‘Canelo’ Alvarez, Liam Smith talk good game at Monday’s news conference

Saul Alvarez, left, and Liam Smith pose at Monday’s news conference in Texas/Photo courtesy of Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions

 

A lot of people around the world of boxing had to have been upset upon hearing that Golden Boy Promotions would not entertain the thought of its Saul “Canelo” Alvarez fighting middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin until September 2017. You can bet Liam Smith wasn’t one of them.

Smith (23-0-1, 13 KOs) is a junior middleweight champion from England. Thanks to Golden Boy balking at Golovkin, Smith will now be able to put his name on the worldwide map by defending his title against Alvarez on Sept. 17 from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (on HBO pay-per-view).

“I am very excited,” Smith said at Monday’s news conference in Arlington. “I have asked for a top name for a very long time and when Canelo’s name came to the table, it was an automatic ‘Yes.’ We are coming very prepared for this fight, and I’m coming to win.”

After his sixth-round knockout of Amir Khan on May 7 in Las Vegas, Alvarez (47-1-1, 33 KOs) talked a lot of trash, challenging Golovkin and saying he would have no problem fighting him at the full 160-pound limit, something Alvarez had previously said he wasn’t interesting in doing.

But with an imposed deadline by the WBC to make the fight with Golovkin, Alvarez and Golden Boy put out a statement saying Alvarez would relinquish his middleweight title rather than adhere to the deadline.

Then came the news from Golden Boy that it would not even think about Alvarez fighting Golovkin until September of 2017. Alvarez took plenty of hits in social media.

To be fair, this whole thing is probably more on Golden Boy than Alvarez. But he’s going to have to take a lot of the heat.

Anyway, he promised fans a good fight against Smith.

“I had to work for my birthday, so I’m here to work,” said Alvarez, who turned 26 on Monday. “I’m very happy to be back in Texas again, in this beautiful stadium. I’m going to take this fight seriously and prepare like always. I know how I’m going to have to train. I like to give the fans a great fight, and that is what I will prepare for.”

 

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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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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 ordered to pay former promoter Zabala $8.5 million

 

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

Former middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez of Mexico on Monday was ordered by a jury in Miami-Dade circuit court in Florida to pay former promoter Felix “Tutico” Zabala Jr. of All-Star Boxing $8.5 million.

According to a story on ESPN.com, while the jury did not find that Zabala had a contract with Alvarez, it did find that Alvarez unjustly enriched himself. In his lawsuit, Zabala charged Alvarez with breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

The same jury did not find Golden Boy Promotions – Alvarez’s current promoter – libel for tortuous interference.

Golden Boy will appeal the Alvarez verdict.

“… It is absurd to think that All-Star Boxing provided anywhere near that amount of value that the jury awarded under a separate claim,” it read. “We will appeal this part of the decision, and are confident we will win, just as we did on the contract dispute.

Alvarez recently vacated his middleweight championship when he was given a deadline to make a fight with fellow champion Gennady Golovkin.

 

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Ireland’s Jason Quigley excited to show his wares under ‘Canelo’-Khan

Jason Quigley Meet & Greet

Jason Quigley/Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America

 

A fair amount of talent will grace the undercard of Saturday’s middleweight title fight between champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas (on HBO pay-per-view). Jason Quigley of Ireland is right up there with the best, make no mistake about that.

Quigley is technically sound, he punches very hard and he has his head on straight.

“Every fight has the same meaning for me because I treat it like a world-title fight,” Quigley said at a recent workout, showing his mental make-up.

Quigley, who won a silver medal for Ireland in the 2013 World Amateur Boxing Championships, is 10-0 with nine knockouts. He’ll take on James De La Rosa (23-3, 13 KOs) in a 10-round middleweight fight.

De La Rosa is coming off a fifth-round knockout loss, but it came against undefeated Hugo Centeno Jr. (24-0), so this still figures to be Quigley’s toughest test to date.

“De La Rosa is another obstacle and hurdle I have to jump over to become a world champion,” said Quigley, 24. “I’m ready to fight anyone and ready to shine on May 7. This is my chance to blow onto the scene.”

Talent breeds confidence, and Quigley is full of it, which only adds to his arsenal.

“De La Rosa is coming off a knockout defeat and he is getting in the ring with a knockout artist, me, on May 7,” Quigley said. “He’s got to have doubts.”

For an up-and-coming fighter, this bout is a big deal for Quigley. Apparently his homeland followers think so, too, and some will be in attendance. For that, he’s stoked and appreciative.

“There are a lot of people traveling out from Ireland for this fight,” said Quigley, who these days trains and lives in the greater Los Angeles area. “The Irish fans are unbelievable. The way they have supported me has been amazing.”

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It’s official: Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez-Amir Khan to be held at T-Mobile Arena

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

Golden Boy Promotions made it official this week – the May 7 middleweight title fight between champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Amir Khan will be held at the new T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The fight will be available on HBO pay-per-view.

“The new T-Mobile Arena was clearly the perfect venue choice to host the battle that will be Canelo vs. Khan on May 7,” Oscar De La Hoya, chairman of Golden Boy Promotions, said in a statement. “Boxing in Las Vegas is truly an exciting event, and the fans with tickets to the fight will be in for a treat watching the fight in this new, state-of-the-art venue.”

Alvarez, of Mexico, is 46-1-1 with 32 knockouts. Khan, of England, is 31-3 with 19 knockouts.

The finishing touches are currently being put on T-Mobile Arena, which is scheduled to open on April 6.

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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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