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.
Canelo Alvarez Awarded Ring Magazine’s Middleweight & P4P Belts
By: Jeandra Lebeauf
At a special ceremony in Los Angeles on Thursday, unified middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez received the Middleweight World Title and the Pound-For-Pound Championship Belts.
In an eventful week, capped off by the announcement of a massive $365 million dollar signing with the sports streaming site DAZN, and the announcement of a December 15th fight date to challenge Rocky Fielding for the super middleweight title, Canelo thanked God, his team and Ring Magazine.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos
“I want to thank God, my team and my family. I want to thank Golden Boy as well. Having a belt like this is a responsibility, and this is a responsibility that I plan to undertake.
I never imagined that my success would reach this magnitude. This just shows that with discipline, hard work and love for the sport, one can achieve anything. A lot has changed in one year. It’s a big change. I’m going to defend this title with honor. See you all on December 15.”
Following Canelo’s acceptance of the middleweight and pound-4-pound belts, Ring also recognized Canelo’s trainer, Eddie Reynoso, with a special trainer’s version of the belt named in honor of Efren Torres, a former Ring title holder and descendant of Reynoso’s wife.
Thank you very much to Ring Magazine and the family of my wife. One time, in a photo, we saw that he won the Ring title and it’s not [the belt] with the family of my wife. So I asked Ramiro to ask the people at Ring Magazine if he won the title and it was true, against [Chartchai] Chionoi one of the greatest fights.
So they gave it to me in the name of me and my wife’s family so I am really grateful.
The event concluded with the unveiling of Ring Magazine’s soon to be released latest issue featuring Canelo wearing the Ring Magazine title.
Canelo, who currently holds the WBC, WBA and lineal middleweight world titles will move up to 168 pounds to challenge Rocky Fielding for the WBA super middleweight title in a 12-round main event on Saturday, December 15 at Madison Square Garden and streamed Live on DAZN.
Canelo Alvarez DAZN/Golden Boy Promotions Press Conference Quotes
At Madison Square Garden in New York on Wednesday afternoon, Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs) and Golden Boy Promotions announced an 11-fight deal with global sports streaming leader DAZN. As part of the partnership, Golden Boy Promotions will put on up to 10 high-caliber fight nights per year that will stream live on DAZN beginning in early 2019. The new era will begin Saturday, Dec. 15 when Alvarez challenges Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) for his WBA Super Middleweight World Title. This groundbreaking deal is the richest athlete contract in sports history.
In a press conference, the fighters and key executives took the stage to discuss the record-breaking deal as well as the upcoming fight at Madison Square Garden – Alvarez’s first in the iconic venue.
John Skipper, DAZN Group Executive Chairman
“Today represents a major shift in OTT sports content. Until now, fans haven’t received the value from these platforms that they deserve. DAZN is here to completely change that.”
“Oscar de la Hoya, as a boxer and a promoter, has been the most important figure in the history of pay-per-view. Right now, Canelo Alvarez is the most important fighter in pay-per-view. His next 11 fights will be available exclusively and internationally on DAZN. During the course of this deal, five years and the next 11 Canelo fights, DAZN will return premiere boxing matches to fight fans for a reasonable, affordable subscription price, and we will build a robust subscription base off of the demonstrated existing demand for these fights.”
“Adding this exclusive arrangement with Golden Boy and its quality roster of fighters to our Matchroom UK and Matchroom US fights gives us a year-long schedule of premium events for boxing fans. We add our Bellator, Combate MMA fights, and our World Boxing Super Series dates to provide a superior and affordable annual offering for fight fans.”
“Today I am thrilled to be here as we announce the beginning of a new era in boxing and the U.S. harbinger of a global transformation to a fan-centered and fan-friendly presentation of sports in OTT subscription services.”
Eric Gomez, Golden Boy Promotions President
“As we all know, the sport is undergoing an enormous change. We at Golden Boy Promotions have taken a major step forward to adapt to this change by signing this historic partnership with the leader of sports streaming DAZN. This is a direct and unprecedented partnership between two major global companies in the sport, Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN.”
“As a Golden Boy fighter, Canelo became the undisputed pay-per-view king. But now Canelo is starting a new era in the sport by having his next 11 fights on this amazing platform. We are committed to making this sport as accessible and affordable as possible for all the fans. The most remarkable thing about this deal is that fans will not have to pay any extra to see the biggest name in boxing, Canelo Alvarez.”
“I’ve always said, when one door closes, another door opens. And we’re very happy with this new alliance that we’ve made with DAZN. Forget about the prices, the amount of money we’re making. The most important thing is that fans can enjoy this fight at a very low price. Thank you very much DAZN and Golden Boy, I’m very happy.”
On the fight: “For me it’s a challenge. It’s a new challenge to move up a division. We know the challenge we have in front of us and we’re going to train real hard to enter the history of Mexican boxing.”
Eddy Reynoso, Manager and Head Trainer to Canelo Alvarez
“We’re very happy about the news with Golden Boy and DAZN.”
“On December 15, we have another important challenge in the career of Canelo Alvarez. Rocky Fielding is a very tough and strong fighter who’s coming off a nice string of good victories. We know it’s a big challenge to be moving up to 168 pounds. And we know that we will fight a strong boxer who’s well-schooled. We want to make history and we want to let everyone know that Mexican boxing will always be number one. We will prepare as always 100%, and we hope to make Canelo Alvarez a three-division world champion.”
Chepo Reynoso, Manager and Trainer to Canelo Alvarez
“On December 15, we will see another great victory so that Mexico can be proud of him. We’ll see you on December 15 with a great victory in the arena of MSG.”
“Everyone wrote me off, no one gave me a chance, and I went there, believing I could do it, and I got the win. I’ve worked so hard all my life to get to the world stage. And now I’m fighting the biggest name, the biggest star in boxing. It’s every fighter’s dream to fight at MSG. I’ve worked so hard all my life for it. I respect Canelo, I’ve watched him over the years. I’m going in there to win. I’m coming in as a world champion. I want to give everything. Expect a good fight and I’m coming to win.”
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Boxing Managing Director
“We joined up with DAZN, our biggest global boxing partners a few months ago, and when we give you our commitment, we give you our heart, we give you our blood, and we had a mission to make sure the DAZN platform would work and be a success. We launched the platform with Anthony Joshua, the first show being live on DAZN, and now through Golden Boy and DAZN, they bring Canelo Saul Alvarez. This is a gamechanger for the world of boxing and the way boxing fans digest content.”
“Things are about to change. The whole game is about to change.”
Jamie Moore, Trainer of Rocky Fielding
“I believe I’ve got the right sort of fighter in my hands in Rocky Fielding. He’s got massive self-belief, he’s got a lot of attributes that we believe will cause Canelo Alvarez problems.”
“I believe the 15th of December, we’re going to get the biggest win that the gym’s ever had.”
Canelo Inks Record-Breaking Long-Term Contract with DAZN
By: Jake Donovan
From the moment they announced their commitment to boxing earlier this year, the brass at DAZN insisted they were in it for the long haul.
So, too, is the entire Golden Boy Promotions family, including its biggest star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
The reigning World middleweight champion has committed to a long-term deal with the sports streaming service, according to overnight reports from ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael and The Los Angeles Times’ Lance Pugmire. The reported $365 million deal is the richest in sports history, with Alvarez’ per fight guarantee surpassing that of Floyd Mayweather’s previous six-fight deal with Showtime.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
BoxingScene.com senior writer Keith Idec was the first to break the story of Alvarez heading to DAZN, with specific terms of the deal since revealed by Golden Boy Promotions through its press office.
