A Saturday press conference is in the works for smack-talkers Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi.
Lem's latest: Vazquez-Burns; Mayweather touts Bundrage-Smith
IBF lightweight beltholder Miguel Vazquez will face WBO counterpart Ricky Burns as part of an EPIX-televised quadrupleheader on March 16.
"Best of Britain" will be televised live from Wembley Arena in London beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT as part of a free trial offer for boxing fans.
Vazquez (33-3, 13 knockouts) is coming off December's unanimous decision over previously unbeaten prospect Mercito Gesta (26-1-1, 14 KOs), a victory that marked his fifth title defense and his 12th straight win.
A technical, mobile boxer, Vazquez, 26, entered the Gesta fight following a split-decision win over IBF mandatory challenger Marvin Quintero last September.
Vazquez has not suffered defeat while competing at 135 pounds, having fallen by decisions against unbeaten WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley.
The 29-year-old Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) will be after his 21st consecutive win and his eighth stoppage during that run against Vazquez. The Scotsman is coming off a fourth-round stoppage of world-ranked Kevin Mitchell last September.
The Burns-Vazquez undercard will include a defense by WBO lightweight beltholder Nathan Cleverly (25-0, 12 KOs) against Robin Krasniqi (39-2, 15 KOs), a winner of 38 consecutive bouts, as well as bouts featuring super middleweight George Groves (16-0, 12 KOs), against Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye (22-1, 13 KOs), and heavyweight Dereck Chisora (15-4, 9 KOs).
FLOYD MAYWEATHER TOUTS ISHE SMITH AGAINST CORNELIUS BUNDRAGE
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Floyd Mayweather Jr. was at the MGM Grand in Detroit on Thursday, where his Mayweather Promotions was touting Saturday night's Showtime-televised IBF junior middleweight title defense by Cornelius Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs) against veteran Ishe Smith (24-5, 11 KOs) at the Masonic Temple Theater in Detroit.
Mayweather (43-0, 26 KOs) spoke publicly for the first time since the announcement of his exclusive multi-fight venture with Showtime and its parent company, CBS Corporation, in advance of the Showtime Pay Per View defense of his WBC welterweight belt against Robert Guerrero (31-1-1, 18 KOs) that will happen on May 4 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
"I've got love for the whole Midwest, and Detroit has embraced me with so much love. Detroit is a great city and the Midwest has produced nothing but a lot of legendary champions. It is great to be here in Detroit and Mayweather Promotions is happy to be here putting on this fight," said Mayweather.
As for Saturday night, Mayweather touted Smith, who has won three straight, two of them by knockout, since falling by unanimous decision to Fernando Guerrero.
"I need to thank Floyd for everything he’s done for me. I’ve had a lot of different promoters in my 13 years as a professional and no one has treated me the way he does," said Smith. "I did communicate with him when he was incarcerated and I carry this letter that he wrote me whenever I fight. He said, 'You are a champion.'"
Coming off June's Showtime-televised seventh-round stoppage of Cory Spinks, whom he originally dethroned by fifth-round stoppage in August of 2010, Bundrage does not believe he will have any trouble with Smith.
"He’s a pillow puncher. He’s going down. The only person I fear is God. Him [Smith], I’ll put him down," said Bundrage. "The thing is, 39-years-old for me is like 21 because I didn’t have an amateur career. I’m coming with everything. It’s going down. May the best man win."
But Mayweather retorted.
"Ishe Smith is not a walk in the park for K9 Bundradge. Ishe Smith is not Cory Spinks and he [Bundrage] needs to understand that," said Mayweather.
"K9 is world champion and I give him credit for being in this fight, but he is going in against a great fighter in Ishe Smith and I think Ishe and Mayweather Promotions will prevail Saturday night."
NBC'S FIGHT NIGHT WILL FEATURE FOUR UNBEATENS ON SATURDAY
Undefeated heavyweights Vyacheslav "Czar" Glazkov (14-0, 10 KOs), of Lugansk, Ukraine, and Philadelphia's Malik Scott (35-0, 12 KOs), will fight in the main event, and junior welterweights Chris Algieri (14-0, 7KOs), of New York, and Jose "Mangu" Peralta (10-1, 6 KOs), of Jersey City, N.J., will be in the co-feature of Saturday night's NBC Sports Network Fight Night event from The Paramount in Huntington, New York.
SHOBOX FIGHTERS MAKE WEIGHTT FOR FRIDAY'S EVENT
Junior lightweight main event fighters Art "Lion Heart" Hovhannisyan (15-0-2, 8 KOs), of Glendale, Calif., and Alejandro “El Alacran” Perez (16-3-1, 11 KOs), of Salinas, Calif., each weighed in at 130 pounds for Friday night's ShOwtime-televised clash on ShoBox.
HUGO CENTENO-KEANDRE LEATHERWOOD SLATED FOR MARCH 8
Junior middleweight prospects Hugo "The Boss" Centeno Jr. (17-0, 9 KOs), of Oxnard, Calif., and Keandre "Lightning" Leatherwood (12-1-1, 8 KOs), of Birmingham, Ala., will clash on March 8 on ShoBox at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif., Goldeen Boy has announced.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Photo by Craig Bennett, Showtime
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org