Oscar De La Hoya can’t wait for Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez-James Kirkland fight

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

 

Oscar De La Hoya on Monday spoke in excited tones during a telephone conversation with this newspaper. If we had been face-timing, chances are we would have been able to see that the smile never came off De La Hoya’s face. He’s that jazzed about the May 9 junior middleweight fight between Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and James Kirkland at Minute Maid Park in Houston (on HBO).

De La Hoya was stoked to report that, so far, at least 30,000 tickets have been sold.

“It’s incredible, it’s unbelievable,” said De La Hoya, who is promoting the fight under his Golden Boy Promotions banner. “I mean, look, ‘Canelo’-mania is stronger than ever.”

De La Hoya said he has no doubt the fight will sell out. The seating capacity at Minute Maid is 40,950.

There’s more that has De La Hoya chomping at the bit for this fight. It’s what might happen in the fight itself. Alvarez, just 24, has only one loss and that was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. With a record of 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts, Alvarez has a knockout ratio of 67.3 percent. Kirkland, of Austin, Texas, at 32-1 with 28 knockouts has a knockout ratio of 84.5 percent. Plus, Kirkland is a southpaw.

This could be vicious.

“I think given the fact that Kirkland is such an aggressive, in-your-face type of fighter, the fact that he’s just really, really motivated about fighting ‘Canelo’, I mean, it’s a dangerous fight,” De La Hoya said. “When you have a knockout artist up in the ring, it only takes one punch. So ‘Canelo’, given the fact that he’s a fighter with a lot of pride, he’s a fighter who wants to give the fight fans a good show – especially in Houston, practically in his hometown – it’s going to be one of those fights.”

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Joseph Diaz Jr. set to take on Juan Luis Hernandez at Belasco Theater in L.A.

Joseph Diaz Jr./Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Joseph Diaz Jr. of South El Monte tonight (Friday) will square off with Juan Luis Hernandez of Mexico in the featherweight main event at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The Golden Boy Promotions card will be televised by Fox Sports 1 at 7 p.m.

Diaz, a 2012 U.S. Olympian, has a record of 14-0 with nine knockouts. He is a very good prospect and it won’t be surprising at all to see him fighting for a world title within the next couple of years. Diaz is just 22.

Hernandez, 32, is 17-4-1 with nine knockouts.

 

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PHOTOS: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and James Kirkland host news conference

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico and James Kirkland of Austin, Texas on Tuesday played host to a news conference at Minute Maid Park in Houston promoting their junior middleweight fight there May 9 (on HBO). The card is being staged by Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotions. The ultra-popular Alvarez, 24, is 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts. Kirkland, who will be 31 on March 19, is 32-1 with 28 knockouts. This should be an outstanding main event. Check out some of the photos from the news conference:

 

Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, top, poses with fans at the news conference at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The fighters and their camps meet on the dais (middle photo) and James Kirkland, bottom, does interviews after the proceedings/Photos Tony Bullard, Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

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What will settlement with Richard Schaefer mean for Golden Boy Promotions?

Oscar De La Hoya/Photo by Associated Press

 

Now that Golden Boy Promotions and former CEO Richard Schaefer have reached a settlement, it will be interesting to see how Golden Boy and president Oscar De La Hoya react.

We say that because as part of the settlement, De La Hoya agreed to sever ties with several Al Haymon fighters who were being promoted by Golden Boy, but were not under promotional contract to De La Hoya’s company. Among them – according to several publications – reportedly are Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Marcos Maidana and heavyweight contender Deontay Wilder. According to ESPN.com, Wilder’s challenge to heavyweight champion Bermane Stiverne on Saturday figures to be Wilder’s last under the Golden Boy banner.

According to reports, Schaefer will still have to sit out an unspecified amount of time before he can promote again because he was under contract to Golden Boy through 2018. A source told ESPN.com it could be one to two years.

Schaefer had resigned in June after a long run as the company CEO. He was eventually taken to arbitration by De La Hoya for $50 million. There was no exact word on the monetary part of the settlement, but ESPN.com reported that Schaefer may have to give up his roughly eight percent stock in Golden Boy, which apparently also will receive millions of dollars.

Indeed, how Golden Boy marches on from here will be interesting to see. De La Hoya is supposedly cool with the settlement, so that’s good. But several of the solid fighters he’s been using to add punch to his cards, are gone.

Time will tell.

 

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Golden Boy to stage card in Philadelphia to celebrate Bernard Hopkins’ 50th

Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Bernard Hopkins will turn 50 on Jan. 15 and five days later – on Jan. 20 – Golden Boy Promotions will help him celebrate by staging a card in his honor in his native Philadelphia.

The main event will feature Eric “The Outlaw” Hunter (19-3, 10 KOs) of Philadelphia going against Rene Alvarado (21-3, 14 KOs) of Nicaragua in the junior lightweight main event at 2300 Arena.

The card will be televised by Fox Sports 1.

