Late last week it was revealed that American fighter Mickey Bey (21-1-1-1, 10) had pulled out of a scheduled IBF Lightweight title defense against Denis Shafikov (35-1-1, 19). Bey was stripped for pulling out of the fight, with the IBF making the right decision, though the short notice pull has done no favours for Top Rank, TV, fans or Shafikov who have all been left high and dry.
Thankfully Top Rank have found a late replacement foe for Shafikov with Indonesian fighter Roy Mukhlis (27-4-3, 21) now standing in to face Shafikov.
The Indonesian isn't a world beater by any means but he shouldn't freeze on the big stage and this isn't the most significant bout of his career. In fact the Indonesian fighter has fought at the world level before taking on WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama back in 2010, though he was stopped in 5 rounds by "KO Dynamite".
Strangely at the time of writing this bout is listed, on the official bout sheet, as taking place at Super Featherweight, we'd however be shocked if Shafikov was coming to the ring at 130lbs given that he had, until very recently, been preparing for a world title fight at 135lbs.
On the latest version of the bout sheet there is 8 bouts for the show. That includes the exciting main event between Ik Yang (19-0-0-1, 14) and Cesar Rene Cuenca (47-0-0-2, 2), who meet for the IBF Light Welterweight title in a very attractive looking match up, and support bouts featuring Nonito Donaire (34-3, 22) and Rex Tso (16-0, 9), who will both be looking for wins ahead of prospective world title bouts later in the year.
For fans wanting to see the full bout list we've included it below as a PDF.
(Image courtesy of toprank)
Note-Our good friend Mikko Marttinen has reliably informed us this bout is actually at 137lbs, not the 130lbs as listed on the bout sheet. As always thank you Mikko.
Pacquiao and Algieri begin media tour, Kwanpichit Vs Shiming AND Piriyapinyo Vs Lomachenko both confirmed!
Yesterday was a big day for many in boxing, not because of the fights but because of the build up to a fight that will occur on November 22nd, almost 3 months away. That is the build up to the WBO Welterweight title fight between defending champion and Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38) and the unbeaten American Chris Algieri (20-0, 8).
The press conference took place with both men in Macau and was certainly a playful but respectful conference with Pacquiao being towered over by the American who playfully bent his knees for a face-to-face photo.
Both men gave credit to their opponent with Algieri being described as a troublesome due to his speed, height and reach whilst Pacquiao is of course and attractive fight for anyone who is hoping to become a mainstream star.
The press tour, which began in Macao, will see the fighters heading to Shanghai, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and New York all before the fight time as they try to bring the fight to fever pitch.
We know some fans have been disappointed by the match up but the under-card for the show is beginning to take form and look interesting. In fact the press conference in Macau confirmed the stories that broke to the English language press last week.
One of those stories was that Thailand's unbeaten Kwanpichit OnesongChaigym (27-0-2, 12) would be fighting Zou Shiming (5-0, 1), a story that has been suggest will be a title eliminator. Apparently the bout was announced a WBO world title eliminator though we'd suggest that if Shiming wins he will be heading towards an IBF world title fight and not a WBO one, after all Juan Francisco Estrada would almost certainly eat Shiming up for breakfast. What is likely is that Top Rank have tried to keep their options open in case Amnat Ruenroeng loses his upcoming IBF title fight with McWilliams Arroyo.
The other story is that the highly experienced Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo (52-1, 33) would be battling WBO Featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (2-1, 1) in a mandatory title fight. This will be Lomachenko's first title defence whilst Piriyapinyo will be fighting in his second world title fight following a previous loss to Chris John in a WBA title fight. This is a huge test for the Thai though it does look like a very high profile opportunity for the Thai to make a name for himself.
We have also been informed that WBA interim Super Featherweight champion Bryan Vazquez (33-1, 17) would be defending his belt against Diego Magdaleno (26-1, 10). Unfortunately is this takes place it would take both men out of the Takashi Uchiyama sweepstakes as "KO Dynamite" continues to look for an opponent for December 31st.
