Thursday Evening Notes: Lopez has opponent for June 27

  • Top Rank has found an opponent for Juan Manuel Lopez on June 27. The WBO junior featherweight titlist will defend against Montreal-based, Cameroon-born Olivier Lontchi (18-0, 8 KO) in the headlining bout of the pay-per-view from Atlantic City. He's fought entirely in Canada so far, and mostly in Montreal, and he has absolutely no name in America. The PPV will be opposed by a very attractive HBO Boxing After Dark, and it wasn't going to do well with Pavlik-Mora, let alone Lopez-Lontchi. In the end Top Rank might've been better off just cancelling the whole thing.
  • A showdown between 168-pound titlists Lucian Bute and Carl Froch is looking closer to coming through. Froch says he's comfortable going to Montreal because Bute draws the big crowds there, but he also throws this in: "I’ve probably got two or three years left in my career and I want the big fights." It's like every boxer wants to convince us they won't hang on "too long" before it's even time to consider this stuff. Again, I'm getting tired of everyone at 30ish talking retirement.
  • Kimbo Slice is going to make his pro boxing debut this summer. I've got nothing against Slice, and though Jake Rossen finds it unlikely that Slice will do well in boxing, I'm not sure that's really the point. He hits pretty hard and he's got more technical skills standing up than he's given credit for, and furthermore he will be facing tomato cans and bums. If Jonathan Brookins can win a boxing match, Kimbo can.
  • In case you missed it, Juan Diaz finally graduated from college. The good news is we get to stop hearing about how he went to college. He's going to try law school next.
  • James DeGale was disappointed in his pro debut ("cringing" as the crowd boos his style), but promises to be more aggressive.
  • Here's a heartwarming story: KingVision Pay-Per-View and J&J Sports Productions sued a group of veterans at an American Legion in Chino, Calif., for showing two PPV fights in 2008 without a commercial license. They claim that the Legion charged admission, but the veterans say they merely passed a hat around to try to cover the costs, and often times they didn't fully meet the bill anyway. They were sued for $150K and $160K for the events, and settled out of court for $20K on each case.
  • Recently retired heavyweight journeyman Paul Marinaccio has started his own promotional company, Jawbreaker Promotions.
  • Sugar Ray Leonard is going to write a book on his career, which sounds pretty exciting. He's never been a huge talker and has always represented the sport of boxing very well. Looking forward to hearing his thoughts on his big fights and all that.
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