Golden Boy Promotions announces multi-year deal with ESPN

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this June 26, 2014 photo, boxer Oscar De La Hoya talks with reporters in Sacramento, Calif.

Oscar De La Hoya/Associated Press file photo

 

Golden Boy Promotions on Thursday announced it has agreed to a multi-year deal with ESPN to televise cards on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. The first event of the series will take place March 23 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio.

Eighteen cards will be televised during the first year of the deal in English and Spanish, with affiliates in Latin America, Canada, the Carribean, Austrailia and parts of Asia getting in on the fun.

Oscar De La Hoya, chairman of Golden Boy, is stoked about the accord.

“ESPN is a flagship network with a history of showcasing and bringing audiences into the world of boxing, making this deal a natural fit for Golden Boy Promotions,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “Having worked with ESPN in the past, we know first-hand that its multiple TV and digital platforms represent a must-watch for casual and die-hard sports fans.”

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Keith Thurman, Danny Garcia talk the talk at Barclays Center news conference

The Associated Press

Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman, left, lands a punch on Shawn Porter during their welterweight title fight in June at Barclays Center. Thurman retained his title via narrow decision/AP photo by Gregory Payan

 

Welterweight world champions Keith “One Time” Thurman and Danny Garcia are a combined 60-0 with 41 knockouts. That’s a lot of talent. The question is, which fighter has more?

We’ll find out March 4 when they square off in a title-unification bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on CBS).

The interested parties hosted a news conference there Wednesday. Nor surprisingly, each fighter talked down to the other.

“This fight is going to have action,” said Thurman, of Clearwater, Fla. “There’s too much on the line. I remember Danny from the amateurs. I applaud him for everything he’s done in his career. He signed the wrong contract, though, because Keith Thurman’s got this. Danny Garcia, you’re getting knocked out.”

Said Garcia: “I just had to tell Keith be careful what he wished for. He wanted this fight. But now that he’s got it, you have to deal with me.”

Garcia, of Philadelphia, is trained by his father, Angel, who talks about as much trash as any trainer out there. Thurman intimated he couldn’t care less about that.

“Angel will talk to try to get people off of their game,” Thurman said. “Danny is an elite fighter, and he can talk for himself. These father trainers seem to like the limelight as much as the fighter, if not more. At the end of the day, I’m only fighting Danny Garcia.”

Thurman, 28, is 27-0 with 22 knockouts. Garcia, 28, is 33-0 with 19 knockouts.

 

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‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Gennady Golovkin once again paired on a card

Roman Gonzalez, left, of Nicaragua, lands a punch on Mexican champion Carlos Cuadras during a WBC super flyweight championship boxing match, Saturday, Sept. ...

Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, left, lands a punch to the face of Carlos Cuadras in their super flyweight world-title fight in September at the Fabulous Forum/AP photo by Richard Vogel

 

Roman “Chocolatitio” Gonzalez fighting underneath a Gennady Golovkin main event has become a regular thing of late. It has been the case in three of their past four respective championship bouts.

They’ll do it again when Gonzalez defends his super flyweight world title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand on March 18 at Madison Square Garden, where that night middleweight champion Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) will take on Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) in the main event (on HBO pay-per-view).

Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs), of Nicaragua, believes Rungvisai is capable of giving him some grief in the ring.

“Rungvisai is a very tough fight for me,” said Gonzalez, who has won titles in four weight classes. “I know that he has fought many other great fighters, including Carlos Cuadras. But with my training and the blessing of God, I plan to come out victorious.”

Gonzalez in September became the first from his country to win titles in four weight classes when he took a unanimous decision over then-super flyweight champion Cuadras at the Fabulous Forum. Cuadras in May 2014 took the title from Rungvisai via eight-round technical decision in Cuadras’ native Mexico.

That’s the same belt Gonzalez took from Cuadras, and Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs) wants it back.

“I respect Roman Gonzalez,” he said. “He is a legend. He has done great things for boxing, especially by showing the world how talented and exciting smaller-weight fighters can be. I am happy for Nicaragua to have such a great hero.

“However, super flyweight is my weight. And the … belt is my belt. I will do whatever it takes to win my belt back and I am confident I can do it.”

 

 

 

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David Lemieux, Curtis Stevens can’t wait to get at each other on March 11

Gennady Golovkin, left, hits David Lemieux in the eighth round of a world middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Golovkin won by a TKO in the eighth round. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

David Lemieux, right, absorbs serious punishment from Gennady Golovkin in their title-unification bout in October 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City/Associated Press photo by Rich Schultz

 

Apparently, there is no love lost between David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens. Now the hard-hitting middleweight contenders will be able to do something about that because they will tangle March 11 at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. (on HBO).

