Lem Satterfield

Lem’s latest: Lara-Martirosyan; Golovkin-Proksa; IBF crowns Casimero


Top Rank has out-bid Golden Boy Promotions for the right to handle a WBC eliminator bout between unbeaten junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan and former amateur world champion Erislandy Lara, the organization’s Seceretary General, Mauricio Sulaiman, informed RingTV.com on Friday.

“Top Rank’s bid $405,000, and Golden Boy bid $326,000,” said Sulaiman from Mexico City, where the purse bid took place at the WBC headquarters. “The promoter has to provide the site — the place of the fight — in 15 days. In 21 days, they have to provide signed contracts by both fighters.”

Martirosyan (32-0, 20 knockouts) had been a consideration to face undefeated WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin (23-0, 20 KOs) in an HBO-televised defense on Sept. 1.

But it it now appears that the frontrunner to face Golovkin is Polish southpaw middleweight Grzegorz Proksa (28-1, 21 KOs) in the wake of a back injury that forced Golovkin’s WBO counterpart, Dmitry Pirog (20-0, 15 KOs), to pull out of their initially-planned bout.

“We’re fine with it,” said Martirosyan’s uncle and manager, Serge Martirosyan. “This the fight that we were expecting to take, to be honest with you. So now it’s on.”

Golovkin-Proksa could headline an HBO-televised card whose co-feature matches former WBO junior middleweight titleholder Sergei Dzinziruk (37-1, 24 KOs) against Jonathan Gonzalez (15-0, 13 KOs). Proksa is coming off an eighth-round knockout of Kerry Hope on July 7 that avenged his only loss by majority decision to Hope in March.

“That’s correct,” said promoter Gary Shaw of the potential for the Golovkin-Proksa bout. “We’re leaning in that direction, but it is not finalized. We have not made a deal with HBO.”

The winner of the bout between Lara and Martirosyan would become the mandatory challenger to face beltholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (40-0-1, 29 KOs), who is currently scheduled to face Josesito Lopez on Sept. 15.

Bob Arum said Lara-Martirosyan could land on either Top Rank’s Sept. 15 card featuring RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez and WBC beltholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the Oct. 20 clash between WBO junior featherweight titleholder Nonito Donaire and four-division titlewinner Jorge Arce, or what is expected to be a Nov. 10 welterweight rematch between Manny Pacquiao and either Tim Bradley or Juan Manuel Marquez.

“Those are the three possibilities” for Lara-Martirosyan, said Arum.


A welterweight bout between Shawn Porter (19-0, 14 KOs), of Akron, Ohio, and Alfonso Gomez (23-5-2, 12 KOs), of Guadalajara, Mex., will be the opening bout for the July 28, Showtime-televised main event featuring Robert Guerrero and Selcuk Aydin for the WBC’s interim welterweight belt from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., near Guerrero’s hometown of Gilroy.

The winner between Guerrero (29-1-1, 18 KOs) and the Turkish-born Aydin (23-0, 17 KOs) of Hamburg, Germany, will be the mandatory challenger for WBC titleholder Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Gomez is coming off a sixth-round stoppage loss to Alvarez in September.


Johnriel Casimero  (16-2, 10 KOs), a 22-year-old from Cebu City in Cebu, Philippines, has been declared the IBF’s new top flyweight in the wake of the inability of Ulises Solis (34-2-3, 21 KOs), of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mex., to defend his belt within a nine-month window of his last fight — an exemption that had been granted by the IBF — due to a jaw injury that resulted from an out-of-the-ring altercation in December. 

“Solis was granted a medical exception after suffering a broken jaw in an alleged altercation with Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in December 2011,” according to the IBF’s statement regarding the issue. A member of Casimero’s camp, Sean Gibbons, told RingTV.com that Solis has an ongoing lawsuit against Alvarez, who has denied any wrongdoing.

Solis is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Jetrha Oliva in August of last year that is part of his current 7-0-1 unbeaten streak. Solis suffered his last loss by 11th-round stoppage against Brian Viloria in April of 2009, bringing to an end Solis’ run of 10-0-1 with seven knockouts.

“The exception gave Ulises an additional nine months from the original mandatory date of January 30, 2012 to defend his title. This week the IBF received a letter from Solis’s physician explaining that in order for the boxer’s jaw to heal properly he required a bone fragment transplant,” read a statement from the IBF, in part.

“This procedure was performed on Solis on May 29. Furthermore, the physician recommended an additional six month healing period from this surgery. As a result, Solis will not be able to meet the extended mandatory deadline set for October 30, 2012 to defend his title.” 

Casimero, meanwhile, is coming off a 10th-round knockout of Luis Lazarte that ended in controversy in February. 

Miidway through the sixth round, referee Eddie Claudio stopped the bout and penalized Lazarte for repeatedly hitting Casimero behind the head. At that point, while only inches away from Claudio’s face, Lazarte removed his mouthpiece, stared directly into the the official’s eyes and threatened his life.

During another point in the fight, Lazarte (49-11-2, 18 knockouts) can be seen biting Casimero on the right shoulder at least once. As a result of his infraction against Casimero), has been banned for life from participating in any IBF-sanctioned events and suspended by Argentine Boxing Federation President Osvaldo Bisbal.

Photo by Fightwireimages.com

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com


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