Notebook: Manager says Gatti not retiring yet

Originally Published: August 18, 2006
By Dan Rafael | ESPN.com

AROUND THE RING
Gatti goes on
Arturo Gatti
Gatti was dropped by Carlos Baldomir July 22. (Ed Mulholland/WireImage.com)

Although Arturo Gatti said he was leaning toward retirement immediately following his one-sided ninth-round knockout loss to welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir on July 22, the human highlight film is having second thoughts. He probably will fight on, manager Pat Lynch told ESPN.com.

"He is definitely leaning toward fighting again," Lynch said. "He doesn't want to go out that way. He feels he still has something left. Every time he tries to bring it up, I tell him to take time off. I tell him he has his real estate deal going on up in Montreal. I tell him he has his baby daughter to watch grow up."

Gatti, a former two-division title holder, is on vacation in South America, visiting Argentina and Brazil, until Aug. 25. He is also immersed in a multimillion dollar construction project in his native Montreal, where he and a partner are building 84 condos.

However, Lynch said Gatti (40-8, 31 KOs) still hasn't gotten boxing out of his system.

"He just feels Baldomir was a big, strong guy and that he should have boxed more rather than engage him, and that his love is boxing," Lynch said. "He definitely wants to fight again. It's so hard when I think about it. Do I want to see him get hit again? No. If he came back and said he changed his mind, I would be the happiest guy in the world."

Lynch has managed Gatti, 34, since he turned pro in 1991 and counts him as a family member. Gatti was an usher at Lynch's wedding and is godfather to one of his three children.

"You don't want to walk away from him because he's a big part of the family," Lynch said. "You don't want anyone taking advantage of him, but you also don't want to sit there and see him take anymore punishment. It's a very difficult situation."

"I echo Pat's sentiments exactly," said Carl Moretti of Main Events, which has promoted Gatti for his entire career. "If he said, 'I am done,' we'll throw the retirement party. But I understand his competitiveness and his desire to go on."

Making it even tougher for Gatti to walk away is that, according to Lynch, Gatti's HBO contract has a provision calling for a seven-figure comeback bout.

"I don't even want to think about him fighting again," Lynch said.

Welterweight title bout for Cotto?
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum and Showtime are sorting though possible opponents for junior welterweight titlist Miguel Cotto and welterweight belt holder Antonio Margarito to face in their Dec. 2 doubleheader in Atlantic City, N.J.

Miguel Cotto
Cotto

Margarito, who will open the telecast, probably will face Joshua Clottey, Arum told ESPN.com. That's the easy part. Clottey was in Las Vegas for last week's Rahman-Maskaev heavyweight title fight and to meet with Arum, who said they are close to a deal.

Cotto's situation is a little more unclear. However, the Puerto Rican star is moving up to welterweight and it is possible that his debut at the weight could be a for a world title.

Should title holder Ricky Hatton drop back down to junior welterweight to challenge Juan Urango for his old belt -- Hatton's most likely move -- Hatton would vacate the 147-pound belt he won in May rather than face mandatory challenger Oktay Urkal of Germany.

Antonio Margarito
Margarito

Arum said Cotto could wind up facing Urkal for the vacant belt on the Showtime card. It would be contingent upon Carlos Quintana stepping aside to allow the fight.

Quintana's June 24 victory over Joel "Love Child" Julio put him in position to either challenge the winner of a Hatton-Urkal bout or to challenge for the vacant belt.

Ron Katz of Northeast Promotions, which promotes Quintana, said they are open to making a deal with Top Rank.

"We've been entertaining offers from different promoters, Top Rank included, about the possibility of making some sort of deal with regard to Quintana," Katz said. "If it was with Top Rank, we would have to figure out a short term plan for Quintana that would allow Cotto to fight Urkal for the vacant title. Anything is possible. We're open to the idea, but it depends on the nature of the deal."

Narvaez nixes unification fight
Gary Shaw, who promotes flyweight titlist Vic Darchinyan, has gone to great lengths to try to secure a significant fight for his exciting power puncher. He says he spent about $30,000 of his own money trying to finalize a unification bout between Darchinyan (26-0, 21 KOs) and Omar Narvaez, including an expensive recent trip to Narvaez's native Argentina to close the deal.

