Irish Olympian Michael Conlan signs promotional contract with Top Rank Inc.

Michael Conlan

Michael Conlan, left, on Monday signed a promotional contract with Top Rank Inc./Photo courtesy of Getty Images

 

Promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. has signed two-time Olympian Michael Conlan of Northern Ireland to a promotional contract. Details were not disclosed.

Conlan won a bronze medal while representing Ireland in the 2012 London Games, but lost a highly controversial decision to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia in the quarterfinals in the recent Rio Games. It was one of many unpopular decisions in Rio.

Conlan, 24, is expected to make his pro debut in early 2017.

 

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Canelo Alvarez has fractured right thumb, prognosis good for full recovery

Canelo Alvarez celebrates after winning the junior middleweight title with a 9th-round knockout of Liam Smith on Saturday/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Golden Boy Promotions on Monday about noon released a statement that Canelo Alvarez sustained a fracture of his right thumb during his ninth-round knockout of junior middleweight champion Liam Smith this past Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

No surgery will be required, but Alvarez’s thumb will be mobilized for six weeks. Alvarez will not be able to fight the rest of this year, though the statement indicated the prognosis for a full recovery is excellent and the injury should not prevent him from moving forward in his career.

 

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Joseph Diaz Jr. takes another positive step toward his first major title shot

Southpaw Joseph Diaz Jr., right, lands a right hook to the head of Andrew Cancio during their fight Saturday in Arlington, Texas/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte figures to be fighting for his first major title sometime next year, providing he keeps winning. That makes every fight for Diaz vital. A slip, and his plans are disrupted.

Diaz – ranked as high as No. 3 in the world – took another step forward this past Saturday when he stopped Andrew Cancio of Blythe in the ninth round of their featherweight bout slated for 10 rounds. They tangled underneath the junior middleweight title fight between Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico; Alvarez won via 9th-round knockout at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“This is a great victory, it will open up so many doors for me moving forward,” said the 23-year-old Diaz, who is 22-0 with 13 knockouts. “I felt very comfortable. I was the better puncher, I was faster and was able to cut the ring more efficiently. I knew that Cancio was going to be a strong guy, I knew he was going to be tough and try to push me around, so I had to be the better fighter. I was able to display my defense and my power.”
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HBO on Saturday will show a replay of Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith title fight

Canelo Alvarez connects with an uppercut as Liam Smith grimaces/AP photo by LM Otero

 

HBO on Saturday will televise a replay of this past Saturday’s junior middleweight title bout between Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) decked Smith (23-1-1) three times on his way to a ninth-round knockout, Alvarez taking Smith’s title.

The Golden Boy Promotions card was televised live on HBO pay-per-view.

 

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Canelo Alvarez knocks out Liam Smith in the ninth round to win title

Canelo Alverez (L) and Liam Smith (R) square up during a press conference to promote their fight

Canelo Alvarez, left, knocked out Liam Smith (right) in the ninth round Saturday in Arlington, Texas/Photo by Getty Images

 

Canelo Alvarez of Mexico on Saturday night once again became a world champion in the junior middleweight division when he knocked out champion Liam Smith of England in the ninth round of their bout before an announced crowd of 51,240 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) decked Smith (23-1-1) three times on his way to victory – the last two times from body shots.

Smith was making his third defense.

Alvarez previously held a title at this weight from 2011-2013. He lost his two titles to Floyd Mayweather, eventually moving up to fight for, and win, a middleweight title. He vacated that title rather than unify it with Gennady Golovkin, then moved back down to challenge Smith.

Also on this card, Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte stopped Andrew Cancio (17-4-2) of Blythe in the ninth round of their featherweight bout. Diaz (22-0, 13 KOs) is ranked as high as No. 3 by one organization.

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Canelo Alvarez, Liam Smith successfully make weight for Saturday’s bout

Canelo Alverez (L) and Liam Smith (R) square up during a press conference to promote their fight

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Liam Smith both made weight Friday for their fight Saturday in Arlington, Texas/Photo by Getty Images

 

Junior middleweight champion Liam Smith of England and challenger Canelo Alvarez of Mexico successfully made weight Friday for their showdown Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view, $54.99, $64.99 HD).

Smith and Alvarez both tipped the scales at the limit of 154 pounds.

