LAS VEGAS — An apparent injury to unbeaten Englishman Kell Brook could force the postponement of his scheduled Jan. 19 clash with IBF welterweight titleholder Devon Alexander that is to be televised on Showtime from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer informed RingTV.com on Tuesday.
“I’ve just been informed that there might be a problem with Kell Brook, and I have to follow up on it,” said Schaefer. “But we might have to push back that fight from Jan. 19, because I think there is something wrong with Kell Brook’s ankle. They’re going to get it checked out, so I don’t have any more to report right now. But [the fight] might be pushed back.”
Alexander (24-1, 13 knockouts), who is 25, is coming off last month’s unanimous decision over hard-punching Randall Bailey, while Brook (29-0, 19 KOs), who is 26, is coming off last month’s third-round stoppage of Hector Saldivia.
Schaefer had also previously informed RingTV.com that heavy-handed Argentine junior welterweight Lucas Matthysse (32-2, 30 KOs) was slated to face Philadelphia’s twice-beaten Henry Lundy (22-2-1, 11 KOs) on the Alexander-Brook card.
Matthysse has scored his past two victories by fifth- and 10th-round knockout over former WBC 130-pound and lightweight beltholder Humberto Soto in June and previously unbeaten Olusegun Ajose in September.
The latter was a showcase of Matthysse’s notorious punching power against the very tough, but overmatched Nigerian southpaw.
Rated the No. 1 contender at junior welterweight by THE RING, Matthysse has had four straight knockouts wins since sandwiching disputed decision losses to left-handers Zab Judah and Alexander in June of 2010 and June of 2011, respectively, around an eighth-round stoppage of left-hander DeMarcus Corley in January of last year.
Lundy will try to rebound from July’s 10-round unanimous-decision loss to Raymundo Beltran at lightweight.
ADRIEN BRONER-RICKY BURNS IN PLAY
Schaefer said there is potential for a lightweight unification deal to be made matching WBC beltholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner (25-0, 21 KOs) and WBO titleholder Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KOs) on Feb. 16 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
A 23-year-old resident of Cincinnati, Broner is coming off last month’s eighth-round knockout that dethroned Antonio DeMarco.
On the Broner-DeMarco undercard, Banks dropped Mitchell three times in the second and final round, ending Mitchell’s streak of 23 consecutive victories, 18 of which were knockouts, including the past 10 straight.
Broner was awaiting the result of Saturday night’s defense by Burns, a 29-year-old who was to pursue his 21st consecutive win and his eighth stoppage during that run against an opponent to be determined in London after scheduled rival Jose Ocampo (17-5-1, 12 KOs) of the Philippines was apparently ruled out.
Schaefer said depending on developments with Burns’ fight, the match-up with Broner could be made sooner rather than later.
“I spoke to [Burns’ promoter] Frank Warren today, and I’m going to have further conversations later on this week as Frank will see what exactly is going to happen. But there is a possibility that now, assuming I could make a deal with Frank, that we would move directly into a Broner vs. Burns fight on Feb. 16 from the Boardwalk in Atlantic City,” said Schaefer.
“But I’m not Burns’ promoter, so it’s not really my place to report on that. Either he’s going to fight, or he’s not going to fight. But it seems as though right now, he’s not going to fight. [If that’s the case,] then, he would be available or he could be available for Feb. 16.”
GARY RUSSELL JR., MARCOS-MAIDANA-THURMAN IN DISCUSSION FOR APRIL
Schaefer said that southpaw featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (21-0, 13 KOs) could pursue his fourth straight knockout on an HBO-televised card in April featuring a match-up of hard-hitting welterweights Keith Thurman (19-0, 18 KOs) and Marcos Maidana (32-3, 29 KOs).
Russell, 24, of Capitol Heights, Md., is coming off a last month’s stoppage victory over Roberto Castaneda, whom he flattened with a sensational, counter-right hook at 1 minute, 25 seconds of the third round.
Schaefer said that he had pursued former titleholder Jhonny Gonzalez (52-8, 45 KOs), of Mexico City, for Russell, only to have Gonzalez turn down the fight.
“This is something that we had been discussing as a potential double-header with Gary Russell against Jhonny Gonzalez,” said Schaefer. “But we have just been informed that Jhonny Gonzalez turned down the fight like half an hour ago. So we’ll be looking for another opponent for Russell.”
Gonzalez was dethroned as WBC beltholder following September’s eighth-round, unanimous technical decision loss to Daniel Ponce de Leon, ending a 12-fight winning streak that included 11 knockouts for Gonzalez on the undercard of a main event featuring WBC junior middleweight titleholder Saul “Canelo” Alvarez’s fifth-round stoppage of Josesito Lopez.
Thurman, meanwhile, is coming off last month’s fourth-round knockout of former WBO 147-pound beltlholder Carlos Quintana (29-3, 23 KOs).
Maidana lost his welterweight debut by unanimous decision to Alexander in December of last year, but rebounded with September’s eighth-round stoppage over Jesus Soto Karass in his first fight under trainer Robert Garcia.
BERNARD HOPKINS TO RETURN ON MARCH 9 AT BROOKLYN’S BARLCLAYS CENTER
Former RING light heavyweight and middleweight champ Bernard Hopkins will return to the ring on March 9 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with past considerations having been current 175-pound titleholders Nathan Cleverly (WBO), Beibut Shumenov (WBA),or Tavoris Cloud (IBF).
With a win, Hopkins, who will turn 48 in January, could eclipse his own record as the oldest man to win a significant crown, a feat the Philadelphia native accomplished at the age of 46 with a unanimous decision over Jean Pascal for the WBC’s light heavyweight belt in May of last year.
“I’m working on that as well, as I have said, Bernard Hopkins is going to be fighting on March 9 at the Barclays Center in New York,” said Schaefer. “I am currently working on who the opponent will be, but that’s definitely our date, and I don’t know yet if that’s going to be on HBO or Showtime.”
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Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com