Joseph Diaz Jr. stoked to be fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend

Joseph Diaz Jr., seen in his pro debut against Vicente Alfaro in 2012, is 18-0 and fighting for a vacant regional featherweight title Friday in Indio. (Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions)

Joseph Diaz Jr. decks Vicente Alfaro in August 2013. Diaz will take on Andrew Cancio on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte is among several boxers of Mexican descent slated to fight Sept. 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Mexican Indpendence Day weekend.

Diaz (21-0, 12 KOs) does not take that lightly.

“Knowing that September is Hispanic Heritage Month (from Sept. 15-Oct. 15) makes me feel more confident to go out there and be the best I can be for my people,” said Diaz, a highly ranked featherweight who will take on Andrew Cancio (17-3-2, 13 KOs) of Blythe underneath the main event between junior middleweight champion Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico (on HBO pay-per-view). “It’s an honor fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend. A lot of great fights have been on this special day, and I’m ready to put everything on the line to give the fight fans another fight to remember.
“Hopefully, one day I can be a main event fighter on Mexican Independence Day weekend. This would mean a lot to my career because it’ll show everyone that I can be the next big Mexican-American star.”
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Public celebration service for Bobby Chacon is Sept. 23 at Stevens Steak House; he’ll be laid to rest Sept. 26 at San Fernando Mission Cemetery

Bobby Chacon v Cornelius Boza-Edwards : News Photo

Bobby Chacon tangles with Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Chacon winning a unanimous decision in May 1983 in Las Vegas. It was named Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine/Photo courtesy of Getty Images, Ring Magazine

 

A public celebration service for boxer Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon will be held Sept. 23 from 6-10 p.m. at Stevens Steak House in the City of Commerce. Chacon will then be laid to rest Sept. 26 at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery at 9 a.m. in the Mission Garden Mausoleum.

Chacon, the pride of Pacoima, died Sept. 7 at age 64 after a fall. The two-division world champion suffered from pugilistic dementia for some two decades, the result of his many ring wars.

Chacon fought from 1972-88 and compiled a record of 59-7-1 with 47 knockouts while winning world titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions.

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Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez wants to win 4th title for Alexis Arguello

Roman Gonzalez/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

 

Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicaragua has won world titles at minimumweight, light flyweight and flyweight. He is arguably the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He has one more goal, and he can attain that Saturday night when he challenges Carlos Cuadras of Mexico for his super flyweight title at the Fabulous Forum (on HBO).

A victory would give Gonzalez (45-0, 38 KOs) a title in a fourth weight class, something his countryman – Alexis Arguello – was unable to do. Arguello won belts at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight. But he was knocked out twice by Aaron Pryor, in 1982 and 1983, in efforts to win a super lightweight championship.

“I dedicate this fight to my mentor, Alexis Arguello,” Gonzalez said. “I know how badly he wanted a fourth divisional championship and I want to do it for him.”

Caudras (35-0-1, 27 KOs) wants to prevent that from happening. He understands it won’t be easy.

“He’s a very strong fighter,” Cuadras said. “Puts a lot of pressure, comes at you, throws a lot of punches.”

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Bobby ‘Schoolboy’ Chacon was a heck of a fan favorite during his heyday

Bobby Chacon v Cornelius Boza-Edwards : News Photo

Bobby Chacon tangles with Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Chacon winning a unanimous decision in May 1983 in Las Vegas. It was named Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine/Photo courtesy of Getty Images, Ring Magazine

 

Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon played host to a reporter from this newspaper in the fall of 2000 at the Skid Row gym where he was teaching kids the art of the sweet science.
By then, Chacon already had been stricken with pugilistic dementia, the result of his many ring wars.

Chacon had lost his wife, Valerie, in 1982 to a self-inflicted gunshot wound brought on by her husband’s refusal to quit boxing.

Nine years later, Chacon’s son Bobby Jr. was the victim of gang violence when he was shot and killed at 17. That’s not to mention Chacon’s own issues with drugs and alcohol.

Yet, Chacon — “the pride of Pacoima” — never stopped smiling. His tough life aside, he would constantly show up at local boxing cards, cracking jokes that had so many laughing. Sadly, it all came to an end Wednesday when Chacon died at 64. Chacon suffered a bad fall in a dementia care facility in Hemet that led to his death, said Ricky Farris, president of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.

“As sad of shape as he was in, he was the guy who was always laughing and happy,” said Don Chargin, who promoted many of Chacon’s fights. “He wasn’t one of those mean guys, where they get a little bit of that dementia, they get sullen and mean.”

Chacon boxed professionally from 1972-88, compiling a record of 59-7-1 with 47 knockouts while winning world titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.

