Erislandy Lara/photo by Associated Press
Cuba’s amateur program has always been top-notch, so one has to wonder how many of its great amateurs would have been fine pros here in the States had they been able to freely come here to fight.
Sure, some have defected. But not everyone who tries succeeds. Erislandy Lara, a Cuban defector, first tried to defect in 2007. He was caught and returned. He defected again in 2008, that time successfully.
Lara, who Saturday will take on Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view), agreed we have missed out on a lot.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Obviously, Cuba’s a very strict country. It’s a country that you’ve got to do a lot of things to get over here to be free. And there are a tremendous amount of fighters in Cuba that would be world champions or very good fighters over here that are never able to make it.”
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez/photo by Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
A lot of smack has been talked by Cuba’s Erislandy Lara ahead of his July 12 junior middleweight title fight against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view).
Oscar De La Hoya, who is promoting the fight under his Golden Boy Promotions banner, believes Alvarez has taken Lara’s mouthing off to heart.
“It’s going to be a great fight; I don’t want to predict anything,” De La Hoya said Tuesday. “Lara has been doing a lot of trash-talking that has been fueling ‘Canelo.’ I see him at an entirely different level and it’s exactly where he should be. He’s at a level of determination where he really wants to get this guy. It’s personal.”
Oscar De La Hoya/photo courtesy of Denver Post
In the wake of our Q & A with Hall of Fame fighter/promoter Oscar De La Hoya last week, ESPN.com reported that De La Hoya is taking former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer to private arbitration and seeking some $50 million in damages. An informed source told us Monday this is accurate.
Schaefer is the only CEO De La Hoya’s company has had since its inception in 2002. Schaefer resigned in early June after ongoing differences with De La Hoya. De La Hoya told us that Schaefer remains under contract until 2018.
Terence Crawford/photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.
Terence Crawford and Yuriorkis Gamboa both made weight Friday for their lightweight title fight Saturday night in Crawford’s native Omaha, Neb. Crawford weighed in at 134.8 pounds, just under the 135-pound limit. Gamboa came in at 134.4 pounds.
Crawford (23-0, 16 KOs) will be making the first defense of his title. Gamboa, of Cuba, has the identical record of 23-0 with 16 knockouts. The two will square off at CenturyLink Center and their fight will be televised on HBO.
Gennady Golovkin/photo by Associated Press
Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin is currently in Big Bear training for his July 26 title defense against Daniel Geale at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).
With a record of 29-0 and 26 knockouts, Golovkin has become one of the most feared champions, and one of the most talk about. But his meteoric rise doesn’t mean he’s going to start changing things. Certainly, not his diet. His trainer, Abel Sanchez of West Covina, said as much this week from Big Bear.
“Not really a particular diet, no sugars, fats or sodas,” said Sanchez, who was talking about Golovkin’s overall training regimen, which partially consists of running five miles three times a week and sprints twice a week. “Just a balanced diet. Gennady eats pretty much what he wants, but he’s very smart about what he eats in camp.
“The great (late) Emanuel Steward said it best. Keep it as simple as possible for the fighter. It should not be a dramatic change as they get to another level.”
Oscar De La Hoya/Photo by Gene Blevins
Here is an excerpt from a Q & A we did with Oscar De La Hoya. He was asked about his addiction to alcohol and drugs, his induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the departure of his Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer.
Question: Word has it that you were surprised that Richard Schaefer left. But amid all the rumors, you could not have been completely surprised, could you?
Answer: “I was taken aback by it. I was very surprised. You hear rumors, you hear rumblings – the boxing world is a small world – and so I started to hear some rumblings years ago. But you don’t want to believe them. Call me naive, call me innocent or whatever you want to call me, but I just didn’t want to believe them. So when you have a CEO, you put all your trust into the CEO and the CEO runs your company for you. That’s basically what was happening. So to me, when he resigned, it was an instant shock at the time. But I heard rumblings many years ago.”
Check out the full Q & A by copying and pasting this link:
Photo by Gene Blevins – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (pictured left) and Yoshihiro Kamegai on Friday both made weight for their welterweight showdown Saturday at StubHub Center
Weighing in at the DoubleTree Hotel in Carson, Guerrero weighed in at 146 pounds, a pound under the 147-pound limit. Kamegai came in at 146.8 pounds.
The semi-main event fighters also made weight. Gary Russell Jr. and Vasyl Lomachenko both weighed 125.4 pounds for their featherweight world-tltle fight; the limit is 126.
Showtime will televise both bouts on the Golden Boy Promotions card.
Yoshihiro Kamegai of Japan will take on Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero on Saturday at StubHub Center
Photo by Gene Blevins – Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
It’s safe to say not many boxing fans in United States know a lot about Japan’s Yoshihiro Kamegai, who will be the underdog when he takes on Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero in the welterweight main event Saturday at StubHub Center. He promises to leave a lasting impression, however.
“This is a very important fight and a tremendous opportunity for me,” Kamegai said. “Not a lot of people know me now, but they will after the fight.”
Guerrero, of Gilroy, is 31-2-1 with 18 knockouts. Kamegai is 24-1-1 with 21 knockouts. He has previously fought three times in the U.S.
This Showtime video previews the undercard for the July 12 junior middleweight showdown between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and Erislandy Lara of Cuba at MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Showtime pay-per-view. Just click on the link.