T-Mobile Arena to Host Middleweight Unification Fight Between Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs
T-Mobile Arena will host the biggest boxing event of the year as Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) defends his WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Titles in a 12-round unification fight against IBF Middleweight World Champion Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) during the celebratory weekend of Cinco de Mayo. The champion-vs.-champion event will take place Saturday, May 4 and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Ticket information for the event will be announced shortly along with an exciting, action-packed undercard.
“I’m excited to return to T-Mobile Arena for a fifth time,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I inaugurated this arena to boxing at an international level, and it’s a place where I have had some of my biggest fights. This fight against Daniel Jacobs will not be the exception. I am ready to capture another world title in front of a packed house, listening to the unconditional support of the fans in attendance, and also for those who will watch this fight through the screens of a huge platform in DAZN. I want it so when people talk about T-Mobile Arena, they say that is where Canelo Alvarez fights.”
Daniel Jacobs said, “I’m thrilled that this huge night has landed in Las Vegas. I made my debut there in 2007, but I haven’t boxed there for nearly nine years. Scheduling the biggest fight of my career at T-Mobile Arena is the perfect occasion to return to the bright lights and shine on a massive stage. Canelo is a champion and he’s fought the best so it’s an honor for me to face him, and of course it’s a brilliant fight for the fans. But my legacy is on the line and I have a lot to gain – I want to be a hall of famer one day, and this is the sort of fight that will get me there.”
Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions, said, “Fights of this magnitude have a home, and that home is Las Vegas. Ever since Canelo Alvarez introduced T-Mobile Arena to boxing fans, he has hosted his biggest fights there. On May 4, we expect a full house of fans from all over the world to watch Canelo capture another world title with a great victory over Daniel Jacobs in a mega-fight that will be streamed exclusively live via the global sports streaming giant, DAZN.”
Eddie Hearn,Managing Director of Matchroom Sport, said, “I’m delighted that this brilliant fight is heading to Las Vegas. We know that Canelo’s fights there on Cinco De Mayo weekend are always special, and with the size of this fight, this could be the biggest yet. Daniel has been on an impressive run since signing with Matchroom Boxing USA, and has risen to the occasion, taken three unbeaten records in his last three fights and regained his world champion status. May 4 is such a huge night for Daniel, Matchroom Boxing USA, DAZN and Sky Sports – and I believe that Daniel will unify the titles under the bright lights of Vegas and his remarkable story will have yet another incredible chapter.”
Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP, North America, said, “It’s about time DAZN landed in Las Vegas. The vibrant atmosphere and high-profile crowds surrounding Canelo fights at T-Mobile Arena are truly unique. We look forward to spotlighting that environment for all those watching at home live on DAZN.”
Richard Sturm, President of Las Vegas Sports & Entertainment, said, “We are proud to celebrate Cinco de Mayo weekend with our partners at Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Sport and DAZN. Canelo Alvarez and Daniel Jacobs, two of the sport’s top fighters, are certain to deliver boxing fans worldwide a sensational event on the biggest stage live from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.”
Canelo vs. Jacobs is a 12-round fight for the WBC, WBA, Lineal, Ring Magazine and IBF Middleweight World Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on DAZN.
Top Rank Boxing on ESPN Results: Kovalev Defeats Alvarez
By: Hans Themistode
Whenever a fighter tells both the fans and media that he has changed they are mostly hollow words.
For Sergey Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) however they were the absolute truth as he turned in one of the very best performances of his career as he defeated Eleider Alvarez (24-1, 12 KOs) by unanimous decision tonight. The scorecards read 120-108 and two scores of 116-112 all in favor of Kovalev who recaptured the WBO Light Heavyweight title that he had lost to Alvarez just last year.
The match started off with Kovalev boxing well from the outside and tagging Alvarez with hard shots. There was a bit of a deja vu feeling as Kovalev was just as dominant in their first meeting before Alvarez managed to hurt and stop him. This time around Kovalev was able to put together a full performance throughout the course of 12 rounds.
At no point did Kovalev try to stop Alvarez. Instead he used his superior boxing abilities to win a tactical fight. The problems that Kovalev has seemingly had in the past with his gas tank was not evident in this fight as he closed the bout strong. Alvarez had very few moments of success as he spent much of the contest coming forward but not throwing many punches.
Kovalev through 816 punches to only 369 for Alvarez. He also out landed him by over 100 punches, 213 to 111. It was a dominant showing for Kovalev who managed to pick up the victory and claim his status as a champion once again.
For those that wrote off the Krusher and dismissed his chances at winning were sorely mistaken. It seems as though he still has plenty left in the tank and is still a major force in the division.
Richard Commey (28-2, 25 KOs) absolutely destroyed Isa Chaniev (13-2, 6 KOs) by second round knockout to secure his first world title claiming the vacant IBF Lightweight title.
From the opening bell both men came out throwing heavy leather. It was Commey who managed to land the harder punches throughout the round but not without taking a few massive hits of his own. It was a back and forth round that could have went to either man until Commey landed a monster shot that sent Chaniev to the canvas. Although he managed to get back to his feet he seemed unstable and in major trouble. Chaniev was able to make through the round and was hoping to reset and turn things around in the second round. Commey however wouldn’t allow his man to get himself in to the fight.
As the second frame of the contest started he jumped all over Chaniev and was able to land another knockdown. Once again Chaniev showed major heart in getting back to his feet but from their Commey went in for the kill as he landed several hard shots upstairs which forced the referee to step in and stop the contest before Chaniev was able to sustain anymore punishment.
For Commey this win meant everything to him. After failing to bring home the title against former champion Robert Easter Jr in 2016 he was able to win the biggest fight of his career. After the fight Commey was extremely grateful and overjoyed with his performance tonight.
“This means everything to me. It means everything for my career.” Said Commey during his post fight interview.
Although Commey is officially a champion and will celebrate his dominate win tonight there is a huge elephant in the room. That elephant is named Vasyl Lomachenko. It comes to no ones surprise that Lomachenko was scheduled to face the winner of this bout. Now that Commey has come away with the victory he will now face arguably the number one fighter on the pound-for-pound list. Commey was asked about Lomachenko after the fight but only wanted to focus on his major victory here tonight.
“At this moment I just want to enjoy this belt and see what happens but at the moment I’m happy that I won this title and I want to enjoy my belt.”
Commey was dominant tonight but so was reigning WBO champion Oscar Valdez (25-0, 20 KOs) as he returned from a lengthy break to defend his title against Carmine Tommasone (19-1, 5 KOs).
Valdez showed little ring rust in his return from almost a year out of action as he was recovering from a broken jaw. Tommasone did his best to keep the aggressive Valdez off him as he popped out a stiff jab all night. Valdez did a terrific job of cutting off the ring and hitting Tommasone with hard shots. In round four Valdez landed a right hand that sent his opponent down to the canvas. Tommasone beat the count and made it back to his feet but was again knocked down in the round, this time courtesy of a body shot. Tommasone found a way to get through the round and actually boxed well in the fifth round.