(Image courtesy of Chris Farinas/Top Rank)
We have been reliably informed that the November 22nd Macau card featuring the next bout of Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38) will not feature Pacquiao's compatriot Nonito Donaire (33-2, 21), despite speculation to the contrary this past weekend.
Donaire, who defeated Simpiwe Vetyeka (26-3, 16) via technical decision this past weekend for the WBA Featherweight "Super" title, had been mentioned for the co-feature of the Pacquiao headlined card though that idea was shot down by Pacquiao's advisor Michael Koncz. Although Bob Arum seemed to want the two Filipino stars on the same show Koncz has pointed out that Donaire wouldn't actually add much to the card considering his cost and that of an opponent. Effectively stating that the fan base of both are the same people and basically suggesting both men can fill the arena on separate cards.
It seems that whilst we know Donaire won't be on the card we don't really know what bouts will be on it. We have had Pacquiao confirmed for the show and he will be defending his WBO Welterweight title, though his opponent is yet to be named with a lot of possible fighters being mentioned. One of those fighters, Juan Carlos Abregu (36-1, 29), has been "downgraded" as opponent according to one source who suggested that we should consider Abregu out of the running.
Although no other fights have been announced there is a lot of speculation hinting at a contest between Zou Shiming (4-0, 1) and Alberto Rossel (32-8-0-1, 13) for the WBA Flyweight title as the chief support bout. Shiming does have a fight in the interim, on July 19th, but if he wins then this bout is apparently all but a formality from what we've been told.
Other fighters expected on the card will be Rex Tso (13-0, 8) and Kuok Kun Ng (4-0, 2) though both have interim contests on July 19th, just like Shiming and, like Shiming, will likely need to win them to be featured on this show.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
Earlier today saw a very interesting story breaking via various sources. That story was that Bob Arum, the promoter of China's Zou Shiming (4-0, 1), had all but announced that Shiming would be in line for a world title fight in November in what is being rumoured to be a huge stacked card set for Macau.
It's being speculated that Shiming's promotional team, Top Rank, have a deal with the WBA to allow Shiming to fight for the Light Flyweight title on November 15th against current interim champion Alberto Rossel (32-8-0-1, 13). The title, which is currently vacant, will lie in wait for the two men to collide in one of the biggest money Flyweight bouts in history.
Although the bout is said to be all but confirmed Shiming does have one little issue. Before the prospective clash with Rossel he will have to over-come his, yet to be named, opponent on July 19th in what will be the first scheduled 10 rounder of Shiming's career.
The bout, although not set in stone as of yet, is expected to share the card with a Manny Pacquiao bout, speculated to be a 5th clash with Juan Manuel Marquez, in what could well be the biggest ever show in Asia.
(image courtesy of Toprank)
Late last night it was announced that Filipino star Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38) had signed a contract extension with huge American promotional outfit Top Rank. Pacquiao, who has been a Top Rank fighter for years, will likely have fans split over his decision but for the Filipino fighter it may well be a case of "better the devil you know".
Many fans will view this as the end of the dream fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather. It's effectively been Mayweather's dislike of Arum that has stopped the fight from moving on in recent negotiations.
Although the Mayweather fight is unlikely Pacquiao has been left with numerous option for future fights and from what we understand his next fight will be in Macau in November.
No opponent for the Macau fight has been set though a strong rumour is that the punching Filipino politician will be fighting Juan Manuel Marquez for a 5th time. Another possibility is that Pacquiao may be forced to fight #1 ranked challenger Bethuel Ushona who has been making noises of forcing mandatory title fight.
Although we've yet to hear about the opponent or other fights on the card we are expecting Zou Shiming to be on the card and their have been strong rumours that there could be a big named Japanese champion on the show. We have seen Shinsuke Yamanaka's name linked to Macau shows, we've also seen Takashi Miura linked to the country and Kohei Kono, with a Kono/Koki Kameda fight being a very plausible Macau co-feature.
(Image courtesy of Top Rank)
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