News of the record-breaking contract comes ahead of a scheduled Wednesday press conference in New York City, originally intended to formally announce Alvarez’ forthcoming December 15 challenge of secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding.
“I’ve always liked a challenge, and this is yet another challenge in my career,” said Alvarez, in a statement that can point to both the incredible deal and his quest for a title in a third weight class.
Their bout—which will headline at Madison Square Garden, where Alvarez will fight for the first time in his career—had yet to disclose which network or platform would carry the event, which was supposed to be revealed on Wednesday. Golden Boy fielded offers from several outlets, including HBO which had presented Alvarez’ last seven bouts and 15 overall through its various networks and Pay-Per-View Arm.
HBO remained in the running to serve as the broadcast provider for Alvarez-Fielding, but removed its name from the fold after declining to match DAZN’s lucrative offer. The development means Alvarez appearing on a platform other than HBO, Showtime (where Alvarez appeared five times from 2012-14) or their respective PPV arms for the first time this decade.
Alvarez’ lucrative deal with HBO expired following his narrow points win over previously unbeaten and unified middleweight titlist Gennady Golovkin in their rematch this past September. The event generated more than 1.1 million PPV buys, slightly down from the 1.3 million units sold for their controversial draw one year prior.
The two events managed to generate more than $180 million in PPV revenue, with Alvarez (50-1-2, 34KOs) alone clearing in the neighborhood of $50 million for the rematch between his guaranteed purse and PPV incentives.
Now armed with the richest sports contract ever, the 28-year old superstar from Guadalajara, Mexico will only have to worry about his name helping drive subscriptions to his new boxing home.
“We are thrilled to be exclusive partners with Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya,” said John Skipper, DAZN Group Executive Chairman who previously headed programming at ESPN. “By bringing Canelo’s fights to DAZN, we will turn his pay-per-view success into a growth engine for subscribers – a truly transformational moment for our business and the entire industry.”
DAZN entered the boxing fray earlier this year, cutting a deal with leading UK promoter Eddie Hearn for up to eight years worth $1 billion for the service to be available in the US market. The sports streaming app has already proven successful in several other markets throughout Europe and Asia, and its USA launch has so far been embraced by boxing fans.
The US-brand officially launched in September, with its first card available to North American viewers on September 22. The event aired live from London, starring unbeaten and unified heavyweight titlist Anthony Joshua—easily the biggest star on that side of the pond—in his thrilling 7th round knockout of Alexander Povetkin.
It was a smart way to launch a new service, which had also armed itself with the entire schedule for season two of the World Boxing Super Series which spans three weight classes (bantamweight, super lightweight and cruiserweight). However, less inspiring was the name recognition that came with the first two shows from Hearn’s Matchroom USA company.
The October 6 show in Chicago provided plenty of thrills, far exceeding the notoriety that came with the night’s full lineup. Three separate title fights graced the undercard, but the event drew criticism for its choice in a headlining act between Jessie Vargas and Thomas Dulorme. The fight surpassed expectations, with post-fight buzz supplanting any pre-fight criticism that came with claims of the event failing to move the needle.
Still, another speed bump came ahead of this weekend’s scheduled show in Boston. The originally scheduled main event between unbeaten middleweights Billy Joe Saunders and Demetrius Andrade endured a major facelift when Saunders—who was due to defend his portion of the middleweight title—was scratched from the card after a failed pre-fight drug test resulted in his being denied a license by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.
Andrade will now face unbeaten but unheralded Namibian contender Walter Kautondokwa, with the now vacant title at stake but carrying far less intrigue.
That dynamic dramatically changes now that the winner can now position himself for a very makeable fight with the division—and sport’s—biggest draw.
Alvarez’ arrival adds to an already increasing middleweight pot on the DAZN side of the street. His old home, HBO is still the network provider for the October 27 vacant title fight between Daniel Jacobs and Sergey Derevyachenko. Jacobs is promoted by Hearn and Derevyachenko by Lou DiBella, who has shown a willingness to work with all promoters, as evidenced by entering a co-promotional deal with Hearn for 130-pound titlist Tevin Farmer, who defends on this weekend’s card in Boston.
Any mixing of matching between Alvarez and the winners of the aforementioned middleweight bouts will at least now come without network roadblocks.
Meanwhile, Golden Boy Promotions—who cut its own deal with DAZN in lieu of a co-promotional pact with Hearn—also finds a new home for the rest of its stable.
“This is easily one of the best days in the growing history of Golden Boy Promotions,” said Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions Chairman and CEO. “We are committed to making this sport as accessible as possible and at an affordable price for all the fans.
“My dream has been to make boxing a sport for all. DAZN has the perfect platform to make this dream come true, and with the biggest star in the sport at the helm of this journey, I have no doubts that we will succeed in unimaginable ways.”
With HBO announcing its exit from the sport—due to come by year’s end—after 45 years in service, Golden Boy lost out on several fight dates. The company was also faced with the burden of its own four-wall deal with ESPN expiring at the end of 2018.
That is no longer a concern. According to ESPN.com, Golden Boy secured a pact with DAZN—separate from Alvarez’ deal—due to begin in the first quarter of 2019 and guaranteeing ten fight nights per year. This opens the door for several notable fighters either promoted or affiliated (through co-promotional deal with other companies) by Golden Boy, including current titlists Rey Vargas, Alberto Machado and Angel Acosta, former titlist Jorge Linares and rising contenders and prospects like Diego de la Hoya and Ryan Garcia.
Linares and Garcia recently appeared on Golden Boy’s current Facebook Live series, but would stand to benefit from a bigger budgeted promotion that would come with DAZN, who between Joshua and now Alvarez can boldly proclaim itself as the home for the two biggest stars in the sport today.
“Being part of this historic deal will require me to prepare myself even more and offer fans even better performances,” Alvarez insists, quite the claim since he’s already led a Hall-of Fame worthy career. “At the same time, I am humbled to be selected to lead this new vision for the sport of boxing, which will without a doubt be for the benefit of the fans.”
Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Barrera, Lomachenko, Hardy, Wilder, Fury, and more…
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of October 2nd to October 9th; covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Canelo Alvarez to Make NYC Debut Against Rocky Fielding
Canelo Alvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), the universally recognized middleweight champion of the world and the veritable face of boxing, will make his New York City debut as he faces WBA Super Middleweight World Champion Rocky Fielding (27-1, 15 KOs) in a special 12-round super middleweight attraction on Saturday, Dec. 15 at Madison Square Garden.
Additional details for the event, including ticket information, will be announced shortly.
Canelo, the 28-year-old native of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is without a doubt boxing’s biggest star. After capturing two world titles and the lineal championship in the super welterweight division, Canelo moved up to middleweight to capture the WBC, Lineal and
Ring Magazine World Titles with a unanimous decision victory against Miguel Cotto in November 2015. Canelo has maintained his status as the lineal champion ever since. But after his historic win against Gennady “GGG” Golovkin in their highly anticipated rematch in September, Canelo captured the WBC, WBA and Ring Magazine Middleweight World Titles and established himself as the very best in the division. Canelo will look to capture a world title in a third division against Fielding.