The sixth round however was a completely different story as Tommasone once again found himself looking up at the lights as the champion knocked him down. Tommasone showcased his heart tonight as he continued to stand up and fight. The seventh round is where the champion closed the show as he landed a right upper cut that put his man on the canvas for the fourth and final time. After the fight Valdez made it clear that he wanted to move on too much bigger fights ahead.
“Let’s move on, I want bigger and better things.” Said Valdez.
As for his once broken jaw Valdez assured everyone that the jaw wouldn’t be an issue. “ I know that the jaw is 100 percent ready for whoever.” Valdez has fought a murderous row of competition in his career. This fight was essentially a tune up. We can all expect him to take on a tougher assignment in his next bout.
We may have had three world champions on this card but we could all be witnessing the making of a future champion in Teofimo Lopez (12-0, 10 KOs). The 2018 ESPN prospect of the year scored yet another highlight reel knockout victory over veteran Diego Magdaleno (31-3, 13 KOs).
At no point in this contest was this a competitive fight as Lopez dominated from start to finish. The difference in hand speed and power was glaring as Lopez hit Magdaleno with shot after shot. Round after round Lopez dished out a vicious beating. Magdaleno deserves all the credit in the world for withstanding the punishment for as long as he did.
In round six Lopez came out very aggressive with the intentions of ending the night early. A left hook sent Magdaleno crumpling to the canvas. He some how picked himself up off the floor and continued to fight valiantly. Round seven saw Lopez close the show as he unleashed two vicious left hands that sent Magdaleno straight to the canvas. The referee put a halt to the savage beating and ended the match.
Every contest that took place tonight was terrific but it was Teofimo Lopez who stole the show.
Top Rank Boxing Preview: Kovalev vs. Alvarez
By: Hans Themistode
It will be a night of champions as three world title holders will be looking to defend their crowns this Saturday night in the Ford Center at The Star in Texas. Before these champions grace the boxing ring, the ESPN prospect of the year in 2018 and quite possibly a future world champion in his own right will be looking to keep his undefeated record intact.
Teofimo Lopez (11-0, 9 KOs) is coming off a highlight reel level knockout win in his last bout against Mason Menard in the very first round. The knockout was seen all across the world as various networks could not stop showing the impressive stoppage win. He will no doubt be looking to make another statement this Saturday night. Lopez will be standing across the ring from his toughest opponent to date in Diego Magdaleno (31-2, 13 KOs).
At age 32 Magdaleno has the opportunity to stop the hype train that is currently behind Lopez dead in its tracks. Defeating Lopez won’t be easy but he does have the experience advantage to give the young up and comer plenty of issues. Magdaleno is after all a two time title challenger, losing both of his chances at gold against Roman Martinez in 2013 and Terry Flanagan in 2015.
Although he came up short in those contests the thought is that he can use those experiences to overcome the very dangerous but also inexperienced Teofimo Lopez come Saturday night. If Lopez plans to one day soon fight for a Lightweight title then he will need to dispatch of Magdaleno in impressive fashion.
Speaking of Lightweight titles both Richard Commey (27-2, 24 KOs) and Isa Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) will be battling it out for the vacant IBF Lightweight title on the card as well. For Commey this will be his second crack at a world title as he fought former champion Robert Easter Jr to a split decision loss back in 2016. Following that loss Commey again lost another close decision this time at the hands of Denis Shafikov. Since those defeats Commey has bounced back in a big way winning three bouts in a row with two of those wins coming by stoppage.
Commey has shown to be a devastating puncher throughout his career and will need every ounce of that power when he battles Isa Chaniev. Although he isn’t well known Chaniev is a resilient boxer and one that has upset the applecart before. He has only lost one time in his career in 2017 against Fedor Papazov. Since then he has rattled off three straight victories which has placed him in the position he is in today battling for a world title.
As those Commey and Chaniev battle to get their first world title, Oscar Valdez (24-0, 19 KOs) will be making the fifth defense of his WBO Featherweight world title. This will be the first time we will be seeing Valdez in the ring since his fight of the year candidate bout against Scott Quigg in March last year.
Although Valdez managed to bring him the victory in that bout it cost him a hefty price as he suffered a broken jaw and has since been out of action for 11 months. He won’t be exactly taking on a soft touch in his first fight back as he will be matched up against the undefeated Carmine Tommasone (19-0, 5 KOs).
For Tommasone this is an opportunity of a life time. He won’t be given much of a shot to win but he is a good boxer that has fought respectable opposition. Tommasone has also picked up several smaller regional titles such as the EBU Featherweight title and the WBA Inter-Continental title as well. This will be his first shot at a world title and will be looking to take full advantage of this moment.
Headlining the card will be a rematch between former unified Light Heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) and the man that unseated him last year for his WBO crown Eleider Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs).
In the their first contest it was Kovalev who seemed to be in control for much of the fight, landing plenty of hard shots and keeping his opponent off balance. To Alvarez credit however he never was truly hurt and kept pressing forward. Kovalev has stopped plenty of his opponents with those same shots he was hitting Alvarez with but he would not be deterred.
In round seven Alvarez was rewarded for his ability to keep pressing forward when he scored a trio of knockdowns. The first shot was an overhand right landed by Alvarez to the temple of Kovalev that took his legs away and knocked him down the mat. The second knockdown occurred when Alvarez landed a combination upstairs with a left hook followed by a right hand that saw Kovalev again hit the mat. The third and final knockdown was an overhand right followed by a left upper cut which saw Kovalev crumple again to the floor which forced the referee to stop the fight again. After the fight it was revealed that Kovalev was winning on all three scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
Both men have been on record saying that the rematch will play out much differently. Will Kovalev be able to regain his world title that was snatched away from him and prove that he is still a major player in the division or will Alvarez win in more emphatic fashion this time around?
We will all get the answers to these questions come Saturday night.
Canelo Alvarez to Face Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs in Middleweight Unification Bout
Boxing’s biggest star will take a step closer to becoming undisputed champion as Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) defends his WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Titles in a 12-round unification fight against IBF Middleweight World Champion Daniel “Miracle Man” Jacobs (35-2, 29 KOs) during the celebratory weekend of Cinco de Mayo. The champion-vs.-champion event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 and will be streamed exclusively live on DAZN.
Additional details for the event, including venue and ticket information, will be announced shortly.
Canelo is a 28-year-old native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico who became the top man in the sport by facing the best competition and making the best fights for the fans. At 154 pounds, Canelo captured several world titles and defeated the likes of Austin “No Doubt” Trout, Sugar Shane Mosley, Alfredo “El Perro” Angulo, Erislandy “The American Dream” Lara and Liam “Beefy” Smith. However, Canelo scored his most significant victory yet at 160 pounds, where he defeated Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in their highly anticipated rematch in September 2018 and established himself as the WBC, WBA, Lineal and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Champion. Canelo then made history by signing the most lucrative sports contract for an athlete in history to begin a groundbreaking, exclusive partnership with global sports streaming platform DAZN that saw the last king of pay-per-view boxing step into a new era as the new king of sports streaming.
In his debut performance, Canelo became a three-division world champion by knocking out Rocky Fielding in three rounds to capture the WBA Super Middleweight World Title in December 2018. Canelo will return to middleweight for this fight as he continues to clean out the 160-pound division.
