Thursday, December 14, 2006
A mere four months after one of the most exciting heavyweight fights in years ended amid a whirlwind of controversy, Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter (27-1, 22 KOs) and James “Lights Out” Toney (69-5-3, 43 KOs) are set to go at it again in the main event on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2007, on Showtime Championship Boxing. A 12-round elimination bout to determine once and for all who the mandatory challenger for WBC champion Oleg Maskaev will air on Showtime (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast).
In the co-feature, Jose Antonio Rivera (38-4-1, 24 KOs) will make the initial defense of his WBA 154-pound title against unbeaten Travis Simms (24-0, 18 KOs). The doubleheader will take place in Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla. It is promoted by Duva Boxing, Goossen Tutor Promotions, Warriors Boxing Promotions and Don King Productions.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Boxers (left-to-right), Peter, Rivera, Simms and Toney pose. Photo: Tom Casino/Showtime
At Tuesday’s press conference formally announcing Peter vs. Toney 2, promoter Don King and Ken Hershman, Showtime Networks senior vice president of Sports Programming, announced the addition of Rivera vs. Simms to the Jan. 6, 2007 edition of Showtime Championship Boxing. The world title doubleheader will air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) and is being promoted by Duva Boxing, Goossen Tutor Promotions, Warriors Boxing Promotions, and Don King Productions.
The always exciting Jose Antonio Rivera (38-4-1, 24 KOs) will make the first defense of his WBA super welterweight title against undefeated, WBA champion “in recess” Travis Simms (24-0, 18 KOs). Rivera won the title in spectacular fashion May 6, 2006, on Showtime, dropping Alejandro “Terra” Garcia four times en route to winning a lopsided decision. Simms, who knocked out Garcia to win the WBA 154-pound belt, will be making his first start since October 2004 when he defeated Bronco McKart.
The main event features the hottest young heavyweight in the world, Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter, and one of the craftiest pugilists in history, James “Lights Out” Toney, fighting a WBC-ordered rematch at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
Monday, November 27, 2006
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The hottest young heavyweight in the world, Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter, and one of the craftiest pugilists in history, James “Lights Out” Toney, will meet in a World Boxing Council-ordered re-match on Saturday, Jan. 6, in the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla.
The main event will be televised on Showtime Championship Boxing at 9 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the West Coast) and is being promoted by Duva Boxing, Goossen Tutor Promotions, Warriors Boxing Promotions, and Don King Productions.
The first meeting between Peter and Toney on Sept. 2 was an action-packed affair that featured excellent exchanges and few clinches. The match aired live on Showtime from Staples Center in Los Angeles and was an elimination bout to determine who would be the mandatory challenger to the WBC heavyweight champion. Toney-Peter I will be available for fans to relive on Showtime On Demand beginning in mid-December.
While Peter won the contest by split decision, the WBC Board of Governors voted 21 to 10 on Sept. 26 in favor of an immediate re-match. In their ruling, the WBC cited divided opinions among the media and fans—not to mention the judges. Two scored the match for Peter 116-111, while the final judge had it 115-112 for Toney.
Peter vs. Toney II will also have the added intrigue of being an elimination bout with the winner becoming the WBC mandatory challenger to the winner of Oleg Maskaev vs. Peter Okhello without any intervening bouts.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Less than 48 hours after Superfighter announced the eight participants in their heavyweight tournament on December 1st in Australia, two of the most notable names have already dropped out…
Samuel Peter and Calvin Brock have both stated that they are not interested in particpating in the event so they can instead focus on their upcoming title fights this winter.
Peter will be facing James Toney in a rematch of their September bout this coming January; Brock challenges Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF Heavyweight title on November 11th at Madison Square Garden.
Peter’s manager Ivaylo Gotzev supports the camp’s decision to keep Samuel out of the event and focused on Toney:
“The minute the WBC announced the rematch with James Toney, we’ve been excited and working toward making that fight as soon as possible,” he said. “The Superfighter Tournament is something that might be an interesting idea down the line, but they’re going to have to look for another fighter because Sam Peter is not available.”
