Canelo Alvarez, Oscar De La Hoya still defending their move to make Gennady Golovkin wait until September 2017

Canelo Alvarez sits on the dais at a news conference promoting his fight this past May against Amir Khan, won by Alvarez via 6th-round knockout/Associated Press photo by John Locher

 

Canelo Alvarez and his promoter – Oscar De La Hoya – on Wednesday played host to a conference call promoting Alvarez’s fight against junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of England on Sept. 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view). But Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) and De La Hoya found themselves still defending the decision to have Alvarez gave up his middleweight title rather than meet middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin this fall. Alvarez and De La Hoya also previously said they now won’t consider Golovkin until September 2017.

Alvarez shrugged off the negativity.

“Yeah, you know, there’s always going to be critics,” he said. “They’re always there, and it’s something that’s part of it. It’s part of the business. Obviously, there’s good critics sometimes and there’s bad critics.

“But the most important thing is it doesn’t faze me. That’s fine, I’m used to it now, and I’ve got to do what’s best for my career.”

De La Hoya said it was all about Alvarez not being ready to fight at the full middleweight limit of 160 pounds. When he fought in the middleweight division, it was at a catch-weight of 155, just one pound over junior middleweight.

“I mean, Canelo knows his body,” De La Hoya said. “His trainers know his body, and the bottom line is Canelo is a 154-pound fighter. The fact that he fought at 155, people expect him to go up and fight at middleweight, and that’s not the case. He’s a 154-pounder, and he’s going to go up to 160 when his body feels ready.”

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David Peralta confident he has more than ghost of a chance against Guerrero

David Peralta/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

 

David Peralta has 28 professional bouts, every one of them contested in his native Argentina. Not only has Peralta never fought in the U.S., he has never even boxed for a major title.

All this would seem to make him a huge underdog for his fight Saturday against former world champion Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (33-4-1, 18 KOs). They will square off in the welterweight main event at Honda Center in Anaheim (on Spike).

At a workout Wednesday in Costa Mesa, Peralta (25-2-1, 14 KOs) spoke in confident tones about his big chance.

“I’m physically and mentally prepared for this fight,” said Peralta,  who, like Guerrero, is 33. “Robert Guerrero is a great fighter and a great champion. I’ve seen everything he’s done and I think this is my time.
“The United States is a beautiful place and I’ve enjoyed being here very much. I’m going to give a very hard fight on Saturday night. I’m going to leave it all in the ring and come out with a victory.”
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Errol Spence Jr.-Leonard Bundu draw big ratings on final day of Rio Games

Errol Spence Jr., left, lands a punch on Leonard Bundu during their fight Sunday from Coney Island, N.Y./DiBella Entertainment photo by Ed Diller

 

Fighting on NBC on the final day of the Rio Games on Sunday afternoon, welterweight contender Errol Spence Jr. and Leonard Bundu toiled at a peak audience of 6.4 million viewers, according to Premier Boxing Champions, which cited Nielsen.

Spence and Bundu squared off following Team USA’s gold-medal performance in men’s basketball; NBC televised the Rio Games. Spence and Bundu averaged 4.8 million viewers during the broadcast. Their bout – won by Spence via sixth-round knockout from Coney Island, N.Y. – was the highest-rated PBC fight to date, according to a PBC news release.

“I knew this would be the most important fight of my career and the goal was to not just win, but to put on a spectacular one-sided performance,” Spence Jr. said. “It felt good to go out there and give everyone watching a great show and to do it in front of such a large television audience makes it even better.”

Spence, of Desoto, Texas, is 21-0 with 18 knockouts.

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Golden Boy Promotions, heavyweight Luis Ortiz ‘amicably’ part ways

Heavyweight Luis Ortiz, left, takes on Tony Thompson Saturday in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Omar Vega/Invision/AP Images)

Luis Ortiz, left, parted ways with Golden Boy Promotions on Tuesday/Photo by Omar Vega/Invision/AP Images

Interim heavyweight champion Luis Ortiz of Cuba is no longer being promoted by Golden Boy Promotions as of Tuesday, according to a statement released by Golden Boy spokesman Stefan Friedman.

