Canseco-Poulton rematch still on

Posted
Tuesday April 12, 2011

The former slugger is hired as a player/manager in Arizona, but says he'll be in Pittsfield in May.

The upcoming boxing rematch between Pittsfield's Todd Poulton and former baseball slugger Jose Canseco has added a couple of subplots in the last week.

Canseco, the former major league slugger, began a baseball comeback Monday as he and his brother Ozzie were hired by the Yuma (Ariz.) Scorpions of the independent North American League, where they'll serve as player-coaches.

Jose, who hit 462 homers in 17 big-league seasons, will serve as manager and Ozzie will be both bench coach and hitting coach.

The Cansecos' hiring, however, will have no effect on the bout. Jose confirmed to The Eagle on Monday night that he will be in Pittsfield for the bout, as well as his May 29 appearance as Colonials first base coach.

"[The new job] will not affect it at all," Canseco said via telephone. "The organization understands I have prior commitments. They know Todd's fight was one of the commitments.

"I assured [Todd] that I will be there; that me signing this contract isn't going to change or delay that in any way, shape or form."

Both Poulton and Pittsfield Colonials owner and CEO Buddy Lewis also expected the fight to go on as scheduled.

"[I] absolutely know for a fact that my fans have nothing to worry about," Poulton said Monday night.

Lewis, whose franchise is promoting the fight, noted that Canseco is under contract for the fight and has been paid in advance with the money in escrow. Specific figures were undisclosed.

The Scorpions, meanwhile, have a home series the weekend of the fight. The North American Baseball League's website noted that a press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. PDT today in Yuma, where Canseco will be introduced.

Tickets for the bout are being sold on the Internet at wahconahparkevents.com.

The event includes a weigh-in the night before the fight at Mazzeo's Ristorante, as well as Canseco serving as the Colonials' first base coach at Wahconah Park against the Rockland Boulders. Canseco added that some kind of home run derby will also likely happen.

"I think they [the Colonials] are going to want me ... interacting with players and fans, and maybe an autograph session as well," he said.

Also Monday, celebrity boxing promoter Damon Feldman, who filed a lawsuit Friday against Canseco, said that he is considering an injunction against the slugger to keep him from fighting Poulton.

Feldman, of Broomall, Pa., filed a complaint Friday after he says Canseco backed out and made twin brother Ozzie pass himself off as the baseball star for the scheduled March 26 bout in Hollywood, Fla.

Feldman is asking for $7,500 plus costs. He says he advanced Canseco $5,000 and paid another $1,500 for the former MVP to fly himself to the event. Feldman refused to let Ozzie Canseco compete.

Feldman says the fight contract states Canseco had to return the money advanced to him if he didn't compete.

Canseco competed in past bouts for Feldman's Celebrity Boxing Federation, as did Poulton.

"We paid Canseco in advance. We have to get our money back," Feldman said Monday. "No matter what it takes, we'll get our money back."

Canseco called the thought of an injunction "ridiculous.

"I don't even know how to react to that," he said. "I don't know how he could even do that."

Feldman -- who entered no-contest pleas last month to charges of match rigging in Pennsylvania, and was given two years of probation and barred from promoting bouts in that state for two years -- said that Poulton "can do what he wants," and that his main focus is recovering his money from Canseco.

Poulton has severed ties with Feldman.

"That's not good for my reputation," Poulton said of the previous association. "He's stopped bothering me."

Poulton didn't comment about the lawsuit, saying he didn't know "the exact problem" between Canseco and Feldman.

He said he's not surprised, though, that Feldman would consider legal action to keep the fight from happening.

"He's even left me messages -- not that he wants to sue me, but he can't believe I'm the kind of guy who would fight for another promoter when he made my dream come true," Poulton said.

Poulton and Canseco previously fought Nov. 6, 2009 in Springfield, with Canseco winning the three-round fight via decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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