- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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Middleweight Daniel Jacobs, the 2009 ESPN.com prospect of the year, will try to rebound from his first defeat on Dec. 18 against an opponent to be determined. Jacobs, who was stopped in the fifth round by Dmitry Pirog in July while fighting for a vacant belt, will be on the Jean Pascal-Bernard Hopkins undercard in Quebec City, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com.
"It may have been too much too soon for Danny. Everybody had to take a step back after that," Schaefer said of the title bout. "Hopefully, on Dec. 18 it will be the first step to getting him back, and then we'll try to have him back quickly in the beginning of ," Schaefer said.
By the middle of next year, Schaefer said, he'd like to move Jacobs (20-1, 17 KOs) into a title eliminator to try to get him another title opportunity. Schaefer said he'd like to see Jacobs' next title shot coincide with the opening of the under-construction Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Golden Boy has a deal to put on monthly cards there, and Jacobs is from Brooklyn.
"My dream would be to have Danny ready to challenge for a world title in the spring of 2012, when the Barclays Center opens," Schaefer said. "Maybe the first fight at the Barclays Center would be Danny Jacobs winning a world title. If I could script it, that's how I would script it."
Jacobs' Dec. 18 fight is not slated to be part of Showtime's Pascal-Hopkins broadcast, nor is the welterweight debut of former junior welterweight titlist Paulie Malignaggi, who is coming off a May loss to Amir Khan and recently signed with Golden Boy. Schaefer said he hopes he can still convince Showtime's Ken Hershman to show their bouts.
"I need to talk to Ken again and see about maybe showcasing those fights in some way," Schaefer said. "If you have Paulie's comeback and Danny's comeback it would be interesting for fans to see them coming back."
Rios replaces Pavlik on PPV
Lightweight contender Brandon Rios will officially take Kelly Pavlik's place on the Nov. 13 Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito HBO PPV undercard, Top Rank announced. As soon as Pavlik withdrew from his undercard bout with Brian Vera this week, Top Rank began making arrangements for Rios to move from a Dec. 4 Top Rank PPV card onto the Pacquiao-Margarito card.
Rios (25-0-1, 18 KOs) will face Omri Lowther (14-2, 10 KOs), who is coming off a decision loss to Hank Lundy in August on ESPN2. Given the short notice, Rios-Lowther is contracted at a maximum weight of 139 pounds, Top Rank matchmaker Brad "Abdul" Goodman said. Rios is looking to capitalize on his big victory on HBO against Anthony Peterson in September. Rios dominated the favored Peterson before Peterson was disqualified in the seventh round for excessive low blows.
"It's a great opportunity for Brandon," said manager Cameron Dunkin, who also co-manages Pavlik. "He was already on the Dec. 4 pay-per-view, but this one is much bigger. This is a huge show and a great opportunity for him, coming off the win against Peterson, to fight in front of so many people at Cowboys Stadium. It's a blessing for him. On the other hand, I feel bad for Kelly. It's a shame. But Brandon is very excited about this."
Rios is trained by Robert Garcia, who also trains Margarito, so Rios-Lowther will open the four-fight telecast to give Garcia enough time between fights to get Margarito ready.
• Showtime's four-man, single-elimination bantamweight tournament semifinals have been moved out of Leon, Mexico, according to Gary Shaw, one of the promoters involved. Shaw said he is looking for a venue in Southern California to host the card featuring titlist Yonnhy Perez in a rematch with Joseph Agbeko and Vic Darchinyan against Abner Mares. "Showtime did not want to go to Mexico -- safety issues for their employees," Shaw said. Showtime sent a production team to do a site survey of the arena recently. "There were a number of production issues that are going to prevent us from doing the show in Leon, Mexico," spokesman Chris DeBlasio said. The winners of the two fights, as well as the losers, will meet in the first half of 2011.
• German promoter Sauerland Event is planning a cruiserweight Super Six-style tournament, but rather than begin Dec. 18 as originally discussed, it won't start until next spring, Sauerland's Chris Meyer told ESPN.com. "Because of the mandatories in three organizations, we can start only after they have been completed," Meyer said. "We expect to kick off in about March." The field will include at least Sauerland-promoted titleholders Marco Huck and Steve Cunningham, while other names such as titlist Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, interim titlist Steve Herelius and Yoan Pablo Hernandez have also been mentioned by Sauerland as potential entrants. Although it won't be a tournament bout, Huck (30-1, 23 KOs) will still fight Dec. 18 in Germany. Meyer said Huck has a mandatory against Russia's Denis Lebedev (21-0, 16 KOs).
• Brooklyn middleweight prospect Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (21-0, 15 KOs), who has fought just once since September 2008 because of various injuries, has signed a promotional deal with Golden Boy Promotions. "It's been a long road to get here, but now that I'm with Golden Boy Promotions, I can't wait for the future," Quillin said. "I'm healthy, focused and ready to get back in the ring as soon as possible. I know Golden Boy expects a lot out of me and I'm looking forward to following in Bernard Hopkins' footsteps as the company's next middleweight champion." Quillin, 27, was on the fast track and had scored solid wins against Antwun Echols, Dionisio Miranda and Sam Hill in 2008 before being sidelined by hand injuries. He returned in February to outpoint Fernando Zuniga. "Peter Quillin has that rare mix of skill, charisma and desire, and you need all three to become a star in this game," Golden Boy's Oscar De La Hoya said in announcing the signing. "He has all the tools, and now it's just a question of getting him in the right fights against the best in the world. We know he's ready for those challenges." Quillin's signing makes sense for Golden Boy, which is looking to stock up on New York-area fighters in anticipation of the 2012 opening of the Barclays Center. Golden Boy recently made a deal with the arena to promote a monthly boxing series there. Golden Boy's Schaefer said Quillin's first under the deal would probably come in early 2011.
