Eight-division titlewinner Manny Pacquiao spent Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles handing out free turkeys and pumpkin pies in advance of Thanksgiving at the Westside Shepherd of the Hills Church.
“Thanksgiving is a wonderful American holiday for families to get together and celebrate God’s blessings. I chose Westside Shepherd of the Hills to do this because a house of God, where I attend services, seemed an appropriate place to share my blessings,” said Pacquiao.
“I am very thankful for the many friends I have made here in this great country. I can’t think of a better way to express my appreciation to my American-based fans, who have embraced me, than by sharing my good fortune with them.”
Pacquiao will make his seventh appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday in advance of a fourth bout against four-division titlewinner Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at The MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao called Kimmel “a good luck” charm during his fifth berth on the show that aired nine days before his disputed majority decision victory over Marquez in November of last year.
But Pacquiao’s luck ran out after the last time he shared the stage with Kimmel in May — 16 days before he was dethroned as WBO welterweight titleholder followinng a split-decision loss to unbeaten Tim Bradley in June.
Pacquiao debuted on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” just three days after Halloween in November of 2009 prior to dethroning Miguel Cotto as WBO beltholder by 12th-round knockout later that month.
Pacquiao was also on the show before his unanimous decision welterweight defense against Joshua Clottey in March of 2010, as well as before earning the WBC’s since-vacated junior middleweight belt with a unanimous decision over Antonio Margarito in November of 2010.
Pacquiao was on Kimmel’s show for the fourth time prior to the unanimous decision defense of his crown in May of last year over Shane Mosley.
ABNER MARES, LEO SANTA CRUZ, DANIEL PONCE DE LEON GIVE AWAY TURKEYS
WBC junior featherweight titleholder Abner Mares, IBF bantamweight beltholder Leo Santa Cruz, WBC featherweight beltholder Daniel Ponce de Leon and lightweight contender Vicente Escobedo spent Saturday afternoon handing out free turkeys at the Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School in Los Angeles in the 16th Annual Oscar De La Hoya Foundation Turkey Giveaway.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR JONATHON BANKS?
With Saturday night’s HBO-televised upset second-round knockout over previously undefeated Seth “Mayhem” Mitchell (25-1-1, 19 knockouts), Johnathon Banks (29-1-1, 19 KOs) ended Mitchell’s winning streak that had covered 23 consecutive bouts and which had included 18 knockouts.
Banks attended the Tuesday funeral for Steward, who, prior to his death, charged him with training RING IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, 36, for his unanimous-decision victory over Mariusz Wach on Nov. 10 after having guided Klitschko through a 16-fight winning streak.
In victory, Banks placed himself among the American hopefuls to become his country’s next heavyweight titleholder. The problem is that Banks has been a longtime sparring partner for the Klitschkos, including 41-year-old WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko, all of whom are promoted by K2 Promotions.
“Having two heavyweight champions, and now, having the performance of a lifetime with Banks knockout Seth Mitchell on HBO, that puts him in a very good position to get another world class fight. HBO was excited about Banks’ performance,” said Tom Loeffler, of K2 Promotions.
“I think that we’ll follow that up with a good matchup. It was a great story, and it hasn’t really sunken in. It was such a tremendous effort emotionally. Seth had some great performances and had gotten a lot of exposure. So it’s a great story for Banks, because with the Klitschkos, he’s always kind of been in the background. Tonight, now, he’s right in front in the heavyweight division.”
Banks badly wants a rematch with Tomasz Adamek, against whom he suffered his lone defeat in his final bout as a 200-pound cruiserweight by eighth-round stoppage in February of 2009.
“Definitely a rematch with Adamek would be high on the list because that’s Banks’ only loss at the cruiserweight division, and Adamek has had a successful career as a heavyweight. That would be one fight,” said Loeffler of Banks, whose sparting partners included former contender Jameel McCline.
“Then, you would have any of the other top names after that, whether it would be a fight with Povetkin, or a fight with Helenius. Chris Arreola still is out there and has gotten a lot of good wins since his loss to Vitali, so I think that there are a lot of great matchups that can take place after this performance for Johnathon.”
BANKS, MITCHELL AGREE THAT THE JAB WAS KEY
For Mitchell, who, like Banks, is 30, the first round was a good one thanks, primarily, to his strategy of working his way forward behind his jab.
The mistake, he understands, is that he abandoned it to swiftly.
“I thought I did a good job in the first round, using my jab. At times, I got a little wild. But at the end of the first round, I thought that my pressure and some of the shots that I had hit him with, he definitely felt. I felt that if the fight had gone about seven or eight rounds, that he would start to wilt from the pressure,” said Mitchell.
