Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez says Liam Smith could be Canelo’s toughest test

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Canelo Alvarez shakes out during a workout Wednesday in San Diego/Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

 

Golden Boy Promotions vice-president Eric Gomez on Thursday during a conference call said he believes Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of England will likely be Canelo Alvarez’s toughest test to date when they square off Sept. 17 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view) for Smith’s junior middleweight title. Considering Alvarez has fought the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr., Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara and James Kirkland, that’s very difficult to believe.

But of course, with all the negativity surrounding Alvarez and his and Golden Boy’s ducking of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, it’s not surprising to hear someone connected with the promotion speaking in hyperbolic tones.

Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) himself seemed to go to his own extreme in that regard during a workout Wednesday in San Diego.

“In our training, we have taken a huge focus on the opponent’s fighting style – no matter what size or weight,” said Alvarez, of Mexico. “Analyzing and breaking down the fighter’s approach is what we go after in the ring. Just because Smith isn’t very well known in the U.S. doesn’t diminish how tough he is as an opponent. We expect him to be very powerful, and we are training for that.”

Mayweather handed Alvarez his lone defeat in September 2013. Suffice to say, Smith is no Mayweather. Lara gave Alvarez all he could handle in July 2014, Alvarez just sneaking by with a split-decision victory.

 Gomez pointed out Thursday that Smith is on a streak of eight consecutive knockouts. That’s fine, except that none of those opponents he stopped are terrific fighters. One – Robert Talarek – was 10-8-2. Another – David Romero – was 11-5. Both of those bouts took place in 2015.
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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez to defend against smaller Amir Khan on May 7

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

 

Many in boxing are hopeful that Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico will take on fellow middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin sometime this year in a title-unification bout. Meantime, Alvarez will make the first defense of his championship belt when he tangles with Amir Khan of England on May 7, most likely at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The arena is under construction and expected to be finished in time to host the bout, which will be shown on HBO pay-per-view.

The middleweight limit is 160 pounds, but the fight will be contested at a catch-weight of 155. Khan has never fought above welterweight, which is 147 pounds.

“As the middleweight champion of the world, I will take on the best fighters in the sport and on Cinco De Mayo weekend, I look forward to making the first defense of my title,” said Alvarez, 25. “Amir was a decorated amateur, a two-time world champion and is in the prime of his career. Fans are in for a great fight on May 7.”

Khan (31-3, 19 KOs) won a super lightweight world title in July 2009 and added another belt to that when he beat Zab Judah in a title-unification fight in July 2011. Khan moved up to welterweight in April 2013 and has had four fights at that weight.

The fighters are going to say every positive thing they can to promote this fight. It’s boxing, and that’s what they do. But it will be interesting to see how this bout is received by fans who know only too well that there is nothing dangerous about it for Alvarez, who is the larger fighter and won’t have to worry much about being knocked out by a fighter who was a 135-pound lightweight until 2009.

But Khan does have a name in the sport, and he is an exciting fighter to behold.

“I know ‘Canelo’ fights the best and wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to face me like others have,” said Khan, 29. “My goal is to always fight the biggest names and the best fighters. That is why I’m excited for this fight. … I know I have the speed and ability to beat him and will give my fans what they deserve on May 7.”

Oscar De La Hoya will promote this fight under his Golden Boy Promotions banner. He is pumping this as Alvarez (46-1-1, 32 KOs) taking on the “best” the sweet science has to offer.

“We are committed to putting on the biggest and best fights in boxing,” De La Hoya said. “‘Canelo’ is the biggest star in the sport and as he demonstrated against James Kirkland and Miguel Cotto last year, he is only getting better.

“Those who predicted that he would take an easy fight for his first defense have been proven wrong once again.”

Alvarez knocked out Kirkland in the third round this past May in Houston and then won his middleweight title when he took a unanimous decision over Cotto in November in Las Vegas.