Omar Narvaez
Narvaez

Vic Darchinyan
Darchinyan

Shaw thought he had one. He said the Narvaez camp told him the fight was on as long as Narvaez (22-0-2, 15 KOs) came through his mandatory defense against Rexon Flores on Aug. 5. Narvaez won a lopsided unanimous decision and Shaw thought he had wrapped up one of the most significant flyweight fights in years, one that would open his Oct. 7 Showtime card featuring the rubber match between lightweight world champ Diego Corrales against Joel Casamayor at Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay.

Then Shaw said he received an e-mail from a Narvaez representative saying that there had been a change of plans and that Narvaez would instead stay in Argentina for a different fight in the fall. Shaw was livid.

"It makes no sense when you are champion and get a chance to unify," Shaw told ESPN.com. "That's what you should do and what is good for boxing. If not, you're looking to duck someone."

Shaw said the reason for his trip last month was to sit face to face with Narvaez's handlers to make a deal because communication was less personal and more difficult by telephone and e-mail.

"I wanted to show them how serious I was, and I wanted to go there personally and put my offer on the table," he said. "They were very receptive. They said they had a fight they needed to do, but they would sign a bout agreement after it was over, and we would do the unification fight. Then, after Narvaez won his fight, they came back to me and said, 'At this time, he doesn't want to take the fight. He has other opportunities, including a local fight.' It's very disappointing for me and for Vic. I thought I had a deal. I told Showtime I had a deal."

Shaw said he still hopes to line up a meaningful match for Darchinyan in the fall on Showtime, either on the Oct. 7 card or perhaps on Nov. 4.

If Darchinyan doesn't land a fight on Oct. 7, Shaw said he might put light heavyweight contender Chad Dawson in the co-feature.

Pacquiao team shakeup
When junior lightweight star Manny Pacquiao meets Erik Morales in their Nov. 18 rubber match, it will be the Filipino hero's final fight under his management deal with Shelly Finkel, Nick Khan and Keith Davidson.

Erik Morales
Morales

Manny Paquiao
Pacquiao

Their managerial contract expires in January. Finkel said once they are paid their percentage of Pacquiao's purse for the Nov. 18 fight, they will grant Pacquiao his immediate release under the deal they have worked out.

Pacquiao plans to instead work with Rex "Wakee" Salud, a Filipino who is close to Pacquiao.

Finkel, Khan and Davidson have managed Pacquiao since early 2005, and guided him through a very difficult time in his career. They helped extricate himself from his promotional contract with Murad Muhammad, whom Pacquiao accused of stealing millions from his earnings. Muhammad eventually settled the case by paying Pacquiao an undisclosed sum while the jury was deliberating.

Pacquiao remains a promotional free agent. Salud, however, is close to Bob Arum and expected to deliver Pacquiao to his company, Top Rank, which also promtoes Morales.

Arum bullish on Brock, Byrd
When Hasim Rahman lost his heavyweight title to Oleg Maskaev last week, it cost undefeated contender Calvin Brock a possible Nov. 4 title shot. Rahman promoter Bob Arum had flown Brock, a free agent, and his father/manager Calvin Sr., to Las Vegas for the fight and to meet with them to discuss a possible Rahman match.

Calvin Brock
Brock

Although the possibility of the Rahman fight went out the window, Arum said he was so impressed with Brock that he would still like to work with him. Arum said if they could work something out, he would put Brock on one of his fall OLN dates and then try to get him the biggest fight possible.

"He seems like a lovely guy, and so does his father," Arum said. "I'd like to put him on one of the OLN cards and see how we like working with each other. If we like it, then maybe we do a promotional deal with him."

Chris Byrd
Byrd

Arum has also spoken to former heavyweight titlist Chris Byrd, also a free agent, about working together. Byrd, a Las Vegas resident, was in the media center with his wife, Tracy, during the buildup to the Rahman-Maskaev fight and said that he is open to the prospect of fighting on one of Arum's OLN shows, either as a cruiserweight or a heavyweight.

Byrd said he also might make his cruiserweight debut Nov. 11 on the undercard of Wladimir Klitschko's first heavyweight title defense. Klitschko, of course, stopped Byrd to win the title in April.

Valuev-Barrett finds home
Heavyweight titlist Nicolay Valuev (44-0, 32 KOs) of Russia will make his second title defense Oct. 7 against Monte Barrett (31-4, 17 KOs), but at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., in suburban Chicago rather than New York's Madison Square Garden, as originally planned.

Monte Barrett
Barrett

Nicolay Valuev
Valuev

After promoter Don King was booted out of MSG so as not to compete with the Nov. 11 Wladimir Klitschko heavyweight title defense there, he found a home in Rosemont, where a heavy Polish population figures to turn out to support a pair of undercard fighters.

