Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Chavez, Lubin, Lara, Beterbiev, Bute, Braekhus, Svennsson, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of February 14th to February 21st, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Photo Credit:Etzel Espinosa- Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Mexico City Press Conference Quotes
Two-division world champion Canelo Álvarez (48-1-1, 34 KOs) and former WBC World Middleweight Champion Julio César Chávez, Jr. (50-2-1, 32 KOs) today kicked off their four-city international press tour in Mexico City. The event drew thousands of fans and hundreds of media to watch Canelo and Chavez, Jr. in their first face off ahead of their anticipated clash on Cinco De Mayo weekend, Saturday, May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Below are what the fighters and their teams had to say at today’s press conference:
CANELO ÁLVAREZ, Former Two-Division World Champion:
“It’s a new weight, so I have started to spar with heavier partners, which everyone will notice come fight night. Fights between Mexicans are usually the biggest, and I want this fight to be a mark on the legacy that many fights like this have left behind in Mexico’s fight history.
“I think that a rivalry does exist, and we are both polemic fighters. There have been a lot of comments directed towards me and my character, and I fight for pride to represent my country.
“We are of course are training at 100 percent. I think what makes this fight interesting is that we are both heavy punchers. I’ve been in my fair share of mega-fights, and the boxing ring is my home. I have had the same people in my corner since the very beginning, and I trust Chepo and Eddy to fully support me in my corner.”
JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ, JR., Former WBC World Middleweight Champion:
“I’ve been making my way to this fight. My last fight was at 168 pounds. This fight isn’t going to be any different from any other fight that I have had in the past. I want to thank all the people who have come to support me over the years.
“This is going to be a tough fight. Every fight is important, and this one especially because it is between two Mexicans fighting each other for the glory. The fight could not have come at a more perfect timing – both my and Canelo’s names are known throughout the world as some of the best fighters. My two losses against Martinez and Fonfara taught me more than all 50 of my wins. This fight has the potential to open many doors to my future that might have been closed before. I fight for pride – everyone says that Canelo is the best.
“With Nacho Beristain in my corner, I have a lot of knowledge on my side. It’s symbolic because he has his name etched as one of the greats, and this is a tribute to him and is a contribution to Mexican boxing. Canelo isn’t Oscar De La Hoya’s son. I’ve got a great corner. I am going to win this fight.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:
“Saul was the one who wanted this fight, and my duty as a promoter is to put together the best fights. Mexican boxing is the best, and when you have these two hot boxers who want to give the best to the fans, and we couldn’t pass it up.
JULIO CÉSAR CHÁVEZ, SR., Six-Time World Champion Boxerz:
“I foresee a real tough fight. We have seen the best of Canelo, but we have not seen the best of my son. I firmly believe that with a disciplined training camp, Jr. is able to knock out not just Canelo but anyone in his way. I want to thank everyone who has come out to support my son. I can honestly say that this is a dream come true, and we are looking forward to the fight.”
Artur Beterbiev vs. Sullivan Barrera Announced for April 21st
It’s official: Montreal’s Artur Beterbiev (IBF #2 – 11-0-0, 11 KOs) will be in the most important fight of his career, against Cuban-born Sullivan Barrera (IBF #7 – 18-1-0, 13 KOs), for the mandatory challenger position for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heayvweight world title, held by American Andre Ward (31-0-0, 15 KOs). The Beterbiev vs. Barrera clash will take place April 21 in Miami, Florida.
“It is with great pride and confidence that we go into this fight in Miami,” Beterbiev’s promoter Yvon Michel (Groupe Yvon Michel). “In order for Beterbiev to receive maximum credibility, he needs to demonstrate that he can perform anywhere in the world. Because Sullivan Barrera, the only top-rated contender to accept the challenge to face Artur, could not cross the Canadian border, we agreed to have this fight take place in the United States.
