Liam Smith says he’s ‘comfortable going toe-to-toe with Canelo’ on Saturday

Liam Smith/Photo courtesy of Queensberry Promotions


Liam Smith of England isn’t being given much of a chance to successfully defend his junior middleweight title against Canelo Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) of Mexico when
they square off Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

But Smith (23-0-1, 14 KOs) this week suggested he’s no Amir Khan, his countryman who was knocked out by Alvarez in the sixth round in May in Las Vegas.

“Despite my gym being owned by Amir Khan, I haven’t talked to him about the fight because what he can do well, I can do well,” Smith said. “And what Amir failed to do
in the ring, I will not fail to do. I have my own skill set that I can excel in.

“I’m comfortable going toe-to-toe with Canelo, and let that be a warning to him come Saturday.”

Khan moved and out-boxed Alvarez for five rounds, then Alvarez lowered the boom on him.

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Canelo Alvarez says he still feels best fighting in junior middleweight division

Canelo Alvarez, left, seems almost nonchalant as Amir Khan is counted out of their fight in May in Las Vegas/Photo by Associated Press


We all know how Canelo Alvarez called out Gennady Golovkin after Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in May in Las Vegas. We also know how Alvarez and his promoter – Oscar De La Hoya – backtracked.

They went from saying that yes, Alvarez will fight Golovkin at the full 160-pound middleweight limit this fall, to saying that Alvarez is not a middleweight and he won’t entertain fighting Golovkin until he is – maybe in the fall of 2017.

Alvarez, rather than fight Golovkin, gave up his middleweight belt and on Saturday will challenge Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of England for his junior middleweight title at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez this week explained his way of thinking regarding the junior middleweight (154 pounds) and middleweight divisions.

“For the last six years, my body has felt best and I have been strongest as a junior middleweight,” said Alvarez, who won the middleweight title with a decision over Miguel Cotto at a catch-weight of 155; Alvarez’s fight with Khan was also at 155. “I still feel that way today.”

Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) said he at some point expects to move up to middleweight, where Golovkin holds three major belts and has knocked out his past 23 opponents.

“Do I think I will eventually move up to middleweight and perhaps beyond?” Alvarez said. “I do, when my body feels it’s time. My promoters and trainers have always told me that as you get into your late 20s and early 30s, your body continues to change and going up in weight become more natural. Having just turned 26, I will see how I feel as I grow older.

“For the time being, I will continue to campaign at junior middleweight and am looking forward to once again regaining the championship at that weight class.”

Alvarez held a junior middleweight title from March 2011, won another one in April 2013 and lost both to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013.

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Oscar De La Hoya says Canelo Alvarez and Texas fans have love for each other

Canelo Alvarez, left, poses with Amir Khan at a news conference promoting their May 7, 2016 fight won by Alvarez/Associated Press photo by John Locher 


Canelo Alvarez’s most recent fight was at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, when he knocked out Amir Khan in the sixth round on May 7 before 16,540. But Alvarez’s next bout will be back in Texas, where twice over the past three-plus years he has fought before huge crowds.

Alvarez (47-1-1, 13 KOs) on Sept. 17 will challenge Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of Great Britain for his junior middleweight belt at AT&T Stadium in Arlington (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez in May 2015 knocked out James Kirkland in the third round at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Alvarez in April 2013 won a 12-round decision over Austin Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio. It was therefore no surprise that this bout landed back in the Lone Star State.

“After Canelo knocked out James Kirkland in Houston last year, he was clear that he wanted to come to Texas at least once a year from then on out,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter. “Canelo drew more than 33,000 people (actually, 31,588) in Houston after drawing more than 45,000 (more like 40,000) in San Antonio for his fight with Austin Trout.

“It’s clear that Texans love Canelo, but working with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys will take it to another level.”

AT&T Stadium was previously known as Cowboys Stadium and is home to the Dallas Cowboys, owned by Jones.


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‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Liam Smith talk good game at Monday’s news conference

Saul Alvarez, left, and Liam Smith pose at Monday’s news conference in Texas/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions


A lot of people around the world of boxing had to have been upset upon hearing that Golden Boy Promotions would not entertain the thought of its Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fighting middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin until September 2017. You can bet Liam Smith wasn’t one of them.

Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) is a junior middleweight champion from England. Thanks to Golden Boy balking at Golovkin, Smith will now be able to put his name on the worldwide map by defending his title against Alvarez on Sept. 17 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

“I am very excited,” Smith said at Monday’s news conference in Arlington. “I have asked for a top name for a very long time and when Canelo’s name came to the table, it was an automatic ‘Yes.’ We are coming very prepared for this fight, and I’m coming to win.”

After his sixth-round knockout of Amir Khan on May 7 in Las Vegas, Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) talked a lot of trash, challenging Golovkin and saying he would have no problem fighting him at the full 160-pound limit, something Alvarez had previously said he wasn’t interesting in doing.

But with an imposed deadline by the WBC to make the fight with Golovkin, Alvarez and Golden Boy put out a statement saying Alvarez would relinquish his middleweight title rather than adhere to the deadline.

Then came the news from Golden Boy that it would not even think about Alvarez fighting Golovkin until September of 2017. Alvarez took plenty of hits in social media.

To be fair, this whole thing is probably more on Golden Boy than Alvarez. But he’s going to have to take a lot of the heat.

Anyway, he promised fans a good fight against Smith.

“I had to work for my birthday, so I’m here to work,” said Alvarez, who turned 26 on Monday. “I’m very happy to be back in Texas again, in this beautiful stadium. I’m going to take this fight seriously and prepare like always. I know how I’m going to have to train. I like to give the fans a great fight, and that is what I will prepare for.”