And don't think King will pass up the photo opportunity of all photo opportunities: 7-foot Valuev, the tallest champion in boxing history, at the nation's tallest building, the Sears Tower.

The HBO co-feature will be Tomasz Adamek (30-0, 21 KOs) of Poland defending his light heavyweight belt in a rematch against Australia's Paul Briggs (25-2, 18 KOs). Adamek won a majority decision and a vacant belt against Briggs in a sensational brawl in Chicago last spring.

Also on the card, but not part of HBO's telecast, is Poland's Matt Zegan (37-1, 21 KOs) against Nate Campbell (28-5-1, 24 KOs) in a lightweight title eliminator. King won the right to the fight with a winning purse bid of $28,500.

Harrison-Marquez talks
Showtime's Nov. 4 date has not yet been filled, but one of the fights being discussed as a possibility is the mandated match between troubled featherweight titlist Scott Harrison of Scotland and interim belt holder Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico.

Juan Manuel Marquez
Marquez

Scott Harrison
Harrison

Harrison must face Marquez by Nov. 9 or Harrison will be stripped of his belt by the WBO. Harrison already has received an extension of the mandatory deadline while dealing with alcoholism and depression.

With Harrison out of action, Marquez won the vacant interim belt Aug. 5 by knocking out Terdsak Jandaeng in a Showtime fight.

The bout was on promoter Gary Shaw's card. He promotes Marquez's younger brother, bantamweight champion Rafael Marquez, and while he doesn't have Juan Manuel under contract, he would like to continue working with him.

He has been talking to Harrison promoter Frank Warren about making the match, which probably would take place in Great Britain if it can be put together.

Showtime is interested in the bout, but also considering other options for that date.

Witter-Corley set
Junior welterweight Junior Witter of England and former titlist DeMarcus "Chop Chop" Corley of Washington finally are set to meet for a vacant 140-pound belt. They'll do it Sept. 15 in London, Witter promoter Hennessy Sports announced this week. The 32-year-olds will fight for the belt that Floyd Mayweather relinquished earlier this year when he moved up to welterweight.

DeMarcus Corley
Corley

Junior Witter
Witter

The fight has been set for weeks, but did not become official until the final terms were agreed to and contracts signed by Hennessy Sports and Corley promoter Don King.

Since losing his only previous world title fight via decision to Zab Judah in 2000, Witter (33-1-2, 19 KOs) has won 18 in a row, including 15 by knockout. He has defeated contenders such as Lovemore Ndou and Andreas Kotelnik along the way and has been waiting for years for another title shot.

"I always knew I would get my opportunity in the end," Witter said. "I'm glad it's finally here and now I am going to do my best to keep the belt in Britain."

Corley (31-4-1, 17 KOs) is the clear underdog. He is 3-3 in his last six fights, including losses to Judah, Miguel Cotto and Mayweather, with whom he later started training. He's also going overseas.

"Corley is very good, a very dangerous fighter," Witter said. "His record speaks for itself. He has a good, solid chin and is a good, solid puncher. He rocked both Cotto and Mayweather. He is the kind of fighter that I will lose to if I am not at my peak form. But I will be. I have to be for this fight."

Another family affair
In recent years, we have seen several sons of famous fighting fathers turn professional. Among them: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Jorge Paez Jr., Pipino Cuevas Jr., James McGirt Jr., Aaron Pryor Jr. and Ronald Hearns.

Now add Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., 21, to the growing list. The son of former three-division champ Wilfredo Vazquez will turn pro as a featherweight Sept. 22 in Denver on promoter Tuto Zabala Jr.'s Telemundo-televised card.

Vazquez Sr. (56-9-2, 41 KOs), of Puerto Rico, held titles in the bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight division before retiring in 2002.

His son hopes to follow in his footsteps.

"I'm ready to put on the gloves and fight on Sept. 22," Vazquez Jr. said. "I did not have much amateur experience, but I have been in the gym since I was a kid, and, with the backing of my father, my family and my team, I will become world champion like my dad."

Peltz ticked off
J Russell Peltz, the Hall of Fame co-promoter for junior middleweight star Kassim Ouma, is usually mild-mannered. However, Peltz is upset because even though Ouma is a former champion coming off an impressive Aug. 5 victory over previously undefeated rising contender Sechew Powell in an HBO undercard fight, he can't seem to get Ouma a bigger fight.