“We are convinced that the many Quebecers who still live in Florida, at this time, will come to support Artur, who has made Quebec the adopted home for him and his young family.”
The Beterbiev-Barrera winner will become the mandatory challenger for the IBF light heavyweight champion, who will have until September, at the latest, to face the winner.]GYM won the IBF-ordered purse bid Feb. 2 (2017), winning with a $201,000 (USD) bid to $181,000 for Barrera’s promoter, Main Events. Due to the 75-25 percentage advantage going to the highest ranked fighter, Beterview will earn $188,250 to $62,750 for Barrera.
Ward won the IBF, WBA and WBO light heavyweight titles with a 12-round unanimous decision win over Sergey Kovalev, November 19, 2017, in Las Vegas.
Beterbiev was impressive in his most recent outing, last December 23 at the Lac Leamy Casino in Gatineau, stopping Paraguayan slugger Isidro Ranoni Prieto (26-1-3) in opening round (2:44).
Barrera also displayed tremendous skills during his most recent performance, this poast Dec. 16 in California, shattering the previously undefeated Vyacheslav Shabrankyy (17-0-0), of Ukraine, with a spectacular TKO victory in the seventh round.
More details about Beterbiev vs. Barrera will be announced in the coming days.
Erislandy Lara Gains US Citizenship
WBA and IBO super-welterweight champion, Erislady “The American Dream” Lara, is truly living the American dream since he has now completed all the eligibility requirements to become a U.S citizen. Erislandy, along with his wife Yudi, took an oath of allegiance to the United States today, solidifying their citizenship.
Lara, who made his U.S. boxing debut in Primm, Nevada, in January of 2009, is elated about gaining his U.S. citizenship. He reflects on the long journey it took to become a U.S citizen.
“When I arrived in the United States in 2008, my main goal was to become a citizen of this great nation.” said Erislandy Lara. “It brings me great joy to know that I am now a legal citizen of the United States of America. It’s been a long journey to get where I’m at today, and I couldn’t have done it without my beautiful wife Yudi. Together, we fulfilled all the legal requirements that were mandated to become a U.S citizen.”
“Living in here in the States has been a tremendous blessing to me and my family.” Lara continued. “With hard work, and the help of many good people around me, I’ve been able to provide for my loved ones. My goal is to continue my boxing career with my core team, and someday, God willing, become a Boxing Hall of Famer.”
Internationally-Flavored Full Card Announced for Bute vs. Alvarez
A full card with an international flavor, from top to bottom, has been announced for this Friday (Feb. 24) night’s “BUTE VS ALVAREZ” major event at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
World Boxing Council (WBC) light heavyweight champion Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (21-0, 10 KOs), defends his title against former world super middleweight champion Lucian Bute (32-3-1, 25 KOs) in the 12-round main event that also serves as the final WBC eliminator to determine the mandatory challenger for WBC and lineal light heavyweight champion Adonis “Superman” Stevenson (28-1-0, 23 KOs). Alvarez, who lives in Montreal, was a Colombian Olympian and Laval, Canada resident Bute is a native of Romania. Stevenson, Alvarez and Bute are all promoted by GYM.
“This is an excellent overall boxing event and the result will have a significant impact on the career of all participants,” said the President of GYM, Yvon Michel.
“The Martel-Braidwood WBU heavyweight title fight has all the ingredients to be a barnburner, while the NABO middleweight fight may prove that Lafreniere deserve to be named, ‘The people champ’ because of his relentless attack style. Bute and Alvarez in the main event are putting their future on the line with this the most significant light heavyweight fight so far in 2017. The real winners are going to be the boxing fans, who appreciate the evenly matched fights and fighters ready to leave it all in the ring!”
Promoted by Groupe Yvon Michel (GYM) and Gestev, “BUTE VS ALVAREZ” is a presentation of Videotron and Mise-O-Jeu, at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
Integrated Sports Media will distribute “BUTE VS. ALVAREZ” live in the United States, starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, on cable, satellite and internet pay-per-view via iN Demand, Vubiquity, DIRECTV, DISH and the FITE app for a suggested retail price of only $29.95.
