Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Associated Press
It so happened that yours truly was at the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy in Oxnard on Tuesday to talk to Marcos Maidana, and ran into middleweight contender Marco Antonio Rubio. He was asked about the news that he will be challenging Gennady Golovkin for his world title on Oct. 18 at StubHub Center in Carson (on HBO).
Specifically, we asked Rubio about taking on such a powerful puncher like Golovkin, who is 30-0 with 27 knockouts. That’s a knockout ratio of 90 percent.
“He’s a very tough fighter, a very strong fighter,” said Rubio, 34, of Mexico. “It is my job to get ready and prepare for that. I have a lot of power, also.”
Rubio is 59-6-1 with 51 knockouts. He has knocked out 77.2 percent of his opponents. Rubio has twice fought for middleweight world titles. He was stopped after nine rounds by Kelly Pavlik in February 2009, and he lost a unanimous decision to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in February 2012. He is 6-0 with five knockouts since then.
Dominic Breazeale/Photo by Getty Images
Heavyweight prospect Dominic Breazeale of Alhambra on Saturday ran his record to 12-0 with 11 knockouts when he knocked out Billy Zumbrun (27-13-1) at 2:05 of the second round Saturday in a preliminary bout at StubHub Center in Carson.
Breazeale, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, decked Zumbrun twice in the first round. Breazeale is 28. Zumbrun, of Ogden, Utah, is 41.
Graphic courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Friday’s weigh-in for Saturday’s Golden Boy Promotions card featuring Shawn Porter defending his welterweight title against Kell Brook at StubHub Center in Carson (on Showtime) will be open to the public. It will begin at 1 p.m. at the Northwest tennis pad at StubHub.
Porter, of Akron, Ohio, is one of the more exciting new rising stars in the game. He is 24-0-1 with 15 knockouts and will be looking to make his second successful defense. Porter is just 26.
Brook, of England, is 28. He is 32-0 with 22 knockouts. But he has his work cut out for him against Porter, a vicious seek-and-destroy fighter.
Deontay Wilder/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder (31-0, 31 KOs) will take on journeyman Jason Gavern (25-16-4, 11 KOs) in somewhat of a stay-busy fight Saturday at StubHub Center on the undercard of the welterweight title fight between champion Shawn Porter and Kell Brook (on Showtime).
Wilder was asked recently about his training camp habits, and it was somewhat surprising to hear what kind of music the 28-year-old from Tuscaloosa, Ala. listens to while he’s working.
“We hit the bags for a couple of rounds and listen to some old-school funk while we get warmed up,” he said.
You just won’t find a lot of guys Wilder’s age who say they listen to old-school funk. That’s more along the lines of something yours truly would listen to, and I’m 57.
Gotta love it.
Adrien Broner/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Former world champion Adrien “The Problem” Broner of Cincinnati will fight at home for the first time in over two years when he takes on Emmanuel Taylor in the super lightweight main event on Sept. 6 at U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati (on Showtime).
Broner last fought at that same venue in July 2012 when he defended his junior lightweight title against Vicente Escobedo via 5th-round TKO.
“It’s always good to fight at home,” Broner said. It’s overdue. I will not disappoint my Cincinnati fans. I’ll make sure to put up a good show for them. Taylor is a young, talented fighter, but he’s not ready to solve this ‘Problem.’ ”
Broner, 25, is 28-1 with 22 knockouts. He has won titles at junior lightweight, lightweight and welterweight.
Taylor, of Edgewood Arsenal, Md., is 23. He has a record of 18-2 with 12 knockouts. He has victories over Victor Manuel Cayo and Karim Mayfield.
“This is the biggest fight of my career and I won’t let it get away from me,” Taylor said. “All of those hours in the gym were for a moment like this, and I can’t wait to show the world what I can do in the ring.”
Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Bernard Hopkins is 49 and will be 50 on Jan. 15. Before that happens he’ll be facing yet another challenge in a long line of them. Although the actual date and site have yet to be determined, Hopkins will put his two light heavyweight championship belts on the line against hard-hitting Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev of Russia in a title-unification bout in November in either Atlantic City or New York City (on HBO).
