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Eastern Regional Report- July 27, 2012

By Alec Kohut


Broner’s Act Could Get Real Old, Real Fast…
 
Last week, I wrote that Adrien Broner’s pre- and post-fight antics didn’t bother me because in the sport of boxing, unlike other sports, the level of attention you garner translates to bigger paydays. However, that contains one major caveat; you must perform at the elite level of the sport. And last weekend, Broner’s antics were even more outlandish- and extremely staged- yet his attention to his boxing career, seemed little more than an afterthought.
 
It wasn’t just that Broner weighed three-and-a-half pounds heavy, it was the fact he didn’t seem to care at all. He even told HBO that he just outgrew his weight class and “ice cream sundaes don’t make you grow out of a weight class.” But that’s exactly what makes you grow out of a weight class. His feeling seems to be that since he was going to move up in weight after this fight, why bother with the belt and making weight?
 
 
His trainer, Mike Stafford, spent over an hour with us Tuesday night on the “East Coast Boxing Report,” trying to defend his man. But none of the callers were really buying it as the discussion often became quite heated. The interview and free-for-all can be heard here:

While it’s nothing new for a fighter to come in a few pounds overweight, Broner neither made any effort to lose the extra weight, nor did he make any effort to make the reported 140-pound renegotiated limit the next morning. While the Broner camp says it was a misunderstanding and they believed Broner merely had to come in only 10 pounds over his weigh-in weight of 133.5, one thing is clear; every single report out of Cincinnati did state the weight Broner would have to make the morning of the fight was 140. No one reported it to be 143.5. Plus, given the size of the reported financial settlement made to opponent Vicente Escobedo in order for him to go forward with the fight, I think it’s fair to say with a high level of confidence that the agreed weight was 140.
 
Broner undoubtedly possess special talent and can be a huge draw as he moves on to bigger and better fights. But given the level of competition he has beaten and the apparent disregard he showed for those involved in the Escobedo fight including the fans, HBO and Al Haymon, his act might get real old, real fast if his next fight turns into another fiasco like this one. If the numbers reported are at all accurate and his purse fell from $400,000 to under $200,000, that means Al Haymon lost at least $36,000 from what was expected- and damn near lost it all. Adrien Broner is still a “Boxing After Dark” fighter and will it will take more than cute post-fight antics for him to move to that next level.
 
Lundy-Beltran Fight in Jeopardy…
 
By the time this article is posted, we should know for sure that ESPN2’s “Friday Night Fights” is indeed going to happen. But in another case of just how bad a cesspool the business of boxing can be, an injunction was filed in New York State Court to block tonight’s Hank Lundy-Raymundo Beltran fight. Not being a lawyer, I will not try to judge the merits of the case, nor try to explain all the details but I think I have a fair idea of what is going on.
 
The problems really began in late 2010 after Lundy’s first and only career loss to John Molina in July of that year. Lundy returned to the ring quickly, scoring a decision win over Omri Lowther in Montreal on ESPN2. He then had a near eight-month layoff due to what Lundy told me at the time was, “managerial and promotional issues,” but refused to give details.
 
Since then, Lundy has won three straight bouts on ESPN and is expected to get a title shot if he can beat Beltran tonight. In May of this year, Lundy’s manager, Ivan Cohen, filed suit against both promoter Jimmy Burchfield of Classic Entertainment and Sports and Lundy, claiming he had not received payment for the past three fights, seeking damages of at least $75,000. I know that there has been a fair amount of animosity between Cohen and Burchfield, which seems to have been both professional and personal.
 
Then just last week, a new player in the game emerged filing for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the fight. Bob Duffy’s promotional firm, Boxing 360, now claims it has a promotional contract with Lundy, signed in December 2010, in which they have paid him over $8,000 of a $10,000 signing bonus.
 
Burchfield claims to have a contract between him and Lundy dated September 2010 while Cohen claims a contract with Lundy dating July 2010, entitling him to 30% of the fighter’s earnings. Maxboxing was able to exclusively uncover these documents (Okay, we went to the New York State Supreme Court website) and even to the untrained eye, very little is clear except that this is a big mess.
 
I expect the court to allow the fight go on but like I said, I’m not a lawyer, so who knows? But it seems very strange that Boxing 360 kept its signing of Lundy in December 2010 so quiet and said nothing as he was fighting three times on ESPN since then. One thing is clear; after this fight, if Lundy wins, there will likely be a huge court battle over who has rights to Lundy’s title fight earnings and how much.
 
[Writer’s note/update: As of press time, the request for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the Hank Lundy vs. Ray Beltran fight was declined. The fight will go on as scheduled. Promoter Jimmy Burchfield of CES Boxing told Maxboxing immediately following the verdict, “This kind of thing happens in boxing far too often and we will always stand by our fighters. To put the fighter, the network and the fans through this so close to a fight date is just wrong.”]
 
Austin Trout vs…Jimmy Lange??
 
RingTV’s Mike Coppinger reported on Saturday that WBA junior middleweight champion Austin Trout will face either Cornelius Bundrage or Northern Virginia’s own Jimmy Lange of “The Contender” fame. Include me among those who would love to see Jimmy Lange get a shot at this fight. Is it because I think he would have a shot at dethroning Trout? No. But I miss the days in boxing when “tune-up” or “stay-busy” fights were normal. And for both Trout and Bundrage, a couple of stay-busy fights might help build their boxing profiles and make a fight between them much more profitable.
 
Right now, neither Trout nor Bundrage are much of a draw in either live gate or TV ratings, so I see little interest in their “unification” bout right now. But I can tell you from experience that if Trout brings a Showtime network fight to the Patriot Center at George Mason University, it would likely bring 10,000 loud, excited fans to the fight. And that would be quite a television broadcast.
 
Can Lange make a good fight with Trout? Maybe. Despite his limitations, Lange trains extremely hard and fights with a desire and heart that have earned him thousands of followers in the D.C. area. It would be almost impossible to find 10 other American fighters who sell tickets like Jimmy Lange does in Fairfax, VA.
 
But another great reason to make this fight is these “stay-busy” fights that were once common in boxing gave the underdogs what was almost surely their only shot at glory and they often fought like they had nothing to lose- because they didn’t. It could be a fun fight and given the work the Lange franchise has done promoting boxing in the D.C. area, they’ve earned it.
 
If there is a fight or fighter you feel deserves mention in the Regional Report, please contact Alec at maxboxingeast@gmail.com. You can also follow Alec on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alecmaxboxing and tune in to his weekly online show every Tuesday at 9:00 PM EST at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/aleckohut.


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