Ex-welterweight titleholder Andre Berto is expected to rise a division to challenge IBF junior middleweight beltholder Cornelius Bundrage on Nov. 24 on HBO, according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
“We are holding Nov. 24 for a fight between Andre Berto and [Cornelius] ‘K-9’ Bundrage, and Richard Abril against Sharif Bogere,” said Schaefer, corroborating an earlier assertion by Berto’s promoter, Lou DiBella. as well as a report by FightHype.com.“That will be a triple-header, and we are currently working on the third fight as well, and that’s with HBO.”
In May, Berto (28-1, 22 knockouts), a former IBF and WBC 147-pound title-winner, tested positive for the banned substance norandrosterone, forcing the cancelation of a remacth against Victor Ortiz that was scheduled for June.
But in July, Berto, 29, was granted a one-year license by the California State Athletic Commission to fight in the state after having tested negative for “anabolic steroids and masking agents.”
Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs), who is 39, is coming off June’s Showtime-televised seventh-round stoppage of Cory Spinks, whom he originally dethroned by fifth-round stoppage in August of 2010.
A Cuban-born fighter living in Miami, Abril (17-3-1, 8 KOs) is coming off a disputed split-decision loss to former lightweight titleholder Brandon Rios in April. Bogere (23-0, 15 KOs) is after his fourth straight knockout and is coming off a second-round stoppage of Manuel Leyva in June.
Bradley (29-0, 12 KOs) is coming off a controversial split decision in June that dethroned Manny Pacquiao as the WBO’s welterweight titleholder and ended his 15-bout winning streak, and is targeted for a return to the ring on Dec. 15 at Marlins Park in Miami, according to Yahoo!Sports.
The others being considered for Bradley are IBF junior welterweight titleholder Lamont Peterson and WBC 147-pound beltholder Robert Guerrero, according to Arum, although The Los Angeles Times reported that Bradley-Guerrero is unlikely.
Bundrage would not clarify the status of the Berto bout.
“I’ve read on the internet about the fight, and I think that it would be a good fight, and an entertaining fight,” said Bundrage, neither confirming or denying the deal.
“I will be in touch with Golden Boy real soon to see where it is. I’ll be in touch with Golden Boy to see what’s up with the fight, and to see if it’s going down.”
GARY RUSSELL JR. RETURNS ON NOV. 9, OLYMPIANS DEBUT
Undefeated southpaw featherweight prospect Gary Russell Jr. (20-0, 12 KOs), of Capitol Heights, Md., will return to the ring on Nov. 9 on Showtime’s ShoBox: The New Generation against an opponent to be determined at Fantasy Springs Casino, Indio, Calif,
Russell Jr. will headline as part of “The Night Of The Olympians,” during which Schaefer said that the venue will feature the pro debuts of “five or six” standout boxers from the 2012 Olympic Games.
Russell Jr. was last at Fantasy Springs for his last fight in June, when he scored a third-round stoppage of Chris Perez of Mexico.
ABNER MARES-ANSELMO MORENO TO HEADLINE SHOWTIME-TELEVISED QUADRUPLE-HEADER
WBC junior featherweight beltholder Abner Mares (24-0-1, 13 KOs) and rising WBA bantamweight titleholder Anselmo Moreno (33-1, 12 KOs) headline a Showtime-televised quadruple-header on Nov. 10 at The Staples Center, said Schaefer.
Mares will be trying to end a 27-bout winning streak that includes 10 knockouts for Moreno (33-1, 12 KOs), who, like Mares, will attend Tuesday’s press conference at L.A. Live’s ESPN Zone in Los Angeles, “a fourth fight will be announced next week,” said Schaefer.
In addition to Mares-Moreno, Mexican junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo (20-2, 17 KOs), currently of Coachella, Calif., will return to the ring against twice-beaten Raul Casarez (19-2, 9 KOs), of Edinburg, Texas.
Also on the card against an opponent to be determined will be IBF bantamweight titleholder Leo Santa Cruz (21-0-1, 11 KOs), who scored a sixth-round TKO over Morel, stopping the veteran for the first time in his career on Sept. 15.