Kassim Ouma
Ouma

J. Russell Peltz
Peltz

"Never in the history of boxing has a fighter's ability meant less than it does today," said Peltz, who has been promoting since 1969. "It does not seem to matter if Fighter B is better than Fighter A, so long as Fighter A's management has a better working relationship with the ratings organizations or with the television networks."

Peltz, of course, would like to match Ouma with some of the big names in and around the division, such as Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Winky Wright, Ike Quartey or Vernon Forrest.

"Ouma may be the best junior middleweight in the world, but he is treated as an afterthought when it comes to making the big fights," Peltz said. "Networks (HBO and Showtime) would rather recycle old names like Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas, Cory Spinks (and) Vernon Forrest than to breathe some fresh air into boxing. Boxing is a business. It ceased being a sport years ago, and that is why it no longer is in the mainstream of American sports. The casual sports fan can tell you a lot about fighters like Marvin Hagler and Robert Duran, but they can't tell Juan Diaz from Cameron Diaz.

"If professional football were run like boxing, the New York Giants, in a mega TV market, would be in the Super Bowl every year, and while that may bode very well for the Nielsen ratings, it would make a joke out of the NFL. Well, that's what has happened to boxing."

Ouma, 27, lost his belt in an upset to Roman Karmazin last summer but has won four in a row since. Peltz said he wouldn't hesitate to match him with any name fighter.

DirecTV PPV card
Junior flyweight titlist Hugo Cazares (23-1, 17 KOs) of Mexico will face Puerto Rico's Nelson Dieppa (24-2-2, 13 KOs) in a rematch on Sept. 9 in Caguas, Puerto Rico, in the main event of the latest in Top Rank's series of pay-per-view cards with DirecTV.

Cazares lifted a 108-pound title from Dieppa on April 30, 2005, winning a 10-round technical decision in Puerto Rico, and a rematch has been discussed since.

Hot bantamweight prospect Juan Manuel Lopez (13-0, 11 KOs) faces Ruben Estanislado (17-9-2, 3 KOs) in the co-feature.

The card originally was supposed to take place Aug. 26 and feature junior welterweight puncher Ricardo Torres -- who nearly knocked out titlist Miguel Cotto in one of the most exciting fights of 2005 -- against Henry Bruseles in the main event, but financial terms couldn't be finalized. Top Rank moved the date and put together the Cazares-Dieppa rematch to replace it.

Ruiz eyes eliminator
Two-time heavyweight titlist John Ruiz (41-6-1, 28 KOs) could sit back and await a mandatory rematch with titlist Nicolay Valuev, to whom he lost a close decision in December in Germany.

John Ruiz
Ruiz

However, with Valuev slated to defend his title Oct. 7 against Monte Barrett, Ruiz would have to wait until next year to face him and doesn't want to be idle for that long.

Therefore, Ruiz, whom the WBA ranks No. 1, said he is willing to face No. 2 Ruslan Chagaev (21-0-1, 17 KOs), a former world amateur champion from Uzbekistan but based in Germany, in an elimination bout with the winner getting the next crack at Valuev.

Ruslan Chagaev
Chagaev

"Valuev has my belt," Ruiz said. "If I can't get him to fight me instead of [Monte] Barrett in October, I really don't have a much of a choice, so we've informed the WBA of our willingness to fight Chagaev in the elimination fight. It's obvious that Valuev doesn't want to fight me. He knows that I really beat him in his backyard. The decision was so bad, everybody in the entire Berlin stadium was booing."

Rivera willing to fight Spinks
Now that Floyd Mayweather Jr. has opted to fight welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir rather than move up in weight again to face junior middleweight titlist Cory Spinks, Spinks needs an opponent.

Jose Antonio Rivera
Rivera

Cory Spinks
Spinks

Enter fellow 154-pound titlist Jose Antonio Rivera, who would like to engage Spinks in a unification match.

"I'm willing to fight any of the top 154-pounders," Rivera said. "But, for whatever reason, we haven't been offered one deal. I guess Spinks' manager [Kevin Cunningham] was wrong when he said a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. was 99 percent done. Well, I'm still here willing to put my belt up against his. It makes too much sense for it to not to happen. The winner will have more leverage in future negotiations with two titles. Neither one of us has a big-money fight lined up against anybody else, and we're both promoted by Don King. We can do it in New England or St. Louis."

The probability of the fight happening in the immediate future is slim. Spinks owes a mandatory fight to Rodney Jones and Rivera is also looking at a likely mandatory against former titlist Travis Simms.

