Jorge Linares makes a happy man out of his promoter, Oscar De La Hoya

Anthony Crolla, left, and Jorge Linares pose after this past Friday’s weigh-in for their fight Saturday in England/Photo courtesy of Lawrence Lustig, Matchroom Boxing

 

Jorge Linares of Venezuela entered his fight this past Saturday against WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla having already held the WBC belt. But Linares was stripped of that title in February when he could not make a mandatory defense because of a fractured hand.

That said, Linares was eager to once again be a world champion. He did not disappoint himself as he took Crolla’s title via unanimous decision at Manchester Arena in Crolla’s native England.

Linares’ promoter, Oscar De La Hoya, was stoked about what he saw from Linares and what he might see in the future from him.

“Jorge Linares has proven himself once again as a world champion fighter with incredible skill, strength and talent. This is a fighter that continues to fight the best and win against the best in the lightweight division,” De La Hoya said. “Linares gave us a highly entertaining and thrilling fight against Anthony Crolla today, and we can’t wait to see what more is to come from him following this tremendous … victory.”

Linares, 31, is now 41-3. Crolla, 29, is 31-5-3. He was trying to make his second successful title defense.

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Luis Del Valle expects to hand Diego De La Hoya his first loss on Saturday

Luis Del Valle/Photo courtesy of Tom Hogan Photos, Golden Boy Promotions

 

Luis Del Valle is a prize-fighter from Puerto Rico, so he knows all about the boxing rivalry his homeland has with Mexico. He is far from being a hater, though.

“I love the Mexican community – they are the most humble and welcoming people,” Del Valle said Tuesday. “I remember when I visited Mexico for the first time, and I felt at home. While the Mexico vs. Puerto Rico matches are always heated, I have a deep respect for the Mexican public.”
Del Valle (22-2, 16 KOs) on Saturday will take on Diego De La Hoya (15-0, 9 KOs) of Mexico in a 10-round super bantamweight bout. They will tangle underneath the junior middleweight title fight between champion Liam Smith of England and Canelo Alvarez of Mexico at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view). Del Valle is expecting to hand De La Hoya – cousin of Oscar De La Hoya – his first loss.
“”I am going to leave the ring with a victory under my belt on Sept. 17, without a doubt,” Del Valle said. “Not being the favorite doesn’t affect me at all. I have had many experiences in which things have not gone the way we anticipated. However, those setbacks have brought me to this stage I stand on now, and the opportunity to further my career. This is my destiny, and I’ll prove that this Saturday.”

 

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Bobby ‘Schoolboy’ Chacon was a heck of a fan favorite during his heyday

Bobby Chacon v Cornelius Boza-Edwards : News Photo

Bobby Chacon tangles with Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Chacon winning a unanimous decision in May 1983 in Las Vegas. It was named Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine/Photo courtesy of Getty Images, Ring Magazine

 

Bobby “Schoolboy” Chacon played host to a reporter from this newspaper in the fall of 2000 at the Skid Row gym where he was teaching kids the art of the sweet science.
By then, Chacon already had been stricken with pugilistic dementia, the result of his many ring wars.

Chacon had lost his wife, Valerie, in 1982 to a self-inflicted gunshot wound brought on by her husband’s refusal to quit boxing.

Nine years later, Chacon’s son Bobby Jr. was the victim of gang violence when he was shot and killed at 17. That’s not to mention Chacon’s own issues with drugs and alcohol.

Yet, Chacon — “the pride of Pacoima” — never stopped smiling. His tough life aside, he would constantly show up at local boxing cards, cracking jokes that had so many laughing. Sadly, it all came to an end Wednesday when Chacon died at 64. Chacon suffered a bad fall in a dementia care facility in Hemet that led to his death, said Ricky Farris, president of the West Coast Boxing Hall of Fame.

“As sad of shape as he was in, he was the guy who was always laughing and happy,” said Don Chargin, who promoted many of Chacon’s fights. “He wasn’t one of those mean guys, where they get a little bit of that dementia, they get sullen and mean.”

Chacon boxed professionally from 1972-88, compiling a record of 59-7-1 with 47 knockouts while winning world titles in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2005.

Chacon’s ninth-round stoppage of Danny “Little Red” Lopez in 1974 at the L.A. Sports Arena was just one of Chacon’s many epic victories. Chacon also took on Rafael “Bazooka” Limon four times, going 2-1 with a draw. In their fourth fight, Chacon won a 15-round unanimous decision in a super featherweight title fight in Sacramento in 1982. Chacon was decked twice, Limon once. That was named Fight of the Year by Ring Magazine.

There were Chacon’s two fights with Cornelius Boza-Edwards. Chacon was stopped by Boza-Edwards in the 13th round in 1981 in a super featherweight title fight in Las Vegas. Chacon came back to win a 12-round unanimous decision over Boza-Edwards in 1983 in Las Vegas. It was another Chacon fight that Ring Magazine honored as Fight of the Year.
Abel Sanchez, trainer of middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, grew up in West Covina. Like all area fans, he embraced Chacon during his heyday.

“I think he brought the kind of mentality that has been lost in recent times in our boxing business,” Sanchez said via telephone from London, where Golovkin will defend his title Saturday against Kell Brook. “I think now it’s more of a business, where as back then fighters were warriors; fighters fought like the old-timers did.

“Bobby’s fights with Boza-Edwards are something to learn from and study. He was one-of-a-kind for our Southern California fighters. He just personified the Mexican warrior that we, as fans, want to see in our fighters.”

Longtime promoter Bob Arum said it well in one short sentence.

