Canelo Alvarez knocks out Liam Smith in the ninth round to win title

Canelo Alverez (L) and Liam Smith (R) square up during a press conference to promote their fight

Canelo Alvarez, left, knocked out Liam Smith (right) in the ninth round Saturday in Arlington, Texas/Photo by Getty Images

 

Canelo Alvarez of Mexico on Saturday night once again became a world champion in the junior middleweight division when he knocked out champion Liam Smith of England in the ninth round of their bout before an announced crowd of 51,240 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) decked Smith (23-1-1) three times on his way to victory – the last two times from body shots.

Smith was making his third defense.

Alvarez previously held a title at this weight from 2011-2013. He lost his two titles to Floyd Mayweather, eventually moving up to fight for, and win, a middleweight title. He vacated that title rather than unify it with Gennady Golovkin, then moved back down to challenge Smith.

Also on this card, Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte stopped Andrew Cancio (17-4-2) of Blythe in the ninth round of their featherweight bout. Diaz (22-0, 13 KOs) is ranked as high as No. 3 by one organization.

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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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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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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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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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Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez says Liam Smith could be Canelo’s toughest test

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Canelo Alvarez shakes out during a workout Wednesday in San Diego/Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

 

Golden Boy Promotions vice-president Eric Gomez on Thursday during a conference call said he believes Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of England will likely be Canelo Alvarez’s toughest test to date when they square off Sept. 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view) for Smith’s junior middleweight title. Considering Alvarez has fought the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland, that’s very difficult to believe.

But of course, with all the negativity surrounding Alvarez and his and Golden Boy’s ducking of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, it’s not surprising to hear someone connected with the promotion speaking in hyperbolic tones.

Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) himself seemed to go to his own extreme in that regard during a workout Wednesday in San Diego.

“In our training, we have taken a huge focus on the opponent’s fighting style – no matter what size or weight,” said Alvarez, of Mexico. “Analyzing and breaking down the fighter’s approach is what we go after in the ring. Just because Smith isn’t very well known in the U.S. doesn’t diminish how tough he is as an opponent. We expect him to be very powerful, and we are training for that.”

Mayweather handed Alvarez his lone defeat in September 2013. Suffice to say, Smith is no Mayweather. Lara gave Alvarez all he could handle in July 2014, Alvarez just sneaking by with a split-decision victory.

 Gomez pointed out Thursday that Smith is on a streak of eight consecutive knockouts. That’s fine, except that none of those opponents he stopped are terrific fighters. One – Robert Talarek – was 10-8-2. Another – David Romero – was 11-5. Both of those bouts took place in 2015.
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Oscar De La Hoya’s comments about Canelo Alvarez a bit mystifying

Alvarez Khan Boxing

Canelo Alvarez, left, and Amir Khan face off during a news conference promoting their fight this past May in Las Vegas/Associated Press photo by John Locher

 

Oscar De La Hoya the promoter has a job to do – pump up the fighters in his stable the best he can. Still, some of his comments Monday regarding Canelo Alvarez were somewhat mystifying. Alvarez on Sept. 17 will challenge Liam Smith of England for his junior middleweight title at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) could have instead fought middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in a title-unification bout that would have definitely drawn enormous worldwide interest. Rather, Alvarez vacated his middleweight title. Then Alvarez and De La Hoya announced they won’t consider fighting Golovkin until September 2017 at the earliest.

An HBO-produced blog sent out Monday posed two questions to De La Hoya: What does Canelo have to do for the Mexican fans to embrace him as one of their best? How does
he become one of the best in the rich history of Mexican boxing? De La Hoya responded in what seem to be hyperbolic tones.

“Mexican fighters have long been known for their toughness, their ability to walk through fire, their willingness to take three punches to land a solid shot,” De La Hoya said. “That is Canelo Alvarez.

“There is no doubt that Canelo is today already the biggest boxing star in Mexico and the United States. He is in the process of crossing over as a worldwide superstar, but he will never forget where he came from and the rich boxing tradition of Mexico.”

De La Hoya didn’t stop there.