“I’m happy to announce my next fight during the festive weekend of Cinco de Mayo,” said Canelo Alvarez. “I will unify my middleweight titles against Daniel Jacobs on one of the two most important dates that belong to me. I have no doubt that I will be victorious and that I’ll be one step away from becoming the undisputed middleweight world champion. And what better way to watch it than on as tremendous a platform as DAZN.”
Jacobs is a 31-year-old native of Brooklyn, New York who is widely considered as one of the best middleweights of this era. Despite being away from the sport for 19 months, due to a form of bone cancer that he courageously overcame, Jacobs rose up the middleweight rankings to win the WBA Middleweight World Title against Jarrod Fletcher in 2014. Jacobs made several successful defenses, including a thunderous first-round knockout of Peter Quillin the following year. Despite losing to Gennady Golovkin in a very close fight in 2017, Jacobs has remained undefeated since his return, defeating former amateur champion and middleweight contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko to capture the IBF Middleweight World Championship. Jacobs will look to capture more middleweight hardware in the biggest fight of his career.
“This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. The opportunity to achieve greatness inside the ring,” said Daniel Jacobs. “I have always believed I can beat Canelo, and on May 4 live on DAZN, I will get my chance to play it out. It’s been nearly four years since Canelo has faced an American challenger. It’s going to be a huge event where I believe I will cement myself as the best middleweight in the division.”
Canelo Alvarez wants the best fights and the biggest challenges,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions. “That’s what he did as the 154-pound champion, and that’s what he’s doing now as the king of the middleweight division. We are also proud to demonstrate to boxing fans that this new partnership with DAZN means that fans will get pay-per-view level fights without the cost of pay-per-view. Golden Boy Promotions is continuing its promise to make the sport as accessible as possible by putting this champion-vs.-champion fight on the platform.”
“What a fight! I can’t tell you how happy I am that Danny Jacobs gets this opportunity to fight Canelo on Cinco de Mayo in a massive unification fight,” said Eddie Hearn, Managing Director of Matchroom Sport. “Victory would cap one of the most incredible, inspirational boxing stories of our generation, and Danny and the team will be putting everything in place to lead him to victory. Respect to Canelo and Golden Boy for accepting this challenge, and congratulations to DAZN and their subscribers for getting this incredible fight with no extra cost. Let’s go May 4! Let’s go Daniel Jacobs!”
“On any other network or platform, Canelo vs. Jacobs would be an expensive pay-per-view,” said Joseph Markowski, DAZN EVP of North America. “At DAZN, we believe the best fights should be available to our subscribers at no extra charge.”
Canelo vs. Jacobs is a 12-round fight for the WBC, WBA, Lineal, Ring Magazine and IBF Middleweight World Titles presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, “THE OFFICIAL BEER OF BOXING” and Hennessy “Never Stop. Never Settle.” The event will take place Saturday, May 4, 2019 and will be streamed live on DAZN.
For more information, visit www.goldenboypromotions.com, http://www.matchroomboxing.com, and DAZN.com. Follow on Twitter @GoldenBoyBoxing, @Canelo, @DanielJacobsTKO, @MatchRoomBoxing, and @DAZN_USA. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing, www.facebook.com/SaulCaneloAlvarez, www.facebook.com/MatchroomBoxing and https://www.facebook.com/DAZNUSA/. Follow on Instagram @GoldenBoyBoxing, @Canelo, @DanielJacobsTKO, @MatchroomBoxing
Top Rank Loads Up Alvarez-Kovalev II Card On Super Bowl Weekend
By Jake Donovan
Cognizant of its placement on the eve of Super Bowl Sunday, the Top Rank staff have made significant additions to its super Saturday night of boxing.
A February 2 date long reserved for the light heavyweight title fight rematch between Eleider Alvarez and Sergey Kovalev has now turned into a live quadrupleheader spanning ESPN and its streaming platform ESPN+.
Alvarez-Kovalev II will now headline the ESPN+ portion of the evening (12:00am ET). That portion of the loaded card from The Star in Frisco, Texas will be accompanied by the quick return of unbeaten lightweight Teofimo Lopez, who is fresh off of a highlight reel 1st round knockout of Mason Menard earlier this month in New York City.
An opponent has yet to be announced for Lopez. Sources with knowledge of the show have informed BoxingInsider.com that it will be a step up in class, as the 2016 Honduras Olympian and fast-moving prospect is eager to transition to rising contender.
“I took over my last show, and I am going to do it again,” Lopez (11-0, 9KOs) said. “‘The Takeover’ is coming to Texas, and I can’t wait to get back in the ring.”
Preceding the livestream will be the awaited ring return of unbeaten featherweight Oscar Valdez. Sidelined while recovering from injuries sustained in an ESPN-aired 12-round win over Scott Quigg in March, the two-time Olympian for Mexico returns in a title defense versus unbeaten Carmine Tommasone, who represented Italy in the 2016 Rio Olymnpics.
The bout will headline a live doubleheader on ESPN (10:00pm ET). In chief support to Valdez’ return comes a vacant lightweight title fight between Ghana’s Richard Commey and Russia’s Isa Chaniev.
Moving the Alvarez-Kovalev rematch to ESPN’s live-streaming service was undoubtedly motivated by a desire to boost subscriptions. Top Rank and ESPN continue to search for the proper balance in what will air live on ESPN’s flagship network and what to dedicate exclusively to its subscription-based streaming service.
This particular show will actually provide the best of both worlds. With the ESPN linear platform preceded by ESPN+ live coverage of the preliminary undercard action (7:00 pm-10:00pm ET), boxing fans will get seven hours of live boxing between the services, including three title fights and the latest step in the career of a blue-chip prospect.
“It’s Super Saturday, and by syncing the ESPN linear and ESPN+ platforms for one night, fans have an incredible opportunity to watch a stacked show with many of the world’s best fighters and rising superstars,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank in a statement released through the company’s press office in announcing the full show on Wednesday.
The addition of Valdez (24-0, 19KOs) comes in the wake of the decision to forego a planned January 12 showcase in his adopted hometown of Tucson, Arizona. He was originally due to face Spain’s Andoni Gago, but issues in getting a travel visa in time along with other unbuttoned issues with the remaining undercard prompted an outright cancellation.
It gives Valdez an additional three weeks to further enhance his craft under new trainer Eddy Reynoso, while also providing an upgrade in competition.
“The fans can expect the same Oscar Valdez as far as being an aggressive and exciting fighter,” said Valdez, who looks to make the fifth defense of his featherweight title. “They are also going to see a different side that nobody has seen, which is the boxing skills that I also have and that I’m perfecting and learning with my new trainer, Eddy Reynoso.”
Tommasone (19-0, 5KOs) has yet to make his full mark in the pro ranks. However, the unbeaten featherweight is in the history books as becoming the first pro boxer to participate in—and win—an Olympic boxing match, doing so in 2016 while representing his native Italy.
The 2016 Rio Olympics marked the first year in which pro boxers were able to participate in competition previously limited to amateur boxers. Tommasone joined former flyweight titlist Amnat Ruenroeng (Thailand) and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (representing his native Cameroon, but who lives in France) as the three to break ground, winning his opening round bout before being sent home in the Round of 16 by Cuba’s Lazaro Alvarez, who went on to capture the Bronze medal.
