Canelo Alvarez will want to rip off Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.’s head more than others when they tangle in May

Floyd Mayweather Jr. throws a jab at Canelo

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

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Middleweight contender Jason Quigley broke hand in win over Glen Tapia

Jason Quigley/Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

 

Top 10-ranked middleweight Jason Quigley’s trek to a world-title shot has taken a detour.

Quigley (13-0, 10 KOs), of Ireland, this past Thursday won a 10-round unanimous decision over Glen Tapia at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio in the main event of a Golden Boy Promotions card. Golden Boy president Eric Gomez on Wednesday announced Quigley sustained a broken right hand and detached tendon early in the bout.

“Though the doctor was surprised that Jason could lift his hand, let alone win a 10-round prize-fight after breaking his hand and ‘shredding’ his tendon, this kind of heart, will and skill is what we have come to expect from Jason,” Gomez said in a statement. “He will have surgery this Friday to repair the hand and is expected to make a full recovery.”

No timeline for Quigley’s return was given.

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Tickets are on sale for Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in Las Vegas

Canelo Alvarez lands a right uppercut to the side of Liam Smith’s head during their junior middleweight title fight won by Alvarez via ninth-round knockout this past September in Arlington, Texas/Associated Press

 

Tickets for the May 6 super middleweight fight between Canelo Alvarez of Mexico and countryman Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas are now on sale.

Prices for the Golden Boy Promotions card are $75, $125, $200, $300, $400, $600, $800, $1,000, $1,250 and $1,500. They can be purchased by calling 888-929-7849 or by going online to www.t-mobilearena.com or www.axs.com.

Alvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and Chavez (50-2-1, 32 KOs) will be fighting at a catch-weight of 164 1/2 pounds, 3 1/2 pounds under the super middleweight limit.

The bout will be available on HBO pay-per-view.

 

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TMZ: Oscar De La Hoya arrested early Wednesday in Pasadena for DUI

Despite the loss of his company’s CEO and a recent stint in a rehab facility, Golden Boy Promotions founder Oscar De La Hoya is back in full swing during a press conference last week in Carson. (Photo by Gene Blevins)

Oscar De La Hoya/Photo by Gene Blevins

 

Oscar De La Hoya told this newspaper during a June 2014 sit-down that he was through with alcohol. This declaration came some nine months after his second trip to a rehab facility, where he was treated for alcohol and cocaine abuse.

But according to TMZ, De La Hoya on early Wednesday was arrested in Pasadena for driving under the influence. There are currently no further details available.

Eric Gomez, De La Hoya’s longtime friend who is also president of De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, returned a phone call seeking comment. However, he had little to say because he said he was in the dark until his phone started ringing Wednesday afternoon after he conducted a news conference for Saturday’s Golden Boy card in Indio.

“I can’t comment,” Gomez said. “I don’t have any information to begin with. But the attorneys are looking into everything.”

De La Hoya was asked in June 2014 if he understood he can never drink again. He responded in the affirmative.

“I’m convinced one thousand percent, a thousand percent, that I can’t,” he said. “That’s in my heart, that’s in my head. And that’s why I continue do work every single day. … That’s what it is. For the rest of my life. What that means is several things. I’m going to work harder than ever, I’m going to work honestly, I’m going to do what I really love doing, with passion. I’m going to have a great family life. I’m going to live life and do what I love doing. And that’s boxing. I can’t wait. I’m excited. I really am.”

De La Hoya is chairman of Golden Boy, one of the world’s top promotional companies. De La Hoya the fighter was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2014.

 

 

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Golden Boy Promotions announces multi-year deal with ESPN

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this June 26, 2014 photo, boxer Oscar De La Hoya talks with reporters in Sacramento, Calif.

Oscar De La Hoya/Associated Press file photo

 

Golden Boy Promotions on Thursday announced it has agreed to a multi-year deal with ESPN to televise cards on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. The first event of the series will take place March 23 at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio.

Eighteen cards will be televised during the first year of the deal in English and Spanish, with affiliates in Latin America, Canada, the Carribean, Austrailia and parts of Asia getting in on the fun.

Oscar De La Hoya, chairman of Golden Boy, is stoked about the accord.

“ESPN is a flagship network with a history of showcasing and bringing audiences into the world of boxing, making this deal a natural fit for Golden Boy Promotions,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “Having worked with ESPN in the past, we know first-hand that its multiple TV and digital platforms represent a must-watch for casual and die-hard sports fans.”

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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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All six TV fighters on Hopkins-Smith card successfully make weight

Bernard Hopkins

 

All six TV fighters successfully made weight Friday for their bouts Saturday night at the Fabulous Forum (on HBO).

Bernard Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), who will be in his final bout at age 51, weighed 174 pounds for his main-event bout against light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. (22-1, 18 KOs), who also weighed 174.

The semi-main event will feature highly ranked featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. (22-0, 13 KOs) of South El Monte putting his undefeated record on the line against Horacio Garcia of Mexico. Diaz came in at the 126-pound limit while Garcia (30-1-1, 22 KOs) tipped the scales at 125.8.

