- Dan Rafael, Boxing
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Not only did the date and venue for the Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye heavyweight title fight get set this week -- July 2 at the 55,000-seat outdoor Imtech Arena in Hamburg, Germany -- so too did the venue for older brother Vitali Klitschko's Sept. 10 defense of his heavyweight belt against Poland's Tomasz Adamek, a former cruiserweight and light heavyweight champion.
Klitschko (42-2, 39 KOs) and Adamek (44-1, 28 KOs), who easily outpointed Kevin McBride in his final tuneup fight April 9, will meet at the still-under-construction Wroclaw Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland, Main Events promoter Kathy Duva, who co-promotes Adamek, told ESPN.com.
HBO will carry the fight in the United States.
"They project that it will hold 45,000 people for boxing," Duva said of the partially covered stadium that is managed by SMG, the same company that manages Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J.
"Wroclaw Stadium was chosen simply because Wroclaw presented the better deal," Duva said. "Both the city and SMG worked very hard to craft an outstanding offer. I don't speak for the Klitschkos, of course, but I think it is safe to say that both the Klitschko and the Adamek camps are very happy with the deal and excited about going to Wroclaw for what undoubtedly will be an exciting, historic event."
Rios-Antillon in works
Lightweight titlist Brandon Rios (27-0-1, 20 KOs), who claimed a title in a rousing slugfest and comeback 10th-round knockout victory of Miguel Acosta on Feb. 26, is being lined up to make his first defense against Urbano Antillon on July 9 in a Showtime main event.
Rios had been penciled in for the date, but he didn't have an opponent. Then Antillon became available when titleholder Humberto Soto pulled out of their rematch of the 2010 ESPN.com fight of the year. Soto-Antillon II was supposed to take place on the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley Showtime PPV undercard May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. But Soto, claiming he is owed more than $1.2 million by promoter Top Rank, pulled out and cut ties with the company.
So Top Rank decided to offer Antillon a shot at Rios.
"It's a fun fight, and it will be a tough fight, that's for sure," Cameron Dunkin, Rios' manager, told ESPN.com. "I haven't seen any contracts yet, but assuming that is all OK, we've accepted the fight with [Top Rank president] Todd [duBoef]."
Dunkin said the hand injury Rios suffered in the victory against Acosta is now fine.
"It looked horrible after the fight, like a big ball of purple, but when the swelling went down, there turned out not to be any breaks like they thought there were," Dunkin said. "Brandon is back training on and off."
Junior middleweight Kermit Cintron, a former welterweight titlist who recently signed with Top Rank (although promoter Lou DiBella remains involved financially as a co-promoter), likely will fight in the televised undercard in his first bout since his aborted fight against Paul Williams. In that fight, Cintron (32-3-1, 28 KOs) fell out of the ring and did not continue, resulting in a fourth-round technical decision loss.
Prescott still eyeing Khan
Junior welterweight Breidis Prescott (23-2, 19 KOs) faces Bayan Jargal (15-1-3, 10 KOs) in the main event of this week's "Friday Night Fights" (live on ESPN3.com at 8 ET and tape-delayed on ESPN2 at 10:30 ET) at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., but Prescott still has designs on a second fight with Amir Khan.
When they were lightweights, Prescott drilled Khan (who later won a junior welterweight title) in 54 seconds in September 2008. Khan has declined a rematch to avenge the defeat. Prescott, however, hopes to get a title shot against him in a fight that is a natural.
Prescott said he was watching last week when Khan scored a six-round technical decision against Paul McCloskey.
"They showed me knocking Khan out in the highlights before the fight," Colombia's Prescott said. "I'll take care of business with Jargal and then wait and see if Khan's [proposed July 23] fight with Timothy Bradley materializes. He promised to fight me right after Bradley. I understand Amir wants to make a little money before he faces me again and I prove once and for all what I did to him was no accident. But if the Bradley fight doesn't come together, then let's get it on next.
"After a technical decision over mystery meat, scored 60-54 on all cards and ended by a head-butt, you owe your fans an exciting fight, Amir."
Broner-Litzau on HBO
Despite a disappointing performance in his March HBO debut, when he narrowly outpointed Daniel Ponce De Leon in a defensive outing that had the crowd booing, Adrien Broner (20-0, 16 KOs) is returning to the network for his next fight.
