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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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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Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez leaves Showtime to re-join HBO

Image

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez/Photo courtesy of Golden Boy Promotions

 

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez on Tuesday signed an agreement to return to HBO beginning with his next fight in December, the interested parties announced.

Alvarez, an ultra-popular former super welterweight champion from Mexico, fought seven times on HBO between 2010 and 2012. He moved over to Showtime after his promoter – Golden Boy Promotions – and HBO had a falling out and HBO said it would no longer work with Golden Boy.

That edict eased when HBO signed on to televise the upcoming light-heavyweight title fight between Golden Boy’s Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev on Nov. 8 in Atlantic City.

Alvarez has fought his five most recent fights on rival Showtime. Terms of his new agreement with HBO were not disclosed.

“For all of my career, I have wanted to fight on HBO for one main reason –  I believe it will allow more of my fans to see me in action,” said Alvarez, who is 44-1-1 with 31 knockouts. “Today marks a huge milestone for me, and I look forward to a long and successful partnership with HBO.”

Oscar De La Hoya, president of Golden Boy, was stoked.

“I’m thrilled to be part of this historic agreement between ‘Canelo’ Álvarez and HBO Sports, an agreement that marks another major step in Golden Boy Promotions’ primary goal to give boxing fans the fights they want to see,” he said.

Ken Hersham, president of HBO Sports, seemed equally jazzed.

“Everyone at HBO is excited to welcome back ‘Canelo’ Álvarez to the HBO family, and we can’t wait to re-introduce him to our subscribers,” Hershman said. “At only 24 years old, ‘Canelo’ has already established himself as one of the boxing world’s brightest stars, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship as we embark on this new chapter together.”

Alvarez last fought in July and won a split-decision over Erislandy Lara at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Alvarez lost his two super welterweight world titles to Floyd Mayweather jr. via majority decision in September 2013.

 

 

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