“Today, Golden Boy Promotions and Luis Ortiz amicably parted ways,” the statement read. “We are proud of the work that Golden Boy and Luis accomplished together, culminating in his WBA heavyweight interim championship victory and subsequent title (defense). We wish Luis and his team all the best in the future.”
According to an Aug. 15 story on BoxingScene.com, Ortiz and Golden Boy were working on a buyout that would release Ortiz from his Golden Boy contract.
Ortiz (25-0, 22 KOs) has not fought since knocking out Tony Thompson in the sixth round March 5 in Washington D.C. The talented Ortiz, a 6-foot-4 southpaw, is 37.

 

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Caleb Plant looking to put his ‘Sweet Hands’ on Juan De Angel on Tuesday

Caleb Plant

Caleb Plant/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Middleweight prospect Caleb Plant has big dreams, but he has a ways to go before he can realize them. He’ll try to take a step in the direction of his goal when he tangles with hard-hitting Juan De Angel (18-4-1, 17 KOs) of Colombia in the 10-round main event Tuesday from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa. (on Fox Sports 1).

Plant, 24, speaks like he expects to have his hands full.
“Like all fights at this level, it’s going to be a tough fight,” he said. “I’m expecting to see a hungry fighter who has nothing to lose. I, myself, have everything to lose, so I’m going to make sure I’m at my best when we step in the ring. De Angel has held some regional belts, so I know he has some tricks up his sleeve. One thing I will do is dictate the pace.”
Plant, whose moniker is “Sweet Hands,” is 13-0 with 10 knockouts. He has fought most of his bouts at just above the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, but it sounds like he wants to eventually challenge for a middleweight title.
“The middleweight division has plenty of talent,” said Plant, of Ashland City, Tenn. “Gennady Golovkin has a stranglehold on the division at the moment, but I’m gunning for him and anyone else that’s in my way. First I have to get past this fight and then continue my march toward that world title.”

 

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Oscar De La Hoya says Canelo Alvarez and Texas fans have love for each other

Canelo Alvarez, left, poses with Amir Khan at a news conference promoting their May 7, 2016 fight won by Alvarez/Associated Press photo by John Locher 

 

Canelo Alvarez’s most recent fight was at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, when he knocked out Amir Khan in the sixth round on May 7 before 16,540. But Alvarez’s next bout will be back in Texas, where twice over the past three-plus years he has fought before huge crowds.

Alvarez (47-1-1, 13 KOs) on Sept. 17 will challenge Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of Great Britain for his junior middleweight belt at AT&T Stadium in Arlington (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez in May 2015 knocked out James Kirkland in the third round at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Alvarez in April 2013 won a 12-round decision over Austin Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio. It was therefore no surprise that this bout landed back in the Lone Star State.

“After Canelo knocked out James Kirkland in Houston last year, he was clear that he wanted to come to Texas at least once a year from then on out,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter. “Canelo drew more than 33,000 people (actually, 31,588) in Houston after drawing more than 45,000 (more like 40,000) in San Antonio for his fight with Austin Trout.

“It’s clear that Texans love Canelo, but working with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys will take it to another level.”

AT&T Stadium was previously known as Cowboys Stadium and is home to the Dallas Cowboys, owned by Jones.

 

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Light flyweight Nico Hernandez wins again, guaranteed at least bronze in Rio

Nico Hernandez, left, battles Carlos Pilataxi of Eduador on Wednesday in Rio/AP photo by Frank Franklin II

 

After not winning a medal in boxing in the 2012 London Games, Team USA is guaranteed of at least one in Rio. That is thanks to Nico Hernandez, who Wednesday defeated Carlos Pilataxi of Ecuador via split decision in the light flyweight quarterfinals.

