyds style, winning world titles in three weight classes before his twenty fourth birthday. He had developed a “Love Hate” relationship with fans, using constant bragging that was always backed up inside the ring, we even began looking forward, to his customary post-fight hair brushing routine whenever he dominated as opponent. Then in 2013, Broner would face two division world champion Marcos Maidana in defense of his WBA welterweight title. In that fight, Broner was placed in a situation he had never experienced. He found his power, speed and mind games that worked in the past, having no effect against Maidana. He would be dropped twice in rounds two and eight. He was bullied, bloodied and mocked by Maidana who took his title by a wide unanimous decision. In the weeks and even months afterwards, Broner was subject of internet “Memes”, they showed him leaving the ring head down, with comments like “Floyd The6y Jumped Me”, in reference to how he always referred to Mayweather when asked what his future would hold next.
Afterwards, Broner would drop in weight, win himself a minor junior welterweight title, just as we started to see the “Old Adrien Broner”, he would be dominated by Shawn Porter in June of 2015. In the bout Broner had a single moment of success, a flash knockdown of Porter in round twelve. The Porter loss seemed to change Broner mentally. He started making absurd social media comment’s, getting into fights at public outings, He was arrested in 2016 for robbery charges, an Instagram stunt where Broner claimed he would commit suicide, showing himself holding a handgun. He did manage to win a version of the 140 titles, then lose that belt on the scales prior to his win over Ashley Theophane. He most recent victory this past February, a very close split decision against Adrian Granados was a bout he had been highly favored to win, yet appeared uninterested in performing at his best.
Here he is now, April 20th 2017 sitting in jail, after police pulled him over in his SUV crossing the Kentucky boarder. A call had come from the G’Moni’s Bar,on Queen City Avenue in Cincinnati just a short while earlier that gunshots were fired towards a white SUV, police matched the plate to the call pulled the SUV over and inside was Adrien Broner. He claimed he had no idea who fired the bullets but was picked up on an old 2014 warrant for alcohol intoxication in a public place and disorderly conduct. His SUV held for investigation.
What is next for Adrien Broner? I am starting to believe the ending is clear, not a Quintin Tarantino movie type ending, where it returns’ to where it all started. Even though that would be ideal for Broner, picking up where he ;left off in 2008 after his pro debut. An opportunity to start over and live up to his hopes and expectations, undo what mistakes he has made. Except Broner has promised to start a new chapter, recently as last month where he claimed his foolishness was all behind him.
When I look at the career of Broner and path he is taking, I think of what the character “Sonny” played by Chazz Palminteri in the 1993 movie “A Bronx Tale”, told his young protégé Calogero. In what became, one of the most memorable lines in movie history “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent, and the choices that you make will shape your life forever.”. It’s obvious Adrien Broner is wasting his talents, what’s sadder is, Broner at only 27yrs old is a very young man with a lot left in him. He can be talked to if the right people reach out. I am sure they have but maybe the right person has not. We have no idea who that might be, his big brother figure Floyd Mayweather has tried, Broner fails to listen.
His SUV being shot up, means someone was intending to do him serious harm, we have seen no less than a half dozen fighters either seriously injured or murdered in the last 3yrs due to street violence. One was prospect, Ed Brown, friend of former Broner opponent Adrien Granados, who was murdered when Granados was training for his fight against Broner.
If he does not change soon, Broner will end up a cliché, he will always be known as the “If Only” fighter”, instead of becoming an image of Floyd Mayweather, he will be talked about in the same sentences as Hector Camacho, Vernon Forrest, Trevor Berbick, Agapito Sanchez, Ike Ibeabuchi, Michael Nunn, James Butler, Sonny Liston and Mike Tyson. Those conversations will have nothing to do with what was accomplished in the ring.
|BLANEY HOPES FOR TOUGH TEST|
|FLAME-HAIRED super-middleweight prospect Chris Blaney is hoping for a tough examination as he steps up to six rounds on Frank Warren’s BT Sport televised ‘City of Champions’ bill this weekend.
The Ricky Hatton-trained Irishman squares off with Plymouth’s Christian Hoskin Gomez in Leicester on Saturday night (April 22).
Hoskin Gomez may be a journeyman but he’s certainly a come forward fighter who has upset the odds in the past.
“He’s a bit like Mark Till, who I beat last year,” Blaney said. “He’ll come to fight and at least he’s not someone there to take a beating.
“I’m moving up to six rounds on this show and that should suit me better. Four rounds is a bit cagey and anything can happen, especially if you get hit with a lucky shot.
“I’m hoping to impress and hopefully I can get on a few more Frank Warren shows in the future.”
Blaney has had three of his five professional outings back home in Ireland and he’s keen to return to the Emerald Isle with a title around his waist later this year.
“I’ve got my eye on the Celtic title,” Blaney, 25, revealed. “I believe it’s over eight rounds and I think it’s something I’ll be ready for in a couple of fights.
“After that? Who knows. I’m keeping my feet on the ground, but I won a lot of titles in the amateurs and, like every boxer, I want as many as I can get as a pro.”