Chacon’s ninth-round stoppage of Danny “Little Red” Lopez in 1974 at the L.A. Sports Arena was just one of Chacon’s many epic victories. Chacon also took on Rafael “Bazooka” Limon four times, going 2-1 with a draw. In their fourth fight, Chacon won a 15-round unanimous decision in a super featherweight title fight in Sacramento in 1982. Chacon was decked twice, Limon once. That was named Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine.

There were Chacon’s two fights with Cornelius Boza-Edwards. Chacon was stopped by Boza-Edwards in the 13th round in 1981 in a super featherweight title fight in Las Vegas. Chacon came back to win a 12-round unanimous decision over Boza-Edwards in 1983 in Las Vegas. It was another Chacon fight that Ring Magazine honored as Fight of the Year.
Abel Sanchez, trainer of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, grew up in West Covina. Like all area fans, he embraced Chacon during his heyday.

“I think he brought the kind of mentality that has been lost in recent times in our boxing business,” Sanchez said via telephone from London, where Golovkin will defend his title Saturday against Kell Brook. “I think now it’s more of a business, where as back then fighters were warriors; fighters fought like the old-timers did.

“Bobby’s fights with Boza-Edwards are something to learn from and study. He was one-of-a-kind for our Southern California fighters. He just personified the Mexican warrior that we, as fans, want to see in our fighters.”

Longtime promoter Bob Arum said it well in one short sentence.

“He was a tremendous fighter and a big attraction,” he said.

Chargin recalled that Chacon-Lopez sold out the L.A. Sports Arena in 1974. Four months later, Chacon won the featherweight title with a ninth-round TKO of Alfredo Marcano in September at the Olympic Auditorium, then knocked out Jesus Estrada in the second round in his first defense, also at the Olympic.

“That was another night the fire marshal made us quit selling tickets,” Chargin said.
Fellow Hall of Fame fighter-turned-promoter Oscar De La Hoya of East L.A., a big draw in his day, identified with Chacon. De La Hoya on Wednesday said, in part, “Hailing from Southern California, Bobby was someone I looked up to as a young fighter growing up in East Los Angeles. Bobby had the natural talent, good looks, personality and power to be a memorable fighter in the ring that attracted crowds.”

Chacon fought two days after his wife committed suicide in March 1982, stopping Salvador Ugalde in the third round in Sacramento.

“They were a cute little couple and she really wanted him to quit, and he didn’t,” Chargin said. “They had a terrible fight and he said, ‘I’m not quitting,’ and she committed suicide. Naturally, I called the fight off and started to come back to L.A., and I got a call from Bobby’s attorney and he said they were going to bring a lawsuit against me if I called off the fight.”

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Tickets go on sale for fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jessie Vargas

Jessie Vargas/Photo courtesy of Top Rank Inc.

 

Tickets for the Nov. 5 welterweight title fight between champion Jessie Vargas of Las Vegas and Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines go on sale Thursday at noon.

The bout will take place at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas and will be distributed on Top Rank pay-per-view.

Ticket prices are $50, $100, $300, $500, $700 and $1,000. They can be purchased at the Thomas & Mack Center box office, online at www.unlvtickets.com or by calling 702-739-3267 or 866-388-3267.

Pacquiao, 37, is 58-6-2 with 38 knockouts. Vargas, 27, is 27-1 with 10 knockouts.

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Andre Ward: Once the bell rings, it’s all about executing and getting it done

Andre Ward/Photo courtesy of Roc Nation

 

Andre Ward doesn’t see any reason for trash-talk. He explained why Tuesday when he and Sergey Kovalev played host to a New York City news conference promoting their Nov. 19 light heavyweight title fight at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

“… I’ve been in this position before and so has my opponent,” Ward said. “It doesn’t matter what the other side says, how they feel, what they say. He’s got to get it done and I’ve got to get it done. When those bright lights come on, it’s all about who executes and who gets it done. I don’t have to throw chairs. I don’t have to cuss. I don’t have to act crazy.”

Ward, 32, of Oakland, is 30-0 with 15 knockouts. He is a former super middleweight champion.

Kovalev, 33, is the champion from Russia. At 30-0-1 with 26 knockouts, he has become one of the meaner hombres in the game. He knows he’s got to be as ferocious as ever to get past the more crafty Ward.

“It’s a big moment in my career,” Kovalev said.

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Tom Loeffler speaks in prideful tones about K2 Promotions’ big night

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of K2 Promotions

 

K2 Promotions will have the lead fighter in Saturday’s co-promotion with Matchroom Boxing, which will feature K2’s Gennady Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) defending his middleweight championship against Matchroom’s Kell Brook (36-0, 25 KOs) at O2 Arena in London (on HBO). On the same night, K2 Promotions will be the lead promoter for the super flyweight title fight between champion Carlos Cuadras (35-0-1, 27 KOs) of Mexico and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (45-0, 38 KOs) of Nicaragua at the Fabulous Forum.

