‘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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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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Tyson Fury relinquishes remaining major belts he won from Wladimir Klitschko

Challenger Tyson Fury, right, and world champion Wladimir Klitschko, left, stand on the podium after the Official Weigh-In in Essen, Germany, prior their heavyweight boxing fight, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. The title clash will take place in Duesseldorf's LTU arena on Saturday. (AP Photo/Martin Meissne

Tyson Fury, right, and Wladimir Klitschko pose after weighing in for their heavyweight title fight this past November in Germany/Associated Press photo by Martin Meissner

 

The much-maligned Tyson Fury on Wednesday gave up the two remaining major heavyweight championship belts he won from Wladimir Klitschko this past November in Germany.

Fury since has twice pulled out of scheduled rematches with Klitschko, and recently Fury admitted to doing cocaine. He is also reportedly suffering from depression.

His promotional company, Hennessy Sports, released a statement. It read, in part, that Fury was giving up his titles “to fully focus on his medical treatment and recovery.”

Fury said, “I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active and allow the other contenders to fight for the vacant belts that I proudly won and held as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world when I defeated the long-standing champion Wladimir Klitschko. I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring, but I’m unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles and wish the next in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life which, I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer.”

Fury, 25-0 with 18 knockouts, won three major titles from Klitschko. Fury, 28, had already been stripped of one of them for agreeing to fight Klitschko in a rematch rather than his mandatory challenger – Vyacheslav Glazkov.

 

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Tyson Fury for the second time pulls out of rematch with Wladimir Klitschko

Tyson Fury/Photo courtesy of Hennessy Sports

 

The heavyweight championship rematch between Tyson Fury of England and Wladimir Klitschko of the Ukraine on Friday was called off for the second time. The two were to tangle Oct. 29 in England, but a statement from Hennessy Sports, which promotes Fury, indicated it won’t happen.

The two first fought this past November in Germany, Fury winning a unanimous decision and Klitshcko’s three belts. They were slated to go at it again in July, but Fury claimed to have a sprained ankle.

Here is the today’s statement, verbatim, from Hennessy Sports: “It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce that the World Heavyweight Championship rematch between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko, scheduled to take place on the 29th October 2016 at the Manchester Arena, will not be going ahead.

“Tyson has, this week, been declared medically unfit to fight. Medical specialists have advised that the condition is too severe to allow him to participate in the rematch and that he will require treatment before going back into the ring. Tyson will now immediately undergo the treatment he needs to make a full recovery.

“We and Tyson wish to express our sincerest apologies to all those concerned with the event and all the boxing fans who had been looking forward to the rematch. Tyson is understandably devastated by the development.

“We will be making a further statement in due course. Until then, we ask that Tyson and his family be given the privacy and the space he needs to recover during this difficult time.

 The statement did not include what is wrong with Fury. A story on ESPN.com that cited sources suggested mental health issues might be at the forefront.
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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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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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