Tomassone—who was 15-0 prior to his 2016 Rio tour—has since won four bouts in his return to pro competition. All have come versus non-descript competition, as he steps way up in class while fighting outside of Italy as a pro for the first time in his eight-year career.
Still, he comes with greater appeal than Valdez’ originally selected opponent—not to mention it’s a great opportunity for Top Rank to showcase one of its brightest young stars for the third time on ESPN, the latest coming on a busy sports weekend.
“It will be great to see our little warrior, Oscar Valdez, back in action on Feb. 2 after his full recovery from a broken jaw and a courageous victory over Quigg,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “Oscar always brings thrills and excitement to his fights.”
The ESPN-televised co-feature figures to serve as the perfect primer.
Ghana’s Commey (27-2, 24 KOs) has patiently waited for his crack at a lightweight title, which he originally believed would come versus Mikey Garcia. Those plans fell apart, however, after the unbeaten pound-for-pound entrant vacated his title in favor of a high-profile showdown versus unbeaten welterweight titlist Errol Spence.
The move left Commey as the highest-rated contender in his pursuit of winning a title on his second try. His previous effort came in a hard-fought split decision loss to Robert Easter Jr. in their Sept. ’16 vacant title fight, which was followed by an equally heartbreaking narrow defeat at the hands of Denis Shafikov just three months later.
Three straight wins have followed, including a six-round destruction of previously unbeaten Alejandro Luna this past March to earn his place as the mandatory challenger.
“When I started working with Richard in September 2016, our plan was to give him another chance to fulfill his dream of becoming a world champion,”said Lou DiBella , Commey’s promoter. “While Chaniev is a very tough Russian fighter, I’m confident that Richard has the skills, punching power and the mental toughness to come out victorious.”
DiBella’s efforts have not at all been lost on his lightweight client.
“I know how hard it is for Ghanaian fighters to get promoted by the top promoters, but Lou has consistently shown that if he thinks you’re the man, then he will be the man for you,” said Commey, who last fought in August in a 2nd round knockout of journeyman Yardley Cruz in Long Island, New York. “He has shown this by the investment DiBella Entertainment has put in me and by getting me this shot at the title and securing it in the United States.”
While it won’t be Commey’s first stateside appearance, his opponent stamps his passport for his first world title fight.
Chaniev (13-1, 6 KOs) has fought exclusively in Eastern Europe as he travels to the U.S. for the first time as a pro. The 26-year old Russian lightweight earned his place in the title mix after a strong showing in his career-best win, outpointing former titlist Ismael Barroso in his most recent bout this past May.
“I have the biggest motivation ever to win, and there is no other result that will satisfy me,” Chaniev said. “On Feb. 2, I will demonstrate all my skills and hard preparation. Some people don’t think I will win, but they will be shocked.”
Alvarez to Unify Super Middleweight Division in 2019?
By: Daniel Smith
Alvarez, to unify Super Middleweight division 2019?
Last night at the Garden, Canelo Alvarez was razor sharp, formidable and devastatingly accurate as he peppered Rocky Fielding with a torrent pounding and punishing body shots to force the stoppage within three rounds of boxing.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Fielding struggled to ignite the engine, let alone move out of first gear as Canelo smothered, suffocated and obliterated the Liverpudlian’s offence and game-plan by deploying his brutal artillery throughout the rounds.
Meticulously targeting and thudding away at Fielding’s long, skinny flank; dishing-out lightning-bolt shots to the liver, one after the other, relentlessly zapping the former WBA champion into submission without even breaking a sweat. Incidently, whether it’s Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua, a sickening shot to the liver ultimately instructs the body to take a knee, no matter how big, bulky or solidly conformed you are – so no discredit to Rocky in that regard.
Although it was the Mexican who stepped up a weight-class; it certainly seemed as though Rocky Fielding was the one who’d brought a knife to gun fight, as every attack and combination he fired-out seemed fruitless.
So what’s next for the cinnamon-haired, super middleweight smasher? After skillfully bulldozing through the division’s WBA champion with such ease and cool; could Canelo continue on his 168lb division ascent and lay down the gauntlet for a clash with the WBA and WBSS champion, Callum Smith? A fight with Smith would be a an electrifying clash, an enticing prospect with another belt to add his collection, but ultimately, it would be a gruelling night’s work for the now, three weight-class champion.
There may be other fish to fry in the division such as WBO Gilberto Ramirez, IBF Jose Uzcategui and WBC David Benavidez. Or, alternatively, he could have a third dance with GGG which I’m sure would rake-in the fans and financial spoils.
Who knows? But one thing’s certain – 2019 will be explosive.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez: What Are the Options for Him Next?
By: Waqas Ali
Mexican superstar and world champion ‘Canelo’ Alvarez delivered a stunning performance when he knocked out Rocky Fielding in three rounds at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.
The bout which was attended by over 20,000 spectators in attendance was for Fielding’s WBA ‘Regular’ title which is the minor version of the belt.
British world champion Callum Smith holds the ‘Super’ version of the belt.
Photo Credit: DAZN Twitter Account
Alvarez making his first bout under the 168 pound weight limit/ super-middleweight, started fighting on the inside with Fielding and connecting immense haymakers to the head and body.
Fielding who had the height advantage of 6 feet 1 inches and the reach of 75 inches did not utilise the range and distance of the fight and therefore paid the price.
Each round consisted of a knockdown of Fielding tasting the canvas. Courtesy of body shots.
But now the question remains is what opponent is next for Alvarez (51-1-2)? Is it back to 160 or staying at 168?
Canelo’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, believes his boxer is now fully capable of competing against anyone at middleweight or super middleweight.
Canelo will return to the ring on Cinco De Mayo weekend in Las Vegas.
“Canelo fighting at 168 showed he can fight at either 168 or 160. We’ve already set aside the T-Mobile Arena for Cinco de Mayo in Las Vegas. We have no opponent whatsoever – zero. We’re not thinking of nobody,” De La Hoya said.
“We’re going to enjoy the holidays and enjoy our families. After the holidays, as a team, we’ll collectively determine who Canelo is going to fight. Whether it’s 168 or 160, there are plenty of challenges out there for Canelo.”
Should he jump back to 160, one of the opponents which could be a good match up for him in terms of styles and techniques is Demetrius Andrade. His record consists of 26 wins (16 KOs) and zero defeats.
In the amateurs, he defeated future world champions like Keith Thurman, Austin Trout and Daniel Jacobs.
The 30-year-old, who holds the WBO middleweight belt has a great sense of style of being cautionary with his combinations and as a southpaw can be a limit for his conventional opponents on landing their jab. His body movement is a positive asset, considering the fact that he is able to move away from any return shots.
Alvarez has not faced a competitive southpaw with lateral foot movement since Erislandy Lara in July 2014 in which he only landed five jabs out of his 97 landing total. A bout with these two would be interesting.
Another opponent is Daniel Jacobs (35 W, 29 KOs – 2 L). His knockout ratio stands at 78%. Jacobs, who holds the IBF middleweight belt, has great utilisation of speed, power and versatility.