“It has always been a desire of mine to fight in New York, and where better than at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden?” said Canelo Alvarez. “I look forward to exploring this 160-pound division against current WBA World Champion Rocky Fielding. I will be representing the WBC as its current middleweight world champion as I continue demonstrating to the world that I am the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
Fielding is a 31-year-old native of Liverpool, England who climbed the 168-pound rankings by fighting the toughest fighters in his native country. Fielding has only suffered one loss in his career, against who would eventually be a world champion in Callum Smith. Since then, he has scored six victories in a row, including his career-best win against Tyron Zeuge to capture the WBA Super Middleweight World Title in July. Fielding will defend his title in what will be his United States debut.
“This is everything that I’ve ever dreamed of – fighting a pound-for-pound star at Madison Square Garden for my world title,” said Rocky Fielding. “I can really punch. Everyone knows that. Let’s see what happens on the night when I catch him clean. He’s [Canelo] stepping up in weight, and he’s not going to be a big super middleweight. I know how good he is, but we will come up with a plan to beat him. I know I can catch him and put him to sleep.”
“It was about time that the biggest star in boxing headed to Madison Square Garden,” said Oscar De La Hoya, CEO and Chairman of Golden Boy Promotions. “Nearly every great fighter has fought at this historic arena. Canelo is establishing a historic legacy, and I’m excited that fans in New York will be able to see this great talent in such a famed place for boxing.”
“This will be a huge night for Rocky Fielding, and one he couldn’t turn down – the chance to fight one of the biggest names of the sport in an iconic and historic venue in Madison Square Garden,” said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. “Although Rocky is the champion, we thank Golden Boy Promotions, Oscar De La Hoya and Eric Gomez for this wonderful opportunity. New York can expect a Liverpool invasion on December 15 and a great atmosphere in the Big Apple.”
Canelo vs. Fielding is a 12-round fight for WBA Super Middleweight World Title 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, December 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.
Showtime Sports to Chronicle Wilder vs. Fury with All Access Series
SHOWTIME Sports will chronicle the buildup to the heavyweight blockbuster event featuring WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder and lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury with a new installment of ALL ACCESS, a three-part series beginning Saturday, November 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME. The Emmy Award-winning series will peel back the curtain as two of boxing’s most charismatic showmen prepare to put their undefeated records on the line Saturday, December 1 live on SHOWTIME PPV® from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Episode two of ALL ACCESS: WILDER VS. FURY will premiere Saturday, November 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. ALL ACCESS EPILOGUE, which spotlights the intensity of fight night and the solemn aftermath of world championship prizefighting like never before, will premiere on Saturday, December 8.
The acclaimed SHOWTIME Sports original series will be accompanied by digital features released throughout fight week on the networks’ social media channels. ALL ACCESS DAILY will deliver the same intimate access and signature storytelling as the intensity builds toward the most significant heavyweight title fight in the U.S. since 2002. New installments of the digital series will be available each day beginning Wednesday, November 28 on the SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page.
ALL ACCESS: WILDER VS. FURY will immerse viewers into the lives and training camps of Wilder, the Alabama native set for his eighth world title defense and Fury, the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” who shocked the world in 2015 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified and lineal heavyweight world champion. Filming for the series is underway as the towering figures embark on a three-city press tour for one of 2018’s most anticipated events.
Sullivan Barrera vs. Seanie Monaghan in Brooklyn on November 3rd
Former WBC International Light Heavyweight world champion Sullivan Barrera (21-2, 14 KOs) returns to the ring to regain his standing as one of the world’s top light heavyweights. Barrera faces top five light heavyweight contender “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (29-1, 17 KOs) in the 10-round main event at The Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday, November 3, 2018. The event is promoted by Main Events and will be streamed live via Facebook Watch as part of the Golden Boy Fight Night series.
Tickets are priced at $125 and $100 for VIP ringside seats and $50 for general admission. They are available to purchase now through Eventbrite or by calling Main Events at 973-200-7050 or emailing [email protected]
Barrera vs. Monaghan was originally scheduled to take place on August 18 but was postponed when Barrera suffered an eye injury. Barrera has since recovered, and Monaghan remained available to put the bout back on the Facebook Watch series, a collaboration between Golden Boy Promotions, Facebook and Main Events, offered to fans around the world via live online streaming.
Barrera, 36, a native of Cuba who defected to the United States after fighting for the Cuban National Team, now lives and trains in Miami, Florida. He makes his return to the ring after taking WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol deep into the 12th round of their title fight in March before being stopped, by far the most difficult opponent of Bivol’s professional career. The WBC ranks Barrera fourth in the competitive Light Heavyweight division.
Monaghan, also 36, is a Long Island, New York native with proud Irish roots. He began his professional boxing career at the late age of 28 but quickly made up for lost time. After his first and only loss as a professional in 30 fights to Marcus Browne in July 2017, Monaghan started his comeback quest with a win in November 2017 and intends to make up for lost time against Barrera.
“Thank you to my team, my coach Derik Santos, my promoter Main Events, my manager Luis Molina, and thanks to Seanie Monaghan for taking this fight,” said Barrera. “As always, I’m willing to face the top guys in my division. This is another tough fighter. I look forward to November 3, and I’ll give the fans a great show. They will see me start to climb my way back up to facing the very best light heavyweights in the world.”
Barrera’s trainer, Derik Santos, said training is already underway for the fight. “We are working and are dedicated as usual. Thank you to manager Luis Molina and our promoter Main Events. Sullivan has gone into tough fights over the years and has consistently shown himself to be one of the toughest light heavyweight contenders in the division.”
Despite the pressure on them, Barrera and Santos maintain the same confidence and positive attitude that led Barrera to the top. “Train well and overcome, has been the directive since day one,” declared Santos. “Our expectations are the same today.”
Barrera is no stranger to Seanie Monaghan, and he’s looking forward to the matchup. “This fight is do or die for both of us. I’ve been going back and forth with Barrera on Twitter for a couple of years now. This will finally be our chance to settle it in the ring, no more talking,” said Monaghan.
Monaghan lost his father over the summer. He planned from that day to bring the late Davy Monaghan’s ashes back to his hometown of Navan in Ireland someday while wearing a title belt around his waist. His fight with Barrera is as much for his father as it is for himself.
In the ultra-competitive light heavyweight division, the talent pool is deep, and virtually every fighter ranked among the Top 15 contenders is a threat to the current titleholders. Main Events’ CEO and Barrera’s promoter, Kathy Duva, originally selected this high-stakes fight as a perfect fit for the Main Events-promoted card in the Golden Boy Fight Night series and remained resolved to make the fight happen after the cancellation.
“Expanding access to our fan-friendly fights around the world with online streaming technology is the latest chapter in the 40-year history of Main Events,” said Duva. “Boxing has always been able to adapt and stay current as a sport.”
Duva promised: “Technology has changed a lot in this world, but one thing will never change about Main Events: our determination to make the best matches and feature amazing athletes in the ring. We wanted Sullivan Barrera and Seanie Monaghan in the ring and were more disappointed than anyone when the original bout was postponed. We were determined to make this fight happen, because I know these guys will give everything they’ve got for their legacy, and for the fans.”
Lomachenko-Pedraza Tickets on Sale October 10th
WBA lightweight world champion Vasiliy Lomachenko has made his second home in New York City.