Calvin Brock’s statement was very similar…
“I am pleased that Superfighter has shown its integrity in the betterment of the sport of boxing by agreeing to cooperate with me and allow me to follow my dream and fight for the heavyweight championship of the world,” said the gentlemanly Brock. “I think the Superfighter concept is a great addition to the world of boxing, and I look forward to fighting in the Superfighter tournament without jeopardizing my goal to become and remain the heavyweight champion of the world.”
I know that there are also eight alternates that will take place of the fighters that can’t fight. Superfighter stated in a press release that Sinan Samil Sam is the first alternate so I’m guessing he will be stepping in for one of those two.
Reports have also stated that Chris Byrd’s status in the event is also being questioned. BoxRec currently has him scheduled for two events - a bout against Eliseo Castillo on November 11th as part of the Brock-Klitschko undercard and the Superfighter event on December 1st.
Is he going to do both? I guess we will have to wait to hear from Byrd himself…
The lineup for the event now looks this for the time being…
Juan Carlos Gomez
Sinan Samil Sam
Thursday, October 12, 2006
For those of you who live under a rock or have spent the last couple of months in space, Bernard Hopkins has stated that he would be willing to come out of retirement if he could fight WBC Heavyweight Champion Oleg Maskaev.
We’ve already gone through the obstacle course that they would have to go through in order to make this fight official but let’s go through it again one more time, shall we?
Maskaev first has to defend his title and retain it against Peter Okhello on December 9th. If Maskaev is victorious he then must somehow convince the WBC to allow him to take on Hopkins against of the winner of the Samuel Peter-James Toney rematch in January.
Maskaev has already gotten around facing Samuel Peter once, can he do it again?
Hopkins has already said that he won’t take on Maskaev if it’s not for the title so Maskaev must retain it in December.
Dennis Rappaport, Maskaev’s promoter, said in a recent interview that Hopkins’ challenge is nothing more than a publicity stunt.
However Rappaport has also confirmed that Oscar De La Hoya has contacted him about setting up the fight…
Friday, October 06, 2006
Samuel Peter has told a Brazilian radio station that his rematch with James Toney will take place on January 6th. The only thing that is left now is to find a venue for the fight…
Since the last bout was held in Los Angeles, Toney’s hometown and the city in which he grew up, Peter would like the fight to take place in Nigeria. Toney has presented London has a good place to hold the fight and as a battleground that would not favor either fighter.
But you know Toney, he’s down for anywhere at all…
“I’m ready to fight anybody anywhere,” Toney said. “Against Toney, I knew what I was doing. I was beating him to his own game plan. The fight was not a good decision for the U.S. Since they want Toney in the grave I will put him in the grave.”
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
The rematch is just about set in stone…
The WBC has approved a vote to have a rematch between Samuel Peter and James Toney. The WBC Board of Govenors released a statement listing their reasoning behind the decision:
1. First, for having been an extremely close fight which divided the opinions of the media and fans. This rematch will clear the air and we will have an official undisputable challenger to our new champion Oleg Maskaev.
2. The WBC believes that at this moment there can not be a more interesting heavyweight fight than this rematch. There is a huge public demand for this rematch and it will be very good for the promoters, as well as the prestige and the importance of boxing in the world.
Samuel Peter has already said that he will accept the fight and I’m sure that Toney will have no problem with the decision either. Is it really the best heavyweight fight out there at the moment? With just about all of the top contenders locked up in fights, I might be inclined to say that it is.
Monday, September 18, 2006
America’s new boxing hope: Bernard Hopkins?
“The state of the heavyweight division in America is dead,’’ Hopkins said. “Bernard Hopkins is the only boxer who can bring the title back.’‘
Hopkins is pretty set on coming out of retirement. But moving up to heavyweight? Bernard, that’s unheard of!
So what drove Hopkins to do this?