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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez says he has no fear of heavy-handed Gennady Golovkin

 

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez lands a left to the jaw of Miguel Cotto on Saturday night at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas/Photo by John Locher, Associated Press

 

It was Saturday night at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico had just defeated Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico to win a piece of the middleweight championship.

Since Gennady Golovkin holds two of the other three major belts – there are, laughingly, four – the obvious question to Alvarez afterward was, would he like to tangle with Golovkin? Golovkin is a vicious puncher with a 91-percent knockout ratio.

Alvarez replied, pulling no punches.

“A lot of people, before this fight happened, were asking me about Golovkin and I didn’t want to answer because I had respect for the person I was going  to fight tonight,” he said at the post-fight news conference. “But now they can ask me. And I know Golovkin very well. He’s a friend of mine and like I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I have respect for him, but I’m not afraid of anybody. I’ll fight anybody, any time. I’m not afraid of anybody. And if you guys don’t believe me, I’ll get back in the ring, put the gloves on and go another 12 rounds.”

 

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Miguel Cotto, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez weigh in before about 7,000 fans

Graphic courtesy of Roc Nation Sports

 

Approximately 7,000 fans took in Friday’s weigh-in for Saturday’s middleweight fight between Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view).

The middleweight limit is 160 pounds, but there is a catch-weight limit of 155. Cotto weighed 153 1/2 pounds, Alvarez 155.

Only Alvarez (45-1-1, 32 KOs) can walk out of the ring with the middleweight title belt because the WBC stripped Cotto (40-4, 33 KOs) of it earlier this week when he refused to pay the sanctioning fee.

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WBC strips Miguel Cotto of middleweight belt; fight still on

Boxer Miguel Cotto greets the crowd at the start of a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, in New York. Cotto and Floyd Mayweather are scheduled to fight May 5 in Las Vegas.

Miguel Cotto/Photo courtesy of Associ

 

The World Boxing Council on Tuesday stripped Miguel Cotto of his middleweight title for what the WBC said was his refusal to comply with its rules and regulations. Cotto was set to defend his belt against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Saturday at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). The fight is still on at this time, but Cotto won’t be able to walk away from it as champion, even if he wins, based on the WBC’s action.

Here is part of a statement released by the WBC and its president, Mauricio Sulaiman:

“After several weeks of communications , countless attempts and good faith time extensions  trying to preserve the fight as a WBC World Championship, Miguel Cotto and his promotion did not agree to comply with the WBC Rules & Regulations, while Saúl Alvarez has agreed to do so.  Accordingly, the WBC must rule on the matter prior to the fight.

“The WBC hereby announces that effective immediately  has withdrawn recognition of Miguel Cotto as WBC World Middleweight Champion.  If  Saul “Canelo” Alvarez wins the fight against  Cotto, he will be recognized as  the WBC middleweight world champion .

“The WBC’s decision is premised on the fact that Miguel Cotto and his camp are not willing to abide by the governing WBC Rules & Regulations, and the specific conditions the WBC established to sanction the fight.  Simply put: they are not willing to respect the very same rules and conditions which applied to  Cotto becoming WBC champion. The WBC wishes Miguel Cotto the best of luck as we truly regret the course of action which led to them taking such decision.”

The WBC did not spell out exactly where Cotto failed to live up to his obligations. But several outlets are reporting that Cotto refused to play the $300,000 sanctioning fee for Saturday’s bout.

 

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Miguel Cotto-Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez set for Nov. 21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas

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

 

Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico will defend his middleweight world title against Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico on Nov. 21 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). It took some time for an accord to be reached, but the fight was finally announced Thursday by Golden Boy Promotions and Roc Nation Sports.

Cotto, 34, is 40-4 with 33 knockouts. He’ll be looking to make the second successful defense of his title.

Alvarez, a former junior middleweight champion, is 45-1-1 with 32 knockouts.