The man considered by many boxing experts to be the world’s best fighter will top the bill at a Madison Square Garden venue for the fourth time as a pro when he takes on WBO champion Jose Pedraza in a unification bout Dec. 8 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Madison Square Garden, tickets for Lomachenko-Pedraza go on sale Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 12 p.m. ET. Priced at $506, $356, $206, $106, and $56, tickets can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008), and online at ticketmaster.com and MSG.com.
Lomachenko-Pedraza will headline a special edition of Top Rank on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET, which will follow the 84th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation.
This will be Lomachenko’s third consecutive bout at a Madison Square Garden venue. He last fought May 12 at Madison Square Garden, knocking out Jorge Linares in the 10th round in front of 10,429 fans.
12th Ranked Heavyweight Jermaine Franklin Parts Ways with Management Team
Undefeated Heavyweight Jermaine “989 Assassin” Franklin (17-0, 13KOs) is taking the next step toward being World Heavyweight Champion. Franklin announced last week that he has parted ways with his former Manager Mark Haak.
At 24 years old and ranked #12 in the U.S., Franklin is currently the youngest fighter ranked in the Top 20 in the country. “After long discussions with my family, I felt it was best to go in a new direction. I’m ready to take the next step toward being the World Heavyweight Champion. Whoever promotes the Franklin name needs to know they are getting a world champion in two years or less. That’s a promise,” said Franklin.
Franklin won the Golden Gloves heavyweight national title in 2014 and placed second in the 2014 World Golden Gloves. Known for speed and punching power with both hands, Franklin’s growing popularity is making the boxing world take notice.
“When I look at the heavyweight division, my skills and heart is second to none. There is no one out there that I fear. I have the power to knock out whoever stands in front of me,” said Franklin.
Heather Hardy vs. Shelly Vincent Added to October 27th HBO telecast
In a rematch of their epic 2016 “Fight of the Year”, Brooklyn’s Heather “The Heat” Hardy (21-0, 4 KOs) and Shelly “Shelito’s Way” Vincent (23-1, 1 KO) will clash once again on October 27, at the Hulu Theater from Madison Square Garden. The scheduled 10-round bout, for the vacant WBO Women’s Featherweight World title, will open a sensational tripleheader televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
Previously announced on the telecast, Daniel Jacobs (34-2, 29 KOs) and Sergiy Derevyanchenko (12-0, 10 KOs) will battle for the vacant IBF World Middleweight Title and Alberto Machado (20-0, 16 KOs) will defend his WBA Super Featherweight Title against Yuandale Evans (20-1, 14 KOs).
“I’m so excited and so honored to be fighting on HBO,” said Hardy. “Shelly and I have wanted a rematch since the first fight ended and it’s fitting that it’s on this huge card and will be telecast on HBO from Madison Square Garden. The first fight was one of the very best of 2016 and the rematch will start right where we finished off.”
Said Vincent emphatically about the world title bout and prospect of winning the title belt, “I’m not leaving without my property!”
“I was thrilled to call Heather and Shelly and let them know that their rematch will be telecast on HBO,” said Lou DiBella, President of DiBella Entertainment. “I have to give a lot of credit to Peter Nelson and HBO for advancing women’s boxing by stepping up to air this fight.”
“The first fight between Heather and Shelly was an outstanding, back-and-forth battle, reminiscent of the Gatti-Ward fights that I co-promoted. I anticipate nothing less when the bell rings for the rematch. October 27 is a stacked card, in the intimate setting of Hulu Theater from Madison Square Garden, and I encourage as many fans as possible to join us live.”
Fighting on August 21, 2016, in Coney Island, NY, and in a nationally telecast bout, Hardy won a hard-fought majority decision over 10 rounds. Hardy has since won three additional fights including two victories versus former world title challenger Edina Kiss. Most recently, Hardy scored an eight-round decision against Iranda Torres on April 21, in Brooklyn.
A native of Providence, RI, Vincent has stayed busy with five wins since her loss to Hardy, the only defeat of her eight years as a professional. As a result of her performance against Hardy, the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame named her their “Fighter of the Year” for 2016, with Vincent becoming the first female recipient of that award. In her last bout on July 21, Vincent took home an eight-round decision victory against Calista Silgado.
Canelo Alvarez to Face Rocky Fielding at MSG
By: Michael Kane
WBA Super Middleweight Regular champion, Rocky Fielding, will make his first defence of the title on December 15th at Madison Square Garden, New York, against WBC, WBA Super and Ring middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
In a match up that has come as a bit of a surprise, Canelo moves up a weight division to try and add another title.
Fielding won the title when he defeated Tyron Zeyge by 5th round TKO in July and lands a massive pay day for his first defence.
Fielding is currently 27-1 with his only defeat against current WBA Super Middleweight Super champion Callum Smith back in 2015.
Canelo, who added the WBC Middleweight title last month after another epic fight with Gennady Golovkin will be looking to add to his legacy.
Canelo took to social media to post, “With great emotion I announce my next fight.
“Taking a big challenge in my career and representing the WBC at 160 lbs, I will now fight for the 168 lbs title vs Rocky Fielding, the current WBA champion.”
Con mucha emoción les anuncio mi siguiente pelea. Próximo 15 de diciembre en el MSG de New York. Tomando un gran reto más en mi carrera y representando al wbc como campeón de las 160 lbs ahora pelearé por el título mundial por las 168 lbs vs Rocky Fielding actual campeón wba!🥊🥊 pic.twitter.com/h86E4xHDvF
— Canelo Alvarez (@Canelo) October 5, 2018
Rocky Fielding posted that he was living the dream, from Salford Sports Centre to Madison Square Gardens.
— Rocky Fielding (@Rocky87Fielding) October 5, 2018
Fielding’s promoter Eddie Hearn took to Twitter to congratulate him on landing the massive fight.
— Eddie Hearn (@EddieHearn) October 5, 2018
As yet, which TV network the fight will be on in the U.S has yet to be announced. Canelo’s fights had been a staple of HBO PPV however HBO have decided to pull out of boxing coverage. Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom promotions have a deal with DAZN who would love to have Canelo appear on their streaming service.
No such problems for fans in the UK who will be served by Sky Sports Box Office.
How Will We Remember Gennady Golovkin’s Career?
By: Kirk Jackson
Fresh off his first official defeat of his professional career, questions surround the former middleweight champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin 38-1-1 (34 KO’s).
Questions regarding his next move, which direction his career carries into the future, questions pertaining to the very fabric and foundation for his career. This past fight for instance, why he was pushed back by the smaller man?
Succumbing to defeat via the hands of Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 50-1-2 (34 KO’s) sets an astonishing precedent, but not for the fact Golovkin suffered defeat to an elite fighter. It’s the fashion of how defeat manifested.
The fact the smaller man originally beginning his career at junior welterweight (140lbs.), walked down and stalked the career long middleweight is a bold statement. Future Hall of Fame fighter and ESPN boxing analyst Andre Ward expands on this notion.
Leading up to the rematch, Golovkin and head trainer Abel Sanchez asked, begged, pleaded for Alvarez to stand and fight, to not utilize lateral movement in the rematch, to give the fans an action-packed show, thus providing Golovkin with greater opportunity to sink his powerful punches in hopes of bashing the Mexican star.
