Last week in boxing: Feb. 2, 2016
* Amir Khan is currently looking at two options for this summer: A rematch with WBC welterweight champion Danny Garcia or locking horns with fellow Brit Kell Brook in a UK blockbuster with Brook’s IBF crown on the line. Reportedly, Khan will first take a tune-up before any blockbuster gigs. Khan’s possible (tune-up) opponents are down to three names: Andre Berto, Jo Jo Dan and Brandon Rios.
* IBF No. 5 and WBO No. 7 lightweight José Felix Jr. of Los Mochis, Mexico, was lucky to squeak by Filipino Ricky Sismundo with a razor-thin, 10-round split decision on Saturday night in Burbank, California. Sismundo came up short 95-94, 96-93 on two cards, while winning the third at 95-94.
* In their second go-round, IBF/WBA/WBO world champion Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev beat on former world champion Jean Pascal over seven rounds on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. Trainer Freddie Roach stopped the fight after the seventh round having seen Pascal take more than enough punishment.
* Three-time world super middleweight title challenger “Saint” George Groves scored a fifth round TKO over Andrea Di Luisa on Saturday night in London.
* Hall of Fame promoter Don “War-a-Week” Chargin on the upcoming Tim Bradley-Manny Pacquiao III bout: “I was like a lot of people. At first, when I heard about it, I thought it would be just another fight. But the more I thought about it, the more I saw lots of storylines and that’s what drives a promotion. (Pacquiao) wants to go out on a high, to finish right. Bradley is pumped. He’s been that way ever since he hired Teddy Atlas to train him for his last fight. He is a different fighter. He is buying into everything Teddy is telling him and he wants to please him. As a matter of fact, it seems like every fighter that Teddy has wants to please him. That’s a real skill. There is too much at stake for both of them. Both guys will want to get off fast and get out to a lead. My first impression was that this was just a fight. But I think (Top Rank Promotions CEO) Bob (Arum) may have made himself quite a fight.”
* Two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming scored an eighth round stoppage over previously unbeaten Natan Coutinho Santana on Saturday night at the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China. It was Zou’s first bout since his lone pro loss against IBF world champion Amnat Ruenroeng in Macau last year. Zou picked up the vacant WBO International flyweight title with the win.
* Undefeated featherweight prospect Julian “El Camarón” Ramirez won an impressive 10-round unanimous decision over Christopher “S.D. Kid” Martin Friday night in Los Angeles.
* On the comeback trail – Imamu Mayfield, who won the IBF cruiserweight title 19 years ago via 12-round unanimous decision over Uriah Grant in Las Vegas, is looking to make one more run at 43.
* The second annual WBC Female Convention kicked off in Tijuana, Mexico this past Wednesday night.
Bradley and Pacquiao’s trainers weigh in on the Super Bowl
– Manny Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach: “I’m going with the Broncos because Peyton Manning, like Manny Pacquiao, has racked up all the records and the victories against superior opposition. Champions like Manning and Pacquiao know only one way to go out in their last rodeo and that’s on top. It’s ‘Manningfest Destiny.’”
– Timothy Bradley’s trainer Teddy Atlas: “It is Cam Newton’s time as I believe it is Tim Bradley’s and that is why Newton will win a Super Bowl and Bradley, a ‘super’ championship, while Peyton Manning and Manny Pacquiao both retire after great careers.”