Oscar De La Hoya high on Ukranian light heavyweight Vyacheslav Shabranskyy

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, right, will headline the Aug. 19 main event at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Vyacheslav Shabranskyy of Ukraine is trying to follow in the footsteps of other boxers from his country by winning a world title. He could be on his way, what with a record of 16-0 and 13 knockouts as a light heavyweight. He’s ranked as high as No. 5 in the world by one organization.

Shabranskyy goes by the moniker “Lion Heart.” His promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, believes it fits.

“… He is a fearless warrior whose inner strength matches his physical strength and skill,” said De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “Slava, as we call him, is a future star of the sport headed toward a world championship, and I’ve been pleased with his continued ascent as he rises to the challenge every time he steps in that ring.”

Shabranskyy on Aug. 19 will continue his journey when he takes on Oscar Riojas (10-5-1, 3 KOs) of Mexico in a stay-busy fight at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles (on Estrella TV).

 

 

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‘Handsome’ Carlos Caudras discusses defense against ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez

Carlos Cuadras/Photo courtesy of Teiken Promotions

 

Apparently, Carlos Cuadras of Mexico is quite a character.

Cuadras was on hand Monday at the Fabulous Forum for a news conference promoting his Sept. 10 super flyweight title defense there against Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez of Nicarauga, who is considered by some to be the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world.

When it was his turn to speak on the dais, Cuadras showed us his personality.

“I want to remind everybody that this fight will provide fireworks,” Cuadras said. “It’s going to be a war, and that title’s coming back to Mexico. I can assure you that.”

Cuadras paused and took a bottle of chocolate milk out of his coat pocket and began to drink it as “Chocolatito” watched and smiled.

“I want to remind everybody that I’m good, I’m fast … and I’m handsome, baby,” Cuadras said.

It was all good fun. But these two will be very serious come the fight. For Gonzalez, he is trying to become a world champion in yet another weight class. He has already won titles at minimumweight, light flyweight and flyweight and is again moving up in weight.

“My biggest motivation is getting my fourth title,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a blessing to receive that opportunity.”

Gonzalez, 29, is 45-0 with 38 knockouts. The way he goes about his business in the ring is a beautiful thing.

Cuadras, 27, is 35-0-1 with 27 knockouts.

Cuadras-Gonzalez will tangle the same night middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin will defend his three titles against Kell Brook in London. HBO will televise that fight live during the day, then show it on tape later that night as a prelude to Cuadras-Gonzalez.

The semi-main event to Cuadras-Gonzalez will be a rematch between junior middleweights Jesus Soto-Karass of Mexico and Yoshihiro Kamegai of Japan. They fought to a 10-round draw in April at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles.

Ticket prices for Cuadras-Gonzalez are $25, $50, $100, $200 and $300 and can be purchased at the Forum box office and through Ticketmaster.

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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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With a contract extension in hand, all Antonio Orozco needs now is a title

Antonio Orozco/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

When undefeated Antonio Orozco enters his July 30 fight against Tijuana’s Abner Lopez at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, in Orozco’s back pocket will be a newly signed multi-year contract extension with Golden Boy Promotions.

The accord was reached this week.

“Since I was a child I always dreamed to be part of Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions,” Orozco, of San Diego, said Monday. “This is where I started my career and this is where I would like to finish. I am at my prime, and re-signing with Golden Boy represents the second chapter of my career of becoming a world champion.”

Orozco, 28, is 24-0 with 16 knockouts and is ranked No. 1 at junior welterweight by one governing body; he’s in the top 10 of the other three. De La Hoya speaks highly of him.

“Antonio Orozco is one of the best fighters in our stable at Golden Boy Promotions, and with his natural talent, skill and strong work ethic, he is poised to become a world champion in this sport, without a doubt,” De La Hoya said.

Orozco-Lopez will be televised by HBO Latino.

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South El Monte’s Joseph Diaz Jr. to take on Victor Proa of Mexico on July 30

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

When Golden Boy Promotions announced Wednesday that junior welterweight Antonio Orozco of San Diego and featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte would co-headline its July 30 card at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Golden Boy had yet to secure an opponent for Diaz.

That has changed as Golden Boy has lined up Victor Proa of Mexico as Diaz’s foe for this card that will be televised by HBO Latino.

Proa, 31, is 28-1-2 with 21 knockouts. But that is very misleading because Proa’s ring record is comprised mostly of tomato cans. In Proa’s most recent bout, he took on Oswaldo Oziel Delgado and Proa stopped Delgado in the first round. Delgado entered with a record of 0-4.

Diaz (20-0, 11 KOs) is ranked as high as No. 3 in the world by one organization.

Orozco (24-0, 16 KOs) will tangle with Abner Lopez (23-5, 19 KOs) of Tijuana. Orozco is ranked as high as No. 1, but as a junior welterweight.

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Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte looks to fight best of the featherweights

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte has compiled a professional record of 20-0 and 11 knockouts since representing the U.S. in the 2012 London Games. He is ranked as high as No. 3 at featherweight by one governing body.

Diaz, just 23, is getting closer to a world-title shot in one of boxing’s talent-rich divisions, which has champions like Leo Santa Cruz, Gary Russell Jr. and Jesus Cuellar and contenders like Carl Frampton and Oscar Valdez. Diaz may not take a back seat to any of them, but that remains to be seen.

Diaz wants to make believers out of boxing fans, though, and he takes that responsibility seriously. Diaz was part of a news conference Wednesday at the Golden Boy Promotions offices in downtown Los Angeles. He’ll next fight July 30 at Fantasy Springs Casino on Indio (on HBO Latino) and although his opponent is still to be determined, he vowed to continue to show fans what he’s about.