Smith, 28, is 23-0-1 with 13 knockouts. This will be his third defense. Alvarez, 26, is 47-1-1 with 33 knockouts. Alvarez has held titles at this weight and at middleweight.

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Promoter Frank Warren says Americans will become fans of Liam Smith

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Liam Smith pose after Thursday’s final news conference/Photo courtesy of Tom Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Promoter Frank Warren is pumped up about his fighter, Liam Smith, getting a chance to defend his title Saturday against Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) of Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) has never fought in the States, so he’s unknown to most here. Warren promised this week American fans will jump on Smith’s bandwagon once they’ve seen him fight.

“You guys are going to be great fans of him,” Warren said. “He is coming in as a lion, an undefeated fighter on an eight-fight knock out streak.”

That’s all well and good. But the eight consecutive knockouts haven’t exactly come against top-notch competition. Check out Smith’s ring record and judge for yourself.

 

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Liam Smith sees fight with Canelo Alvarez as chance to ‘go up the ladder’

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Liam Smith pose after Thursday’s final news conference/Photo courtesy of Tom Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Liam Smith is a junior middleweight world champion, which means he has – to a degree – reached the promised land in boxing. The thing is he hasn’t beaten any real outstanding fighters, so he is not yet a star. He would be if he were to successfully defend his title Saturday against Canelo Alvarez of Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

“Canelo is an elite fighter, and this is my chance to go up the ladder,” Smith said at Thursday’s final news conference.

Alvarez, who has been highly criticized for not fighting middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, swears he’s taking Smith seriously.

“We know how dangerous and difficult Liam Smith will be,” Alvarez said. “We have not taken him lightly and we know he will come to fight on Saturday.”

Smith, of England, is 23-0-1 with 13 knockouts. Alvarez is 47-1-1 with 33 knockouts.

 

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Pay-per-view cost for Canelo-Liam Smith is $54.99, $64.99 for high definition

Liam Smith/Photo courtesy of Tom Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

For those mulling over whether to purchase Saturday’s HBO pay-per-view feed for the junior middleweight title bout between champion Liam Smith and Canelo Alvarez, it won’t come cheaply.

We’re talking $54.99, $64.99 for high definition. Golden Boy Promotions will also offer the feed on live stream for $64.99. That address is www.goldenboyppv.com.

Alvarez, of Mexico, is 47-1-1 with 33 knockouts. Smith, of England, is 23-0-1 with 13 knockouts. They will tangle at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

 

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High-energy trainer Dewey Cooper believes Jessie Vargas belongs in Nov. 5 fight against Manny Pacquiao

Jessie Vargas/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

All one has to do is spend a couple of minutes with Dewey Cooper, and it’s obvious this is a trainer with emotional energy to burn. He speaks in electric, as well as confident, tones.

That was certainly the case when Cooper recently spoke about his fighter, welterweight champion Jessie Vargas, who Nov. 5 will defend his title against Manny Pacquiao
at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95).

This is only going to be Cooper’s second fight with Las Vegas’ Vargas. In their first, Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) won the vacant title with a ninth-round TKO of then-undefeated Sadam Ali in March in Washington D.C.

Winning that fight is likely a far cry from what Vargas will have to do to beat Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs). That’s not to mention this will by far be the biggest stage on which Vargas has performed. Some guys fall apart in that situation, others handle it well. Cooper believes the latter will be the case for Vargas.

“Psychologically, I pound the message to him every day that this event is not too big for us,” Cooper said. “We belong here. Everyone keeps saying Pacquiao chose Jessie. No, Pacquiao didn’t choose Jessie. Jessie won a world title on March 5 by knocking out an undefeated fighter, sensational fighter, and that is what put Jessie in the position to have a Manny Pacquiao fight.

“In other words, we earned every step of this. And we’re looking forward to a great opportunity.”

Cooper then suggested a changing of the guard is in order.

“We respect Manny, we love Manny,” Cooper said. “But at the end of the day, it’s survival of the fittest, and it’s our time. Life is about transitions and this is definitely a transitional time in boxing and we want to be ahead of that pack.”

Pacquiao is 37 and likely won’t fight much longer.

Cooper is a former cruiserweight who went 19-3-3 with 11 knockouts fighting from 2001-12.

 

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