• At the height of former featherweight champion Naseem Hamed's career, he had an acrimonious falling out with promoter Frank Warren. Now they are reuniting -- sort of. Hamed, who has been retired since 2002, is the manager of 25-year-old light heavyweight Callum Johnson, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist from Scotland. Warren promotes Johnson, who will turn pro Dec. 4 on the undercard of junior lightweight titlist Ricky Burns' defense against Andreas Evensen. "I'm really excited with Callum and I'm looking forward to help guide his career alongside Frank Warren," Hamed said. "Callum really is a very special talent, as we saw when he won the Commonwealth Games, and I believe he has the potential to win a world title. It's going to be an exciting journey and I'm with him all the way."
• After Tavoris Cloud recently signed to defend his title against Fulgencio Zuniga on Dec. 17. Cloud said that after he beats Zuniga, he wants to face the top 175-pounders and will be happy go to their hometowns "and knock them out." One of the guys Cloud mentioned by name was Nathan Cleverly (20-0, 10 KOs) of Wales, who faces Alejandro Lakatos (31-5-2, 23 KOs) for a vacant interim belt Dec. 11 in Liverpool, England, on Warren's big show celebrating his 30 years as a promoter. Although focused on his upcoming bout, Cleverly welcomed the attention from the big-hitting Cloud. "Cloud's more than welcome to come to Wales and try and knock me out," Cleverly said. "But quite a few fighters have tried before and got nowhere. It's fantastic that the top American fighters are now sitting up and taking notice of me, as it shows just how far I have come in a few short years and I'm still only 23. I can't wait to mix up with them and take them on in their own backyard or wherever they want. ... I've got a solid chin and Cloud is welcome to come and test it. When I start landing on him, he'll wish he was back in the States. Cloud's comments show that my name is getting bigger and bigger in America. It's flattering, in a way, because now Cloud and other people in America are beginning to recognize I'm a world-class talent."
• Also on Warren's Dec. 11 card is middleweight contender Matthew Macklin, the European champion, who defends his belt against Spain's Ruben Varon. But Macklin has designs on fighting for a world title. "I've been at the European level now for 18 months or so," Macklin said. "I'm 28 now and it is time to start cashing in when I'm at my prime. I don't want to sound arrogant, but I believe I am good enough to compete with anyone in the world. There are some great fights to be made at middleweight, and I will take anyone as an opponent. [Titleholders] Felix Sturm and Sebastian Sylvester would be great for me, but the one I would really love is Paul Williams. He's the best in the world, but I love fighting tall southpaws. I'd give myself every chance against him. I want to impress against Varon, maybe get into a mandatory position, and then fight for a world title in the next 12 months. When I was an amateur, I was mentioned in the same breath as the likes of David Haye and Carl Froch. They have gone on to win world titles, and so will I."
• "Friday Night Fights" doesn't return until Jan. 7, but there will be a special live boxing card Monday night on ESPN2 (8 ET). The card will air from USMC Air Station New River in Jacksonville, N.C., as part of ESPN's "America's Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans" week of Veterans Day programming. In the 10-round main event, junior featherweight prospect Rico Ramos (17-0, 9 KOs) faces Heriberto Ruiz (44-9-2, 26 KOs). Super middleweight Shawn Estrada (9-0, 9 KOs), a 2008 U.S. Olympian, meets Tony Hirsch (12-3-1, 6 KOs) in a six-rounder. The rest of the card will feature amateur bouts matching U.S. Marines and Olympic hopefuls. The card can also be seen live on ESPN3.com.
• Leading up to the Nov. 13 HBO PPV showdown between pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito, HBO will replay a pair of their high-profile and exciting fights against Miguel Cotto. The HBO2 service will replay Pacquiao's 12th-round knockout of Cotto from November 2009 and Margarito's 11th-round knockout of Cotto from July 2008 on Friday night (midnight ET/PT). Pacquiao's win netted the Filipino star a welterweight title and a belt in a record-setting seventh weight class. Margarito also claimed a welterweight title against Cotto.
• Former heavyweight titlist Ruslan Chagaev, who looms as the mandatory challenger for the winner of the Nov. 13 bout between titleholder David Haye and Audley Harrison, will fight Nov. 19 in Hamburg, Germany, promoter Universum announced. Universum also announced that heavyweight contender Denis Boytsov will be on the card, in his first bout since he underwent hand surgery. "We're offering great preparatory fights to the fans for the big fights in 2011," Universum chief Klaus-Peter Kohl said. "The guys should confirm their form for the big matches. Ruslan will give an example for David Haye, and Denis Boytsov will test his surgically repaired hand. In addition, Hamburg fight fans haven't seen Ruslan Chagaev live for four years and Denis Boytsov for more than three years. This is the time."
"He's a better boxer than singer." -- Antonio Margarito, on Nov. 13 opponent Manny Pacquiao, when asked if he had seen him sing "Imagine" with comedian Will Ferrell on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" this week.
"We'll be giving Margarito's wraps a breathalyzer test to make sure they aren't loaded." -- Freddie Roach, Pacquiao's trainer, on how carefully he plans to observe when Margarito's hands are wrapped for the Nov. 13 fight at Cowboys Stadium.
9hEric D. Williams
36mChris Broussard and Marc Stein