In Canada, “BUTE VS. ALVAREZ” will be available to watch, in English or French, on Canal Indigo, Shaw TV and Bell TV; English-only on Rodgers PPV, as well as in many of the top Canadian sports bars.
Outside of North America, “BUTE VS ALVAREZ” is being distributed by leading boxing television rights distribution firm, Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd.
In the 12-round co-feature, Canadian heavyweights Eric “The Hammer” Martel-Bahoeli (14-5-2, 8 KOs) and Adam “The Bogeyman” Braidwood (6-1, 5 KOs) will battle for the vacant World Boxing Union (WBU) title. A former Commonwealth & Canadian title challenger, Martel-Bahieli will be fighting at home in Quebec City. Braidwood, fighting out of British Colombian, is a former football player for Washington State University and in the Canadian Football League (CFL).
Popular Quebec super welterweight Sebastian Bouchard, a 2007 Canadian Championships silver medalist, takes on Mexican super welterweight champion Gustavo “Vitaminas” Garibay (13-7-2, 5 KOs) in an eight-round non-title fight.
International Boxing Federation (IBF) middleweight champion Francis Lafreniere (14-5-2, 8 KOs), also fighting out of Quebec, defends his 10-round bout against Mexican knockout artist Uriel “Big Bang” Gonzalez (15-1-1, 11 KOs). The vacant North American Boxing Organization (NABO) championship will also be the line for the Lefreniere vs. Willis confrontation.
In a pair of off-PPV fights, undefeated Montreal super middleweight Dario Bredidean (11-0, 3 KOs) faces Mexican invader Alejandro Torres (9-1-2, 4 KOs) in an eight-round match, while 2016 France Olympian Christian “Le Solide” M’Billi (1-0, 1 KO) is showcased in a four-round fight against Mexican super middleweight Jesus Olivares (5-3, 3 KOs).
Tickets for “BUTE VS. ALVAREZ” are on sale and available to purchase by going on line to www.Videotron.centrequebeccity.cpm/tickets and www.Ticketmaster.ca
Svensson Believes Time Is Right to Dethrone Pound for Pound Queen Braekhus
Klara Svensson (17-1, 5 KOs) believes the time is right for her to dethrone the reigning pound-for-pound number one Cecilia Brækhus (29-0, 8 KOs) when the Scandinavian stars meet for the Unified World Welterweight titles on Friday night at the Oslo Spektrum.
Svensson will enter the lion’s den to face Brækhus in front of her home fans in the Norwegian capital, where despite being the away fighter, ‘The Swedish Princess’ is confident she can upset the odds and secure a historic victory.
‘’This is something I’ve always wanted to do,’’ says Svensson. ‘’It’s not every day you get the chance to fight away from home on a massive show like this. So for me, it’s definitely not a negative to be fighting Cecilia on her home turf.
‘’I know she’s extremely popular in Norway, so I’m not expecting much of the attention to be on me, but I’m just here to do the business, and I’m going to take all of that energy and use it my advantage.
‘’I feel like a lot of people don’t really think that I have much of a chance, which is more motivating than anything for me, and I can’t wait to prove everyone wrong. I don’t think she’s faced anyone with my experience or background, so it’s going to be really different fight for her this time.
‘’There is definitely a sense of freedom for me. All the pressure is on Cecilia. The feeling of being the underdog is not something I have experienced for a long time and it’s a nice feeling actually.
‘‘In Oslo, we are going to see an upset. I’m going to upset the whole Norwegian population. I know everybody is really proud of Cecilia and her accomplishments, and so should they be, but she’s not going to stay undefeated on the 24th.
‘’I feel like there couldn’t possibly be a better timing for me. Three years ago I would have been too inexperienced, but now I’m ready. I’m not here just to here to challenge her, I’m here to hurt her and to take her titles.”