Team Golovkin trashed Alvarez leading up to the rematch. Some of their ire (rightfully so) drew from the failed drug tests from the banned substance clenbuterol and the other part of their frustration stemmed from the results and how the first fight transpired.
However, Golovkin and Sanchez got what they asked for, Canelo took the fight to Triple G, walking him down, pushing the bigger fight back, controlling the story of the fight, as Ward eloquently stated to Stephen A. Smith during their brief debate regarding the results of the rematch between Golovkin and Alvarez.
The wounds are still fresh, it’s natural for one to be a prisoner of the moment and to make declarations and assessments to what was just witnessed.
Ultimately as time passes, data continues to collect, the tea leaves assemble and we’ll be able to make a full assessment of the career of Gennady Golovkin.
His name will forever be linked with Alvarez and as it stands now, he is on the wrong side of history.
Looks like Golovkin's career will be a hard pill to swallow, never won the big fight against an a-side, never unified and struggled against the best in the division. Seems like his legacy might be his run against lesser opposition and sparring stories. #CaneloGGG2
— LukieBoxing (@LukieBoxing) September 16, 2018
The tweet from podcaster and editor @LukieBoxing is a fair statement about Golovkin’s career.
Digesting that statement, where is Golovkin’s signature victory against the A-side opponent? Which win was his signature win if he has one? Who is it against? Was his signature win against Daniel Jacobs, another close, disputed fight? Or is it against David Lemieux? Or perhaps his signature win was against the undefeated Kell Brook, the natural welterweight moving up two weight classes.
Addressing the issue of unification of the world titles, Golovkin spent his entire professional career at middleweight and entering the rematch with Alvarez was a world champion since 2010.
You would think somewhere throughout that long reign, unification of the division would have transpired right?
Sanctioning bodies play a role, same with promoters, promotional companies and networks. These components play part and such is the dynamic of boxing from the business perspective.
Even still, if going off the words and merits of Golovkin’s trainer Abel Sanchez or promoter Tom Loefller, the past four years or so Golovkin has been the A-side – meaning headliner of boxing, thus other fighters should want to fight him due to his stature in boxing and earning potential.
But both Sanchez and Loefller were also quoted stating no one wants to fight Golovkin because they are afraid to get knocked out.
The statements contradict each other and its perplexing trying to determine the purpose and angle for how they addressed Golovkin’s lack of great opposition and failure to unify the division.
Even Golovkin doesn’t think fighters are necessarily afraid to fight him.
As far as the fear factor his handlers attempted to plant into the minds of the public, sometimes it went as far as exposing gym wars and sparring stories – even at the expense of others. Golovkin’s sparring with Sergey Kovalev is part of the legend.
In an interview with HustleBoss, Abel Sanchez said, “He [Kovalev] was one of the sparring partners that we had. He was with me for about a year and a half.”
“Really Kovalev was afraid of Golovkin when he was in the ring. I couldn’t spar him too much because he showed too much respect for Golovkin. He just fell apart in there with Golovkin.”
For years Triple G was perceived by media and fans alike as some mythological boogeyman due to false narrative initiating with Triple G’s trainer and promoter, to be echoed by networks like HBO, ESPN and repeated by other writers and reporters throughout the media.
But for some reason, Golovkin never unified the division. The last great middleweight Golovkin is compared to actually unified the division during his reign at middleweight. That person is Bernard Hopkins.
Jermain Taylor acquired all the world titles at middleweight by virtue of defeating Hopkins.
By comparison, current WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford acquired all junior welterweight titles, unifying the division in two years’ time, while the current undisputed, unified cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk, captured every world title in his division under less than five years’ time.
Boxing history shows, if a truly great champion cannot unify the division and this can be virtue by a variety of circumstances, that great champion moves up in weight class, seeking greater and often times more luxurious challenges.
Manny Pacquiao is a prime example. Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez, Vasyl Lomachenko, etc.
The indication is if Golovkin experienced difficulty securing bouts against other elite fighters in his weight class, or experienced securing bouts against the champions holding the other titles, the logical move is forcing that belt holder to vacate or to move up in weight and seek other challenges.
But that wasn’t the path for Golovkin.
There is nothing wrong with his path, he has every right to handle his career, finances, whatever he wants how he sees fit. But when comparing him to other great all-time fighters or even his contemporaries and great fighters for this era, he falls short.
And now, the same people suggesting Golovkin is an all-time great, legendary, unstoppable fighter are the same ones dismissing his greatness in light of his recent defeat. Remember, HBO analyst Jim Lampley openly stated Golovkin’s career is a failure if he fails to defeat Alvarez. Lampley was the conductor on the Triple G train.
“He’s trying to make a statement [Saturday] night to say that he’s the greatest middleweight of all time,” Lampley said about Golovkin leading up to the rematch.
“But if he loses the fight, his entire career was a failure,” Lampley continues. “If he loses this fight, he’s not just losing to Canelo. He’s losing to the six years he spent in Europe at the beginning of his professional career, chasing a title held by Felix Sturm, for which he was never going to get a chance to compete [to win].”
“He’s losing to a decision he made about how to construct his career, that basically put him in limbo for six years and ultimately brought him to the United States as something of an underground legend. What would Triple-G be if he had come straight from his loss in Athens at the end of the Olympics in 2004 to the United States? Could’ve been an entirely different story. Could’ve been a much, much bigger star. Could’ve had a larger imprint on the history of boxing.”
For history to reserve a fonder memory of Golovkin he needs drastic wins against higher level opponents but at 36-years-old, sand falls faster in the hourglass and with it opportunities shrink.
There was a lapse of talent in the middleweight division for most of the decade, only recently experiencing a resurgence of talent with the emergence of Daniel Jacobs, Billie Joe Saunders, Jermall Charlo, Saul Alvarez, Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Demetrius Andrade.
Can Golovkin beat Alvarez in a third fight? It’s possible, it’s not like he wasn’t competitive – it was a close fight. Same applies for Golovkin’s chances against Jacobs as he defeated in the past. How does Golovkin fare against the other fighters mentioned?
Will Golovkin challenge the other middleweights or will he emulate Hopkins, ascending to the higher weight divisions, facing new challenges as the previous middleweight king before him did?
Or is he on his way towards retirement, seeking another large payday or two, aiming for further financial security?
If the latter option is the answer, securing one or two more fights with Canelo is should be the objective for Triple G. Whether it comes to fruition is another story.
For Golovkin, the context of the comparisons will dictate how he’s remembered.
World class trainer and boxing analyst Teddy Atlas implies, was Golovkin overrated; a talented fighter with good skills but with glaring weaknesses never exposed in the ring because of favorable match-ups against weaker opposition and media hype.
Which begs the question, how will we remember Gennady Golovkin?
Mental Warfare Tactics Backfired for Gennady Golovkin
By: Kirk Jackson
If newly dethroned champion Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin 38-1-1 (34 KO’s) is looking for excuses for the results of defeat against Mexican rival Saul “Canelo” Alvarez 50-1-2 (34 KO’s), he may want to look towards his corner’s direction.
Golovkin and his trainer, Abel Sanchez, castigated Alvarez for “Running” and not fighting “Mexican style” during their first encounter last year. There is cultural appropriation and many of the HBO analysts along with other members of mass media perpetuate that ignorance, but that’s another story.
Post the initial fight and leading up to the rematch, Sanchez and company dismissed Alvarez and his elusive fight style, questioning his boxing character.
