Terence Crawford, left, lands a left cross on Viktor Postol during their title-unification bout in July 2016 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Crawford won a wide decision/AP photo by Chase Stevens
Junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford and Felix Diaz on Friday successfully made weight for their showdown Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).
Crawford (30-0, 21 KOs), of Omaha, Neb., weighed in at 139.2 pounds. Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs), of the Dominican Republic, weighed 139.4; the limit is 140.
Felix Diaz, right, covers up as Lamont Peterson swings on him during their fight in October 2015/Getty Images
Terence Crawford is undefeated and holder of two of the major junior welterweight belts. But none of that cuts any ice with Felix Diaz, who Saturday will challenge Crawford for his titles at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO).
“With his style, I know I can beat Terence Crawford,” Diaz said this week during a conference call. “Crawford has fought no one like me. Stylistically, I can beat him.”
Diaz (19-1, 9 KOs) won the gold medal for the Dominican Republic in the 2008 Beijing Games. His only loss as a pro came to former junior welterweight and current welterweight champion Lamont Peterson via majority decision in October 2015.
Crawford, of Omaha, Neb., is 30-0 with 21 knockouts.
Canelo Alvarez, left, and Gennady Golovkin pose after their fight was announced for Sept. 16 at a site still to be determined/Photo by Gene Blevins
Eric Gomez, president of Golden Boy Promotions, on Saturday confirmed a report that Magic Johnson and the Dodgers have made an offer to host the Sept. 16 middleweight title fight between champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico at Dodger Stadium.
De La Hoya told the L.A. Times that he had a conversation with Johnson on Friday. Gomez said that talk came after he had three with Dodgers executive vice-president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen.
“I had the initial talks with Lon and we set up a call with Magic and Oscar and Magic spoke with Oscar yesterday,” Gomez said Saturday afternoon. “They’re very interested.”
Gomez said he could not get into specifics about the proposal, “But it’s a very interesting offer. It’s something we’re going to explore. They’re very serious.”
Other strong contenders to host what figures to be a blockbuster event are AT&T Stadium near Dallas and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
HBO broadcaster Max Kellerman (center) speaks to Gennady Golovkin (left) and Canelo Alvarez after the Sept. 16 fight between Golovkin and Alvarez was announced following Alvarez’s victory over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. this past Saturday. Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, stands between Kellerman and Golovkin/Photo by Getty Images
Trainer Abel Sanchez had just watched Canelo Alvarez of Mexico out-box and out-punch countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Sanchez then sat on a makeshift dais inside the ring to discuss the Sept. 16 bout between his fighter – middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin – and Alvarez, which was announced immediately after Alvarez defeated Chavez by three scores of 120-108.
Sanchez was impressed with Alvarez’s work, but he reminded a reporter that Alvarez will be in with a different kind of beast when he challenges Golovkin at a site still to be determined.
“I think Canelo displayed great boxing skills,” Sanchez said. “But he’s not going to have Chavez in front of him (in September), it’s going to be Gennady Golovkin.”
Golovkin, 35, is 37-0 with 33 knockouts. He was on a string of 22 consecutive knockouts that was snapped in March when Daniel Jacobs went all 12 rounds with Golovkin in a hotly contested bout won by Golovkin by scores of 114-113, 115-112 and 115-112.
Alvarez, a former junior middleweight and middleweight champion, is 49-1-1 with 34 knockouts. At 26, he is nine years Golovkin’s junior.
Manuel ‘Tino’ Avila is seen here during a recent workout in preparation for Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr./Photo by Julio C. Sanchez/Team Tino
Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. of South El Monte is ranked No. 2 in the world at featherweight by one major governing body. He is therefore on the cusp o f a world-title shot. In order to get it soon, he’s going to have to defeat Manuel “Tino” Avila on Saturday on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. super middleweight main event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).
Diaz is 23-0 with 13 knockouts. Avila, of Fairfield, is 22-0 with eight knockouts. Avila is ranked No. 10, which means Diaz could be facing his toughest opponent to date. Avila sure believes that.
“My team and I have been working extremely hard,” a confident Avila said during a recent workout. “I’ve got all the right people in my corner helping me get to the top.
“I’m sparring with some really good fighters, I’ve taken my conditioning to new levels. I’m amped for this fight.”
Avila had a message for Diaz.
“JoJo Diaz, you better be ready for me on May 6,” Avila said.
Diaz is 24, Avila is 25.
Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Gene Blevins
Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will not fight in June after all and will instead wait to see if he can get Canelo Alvarez in the ring in September, according to a report out of London by ESPN.com.
According to the report, Golovkin had been considering a fight with fellow champion Billy Joe Saunders for June 10 in Golovkin’s native Kazakhstan. But the combination of Golovkin getting banged up in his recent title defense against Daniel Jacobs and Saunders’ promoter Frank Warren wanting to move the fight up a week, Golovkin and his team – which includes K2 Promotions – has decided to pass up that fight and wait for Alvarez.
