DSH Weekly Boxing Notebook: Tebow visits Pacquiao's camp, Sadam Ali renews deal with Golden Boy

March 27, 2015

Our latest version of The Daily Sports Herald's Weekly Boxing Notebook features two star athletes striking up a new friendship, and the renewal of a promotional contract with one of the sport's more interesting young prospects. Take a look:

Tim Tebow visits Manny Pacquiao's training camp

Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow visited Manny Pacquiao's training camp this past Saturday at trainer Freddie Roach's Wild Card Boxing Club, where he watched Pacquiao work out for nearly three hours in a gym session that including seven rounds of sparring and eight rounds of mitt work.

"It was the first time they had ever met and yet it seemed they had known each other forever the way they immediately embraced each other," said promoter Bob Arum.

These two celebrity athletes from seemingly different worlds surprisingly have a lot in common, namely their shared religious faith and their common birthplace in the Phillipines.

Born in Manila where his parents built a ministry, Tebow is scheduled to attend the May 1 opening of the Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City, Philippines.

"It was an unbelievable scene yesterday," said Roach.  "Tim Tebow is a great competitor, a standup guy who embraces his responsibility for being a good role model.  He and Manny shared a lot yesterday."

Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) is in training for his highly-anticipated May 2 welterweight world title unification battle against undefeated Floyd Mayweather (47-0, 26 KOs), and Tebow, an elite athlete himself, was impressed with what he saw.
"Manny's training session was phenomenal and inspiring," said Tebow.

Tebow and Pacquiao sent out photos of themselves at Wild Card via their own Instagram accounts.

"Awesome being with my Filipino and Christian brother @emmanuelpacquiao. #inspiration," wrote Tebow.

Pacquiao posted, "Good to be with my brother in Christ @TimTebow."

Sadam Ali renews Golden Boy contract, will fight on Klitschko undercard

Undefeated welterweight contender and 2008 U.S. Olympian Sadam Ali has renewed his promotional contract with Golden Boy Promotions.  Ali made headlines when he became the first Arab-American to represent the U.S. in the Olympics.  Since then, Ali has continued to make news thanks to his impressive record of 21 wins with 13 knockouts.

"I am excited to continue to work with Golden Boy Promotions," said Sadam Ali. "They have put me up against tough fighters that have challenged me and helped me grow into the fighter I am today.  I am ready for a world title fight, and I know Golden Boy Promotions will help me achieve that goal."

Ali and Francisco Santana will face off in a 10-round bout at Madison Square Garden on April 25 as the co-feature to the World Heavyweight Championship fight between Wladimir Klitschko and challenger Bryant Jennings. The doubleheader will be televised live on HBO.

In his most recent bout, Ali defeated Juan Carlos Abregu, knocking him down in the sixth and winning by technical knockout in the ninth round.

"The undefeated Sadam 'World Kid' Ali is, without a doubt, a top contender to be world champion one day," said Oscar De La Hoya, President and Founder of Golden Boy Promotions, in a statement. "I'm pleased Golden Boy Promotions will continue to work with him. We want to put on the best fights for the fans and I know Sadam is also committed to that goal, which is why he is a natural fit for Golden Boy Promotions.  He is a tough fighter willing to fight anyone, and that's what you need to do in order to become a champion."
Brazilian Olympian Yamaguchi Falcao added to LA Fight Club card

Yamaguchi Falcao (4-0, 2 KOs), a 2012 Brazilian Olympic Bronze medalist, has been added as the co-main event for the April 2 LA FIGHT CLUB event.  Falcao will fight in a six-round middleweight bout against an opponent soon to be announced.

Since his professional debut in January 2014, Falcao has put together three consecutive victories over Fernando Najera, Martin Fidel Rios, and Jesus Cruz. In his first fight of 2015, Falcao stopped undefeated newcomer Raymond Terry of Philadelphia in the first round of their scheduled six-round middleweight fight on March 12.

LA Fight Club had a successful premiere on March 6 before a sold-out crowd at The Belasco Theater.  The April 2 installment is headlined by East Los Angeles native Julian Ramirez (13-0, 8 KOs) facing off against Raul Hidalgo (23-12, 17 KOs) in a 10-round featherweight bout.