“Everything I do at this point in my career affects my legacy,” said Hopkins, who is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. “I’ve set and broken many records, but becoming the oldest undisputed light heavyweight world champion is the goal and Kovalev stands in the way of that goal. He’s another young, hungry fighter and just like the ones that came before him, he will leave the ring beltless.
Hopkins is off just a bit in this statement. He will not be undisputed champion if he beats Kovalev. Hopkins has two of the four major belts, Kovalev has one. Adonis Stevenson has the other one, which means Hopkins would only have three of the four belts with a victory, and that would not quite make him undisputed champion.
That said, Hopkins should be applauded for taking on a killer like Kovalev, who is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts and is coming off a second-round TKO of Blake Caparello on Saturday in Atlantic City.
“I respect Bernard Hopkins for taking this fight,” Kovalev, 31, said. “When I came to America, it was dream to fight the best and now I am fighting, I have my chance. He says he is alien. He punch, I punch, then we see who is gonna go to Mars.”
Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions
Providing Sergey Kovalev successfully defends his light heavyweight title Saturday night against Blake Caparello at Revel Resort in Atlantic City (on HBO), Kovalev will next take on fellow champion Bernard Hopkins in a title-unification bout sometime in November in either Atlantic City or New York City, according to reports out of several outlets.
Hopkins (55-6-2, 32 KOs) is 49 and will be 50 Jan. 15. The hard-hitting Kovalev (24-0-1, 22 KOs), of Russia, is 31.
Sergey Kovalev graphic courtesy of Main Events Inc.
Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev of Russia and challenger Blake Caparello of Australia both weighed in at 174 pounds for their title fight that will be contested Saturday at Revel Resort in Atlantic City (on HBO).
The limit is 175.
Kovalev, 31, is 24-0-1 with 22 knockouts. He’ll be looking to make his third successful title defense. Caparello, 27, is a light-hitter by comparison. The southpaw is 19-0-1 with just six knockouts. This will be his first shot at a major championship.
Manny Pacquiao (left) and Brandon Rios pose at a news conference ahead of their Nov. 24 fight that took place in Macau, China/Photo by Associated Press
Brandon Rios of Oxnard has lost his past two fights, and that’s enough to ruin anyone’s groove. It almost doesn’t matter that the two losses came to a good fighter in Mike Alvarado and a Hall of Fame fighter like Manny Pacquiao. Bottom line is, Rios can ill-afford a third consecutive defeat when he takes on Diego Gabriel Chaves of Argentina in the welterweight main event Aug. 2 at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (on HBO).
He knows that.
“It’s do or die for me and I will do what I have to do to win this fight,” said Rios, 28, and a former lightweight world champion.
After losing handily to Pacquiao by eight, 10 and 12 points on the scorecards, Rios might have taken on an easier opponent than Chaves (23-1, 19 KOs), who took tough Keith Thurman to 10 rounds before being stopped by Thurman in his only loss last July 27 in San Antonio.
Rios wanted noting resembling a patsy, though.
“I know I could have fought an easier opponent, but I want to show everyone what I am still capable of doing against a top level guy," he said.
Rios is 31-2-1 with 23 knockouts.
Chaves, 28, is ranked as high as the No. 6 welterweight by one governing body. Rios is unranked.
Daniel Geale and his promoter Gary Shaw (right)/Photo by Associated Press
You really have to like a guy who has the attitude of Daniel Geale as he prepares to challenge the very dangerous Gennady Golovkin for his middleweight championship Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).
Geale was asked during a recent conference call to explain what it is about Golovkin that makes him want to fight him so badly. His response was classic.
“To be honest, Gennady has got titles and I want titles,” said Geale, a former world champion. “That’s my main goal here. I want to fight the best fighters and I want to win some titles and there is only one way to do that, whether he has a great record or not. You have to get in there and test yourself against the best fighters in the world.”
Exactly what you want to hear from a world-class fighter heading into the lion’s den that is the heavy-handed Golovkin, who is 29-0 with 26 knockouts.
Geale is 30-2 with 16 knockouts. He lost his title to Darren Barker via split-decision in August 2013. He has fought once since and stopped Garth Wood after six rounds in February in his native Australia.