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Ireland’s Jason Quigley excited to show his wares under ‘Canelo’-Khan

Jason Quigley Meet & Greet

Jason Quigley/Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America


A fair amount of talent will grace the undercard of Saturday’s middleweight title fight between champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). Jason Quigley of Ireland is right up there with the best, make no mistake about that.

Quigley is technically sound, he punches very hard and he has his head on straight.

“Every fight has the same meaning for me because I treat it like a world-title fight,” Quigley said at a recent workout, showing his mental make-up.

Quigley, who won a silver medal for Ireland in the 2013 World Amateur Boxing Championships, is 10-0 with nine knockouts. He’ll take on James De La Rosa (23-3, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight fight.

De La Rosa is coming off a fifth-round knockout loss, but it came against undefeated Hugo Centeno Jr. (24-0), so this still figures to be Quigley’s toughest test to date.

“De La Rosa is another obstacle and hurdle I have to jump over to become a world champion,” said Quigley, 24. “I’m ready to fight anyone and ready to shine on May 7. This is my chance to blow onto the scene.”

Talent breeds confidence, and Quigley is full of it, which only adds to his arsenal.

“De La Rosa is coming off a knockout defeat and he is getting in the ring with a knockout artist, me, on May 7,” Quigley said. “He’s got to have doubts.”

For an up-and-coming fighter, this bout is a big deal for Quigley. Apparently his homeland followers think so, too, and some will be in attendance. For that, he’s stoked and appreciative.

“There are a lot of people traveling out from Ireland for this fight,” said Quigley, who these days trains and lives in the greater Los Angeles area. “The Irish fans are unbelievable. The way they have supported me has been amazing.”

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It’s official: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez-Amir Khan to be held at T-Mobile Arena

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

Golden Boy Promotions made it official this week – the May 7 middleweight title fight between champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan will be held at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be available on HBO pay-per-view.

“The new T-Mobile Arena was clearly the perfect venue choice to host the battle that will be Canelo vs. Khan on May 7,” Oscar De La Hoya, chairman of Golden Boy Promotions, said in a statement. “Boxing in Las Vegas is truly an exciting event, and the fans with tickets to the fight will be in for a treat watching the fight in this new, state-of-the-art venue.”

Alvarez, of Mexico, is 46-1-1 with 32 knockouts. Khan, of England, is 31-3 with 19 knockouts.

The finishing touches are currently being put on T-Mobile Arena, which is scheduled to open on April 6.

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to defend against smaller Amir Khan on May 7

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


Many in boxing are hopeful that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico will take on fellow middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin sometime this year in a title-unification bout. Meantime, Alvarez will make the first defense of his championship belt when he tangles with Amir Khan of England on May 7, most likely at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The arena is under construction and expected to be finished in time to host the bout, which will be shown on HBO pay-per-view.

The middleweight limit is 160 pounds, but the fight will be contested at a catch-weight of 155. Khan has never fought above welterweight, which is 147 pounds.

“As the middleweight champion of the world, I will take on the best fighters in the sport and on Cinco De Mayo weekend, I look forward to making the first defense of my title,” said Alvarez, 25. “Amir was a decorated amateur, a two-time world champion and is in the prime of his career. Fans are in for a great fight on May 7.”

Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) won a super lightweight world title in July 2009 and added another belt to that when he beat Zab Judah in a title-unification fight in July 2011. Khan moved up to welterweight in April 2013 and has had four fights at that weight.

The fighters are going to say every positive thing they can to promote this fight. It’s boxing, and that’s what they do. But it will be interesting to see how this bout is received by fans who know only too well that there is nothing dangerous about it for Alvarez, who is the larger fighter and won’t have to worry much about being knocked out by a fighter who was a 135-pound lightweight until 2009.

But Khan does have a name in the sport, and he is an exciting fighter to behold.

“I know ‘Canelo’ fights the best and wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to face me like others have,” said Khan, 29. “My goal is to always fight the biggest names and the best fighters. That is why I’m excited for this fight. … I know I have the speed and ability to beat him and will give my fans what they deserve on May 7.”

Oscar De La Hoya will promote this fight under his Golden Boy Promotions banner. He is pumping this as Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) taking on the “best” the sweet science has to offer.

“We are committed to putting on the biggest and best fights in boxing,” De La Hoya said. “‘Canelo’ is the biggest star in the sport and as he demonstrated against James Kirkland and Miguel Cotto last year, he is only getting better.

“Those who predicted that he would take an easy fight for his first defense have been proven wrong once again.”

Alvarez knocked out Kirkland in the third round this past May in Houston and then won his middleweight title when he took a unanimous decision over Cotto in November in Las Vegas.

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Amir Khan wins a wide decision over Devon Alexander at MGM Grand

Amir Khan pounded out a wide unanimous decision over Devon Alexander on Saturday night in the welterweight main event at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight was televised by Showtime.

There were no knockdowns. But Khan won by scores of 118-110, 119-109 and 120-108.

Khan out-worked Alexander the whole way, landing more punches and crisper punches.

Khan, 28, of England, is a former junior welterweight champion. He is now 30-3.

St. Louis’ Alexander, a former junior welterweight and welterweight champion, is 26-3.


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Amir Khan and Luis Collazo will tangle on Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Marcos Maidana undercard

Golden Boy Promotions on Monday announced that former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan of England will take on former welterweight champion Luis Collazo of Brooklyn on May 3 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime pay-per-view).

They will tangle on the undercard of the welterweight title-unification bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Marcos Maidana.


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