Lem's Corner: Notebook
By Lem Satterfield
DEONTAY WILDER GAINS MORE MOTIVATION TO BEAT ALEXANDER POVETKIN
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder is even more inspired for his title defense against former titleholder Alexander Povetkin of Russia in Moscow on May 21, after watching left-handed American Charles Martin’s loss via second round KO to England’s Anthony Joshua at the O2 arena in London last Saturday.
Martin (23-1, 21 KOs) was floored twice in the last round by Joshua (16-0, 16 KOS), a 6-foot-6 gold medal winner in the 2012 London Olympics. Joshua took away Martin’s IBF crown with the KO victory.
Just as Martin took a risk traveling overseas for his first defense, Wilder (36-0, 35 KOs) of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, must do the same against Povetkin (30-1, 22 KOs), whom he will meet at Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow.
“It definitely moves me more to defend my title,” said Wilder, 30, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “The heavyweight division has heated up, and now it’s Daddy’s turn to defend his baby.”
In his last fight in January at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, Wilder treated a raucous crowd of 12,668 to his ninth-round knockout of previously once-beaten southpaw Artur Szpilka, representing the third defense of the title he won by unanimous decision over Bermane Stiverne in January 2015. Martin won the IBF title on the undercard of Wilder-Szpilka by defeating Vyacheslav Glazkov.
Povetkin has stopped four straight since being dropped four times on the way to losing a 12-round unanimous decision to former heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.
“This is the heavyweight boxing, and there’s no division like it, period,” said Wilder. “The tables have turned again. Congratulations to the new IBF champion. Martin accepted defeat and that’s not cool.”
CHRIS ALGIERI READY TO HAND ERROL SPENCE HIS FIRST LOSS
Chris Algieri (21-2, 8 KOs) plans to take Errol Spence (19-0, 16 KOs) where the southpaw has never been when the two meet in a welterweight bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Premier Boxing Champions on NBC on Saturday night.
“Come fight night, I’m a machine. I’m thinking about one thing and one thing only, and that’s getting the win. This fight is no different. I have a guy who is undefeated. So that’s good,” said Algieri. “I get to take somebody’s ‘0.’ There’s a point of pride about giving someone his first loss. That’s what the goal is and that’s what we’re here to do. I’m not looking at this fight as anything but another opportunity to get another win.”
Algieri returns to the site of his biggest triumph when he overcame two first-round knockdowns as well as a right eye that was nearly closed shut for a dramatic split-decision victory that dethroned Ruslan Provodnikov for the WBO’s junior welterweight title in 2014.
Algieri then suffered a six-knockdown loss to left-handed eight-division champion Manny Pacquiao in a 144-pound bout in November 2014 followed by a unanimous decision loss to former titleholder Amir Khan in Algieri’s 147-pound debut last May.
In his last fight in December at Barclays, Algieri dropped Erick Bone in the eighth-round of a unanimous decision victory.
“Champions are not picked. You have to earn it. I earned my world title. I wasn’t expected to be a world champion in my first fight. I wasn’t handpicked from the amateurs and moved along in a certain way or coddled,” said Algieri. “I’ve had to work hard every single step of the way and in every fight on the way up. I’ve had to work hard every single step of the way and in every fight on the way up. A champion has got to be able to dig deep and pull it out. You’ve got to earn it, and this is, I believe, one of those situations.”
MARCUS BROWNE VOWS ‘FIREWORKS’ VS RADIVOJE KALAJDZIC
When light heavyweight Marcus Browne (17-0, 13 KOs) meets 24-year-old Bosnian Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-0, 14 KOs) the 25-year-old southpaw from Staten Island, New York will be looking for his second consecutive TKO victory at Barclays Center.
Browne scored a 10th-round knockout of Francisco Sierra in his last match at the arena in December. His match against Kalajdzic will be on the undercard of the Errol Spence-Chris Algieri welterweight bout on the PBC on NBC this Saturday night.
“I know that Staten Island fans are going to be in the building because I’m fighting another undefeated guy in what could be the best guy I’ve faced in my career so far. For most fighters, that can be a distraction,” said Browne.
“There are going to be fireworks, but I’m focused on getting the ‘W’ and making it look good. I have to perform. I will just translate what I’m doing in the gym to that night at Barclays Center. I’m just growing as a fighter and I recognize the difference.”
Kalajdzic has scored consecutive first-round knockouts, the last coming against Fabio Garrido in November.
“It’s hard to digest a fighter when he’s fighting a bunch of bums. The only fight I can take anything from is the Lionel Thompson fight, and Lionel took him to a split-decision,” said Browne. “I believe in myself more and I’m really not worried about what this kid is going to come with. My thing is to be controlled and composed. I’m going to capitalize.”
VICTOR ORTIZ ON ANDRE BERTO: ‘THIS TIME, I’M THE BIGGER GUY’
Victor Ortiz (31-5-2, 24 KOs) said he will be bigger and stronger for his welterweight rematch with Andre Berto (30-4, 23 KOs) on FOX and FOX Deportes (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California on April 30.
Ortiz made his 147-pound debut for their first match five years ago, a unanimous decision for Berto’s WBC as the two boxers traded knockdowns -- each going down in the sixth round.
“The first time we fought, I was a junior welterweight. I actually had to lift weights to get up to 147,” said Ortiz, a southpaw who hit the canvas in the second round after dropping Berto in the first.
“Now, I’m an actual full-on welterweight who has to diet to get down to 147. This time, I’m the bigger guy. We’ve both been through some wars, but I think he’s been through more wars than I have.”
TRAINER VIRGIL HUNTER: BERTO ‘MORE CONFIDENT’
Andre Berto went 3-3 with two knockouts and was stopped once after facing Victor Ortiz in 2011. His last two fights were a sixth-round stoppage of Josesito Lopez last March followed by a unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September.
“Berto’s confidence is sky high after the Floyd Mayweather fight,” said trainer Virgil Hunter, who is entering his fifth fight with Berto. “That’s been very obvious in our sparring sessions, where he’s left my mouth agape. His energy is sky high, he’s throwing better combinations and just looking better, overall, for this fight.”