Boxing Insider Notebook: Golovkin, Canelo, De La Hoya, Pacquiao, Roach, Shumenov, and more…
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of June 20th to June 27th covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Golovkin and Canelo Conclude International Press Tour with Hollywood Red Carpet Affair
Lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion Canelo Alvarez (49-1-1, 34 KOs) and WBC/IBO/IBF/WBA Middleweight World Champion Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (37-0, 33 KOs) today closed out their international press tour with a red carpet film premiere for “I am Boxing” at the AVALON Hollywood that included a Q&A panel hosted by Mario Lopez. Canelo vs. Golovkin are set to clash on Saturday, September 16 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View®.
Below is what the fighters and their promoters had to say on the press tour:
CANELO ALVAREZ, Lineal and RING Magazine Middleweight World Champion:
“This is going to be a very tough fight against Golovkin. There are fights that are difficult, and this is one of them. I’m going to prepare like I always do at 100 percent.
“I’m happy we are giving the fans the fight they wanted and demanded on September 16 as that is a great motivation to me. This is a very important fight to all of Mexican fans, and I am going to train as hard as I always do.”
GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN, WBC/IBO/IBF/WBA Middleweight World Champion:
“This press tour has been going great, I’ve been waiting 20 years to be in a fight like this. Canelo is a different guy than anyone I have every faced. He is a huge fighter and a great champion. On September 16, we will both put on a great boxing show.”
OSCAR DE LA HOYA, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions:
“Canelo vs. Golovkin is the type of fight that deserves the spotlight and we are getting that. I am pleased to debut a film, ‘I Am Boxing’ highlighting the middleweight division leading up to this historic showdown with Canelo and Gennady, and I am very proud to have been an executive producer on the film.
“On September 16, Canelo vs. Golovkin will deliver and then some. This is a real middleweight fight between two fighters who have been boxing their entire lives and something the fans really called for, and I believe will end in a knockout.”
TOM LOEFFLER for GGG Promotions:
“There has been such a great response to this fight, and it doesn’t get any bigger than this with the two best middleweights fighting each other.
“These two superstars have a huge international fan base and when you put them both together-the event becomes much bigger. It was harder to make the deal secret than it was to keep it-everyone was taken by surprise and social media was really trending.
“When the training camp video comes out, the hype will keep building and building once everyone sees these fighters in their prime. Team Gennady feels very confident as does Canelo-both fighters wouldn’t take the fight if they thought they wouldn’t win.”
BERNARD HOPKINS, Future Hall of Famer and Golden Boy Promotions Business Partner:
“I expect fireworks in this fight come September 16, but I also look at the fans, and see that this is what they want. This is a fight worthy of a red carpet because they are two future champions-and I believe two future Hall of Famers.
“I feel that Canelo’s versatility will be very important come September, as will ‘GGG’s’ power and knockout ratio. Everyone should be aware, but not scared, as this fight has all the makings of a perfect recipe for a great fight.”
Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach Workout Quotes
Manny Pacquiao (59-6-2) and Freddie Roach recently held a media workout in Australia as they prepare to face title challenger Jeff Horn (16-0-1). They will fight on Saturday night live on ESPN in the United States.
Below are some quotes from the workout:
MANNY PACQUIAO: “We have a really good plan for this fight. We worked hard in training camp both in Manila and in General Santos City. I’m totally focused for this fight. I am not looking past this fight because at this point in my career, every fight is the most important. There are no tomorrows if I don’t win today.
“Jeff Horn is OK. I’ve watched video of his fights. He brings a lot of action into the ring.
“I know what he is feeling. I remember everything about my first world title fight.
“Being a senator and training for a fight is hard. It takes discipline and time management. Luckily, the Senate has been in recess for the past few weeks and I have been able to focus on training for my world title fight.
“A Senator’s job is to defend his people … to fight for their rights.
“I know Jeff Horn used to be a teacher. In the ring, I’m a teacher too.
“I am ready for Jeff to come out and be aggressive. If he does that it will be a great fight for the fans.
“The biggest crowd I ever fought in front of was at Cowboys Stadium against Joshua Clottey. I’m told this could be bigger [51,000+]. I am very excited for doing that, even though they may not be rooting for me. I am also very happy that ESPN will be televising it live.to the U.S. Now everyone can see it. It’s good for boxing.”