The bout was officially announced Monday. Lemieux can’t wait to get at Stevens.

“The time for talking is done,” said Lemieux, a former world champion who lost his belt to Gennady Golovkin via eighth-round TKO in a title-unification bout in October 2015. “And after many long months of hearing Curtis yell about all the things he’s going to do in the ring, I’m really looking forward to shutting his mouth on March 11.”

Stevens has had one shot at a world title, but he was stopped after eight rounds by Golovkin in November 2013. Stevens is ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by one organization, the same of which ranks Lemieux No. 4.

“The wait is finally over,” Stevens said. “No more talking. My hands will do the talking on March 11.”

The bout will be co-promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events. De La Hoya believes the dislike Lemieux and Stevens have for one another is very real.

“You often see fighters pretend not to like each other to help draw an audience,” said De La Hoya, who promotes Lemieux. “These two guys aren’t faking it; they don’t like each other at all. Given the thunder each holds in both hands, and their desire to make a statement in the middleweight division, I think fans are going to be in for a knockout – a spectacular one at that.”

Lemieux, of Canada, is 36-3 with 32 knockouts. Stevens, of Brooklyn, is 29-5 with 21 knockouts.

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James DeGale, Badou Jack more than prepared for title-unification fight

James DeGale

James DeGale/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

We don’t get a lot of title-unification bouts these days, so when we do, we must relish the moment. From the sound of it, James DeGale of England and Badou Jack of Sweden plan on doing just that.

They will square off Saturday at Barclays Center (on Showtime). Each fighter will put his super middleweight championship belt on the line. Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) can’t wait.

“I’m fighting another world champion, so I  know that it’s not going to be easy,” he said. “No matter what, we’re getting the job done.”

Jack, 33, has been keeping his eye on his fellow champion, just in case this moment came to fruition.

“I’ve been paying attention to DeGale for a while,” he said. “You have to study your opponent a little bit for a fight this big. I’m ready to do anything it takes to win the fight.”

DeGale (23-1, 14 KOs) said he, too, has gone the extra mile in his preparation.

“Camp is done; it’s been a wicked camp,” said DeGale, 30. “Everything has gone well. On Saturday night, you’re going to see two world-class fighters go to war. I have no doubt that I will be victorious and become the super middleweight unified champion.”

 

 

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Leo Santa Cruz’s father in remission, so team focused on Carl Frampton rematch

Leo Santa Cruz

Leo Santa Cruz/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Much has been said about how Leo Santa Cruz could not have been 100 percent focused on the task at hand July 30 when he set out to defend his featherweight title against Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Santa Cruz’s father/trainer Jose was at the fight, but he had missed a lot of camp because he is fighting spinal cancer, and Frampton took his son’s title via majority decision.

However, the elder Santa Cruz has since gone into remission and he is in camp full-time as his son prepares for the Jan. 28 rematch with Frampton at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime).

Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs), who is also trained by his brother Antonio, is stoked.

“He’s always been the one who knows how to point out and correct the mistakes that I make in training,” he said of his father. “I think having him full-time will be a big difference. He will push me more.”

Jose Santa Cruz believes he can help his son be at the top of his game.

“I am happy to be part of Leo’s training camp again,” he said. “I think that was the major difference in his last fight. I’m back pressuring him again and making sure he keeps the pressure on his opponent. I think my presence in the gym reminds him of the work he needs to do.”

Frampton, 29, is 23-0 with 14 knockouts. Santa Cruz, of Lincoln Heights, is 28.

 

 

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Dejan Zlaticanin means business, and Mikey Garcia seems aware of that

Dejan Zlaticanin

Dejan Zlaticanin/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Unless you’re a real fanatic of the sweet science, chances are you’ve never heard of Dejan Zlaticanin. He is a lightweight champion from Montenegro who has fought his past two bouts in the United States after fighting his first 20 in his homeland and various other countries.

Americans will get to know him much better when he defends his title against Mikey Garcia of Oxnard on Jan. 28 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. They will tangle underneath the featherweight championship between Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland and Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights (on Showtime).

One thing’s certain, Zlaticanin (22-0, 15 KOs) is not shy about saying what he plans on doing to Garcia. That was clear Tuesday at Fortune Gym in Hollywood.