“I was watching that fight and it when it was over, it hit me,’’ Hopkins said. “Rahman was supposed to be the last line of defense for the America heavyweights. He couldn’t do it. But I was inspired to comeback and do it. It’s not something that is unheard of. Michael Spinks did it. Roy Jones did it. I can do it.”
“I know people are going to give me a hard time about coming back,’’ Hopkins said. “But I think this is a special reason to come back. This is about restoring something back to America. I believe I can be America’s heavyweight savior.
As of right now, Hopkins is planning to meet Oleg Maskaev in June 2007. Will Maskaev even have the title by then? He has a fight with Peter Okhello in December and still has to face Samuel Peter in a mandatory defense.
I think this is a good move by Hopkins - He’s been itching to fight again ever since he retired in June and I believe he still has the skills necessary to come out of this with a win over a top heavyweight.
However fighting at heavyweight is a big difference than middleweight and even light-heavyweight. Hopkins says that the weight is not a problem, but is he prepared to take a punch from 240 lbs of Maskaev? Another downside is that losing may spoil the huge victory he had over Antonio Tarver.
With a bunch of confirmed and possible fights in the heavyweight division over the next few months, it’s going to be a lot of fun to see how this all plays out…
Friday, September 08, 2006
Newly crowned WBC Heavyweight Champion Oleg Maskaev will defend his title in mid-December in Moscow, Russia according to his promoter Dennis Rappaport. His opponent will not be mandatory challenger Samuel Peter, but Peter Okhello.
Maskaev’s opponent probably will be 34-year-old Peter Okhello (18-4, 16 KOs), 6-foot-4 fighter from Uganda who is based in Japan. Okhello has never beaten a notable opponent; two of his losses have come to Maskaev victim Sinan Samil Sam (via decision in 2005) and Rahman victim Kali Meehan (via third-round knockout in 1999). In both of those losses, Okhello knocked his opponent down.
“It’s pretty much a done deal,” Rappaport said. “He’s in the [WBC] rankings, he’s available and it’s a voluntary defense.”
Plan A for the Maskaev camp was to set up a unification bout against Wladimir Klitschko but injuries suffered in Maskaev’s fight against Hasim Rahman prevented that from happening.
Maskaev had a hairline fracture in his elbow, two sore thumbs and a bad back.
“It was about a month too soon for Oleg to be ready to fight Klitschko,” Rappaport said. “It’s a fight we wanted and a fight we worked on, but the timing just wasn’t right. It looks like what we are going to do is for the first time have a heavyweight championship fight in Moscow. Oleg can get in a voluntary fight and then we can come back here for the big fights.”
So what about Samuel Peter? Is he getting hung out to dry?
Rappaport stated that the WBC has allowed Maskaev to take the voluntary defense against Okhello before the end of 2006. The fight would be prevented from happening in 2007 as the WBC would force Maskaev to face Peter or be stripped of his title. Basically, Maskaev-Peter will be happening at some point in 2007.
I’m wondering if Peter will fight again this year or wait for Maskaev in the spring. He looked pretty beat up after the Toney fight and the official medical suspensions haven’t been released yet so I guess we will wait and see…
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The WBC has previously ruled that the winner of Samuel Peter-James Toney would fight the winner of Oleg Maskaev-Hasim Rahman for the WBC Heavyweight Championship. That means that Peter will face Maskaev for the belt at some point in the near future, right? As always, there are ways that Maskaev could get out of this…
The only way Maskaev does not face Peter in his very next bout is if he vacates his title or he stages a non-title bout. If Maskaev vacates the title, Peter would face the highest rated contender, and that would probably be Sinan Samil Sam, since the third ranked contender Calvin Brock is facing Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF heavyweight title on November 11 in Madison Square Garden.
There could always be a bypass of the WBC title if another champion steps up to the plate, but that would not be in the immediate future. Nikolai Valuev is defending his WBA heavyweight title against Monte Barrett in October, both WBO heavyweight champion Sergei Liakhovich and IBF champion Wladimir Klitschko are due to battle on separate dates in November.