A Saturday press conference is in the works for smack-talkers Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi.
Lem's latest: Pavlik-Jaco weigh-in; Olusegun wants Garcia
Kelly Pavlik and Aaron Jaco tipped the scales at 169.2, and,169.4 pounds, respectively, for their match up, which is to be contested at the contracted weight of 170 pounds on Saturday in San Antonio, Texas.
Former undisputed middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, of Youngstown, Ohio, and rival Aaron Jaco, of Sarasota, Fla., tipped the scales under the contracted weight of 170 pounds at 169.2, and, 169.4, respectively, on Friday in advance of Saturday night's clash at the Illusions Theater in San Antonio, Tex.
Pavlik (37-2, 32 knockouts), who turns 30 on April 4, is two bouts removed from his last defeat, a unanimous decision loss to RING middleweight champion, Sergio Martinez, in April of 2010.
Pavlik weighed 170 pounds to 169 for his rival in his last fight in May, when he scored a majority decision over previously unbeaten Alfonso Lopez.
Jaco (15-2, 5 KOs), who turned 35 on March 9, has won two straight bouts after having suffered two consecutive knockout losses.
AJOSE OLUSEGUN EYES MANDATORY SHOT AT WBC TITLEHOLDER DANNY GARCIA
WBC secretary general, Maurico Sulaiman, told RingTV.com that he will give the organization's newly-crowned junior welterweight beltholder, Danny Garcia, a few days to bask in the glory of his new achievement before addressing the notion of facing his mandatory challenger, Ajose Olusegun, a southpaw from Nigeria.
Garcia, who turned 24 on March 20, dethroned four-division titlewinner, Erik Morales (52-8, 36 knockouts) of Mexico, as WBC beltholder following a unanimous decision victory on March 24, dropping Morales in the 11th round during the processs.
It was the third straight triumph for Garcia (23-0, 14 KOs) over a current or former world titleholder, following consecutive decisions over ex-beltholders Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt in April and October, respectively.
A resident of London, the 32-year-old Olusegun (30-0, 14 KOs) is coming off September's unanimous decision over Canada's Ali Cheba, ending his eight-bout winning streak that had included seven stoppages and which was the title-eliminator bout for the right to face the Garcia-Morales winner.
"Ajose has won the title elmination bout against Ali Chebah, and the ruling in the WBC's convention was that he is the mandatory contender," said Sulaiman.
"But when there is a new champion, we always let them enjoy, at least for a week, his championship. We are not going to send an immediate e-mail, you know? So the WBC is going to address this matter when we begin the month of April."
But the 32-year-old Olusegun has been here before, even claiming to have been the organization's No. 1 mandatory since 2009, a span during which he has won five straight bouts, two of them by knockout.
"Timothy Bradley was the champion then," said Olusegun, who resides in London. "It has been so long that I can't speak specifically about dates or months, but Timothy Bradley was the champion then. I can't even remember who he fought, because it's been a long time. What? Three years now?"
Sulaiman acknowledges Olusegan's long-time prescence near the top of the division, but attributes his failure to land a title shot to out-of-the-ring issues.
"Ajose is a great fighter, very loyal, and a tremendous fighter, and he has won the final elimination bout, but he has had, in the past, tremendous managerial and promotional problems," said Sulaiman.
While Olusegun admits to being trouble by issues outside of the ring, but he partially blames the WBC for bypassinng him.
"I never had any managerial problems, but what Sulaiman said about fights falling through is true. I was supposed to fight Ionut Jo Jo Dan of Romania for the final elminator in 2009, and the fight fell through, which was not my fault, because Romania was supposed to promote the fight, but the fight fell through," said Olusegun.
"But after that, I was supposed to fight for the world title, because the guy didn't want to fight me. So someone behind me in the rankings ended up fighting for the title, and I can't even remember who it was. The fights have continued to fall through, but the WBC has never given me a title shot."
Olusegun said that he was the mandatory when Bradley vacated his belt, that is, before being leapfrogged by Morales, who, in turn, was granted the top position and the right to face previously unbeaten then-21-year-old prospect, Pablo Cesar Cano.
Morales vanquished by 10th-round TKO in December to become Mexico's first, four-division titlewinner, and was then granted an optional defense rather than a mandatory one to face Olusegun. Morales elected to fight Garcia.
"My fight with Ali Chebah should have been for the world title, but, you know, Erik Morales was given the chance to fight for the title against Cano when it was vacant. Even before he had a chance to fight for the title, he had lost a fight," said Olusegun, referring to Morales' to last April's majority decision loss to Marcos Maidana, which most ringsiders thought Morales won.
"So he fought for it and won, and because he fought for a vacant title, isn't he supposed to fight the mandatory challenger next? But he fought Danny Garcia. But now that I became the mandatory challenger by beating Ali Chebah, obviously, the right thing to do is for Danny Garcia to fight the mandatory challenger. I give Danny Garcia the respect for being champion, but he should fight me next. That's the rule."
GOLDEN BOY SIGNS UNBEATEN JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHT FRANCISCO VARGAS
Unbeaten junior lightweight Francisco Vargas, a 2008 Mexican Olympian, has signed with Golden Boy Promotions, the organization announced on Thursday.
Vargas will debut with the company on Saturday night against Mexico's Carlos Fernandez Perez Martinez (12-2, 9 KOs) at Oasis Hotel Complex, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
A nine-time Mexican amateur champion, Vargas has won five straight fights, all by knockout, since battling to a draw with Byron Gonzalez in a four-round, clash of unbeatens in September of 2010.
"It's an honor to add another former Olympian to the Golden Boy Promotions roster," said Oscar De La Hoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions.
Vargas-Martinez will take place on the undercard of a Fox Deportes-televised main event featuring Venezuelan-born, ex-titleholder Jorge Linares (31-2, 20 KOs) and Mexico's hard-hittinng Sergio Thompson (21-2, 19 KOs).
Linares will attempt to rebound from October's 11th-round loss to Antonio DeMarco in a failed attempt to win the WBC's vacant lightweight belt. Linares has won the WBC and WBA belts as a featherweight and junior lightweight, and Thompson has won seven straight fights, six of them by knockout.
RING ANNOUNCER JOE ANTONACCI ENTERS NEW JERSEY HALL OF FAME
RingTV.com's Mike Coppinger reports that Ring announcer Joe Antonacci will be inducted into the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame on Nov. 8. Antonacci, a resident of Ridgewood, N.J., regularly appears on the broadcasts of boxing shows on HBO, Showtime, ESPN and NBC Sports Network.
The veteran announcer has been in the business for over 10 years. Also being inducted that night, among others, is Ivan Robinson, who defeated Arturo Gatti twice and James Scott, who fought on national TV from prison in Rahway, N.J.
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Photos by Dwight McCann, Fightwireimages.com
Photo by Naoki Fukuda