FREDDIE ROACH: “Manny is a performer. He loves people, loves a big audience. Brisbane has all that for this fight. He’ll be fighting in front of the biggest crowd of his career.
“Not everyone gets the opportunity to fight for a world title. It was always my dream but I never fought for one. It’s a big deal. Jeff Horn earned this opportunity. He is the WBO’s mandatory challenger.
“Manny gave me 110% in training camp. He always does. No one works harder in the gym. The difference in this camp from recent ones has been his aggression. He’s scored several knockdowns and I haven’t seen that in years. He has kept his foot on the pedal throughout, even when he’s had a sparring partner in trouble. After his ring work he is singing and dancing – not well – but that’s not the point. He is really hungry to make a statement in this fight against Horn. He’s even playing Shakira during his workouts again and he hasn’t done that in years.”
Two Time World Champion Beibut Shumenov Retires Due to Severe Eye Injury
Two-division World Boxing Association (WBA) World Champion Beibut Shumenov has relinquished his WBA cruiserweight world title, due to his career-ending eye injury, and he has announced his retirement from the ring.
“I have regrettably relinquished my WBA cruiserweight title and retired from boxing because of a traumatic eye injury suffered the week before my last scheduled fight,” Shumenov said from his Las Vegas home. “I’m extremely disappointed my boxing career has ended like this but, unfortunately, injuries are part of this sport and there’s nothing I can do about it. I still have blurred vision and I need to have an additional surgery next month to try to further repair so I don’t risk blindness in my (right) eye.
“I’d like to thank my family, my team throughout the years, friends and fans for their continued support all these years. I was proud to wear the WBA championship belt for many years as a two-division champion. I’m grateful to WBA President Gilberto Jesus Mendoza, his father, and all those in my WBA family. It was quite a ride and I look forward with great anticipation to the next chapter of my life with my son and future endeavors.”
Shumenov (17-2, 11 KOs), a 2004 Kazakhstan Olympian, was scheduled to face Interim WBA champion Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs) in the April 29th main event of Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes, from Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas.
During his last slated sparring sessions, Shumenov suffered an eye injury that required immediate surgery, forcing him to withdraw from his April 29 fight against Dorticos.
Earlier this month, the WBA received a letter from Shumenov’s eye surgeon, Dr. Kent L. Wellish, who wrote the following: “Mr. Beibut Shumenov has a serious ocular issue, a recurrent corneal erosion of his right eye, that with continued fighting, puts him at risk for permanently losing his eyesight.
“It is my medical opinion that he should permanently refrain from sparring, training and boxing due to the severity of damage to his eye and the high risk of further damage of vision impairment, including the possibility of permanent vision loss.”
The WBA accepted Shumenov’s relinquishment of his championship, noting that it expressed its gratitude and pride for his professional career with the WBA.
The last three years of Shumenov’s career was marred by inactivity, in which he fought only three times due to lack of managerial support, despite him training daily, in top shape and always being ready to fight. In fact, he sparred almost 400 rounds since his last fight (May 21, 2016) in anticipation of, first, a unification fight with Denis Lebedev and then for his fight versus Dorticos. Neither happened, however, as boxing politics enabled Lebedev to avoid fighting Shumenov, who defeated BJ Flores and then Junior Anthony Wright in back-to-back WBA elimination fights to be Lebedev’s mandatory challenger.
Even Shumenov’s mandatory fight against Dorticos was unnecessarily delayed because Dorticos’ promoter, Caribe Promotions, defaulted its right to promote the fight it had won by purse bid, followed by continuous and numerous date changes from February to March until finally landing on April 29.
The 33-year-old Shumenov retires as the first and only two-division world champion to date from Kazakhstan, as well as the record-holder for fewest fights needed to win the world light heavyweight championship, 10.
During his 9 1/2 -year pro career, Shumenov defeated four world champions – Gabriel Campillo, Byron Mitchell, William Joppy and Montell Griffin – as well as world title challengers Epifanio Mendoza, Vlacheslav Uzelkov, Danny Santiago, Enrique Ornelas, Tamas Kovacs, BJ Flores and Junior Wright.
