GOLDEN BOY SIGNS CUBAN FIGHTERS YOANDRIS SALINAS, LUIS ORTIZ
“These two fighters are undefeated, highly-ranked and they’ll fight anybody,” said Diaz. “We’ll be working with our partners of Dream Team Boxing Promotions, which is very easy to work with, so we’re looking for bigger and better things.”
A 27-year-old, Salinas (20-0-1, 13 knockouts) is slated to face hard-hitting Scott Quigg (26-0-1, 19 KOs) in the fall, and Ortiz, 34, joins Golden Boy’s heavyweight stable that includes 6-foot-7 Deontay Wilder and once-beaten Seth Mitchell.
Ortiz (19-0, 16 KOs) has won his past four bouts by knockout, having last been in the ring for a fourth-round stoppage of Santiago De Paula in November of last year.
“With Ortiz, it’s no secret that he is 34, but he’s a Cuban fighter, and a lot of the Cuban fighters, because of their amateur experience, you don’t have to take too long, using as examples, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara, Yuriorkis Gamboa. These guys don’t need to have 20, 30 fights before they fight for a world title,” said Diaz.
“Ortiz will fight whoever they put in front of him. He would fight Seth Mitchell, he would fight Deontay. He said that it doesn’t matter. He’s just ready to go.”
DOMINICK GUINN TO REPLACE INJURED TONY GRANO VS. TOMASZ ADAMEK
Having suffered a neck injury, Tony Grano will be replaced by rugged journeyman Dominick Guinn (34-9-1, 23 KOs) against Tomasz Adamek (48-2, 29 KOs) on Aug. 3, according to Main Events President Kathy Duva.
Guinn, who is 38, is coming off of last month’s first-round stoppage of Stacey Frazier that ended his three-fight losing streak.
“Guinn has done his best work when his opponent forces the action,” said Duva. “So we expect an entertaining fight because you know that Tomasz will be aggressive.”
BRIAN VERA’S PRIMED TO TAKE DOWN JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ JR.
Brian Vera (23-6, 14 KOs) said that he will be “fully prepared” for former WBC middleweight titleholder Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1-1, 32 KOs), who will have been out of the ring for nearly a year when he rises into the super middleweight division to face Vera on Sept. 7 at The Staples Center in Los Angeles, an event that is being promoted by Top Rank.
“I will be fully prepared. I have never had this much time to train and prepare. I feel like I already have a head start, and I am going to make everyone proud. I am going to win,” said Vera, who will face Chavez at a catchweight of 165 pounds.
“I have actually fought three times at that weight and Chavez hasn’t. I know the weight will not affect me and I will be strong at the weight. He is probably taking me lightly, but it doesn’t matter. I will be 110 percent on fight night. Fighting in Los Angeles is better than fighting him in Mexico City. A win will turn my whole career around, and it will change my life.”
Chavez is coming off a unanimous-decision loss to RING champion Sergio Martinez last Sept. 15 in Las Vegas, after which he tested positive for marijuana. Last month, the Nevada State Athletic Commission reduced the fine it had initially levied against Chavez, 27, from $900,000 to $100,000, this, after the fighter already had completed the term of his nine-month suspension.
“He is only human like everyone else,” said Vera. “Of course the suspension, the fines and some of the other stuff that has been said about him will play on his mind.”
Vera has split victories with Ande Lee, twice decisioned ex-154-pound beltholder Sergio Mora, and stopped former junior middleweight titleholder Sergei Dzinziruk in the 10th round. Vera’s win over Lee was by seventh-round knockout, and his loss, by unanimous decision.
Trained by Ronnie Shields, Vera has won six of his last seven bouts. Over a nine-month span, Vera had a four-bout winning streak, the past two by knockout.
“I just want to thank my trainer Ronnie Shields,” said Vera, “and the people at Plex Performance as well as my manager David Watson, my promoter Banner Promotions and the rest of my team. I will make them proud on Sept. 7.”
RUSTAM NAGAEV FIGHTS JOSE HERNANDEZ ON AUG. 9
Lightweights Rustam Nagaev (24-6, 14 KOs) and Jose Hernandez (14-6-1, 6 KOs) square off in the main event, with the co-feature matching junior featherweights Jose Pedraza (13-0, 9 KOs) and Gabriel Tomalyjan (13-2-1, 3 KOs) on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights on Aug. 9.
Promoted by Gary Shaw Productions in association with Lucas Oil, the event’s undercard will include a junior lightweight bout between Emmanuel Tagoe (21-1, 8 KOs) and Gerardo Robles (16-11, 7 KOs), lightweights Alex Luna (14-0, 10 KOs) and Christopher Rivera (5-12-1, 4 KOs), and Roy Tapia (5-0-1, 2 KOs) against Eliezer Agosto (2-2, 2 KOs) in a junior featherweight clash.
In addition, Edgardo Laboy (6-0, 3 KOs) will face Jose Iniguez (6-16, 1 KO) in a junior featherweight fight, and junior middleweight Arnold Barboza (1-0) will meet an opponent to be determined.
BOYD MELSON HAS RETURN BOUT AGAINST JASON THOMPSON ON AUG. 14
On Aug. 14, at BB King Blues Club in New York City, Melson and Thompson will meet, yet again. Melson is coming off a unanimous decision over Edgar Perez in April, and Thompson, off of a draw with unbeaten Frank Galarza in May.
“Regardless of how I feel I performed or what I and others believe the outcome of the first fight should have been, it was ruled a draw. He’s a tough fighter and has faced good opposition but he’s been stopped in a few of his losses,” said Melson.
“On Aug. 14, I will be special. I will look different in the ring. If you are asking what that means, then you will have to be there to see. It’s about time I stop someone again.”
After his fight with Thompson, Melson donated his entire $2,000 purse toward spinal cord research, and Golden Boy Promotions’ president Oscar De La Hoya vowed to donate a matching $2,000 to Melson’s “Team Fight To Walk.” On May 16, Melson helped raised more than $70,000 during “Team Fight to Walk’s” first fundraiser at BB King.
BALTIMORE’S GERVONTA DAVIS GOES FOR THE KNOCKOUT AT COPPIN STATE
Baltimore featherweight Gervonta Davis will pursue his fourth knockout over the course of as many victories without a loss when he meets Rafael Casias (4-7) on Saturday night in the first-ever boxing event to be held at Coppin State University in Baltimore.
Davis will headline an eight-bout card that is being promoted by Gene Molovinsky.
Photo by Delane Rouse, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Photo by Scott Heavey, Getty Images
Photo by Esther Lin, Showtime
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Mike Gladysz
Photo by Rich Kane, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org