“But with that being said, I got a little reckless in the second round, because I saw how effective I was in the first round. I might have rushed a little bit and just got wild with my shots, and that was one thing that we worked on religiously was not reaching on him because he’s a counter-puncher, and he can catch you with those shots. He capitalized on it and he finished the job. Kudos to him.”
Between rounds, trainer, Andre Hunter, advised Mitchell to continue to work his jab.
“Keep the speed on your jab…He’s throwing that low, left jab, and you can hit him with that one-two. Just time it. But keep the jab going so that he can never get on track with you, alright?” said Hunter.
“Keep the speed jab going in his face, and don’t fall in on the shot, because he’s going to grab you every time you fall in, you understand me?
But Mitchell’s failure to execute the game plan hastened his demise.
“As far as his jab, I thought Seth Mitchell’s jab was really good. It was better tonight than it ever has been. I didn’t have a problem with it because I kind of expected him to start jabbing. I just didn’t know if he would start with it or if he would start with power. I expected the pressure and I trained for the pressure. I take my hat off to him because he did so much and he did everything right as far as I’m concerned,” said Banks, who is 9-0-1, with five knockouts as a heavyweight.
“He came forward and he came forward behind his jab. That’s what made the fight really difficult, because, you already have a big, strong guy in front of you that can punch, and everyone sees that, and then, he started working behind his jab. So it made it a little difficult, so I had to hurry up and switch up some things that I had initially wanted to do. But I didn’t do it at first because of how he came at me. Once I saw him coming at me with the jab, I had to switch up and do something else.”
ERIC HUNTER TO REPLACE TEON KENNEDY AGAINST JERRY BELMONTES
Philadelphia’s Eric Hunter (16-2, 9 KOs) will face junior lightweight Jerry Belmontes (17-0, 5 KOs), of Corpus Christi, Texas, in the wake of an injury suffered by former opponent Teon Kennedy (17-2-2, 7 KOs), of Philadelphia, Main Events announced on Monday.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Eric Hunter,” said Promoter Russell Peltz of Hunter, who will face Belmontes on Dec. 8 at the Pearson-McGonigle Halls of Temple University on NBC Sports Network Fight Night show.
“Here is a young fighter with a lot of ability but his career was in limbo and all of a sudden he gets a chance to fight on the hottest boxing series on television and it’s in his hometown. Most fighters would give their eye teeth for this kind of opportunity and Eric jumped at it. Good for him.”
The main event of the eight-fight card features Philadelphia heavyweight Bryant “Bye Bye” Jennings (15-0, 7 KOs) opposite Bowie Tupou (22-2, 16 KOs), of Tonga, with the live card beginning at 7 p.m., and the NBCSN broadcast starting at 9 p.m. ET.
Also on the card, Philadelphia junior featherweight Alex Barbosa will pursue his fifth straight win without a loss in a four-rounder against New Jersey’s Joshua Arocho (2-6-2, 2 KOs) on Dec. 8 at the Pearson-McGonigle Halls of Temple University, the college from which the 26-year-old has earned dual Bachelor of Arts and Political Science and Criminal Justice degrees in 2006.
MIGUEL COTTO TRAINS FOR AUSTIN TROUT
Four-time, three-division titlewinner Miguel Cotto (37-3, 30 KOs) is hard at work preparing for his Showtime-televised, Dec. 1 clash with junior middleweight contender Austin Trout (25-0, 14 KOs) at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Training in Orlando, Fla., Cotto is 7-0 with four knockouts at The Garden, where he stopped Margarito in the 10th round in December of last year to avenge the first loss of his career, an 11th-round knockout in July of 2008.
Cotto, who turned 32 last month, is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr., who added Cotto’s WBA junior middleweight to his WBC welterweight title in May.
MIGUEL COTTO’S FIGHTS IN NEW YORK:
Waklimi Young, UD 4, Hammerstein Ballroom, April 28, 2001
Muhammad Abdulaev, TKO 9, Madison Square Garden, June 11, 2005
Paulie Malignaggi, UD 12, Madison Square Garden, June 10, 2006
Zab Judah, TKO 11, Madison Square Garden, June 9, 2007
Shane Mosley, UD 12, Madison Square Garden, Nov. 10, 2007
Michael Jennings, TKO 5, Madison Square Garden, February 21, 2009
Joshua Clottey, SD 12, Madison Square Garden, June 13, 2009
Yuri Foreman, TKO 9, Yankee Stadium, June 5, 2010
Antonio Margarito, TKO 10, Madison Square Garden, Dec. 3, 2011
Photos by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Photo by Gene Blevins, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Romeo Guzman, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com