Oscar De La Hoya can’t wait for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez-James Kirkland fight

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions


Oscar De La Hoya on Monday spoke in excited tones during a telephone conversation with this newspaper. If we had been face-timing, chances are we would have been able to see that the smile never came off De La Hoya’s face. He’s that jazzed about the May 9 junior middleweight fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and James Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston (on HBO).

De La Hoya was stoked to report that, so far, at least 30,000 tickets have been sold.

“It’s incredible, it’s unbelievable,” said De La Hoya, who is promoting the fight under his Golden Boy Promotions banner. “I mean, look, ‘Canelo’-mania is stronger than ever.”

De La Hoya said he has no doubt the fight will sell out. The seating capacity at Minute Maid is 40,950.

There’s more that has De La Hoya chomping at the bit for this fight. It’s what might happen in the fight itself. Alvarez, just 24, has only one loss and that was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. With a record of 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts, Alvarez has a knockout ratio of 67.3 percent. Kirkland, of Austin, Texas, at 32-1 with 28 knockouts has a knockout ratio of 84.5 percent. Plus, Kirkland is a southpaw.

This could be vicious.

“I think given the fact that Kirkland is such an aggressive, in-your-face type of fighter, the fact that he’s just really, really motivated about fighting ‘Canelo’, I mean, it’s a dangerous fight,” De La Hoya said. “When you have a knockout artist up in the ring, it only takes one punch. So ‘Canelo’, given the fact that he’s a fighter with a lot of pride, he’s a fighter who wants to give the fight fans a good show – especially in Houston, practically in his hometown – it’s going to be one of those fights.”

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Gary Russell Jr. stops Jhonny Gonzalez in the 4th round to win featherweight title

This June 11, 2008 file photo shows bantamweight Gary Russell, Jr., training at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Vasyl

Gary Russell Jr./Associated Press file photo


Gary Russell Jr. on Saturday night decked Jhonny Gonzalez three times, stopping in the fourth round to take Gonzalez’s featherweight world title at Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

It was the second shot at a major title for Russell, of Capitol Heights, Md. He fought Vasyl Lomachenko for a vacant title this past June at StubHub Center, but lost a majority decision.

Russell, 26, is now 26-1 with 15 knockouts.

Gonzalez, 33, was in his second reign as featherweight champion. The Mexico City native had won this title by knockout out Abner Mares of Hawaiian Gardens in the first round in August 2013 at StubHub. Gonzalez successfully defended that belt twice before running into Russell.

Gonzalez is 57-9 with 48 knockouts.

In the semi-main event, Jermell Charlo (26-0) of Houston won a 10-round unanimous decision over Vanes Martirosyan (35-2-1) of Glendale. Charlo won by scores of 96-94, 96-94 and 97-93.



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Middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will appear in separate SoCal fights in April and May

AP Photo

Gennady Golovkin/Photo by Lionel Cironneau, Associated Press


Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and former middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. will appear in separate fights in the Southern California area in May and April, respectively.

Chavez (48-1-1, 32 KOs), of Mexico, will take on Andrzej Fonfara (26-3, 15 KOs) of Poland in the light heavyweight main event April 18 at StubHub Center in Carson (on Showtime).

Then, four weeks later, Golovkin on May 16 will defend his middleweight championship when he tangles with Willie Monroe Jr. at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood (on HBO). Golovkin, of Los Angeles via Kazakhstan, is 32-0 with 29 knockouts. Monroe, of Rochester, N.Y., is 19-1 with six knockouts.

Directly underneath Golovkin-Monroe, Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez (42-0, 36 KOs of Nicaragua will defend his flyweight world title when he squares off against Edgar Sosa (51-8, 30 KOs) of Mexico. Gonzalez has also held world titles in the strawweight and light flyweight divisions.


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Middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin to defend title May 16 at Fabulous Forum

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin, left, defended his middleweight title with an 11th-round TKO of Martin Murray on Feb. 21 in Monte Carlo, Monaco/Photo by Action Images


Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan will make his next title defense May 16 at the Forum in Inglewood against Willie Monroe Jr. of Ithaca, N.Y. (on HBO).

Golovkin most recently stopped Martin Murray in the 11th round in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Golovkin (32-0, 29 KOs) has a string of 19 knockouts.