ADRIEN BRONER-ANTONIO DEMARCO TO BE ‘FINALIZED’
Schaefer said that he expects to soon finalize a deal matching WBO junior lightweight titleholder Adrien Broner (24-0, 20 KOs) and WBC lightweight beltholder Antonio DeMarco (28-2-1, 21 KOs) for Nov. 17 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Broner, 24, is coming off his fourth straight stoppage victory with an HBO-televised knockout of Vicente Escobedo in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati also in July. Before entering the ring against Escobedo, Broner lost his WBO belt at the scales for missing the contracted weight of 130 pounds both the day prior to the fight and during a Saturday morning re-weigh.
DeMarco, 26, is coming off a 44-second knockout of John Molina on Sept. 8. The win was DeMarco’s fifth straight win and his fourth by stoppage during that run opposite Molina, having last suffered defeat by ninth-round stoppage to the late Edwin Valero in February of 2010.
DeMarco’s promoter, Gary Shaw, told RingTV.com that he has reached an agreement with HBO to fight Broner.
Broner-DeMarco will be on an HBO-televised card that will include unbeaten heavyweight prospect Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell versus Johnathon Banks.
“We are working on finalizing Nov. 17 on HBO, the double-header with Adrien Broner against Antonio DeMarco, Seth Michell against Jonathon Banks,” said Schaefer. “We are very close on getting that [Broner-DeMarco] finalized.”
MIGUEL COTTO-AUSTIN TROUT LEADS ‘A TRIPLE-HEADER’
At New York’s Madison Square Garden on Dec. 1, three-division title-winner for Miguel Cotto (37-2, 30 KOs) will make a Showtime-televised challenge of southpaw WBA junior middleweight beltholder Austin Trout (25-0, 14 KOs).
“It will be a triple-header,” said Schaefer. “And we will have Showtime Extreme, as well, as a lead-in.”
DEONTAY WILDER TO FOLLOW ‘ANOTHER NIGHT OF THE OLYMPIANS’
Schaefer said that there will be more pro debuts of fighters from the 2012 Olympic Games on Dec. 15.
“In the afternoon, as a lead-in, following an NCAA basketball game on CBS, we will have, live, on CBS, there will be boxing. It will be another ‘Night of The Olympians,’ and we will be announcing shortly who will be on that card,” said Schaefer of an agreement between Golden Boy, Showtime Sports and CBS Sports.
“That will then lead into Showtime Extreme on Showtime, and then Showtime Extreme will lead into Showtime Championship Boxing. We are going to be announcing, shortly, who will be on that card. So that will be a big night, Dec. 15.”
Among those likely to appear is unbeaten heavyweight prospect Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder, of Tuscaloosa, Ala., who will be after his 26th knockout in as many wins without a loss.
“[Wilder] will be on one of the platforms,” said Schaefer. “We will have to see which one we will have Deontay Wilder on.”
A 2008 Olympic bronze medalist who turns 27 in October, the 6-foot-7 Wilder is coming off a second-round knockout over previously undefeated Damon McCreary (14-1, 10 KOs), of Detroit, on Sept. 8. McCreary had come up with stoppage victories in three of his previous four fights.
Prior to facing McCreary, Wilder scored a first-round stoppage of Trinidad and Tobago’s Kertson “The Warrior” Manswell on Aug. 4 which had followed June’s third-round knockout of former heavyweight title challenger Owen Beck.
AMIR KHAN RETURNS
Ex-IBF and WBA junior welterweight titleholder Amir Khan (26-3, 18 KOs) has left trainer Freddie Roach, and may have aligned himself with 2011 Trainer of The Year Virgil Hunter in the wake of July’s fourth-round knockout loss to Danny Garcia, according to reports.
Garcia’s triumph added Khan’s WBA belt as well as the division’s RING championship to the WBC crown he already owned.
Khan began working with Roach and Ariza following his 54-second knockout loss to Breidis Prescott as a lightweight in Sept. of 2008. From there, Khan won eight straight fights, four of them by knockout, and earned two title belts.
But the loss to Garcia was the second in a row for Khan, whose winning streak under Roach ended with December’s controversial split-decision loss to Lamont Peterson.
“An announcement as it relates to Amir Khan’s opponent, the site and the date is imminent. What I’m working on finalizing later tonight or early tomorrow is Amir Khan, and we have his opponent locked in,” said Schaefer.
“We will be announcing that shortly, either later on tonight or early tomorrow. We will also be announcing the television network Amir Khan will be working with. That’s all going to be announced within the next 24 hours.”
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Tom Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Pat Lovell, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Tom Casino, Showtime
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org