By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 26th to September 2nd, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Collazo Decisions Sanchez
Luis Collazo (34-5) took on Alan Sanchez (12-3-1) in the welterweight division at Cowboys Dancehall in San Antonio, Texas in the second installment of the Fox Sports 1 collaboration with Golden Boy Promotions. The veteran Collazo easily cruised to a rather uneventful decision with scores of 99-91, 98-92, and 97-93.
On the undercard Raul Martinez (30-3) defeated Daniel Quevado (13-14-3) by a fifth round TKO and former Olympian Rau’shee Warren (7-0) beat Omar Gonzalez (6-10) by decision with scores of 60-49, 60-49, and 60-61. Gonzales was knocked down twice in the opening round and twice in the sixth round.
Hernandez Knocks Out Kakutani
Adrian Hernandez (28-2-1) took on Atushi Kakutani (13-4-1) on Saturday night in Mexico City. Hernandez was knocked down in the first round but was able to get right back up. Even though Kakutani was outclassed on paper he put up a good fight and fought toe to toe with the champion. Kakutani took some serious punishment and was knocked down three times in the fourth round before the fight was called off at 1:12.
Will Alvarez Be the One to Defeat Mayweather?
If Canelo Alvarez is awestruck by the prospect of trying to do something that no one else has done – defeat pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather – he doesn’t show it.
Canelo maintained the same cool, calm expression throughout a nine-city press tour to promote “THE ONE: Mayweather vs. Canelo” – the highly anticipated, super welterweight world championship pay-per-view showdown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday, Sept. 14. It was the look of a man who is never hurried and never worried. All business.
Is Canelo “THE ONE?”
Can he succeed where so many other superb boxers have failed? Can he not only be the first fighter to defeat Mayweather, but also the first of Mexican descent? Mayweather’s Mexican foes include such notables as Jose Luis “Temible” Castillo, Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez, Jesus “Matador” Chavez, Genaro “Chicanito” Hernandez and Oscar De La Hoya.
De La Hoya thinks so. De La Hoya lost a split 12-round decision to Mayweather in a record-setting pay-per-view event in 2007. One judge scored it as a victory for De La Hoya. That is as close as anyone has come to dethroning Mayweather in the last decade.
“For one thing, youth is on his side,” De La Hoya said of the 23-year-old Canelo, who hails from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. “But the real advantage will be the intelligence. People will also be surprised with his speed.”
Canelo, a redhead with matinee idol looks, is the No. 1 boxing attraction in Mexico. He is on the cusp of joining the same club as Mexican boxing legends like Carlos “Cañas” Zarate, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Marco Antonio “The Baby Faced Assassin” Barrera and Erik “El Terrible” Morales. A victory over Mayweather would cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats in Mexican boxing history.
Canelo said he started watching Mayweather in his fights with Jose Luis “Temible” and Diego “Chico” Corrales in 2001 and 2002. He really took notice when Mayweather fought De La Hoya in 2007.
Who was he rooting for in that match?
“Oscar, of course,” he said with a laugh.
Canelo now has De La Hoya as his mentor. He said he will lean on De La Hoya to get information on what makes Mayweather uncomfortable in the ring. De La Hoya, who had a good strategy against Mayweather, said he will keep repeating three letters to Canelo – J-A-B. It was something De La Hoya couldn’t do consistently because he had a torn left rotator cuff in their fight in 2007.
Canelo won’t be coming in with any such aliments, and if he follows De La Hoya’s advice, he could turn the tables on Mayweather. Plus, Canelo doesn’t believe that he’s too inexperienced for Mayweather at this time.
“I’m very young, but I’m experienced as well,” said Canelo, who has fought in 43 fights (42-0-1 with 30 KO’s). “I’ve been learning the last couple of years. The position that I’m in right now, Mayweather was once in [when Mayweather was learning and growing as a fighter].”