He is able to provide thrilling excessiveness of combinations and has rapid foot movement. Likewise with Andrade, this effect of foot movement, quickness of punches and by keeping the range, can be a great effect on their behalf.
His resume of credible opponents consist of, Ishe Smith, Caleb Truax, Sergio Mora (twice), Peter Quillin, Dmitry Pirog & Gennady Golovkin.
In the 168 division, one of the opponents that could be a good match for him is Gilberto Ramirez. He has an exceptional record of 39 victories with zero defeats.
He is the current WBO super-middleweight title champion and has defended his belt six times. He stands at 6 feet 2 ½ inches with at 75 inch reach.
Ramirez is known for his long reach and power. He’s more of a 12-rounded fighter and is able mix and match up his punches. In his last 10 bouts, eight of them were decision wins and only two by stoppages.
His two notable opponents Arthur Abraham, whom he beat for the title and Jesse Hart twice.
Another opponent is Callum Smith. The Liverpool-born fighter has a record of 25 wins and no defeats.
He’s also tall with a height 6 feet 3 inches and a reach advantage of 78 inches. Smith is known for his active punching ability and body shots. Ironically, body shots are also favouritism of Alvarez’s punching of expertise.
Especially the left hook to the body.
This style of fighting could be compatible between the two, considering the height similarity between Fielding and Smith. It could be a question of, could Alvarez wear down the taller man of Smith? How would they react to each other’s body shots?
His notable opponents that he defeated are Rocky Fielding & George Groves.
The final opponent of my choosing is Gennady Golovkin. There is no need to describe the power and chin of him. An exceptional power ratio of 87% and known for activeness, punching ability, calculating puncher and haymaker hunting.
He had a 23 knockout win streak dating from June 2008 – March 2017.
Both fights with Alvarez were close in their respected styles and performances.
With a potential trilogy with GGG, Alvarez stated:
“For me, I feel like on September 15, I showed that I was best. But it was two great fights and if the people want it, we can make it.”
According to a poll conducted by Editinking, out of 6,700 plus voters 49% of them picked Gennady Golovkin to fight Alvarez and 32% of them picked Daniel Jacobs.
Who next for Canelo?
— EditinKing Boxing (@EditinKing) December 16, 2018
With regards to what Alvarez’s future he stated:
“We’ll have to see. I have to talk to my team, enjoy the holiday and then I’ll talk to my team. But right now, without a doubt, what I want are the best fights.”
Jamie Moore Explains Why Canelo Had to Have His Hands Wrapped Twice
By: Michael Kane
Rocky Fielding put his WBA Super Middleweight title on the line on Saturday against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Ultimately it was not Fielding’s night as he was knocked down four times in the three rounds that he contested as Canelo added a world title at a third weight division.
However Fielding’s coach, British coach of the year, Jamie Moore was unhappy with Canelo and his team before the fight due to how much tape was being used.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Moore told Boxing News, “As you can imagine because of the superstar he is, he gets the rub of the green. I’d seen somebody getting wrapped up on DAZN, they put it on Twitter, I’d seen it earlier on and I said that’s not right in this state. They were wrapping the tape numerous times round the wrist and hand. It’s stacking, you’re not allowed to do it. We raised it as an issue, the commission agreed, said, ‘No, you’re right, you can’t do it.’ I sent Nige [Nigel Travis] in and Nige got there, they’d already done it. So made them take it off, said you’re not allowed to do that. The commission agreed to take it off and then they done it again. No, take it off again. So they started going crazy. Sent five people into my room saying take the tape off his hand, I said no problem, I don’t want tape on.”
“We knew we were going to walk into those sort of situations when we were coming here so we weren’t surprised. But Nige did the exact right thing. He didn’t bow to them,” Moore continued. “He went out and got the main guy [from the New York commission] and said tell them to take that off twice. He had them do it twice. It had to be rewrapped twice and rightly so. At the end of the day there are rules and regulations and people have to stick by them. You can’t just do your own thing because you’re Canelo.”
Moore was not sure if the fight went the way it did due to Fielding not sticking to the gameplan or that Canelo was that good that he negated any plans they had.
“I knew if it came down to that [Rocky] was always going to be brave but the plan wasn’t to attempt to sit in the pocket as early as the first round. I said you need to keep it long. Use your best attributes. Take the sting out of him. Before you sit in the pocket you need to at least take the sting out of him and then start to use your natural size advantage,” Moore said. “I’ll have to watch it back but maybe Canelo made him sit in the pocket, put his presence on him, established himself really quickly inside and hurt him straightaway downstairs. So when you’re in with probably the best pound for pound fighter on the planet, then the gameplan and the tactics are easier said than done. These guys are real good at negating stuff that you’re good at. So if he had done what I asked him to do, it might not have made a difference. We don’t know.
“What he didn’t allow Rocky to do was relax and let his shots go with full intent because he was always half-thinking about the next shot coming back and the reason he was half thinking was because [Alvarez] hurt him straight away downstairs.”
Moore was proud of his fighter, “All I can say is I’m proud of him. He’s got a 13 week old baby girl who he’s not really seen much of because he’s dedicated himself to this. He’s dared to try and do the impossible and unfortunately he didn’t pull it off. I’m proud of him. He kept getting up, I knew he’d keep getting up and the referee called it really well. I’ll be honest with you. Because as I was thinking if he lets him carry on, I’m going to start watching him really carefully and if he starts to get overwhelmed, I’ll step in. You’re not allowed to towel them here, you have to stand on the edge of the ring and I was just about to walk up the stairs so it was a good call and he lives to fight another day.”
“As far as longevity’s concerned it wasn’t a nine, 10, 11 round beat down,” Moore said. “He’ll be alright. He’s disappointed, I’m gutted for him because I know he could have done it better… We knew were up against. We believed we could have won before, if we’d done it right, but watching that now it was a big ask. He wanted to test himself against the very best. And that’s all you can want from a fighter.”
DAZN Boxing Preview: Canelo vs. Rocky, Farmer vs. Fonseca
By: William Holmes
On Saturday night Golden Boy Promotions top promotional star, Canelo Alvarez, will make his debut in New York City and on the DAZN Streaming Network when he faces off against Rocky Fielding for Fielding’s WBA Super Middleweight title.
This bout will take place at the famed Madison Square Garden and features a rather stacked undercard. The co-main event of the night was originally supposed to be between David Lemieux and Tureano Johnson, but Lemieux had to withdraw due to dehydration issues and the bout between Tevin Farmer and Francisco Fonseca will take it’s place.
Other notable undercard fights include a welterweight bout between Sadam Ali and Mauricio Herrera, an IBF/WBA Women’s Lightweight Title bout between Katie Taylor and Eva Wahlstrom, and two bouts featuring high rated prospects Ryan Garcia and Lamont Roach Jr.
DAZN has gone all in with their partnership with Golden Boy Promotions and Canelo Alvarez, and this is the first of an eleven fight contract that they have with Canelo.
The following is a preview of the co-main event and main event of the night.