“What happened to Canelo’s body shots? You can’t punch someone when they’re running, and Canelo was running so it’s hard for Golovkin to throw his punches when Canelo is running,” Sanchez said in one of the interviews leading up to the rematch.
“Canelo knocked out Liam Smith with a body punch. That’s supposedly his favorite punch. Why didn’t he throw it against Golovkin to the body? He didn’t, you cannot punch a target that’s running.”
It appears Sanchez’s words ignited a fire matching Canelo’s hair color, because Alvarez didn’t move much in this exhilarating rematch and regularly brought the fight to the powerful Golovkin. Alvarez arguably walked down the bigger fighter for 9, 10 rounds of their 12 round championship fight.
HBO commentator Roy Jones suggested the comments from the Golovkin camp implied they would knock-out Alvarez if he’s willing to stand and trade.
This cast a narrative of the fight before it happened and when Alvarez took the fight to Golovkin in the rematch, he changed the “Story” of the fight in his favor. “Story” was a common term echoed throughout the course of their fight by HBO commentators.
To Sanchez’s credit, he gave respect towards his adversary after the fight, although not directly in the ring during the customary post-fight interviews.
“We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around,” Sanchez said. “I had it close going into the 12th round. We had good judges, who saw it from different angles. I can’t complain about the decision, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight. Canelo fought a great fight. Congratulations.”
Not only did the mental warfare tactics from Golovkin’s camp backfire, they cost Golovkin the fight and highlighted weaknesses from Golovkin in spite of his performance. It’s his version of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
The good was the actual fight. Back and forth action, high-paced action, competitive, both combatants displaying iron chins and gigantic hearts, placing themselves within that realm of vulnerability that is the boxing ring on the grandest stage.
The bad were the tactical errors and blame that can be placed on Golovkin and Sanchez. Golovkin has over 300 amateur fights, is an Olympic Silver medalist, professional world champion for more than eight years and the bigger fighter. Why couldn’t he stop the smaller fighter who started at junior welterweight (140 lbs.) from walking him down?
Sanchez trained a few Hall of Fame fighters and many world champions, but was there some form of advice or tactical adjustment to push the smaller fighter back to gain control of the real estate in the ring and control of the “Story” in the fight?
During the fight, Sanchez realized the hole they were in because after round seven, viewers could hear Sanchez loudly whisper in Golovkin’s ear, “You’re losing the fight.” Most of the fight was Golovkin backing up, fighting off his back foot looking awkward, robotic and uncomfortable.
That’s not to suggest you can’t win a fight off your back foot because you can, it’s just an observation of how the tables have turned and points to what HBO commentator Roy Jones suggested about the story of the fight favoring Canelo.
The ugly is the defeat and how it was handled. It was a close competitive fight, one of those fights a draw or decision either way is not a bad result – similar to the fight most recently exhibited between Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia.
But with this defeat, Golovkin lacks a signature win against a high-quality opponent. Some may argue Daniel Jacobs, but some may also argue Jacobs won or that Golovkin barely squeezed that one out. Just like some may argue Golovkin won the rematch with Alvarez, or that he won both fights. It boils down to the judges and what’s officially ledged in the history book. That’s an L for Golovkin.
The ugly is also how Triple G handled defeat. Frustration after a close fight is part of the game, it’s understandable. However if Triple G is regarded as a professional, such a nice guy and represents the sport properly, then he is not above providing a post-fight interview after losing.
The lack of the post-fight ring interview may relate to his tenure with HBO ending as this was the last fight on their contract. Regardless if that’s true or not, it’s not a good look.
And where Golovkin goes from here is uncertain. Although he and his trainer more than likely would prefer a third fight with Alvarez opposed to facing anyone else.
“I think that in this business, in this boxing business, they have to look at all the possibilities for the future not only for Canelo, but also for Golovkin,” Sanchez told BoxingScene.com following a press conference Saturday night. “I think that, as a pair, they stand to do better than any fight that either one could ever have [against another opponent].”
Fighting Alvarez guarantees more money, there is the revenge factor and oddly enough from a boxing tactical sense, it makes it’s the best move for Golovkin as Sanchez suggested.
Until the decision manifests, Team Golovkin can rest and ponder about the decisions pre-fight and during that cost them the fight.
Sergey Kovalev-Eleider Alvarez Rematch Coming to ESPN in Early 2019
Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Eleider “Storm” Alvarez lit up the Atlantic City Boardwalk in a pitched battle last month. The two will renew acquaintances early next year live on a Top Rank on ESPN card as part of a co-promotion with Main Event and Krusher Promotions, in association with Groupe Yvon Michel.
Alvarez knocked down Kovalev three times in the seventh round and scored a TKO to capture the WBO light heavyweight title in a shocking upset. Kovalev led on all three judges’ scorecards at the time of the stoppage and hopes to pick up where the first six rounds left off.
“We are very happy to be joining forces with Top Rank and ESPN for what we expect will be another exciting and historic fight,” said Kathy Duva, CEO of Main Events. “Sergey was clearly winning his first bout with Alvarez when he just got caught. It happens. Congratulations to Alvarez for his spectacular performance, but Sergey is a warrior. He let me know that he is anxious to avenge this loss as soon as possible. We are looking forward to the new year!”
“Bringing this marquee rematch to boxing fans on ESPN is a great way to start 2019,” said Top Rank President Todd duBoef. “The light heavyweight division is loaded, and both Kovalev and Alvarez have fan-friendly styles that will make for another gripping fight.”
Added Burke Magnus, ESPN Executive Vice President of Programming and Scheduling: “This has been an exciting year for boxing on ESPN, and the Kovalev-Alvarez rematch is another example of the world-class caliber of events we look forward to continue to showcase on Top Rank on ESPN in 2019.”
Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) established himself as one of this generation’s preeminent light heavyweight champions with nine title defenses across two title reigns. He first won the WBO title in August 2013, traveling to Wales and knocking out hometown champion Nathan Cleverly in the fourth round. He became the unified champion in November 2014 with a dominating 12-round decision against future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins and further enhanced his résumé with a pair of knockout wins against former lineal light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal. Kovalev lost the title via controversial decision loss to Andre Ward in November 2016. After dropping the rematch via eighth-round TKO, Kovalev recaptured the WBO title with a second-round TKO against Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in November of last year. He defended the title once before the first Alvarez bout.
Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs), a former Colombian amateur standout who resides in Montreal, is a nine-year pro with a host of A-list names on his résumé, including: Kovalev, Pascal, and former super middleweight world champion Lucian Bute. The Kovalev triumph is the signature victory on his record. Come 2019, Alvarez hopes it’s repeat rather than revenge.
Use the hashtag #AlvarezKovalev to join the conversation on social media.
HBO PPV Preview: Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin Rematch, Plus Full Undercard
By: William Holmes
Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin PPV
HBO PPV: $84.95
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Start time: 8PM ET/ 5PM PT
TV Undercard: Jaime Munguia vs Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook
David Lemieux vs Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan
Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez vs Moises “Moi” Fuentes
On Saturday, September 15th the long awaited rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez will finally occur for Golovkin’s WBA and WBC Middleweight Titles.
They were originally to fight on May 5th, but a positive test for clenbuterol scuttled those plans. Canelo claimed the trace levels detected were due to contaminated meat, which was met with some skepticism by Golovkin and his team.
