“I’m excited to get back in the ring on Nov. 16,” said Ward (26-0, 14 knockouts) of a bout being billed as “The Return.” “(Rodriguez is) a young, hungry, undefeated fighter who doesn’t believe he can lose, and it’s my job to change his mind.”
THE RING’s No. 2-rated pound-for-pound fighter behind Floyd Mayweather Jr., Ward had previously informed RingTV.com that he wanted to return to action in September after successful surgery in early January to repair his injured right shoulder, but that was delayed.
“I think [Rodriguez] and his team feel like they are going to catch me slipping coming off of surgery and the layoff. I try to live like a champion. I stay in the gym, eat well, and don’t abuse my body,” said Ward.
“This rest that I got was needed. I don’t feel like the layoff will hurt me, I feel like it will help me. It allowed me to rest mentally and physically, and I want to show the fans on Nov. 16 that I’m better than I was before I left.”
Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) scored a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna in March, and then blasted out light heavyweight contender Denis Grachev in the first round in July.
“Vince Lombardi once said, ‘Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man,'” said Rodriguez. “‘But sooner or later, the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.’ On Nov. 16, I know I will win.”
FLOYD MAYWEATHER’S $41.5 MILLION CHECK
In the wake of what Yahoo!Sports has dubbed “perhaps the finest promotion in boxing history,” Mayweather’s unanimous decision over Canelo Alvarez on Showtime Pay Per View became the highest-grossing boxing event of all time with nearly $150 million in revenue reported, even as Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer is now predicting totals of “over $200 million.”
A photo of Mayweather’s check for his guaranteed purse of $41.5 million, released by Nevada State Athletic Commissioner Keith Kizer and confirmed by Schaefer to be authentiic, has surfaced online even as Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe contends that the No. 1-ranked, pound-for-pound fighter “has the potential to make $100 million with this fight.”
HBO2 SHOWS JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ-MANNY PACQUIAO IV; TIM BRADLEY-RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV
In his last fight in March, Bradley (30-0, 12 KOs) rose from a 12th-round knockdown to secure a unanimous decision over Ruslan Provodnikov in defense of the title he won by split-decision over Manny Pacquiao last June.
Marquez (55-6-1, 40 KOs), who turned 40 in August, scored a sixth-round knockout of Pacquiao last December.
On Oct. 4 at 11 p.m. ET/PT, and again, on Oct. 5 at 10:45 a.m. ET/PT, HBO 2 will replay Marquez-Pacquiao IV and Bradley-Provodnikov, back-to-back.
MIKE ALVARADO-RUSLAN PROVODNIKOV FACE OFF WITH MAX KELLERMAN ON OCT. 5
At 1 a.m. ET/PT on Oct. 5, HBO’s Face Off With Max Kellerman will feature Provodnikov (22-2, 15 KOs) and Mike Alvarado (34-1, 23 KOs) in advance of their junior welterweight bout on Oct. 19 for Alvarado’s WBO belt. The fight will be held at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield, Colo., a suburb of Denver, near Alvardo’s hometown of Thornton.
Alvarado was last in the ring for a unanimous decision win over Brandon Rios in March that avenged his seventh-round stoppage loss to Rios last year.
Provodnikov’s other setback was in January of 2011 by unanimous decision against Mauricio Herrera, whom Alvarado unanimously decisioned in April of 2012 prior to his two bouts with Rios. Provodnikov is trained by Freddie Roach.
KELL BROOK TAKES ON VYACHESLAV SENCHEKO ON OCT. 26
Unbeaten English welterweight Kell Brook will meet former titleholder Vyacheslav Senchenko on Oct. 26 at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, a bout to be broadcast in the United States on AWE and www.awetv.com.
Brook (30-0, 20 KOs) scored his second straight knockout victory in the eighth round over Carson Jones in July, and Senchenko (34-1, 23 KOs) has stopped former titleholder Ricky Hatton and Carlos Adan Jerez in the ninth and fourth rounds, respectively, to rebound after having been dethroned as WBA titleholder by Paulie Malignaggi via ninth-round knockout in April of last year.
SAUERLAND EVENTS HAS ARTHUR ABRAAM, YOAN HERNANDEZ ON TAP
Abraham will face an opponent to be determined on Oct. 26 in Germany in the hopes of gaining a rematch with WBO super middleweight titleholder Robert Stieglitz. Abraham has won a decision against Stieglitz and lost by fourth-round stoppage.
Meanwhile, Hernandez will make his third defense against mandatory challenger Alexander Alekseev sometime in November or December, most likely in Germany.
JAVIER FORTUNA RETURNS AGAINST JOSE CARMONA ON OCT. 19
In association with Cesar Mercedes of Manguita Promociones, the Fortuna-Carmona bout is part of a card that includes three women’s bouts.
In separate fights, IBF featherweight titleholder Daihana Santana (32-6, 14 KOs), IBF junior featherweight beltholder Katy Pamela Wilson (18-1, 11 KOs) and ex-junior featherweight titleholder Marilyn Hernandez (24-9, 15 KOs) will compete.
Also on the card are bantamweight Jonathan Guzman (14-0, 14 KOs) and junior lightweight Braulio Rodriguez (14-0, 14 KOs).
FERNANDO GUERRERO TO RETURN IN NOVEMBER OR DECEMBER
Middleweight Fernando Guerrero (25-2, 19 KOs), who was dropped four times during a seventh-round stoppage loss to WBO titleholder Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin in April, will return to the ring in November or December against an opponent to be determined, according to the fighter and Golden Boy matchmaker, Eric Gomez.
Photo by Naoki Fukuda
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com