Tevin Farmer (27-4) vs. Francisco Fonseca (22-1-1); IBF Junior Lightweight Title
Tevin Farmer is one of those feel good stories in the sport of boxing. He wasn’t a heralded amateur and started his career with a 2-2 record, but he has shown significant improvement since his professional debut and was able to win the IBF Super Featherweight Title.
Farmer only had sixteen amateur fights so he had to learn quickly on the job. He’s not known for his power, he has only stopped six of his opponents and was stopped twice in his career. He lost by TKO in his very first professional fight and was later stopped by Jose Pedraza.
His opponent, Francisco Fonseca, has stopped sixteen of his opponents and was only stopped one time in his career, a knockout loss to Gervonta Davis. Fonseca will have a slight inch and a half height advantage and a two and a half inch reach advantage.
Fonseca has fought mainly in Panama and Costa Rica against suspect opposition. He lost his only fight outside of Central America. His biggest win to date was against a 13-3 Daniel Miranda. He’s been fairly active and fought once in 2018 and four times in 2017.
Farmer fought twice in 2018 and twice in 2017. He’s shown significant improvement since his debut, especially defensively, and has beaten the likes of James Tennyson, Billy Dib, Arturo Santos Reyes, Ivan Redkach, and Angel Luna.
This is a bout that Farmer should win by decision. Farmer is angling for a future fight with Gervonta Davis and he’ll need an impressive performance to get the boxing community talking about a potential fight with Davis.
Rocky Fielding (27-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2); WBA Super Middleweight Title
Canelo Alvarez is arguably boxing’s biggest, active star. He’ll be chasing history on Saturday night as he looks to win a title in his third weight class, and become the ninth Mexican boxer to do so.
Canelo is in the midst of his prime at 28 years old and is three years younger than his opponent. However, Canelo is the smaller man and will be giving up height, reach, and size to Fielding.
Canelo turned pro at the age of fifteen, so Fielding has more amateur experience than Canelo as he experienced some success as an amateur on the English circuit.
Canelo also has significantly more power in his punches than Fielding. He has stopped 34 of his opponents while Fielding has only stopped fifteen. Fielding also has a TKO loss on his record when he was stopped by Callum Smith. Canelo’s lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr. five years ago and he has never been stopped.
Both fighters have been fairly active. Canelo fought twice in 2017 and once in 2018 while Fielding fought twice in 2018 and in 2017.
Canelo has a long list of accomplished opponents that he has beaten. He has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Shane Mosley, and Carlos Baldomir.
Fielding’s biggest wins were against Tyron Zeuge for the WBA Super Middleweight title, David Brophy, John Ryder, and Brian Vera. This will only be his second fought outside of the United Kingdom and his first fight in the United States.
It’s likely Fielding’s size advantage will give Canelo some problems early on, but Canelo’s skill is levels above Fielding and he should win quite comfortably in his New York City debut.
Keys to Victory for Canelo and Fielding
By: Daniel Smith
In what is anticipated to be a rapid-paced, dynamite clash at Madison Square Garden, streaming live on DAZN, this Saturday night, Canelo Alvarez heeds the rapacious title pangs while licking his lips at the succulent prospect of brutally dismantling Rocky Fielding for the WBA super middleweight crown to become a three weight-class world champion.
Alvarez will certainly be fighting within the parameters of Fielding’s 160-169lbs weight domain. However, while the physical fundamentals of this bout are noticeably tilted in the scouser’s favour, it’ll be the exquisite and elite boxing calibre of Saul “Cinnamon” Alvarez that prevails.
Michael “Rocky” Fielding is a tough kid whose hard, creasing body shots generate enough thud to blast the wind out of any fighters’ sails within the super middleweight division. The 6ft 1″ Liverpudlian is a massive underdog entering into this boxing chapter of his career. However, with a thrilling enticement, confidence, firmly planted level of self-belief and a relished enthrallment that revs him up for Saturday’s bout, Fielding’s game-plan will effectively unfold or be stifled from one or two manners.
First, he may utilize his exceptionally long-spearing reach, to stab and jab at Canelo, frustrating the Mexican while maintaining the distance throughout the fight, grabbing the points win. Alternatively, he may take the bull by the horns and immerse into a vicious scrap – it’s no secret Rocky likes a swift start and can prefer to switch a marathon into a 100-meter sprint. So, we may just be treated to an all-out war and toe-to-toe trade, where granite chins and big balls emerge victoriously.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez
In an adrenaline-jacked fusion of blistering hand speed, greasy-rhythmical manoeuvring and an attacking ferocity that’s set to a hair trigger, it’s highly likely we’ll see a ten-pounds heavier and ripped-rampart version of the WBA and WBC middleweight champion.
With a shortly clipped head of hair, broad frame, thick pitbull neck and a back that presents like a hillock of muscle, Alvarez will be chomping at the bit to unleash relentless brutal pugilistic-menace that machine-guns a range of powerful combinations, ultimately avalanching his opponent to the canvas in a bloodied, bruised-up and crumpled heap.
Despite the extra muscle-weight, Alvarez will still maintain speed and agility, while out-boxing, out-powering and out-punching Fielding throughout the fight. His slippery head and body movement, neat graceful footwork and ability counter with such devastation will exhibit his world-class boxing prowess, ferocious momentum and knock-out execution.
Thereafter, we’ll probably see the Cinnamon haired, powerhouse Mexican drop back down to middleweight and dish-out a forcible and compelling win over GGG in a third encounter, sometime in 2019.
But like always, this is boxing and anything can arise. We all love the tale of an underdog and how the odds, opinions and views for victory were defied and written off. Or how controversy with judges and referees decisions (although sometimes seemingly harsh, inadequate or wrong) can upset the fold and change the course of fighters path. Either way, this is part and parcel of the sport and it’s what ignites and intrigues our interest, keeps us reading, watching discussing, debating and entertained by boxing.
Rocky vs. Canelo – Live from Maidson Square Garden, Saturday, December 15. A cracking night of boxing should be on the cards.
DAZN Flexes It’s Value with Canelo vs. Rocky
By: William Holmes
That was the price for the latest boxing PPV offering between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. It was an instant classic and an amazing fight. The PPV started around 9pm and within four hours it was all over.
If you wanted to watch the heavyweight title fight you would have had to pay about $20 an hour to watch it.
Was it worth the price? For the main event fighters, especially for those that get a cut of the pay per view buys, absolutely.
But was the $75 price tag worth it for the fans? Comparatively speaking, no.
It wasn’t that long ago when PPV’s used to cost $39.99, but the price has nearly doubled since then and the monetary value for fans only decreases as the price increases.
If you want to buy a PPV chances are you’ll look for some friends, or maybe even some people you can barely call an acquaintance, that are willing to fork over some of their hard earned cash to chip in and watch boxing. If you’re willing to pay for the entire fight yourself you can probably fill your home with people, but finding fight fans willing to chip in $20 isn’t always an easy thing to do.
Some fight fans may resort to illegally streaming the fight and dealing with the annoying pop-ups and exposure to malware, while risking possible prosecution. Some fight fans will even resort to watching the fight on social media, as someone streams their television screen from their phone while exposing the interior and furniture of their abode.
Never mind the dog barking in the background, you’re saving money…illegally.