QUICK HITS

Oleg Maskaev
Maskaev

Hasim Rahman
Rahman

• Apparently most of America couldn't have cared less if Hasim Rahman was "America's Last Line of Defense." His 12th-round TKO loss to Oleg Maskaev last Saturday, which gave fighters from the former Soviet Union a sweep of the four major heavyweight titles, tanked badly. The fight generated a live gate of only about $1.7 million at Las Vegas' Thomas & Mack Center and sold only about 60,000 pay-per-view subscriptions, about half of what Top Rank promoter Bob Arum needed to break even. Arum probably lost more than $1 million on the fight. The fight did so poorly that HBO, which typically trumpets numbers the week after a pay-per-view fight, won't make any public announcement. If you missed it -- and most of you obviously did -- HBO will replay it at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT Saturday along with live coverage of the Paul Williams-Sharmba Mitchell welterweight bout from Reno, Nev.

Don King
King

• Promoter Don King was toying with the idea of matching heavyweight Andrew Golota with Mike Tyson-conqueror Kevin McBride on the Oct. 7 Valuev-Barrett undercard in Chicago, where Golota has many fans in the Polish community. However, according to Don King Productions, Golota suffered a recent injury and won't be available to fight until next year.

Acelino Freitas
Freitas

• Lightweight titlist Acelino "Popo" Freitas will defend his new title for the first time Nov. 25 in his native Brazil, promoter Artie Pelullo told ESPN.com. The fight, against an opponent to be named, will be either in Rio de Janeiro or Brasilia, he said. Pelullo said he made a deal with Globo, the major TV network there that has been televising Freitas' fights for years. He won a vacant belt via decision against Zahir Raheem in April on the debut of HBO's revamped "Boxing After Dark" series. "I went back to HBO after he won his title and asked for a date for his next fight, and they said they have nothing available," Pelullo said. "After he won his fourth title, everybody in Brazil was excited about bringing him home to defend his title, so I am very excited about going back to Brazil. The weather is always warm, the food is terrific and the girls are pretty."

Sultan Ibragimov
Ibragimov

• Golden Boy is getting involved in the heavyweight division for the first time, agreeing to a deal with Warriors Boxing to co-promote Sultan Ibragimov (19-0-1, 16 KOs), the 31-year-old 2000 Olympic silver medalist for Russia who is coming off a draw with Ray Austin in a title elimination bout. "This is an exciting day for us at Golden Boy Promotions. Not only have we signed our first heavyweight, but we believe Sultan Ibragimov is the one fighter with the brightest future in the division," Golden Boy president Oscar De La Hoya said in making the announcement. "He's a true warrior and I'm glad to be part of his team."

Vassily Jirov
Jirov

Sam Soliman
Soliman

• Giving new meaning to "backing" out, middleweight Sam Soliman and former cruiserweight champ Vassiliy Jirov both suffered back injuries and were forced to withdraw from this week's "Friday Night Fights" card in Temecula, Calif. Soliman, who pushed Winky Wright to the brink of defeat last fall in a close decision loss, suffered a disc injury and won't be able to face Enrique Ornelas (24-2, 14 KOs). Soliman will be sidelined for at least a month. Ornelas will instead face Raul Munoz (18-8-1, 14 KOs) in the 10-round main event. Jirov pulled a muscle in his back while lifting weights. The eight-round co-feature will instead pit heavyweight prospect Damian Wills (20-0-1, 15 KOs), who is managed by actor Denzel Washington, against Cisse Salif (18-6-2, 17 KOs).

• Ishe Smith, a star of the first season of "The Contender" reality series, will have his second fight since signing with Golden Boy on Aug. 25 (Telefutura) at the Desert Diamond resort in Tucson, Ariz. Smith (17-1, 7 KOs), whose only loss was a five-round split decision to eventual "Contender" winner Sergio Mora, will face Gilbert Venegas (9-3-2, 6 KOs) in a 10-round bout at 150 pounds. Smith is slowly coming down in weight with the eventual goal to challenge for a welterweight title. In his Golden Boy debut, Smith dominated Patrick Thompson en route to a lopsided 10-round unanimous decision in June.

Librado Andrade
Andrade

• Super middleweight contender Librado Andrade, who will receive a mandatory title shot against the winner of the Oct. 14 Markus Beyer-Mikkel Kessler unification bout, will stay busy awaiting that fight by facing Richard "The Alien" Grant on Sept. 15 (Telefutura) in Chicago.