There is no guarantee Alvarez and his promoter – Oscar De La Hoya – will make the fight with Golovkin. Alvarez and De La Hoya both say they want to make it, but De La Hoya told reporters at a recent news conference that if Alvarez’s fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena ends up being terrific, he’d consider doing a rematch of that bout.
That would mean that if Alvarez were to win next month, and in a possible rematch with Chavez, Alvarez would not be getting into the ring with Golovkin until 2018.
The report suggested Golovkin would be interested in fighting Chavez should he beat Alvarez.
Canelo Alvarez, right, reacts to a punch thrown by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in their September 2013 junior middleweight title fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas won by Mayweather/Associated Press photo
Sometimes a rather harsh question can result in a terrific response. Such was the case recently when Canelo Alvarez was asked during a conference call if, after 50 previous opponents, this is the first time he’d like to rip off his opponent’s head.
The question was, of course, in reference to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs), who will take on Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). It’s crystal clear that there is no love lost between these fellow Mexicans.
“No, he’s one more of the 50 of all my opponents that I’ve faced,” Alvarez said. “I’ve wanted to rip their head off; I wanted to beat them; I wanted to them knock them out. This is a little extra. There’s a little bit more motivation, of course, because of the rivalry.”
The two will tangle at a catch-weight of 164 1/2 pounds
Sergey Kovalev lands a left jab to the eye of Andre Ward during their fight in November in Las Vegas/Photo by Associated Press
It seems Andre Ward is tired of hearing how he was decked by Sergey Kovalev in the second round of their light heavyweight title fight this past November, and how he was fortunate to get the narrow decision over Kovalev at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“They have to understand, there’s nothing scary about this man,” Ward said at Monday’s news conference in New York City promoting the June 17 rematch at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). “You realize we just fought 12 rounds four months ago? Everyone wants to highlight the knockdown; that’s probably one of the most beautiful moments of my career.
“And did you guys see the other 10 rounds? Nobody’s talking about that, but that’s what makes us who we are.”
Ward, 33, is from Oakland. He’s 31-0 with 15 knockouts.
Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs), of Russia, intimated he’s concerned that Ward will put out of this second go-round.
“I want to apologize to my fans for my performance the last time, but we’re going to get this squared, either way,” said Kovalev, 34. “We’re going to see who is the best fighter. I’m very excited for June 17. The only thing I hope is that a week or two before the fight, Andre Ward does not get injured and he has enough (courage) to come out and fight me on June 17.”
Manny Pacquiao, right, lands a left cross to the chest of Jessie Vargas during their welterweight title fight in November/Photo by Gene Blevins
Top Rank Inc. on Monday formally announced the welterweight title fight between champion Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn. They will tangle July 1 at Suncorp Stadium in Horn’s native Australia. (It will be July 2 in Australia, which is 17 hours ahead of California).
According to a news release, promoters are expecting a crowd of 55,000. Details on how it will distributed on television are forthcoming.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 KOs) most recently fought Nov. 5, when he took Jessie Vargas’ title via unanimous decision at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Horn (16-0-1, 11 KOs) is the No. 2 contender to Pacquiao’s title, but he has not fought anyone of note. He did stop former champion Randall Bailey after seven rounds a year ago this month, but Bailey was 41 at the time. At 29, Horn is nine years Pacquiao’s junior. His 17 bouts have been in either Australia or New Zealand.
Suffice to say, Horn will be getting most of the fan support, being the bout will be in his backyard.
“Manny knows who will be the crowd favorite on July 1, but he can’t wait to give Australia and the world a great performance,” Pacquiao’s promoter, Bob Arum, said. “It’s going to be unbelievable event.”
Andre Ward, left, and Sergey Kovalev exchange punches during their light heavyweight title fight in November in Las Vegas/Associated Press photo
Seven months after their first go-round, Andre Ward of Oakland and Sergey Kovalev of Russia will do it again June 17 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).
The two squared off this past Nov. 19 for Kovalev’s three light heavyweight world titles at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Ward won a narrow decision by three scores of 114-113. Afterward, Kovalev’s promoter Kathy Duva bemoaned all the clinching Ward was allowed to do. Kovalev thought he won, and wasn’t happy that all three judges were Americans.
Ward (31-0, 15 KOs) on Tuesday seemed to answer to all that in a brief statement.
“I’m going to make it short and sweet,” he said. “You got what you asked for. Now you have to see me on June 17. This time, leave the excuses at home.”
Kovalev (30-1-1, 26 KOs) is stoked at the chance to get his titles back.
“I’m glad to know that rematch will happen,” he said. “I really hope that Andre Ward will get into the ring for this rematch.”