That victory assures Hernandez, of Wichita, Kan., of no less than a bronze medal. He will next take on Uzbekistan’s Hassanboy Dusmatov in Friday’s semifinals.

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Manny Pacquiao chose Jessie Vargas because Vargas is a world champion

Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday night told this newspaper in a telephone call from the Philippines that Manny Pacquiao has decided to fight welterweight champion Jessie Vargas on Nov. 5 from Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

A couple of other top candidates to land the role as Pacquiao’s opponent were junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford and welterweight champion Danny Garcia.

“I wasn’t hoping anything,” Arum said. “I presented all the options to Manny and after he discussed it he decided last night at dinner that that was the fight to make.”

Vargas is also promoted under Arum’s Top Rank Inc. banner.

This will be Pacquiao’s first fight since being elected to the Senate in May in his native Philippines. As it happened, Arum was on his way to attend a Senate session “to see him in action.”

Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) said after he defeated Timothy Bradley this past April that he was retired. But once he was elected rumors of at least one more fight started. At first, the date of his return was going to be Oct. 15. But Pacquiao, 37, was told by the president of the Senate he could not fight that soon because of his duties.

“We have tremendous logistical problems because of his being a senator, but we’re working through them and everything will be fine,” Arum said. “It’s going to be very, very interesting.”

Arum said this fight will not be on HBO pay-per-view.

“We’re going to be distributing it in other ways, but it will definitely not be distributed by HBO pay-per-view,” he said.

Pacquiao was asked by Dyan Castillejo of ABS-CBN TV newtork in the Philippines why he selected Vargas.

“I chose Vargas because he is a champion,” said Pacquiao, who intimated he can’t wait to get back in the ring.

“I miss my boxing routine of training, the things i do for my sport everyday,” he said. “But I assure my people my fight and training will not affect my work as a senator.”

Vargas, 27, of Las Vegas, is 27-1 with 10 knockouts.

BoxingScene.com first reported this news.

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USA’s Charles Conwell loses his first bout at Rio Games and is eliminated

Charles Conwell .jpg

Charles Conwell/Photo courtesy of USA Boxing

 

Charles Conwell’s stay in the Rio Games was a short one. The Team USA middleweight out of Cleveland on Tuesday lost a unanimous decision to Krishan Vikas of India and has been eliminated from competition.

Conwell, 18, was classy in defeat.

“I thought I pulled out the victory,” said Conwell, who graduated from Cleveland Heights High just two months ago. “He’s a good competitor, a good, tough guy. But I thought I did enough to pull it out. I can always do better. I’m a fighter, so I’m used to going out there and trying to get the feel and go off the momentum of the fight. I wish nothing but the best to my opponent and I hope he keeps pulling out victories.”

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USA lightweight Carlos Balderas now in quarterfinals with another win in Rio

2016 Team USA Media Summit - Portraits

Carlos Balderas/Photo by Harry How, Getty Images North America

 

Team USA now has two boxers in the quarterfinals at the Rio Games, thanks to a victory Tuesday by Carlos Balderas of Santa Maria. Balderas won a unanimous decision over Daisuke Narimatsu of Japan in the lightweight division.

“The guy was physically a lot stronger than me,” Balderas said. “He kept coming and I noticed that he was taking all of my punches; he has a good chin, so I couldn’t just tap and move. I had to find my way off of him or he would have been on me the whole fight. I just used more of my experience.”

Balderas, just 19, will next face Lazaro Alvarez of Cuba in Friday’s quarterfinals. Alvarez won a bronze medal in the 2012 London Games.

“It makes me happy because USA is getting really far, like I said they would, and now it’s time to enjoy this victory and I’ll be back on Friday against the Cuban,” Balderas said.

Balderas’ teammate, Nico Hernandez, on Wednesday will take on Ecuador’s Pilataxi Quipo in the quarterfinals of the light flyweight division.

 

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