“I’m excited to give everyone a great performance,” said Diaz, who trains out of the Teamster’s Youth Boxing Club in South El Monte. “I’ve been training very hard, and I want to showcase that I am at the same level as all the champions in the featherweight division. Hopefully, I can go for a world title soon.”

Diaz fights for Golden Boy. Its senior vice-president, Eric Gomez, touched on the 126-pound division moving forward.

“We are in an Olympic year, and our co-headliner will be ex-Olympian, Joseph Diaz, Jr. who also has a great record as a featherweight fighter,” Gomez said. “I believe the featherweight division will be the hottest division in the next few years because of all the talent we have following in the footsteps of Erik Morales and Marco Antonio Barrera.”

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will challenge Liam Smith for junior middleweight title

Saul Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Former middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico will move back down in weight and challenge Liam Smith for his junior middleweight title on Sept. 17, Golden Boy Promotions announced Friday. The venue is not yet confirmed, but it could be MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The bout will be televised on HBO pay-per-view.

Golden Boy and K2 Promotions – which promotes middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin – met this week in Los Angeles and out of that came the news that a bout between Alvarez and Golovkin will not take place until September 2017 at the earliest. Golovkin would fight Alvarez this September, but Golden Boy does not want that.

Instead, we’re getting Alvarez-Smith. Smith, of England, is 23-0-1 with 13 knockouts. He has never fought anyone near the caliber of Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs). But Golden Boy and Alvarez are going to play it off like Smith is a real mean hombre.

“I am very pleased to announce my next fight against Liam Smith, a tremendous fighter with real knockout power, and the WBO junior middleweight world-title owner,” Alvarez said. “I have no doubt that this fight will be give and take, which will fill the expectations of the fans, and I will work with all the enthusiasm as I always do to get the upper hand.”

Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy, also played up this fight as a certain barnburner.

“This fight will be a slugfest between two heavy hitters, and I have little doubt that it will end with a 10-count,” he said.

Smith has stopped his past eight opponents inside the distance, and that is something we’re going to hear a lot about from Golden Boy. But the eight victims are anything but household names. One thing’s for sure, this is a terrific chance for Smith, though it’s unlikely he’ll be able to take advantage of it.

“This fight allows me to make my name in the U.S. and show just how good I am and this is the big stage that will enable me to do that,” Smith said.

 

 

 

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So-called verbal agreement for ‘Canelo’-Golovkin means very little at this time

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of K2 Promotions

 

OK, so promoters Oscar De La Hoya and Tom Loeffler apparently met at De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions offices in Los Angeles on Wednesday to talk about a fight between middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin and former middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, according to several publications.

It’s no secret that the boxing world was hopeful that fight would happen this September. But Alvarez recently vacated his WBC title rather than sign to fight Golovkin under the duress of a deadline set forth by the WBC.

Well, the only thing that apparently came out of Wednesday’s meeting was that the sides verbally agreed to make the fight – in September 2017. That means virtually nothing because there is no contract. And this is boxing, where so much can happen in 15 months.

Before everyone who so badly wants to see this fight goes off the deep end in celebration, chill out. Golovkin is likely still going to be a monster in 15 months, and we’re not sure De La Hoya will ever want Alvarez to tangle with him.

Golovkin, of course, would have happily fought Alvarez this September. It’s De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter, who seems reluctant to put his man into a fight with the beastly Golovkin at this point in time. We’re going to hear how De La Hoya wants this fight to marinate and how this extra time will allow Alvarez to mature into a full-fledged 160-pound middleweight, instead of one that toils at a catch-weight of 155.

If this fight happens at some point, terrific. But as a story on Yahoo.com points out, Loeffler – Golovkin’s promoter – said nothing has been signed. So there is really nothing to celebrate.

The feeling here is, we’ll believe it when we see it.

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Sugar Ray Leonard will host meet and greet at July 15 Golden Boy card in Indio

Sugar Ray Leonard/AP photo by Darron Cummings

 

All-time great Sugar Ray Leonard on July 15 will spend an hour with fans during a meet and greet at a Golden Boy Promotions card at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio that will feature Pablo Cesar Cano  (29-5-1, 21 KOs) of Mexico taking on KeAndre Gibson (15-0-1, 7 KOs) of St. Louis in the welterweight main event.

Fans with tickets to the card will be able to mingle with Leonard from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Special Events Center.

Cano-Gibson will be televised live on Estrella TV beginning at 7.

 

 

 

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez ordered to pay former promoter Zabala $8.5 million

 

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

Former middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico on Monday was ordered by a jury in Miami-Dade circuit court in Florida to pay former promoter Felix “Tutico” Zabala Jr. of All-Star Boxing $8.5 million.

According to a story on ESPN.com, while the jury did not find that Zabala had a contract with Alvarez, it did find that Alvarez unjustly enriched himself. In his lawsuit, Zabala charged Alvarez with breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

The same jury did not find Golden Boy Promotions – Alvarez’s current promoter – libel for tortuous interference.

Golden Boy will appeal the Alvarez verdict.

“… It is absurd to think that All-Star Boxing provided anywhere near that amount of value that the jury awarded under a separate claim,” it read. “We will appeal this part of the decision, and are confident we will win, just as we did on the contract dispute.

Alvarez recently vacated his middleweight championship when he was given a deadline to make a fight with fellow champion Gennady Golovkin.

 

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