Cotto is coming off a fourth-round technical knockout of Daniel Geale in June in Brooklyn. Alvarez most recently knocked out James Kirkland in the third round in May in Houston.

“I will give the fans the fight they want to see,” Cotto said. “As I have always said, during my whole career, I am here to fight the best names and the best fighters. This will be another chapter in my career and I will be ready for him. Fans will enjoy a real fight, another classic battle in the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico rivalry.”
Alvarez was equally stoked that a fight fans want is a done deal.
“Historically, mega-fights are made because fans demand them,” Alvarez said. “In this case, the fans have spoken out, longing for this fight and it is my pleasure to say that it is finally happening. All fights at this level are very important, but this fight in particular has something more. It will hold a special place in history as part of the big rivalry between Mexico and Puerto Rico, and I promise all the fans that this is going to be an event that will not disappoint.”
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Talks for May 2 fight between Miguel Cotto and ‘Canelo’ Alvarez called off

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

 

Negotiations for a potential May 2 fight between middleweight champion and Miguel Cotto and former junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez have stalled and been suspended, Oscar De La Hoya said Saturday.

According to a report on ESPN.com, De La Hoya – Alvarez’s promoter – called off the talks because Cotto and his team did not meet a Friday deadline to agree to terms. The report indicated the Cotto camp was not happy with the money being offered.
This would seem to open the possibility of a rematch between Cotto and Floyd Mayweather Jr. should Mayweather not sign for the much-anticipated fight with Manny Pacquiao.
Cotto lost a 12-round unanimous decision to Mayweather in May 2012 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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HBO’s 24/7: Cotto/Martinez to debut Saturday night ahead of June 7 showdown

HBO’s 24/7: Cotto/Martinez featuring an inside look at Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez ahead of their June 7 middleweight title fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City, will debut Saturday night on HBO. The second of two episodes is on tap for June 5 – a week from Thursday – and two days before the fight that will be available on HBO pay-per-view.

Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs), of Argentina, will be attempting to make the second successful defense of the title he took from Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in September 2012. Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs), of Puerto Rico, will try to become the first fighter from the island to win world titles in four weight classes.

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Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez in Los Angeles to formally announce June title fight

Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and Sergio Martinez of Argentina on Wednesday will play host to a Los Angeles-area news conference to formally announce their middleweight title fight slated for June 7 at Madison Square Garden in New York City (on HBO pay-per-view).

Cotto (38-4, 31 KOs), who is 33, has won titles in the junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight divisions. If he takes Martinez’s middleweight belt, Cotto becomes the first Puerto Rican to win titles in four weight classes.

Martinez, 39, is 51.2-2 with 28 knockouts.

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Report: Miguel Cotto turns down $10 million to fight ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, eyes Sergio Martinez

Former three-division world champion Miguel Cotto has turned down an offer of over $10 million  to fight former junior middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in a fight that would have taken place in March, according to a report on ESPN.com.

Cotto apparently did so because he wants to instead pursue a fight with middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. According to the story, Cotto wants to fight June 7 in New York City on the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade, and he wants to fight for the middleweight title. Those two things out-weigh the notion that he will not get as much money to fight Martinez. If Cotto and Alvarez were to fight, it would have to be in March and no title would be up for grabs.

Golden Boy Promotions would have been lead promoter in the case of a Cotto and Alvarez fight as Golden Boy promotes Alvarez; it would have been televised on Showtime pay-per-view. If Cotto and Martinez is made, Top Rank will act as Cotto’s promoter, the story said, and the fight would be on HBO pay-per-view.

Lou DiBella, who promotes Martinez, said that while there have been talks for a fight with Cotto, the fight is not a done deal. DiBella also said Martinez wants the fight.

At question would be the weight. The fight presumably would be for Martinez’s 160-pound middleweight belt. The story suggests Cotto will be asking Martinez to meet him somewhere between junior middleweight (154) and middleweight.

Cotto has won titles at junior welterweight, welterweight and junior middleweight.

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