Gary Russell Jr. has issued a statement declaring that he is eschewing offers from rapper-turned-promoter, 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson). The undefeated prospect is advised by Al Haymon and has a working relationship with Golden Boy Promotions.
“Over the last few days, we’ve been getting a number of phone calls from 50 Cent… They want us to sign with their camp. I don’t have anything against his team, but we are not interested. Like I’ve said before, Team Russell is not signed to any promotions team,” said Russell Jr., 24, whose father and trainer is Gary Russell Sr.
“I have a manager, Al Haymon, and he is the only person I’m signed with. Growing up with all brothers, our father taught us a long time ago that loyalty is important. I feel the same way about my relationship with Al. We consider him a part of our boxing family. Al has been a big part of my career, and things are going smooth. Our working relationship with Golden Boy Promotions has also been great.”
Jackson could not be reached for an immediate comment.
Russell (22-0, 13 KOs) will be out of the ring for “six-to-eight weeks” following a recent diagnosis of a hairline fracture in his left hand, which occurred during his unanimous-decision rout of Vyacheslav Gusev on March 2.
“We would not sign with any promotional team without having a conversation with Al. We have watched folks commit what we feel is boxing suicide by going against the grain,” said Russell Jr.
“We like the way I’m being moved along, and the dates, venues, and television time I have received have all been positive for my career. So while my team appreciates the offer, we chose to decline the proposal from [Jackson.]”
RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV CHALLENGES TIM BRADLEY TO STAY ON HIS FEET
Russian contender Ruslan Provodnikov, his trainer, Freddie Roach, and his manager, Vadim Kornilov, are collectively expressing confidence that the heavy handed fighter can not only hand WBO welterweight beltholder Tim Bradley his first loss, but potentially knock him off his feet during Saturday’s HBO-televised clash at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
“My training for this fight went better than I ever hoped. I feel like I’m a completely different fighter now,” said Provodnikov (22-1, 15 KOs), who has won five consecutive fights as a junior welterweight, four of them by stoppage.
“I have gained even more power in my punches after working with Gavin MacMillan, my new strength and conditioning coach. I think Timothy Bradley is in for something he doesn’t expect! I have fought many guys that tried to just box me, but usually that did not end well for them.”
A five-time Trainer of The Year who has guided the careers of champion fighters such as Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Roach called his time with Provodnikov the “best camp we’ve ever had,” adding, “biggest fight we’ve ever had. We’re ready.”
A former sparring partner for Pacquiao, Provodnikov is coming off June’s second-round knockout of Jose Reynoso, ending the loser’s unbeaten streak at 6-0-1, including two knockout victories.
“After the contract for this fight was signed, our job was to make sure that Ruslan’s training camp was complete and he had everything he needed to prepare properly,” said Kornilov.
“I think our new strength and conditioning coach Gavin MacMillan and Freddie Roach’s knowledge of the opponent is going to change Bradley’s plan of “I’ll just box him” into a plan of “how do I stay on my feet.”
Provodnikov’s lone defeat came opposite Mauricio Herrera (18-3, 7 KOs) in January of 2011 at 140 pounds, and he will be making only his third appearance at 147 pounds against Bradley.
Bradley, however, has employed Herrera among his sparring partners, and has vowed that Provodnikov will not last the full 12-round distance against him.
“I heard that Bradley is using Herrera for sparring but they don’t know what kind of preparations I had for that fight or what kind of trainer I had. My training camp now is completely different and I don’t think I lost that fight anyway,” said Provodnikov.
“I have been improving and with my new trainer and strength-and-conditioning coach working with me, and I going to be even more different than I was in the last couple of fights.”
“I think it is a smart thing for them [Bradley] to do [using Herrera.] I think he [Provodnikov] is a different fighter than the one that lost. We got the best sparring partners we could to emulate Bradley,” said Roach.
“We spent a lot of money going out and getting the right guys, and they did the same thing. The thing is, when they get in the ring and match up on fight night, it won’t be anything like the sparring. That’s how you get ready for big fights.”
CHRIS ARREOLA-BERMANE STIVERNE SLATED FOR APRIL 27
The WBC elimination bout scheduled for March 9 between heavyweight contenders Chris Arreola (35-2, 30 KOs), of Riverside, Calif., and Haitian-born Bermane Stiverne (22-1-1, 20 KOs), of Las Vegas, has been rescheduled for April 27 at Citzens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif., after having been postponed due to Arrerola’s bronchitis, according to Arreola’s promoter, Dan Goossen.
Arreola-Stiverne was slated for The Hangar of the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., as part of HBO’s broadcast of the clash featuring a unanimous decision by Bernard Hopkins (53-6-2, 32 KOs) that dethroned IBF 175-pound beltholder Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KOs) at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The winner of Arreola-Stiverne would be in line to challenge 41-year-old WBC titleholder Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 knockouts), who scored his 13th straight win and his 10th stoppage victory during that run against Manuel Charr (21-1, 11 KOs) in September.
MANNY PACQUIAO’S AIDE GETS ‘STERN WARNING’
Restituto “BuBoy” Fernandez, a longtime friend and assistant trainer serving Pacquiao, has been given a “stern warning” by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his role in the alleged assault on Getty Images photographer Al Bello following Pacquiao’s knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez on Dec. 8 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
In addition, Fernandez “may need to appear before the full commission” before being re-licensed in the state, according to executive director Keith Kizer.
Bello’s company, Getty Images, initially requested that the NSAC take disciplinary action against Fernandez and advisor Michael Koncz, who was alleged to have “punched, kicked, grabbed and then chased Mr. Bello.”
“At the very least, it is a stern warning,” stated Kizer in an e-mail. “He may need to appear before the full Commission when he applies again. The Chairman will make that decision if and when Buboy applies in the future.”
Kizer said that Koncz, as an advisor, was not required to be licensed. Koncz had been licensed in the past as a manager, but not for the most recent Pacquiao fight because he was “playing an advisory role.”
“I spoke to Mr. Koncz, and I informed him that although ‘You weren’t licensed at the time of the event, you may have to meet with the commission before you are licensed in the future,'” said Kizer.
“Usually a manager is licensed if they have their managerial contract on file, or if they want a direct cut from the fighter’s purse, which Koncz did not get.”
Below is the full letter from the commission to Fernandez, which was obtained by RingTV.com.
Thank you for your February 19, 2013 correspondence regarding the December 8, 2012 boxing bout in Nevada between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez. The Nevada Athletic Commission is not going to hold a formal hearing on this matter at this time, but a copy of our correspondence on this matter will be retained in your Commission file in the event of any further rule violations by you, and may be relied upon to institute disciplinary action against you by the Commission. Finally, the Commission retains the discretion to require you to appear before it if and when you apply for a license in the future.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Chriis Farina
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org