Mayweather has conquered every boxer of Mexican heritage that has been put in front of him. Jesus “Matador” Chavez, who was 29 at the time that Mayweather upended him for the WBC junior lightweight title, and Castillo, who was 28 when Mayweather twice defeated him for the WBC lightweight title.
Mayweather’s storied career started after he defeated “Chicanito” Hernandez to capture his first world title, the WBC super featherweight world championship; Hernandez retired from boxing after the loss. Mayweather fought Juan Manuel “Dinamita” Marquez and dominated him en route to a 12-round decision. He also edged De La Hoya for the WBC 154-pound title, while breaking the pay-per-view record in the history of the sport.
Golovkin vs. Stevens Tickets Presale
World Championship Boxing returns to the Theater at Madison Square Garden as the sport’s fastest rising superstar Gennady “GGG” Golovkin defends his WBA and IBO Middleweight World Titles against Curtis Stevens. The presale starts today and ends on Wednesday, September 4th at 11:00 am. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.theateratmsg.com/content/msg/theateratmsg/events/promos/PREMSG3.html by using the code premsg.
Frank Warren, Bill Ives and Queensbury Promotions Announce Formation of Super Promotional Venture
It was announced today that Frank Warren, Britain’s leading boxing promoter, his sons George and Francis’ company Queensberry Promotions and Bill Ives, one of Britain’s leading businessmen, have signed an exclusive agreement to create a powerful, new, promotional organisation. The combination of the promotional powerhouse that is Frank Warren and the business acumen and financial investment of steel tycoon Bill Ives is designed to take boxing promotion in the UK to a new level.
Mr. Warren, an inductee in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, has been responsible for promoting many of the world’s best boxers and their highest profile contests. Mr. Ives is the Chairman and principal of Rainham Steel, the UK’s foremost independent steel stockholder. He regularly features in the Sunday Times Rich List as one of the country’s most successful businessmen.
The background to this new partnership is a growing demand for high profile international boxing contests. With live sporting events becoming more and more valuable around the world, and boxing being one of the leading global sports, Queensberry Promotions, Mr. Warren and Mr. Ives intend to stage large scale boxing matches featuring the major superstars of the sport to live audiences around the world.
The Warrens and Mr. Ives are already business partners in BoxNation, the home of boxing on television in the UK. Launched as a pay service in December 2011, BoxNation is available on Sky channel 437 and Virgin channel 546 in all 13m pay-TV homes in Britain as well as online and on mobile. BoxNation will be the primary outlet for the Queensberry Promotions events and the partners believe that this will accelerate the growth of the channel, which has already proved highly popular and has a large and growing customer base.
The Warrens and Mr. Ives believe that boxing will benefit greatly from their new partnership. In the same way that the Premier League opened up football to a new wave of investment, so the creation of this joint venture can take boxing to the next level of popularity and exposure.
Frank Warren said, “I’m looking forward to this exciting new venture with Bill and my sons. We have in place a fantastic team with great boxers and with this significant investment we will continue to develop the best young talent into champions and household names and stage the biggest events. As a result of this new partnership, and due to the substantial amounts of money being owed to W. Promotions, I will now place W. Promotions into voluntary administration.”
Pascal, Alvarez, and Lemieux on September 28th Stevenson-Cloud Card in Montreal
GYM recently confirmed the Sept. 28th participation of the former WBC light heavyweight, The Ring Magazine and linear world light heavyweight champion, Jean Pascal (22-2-1, 16 KOs), against George “Honey Boy” Blades (23-4-2, 16 KOs). WBC #2-rated Pascal will be fighting for the first time since defeating Aleksy Kuziemski in December, 2012.
“There is no doubt that Pascal’s participation will add interest to the event,” GYM president Yvon Michel said. “After consulting with all closely involved with Jean, we have come to the conclusion that his presence on the September 28 event would not only benefit hi career, but also provide optimal preparation for his mega-fight against Lucian Bute on January 18th. The benefits gained by his presence in the ring far outweighs the potential risks.”
