HBO has made a doubleheader out of the Jan. 18 Championship Boxing telecast featuring a 175-pound matchup between former IBF super middleweight titleholder Lucian Bute and former light heavyweight champ Jean Pascal at Bell Centre in Montreal, which will also boast a heavyweight bout between undefeated prospect Mike Perez and one-beaten Carlos Takam.
In his last fight, in September, Pascal (28-2-1, 17 knockouts) came up with a fifth-round knockout of George Blades in a 180-pound catchweight bout, having previously been in action for a unanimous-decision over Aleksy Kuziemski. Before facing Kuziemski, Pascal lost to Bernard Hopkins in May of 2011.
Bute (31-1, 24 KOs) is coming off a unanimous-decision victory over previously unbeaten light heavyweight Denis Grachev, which followed a fifth-round knockout loss to Carl Froch that cost him his IBF 168-pound belt in May of 2012. A subsequent injury to Bute’s left hand forced the postponement of the Pascal bout.
Perez is coming off a brutal 10-round unanimous decision on Nov. 2 that left Magomed “Mago” Abdusalamov in a medically induced coma, although Abdusalamov has since come out of it and began rehabilitation last month at the Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y.
Perez (20-0, 12 KOs) will be donating a portion of his purse to Abdusalamov’s family and will honor him in the ring by having “Mago’s” name stitched on his trunks.
Takam (28-1, 22 KOs) is a native of Cameroon who is fighting out of Noisy-le-Grand, France. A 2004 Olympian who represented France, Takam has stopped three of his past four opponents, including former title challengers Frans Botha in the 11th round and Michael Grant in the eighth in March of 2012 and in May, respectively.
Takam has won 10 straight fights, eight of them by knockout since falling by unanimous decision to Gregory Tony in June of 2009. Perez stopped Tony in the first round in May of 2011.
Also on the Pascal-Bute undercard, welterweight Mikael Zewski (22-0, 17 KOs) will meet Krzysztof Szot (18-9-1, 5 KOs), junior welterweight Yves Ulysse Jr. will make his professional debut against unior Evaggelos Tsirimokos (6-3, 1 KO), and junior middleweight Sebastien Bouchard (8-0, 2 KOs) will meet Giuseppe Lauri (53-16, 31 KOs), according to a press release from HBO.
LIGHT HEAVY ILSHAT KHUSNULGATIN FIGHTS ON JAN. 24
Russian light heavyweight prospect Ilshat "The Sheriff" Khusnulgatin (11-0, 6 KOs), who stands 6-foot-3, will be after his second straight knockout and his fourth in his past five bouts against Larry Pryor (7-7, 4 KOs) of Frederick, Md., on the undercard of a main event Brooklyn middleweight Curtis "Showtime" Stevens (25-4, 18 KOs) on a Jan. 24 edition of NBC Sports Network's Fight Night from Resorts International Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Main Events announced on Tuesday.
Stevens is trying to rebound from November's eighth-round stoppage loss to WBA 160-pound titleholder Gennady Golovkin. Prior to facing Golovkin, Stevens' stoppage of Saul Roman in August had represented his third first-round knockout during a run of four straight wins.
NEVADA HALL OF FAME TO INDUCT ITS SECOND CLASS
Rich Marotta, president of The Nevada Boxing Hall of Fame, has released the names of the fighters nominated for induction into the organization.
The results will be announced later this month in the following categories: Non-Nevada residents, Nevada residents and Adoptive Nevada residents.
Three of the following nominees will receive entry as non-Nevada residents: Thomas Hearns, George Foreman, Roberto Duran, Felix Trinidad, Marco Antonio Barrera, Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Johnny Tapia, Michael Carbajal, Jorge Paez, Ricardo Lopez, Hector "Macho" Camacho, Kevin Kelley, Paulie Ayala and Michael Dokes.
Two of the following will enter as Nevada residents: Chris Byrd, Sonny Liston, Roger Mayweather, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Wayne McCullough, Vince Phillips, Freddie Little and Leroy Haley.
One of the following will be inducted as an adoptive Nevada resident: Joe Louis, Earnie Shavers, Kevin Kelley, Leon Spinks, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Jorge Paez, Hedgemon Lewis and Fernando Vargas.
MIKE REED RETURNS ON JAN. 17
Junior welterweight Mike Reed (6-0, 4 KOs), of Waldorf, Md., will return to the ring on Jan. 17 at the Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, Md., against Jorge Marquez (4-1, 2 KOs), of Phoenix, AZ.
A southpaw nicknamed “Yesindeed” who turns 20 on Jan. 12, Reed fought all of his bouts in 2013, making his debut with a first-round knockout in March and following that up with a 41-second victory in April.
"Last year, I did a great job of dictating the pace in my fights and I thought I showed good ring generalship. My training and conditioning allowed me to perform well in my fights, so I definitely want to keep that going," said Reed, who is trained and managed by Michael Pinson.
"I'm happy that I stayed busy in my first year as a pro. I am working hard to build a solid fan base, and very thankful for the way my supporters have come out to watch me fight…In 2014, I want to continue with the same work ethic that brought me success last year…It would be great to fight on some nationally televised cards so that more people can see me fight."
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com