The 21-year-old junior lightweight prospect will face Jason Litzau (28-2, 21 KOs) in the opening bout June 18 in Guadalajara, Mexico, on the undercard of junior middleweight titleholder Saul "Canelo" Alvarez's first defense against Ryan Rhodes.
In Litzau's last fight, he pulled a major upset on HBO by outpointing Celestino Caballero. Golden Boy promoter Richard Schaefer told ESPN.com that he and Litzau promoter John Wirt of Square Ring reached an agreement this week.
"We could have taken a step back with Broner after the Ponce De Leon fight, but we believe in the kid," Schaefer said. "We believe that last fight was a fluke and that he will thrill the fans. We're rolling the dice. If he's going to look exciting and delivers a big win against Litzau, all is forgotten. We take these kinds of risks. We're not babying him."
Ponce De Leon was originally going to open the June 18 HBO card, but Schaefer said he would likely move to the undercard of a July 30 HBO PPV card that Golden Boy is putting together. Schaefer said he hopes to match him with longtime featherweight titlist Chris John.
• Newly crowned featherweight titleholder Orlando Salido of Mexico, who stopped Juan Manuel Lopez in the eighth round to claim a belt last Saturday in Puerto Rico, will make his first defense in Mexico in July, manager Sean Gibbons told ESPN.com. Salido (35-11-2, 23 KOs), now a two-time titlist, dropped Lopez hard in the fifth round and then finished him in the eighth to pull off a huge upset in a year already filled with them. "Salido will do a defense in Mexico sometime in July, and then whatever date [Top Rank promoter] Bob [Arum] has for the rematch with Lopez in the fall is fine," Gibbons said. He said Salido is enjoying the victory, which reminded Gibbons of a major upset pulled off a few years ago by another fighter he was involved with. "This upset is on the level of when Carlos Baldomir beat Zab Judah [for the welterweight title]. It's that kind of magnitude," Gibbons said. "This is up there with the biggest wins for Mexico this year. He was a huge underdog, and he went to Lopez's hometown and beat a guy who was 30-0. The rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico elevates it even more."
• The tug of war between Top Rank and Golden Boy over the promotional contract of unified bantamweight titleholder Nonito Donaire (26-1, 18 KOs) should come to an end in the next couple of months, now that the promoters have decided to adjudicate the case through binding arbitration rather than Nevada state court. Retired federal judge Daniel Weinstein, who continues to serve as a mediator for the sides on a variety of legal issues -- he also oversaw the mediation between them over the Manny Pacquiao contract fight -- will oversee this one as well. Michael Miller, Donaire's attorney, told ESPN.com that the schedule for the arbitration proceedings should be concluded with a decision on which company has Donaire's promotional rights by late June. After Donaire scored a sensational second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel to claim two belts Feb. 19, he left Top Rank to sign with Golden Boy. Top Rank claims he is still under contract and won a key ruling last month preventing the move until the case was resolved.
• Heavy hitter Giovani Segura (27-1-1, 23 KOs), who retained the junior flyweight title by knocking out Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon in the third round of a dominant performance in their April 2 rematch, has vacated his 108-pound titles and is making the official move up to flyweight. Segura, who also knocked out Calderon in their first fight, returns as a flyweight May 28 in Mexico against an opponent to be determined. The fight is slated to headline a "Top Rank Live" card (Fox Deportes). Segura is happy to be fighting again so quickly after his big victory and is aiming for a title at flyweight. "He wanted me to push for it, to get him back in the ring right away," manager Ricky Mota told ESPN.com. "Giovani had a great camp for the Calderon fight and came out of that fight clean and in great shape, and he just wants to continue it. He wants to be fighting." Segura hopes to land a shot against the winner of the fight between flyweight titlist Julio Cesar Miranda and mandatory challenger Brian Viloria, which could take place June 4 on the undercard of middleweight titleholder Sebastian Zbik's mandatory defense against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. "We've got Giovani a date to fight in May and then, hopefully, he will get the winner of that fight," Mota said.
