Pacquiao arrived in Los Angeles from the Philippines on Sunday evening, having already trained for three weeks in preparation for his HBO-Pay Per View-televised fourth bout against Juan Manuel Marquez, whom he will fight on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In November, Pacquiao won an unpopular and highly-disputed majority decision over Marquez, who has also battled Pacquiao to a draw and suffered a split-decision loss, previously.
Pacquiao is coming off a controversial split-decision loss in June to Tim Bradley, ending a 15-bout winning streak that included eight knockouts.
IVAN CALDERON RETIRES
Former WBO 105- and 108-pound titleholder, Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon announced his retirement from the sport on Monday in his hometown of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, at the Amelia Municipal Boxing Gym, where he intends to begin work as a trainer and administrator.
Calderon (35-3-1, 6 KOs) is coming off a fifth-round knockout loss in his failed bid to earn the WBO’s strawweight belt from Moises Fuentes (16-1, 8 KOs) on Oct. 6.
“This was difficult because it’s something I love,” said Calderon, 37, who has gone 1-3 in his past three fights. “But I want to say that I’m doing this not because I’m old or tired. I’m doing this because I want to work with the kids and youth, bringing them my knowledge and tips.”
Calderon was the WBO beltholder with a seven-year unbeaten mark of 18-0-1 (3 KOs) in title bouts heading into a defense against then-WBA titleholder Giovanni Segura in August 2010.
Calderon was stopped in the eighth round, then lost the rematch with Segura by third-round stoppage in April of last year. He rebounded with a split-decision victory over Felipe Rivas in October before facing Fuentes.
“I want to be an example for all my fellow boxers that when it is time, it is time,” said Calderon. “No matter if we are rich or poor. The health is what matters. I want to thank all [of the fans.]”
YURIORKIS GAMBOA-MIGUEL BELTRAN ‘CLOSE’ FOR PACQUIAO-MARQUEZ IV CARD
A deal is close that would match former featherweight titleholder Yuriorkis Gamboa (21-0, 16 KOs) against Mexican junior lightweight Miguel Beltran Jr. (27-2, 17 KOs) on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Marquez IV card, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.
Gamboa has not been in the ring since September, when he decisioned current WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon.
In June, Gamboa was bought out of the remainder of his contract with Top Rank by rapper-turned-promoter 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson), allowing the Cuban Olympic gold medalist to separate from the organization.
Beltran is coming off a split-decision loss over Puerto Rican Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-1, 16 KOs) on the undercard of a unanimous decision by RING middleweight champion Sergio Martinez over former WBC titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who dropped Martinez in the 12th round.
FRANKIE GOMEZ RETURNS ON SATURDAY NIGHT
Unbeaten junior welterweight Frankie Gomez, a 20-year-old from East Los Angeles, will face Manuel Leyva on Saturday night as part of TeleFutura’s “Solo Boxeo Tecate” from The Phoenix Club in Anaheim, Calif.
Gomez (12-0, 9 KOs) was last in the ring in December of last year, when he stopped James Hope in the third round. The 30-year-old Leyva (21-8, 12 KOs) lost for the third straight time by unanimous decision to Alan Sanchez in August.
In the co-feature, lightweight Jamie Kavanagh (11-0, 5 KOs), a 22-year-old from Ireland, will take on Mexico’s Ramon Valadez (4-0, 1 KO).
Tickets priced at $30 and $50 are on sale and available for purchase online at http://fla.vor.us/1141276-Solo-Boxeo-Tecate-2-tickets/Solo-Boxeo-Tecate-2-Anaheim-Festhalle-The-Phoenix-Club-November-03-2012.html.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com