“If Garcia tries to go toe-to-toe or stay in the center of the ring, I will knock him out,” said Zlaticanin, 32. “If he tries to jab and move, then I will have to find my way to his head and break him down.”

While some of us may wonder how good Zlaticanin really is, Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs) intimated he needs no convincing.

“I’m not overlooking Zlaticanin, but everybody else seems to be,” said the 29-year-old Garcia, who has won titles at featherweight and super featherweight. “People ask me about what I’d want for future fights, but I know how dangerous this guy is. Anything could happen. But I know that I have what it takes to beat him. He has power, but I also have power.”

 

 

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Adrien Broner promises ‘exciting’ fight against Adrian Granados in February

Adrien Broner

Adrien Broner/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Adrien Broner of Cincinnati has held world titles in four weight classes. He is currently without a title, however, and he wants to change that.

The first step in that direction will be a bout against former sparring partner Adrian Granados on Feb. 18 at Cintas Center in Cincinnati (on Showtime).

The interested parties hosted a news conference there Tuesday, and the fighters spoke about their knowledge of one another.

“We’ve brought Granados into camp for sparring before, but I’m a much different fighter now,” said Broner, 27. “I know he is, too, and I think it’s going to make an exciting, explosive fight.”

Granados’ credentials pale in comparison to Broner’s. Granados (18-4-2, 12 KOs) has never even fought for a major title, and as recently as September 2015 he boxed on a small club card at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello. Yet, Broner believes he can’t afford to overlook him.

“Granados is no pushover,” Broner said. “He’s not an opponent that anybody can just pick up a win (against). I know Adrian Granados will bring out the best in Adrien Broner.”

Promoter Floyd Mayweather Jr. is of a similar mind.

“These are going to be two hungry lions in the ring, and that’s what it’s all about,” Mayweather said.

Granados, 27, intimated he may have a surprise or two in store for Broner (32-2, 24 KOs).

“I’m confident that I’m more determined than any other fighter I’ll face,” said Granados, of Cicero, Ill. “I’ll also have a few tricks up my sleeve on fight night. I haven’t shown everything in my arsenal.

“I was in camp with Adrien Broner when he fought Marcos Maidana, so I know him pretty well. I’ve been compared to Maidana, but everyone has their own style. I’m going to get this win my own way.”

 

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Wales’ Lee Selby stoked to be defending his title in ‘mecca of boxing’

Aron Martinez

Lee Selby/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

All eyes Jan. 28 figure to be on the main event between Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights and Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland when they square off in a rematch for Frampton’s featherweight world title at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime). But there is plenty going on with the undercard, and another featherweight champion – Lee Selby of Wales – is stoked to be part of it.

Selby (23-1, 8 KOs) will defend his title against former champion Jonathan Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs) of Argentina (on Showtime Extreme).

“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a young kid to box in a world-title fight in Las Vegas, the mecca of boxing,” said the 29-year-old Selby, who will be making his Las Vegas debut and will be fighting in the U.S. for just the second time. “I’ve seen UK fighters like Lennox Lewis, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe and Amir Khan box in Las Vegas and I always knew that’s where I wanted to fight.”

Barros, 29, plans on spoiling Selby’s fun. Barros said, in part, “Selby has never faced anyone as dangerous as me and I plan on making it a long night for him.”

Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs) and Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) tangled July 30 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, with Frampton winning a majority decision and taking Santa Cruz’s title.

 

 

 

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James DeGale, Badou Jack brimming with confidence ahead of showdown

James DeGale

James DeGale/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

James DeGale of England and Badou Jack of Sweden are eight days away from their Jan. 14 super middleweight title-unification bout at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime).

It is each man’s biggest fight. Both seem to know what will be the key to victory.

“Oh, there’s loads,” DeGale said of his advantages. “But I’m going to tell you one that stands out is just speed, movement. I’m not going to have to say I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do because he’s going to be very shocked with what I’m going to do. But speed, I’m so much faster in movement.

“I move my feet so much better – there’s two things right there – that it’s just going to confuse him. I’m going to make things a whole lot harder for him.”

Jack (20-1-2, 12 KOs) is equally confident. To him, it’s about ring smarts.

“I’m the smarter fighter, period,” said Jack, 33. “I believe I’m the more fundamentally sound fighter, I believe I’m the more technical fighter. I take nothing away from DeGale, who is a good fighter as well.

“But I believe in my skills, I believe in myself.”

DeGale, 30, is 23-1 with 14 knockouts.

 

 

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