“He was a tremendous fighter and a big attraction,” he said.

Chargin recalled that Chacon-Lopez sold out the L.A. Sports Arena in 1974. Four months later, Chacon won the featherweight title with a ninth-round TKO of Alfredo Marcano in September at the Olympic Auditorium, then knocked out Jesus Estrada in the second round in his first defense, also at the Olympic.

“That was another night the fire marshal made us quit selling tickets,” Chargin said.
Fellow Hall of Fame fighter-turned-promoter Oscar De La Hoya of East L.A., a big draw in his day, identified with Chacon. De La Hoya on Wednesday said, in part, “Hailing from Southern California, Bobby was someone I looked up to as a young fighter growing up in East Los Angeles. Bobby had the natural talent, good looks, personality and power to be a memorable fighter in the ring that attracted crowds.”

Chacon fought two days after his wife committed suicide in March 1982, stopping Salvador Ugalde in the third round in Sacramento.

“They were a cute little couple and she really wanted him to quit, and he didn’t,” Chargin said. “They had a terrible fight and he said, ‘I’m not quitting,’ and she committed suicide. Naturally, I called the fight off and started to come back to L.A., and I got a call from Bobby’s attorney and he said they were going to bring a lawsuit against me if I called off the fight.”

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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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Oscar De La Hoya says Canelo Alvarez and Texas fans have love for each other

Canelo Alvarez, left, poses with Amir Khan at a news conference promoting their May 7, 2016 fight won by Alvarez/Associated Press photo by John Locher 

 

Canelo Alvarez’s most recent fight was at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, when he knocked out Amir Khan in the sixth round on May 7 before 16,540. But Alvarez’s next bout will be back in Texas, where twice over the past three-plus years he has fought before huge crowds.

Alvarez (47-1-1, 13 KOs) on Sept. 17 will challenge Liam Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) of Great Britain for his junior middleweight belt at AT&T Stadium in Arlington (on HBO pay-per-view).

Alvarez in May 2015 knocked out James Kirkland in the third round at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Alvarez in April 2013 won a 12-round decision over Austin Trout at the Alamodome in San Antonio. It was therefore no surprise that this bout landed back in the Lone Star State.

“After Canelo knocked out James Kirkland in Houston last year, he was clear that he wanted to come to Texas at least once a year from then on out,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Alvarez’s promoter. “Canelo drew more than 33,000 people (actually, 31,588) in Houston after drawing more than 45,000 (more like 40,000) in San Antonio for his fight with Austin Trout.

“It’s clear that Texans love Canelo, but working with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys will take it to another level.”

AT&T Stadium was previously known as Cowboys Stadium and is home to the Dallas Cowboys, owned by Jones.

 

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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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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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Abel Sanchez believes in handshake with Bob Arum over Oscar De La Hoya

Gennady Golovkin

Gennady Golovkin/Photo courtesy of K2 Promotions

 

Remember when it was announced recently that Golden Boy Promotions and K2 Promotions agreed that Gennady Golovkin and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will fight each other in September 2017? It was a handshake accord. Golovkin’s trainer, Abel Sanchez, does.

Sanchez also remembers a handshake deal being struck for Golovkin to fight super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez the first half of next year. That deal was made with K2 – which promotes Golovkin – and Bob Arum, who promotes Ramirez under his Top Rank Inc. banner,

Guess which one Sanchez believes will come to fruition? Based on Alvarez giving up his WBC middleweight belt rather than fight Golovkin this year, that’s an easy answer.

“Let me tell you this: Supposedly, there was a handshake agreement between Bob Arum and (K2’s) Tom (Loeffler) for a Ramirez fight, and a handshake agreement – supposedly, according to Oscar (De La Hoya of Golden Boy) – for the ‘Canelo’ fight for September of 2017,” Sanchez said by phone Tuesday. “I would venture to say that I’d be more likely to believe there’s a handshake agreement with Bob Arum than there is for the ‘Canelo’ fight.

“So I would venture to say ‘Zurdo’ is a possibility for next year.”

One can’t blame Sanchez for not being a believer in the handshake agreement for Golovkin-Alvarez. It was Alvarez who called out Golovkin after Alvarez knocked out Amir Khan in May at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Alvarez said he would fight Golovkin, who was there, right then and that he would do it at 160 pounds. Previously, Alvarez and Golden Boy – which promotes Alvarez – had said a fight with Golovkin would have to be at a catch-weight of 155 pounds.

Then Alvarez gave up his belt rather than adhere to a deadline set by the WBC for the ordered fight with Golovkin. Then came the news that there would be no Golovkin-Alvarez fight for well over another year.

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Amateur bouts between L.A. and NYC cops highlight Golden Boy card in L.A.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                In this June 26, 2014 photo, boxer Oscar De La Hoya talks with reporters in Sacramento, Calif.

Oscar De La Hoya/Associated Press file photo

 

Oscar Negrete (14-0, 5 KOs) of Los Angeles will take on Jose Bustos (11-6-3, 7 KOs) of Mexico in the bantamweight main event Friday night at Belasco Theater in Los Angeles (on Estrella TV).

But there will be something of bigger importance taking place as well when cops from L.A. will take on cops from New York City in a total of seven amateur bouts ahead of the three pro bouts on the card. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which is geared toward eliminating breast cancer.

“As many of you know, this is an issue that is very near and dear to my heart after losing my own mother to breast cancer in 1990,” De La Hoya said at Thursday’s news conference in Los Angeles. “I’m so proud of everyone involved for their support of this event that will help bring awareness and raise money for such an important cause.”
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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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