Svensson has been known to get fired up before fights. A bad-blooded build up to her Swedish showdown with Mikaela Laurén saw the Malmo boxer spank her opponent at the weigh-in.
Asked whether we can expect any altercations with Brækhus during next week’s media events, she said: ‘’I think that’s something you just take in the heat of the moment. You cannot plan these things, but we’ll see!’’
The Unified Female World Welterweight Championship contest between Cecilia Brækhus and Klara Svensson is available live and exclusive on Viaplay PPV. For more information please visit: http://www.viaplay.se/ppv
Junior Middleweight Prospect Daquan Arnett Partners with AC Sports Management
Daquan Arnett (15-1, 9 KO’s) has hired Adrian Clark, owner of AC Sports Management, LLC as his primary
representative. Arnett has been out of the ring for 15 month (and counting). He is counting on Clark to get the ball rolling and get his promising career on track.
“I know I am going to be world champion, its just a matter of when. Once an opportunity presents itself, I am going to take full advantage. Bringing on AC is a plus because of how young and ambitious he is. He works in the best interest of the fighters,” said Arnett
Clark, 30 of Dallas, Texas is known for his work with Jerry Belmontes, James de la Rosa, Will Tomlinson (Australia) and most recently, Willie Monroe Jr. He is also the author of the book, Protect Yourself at All Times: A Guide for Professional Boxers.
“Daquan is a world class fighter and a guy who understands the business of boxing. He will be in contention for something big by early next year. I am honored that he thought to hire me.”
Despite the lay-off, Daquan is still young (24 years old) and has stayed in the gym. He is now training in Dallas, TX with friend, Errol Spence Jr.
The fighting pride of Orlando (FL), Arnett was a decorated amateur and since turning pro in 2011, he has put together a solid resumè. In his last 8 fights, four of Arnett’s opponents were undefeated. The only loss of his career came in 2014 against Eddie Gomez.
Arnett is looking to make his return to the ring in April or May.
Erickson Lubin Media Workout Quotes
Undefeated rising star Erickson “Hammer” Lubin hosted media at his gym in his hometown of Orlando Thursday as he prepares to face once-beaten contender Jorge Cota Saturday, March 4 in a 12-round super welterweight world title eliminator on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING on CBS, presented by Premier Boxing Champions from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™.
Broadcast coverage begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and is headlined by the welterweight world title unification showdown between unbeaten fighters Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman.
Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, start at $50 (not including applicable fees) and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.
Here is what Lubin had to say Thursday:
“I haven’t stopped training since my last fight on December 10. We have been full throttle since.
“This is a big fight. It is a title eliminator. It is at Barclays Center. It is on CBS. You’ve got Danny Garcia and Keith Thurman in the main event. It is 12-rounds. This is definitely what I’ve dreamed of. This is the kind of opportunity that I’ve wanted. Getting to seize the moment. Going out there, dominating the fight and going on to become the mandatory challenger for the title.
“We always say that we aren’t training for the fight coming up, we’ve training for the title. I’ve prepared for this. To be the youngest world champion, we just saw Gervonta Davis do that and make history like that is a blessing. I can’t wait to go for that.
“The fans can expect straight fireworks. I am going to go out there and dominate the fight. A lot of fighters say they’re going to do something, but I am the type of guy that says it and lives up to it. March 4 fans definitely want to tune in.
[On the “Hammer” ring name] “There are hammers in my hands. They punish and do damage. A hammer with fireworks is dangerous isn’t it?
“It is my first time fighting in Brooklyn. I expect a lot of stars to be there. A lot of people having their eyes on me. I am expecting to become the mandatory for the belt and for everyone to know my name.
“2017 is a big year. To be in this position right now is a great start for the year and to become a mandatory challenger is bigger and becoming a world champion is the biggest. I want to be undisputed.”
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