• Top Rank finalized the televised undercard for the Manny Pacquiao-Shane Mosley Showtime PPV on May 7 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. With Soto declining to go through with a scheduled fight against Antillon, Top Rank replaced the fight with a scheduled 10-rounder between junior welterweights Mike Alvarado (29-0, 21 KOs) and Ray Narh (25-1, 21 KOs). Alvarado, of Denver, has won 11 of his past 13 fights by knockout, but he has seen sporadic action over the past couple of years because of stints in prison. Narh, of Ghana, has won 15 fights in a row. They will open the telecast, which also includes the return of former middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik (36-2, 32 KOs) in his first bout in more than a year since losing the title to Sergio Martinez. Pavlik will face Alfonso Lopez (21-0, 16 KOs) in a super middleweight fight. Also, junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. (20-0-1, 17 KOs), of Puerto Rico, makes his Las Vegas debut against former two-division titlist Jorge Arce (56-6-2, 43 KOs) of Mexico.
• In honor of the annual Puerto Rican Day weekend in New York, ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights" will be at the Roseland Ballroom for a June 10 card being put on by promoters Lou DiBella, Gary Shaw and Javier Bustillo, who are partners on several Puerto Rican fighters. Welterweights Kenny Galarza (14-1, 14 KOs) and Irving Garcia (17-6-3, 8 KOs) will meet in the all-Puerto Rican main event. The card will also feature two of Puerto Rico's most heralded prospects -- welterweight Thomas Dulorme (11-0, 10 KOs) and lightweight Jose Pedraza (2-0, 2 KOs), both 21.
• In England, one of the biggest domestic fights would match European lightweight champion John Murray (31-0, 18 KOs) against Kevin Mitchell (31-1, 23 KOs). It was a bout that was supposed to take place in April, but there were issues finalizing the deal, so Murray defended against somebody else. But now they are on the same page, and promoter Frank Warren said he has signed the fight to take place in London on a summer date to be announced. "I thought Mitchell had bottled it once and for all when he turned down the opportunity to fight me last month, but I am glad he has finally put pen to paper, as this fight has been a long time coming and, apart from the world title, this is the only meaningful challenge left for me in the U.K.," Murray said. Said Mitchell: "Murray's done well, but he hasn't faced me yet, and if he had we wouldn't keep hearing about his unbeaten record. I was 31-0, too, with more stoppages than him, until I lost out in my 32nd fight, which he will too."
• Mandatory welterweight title challenger Selcuk Aydin twice stepped aside to allow Andre Berto to take optional defenses, including Berto's rousing points loss to Victor Ortiz last week. Now Turkey's Aydin is tired of waiting and wants his shot. "I congratulate Victor Ortiz [on] his victory, and I hope that he is man enough to fight me," Aydin said. "Ortiz should not forget that he only got his shot at the title because I stepped aside from my mandatory right to challenge Berto. Berto knew exactly why he didn't want to fight me. He knows how strong I am and that I would have beaten him. He thought he would have better chances against Ortiz. Now I can only hope that Ortiz doesn't run away from me like Berto did over the past two years." Ahmet Öner, Aydin's promoter, is hoping the mandatory will be ordered by the WBC. "There has been no mandatory for the WBC welterweight title since January 2009," he said. "Selcuk has been patiently waiting for his chance for almost two years now, so it's about time that he gets the title shot he deserved by beating Jo Jo Dan, Jackson Bonsu and Said Ouali, who were all top-rated contenders at the time Selcuk beat them. We are convinced that he will beat Ortiz as well."
• Middleweight contender Andy Lee (25-1, 19 KOs) is going to stay busy in the wake of his all-action knockout victory on HBO against Craig McEwan last month. Lee will fight on a May 18 club shot in Rosemont, Ill., facing an opponent to be named. "We've got an old-school type of fighter, Andy Lee, who is one of the most exciting sluggers in boxing, in the main event," promoter Bobby Hitz said. "He's not your usual big-name boxer. Andy doesn't want to lay around. He wants to keep busy and stay sharp while he waits for his title shot." Lee, who is trained by Hall of Famer Emanuel Steward, has been in the gym and sparred recently with former light heavyweight titlist Chad Dawson (who is now also trained by Steward) as Dawson gets ready for his May 21 HBO fight against former titlist Adrian Diaconu.
• Middleweight titlist Felix Sturm (35-2-1, 15 KOs) will defend his belt against England's Matthew Macklin (28-2, 19 KOs) on June 25 in Cologne, Germany, organizers announced this week. "This will be one of my toughest fights because I know I can only win against Macklin when I am in top form," said Sturm, who could come to the United States in the fall for a possible fight with world champion Sergio Martinez. Macklin got the opportunity after an April 9 fight with Winky Wright was scrapped because of Wright's hand injury, followed by Macklin's pulling out of the replacement fight against Khoren Gevor on April 16 when the Sturm fight was offered. Sturm-Macklin was originally supposed to take place July 2, but it was moved up a week in order to avoid a conflict with the Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye heavyweight championship fight, which this week was formally scheduled for July 2.
