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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Dominique Dolton, Justin DeLoach pop off ahead of Friday’s fight in Vegas

Domonique Dolton

Domonique Dolton/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

It’s funny how opponents can have the same unflattering thoughts about one another.

Domonique Dolton and Justin DeLoach will square off Friday in the middleweight semi-main event from The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (on Bounce TV). In sizing up one another, each spoke as if the other isn’t good enough to win.

“From what I saw, he looks like a tough guy,” Dolton said. “We are not on the same level, though. He’s fought a couple of undefeated guys, but it doesn’t compare to my level of fighting. My skills will speak for me.”

Said DeLoach: “This fight is not going all night. I will break him down early in the fight. I have been studying him and I know Domonique better than he knows himself.”

Dolton, of Sterling Heights, Mich., is 17-0-1 with nine knockouts. DeLoach, of Augusta, Geo., is 15-1 with eight knockouts.

Their bout will come underneath the junior middleweight main event between Ishe Smith (28-8, 12 KOs) of Las Vegas and Frank Galarza (17-1-2, 11 KOs) of Brooklyn.

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Liam Smith believes he has a better chance against Canelo Alvarez than Kell Brook does against Gennady Golovkin

Liam Smith/Photo courtesy of Queensberry Promotions

 

Two British boxers are coming up on the biggest fights of their respective careers. Welterweight champion Kell Brook will move up in weight and challenge middleweight Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan on Sept. 10 in England (on HBO). A week later, on Sept. 17, Liam Smith will be defending his junior middleweight title against Canelo Alvarez of Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) believes he’s the Brit with the best chance to emerge victorious.

“Yes, 100 percent,” Smith said Thursday during a conference call. “I like my chances because I’m 100 percent confident I’m going to win this fight, and Canelo’s the favorite to win the fight. And I’ll be rooting for Kell Brook, but I think it’s a step too far for him. But I don’t think it’s a step too far for myself.”

 

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Robert Guerrero believes Max DeLuca’s 116-112 score Saturday was ‘crazy’

Robert Guerrero

Robert Guerrero/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero didn’t like the decision that went against him
Saturday in his welterweight fight against David Peralta of Argentina at Honda
Center. A very close fight, Peralta won a split-decision by scores of 113-115,
115-113 and 116-112.

Guerrero didn’t speak to reporters immediately following the fight, instead
making his way to his dressing room. From there did come a comment that
spelled out what he thought about the scores – especially the 116-112 that
came from Max DeLuca.

“I thought I clearly won the fight,” Guerrero said. “For the judge to say I lost 8
rounds sounds crazy to me. Peralta was very awkward, but I felt I won. I won
the rounds when I boxed. This is very disappointing, but I’ll be back, that you
can count on.”

This newspaper – along with a couple of other publications – scored the bout a
114-114 draw. DeLuca’s score did seem out of line.

Guerrero, 33, is 33-5-1. Peralta, who will be 34 on Wednesday, is 26-2-1.

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Robert Guerrero, David Peralta make weight for their fight Saturday

Robert Guerrero

Robert Guerrero/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero and David Peralta on Friday made weight for their welterweight main event Saturday at Honda Center (on Spike).

Guerrero, of Gilroy, weighed 146.8 pounds. Peralta, of Argentina, came in at the 147-pound limit.

Guerrero, 33, is 33-4-1 with 18 knockouts. Peralta, also 33, is 25-2-1 with 14 knockouts.

 

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Gennady Golovkin tired of hearing about guys who say they want to fight him

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of K2 Promotions

 

Gennady Golovkin is a respectful kind of guy. But the middleweight champion can be pushed too far, and this week he sounded off about those who say they want to fight him, but don’t.

Golovkin is preparing to defend his belts against Kell Brook on Sept. 10 in Brook’s native England (on HBO). Golovkin was playing host to reporters at the Big Bear camp owned by his trainer, Abel Sanchez, and answered a variety of questions.

He said that he does want to unify his division, but “I don’t know if WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders will fight me.”

How about a move from middleweight to super middleweight for a high-profile fight?
“Move up to 168, for what? Who is going to fight me there?” he said. “Which champion at that weight will agree to fight me for a big fight?”

Good question.

He’s fed up, it seems, and it all came out.

“Just too much talking about fighting me – Canelo, Eubank, Saunders, (Carl) Froch – they are acting like clowns with no respect for the sport,” Golovkin said. “I’m here now, sign the contract and fight me. Any of them, doesn’t matter which one.”

Canelo Alvarez recently gave up his middleweight belt rather than face Golovkin this year. Highly ranked middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. seemed all set to sign to fight Golovkin, then backed out.