Golovkin, 32, is trained by West Covina native Abel Sanchez in Big Bear.

Monroe is a light hitter. He is 19-1 with just six knockouts. He is coming off a wide unanimous decision victory over Brian Vera in January.

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Sergey Kovalev says being Russian makes him ‘ready for anything’

Light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev flexes after weighing in Friday at 174.2 pounds. Challenger Jean Pascal weighed the 175-pound maximum for light heavyweights/Photo courtesy of David Spagnolo, Main Events Inc.


Sergey Kovalev of Russia on Saturday night will defend his three light heavyweight world titles against former champion Jean Pascal at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada (on HBO); Pascal is from Laval, Quebec.

Kovalev is the champion, yet he’s going into the backyard of Pascal, who is no joke. A lot of champions won’t do that, but Kovalev likes to keep up the intrigue in his fights.

“We are Russian, we are ready for anything,” said Kovalev, 31. “We are ready to make good fights. It is interesting fight. If I look for easy opponents, it will not be interesting for anyone.”
You have to love that way of thinking.

Kovalev, nicknamed “Krusher,” is 26-0-1 with 23 knockouts. Pascal, 32, is 29-2-1 with 17 knockouts.

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Floyd Mayweather Jr. suggests he has emotional edge over Manny Pacquiao

Floyd Mayweather Jr., left, will square off with Manny Pacquiao on May 2 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas/Photos by Associated Press


Floyd Mayweather Jr. at Wednesday’s news conference touched on the psychological element of his May 2 fight against Manny Pacquiao at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view, Showtime pay-per-view). He intimated he has the edge in this department.

“One thing I do know about any sport, when you lose, it’s in your mind,” Mayweather said at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. “If you lost once, it’s in your mind. If you lost twice, it’s in your mind. From day one, I was always taught to be a winner. No matter what, be a winner, push yourself to the limit, stay focused and be the best that you can be.”

It was Mayweather’s way of reminding the more than 600 reporters in attendance that while Pacquiao (57-5-2, 38 KOs) has lost more than once, he is undefeated at 47-0 with 26 knockouts.

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Floyd Mayweather Sr. says now people ‘fixing’ to find out who’s really scared




The shadows of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao facing off at Wednesday’s news conference/Photo by Gene Blevins, Los Angeles Daily News

Floyd Mayweather Sr had heard enough talk about his son being afraid to fight Manny Pacquiao, that he just had to tell us about it outside Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles ahead of the Wednesday news conference there promoting the May 2 Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“All the stuff they’ve been saying about the fight, I know one thing, that Floyd ain’t the one that’s scared,” Floyd Sr. said. “Everybody was talking about Floyd was scared. Now you’re fixing to find out who’s scared.”

The elder Mayweather, who trains Floyd Jr., then came with quite a zinger.

“This fight here is a professional fighting a sub-novice fighter,” he said.

Uh, OK.

Mayweather, 38, is 47-0 with 26 knockouts. Pacquiao, 36, is 57-5-2 with 38 knockouts. This will be a title-unification bout and both HBO and Showtime will have it available on their respective pay-per-view arms.




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Keith ‘One Time’ Thurman earns wide decision over tough Robert Guerrero

Keith “One Time” Thurman retained his welterweight world title with a unanimous decision over Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero (32-3-1) in the main Saturday night at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on NBC). Thurman decked Guerrero in the ninth round, but Guerrero showed tremendous toughness by giving Thurman plenty of grief over the final three rounds, bringing roars from the crowd.

Thurman (25-0) won by scores of 120-107, 118-109 and 118-108. Both battered fighters went to a local hospital for precautionary measures, according to the broadcast team on NBC.


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Covina’s John Molina Jr. loses wide unanimous decision to Adrien Broner

5. Adrien Broner vs. John Molina

Adrien Broner, left, won a wide decision over John Molina Jr. of Covina on Saturday night in Las Vegas/Photo by Seth Wenig, Associated Press


John Molina Jr. of Covina on Saturday night lost a wide unanimous decision to former three-division world champion Adrien Broner of Cincinnati in the semi-main event at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Broner won by scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 118-110.

Molina (27-6) afterward bemoaned the idea that Broner (30-1) didn’t keep his word and exchange more with him.

This was the return of prime time boxing to NBC after a 30-year absence.


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