Jaime Mungui and Brandon Cook will meet in the co-main event of the night for Munguia’s WBO Junior Middleweight World Title. David Lemieux and Gary O’Sullivan will also meet in a middleweight bout with possible future title implications.
Other boxers such as Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez, Moises Fuentes, Vergil Ortiz Jr., Alexis Rocha, and Brian Ceballo will also be featured on the undercard.
The following is a preview of the three top fights for Saturday’s HBO PPV offering.
David Lemieux (39-4) vs. Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan (28-2); Middleweights
David Lemieux is only twenty nine years old, and will be five years older than Gary O’Sullivan come fight night, but in ring years he’s significantly older. He’s been in some tough fights with some tough competition and already has thirteen more professional fights than O’Sullivan.
They’re about the same size, O’Sullivan will have a slight ½ inch height advantage. They both have decent power. Lemieux has stopped thirty three of his opponents while O’Sullivan has stopped twenty. However, Lemieux only has one stoppage victory in his past five fights while O’Sullivan has five victories in a row by stoppage.
They also have both been stopped. Lemieux has two stoppage losses while O’Sullivan has one stoppage loss on his record.
They both have been fairly active. He fought once in 2018, three times in 2017, and twice in 2016. O’Sullivan fought once in 2018, four times in 2017, and once in 2016.
Lemieux does have an edge in amateur experience. He won the Canadian National Junior Championships in 2006 while O’Sullivan does not have any notable amateur accomplishments.
Lemieux’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin, and earlier in his career to Joachim Alcine and Marco Antonio Rubion. He has beaten the likes of Elvin Ayala, Hector Camacho Jr., Fernando Guerrero, Gabriel Rosado, Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam, Glen Tapia, Curtis Stevens, and Karim Achour.
O’Sullivan’s losses were to Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr. He has defeated the likes of Berlin Abreu, Antoine Douglas, Nick Quigley, Melvin Bentancourt, and Matthew Hall.
If this fight happened three years ago Lemieux would be considered the favorite. But he looked slow and old in his loss to Billy Joe Saunders and he is starting to show signs of ring wear. O’Sullivan on the other hand, has been riding a good win streak and looked sensational against a solid young prospect in Antoine Douglas.
This writer has to pick O’Sullivan in a minor upset.
Jaime Munguia (30-0) vs. Brandon Cook (20-1); WBO Junior Middleweight Title
Jaime Munguia is one of Golden Boy Promotions’ best young fighters and at the age of twenty one is already a legitimate world champion.
He has exceptional power. He has twenty five stoppage wins and has stopped six of his past seven opponents. He’s also eleven years younger than his opponent Brandon Cook, who only has thirteen stoppage wins, and already has one stoppage loss.
Munguia has been incredibly active. He already fought four times in 2018 and fought seven times in 2017. Cook has also been active and fought once in 2018 and three times in 2017.
Munguia has the better amateur pedigree. He was a Gold Medalist in the Mexican National Championships and turned pro at the age of 16.
Cook’s lone loss was to Kanat Islam by TKO in 2017. He doesn’t have any big victories of note, he has defeated the likes of Miguel Suarez, Steven Butler, and Hector Santana.
Munguia has defeated the likes of Liam Smith, Sadam Ali, Jose Paz, Paul Valenzuela Jr., and Johnny Navarrete.
On paper, it’s hard to find anything that Bradon Cook does better than Jaime Munguia. It’s likely we will see that in the ring too.
Gennady Golovkin (38-0-1) vs. Canelo Alvarez (49-1-2); WBA/WBC Middleweight Title
Gennady Golovkin has to be considered one of, if not the best middleweight boxers in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t have that big signature win over an exceptional opponent on his resume.
Many thought he did enough to beat Canelo last year, but Canelo came on strong in the later rounds and was able to make the fight a draw.
Both boxers have good power. Golovkin has stopped thirty four of his opponents, though his power seems to be slipping recently. Canelo also has thirty four stoppage wins. Neither boxer has ever been stopped in their career.
Canelo will have a slight ½ inch reach advantage, but will also be giving up about two inches in height. Canelo will be eight years younger than Golovkin on Saturday, and Golovkin may be showing some signs of rust in his armor with his advancing age.
Golovkin has the better amateur career of the two. He was a silver medalist in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Canelo turned professional at a young age, but did win the 2005 Junior Mexican National Championships.
Golovkin has beaten the likes of Vanes Martirosyan, Daniel Jacobs, Kell Brook, Dominic Wade, David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr., Marco Antonio Rubio, Daniel Geale, Curtis Stevens, Matthew Macklin, and Gabriel Rosado. He has fought twice a year in 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Canelo has beaten the likes of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Liam Smith, Amir Khan, Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland, Erislandy Lara, Alfredo Angulo, Austin Trout, Josesito Lopez, Shane Mosley, and Kermit Cintron. His lone loss was the Floyd Mayweather Jr., and he had a draw very early in his career to a Jorge Juarez.
Both boxers seem motivated and have a genuine dislike of each other since Canelo’s positive steroid test in the spring. In their last fight they appeared to be very respectful towards each other, almost too much.
Golovkin’s age is a big concern and his best days are likely behind him. Canelo also appeared to have figured out Golovkin by the end of the fight and was coming on strong. The fight fans in attendance will also likely be in favor of Canelo over Golovkin.
The intangibles favor Canelo,but it’s hard to pick against a man that has never lost and looked absolutely dominating at times.
This is basically an even fight, but this writer has to give the slightest of edges to Golovkin, only because it appeared that Golovkin should have received the decision last time.
Gennady Golovkin’s Fight For Legacy
By: Kirk Jackson
The path of Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin 38-0-1, (34 KO’s) is interesting. For years he was perceived by media and fans alike as some mythological boogeyman-esque fighter.
This perception is a testament to his style, commitment towards his craft and enthusiasm towards inflicting pain and despair upon opponents.
The label and distinction awarded to him as one of the most feared fighters is also and perhaps more so a testament to Tom Loeffler and his promotion of the Kazakhstan star.
Photo Credit: Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions
A great fighter will look outstanding against elite opposition because that great fighter is forced to show his/her character as a fighter when things aren’t easy.
Sugar Ray Leonard displayed greatness against Tommy Hearns because he was pitted against an equally great fighter and endured a situation unique and had never experienced prior.
Leonard had to adjust to the superior boxer; walking through the flames of Hearns’ extensive range and menacing punching power.
Leonard stopped the “Hitman” via technical knock-out, displaying special talent and great tenacity to adjust, strategically change the game plan and seize victory.
Showcasing the ability to overcome adversity isn’t the only metric to measure one’s greatness, as analyzing the manner how a fighter dominates competition can be used as criteria.
The dominance or consistency against elite competition for example is of most importance.
If a great fighter is fed average to below average opposition, the great fighter is going to win and look dominant.
It’s a classic case of big fish in a small pond.
But if that fish relocates to a larger pond, or if a smaller fingerling grows to become a legitimate threat, we have a true fight for survival.
If Golovkin wants to cement his legacy, validation in the form of elite opposition is what Golovkin needs.
Big names or elite level opposition is sorely absent on Triple G’s resume.
Kell Brook was a really good fighter two divisions below Golovkin at welterweight and Daniel Jacobs is a former champion and can very well be champion within the next few months. But Golovkin needs more.
