Bey restarts title quest after layoff

If you forgot about Mickey Bey, that’s understandable.

The former lightweight champion, 32, from Cleveland hasn’t been in the ring for more than a year since having surgery on his right hand that took longer to heal than he had anticipated.

On Tuesday, Bey (21-1-1, 10 knockouts) returns in a scheduled 10-round bout against Oscar Cortes of Mexico (25-2, 13 KOs) on the undercard of the Premier Boxing Champions on Fox show at The Palms.

In the 12-round main event, Javier Fortuna defends his World Boxing Association super featherweight title against Carlos Velasquez.

“I’m ready to get back to work,” Bey said Thursday at Mayweather Boxing Club, where he and trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. have been knocking off the rust.

Bey last fought on Sept. 13, 2014, winning a 12-round split decision over Miguel Vasquez at the MGM Grand Garden and retaining his International Boxing Federation belt.

“I wanted to get back sooner but my hand hadn’t healed all the way, so I couldn’t fight,” Bey said.

Bey was scheduled to face Denis Shafikov on April 30 but couldn’t make the date. He ultimately vacated his IBF title, focused on getting healthy and is ready to resume his career.

“By the beginning of next year, we’ll have another title,” Bey said confidently.

Bey said he had been fighting with torn tendons in his right hand for several years and finally decided last October to get the hand fixed. During training, he already can feel the difference.

“I’ve got two hands now,” he said. “I can go to the body more. I can throw more combinations. It’s like I’m reborn.”

Mayweather Sr. said he expects to see Bey come out firing Tuesday. “He’s done a good job in the gym,” Mayweather said. “I want Mickey to be slick and smooth.”

Bey said getting back into circulation is important. But winning Tuesday is critical.

“It’s a big fight for me,” he said. “If I want to be in the picture to fight for another title, I’ve got to win this fight.”

LOVE RETURNS — Another Mayweather Promotions fighter, super middleweight J’Leon Love, also is on the undercard at The Palms in a 10-round bout against Osumanu Adama.

Love (20-1, 11 KOs) has won two straight since suffering his first defeat in a knockout by Rogelio Medina on Aug. 30, 2014. He won an eight-round unanimous decision over Scott Sigmon on March 28, then a seventh-round TKO over Jason Escalera on June 21 after having been knocked down in the first round.

“I’m back where I need to be,” Love said. “I’m ready for the big fights. I’ve shown I can bounce back from adversity. I’ve had trials and tribulations my entire life.”

Adama (23-4, 17 KOs) is not a pushover. He has been in the ring with the best middleweight in the world, Gennady Golvkin, though he took a horrible beating in a seventh-round stoppage by “GGG” on Feb. 2 in Monte Carlo. Love was knocked down three times.

“I expect a tough fight (against Adama),” Love said. “But for me, it’s about continuing to move forward and that means taking care of my business.”

FINAL NUMBERS — Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s 12-round unanimous decision over Andre Berto on Sept. 12 at the MGM Grand produced a gate of just over $10 million, according to the Nevada Athletic Commission. The fight sold 12,946 tickets for a gate of $10,062,500. There were 46 complimentary tickets issued and 1,180 tickets went unsold. The was configured for a 14,000 capacity.

CARD CANCELED — The Guilty Boxing card scheduled Saturday at the Hard Rock Hotel was canceled Friday after couple of fights fell out and replacements could not be found in time for the weigh-in. The decision was made by NAC executive director Bob Bennett with the support of commission chairman Francisco Aguilar.

The card had included local heavyweight and former world champion Samuel Peter as well as Las Vegas women’s champ Layla McCarter.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjounal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow him: @stevecarprj

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