It, too, will be televised by HBO. Tom Loeffler, general manager of K2 Promotions, speaks in prideful tones about K2’s big night.

“I think it’s the first time two fights of this magnitude have been put together by a promotional company on two different continents (on the same night)”, Loeffler
said.

It wasn’t easy getting it all done, he said.

“We had to get the Triple G (Golovkin) fight done first, and then I had been pushing HBO for Chocolatito’s own HBO date,” Loeffler said.

Gonzalez, who has won titles in three weight classes and is considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world by some, will be looking for a fourth when he moves
up in weight to challenge Cuadras.

Cuadras believes he can hand Gonzalez his first loss.

“He’s going to come right at me,” Cuadras said at Tuesday’s final news conference. “I’ve gotta counterpunch him, counterpunch him, counterpunch him. He’s going to come
with a lot of pressure and I just have to be ready for that. And I think I am.”

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Buena Park’s Christian Gonzalez remains perfect as professional

Buena Park’s Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez is a rising prospect training out of the famed Azteca Boxing Club.

Gonzalez, 20, continued his perfect start to his career with a

Christian "Chimpa" Gonzalez following last Friday's victory; Photo by Golden Boy Promotions

Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez following last Friday’s victory; Photo by Golden Boy Promotions

second-round knockout victory of Jonathan Corrales, Friday at Belasco Theater on the LA Fight Club card.

Gonzalez (15-0) scored a knockdown in the first round and he finished Corrales in the second round, landing a succession of punches that dropped Corrales. The referee didn’t bother with the count, stopping the fight at 1:57 of the round.

Gonzalez graduated from Buena Park HS in 2013. He’s the younger brother of former WBC featherweight champion Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez.

“With every fight, the game plan is to go for the knock out, and I was glad I was able to get it with this fight,” Gonzalez said.

In the other fights on the card, Antonio Gutierrez (20-2-1) defeated Jorge Melendez (28-6-1) by unanimous decision (97-92, 97-92, 96-93.

Oscar Duarte, who is trained by Joel Diaz (7-0-1), defeated Rafael Reyes by unanimous decision in four-round fight.

Tenochtitlan Nava (3-0) scored a third-round TKO victory in his fight against Juan Byrand. Lamont Roach Jr. (12-0) stopped Mario Macias for a second-round knockout and Edgar Valerio (8-0) won an unanimous decision victory over Emmanuel Castro.

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Kell Brook’s seven-day weigh-in tells a big story his about fight with Golovkin

FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2014, file photo, Kell Brook, right, hits Shawn Porter during their IBF welterweight title boxing bout in Carson, Calif. Gennady Golo...

Kell Brook of England is shown here taking care of Shawn Porter in their welterweight title fight in August 2014 at StubHub Center/ Associated Press file photo by Chris Carlson

 

Kell Brook might be the biggest welterweight ever. At Friday’s mandated seven-day weigh-in for his fight next Saturday against middleweight champion Genady Golovkin from O2 Arena in London, Brook came in at 167.8 pounds, nearly five more pounds than Golovkin’s 162.9.

Brook, of England, holds a world title in the welterweight division, which is 147 pounds, and will be moving up two  weight classes to challenge Golovkin. The middleweight limit is 160.

The bout will be televised by HBO. Chances are, Brook will be the bigger man the night of the fight. By all accounts, he had been having to kill himself to make 147.

 

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Sergio Mora figures fight with Daniel Jacobs his last shot at second title

Sergio Mora sits on his stool after suffering an ankle injury in the second round of his August 2015 fight against middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs/Associated Press photo by Gregory Payan

 

Sergio Mora of Los Angeles has had a very nice career, considering he’s never had much of a punch. Mora is 28-4-2 with only nine knockouts. But he did win a major world title when he took a stunning victory over Vernon Forrest in June 2008, losing the junior middleweight belt three months later in a rematch.

Mora didn’t get another title shot until he took on Daniel Jacobs for a middleweight belt in August 2015, Jacobs winning a second-round TKO when Mora suffered an ankle injury.
Mora will take on Jacobs (31-1, 28 KOs) in a rematch next Friday from Santander Arena in Reading, Pa. (on Spike). It figures to be Mora’s final chance at a second title.

“I’m not Bernard Hopkins,” Mora said. “There’s only special people that could fight in their mid-30s and so on and still be fighting the best. So even though … my body hasn’t taken a beating, I’ve been in the game a long time. And the wear and tear from sparring and from running and from the dieting and from all the other stuff, all that takes effect.”

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