“I’m so excited that Golden Boy has decided to honor my birthday in this way,” said Hopkins, a partner in Golden Boy. “The best present that they can give me is to bring a great night of fights to my hometown and give Philly boxing fans something to celebrate.”

Hopkins, an all-time great at middleweight and also a former light heavyweight champion, most recently fought a title-unification bout with Russia’s Sergey Kovalev, who won a wide decision over Hopkins in November at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

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Oscar De La Hoya named Boxing Promoter of the Year by SI

Oscar De Hoya/Photo by Associated Press

 

Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy Promotions, has been named Boxing Promoter of the Year by Sports Illustrated.

“I’m humbled and honored and thank Sports Illustrated for this incredible recognition,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “When I was inducted to the Boxing Hall of Fame in June, I made a promise that Golden Boy Promotions would focus all of its energies on a simple premise – bringing the best fights to the fans of our sport. In 2014, we started to deliver on that promise, but we have only scratched the surface of what is possible. Working with our outstanding stable of fighters, our fellow promoters and everyone else in our sport who shares our goals, 2015 is primed to be a huge year for boxing.”

 

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East Los Angeles’ Julian Ramirez looking to put on good show Thursday

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Julian Ramirez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Featherweight Julian Ramirez is not yet a top-10 fighter, but he has the talent to get there. Ramirez (12-0, 7 KOs) on Thursday will put his undefeated record on the line when he takes on Pedro Melo (9-6-2, 2 KOs) of Tijuana in the semi-main event at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio (on Fox Sports 1).

“I’m ready for Thursday,” the hard-hitting Ramirez said Tuesday. “Hopefully, the knockout comes, but I won’t force anything. If it comes, it comes. I’m going to give it my all Thursday. I just want to please the crowd and give everyone a great show.”

The 21-year-old Ramirez, who always gives an exciting show, will be in his fourth fight this year. He attended Alhambra High School.

This card is being staged by Golden Boy Promotions

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Amir Khan, Devon Alexander in L.A. to formally announce Vegas fight

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Devon Alexander, top, and Amir Khan/Photos courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Former junior welterweight champion Amir Khan of England and former junior welterweight and welterweight champion Devon Alexander of St. Louis on Tuesday will host a Los Angeles news conference to formally announce their Dec. 13 fight that will be contested at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (on Showtime).

Alexander, 26-2 with 14 knockouts, was junior welterweight champion in 2009-11 before losing his belt to Timothy Bradley in January 2011. Alexander, 27, then won the welterweight title with a victory over Randall Bailey in October 2012, but lost it to Shawn Porter in December 2013.

Khan, also 27, held the junior welterweight title from 2009-11, losing it in 2011 to Lamont Peterson in December 2011. Khan is 29-3 with 19 knockouts.

This Golden Boy Promotions card will also feature Keith “One Time” Thurman defending his interim welterweight belt against Leonard Bundu. Also, Demetrius Andrade will defend his junior middleweight belt against Jermell Charlo.

 

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Bernard Hopkins, Sergey Kovalev to tangle in Atlantic City on Nov. 8

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Bernard Hopkins/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

The site has been set for the Nov. 8 light heavyweight title-unification fight between Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev, and the winner is Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, Golden Boy Promotions has announced.

Ageless wonder Hopkins, 49, of Philadelphia, holds two of the four major belts. Kovalev, of Russia, has one. Their bout – staged by Golden Boy Promotions along with Main Events Inc. – will be televised by HBO.

“Atlantic City is a second home to me,” said Hopkins, who will be 50 on Jan. 15. “Some of my most memorable victories and greatest accomplishments of my career have taken place there, including my fights against Antonio Tarver and Kelly Pavlik.”

Hopkins is 55-6-2 with 32 knockouts. He has not had a knockout victory in 10 years, or since he stopped Oscar De La Hoya in the ninth round in September 2004 in Las Vegas.

Kovalev, on the other hand, has been a wrecking machine. He is 25-0-1 with 23 knockouts. He has six first-round knockouts, 10 in the second round.

“I am happy to be back in Atlantic City,” said Kovalev, 31. “This is my third time fighting here, but this is the most special because this time I am facing the legendary Bernard Hopkins.”

 

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Friday’s weigh-in for Shawn Porter and Kell Brook open to public

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Porter vs Brook

Graphic courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

Friday’s weigh-in for Saturday’s Golden Boy Promotions card featuring Shawn Porter defending his welterweight title against Kell Brook at StubHub Center in Carson (on Showtime) will be open to the public. It will begin at 1 p.m. at the Northwest tennis pad at StubHub.

Porter, of Akron, Ohio, is one of the more exciting new rising stars in the game. He is 24-0-1 with 15 knockouts and will be looking to make his second successful defense. Porter is just 26.

Brook, of England, is 28. He is 32-0 with 22 knockouts. But he has his work cut out for him against Porter, a vicious seek-and-destroy fighter.

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