The price point for PPV’s has gotten so high that you basically have to either fork over $75 yourself to watch it, scramble to find willing and able friends to chip in for the fight, or risk illegally streaming the fight with low quality streams and virus infected ads.
DAZN’s biggest star and attraction, Canelo Alvarez, is no stranger to Pay-Per-View. He’s fought on PPV a total of nine times. The PPV that sold the lowest number of PPVs was his fight against Liam Smith, which sold 300,000 PPVs. His highest was against Mayweather, which sold 2,200,000 PPVs.
In total he has sold 8,075,000 buys for approximately $605,000,000 in revenue. He has averaged 897,222 PPV buys per event.
In comparison, Mike Coppinger of Ring Magazine estimated the PPV buys for Wilder-Fury to be a bit north of 320,000.
Canelo, who is by far the bigger draw when compared to Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, can be watched on Saturday for only $9.99 (and free for new subscribers). That price is at least seven times less than the price of the Wilder PPV, and includes several boxing and MMA events on top of the Canelo Alvarez fight for the month that you sign up. That price is at least seven times less than the price of the Wilder PPV, and includes several boxing and MMA events on top of the Canelo Alvarez fight for the month that you sign up.
The best part of this deal? Canelo’s next eleven fights will be shown on DAZN, and there’s many fights out there that can be made featuring Canelo that would normally have been put on PPV in the past.
$74.99 would get you about seven months with DAZN. That will likely include 2 Canelo fights that would have normally been shown on PPV, two fights featuring heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, Bellator MMA events, and a large number Matchroom Boxing and Golden Boy Boxing events.
With the PPV model, $74.99 will get you about four hours of fights.
Seven months vs. four hours.
The value, for fight fans, is clearly with DAZN.
The Rocky Road to Canelo
By: Ste Rowen
Just over three years ago Rocky Fielding was still trying to pick himself up from a devastating first round knockout loss to Callum Smith. Knocked down three times before trying but being unable to continue on the fourth time down in an all-Liverpool matchup for the British super-middleweight title.
Around about the same time, Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez had decisioned future hall of famer, Miguel Cotto in a competitive but domineering performance.
Who could have predicted back then, or even mere months ago, that the two would meet in a headline show at Madison Square Garden?
‘‘It was who landed who really wasn’t it? And he got the shot’’ Rocky said of the Smith bout post-fight.
On that night in November 2015 Rocky was dropped within 28 seconds, went into survival mode and tried to fight fire with fire, unsuccessfully. However, it’s clearly a knock he learnt from as in his close comeback fight with Christopher Rebrasse six months later, he was heavily put down in round 2 but rose on the bell and stayed measured in his approach to eventually regain the ground lost early on.
Since earning a split decision victory over the Frenchman in 2016, Fielding has been busy reshaping his career, ensuring he’s remembered for his victories rather than, so far, his one defeat.
‘Rocky from Stocky’ finally got his hands on the British belt he missed out on against Smith when he fought out a brilliantly competitive fight with John Ryder in early 2017, winning via a slightly controversial split decision but arguably more significant was his stoppage victory over Tyron Zeuge earlier this year, to claim the secondary WBA world title in Germany.
In Offenburg last July, Fielding waited out Tyron’s early plan of attack before launching his own offense and punish the WBA ‘Regular’ champion through rounds 4 and 5 until the eventual left hook body-shot-finish that ended the fight.
Though Zeuge is undoubtedly levels below the quality of fighter Canelo is, Fielding’s plan this weekend may be similar to the one he employed against the German.
So, can Fielding do it? Almost all the evidence to date suggests not, or, everyone’s favourite phrase, ‘He has a puncher’s chance’ but he may not even have that. The unified middleweight champion has continuously proved that as well as his much-lauded defensive movement and power; that red-headed Mexican has one helluva chin too, having tasted the best that Gennady Golovkin has to offer and managed to stay upright.
At 27-1 (15KOs) and having racked up a number of domestic amateur titles, Rocky has been in with an extensive variety of styles. His height in comparison is the most obvious difference and having always been a rangy fighter, the WBA ‘Regular’ champion will need to force his fight on the Mexican early on if he wants any chance of getting the stoppage. Because let’s face it, even if he somehow dominates Alvarez over the 12-round distance, he’s not getting the judge’s decision.
He’s told Sky Sports News that he’s taking inspiration from fellow Merseyside-fighter, Tony Bellew who accumulated stoppage victories over Ilunga Makabu and David Haye twice, and his trainer, Jamie Moore has a firm plan A in mind to beat the pound-for-pound boxer,
‘‘He (Canelo) will have to overcome the difference in length which creates danger that he will walk onto shots…Golovkin had success in closing the distance and we can map out our game plan based on that.
Nailing him upstairs is a hard task but not impossible.’’
Win, lose or draw on Saturday, Rocky serves as inspiration to boxers who have faulted domestically but learned to overcome and maneuverer his way into the most profitable opposition outside of the heavyweights.
The unpredictable matchup awaits, but will we get an unpredictable result?
Daniel Jacobs: “It’s No Secret That My Focus Is On Canelo”
By: Sean Crose
IBF Middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs will be watching Canelo Alvarez fight live and in person on Saturday as the Mexican star aims for super middleweight glory against WBA titlist Rocky Fielding. “Daniel Jacobs is gunning for a Middleweight World title unification battle with Canelo Alvarez in 2019,” promotional outlet Matchroom Boxing claims, “and the IBF World ruler says their showdown is one of the biggest fights in boxing.” Jacobs has been aligned with Matchroom kingpin Eddie Hearn for some time now, and is looking for major opposition. “Jacobs,” Matchroom claims, “wants Canelo to return to Middleweight and put his titles on the line in a huge Cinco de Mayo showdown.”
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA
Canelo-Jacobs would certainly be an interesting, high stakes affair. Both men are extremely skilled, both men hit hard, and both men have had tight battles with powerhouse Gennady Golovkin, battles which have all ended in controversial decisions. While many argue that Canelo didn’t deserve his decision win over Golovkin last autumn, many also feel that Golovkin didn’t deserve his decision win over Jacobs in 2017. Although Canelo is certainly the top star at middleweight, there is no consensus as to who the best middleweight in the word is right now. Jacobs’ name is certainly in the running.
“I’ll be there front and center on Saturday night,” says Jacobs. “It’s no secret that my focus is on Canelo. There is no other fight in boxing I want right now more than him.” The Brooklyn native rightly sees himself as a top level opponent for Canelo, who is widely regarded as boxing’s biggest star. “This is not only the absolute biggest fight to be made in the division,” Jacobs says, “but one of the biggest in all of boxing. As long as he takes care of business on Saturday night I’m ready to go. Let’s give the fans and the sport of boxing what they want and let’s get this done for May 4.”
Naturally, Hearn would love to see Jacobs and Canelo throw down in the spring. Indeed, it’s a fight that might be easy to make since Canelo is now associated with DAZN streaming service, which also broadcasts Hearn’s stable of fighters. “I’m rooting for a Rocky Fielding win this Saturday,” Hearn says, “and when Canelo returns to Middleweight, THE fight for May is the Canelo vs. Jacobs unification.”