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U.S. lightweight Mikaela Mayer opens Olympics with victory

Lightweight Mikaela Mayer  began her Rio Olympics journey on the right foot with her

Mikaela Mayer opens the Olympics with unanimous decision victory.

Mikaela Mayer opens the Olympics with unanimous decision victory.

unanimous decision victory over Jennifer Chieng (Micronesia), Friday. The scores were 40-35, 40-35, 39-37.

Mayer will next face Anastasia Beliakova, Monday. If she’s victorious she will clinch at least the Bronze medal.

In other U.S. Olympic action, Carlos Balderas lost a unanimous decision to Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez in a lightweight fight. All three judges scored the fight 30-27.

Nico Hernandez also suffered a defeat, falling to Uzebekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov (30-27, 29-28, 29-28). Hernandez had already clinched the Bronze Medal, making him the U.S. first medalist in boxing since Deontay Wilder in 2008.

Hernandez will receive his Bronze Medal Sunday following the light flyweight Golf Medal fight.

Claressa Shields has her first fight Wednesday.

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Joseph Diaz Jr., Victor Proa make weight for Saturday’s fight at Fantasy Springs

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte and Victor Proa of Mexico on Friday made weight for their featherweight bout Saturday at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on HBO Latino).

Diaz (20-0, 11 KOs) – ranked No. 3 in the world – weighed in at the 126-pound limit while Proa (28-1-2, 21 KOs) came in well under at 123.8 pounds. Proa has fought just once over the past 6 1/2 years and that was this past February.

The co-main event will feature highly ranked junior welterweight Antonio Orozco (24-0, 16 KOs) of San Diego going against Abner Lopez (23-5, 19 KOs) of Tijuana. Orozco weighed 142, two pounds over the 140-pound limit. Lopez came in at 140.

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Leo Santa Cruz seems to have nothing but respect for Carl Frampton

Leo Santa Cruz/Photo by Amanda Westcott, Showtime

 

Leo Santa Cruz didn’t get to where he is today by taking victories for granted. Therefore, even though Carl Frampton is moving up in weight to challenge Santa Cruz for his featherweight world title Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn (on Showtime), Santa Cruz will stick to his credo of regarding every opponent as an equal.

“People think Frampton is the underdog because he’s moving up in weight,” Santa Cruz said Wednesday at a workout in New York City. “But I (previously) moved up in weight, too. I never take an opponent lightly. I’m going to come really hungry. I respect every fighter and I train for my opponent to be at his best.”

Santa Cruz intimated Frampton – a former super bantamweight champion from Northern Ireland – is as real as a fighter gets.

“I have a lot of respect for Frampton,” said Santa Cruz, of the Lincoln Heights section of Los Angeles. “He has everything you need to be a great fighter. Excellent footwork, great power and good punches. Once he’s in the ring with me, I’m fighting for my future.”

Santa Cruz is 32-0-1 with 18 knockouts. He has won titles in the bantamweight, super bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

Frampton is 22-0 with 14 knockouts.

 

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Viktor Postol says Terence Crawford did not want to make their fight exciting

Viktor Postol, left, is knocked back by Terence Crawford during their WBC-WBO junior welterweight title unification boxing bout in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 23, 2016. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)

Viktor Postol’s glove touches the canvas in the fifth round, Terence Crawford getting his second knockdown of the round/AP photo by Chase Stevens

 

Terence Crawford won a wide unanimous decision over Viktor Postol in a junior welterweight title-unification bout Saturday at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

What was interesting about the fight was how much Crawford danced and moved. Both fighters came in 28-0, but Crawford entered with 20 knockouts to just 12 for Postol. Yet, Crawford was the fighter who seemed unwilling to go toe-to-toe. Afterward, he and his trainer – Brian McIntyre – both talked about how film they studied of Postol showed he can’t get his punches off unless he’s sitting down on them, which can’t be done when a fighter has to chase another.

Postol made note of Crawford’s excessive movement in the post-fight news conference.

“What I tried to do is make the fight happen,” said Postol, of Ukraine. “I tried to go forward. I didn’t choose to do a technical style and make it only a chess match. I think I did my best to make it an exciting fight. I think the other side did not really want to do that.”

Postol was asked if he expected Crawford to move as much as he did.

“No, I did not expect that,” Postol said. “I thought there were two champions in there and one was going to be a unified world champion. And I thought we’re both there to prove we’re a world champion.”

Crawford, of Omaha, Neb., won by scores of 118-107, 118-107 and 117-108. He did score two knockdowns in the fifth round. The first was a flash knockdown in the opening seconds of the round, Postol later saying he was off-balance. The second came when Postol’s glove touched the canvas after he was sent reeling from a left to the head. Postol said that one was legitimate.

The fight was carried on HBO pay-per-view. It will be replayed on HBO next Saturday.

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