- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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A few notes from the boxing world:
• Junior lightweight contender Juan Carlos Burgos is in need of a new opponent for his fight on July 26 (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes). Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KOs), who fought to a disputed draw with titleholder Rocky Martinez in January, was due to face Daulis Prescott in a 12-round bout at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Sacramento, Calif. However, Prescott (26-2, 19 KOs), the brother of longtime junior welterweight and lightweight contender Breidis Prescott and a former featherweight title challenger, withdrew because of kidney stones.
• Promoter Rodney Berman has secured an American TV outlet for Saturday’s “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super 4” final between super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez (23-0-0, 15 KOs) of Worcester, Mass., and light heavyweight contender Denis Grachev (13-1-1, 8 KOs), a San Diego-based Russian, who will meet at a catch weight of 171½ pounds in Monaco. The card will be televised by beIN Sport beginning at 3 p.m. ET. beIN Sport, which bills itself as “the international sports channel,” carries mostly soccer and is available on several outlets in the United States, inclucing DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast and AT&T U-Verse TV.
Also on the card, junior welterweight titlist Khabib Allakhverdiev (18-0, 8 KOs) of Russia makes a mandatory defense against France’s Soulemayne M’baye (40-4-1, 22 KOs), Max Bursak (26-1-1, 12 KOs) of Ukraine defends the European middleweight title against England’s Prince Arron (23-4-1, 5 KOs) and Dmytro Kuchar (21-0, 15 KOs) of Ukraine faces South Africa’s Ilunga Makabu (13-1-0, 13 KOs) in a scheduled 12-round cruiserweight bout.
• Famed broadcaster Col. Bob Sheridan, who has called more than 900 world title fights, has a history of heart trouble and is scheduled for triple bypass surgery on Monday. He’s already had five heart attacks and nearly died from pneumonia, but he’s still kicking and hopes to reach the 1,000 mark. Sheridan is in good spirits and, assuming all goes well, plans to be in New Zealand on Aug. 31 to work the broadcast of heavyweight David Tua (52-4-2, 43 KOs) against Alexander Ustinov (28-1, 21 KOs). Tua, the former title challenger and longtime contender, has not fought since a decision loss to Monte Barrett in their rematch in August 2011.
• The shakeup at HBO Sports continues under division president Ken Hershman as longtime director of programming Luis Ferrer, one of the deparment’s main boxing executives, is leaving. Ferrer, 41, had worked in boxing programmning at the network since 2004, although he took a leave of absence from September 2010 through December 2012 when he joined the army and served in Afghanistan. Ferrer, who is going to NBC Sports, is the second major programming executive to leave HBO Sports in the past month, joining his boss and senior vice president Kery Davis, who recently resigned.