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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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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Video: De La Hoya not a fan of Mayweather, rooting Pacquiao

Oscar De La Hoya, speaking from inside the Golden Boy Promotions office in Downtown L.A. on Tuesday, described Manny Pacquiao as the hero and Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the villain in what’s being billed as “The Fight of The Century.”

“Mayweather has this image,” he said. “The money and the flash and this-and-that. As person I don’t know him to well to judge him, but from what I’ve read, what I’ve heard, I just don’t like what he represents.”

De La Hoya, who has brought boxing back to Downtown L.A. with Golden Boy Promotions’ L.A. Fight Club, added that boxing fans want to see Pacquiao win Saturday’s fight.

“The majority of the fans out there want to see Manny Pacquiao give Floyd Mayweather his first loss,” including De La Hoya himself. “I’m a huge Pacquiao fan and I’m rooting for Pacquiao.”

See more of what De La Hoya had to say in the video below, also check out more of his interview in this column by the L.A. Daily News’ Mark Whicker.

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Julian Ramirez shuts out Raul Hidalgo in L.A. Fight Club main event at Belasco

 

Julian Ramirez/Photo courtesy of Carlos Baeza

 

Julian “El Camaron” Ramirez of Los Angeles is now 14-0 after winning a lopsided unanimous decision over Raul Hidalgo of Mexico in the 10-round featherweight main event Thursday at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The card was part of Oscar De La Hoya’s L.A. Fight Club series.

Ramirez, just 22, won by three scores of 100-90 as Hidalgo (23-13) did not win a round.

Ramirez did good work both to the head and body.

 

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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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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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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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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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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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