• Junior featherweight Abner Mares (8-0, 5 KOs), a 2004 Mexican Olympian and one of Golden Boy's prized prospects, remains on the shelf since falling ill and needing an emergency appendectomy in May. Mares had returned to training camp to prepare for a Sept. 15 Telefutura bout in Chicago, but felt ill again. Golden Boy told him to see his doctor and he won't fight again until at least October or November. Mares hasn't fought since an eight-round decision victory against Omar Adorno in February.

Carlos Maussa
Maussa

• Former junior welterweight titlist Carlos Maussa has a new opponent for his Aug. 25 fight in Miami (Telemundo), his first bout since losing his belt to Ricky Hatton in November. Maussa (19-3, 17 KOs) will face Manuel Garnica (22-5, 12 KOs) in a 12-rounder instead of Miguel Angel Torrecillas. Torrecillas was the original opponent but he was injured when he was hit by a truck. "It's very sad what happened to Torrecillas. I send my best to him and his family [for] a speedy recovery," Maussa said. "I must continue with my career and I'm very well prepared and ready for Garnica."

Samuel Peter
Peter

James Toney
Toney

• Showtime is throwing the full weight of its marketing muscle behind the Sept. 2 James Toney-Samuel Peter heavyweight title eliminator, a fight that will make the winner the next mandatory challenger for newly crowned titlist Oleg Maskaev. Showtime has produced a 30-minute preview show for the fight titled "Toney vs. Peter: Here They Come." The special will run multiple times on Showtime between now and fight night. It can also be found on Showtime On Demand, as can James Toney's TKO victory against Evander Holyfield from 2003 and his 2005 win against Dominick Guinn. Showtime On Demand also is airing a pair of Peter bouts -- knockout wins against Jeremy Williams from 2004 and Taurus Sykes from 2005.

• New York's MSG Network, the cable home of the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, will televise a rare live boxing card at 8 p.m. Friday from the Saratoga Springs City Center in upstate New York when heavyweight Vinnie Maddalone (26-3, 19 KOs) faces Jermell Barnes (17-12-1, 4 KOs). Heavyweight prospect Malachy Farrell (14-0, 11 KOs) faces Shannon Miller (14-1 8 KOs) in the co-feature. The Joe DeGuardia-promoted card could be the first card of more live boxing on the network. "Boxing stories have long been an important part of the network's heritage," said Mike Bair, president, MSG Media. "It has a rich history in New York, and it's the type of programming viewers are going to see as MSG Networks broadens its coverage of sports and entertainment."

Koki Kameda
Kameda

• How big of a star is newly crowned junior flyweight titlist Koki Kameda (12-0, 10 KOs) in Japan? The flamboyant 19-year-old, who edged Juan Landaeta (20-4-1, 16 KOs) of Venezuela on a controversial split decision to win a vacant 108-pound title on Aug. 2, drew massive TV ratings in Japan. The fight drew an estimated 42.4 rating, meaning almost half of Japan's 127 million people were watching the fight.

• Promoter Gary Shaw has signed lightweight Antonio Izquierdo, a former Cuban amateur standout. Izquierdo (14-1, 13 KOs) made his debut for Shaw with a first-round knockout win on the Aug. 5 card featuring the Marquez brothers. Izquierdo, 28, reportedly had an amateur record of 380-8 before defecting to Mexico and turning pro in 2004. One of Izquierdo's trainers is Jose Napoles, the former two-time welterweight champ who also was born in Cuba before defecting to Mexico.

• Ron Scott Stevens, 59, who recently was appointed to a second three-year term by New York Gov. George Pataki to continue overseeing boxing there as chairman of the state athletic commission, is also a playwright. His latest work, "Cherry's Patch," will premier at Sept. 7 at the Soho Playhouse in New York. The play tells the story of a heroic captain in the New York City Fire Department whose death is caused by a cowardly lieutenant. The firefighters decide to deal out justice themselves in the drama that unfolds just prior to 9/11. This is Stevens' fourth play.

• Golden Boy's proposed Oct. 21 HBO PPV card is off, according to matchmaker Eric Gomez. Instead, some of the fighters mentioned as candidates for the card -- such as Juan Lazcano and Demetrius Hopkins -- might instead land on a possible Dec. 2 Winky Wright card.

QUOTABLE
"When I hit him, he will regret everything in his life."
-- Heavyweight Samuel Peter, on what will happen when he cracks James Toney in their Showtime-televised heavyweight title elimination bout Sept. 2 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles

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