Petrov to face Diaz in Corona on ESPN Friday Night Fights

On April 3, Boxcino 2014 Lightweight champion Petr Petrov will take on former world champion Gamaliel Diaz in a 10-round fight that will headline an ESPN "Friday Night Fights" card from the Omega Products Outdoor Arena in Corona, Calif.

Petrov, of Madrid, Spain, has a record of 35-4-2 with 17 KOs. Diaz, a Mexican City-native, has a record of 38-11-3 with 17 KOs and is the former WBC Super Featherweight world champion.

In the 8-round co-feature, 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Taras Shelestyuk will make his national television debut against Juan Rodriguez Jr.

Shelestyuk, 29, is from Sumy, Ukraine, and has a record of 11-0 with 8 KOs.  He is trained by Freddie Roach, and has stopped his last two opponents, most recently a third-round knockout over Francisco Reza.

Rodriguez of Union City, New Jersey has a record of 12-1 with 5 KOs.

"We expect tremendous performances from both Petr Petrov and Taras Shelestyuk," said Alex Camponovo, matchmaker and general manager for Thompson Boxing. "They have crowd pleasing styles that make for exciting fights, which the fans in attendance and those watching on ESPN will absolutely love."

This Week's Quotes

  • "I’m in the 13th year of my professional career. So I don’t think this is a problem because this fight is at 172 pounds. I don't need to have a problem with weight.  And at 172, I feel good in sparring.  I feel good in training.  And I think I'm ready for this fight and ready to win another world title." -- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., when asked about his one year layoff

  • “In my fight with Lomachenko I was flat. A lot of things went wrong in camp before that fight. I allowed my conditioning coach at that time to change up all sorts of little things with me, and they wound up working against me." -- Gary Russell Jr.

  • “Jermell [Charlo] is a good boxer, but he’s a basic boxer. He’s done well with guys that he’s supposed to look good against. There are some guys that he should’ve knocked out that he didn’t. If he hits me I will hit him right back and we’ll see how he handles that." -- Vanes Martirosyan

  • "The name has helped.  Obviously, it's helped get attention, but we are very different.  He -- my son fights at a higher weight than I fought.  And so, there's a lot of difference.  Physically, he's a lot bigger than I was.  So, there's good and bad, and we understand that.  But, he's his own fighter just like I was." -- Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., when asked if his son has benefitted from having a famous father

  • "Just watching him spar yesterday, when we needed a box, he did it beautifully.  And when we needed pressure in a few rounds, he pulled it off exactly how I like it.  So I'm very confident that whatever style we bring and game plan we bring, we're going to be successful with it." -- Trainer Joe Goossen on his fighter, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

  • “I can do a lot of things in the ring. Of course, my youth and speed will be keys but I have other attributes, too, like boxing acumen, ring generalship and what I call controlled chaos. I can move and punch and I’m thinking all the time in there." -- Gary Russell Jr.

  • “Jhonny knows what he has to do. He has to throw punches, maintain constant pressure and cut off the ring. That’s the way to help overcome Russell’s speed." -- Trainer Nacho Beristain, on his fighter Jhonny Gonzalez.

  • “I feel like this fight is more of a test for him [Charlo], and I have to make sure he fails the test." -- Vanes Martirosyan

  • “All I can do is prepare and go out there and win the fight. After I lost my fight to Demetrius Andrade I felt like a loser. I can’t lose this fight, I’d rather die than go out there and lose again.” -- Vanes Martirosyan

  • "Leading up to the fight, we were in a sauna for the past two, maybe three days leading all the way up into the fight.  That’s what my strength and conditioning coach wanted me to do.  Anyone that's seen that fight, whether it was Lomachenko or anyone else, they’ve seen the difference in my punching ability, my endurance, my speed, just me as a person. People knew that that wasn't the Gary Russell, Jr. that they'd seen the previous 24 fights. And that was some of the things that came up in the Lomachenko fight.  I was completely tired and fatigued in the first round, you know?" -- Gary Russell, Jr. on how his prior coach hurt his preparation in the Lomachenko fight 

  • "My favorite place to eat in downtown Los Angeles is Tommy's Burgers on Rampart." -- Julian Ramirez, Featherweight Prospect

By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services

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