The 39-year-old Blades has been boxing professionally since 1999. From 1999 to 2007, he won 20 of his first 22 pro fights to become a world contender. In June 2007, he got a world championship opportunity against World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Zsolt Erdei (26-0-0), who stopped Blades in the 11th round of their world title fight in Hungary. Blades has won his last two fights, most recently at home in Indiana against James Morrow (12-19-3).
Another world light heavyweight contender from Montreal fighting on the Sept. 28 event, North American Boxing Association (NABA) and North American Boxing Organization (NABO) champion, Eleider “Storm” Alvarez (12-0-0, 8 KOs), rated No. 4 by the World Boxing Association (WBA) and No. 7 by the WBO, faces fellow Colombian Edison “Pantera” Miranda (35-8-0, 30 KOs).
Alvarez won his last three fights by knockout, the last two against world-rated challengers Danny McIntosh and Nicholson Poulard. He is seeking a world championship fight in the short term against explosive WBO champion Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KOs). Miranda is a dangerous puncher who, after an early meteoric rise in which he had two unsuccessful world title shots, seeks to revive his career. According to his promoter, Leon Margules, Miranda is doubling in training regiment: “Edison is 32 years old and he is aware that he must absolutely win Sept. 28 because it is his last chance. For that reason he is training in Florida with more determination than ever. Because Alvarez and Miranda are both Colombians, their fight is so much more personal, passionate and emotional for both warriors.”
Another fighter waiting to explode Sept. 28 on the international scene is young middleweight David Lemieux (29-2-0, 28 KOs), who is now ranked WBC #14 and IBF #15. His opponent isupset-minded Marcus Upshaw (15-10-2, 7 KOs), who is well known in Quebec for defeating Renan St-Juste in Quebec City in 2010. “Standing 6′ 4” and with his style, it is possible that David looks bad at times, but this is the kind of strong and complicated opponent that will allow David to grow,” noted Lemieux’ trainer Marc Ramsay. Lemieux has won his last four fights by knockout, fighting a total of only six rounds during this stretch.
Antonin Decarie’s (27-2-0, 7 KOs ) last two fights aired on HBO and, despite losing his last fight to Argentinian Carlos Abregu (35-1-0, 28 KOs), the 30-year-old Decarie showed the right stuff to evolve into a world title contender, proving the WBC #11 welterweight still has a very promising career. Decarie has also been selected to represent North America in the WBC’s international World Cup tournament scheduled to start in late 2013. In an eight-round, stay busy fight on Sept. 28, Decarie will meet Belgian Cedrik Spera (10-2-0, 2KOs).
The IBF I / C, NABA welterweight contender and IBF # 3 ranked Kevin Bizier (20-0-0, 14 KOs) will also be in action Sept. 28 after fully recovering from a painful ankle sprain. His opponent will be announced shortly. Bizier be one of the main headliners of an event GYM plans to present in Quebec City in November.
Gary Shaw Productions featherweight contender, Australia’s Joel Brunker (27-0, 15 KOs), feels he’s ready to challenge any of the champions in his division. Currently undefeated, Brunker has been steadily climbing up the rankings in all sanctioning organizations. Brunker is rated No. 4 WBO, No. 6 IBF, No. 13 WBA, and No. 15 WBC respectively.
“I’m ready to fight for a world title,” said Brunker. “I’ve fought many styles as I worked my way up the rankings. In those fights I’ve gained a lot of experience. My skills have enhanced tremendously and I feel confident in my ability to capture a world title.
Known for his vicious body attack, promoter Gary Shaw believes Brunker has the style to beat any of the current champions.
“Joel Brunker is a tremendous fighter.” Shaw said. “He’s improved immensity in the last few years. He’s got a great chin and he’s a powerful puncher. His body shots wear down his opponents and I feel he’s ready to take his career to the next level. I’ll be talking with my co-promoter Ace Boxing’s Angelo DiCarlo to see what we can do to get Brunker a title shot. He’s ready.”
Brunker hosts his training camps in Las Vegas where he’s been getting great sparring for his fights. The move has given him extra confidence.