Lem Satterfield

Lem’s latest: Top Rank signs silver medalist Falcao

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Top Rank has announced the signing of Brazilian Esquiva Falcao, a middleweight silver medalist in the 2012 summer Olympic Games in London.

Falcao is a 23-year-old southpaw and the younger brother of Yamaguchi Falcao, a light heavyweight bronze medalist who signed with Golden Boy last month. 

“We are thrilled that Esquiva has joined Top Rank. He has so much talent, and we look forward to letting that talent shine on an international stage,” said Top Rank President Todd du Boef.

“Brazil boasts a robust media market and a rabid fan base. There is a reason why Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics. We look forward to using those platforms in promoting Esquva.”

Other past Olympians signed under Top Rank include gold medalists Zou Shiming of China and Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine.

Esquiva Falcao’s presence in the finals, where he lost to Ryota Murata, represent the first time that a Brazilian reached the championship bout of the Olympics.

Murata, of Japan, signed with Top Rank in June and debuted with a second-round stoppage of Akio Shibata in August.

A native of Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil, Falcao was born into combat sports, as his father was a former mixed martial artist who gave the elder Falcao sibling the name of his Japanese trainer, Yamaguchi.

The siblings entered the world of amateur boxing, hoping to one day escape the poverty they grew up around.

 

BRANDON RIOS SAYS MANNY PAQUIAO’S ‘TIME IS OVER’

On day number two of sparring in Macau, site of his Nov. 23 welterweight bout with Manny Pacquiao, Brandon Rios said he is feeling “no pressure.”

“No pressure on me. I’ll be putting all the  pressure on Pacquiao on Nov. 23. I’m retiring Pacquiao,” said Rios, who will complete his final day of sparring for the bout on Friday. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — Pacquiao’s time is over.” 

Pacquiao has lost his past two fights: by disputed split-decision against Tim Bradley in June of 2012, and by sixth-round stoppage against Juan Manuel Marquez last December.

Rios was last in the ring in March, when Mike Alvarado won a unanimous decision to avenge his seventh-round stoppage loss in October of 2012.

“Marquez took the last bit of life out of him. I’m going to get all of that Manny money when I win and then get ready for my next fight,” said Rios. “I’ve been training for five months, the longest camp of my life. But this work is what it takes to win a fight like this.”

 

ANDRE WARD ON EDWIN RODRIGUEZ: ‘I’VE BEEN CUT IN A FIGHT.’: 

RING and WBA super middleweight champion  Andre Ward (26-0, 14 KOs) believes that the difference in Saturday night’s defense against Edwin Rodriguez (24-0, 16 KOs) will be that he is more battle-tested than the challenger.

“This is his first time at this level when he has had cameras in his face, doing more interviews than he’s ever done before. I let him and his coach do all of the talking. They’ve been doing a lot of talking and I’ve been working. I’ve been grinding, so, come Saturday night, we’re gonna talk,” said Ward.

“I’m going to be locked in. Once again, they misread the scouting report. They think they’re going to bully, push me back, and ‘We’re going to make him fight.’ I’ve been through my ups and downs in the ring. I’ve been dropped and have been able to get up and battle back. I’ve been buzzed in a fight. I’ve been cut in a fight. The question is, has he?”

 

Photo by Scott Heavey-Getty Images

Lem Satterfield can be reached at lemuel.satterfield@gmail.com

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