• Junior welterweight contender Victor Cayo (26-1, 18 KOs) injured his shoulder training this week, forcing him to pull out of his April 29 ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" main event against Lamont Peterson (28-1-1, 14 KOs), whom he was supposed to face in a title eliminator. The winner would become mandatory for titlist Zab Judah. Leon Margules, Cayo's promoter, said Cayo would need surgery. Margules, who is putting on the card at The Cosmopolitan, a new Las Vegas resort, hoped that Tim Coleman, who was scheduled to fight on the undercard, would step in and face Peterson in the eliminator. But Margules said he turned it down on short notice. So now there is an entirely new main event, which matches junior middleweights Allen Conyers (12-4, 9 KOs) and Carlos Molina (17-4-2, 5 KOs). Both are coming off upsets. Conyers battered James De La Rosa in a unanimous decision in January on the Timothy Bradley Jr.-Devon Alexander undercard. Molina pulled a major upset draw against heavily touted Erislandy Lara on ESPN2 on March 25.
• Welterweight contender Kell Brook (23-0, 16 KOs) of England has signed with promoter Matchroom Sport. "We've got a date in June in mind and it'll be in Sheffield," Brook said. "We need to work out an opponent, but it's great to have a fight lined up and be topping bills live on Sky Sports in front on my home fans. I think I'm a couple of fights from a world title. I'm 25 at the start of May, and mentally and physically I'm ready for it. It's just a matter of getting the right fights and sitting down with the team and planning how we're going to get there, but we are going to get there." Brook is riding an eight-fight knockout streak, including a strong performance against former title challenger Michael Jennings, whom he stopped in the fifth round in September. In Jennings' title shot, in 2009, Miguel Cotto also stopped him in the fifth round.
• Junior middleweight contender Pawel Wolak (29-1, 19 KOs), coming off a dominant and unexpected sixth-round knockout of former titleholder Yuri Foreman on March 12, could return to headline an ESPN2 "Friday Night Fights" card in July against Delvin Rodriguez (25-5-2, 14 KOs). Hernan "Tyson" Marquez (30-2, 23 KOs), who claimed a flyweight title April 2 with an 11th-round knockout of Panama's Luis Concepcion in Panama in a breathtaking slugfest and serious fight of the year candidate, likely will make his first defense in Mexico in July, according to Sean Gibbons, matchmaker for promoter Fernando Beltran. A proposed ESPN2 fight between featherweight contenders Celestino Caballero and Juan Carlos Burgos (26-1, 19 KOs) is off the table, as Panama's Caballero (34-3, 23 KOs) instead will challenge beltholder Jonathan Victor Barros (32-1-1, 18 KOs) in his native Argentina in June, Caballero promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN.com. A purse bid is scheduled for Thursday for the mandatory fight between cruiserweight titleholder Guillermo Jones and interim titlist Yoan Pablo Hernandez. Sauerland Event, Hernandez's promoter in Germany, would like to put the fight on its June 25 show if it wins the bid or makes a deal ahead of the bid with Don King, Jones' promoter. Promoter Cedric Kushner is recovering from a seven-hour spinal surgery Wednesday in New York. According to his publicist, Kushner -- who has promoted fights for 30 years -- is expected to be hospitalized for a few more days before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility.
"Mosley is bigger than me. He's fast and his hand speed is still there. He's faster than most of my opponents. He's also preparing hard and he's also good, so we never underestimate our opponent." -- pound-for-pound king and welterweight titleholder Manny Pacquiao, on his May 7 opponent, Shane Mosley, during his media day this week at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, Calif.
"McCloskey was unbeaten for a reason and he fought hard to stay that way, but I showed I was the better fighter. Now I'm ready for the big names and megafights. The question is, are they ready for me?" -- junior welterweight titlist Amir Khan, after easily defeating Paul McCloskey via shutout six-round technical decision Saturday at home in England
Dan Rafael is the boxing writer for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter @danrafaelespn.
Although it remains unfinished, Poland's Wroclaw Stadium has been chosen as the venue for Vitali Klitschko's Sept. 10 defense of his heavyweight belt against native son Tomasz Adamek.