Also, cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk (10-0, 9 KOs) of Ukraine weighed 199.6 pounds for his title defense against Thabiso McHunu (17-2, 11 KOs) of South Africa, who came in at 198.6.

.

 

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Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Sullivan Barrera ready to rumble Friday in Indio

Vyacheslav Shabransky Bernard Hopkins v Sergey Kovalev

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy/Photo by Getty Images

 

Golden Boy Promotions has its hands full this week. Not only is it promoting Bernard Hopkins’ final fight Saturday against light heavyweight contender Joe Smith Jr. at the Fabulous Forum (on HBO), it’s staging Friday’s light heavyweight bout between Sullivan Barrera of Cuba and Vyacheslav Shabranskyy of Ukraine at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on HBO Latino).

It’s a big fight for both guys.

“Sullivan is one of the toughest opponents I have faced yet,” Shabranskyy said. “He’s faced fighters like Andre Ward and has gone the distance and has demonstrated his skill. Knowing that he needs this fight will make him even more hungry in the ring, and we are
expecting him to come forward.

“With this fight, I get the opportunity to face opponents like Andre Ward. But first things first; I have to finish Barrera.”

Barrera (17-1, 12 KOs) in March lost a wide 12-round decision to Ward, who Nov. 19 took Sergey Kovalev’s three world titles via narrow decision at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Barrera believes his rounds with Ward have made him a better fighter.

“I believe this fight is the most important fight of my career,” said Barrera, 34. “This fight will demonstrate that I am among some of the top fighters out there. My fight with Andre Ward has built me, and has given me the maturity to step back and think clearly. I needed that loss to win this fight.”

Shabranksyy, 29, is 17-0 with 14 knockouts.

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Golden Boy Promotions signs Marlen Esparza to promotional contract

Marlen Esparza/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Golden Boy Promotions on Wednesday announced it has signed 2012 U.S. Olympian Marlen Esparza to a promotional contract.

Esparza, of Pasadena, Texas, won the bronze medal at flyweight in the 2012 London Games, but she lost in the 2016 Olympic Trials. She’s 27.

“I am excited to get back into the ring as soon as possible and start climbing the ladder toward winning a professional title,” Esparza said.

Esparza has an endorsement with CoverGirl and has also done Spanish-language commercials for the likes of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola.

“Before she ever steps foot into the ring as a professional, Marlen Esparza has already established herself as a rising star,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and chairman of Golden Boy. “At Golden Boy Promotions, we pride ourselves on developing fighters and transforming them into the best of the best. We look forward to doing the same with Marlen.”

Esparza was introduced by De La Hoya at Wednesday’s news conference at the Fabulous Forum for Bernard Hopkins and Joe Smith Jr. They will tangle in the light heavyweight main event there Saturday (on HBO).

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Bernard Hopkins, 51, still an intimidating force – at a news conference

Bernard Hopkins/Associated Press photo by Matt Rourke

 

Bernard Hopkins is the king of trying to win fights at news conferences. Even at 51, that hasn’t changed.

Hopkins and Joe Smith Jr. on Wednesday played host to a news conference at the Fabulous Forum ahead of their light heavyweight main event there Saturday night (on HBO).

This will be the final fight of Hopkins’ illustrious career, one that has spanned 28 years and included titles in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. Smith, of Long Island, N.Y., has said all along that he is honored to be involved in Hopkins’ swan song.
Smith also wants to win, and he let everyone know that as he spoke from the dais.

“I know I’m going to be in there with a legend,” said Smith, 27. “But I work very hard, I’ve put many hours in the gym and a lot of sacrifices to get to this point, to where I am today. I’m just ready to get out there and put on a great show Saturday.

“He is a legend, but when he’s in there with me Saturday night, he’s just another opponent to me and I’m looking to get him out of there and stop him, be the first person to stop him in his career.”

Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), who will be 52 next month, wasn’t about to get that go without talking some serious trash. It included a reference to Kelly Pavlik, who Hopkins easily defeated in October 2008 at a catch-weight of 170 pounds. Pavlik was middleweight champion at the time.

Pavlik went back down to middleweight, defended his title two more times before losing it to Sergio Martinez. Pavlik, who had all kinds of personal issues, fought four more times and won all four bouts, the final one coming at the tender age of 30.

“I’m not going to wish the Kelly Pavlik on him (Smith),” said Hopkins, insinuating he ruined Pavlik’s career. “But what I’m going to do is, I’m going to spank him, teach him his ABCs and then send him back to Long Island, up the road from Philadelphia.

“And then one day, if he recovers mentally … mentally, then he might have something to salvage and go forward. See, that’s what I’m about. I’m a career-stopper to most of my opponents that talk like that.”

Interestingly, Smith (22-1, 18 KOs) had a strange look in his eyes, like he didn’t know what to make of Hopkins and his intimidation tactics.

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