Taras Shelestyuk Tests Unblemished Record on July 1st
Thompson Boxing Promotions heads to Northern California on Friday, July 1st to promote its first show in Sacramento starring unbeaten, Olympic bronze medalist Taras ‘The Real Deal” Shelestyuk (15-0, 9 KOs).
The highly ranked Shelestyuk (WBO No. 5) faces fellow welterweight Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-2, 11 KOs) in the “Locked n’ Loaded” 8-round main event from Omega Products International, an outdoor venue.
Shelestyuk vs. Rodriguez and the entire 8-bout card will be streamed live on TB Presents: Locked n’ Loaded. Watch the action on ThompsonBoxing.com and Facebook Live beginning at 7:45 p.m. PST / 10:45 p.m. EST.
Tickets for “Locked n’ Loaded” are priced at $40, $60, & $100 and are available for purchase online at ThompsonBoxing.com, or by calling 714-935-0900.
Shelestyuk, 31, is coming off a unanimous decision win against Jaime Herrera in November. The fight, televised on SHOWTIME, had championship implications with Shelestyuk winning the WBO-NABO welterweight title.
The Ukrainian-born Shelestyuk, who now lives and trains in Los Angeles, had a decorated amateur career punctuated by winning a bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
“I’m excited to fight in Sacramento,” said Shelestyuk, who is promoted by Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. “I’ve been in the gym all year and can’t wait to put on a show next week.”
In the co-feature, standout amateur Ruben Villa (5-0, 3 KOs) of Salinas, Calif. looks to stay undefeated against Gino De La Paz (2-1, 1 KO) in a fight set for 6-rounds.
Villa has all the tools to become the next world champion at featherweight. He cleaned up the amateur ranks with back-to-back National Golden Gloves championships prior to turning professional last year. He inked a promotional contract with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions last July and has been busy since then.
“I love being active,” said Villa, who is managed by Danny Zamora. “That was one of the main selling points in signing with Thompson Boxing and Banner Promotions. They assured me that I would be fighting frequently. I’m ready to get another win on my resume.”
“We are looking forward to a great night for Taras and Ruben,” said Artie Pelullo, President of Banner Promotions. “Taras is on the cusp of big fights, and with a win over a tough fighter like Rodriguez should prepare him for that. As for Ruben, he is coming along great, and on July 1st, he will yet again show why he is the one of the top prospects in Boxing.”
Diego De La Hoya to Defend Title Against Alan Luques
Undefeated fighter and steady rocket in the super bantamweight division, current WBC Youth World Super Bantamweight Champion Diego De La Hoya (18-0, 9 KOs) will travel to South America to defend his title against Argentinian Alan “El Lumbriz” Luques (21-6, 9 KOs) in a 10- round main event that will take place in Complejo La Pedrera in de Villa Mercedes, San Luis, Argentina. Doors open at the 7:00 p.m. ART, with televised bouts going live on DirecTV Sports in Argentina beginning at 8:00 p.m. ART.
Diego will be returning to the ring after a solid victory against Erik Ruiz before a sold-out crowd in Tucson, Arizona this past May in a slugfest that went the distance. Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions Oscar De La Hoya will make the journey of a thousand- plus- miles to watch his talented cousin defend his WBC Youth title ringside as the special VIP guest of the night. Also in attendance as a VIP will be WBA Inter-Continental and WBO International welterweight champion Lucas “La Maquina” Mattysse.
“I know it, and Diego knows it – every fighter wants to beat a De La Hoya,” said Oscar De La Hoya. “It takes hunger and passion for boxing that motivates him to travel across the world to demonstrate he just won’t be messed with. Diego will come home with a victory and new Argentinian fans who will be impressed by his Mexican speed and power.”
“I’m excited to be fighting in San Luis, Argentina,” said Diego De La Hoya. “The Argentinian fans have been very supportive of my career on social media and I can’t wait to put on a great show for them in person. Thank you Mr. Arano, GBP and my manager Joel De La Hoya for this opportunity and chance to make new fans.”
“It’s a great opportunity for me to fight with such a sky-rocketing figure like Diego de la Hoya and to top it all of my idol Oscar De La Hoya will be present in the stadium,” said Alan Luques. “I will prepare like never before to take advantage of the opportunity before me and I want to thank Golden Boy and Arano Box. I will give all of me.”
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