‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, Gennady Golovkin once again paired on a card

Roman Gonzalez, left, of Nicaragua, lands a punch on Mexican champion Carlos Cuadras during a WBC super flyweight championship boxing match, Saturday, Sept. ...

Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez, left, lands a punch to the face of Carlos Cuadras in their super flyweight world-title fight in September at the Fabulous Forum/AP photo by Richard Vogel

 

Roman “Chocolatitio” Gonzalez fighting underneath a Gennady Golovkin main event has become a regular thing of late. It has been the case in three of their past four respective championship bouts.

They’ll do it again when Gonzalez defends his super flyweight world title against Srisaket Sor Rungvisai of Thailand on March 18 at Madison Square Garden, where that night middleweight champion Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) will take on Daniel Jacobs (32-1, 29 KOs) in the main event (on HBO pay-per-view).

Gonzalez (46-0, 38 KOs), of Nicaragua, believes Rungvisai is capable of giving him some grief in the ring.

“Rungvisai is a very tough fight for me,” said Gonzalez, who has won titles in four weight classes. “I know that he has fought many other great fighters, including Carlos Cuadras. But with my training and the blessing of God, I plan to come out victorious.”

Gonzalez in September became the first from his country to win titles in four weight classes when he took a unanimous decision over then-super flyweight champion Cuadras at the Fabulous Forum. Cuadras in May 2014 took the title from Rungvisai via eight-round technical decision in Cuadras’ native Mexico.

That’s the same belt Gonzalez took from Cuadras, and Rungvisai (41-4-1, 38 KOs) wants it back.

“I respect Roman Gonzalez,” he said. “He is a legend. He has done great things for boxing, especially by showing the world how talented and exciting smaller-weight fighters can be. I am happy for Nicaragua to have such a great hero.

“However, super flyweight is my weight. And the … belt is my belt. I will do whatever it takes to win my belt back and I am confident I can do it.”

 

 

 

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David Lemieux, Curtis Stevens can’t wait to get at each other on March 11

Gennady Golovkin, left, hits David Lemieux in the eighth round of a world middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015. Golovkin won by a TKO in the eighth round. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

David Lemieux, right, absorbs serious punishment from Gennady Golovkin in their title-unification bout in October 2015 at Madison Square Garden in New York City/Associated Press photo by Rich Schultz

 

Apparently, there is no love lost between David Lemieux and Curtis Stevens. Now the hard-hitting middleweight contenders will be able to do something about that because they will tangle March 11 at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y. (on HBO).

The bout was officially announced Monday. Lemieux can’t wait to get at Stevens.

“The time for talking is done,” said Lemieux, a former world champion who lost his belt to Gennady Golovkin via eighth-round TKO in a title-unification bout in October 2015. “And after many long months of hearing Curtis yell about all the things he’s going to do in the ring, I’m really looking forward to shutting his mouth on March 11.”

Stevens has had one shot at a world title, but he was stopped after eight rounds by Golovkin in November 2013. Stevens is ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by one organization, the same of which ranks Lemieux No. 4.

“The wait is finally over,” Stevens said. “No more talking. My hands will do the talking on March 11.”

The bout will be co-promoted by Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and Main Events. De La Hoya believes the dislike Lemieux and Stevens have for one another is very real.

“You often see fighters pretend not to like each other to help draw an audience,” said De La Hoya, who promotes Lemieux. “These two guys aren’t faking it; they don’t like each other at all. Given the thunder each holds in both hands, and their desire to make a statement in the middleweight division, I think fans are going to be in for a knockout – a spectacular one at that.”

Lemieux, of Canada, is 36-3 with 32 knockouts. Stevens, of Brooklyn, is 29-5 with 21 knockouts.

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Gennady Golovkin on the way to again selling out Madison Square Garden

Gennady Golovkin celebrates his fifth-round TKO of Kell Brook in September in London/Photo by Associated Press

 

Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin sold out Madison Square Garden when he stopped David Lemieux in the eighth round in October 2015 before 20,548.

Golovkin on March 18 will square off with Daniel Jacobs in a title fight at MSG (on HBO pay-per-view). Although exact numbers weren’t available, a spokesman associated with the promotion said Tuesday that ticket sales for it were ahead of those for Golovkin-Lemieux.

Golovkin’s ever-rising popularity is partly responsible. Another factor is that Jacobs is from Brooklyn.

Golovkin, of Kazakhstan, is 36-0 with 33 knockouts. He is on a string of 23 consecutive knockouts. Jacobs, at 32-1 with 29 knockouts, is a very hard puncher in his own right.

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Bernard Hopkins will decipher recent fights of Golovkin, Canelo on Wednesday’s episode of ‘The Fight Game with Jim Lampley’

Gennady Golovkin lands a punch to the chest of Kell Brook during their Sept. 10 fight in England/Associated Press photo by Nick Potts

 

Future Hall of Fame fighter Bernard Hopkins on Wednesday night will decipher the recent performances of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and now-junior middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez on the next “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley,” on HBO.

Golovkin (36-0, 33 KOs) on Sept. 10 stopped Kell Brook in the fifth round of their title fight in England. A week later, Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) knocked out Liam Smith in the ninth round in Arlington, Texas. Boxing fans remain hopeful Golovkin and Alvarez will tangle next September.

There will also be a feature on manager Egis Klimas, who manages light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev and super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko.

 

 

 

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Longtime promoter Bob Arum shoots down foolish notion that boxing is dead

Bob-Arum-042015-Getty-FTR

Bob Arum/Getty Images file photo

 

Longtime promoter Bob Arum on Tuesday played host to a news conference in Los Angeles to formally announce the undercard for the Nov. 5 welterweight title fight between champion Jessie Vargas (27-1, 10 KOs) and Manny Pacquiao (58-6-2, 38 KOs) at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas (on Top Rank pay-per-view, $59.95).

Not one to miss an opportunity, Arum closed the proceedings by talking about how alive and well boxing is – contrary to what some think. It wasn’t long ago that an L.A.-area columnist (not from this newspaper) who doesn’t even cover boxing said boxing was dead.

“Boxing not only isn’t dead, but it’s on the cusp of a great resurgence,” Arum said on the dais at the Conga Room. “You have all of these great, young fighters from the United States, from Mexico and from all around the world who are coming to the world stage.”

While pondering that, just think of all the terrific fighters not from the U.S. or Mexico making a big splash here these days. We’re talking the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, Sergey Kovalev, Kell Brook and Carl Frampton to name just five.

“We are on the cusp of really a time in boxing where people all around the world will join together to watch our great athletes perform,” Arum said.

The main undercard fight for Pacqjuiao-Vargas will have Nonito Donaire (37-3, 24 KOs) of San Leandro via the Philippines defending his super bantamweight belt against Jessie Magdaleno (23-0, 17 KOs) of Las Vegas.

Also, newly crowned featherweight champion Oscar Valdez (20-0, 18 KOs) of Mexico will defend his title against Hiroshige Osawa (30-3-4, 19 KOs) of Japan.

Finally, Zou Shiming (8-1, 2 KOs) of China and Prasitsak Papoem (39-1-2, 24 KOs) of Thailand will duke it out for a vacant flyweight world title.

 

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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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