Hearn is eager to have his man’s presence be felt at Madison Square Garden this weekend, which is where the Canelo-Fielding match will go down.
According to Hearn, Canelo-Jacobs is “a fight he (Jacobs) wants and one he believes he wins. He will be there on Saturday with among the star-studded crowd watching very closely.”
The Middleweight Division’s Best Possible Fight: Canelo vs. Charlo
By: William Holmes
The middleweight division has a rich history of classic fights. Hagler-Hearns, Hagler-Leonard, Hearns-Leonard, Duran-Leonard, Hopkins-Trinidad, Robinson-Fuller, Graziano-Zale, Robinson-LaMotta, the list goes on and on.
The middleweight division is one of the deepest and most intriguing divisions in boxing today. Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez just put on two great, grueling, competitive fights. Daniel Jacobs has been on a tear and was giving Golovkin all that he could handle in their close fight. Billy Joe Saunders is undefeated and dominated hard hitting contender David Lemieux. Jermall Charlo is a young undefeated fighter with dynamite in both hands. Rob Brant just put himself in the middleweight map with a surprisingly easy win over former Olympian Ryota Murata.
There are many match-ups that could be made that would get fight fans excited. Unfortunately, promotional and network alliances will make some of those fights difficult to make, but there’s one fight that has the potential to be a pay per view blockbuster.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
That would be a fight between undefeated middleweight champion Jermall Charlo and undefeated middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
They both fight in New York City in December and will get undoubtedly get a lot of east coast press. Canelo will be making his super middleweight debut when he takes on Rocky Fielding at Madison Square Garden on December 15th. Jermall Charlo will defend his title at the Barclays Center the next weekend against former title challenger Willie Monroe Jr.
But an eventual fight between Charlo and Alvarez will be difficult to make.
Canelo’s fight will be taking place on streaming pioneer DAZN and Charlo’s bout will be televised on Fox. Canelo is aligned with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions while Charlo is aligned with Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions.
These two promotional companies don’t have the best history of working together.
But in boxing, money has a way of bringing sworn enemies together to make the fight that fans want. And there’s money that could be made here.
Even better, for fight fans, it should be a highly entertaining fight.
Canelo and Charlo are known for the concussive punching power. Canelo has thirty four stoppages on his resume with a knockout ratio of 64%. Charlo has twenty one stoppages on his resume, but has had less fights and a higher knockout ratio. He has stopped an eye opening 78% of his opponents.
They’ve both faced a defeated a good number of high level opponents. Canelo has defeated the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Liam Smith, Julio Cesar Chavez, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, and Shane Mosley.
His lone loss was to Floyd Mayweather Jr., when Mayweather was still in the midst of his athletic prime and Canelo was not even two months past his 23rd birthday.
While Charlo has not faced the number of high quality opponents that Canelo has, he has never experienced anything other than a victory inside the ring as a professional. His string of no losses/no draws include victories over boxers such as Hugo Centeno Jr., Julian Williams, Austin Trout, Wilky Campfort, and Cornelius Bundrage.
It’s a fight that can sell. Both fighters are young power punchers with strong personalities. Canelo has a very loyal Mexican fan base and name recognition. The Charlo brothers are two entertaining personalities with a brash bravado that reminds you of Floyd Mayweather.
The story line to sell the fight is evident.
But this is a fight that would have to be on DAZN. Canelo signed an exclusive agreement with DAZN and will no longer be doing pay per view fights. Charlo might be able to put on a pay per view show or two, and even though the middleweight division is stacked with talent, he doesn’t have a dancing partner available to put on a highly successful pay per view.
There’s nobody outside of Canelo that can draw in a pay per view bout for Charlo. Gennady Golovkin’s biggest pay per view outside of Canelo was Daniel Jacobs, and that’s estimated at only 170,000 buys.
His drawing power also probably took a hit with his recent loss to Canelo Alvarez. The other known boxers in the middleweight division are either signed to DAZN, or don’t have the drawing power to make a pay per view venture worthwhile.
Canelo vs. Charlo is the most entertaining fight the middleweight division can offer. The question is, will Charlo take the risk to fight him on DAZN? Or will he continue to fight lesser known fighters for less profitable options on Fox and Showtime?
Time will tell.
John Skipper Plans to Lead DAZN to the Top of Boxing
By: William Holmes
When DAZN first announced their plans to enter the US market, their plan was met with skepticism. Their service was built around combat sports, which often featured a loyal fan base but is considered by many to be a niche sport.
DAZN was able to secure a deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing to broadcast 32 events a year, with sixteen fight cards to take place in the United States and sixteen fight cards to take place in the United Kingdom.
DAZN also locked up deals with the World Boxing Super Series, Bellator, and Combate Americas to strengthen the quality and quantity of content on their service, but they were still missing a key piece to bolster their appeal to the American viewing public. In order to get that piece they had to rely on their biggest asset.
Enter John Skipper.
Photo Credit: John Skipper Twitter Account (@JohnSkipperDAZN)
John Skipper served as ESPN’s President for over six years and was instrumental in ESPN’s dominance in the sports market and established several important long term relationships. He resigned from ESPN in late 2017 in response to threats of blackmail and in order to address alleged substance abuse issues related to cocaine. But he re-emerged in May of this year he later re-emerged to serve as the Executive Chairman for the sports media company Perform Group, the group in control of the streaming subscription service DAZN.
When John Skipper worked for ESPN, one of the smaller deals that he was able to strike was with Golden Boy Promotions to air boxing on their network.
It was a smaller deal, but it allowed Skipper to establish a relationship with Golden Boy Promotions and gave him knowledge of the details of Golden Boy’s prior deal with ESPN.
This gave Skipper significant insight into the value of Canelo Alvarez. He had to leverage DAZN’s success in international markets, their financial backing, and his own experience in order to finalize a deal with Golden Boy Promotions while being able to insist on an exclusive deal.
A short meeting quickly tuned into an intense three day negotiating period that ended with a $365 Million dollar deal to stream Canelo’s next 11 fights as well as the rights to Golden Boy’s other fighters.
Canelo had interest from other outlets, including Showtime, Fox, and Turner sports; but it was Skipper who was able to close the deal.
DAZN’s deal with Golden Boy Promotions has tilted the balance of power in boxing in their favor.
Eddie Hearn immediately saw the great value that DAZN’s deal with Canelo brought.
He stated, “DAZN is embracing the era of streaming….delivering a great deal for fight fans, obviously with the Canelo deal. $84.99 for a fight is absolute madness. The Canelo move is a big move, where fight fans can now turn around at pay per view price points like $60, $80, and $100 and say no more.”
Eddie Hearn also recognizes what signing Canelo means for some of his fighters, like Demetrius Andrade and Billy Joe Saunders, and how DAZN is now the place for the middleweight division.
“They have to be with DAZN, some people thought that was arrogant, it’s just common sense. Our fighters fight on DAZN, and therefore you got to be on DAZN to fight, and really if you’re a middleweight you should be looking at our platform.”
Two of the biggest draws in boxing are arguably Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua. They’re both signed to DAZN.
DAZN isn’t done making big splashes in the combat sports world.