“Canelo is built from the mold of all-time Mexican greats like Julio Caesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez and Ruben Oliveras – strong fighters with knockout power that focus
on two things – being the best fighter in the world and putting on a show for the fans,” he said. “And that’s what Canelo will continue to do for the rest of his career.

“Incredibly, he has been embraced as Mexico’s biggest and best boxer for years, despite being only 26 years old, and that’s because the Mexican fans know a true
champion when they see one.”

Well, I just saw a message board that contained nearly 90 comments. The subject was, has a fighter from Mexico ever given up a world title to avoid fighting someone?

Frankly, I don’t know if that has happened before. But it was obvious from the amount of negative comments toward Alvarez, that he is not quite the darling of boxing fans worldwide De La Hoya suggets.

It’s difficult to overcome something that happens in the sequence this did. Alvarez after he knocked out Amir Khan in May declared himself ready and willing to fight Golovkin this fall at 160 pounds. To say he was adamant, would be putting it mildly.

Next thing we know, he’s giving up his belt and saying he won’t fight Golovkin for quite some time. I’m not sure if De La Hoya understands what that kind of flip-flop can do to a fighter’s reputation.

Alvarez is a good man. Clean-cut, the whole ball of wax. But until he fights Golovkin, he’s going to have this hanging over his head.

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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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Canelo Alvarez, Oscar De La Hoya still defending their move to make Gennady Golovkin wait until September 2017

Canelo Alvarez sits on the dais at a news conference promoting his fight this past May against Amir Khan, won by Alvarez via 6th-round knockout/Associated Press photo by John Locher

 

Canelo Alvarez and his promoter – Oscar De La Hoya – on Wednesday played host to a conference call promoting Alvarez’s fight against junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of England on Sept. 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view). But Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) and De La Hoya found themselves still defending the decision to have Alvarez gave up his middleweight title rather than meet middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin this fall. Alvarez and De La Hoya also previously said they now won’t consider Golovkin until September 2017.

Alvarez shrugged off the negativity.

“Yeah, you know, there’s always going to be critics,” he said. “They’re always there, and it’s something that’s part of it. It’s part of the business. Obviously, there’s good critics sometimes and there’s bad critics.

“But the most important thing is it doesn’t faze me. That’s fine, I’m used to it now, and I’ve got to do what’s best for my career.”

De La Hoya said it was all about Alvarez not being ready to fight at the full middleweight limit of 160 pounds. When he fought in the middleweight division, it was at a catch-weight of 155, just one pound over junior middleweight.

“I mean, Canelo knows his body,” De La Hoya said. “His trainers know his body, and the bottom line is Canelo is a 154-pound fighter. The fact that he fought at 155, people expect him to go up and fight at middleweight, and that’s not the case. He’s a 154-pounder, and he’s going to go up to 160 when his body feels ready.”

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Caleb Plant looking to put his ‘Sweet Hands’ on Juan De Angel on Tuesday

Caleb Plant

Caleb Plant/Photo courtesy of Premier Boxing Champions

 

Middleweight prospect Caleb Plant has big dreams, but he has a ways to go before he can realize them. He’ll try to take a step in the direction of his goal when he tangles with hard-hitting Juan De Angel (18-4-1, 17 KOs) of Colombia in the 10-round main event Tuesday from Sands Bethlehem Events Center in Bethlehem, Pa. (on Fox Sports 1).

Plant, 24, speaks like he expects to have his hands full.
“Like all fights at this level, it’s going to be a tough fight,” he said. “I’m expecting to see a hungry fighter who has nothing to lose. I, myself, have everything to lose, so I’m going to make sure I’m at my best when we step in the ring. De Angel has held some regional belts, so I know he has some tricks up his sleeve. One thing I will do is dictate the pace.”
Plant, whose moniker is “Sweet Hands,” is 13-0 with 10 knockouts. He has fought most of his bouts at just above the middleweight limit of 160 pounds, but it sounds like he wants to eventually challenge for a middleweight title.
“The middleweight division has plenty of talent,” said Plant, of Ashland City, Tenn. “Gennady Golovkin has a stranglehold on the division at the moment, but I’m gunning for him and anyone else that’s in my way. First I have to get past this fight and then continue my march toward that world title.”

 

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