Mark E. Ortega

Bits and pieces: Groves added to Abraham-Stieglitz card



Groves added to Stieglitz-Abraham bill Saturday

Sauerland Events confirmed Thursday that super middleweight contender George Groves will appear on their Saturday bill headlined by Robert Stieglitz’ rematch against WBO titleholder Arthur Abraham in Magdeburg, Germany.

Groves (17-0, 13 knockouts) is being showcased as a potential future challenger to the winner, which makes sense given his No. 2 ranking in the WBO. He made his first appearance under the Matchroom Sport banner just two weekends ago, scoring a third-round stoppage over journeyman Dario Balmacedo just days after parting ways with Frank Warren.

Groves’ opponent will be German-based super middleweight veteran Baker Barakat (37-13-4, 25 KOs), it was confirmed to Barakat isn’t expected to pose any real threat on Saturday. In the past few years, Barakat’s claim to fame is a six-round points win over former title challenger Khoren Gevor in December 2011.

An interesting spin to this announcement is that the Stieglitz-Abraham rematch will be televised by British boxing channel BoxNation, which was partially funded by Warren. EPIX Sports will also televise the card in the United States, though no official word on whether Groves’ bout will make the broadcast.

THE RING ranks Abraham No. 5 in the super middleweight rankings, followed by Stieglitz (No. 6) and Groves is No. 7, meaning that by the end of 2013 there could be a massive shakeup to the rankings.


Sam Soliman PED update

German sources have indicated to that Sam Soliman and his team missed an appointment yesterday to open the B-sample of his positive drug test from February’s fight against Felix Sturm.

At the beginning of the month, reported on the details regarding Soliman’s positive A-sample and details have been scarce since.

Soliman and his team have the right to open the B-sample to confirm whether or not there was a positive, as the A-sample tested positive for the substance oxilofrine. His team missed an appointment on Wednesday at the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) lab in Cologne, where the A-sample was tested.

According to the NADA’s rules, the B-sample must be opened in the same place as the A-sample, which is part of the reason Soliman’s teams request to test the B-sample in Australia was denied.

The only comment from Sturm comes via Twitter, where he said “Team Soliman can’t play this game forever.”


Youngest Morales returns on Canelo-Trout bill

Young junior bantamweight prospect Ivan Morales took big steps forward in 2012.

The youngest brother of future Hall of Famer Erik Morales, the 21-year-old southpaw made his American debut last September. He outpointed former title challenger Luis Maldonado in a ten-round technical decision. The bout was televised on Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo.

Morales (20-0, 13 KOs) picked up a victory in Mexico to start 2013, starching Patricio Camacho in a single round in January. He was slated to appear on the projected April 20 undercard of Marcos Maidana against Josesito Lopez, but with that fight moved to June, that will no longer happen.

Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Robert Diaz told that Morales will still go on April 20, but instead on the undercard of the highly anticipated Showtime-televised junior middleweight showdown between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Austin Trout in San Antonio. This is great news for young Morales, who will now fight in front of a ridiculously large crowd as tickets are fast moving for the card that will take place at the Alamodome.

No opponent has been set yet for Morales. With no other undercard bouts announced outside of the Omar Figueroa-Abner Cotto lightweight clash, there’s a good chance Ivan’s bout could find its way onto the ShoExtreme portion of that night’s festivities.



Photo / Scott Heavey

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