By comparison, another fighter considered pound-for-pound is Mikey Garcia. Garcia has five world titles across four weight classes in seven championship fights.
Golovkin exceeds Garcia with championship bouts (over 21 bouts), but Garcia faced and defeated a higher number of world champion fighters. As of now, Garcia defeated 10 world champions, six by knockout.
Golovkin to this point is 5-0-1 (4 KO’s) against world champions and is six years older than Garcia.
Other pound-for-pound contemporaries Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko defeated six world champions each.
Golovkin’s opponent this Saturday Saul “Canelo” Alvarez is overall is 49-1-2 (34 KO’s) and 12-1-1 (4 KO’s) against world champion fighters.
Referring back to the discussion of dominance against opposition and greatness; the last great middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins, was not awarded acknowledgement of his greatness until he dominated undefeated Felix Trinidad. Hopkins at the time was 36-years-old, like Golovkin.
Hopkins followed his quintessential performance with a win over Oscar De La Hoya at middleweight, topped off by moving up to the light heavyweight division, winning multiple world titles, becoming the oldest fighter to hold a world title and fighting the likes of pound-for-pound level opposition like Chad Dawson and Sergey Kovalev.
Golovkin needs Alvarez, because Alvarez has cache. The Mexican superstar brings money to the table along with the prestige Golovkin has long pursued.
Adding that feather to his cap and collecting the large money bag is what Triple G is chasing after all. His path and trajectory to this point states as such.
In the past Golovkin, along with head trainer Able Sanchez mentioned the goal of collecting all middleweight world titles and unifying the division.
12 years into his professional career and eight years as world title holder, Golovkin is yet to unify the middleweight division as desired.
Recent discussions and actions hint middleweight unification is no longer a goal for Team Golovkin.
Assuming Golovkin defeats Alvarez, it doesn’t appear he will face WBC middleweight mandatory Jermall Charlo 27-0 (21 KO’s).
Golovkin appears reluctant to rematch former challenger and potential IBF middleweight title holder Daniel Jacobs 34-2 (29 KO’s), just as he was reluctant to fight his IBF middleweight mandatory challenger Sergiy Derevyanchenko 12-0 (10 KO’s), when the original proposed rematch with Alvarez fell through earlier this year.
Triple G opted to face inactive Vanes Martirosyan 36-4-1 (21 KO’s), a fighter moving up in weight, coming off a loss more than two years prior to facing Golovkin.
Other options at middleweight for Golovkin include the winner of Billy Joe Saunders 26-0 (12 KO’s) vs. Demetrius Andrade 25-0 (16 KO’s).
Maybe another rematch with Alvarez depending on the result and the funds secured from the event is what Team Golovkin wants.
Who could blame them?
Alvarez is the glamour name of the division, if Golovkin defeats Alvarez, he can retire wealthy and undefeated, ignoring the banter from critics.
For his part, Golovkin believes he already surpassed Hopkins as a middleweight great.
“I feel like a star, like a star because, just if you check Bernard’s opponents probably you understand that my record is much bigger, is much stronger, bigger,” Golovkin said. “This is a good situation for me and for my career and for my fans, of course. That’s it.”
Whether Golovkin follows the route of Hopkins as far as fighting and winning world titles in higher weight divisions remains to be determined.
Aside from the middleweight title defense streak, Golovkin would like to add something additional to his resume. Exact revenge against someone he genuinely dislikes.
Although unfair, if Golovkin loses no matter the circumstances, it may not bode well for him. Even with the suspicion of performance enhancing drug use from his opponent Alvarez.
He still lacks the signature win and signature moment. Unfair it may appear to apply this standard but for a fighter staking claim as one of the best middleweights to ever do it, the criteria may justify the means.
— Gennady Golovkin (@GGGBoxing) September 12, 2018
Golovkin must defeat Alvarez and erase any claim at challengers taking aim at the throne.
How does Golovkin want to be remembered?
Canelo Alvarez’s Public Relations Problem
By: Sean Crose
On the few occasions I’ve spoken with Canelo Alvarez, I’ve always been struck by the man’s professionalism. That may seem like on odd thing to read in lieu of recent positive drug tests, but Canelo comes across to me like an adult. Not someone at a loss for words. Not a caricature. Not a person quick to insult or overly eager to please. An adult. His responses to my queries have always been polite and to the point. It’s something that’s stood out to me about the guy for quite some time now.
I bring this up because the very adult personality and professionalism Canelo’s exuded have made the man somewhat ill prepared for what has transpired during the last year. Like everyone else, I have no idea whether or not Canelo intentionally consumed clenbuterol, the banned substance he tested positive for last winter. If he did, that makes the professionalism he has exuded false. No one really knows the truth, though, so we’re left with a personality that seems ill equipped for the matter at hand. The fact that Canelo was less than quick to address the public on the matter of positive tests, then was openly hostile to Gennady Golovkin (who he’ll face this Saturday night in Vegas) for calling him a cheater makes Canelo look less than stellar.
Had Canelo been fighting an Andre Ward or a Manny Pacquiao, he wouldn’t have found himself in such a position as he does now. Both men would most likely shrug at the whole sad affair, say what did or didn’t transpire with clenubterol is on team Canelo, then go about with their training. Neither man might trust Canelo from there on in, but they wouldn’t make a big deal about it publicly. That hasn’t been the case with Golovkin or his trainer Abel Sanchez, though. They either truly think Canelo has played dirty or they’re using the opportunity to get inside his read haired head. My guess is there’s real disgust at play among team Golovkin, but no matter. Canelo has responded to their comments and assertions by acting imperiously offended. That’s the wrong road to take.
It makes sense for someone who behaves like a mature professional to be deeply troubled when his honor has been questioned, to be shaken when he isn’t taken at his word. During a 24/7 news cycle, however, the best thing would be to brush it off and focus on the fight at hand. “You think I cheated in the first bout with Golovkin? Well, I’m being drug tested constantly now, and you’ll see how I do in the rematch. Gennady can say what he wants. The truth will come out in the ring.” That’s it. That’s all Canelo has to say. Canelo is not letting the matter go, however, and he’s making himself seem a bit childish for the first time since he’s been in the public eye.
Word that he won’t shake the hand of Abel Sanchez on fight night, for instance, is silly. Even if Canelo can’t stand the guy, he should make it clear that he’s going to maintain his well known sense of decorum. It’s also a bit odd that Canelo says he’s going for the KO next weekend, essentially because of all the terrible things he’s felt team Golovkin has said. It’s great if he does go for the early stoppage perhaps, but why in the world is he parading around like the aggrieved party here? When all is said and done, Canelo still tested positive for a banned substance. Whether or not he ingested that substance intentionally is pretty much irrelevant.
One can think of other fighters, say Tyson Fury, or Adrien Broner, who might peacock their way through a situation like the one Canelo is in now. Classic bullies, they might present their opponents with an attitude that reads: “I’m not saying I cheated, but if I did, what are YOU going to do about it?” Ironically, that sort of absurdity would work with a large number of fans – and perhaps a large number of the media, as well. Such behavior isn’t Canelo’s thing, however. Then again, neither is acting like a victim…at least it hasn’t seemed to be up until now. Sometimes, people just have to step back and reassert themselves. That’s true both in an out of boxing.
Canelo Alvarez Media Call Interview Transcript
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Hi there, everyone. Thank you very much for joining us and for participating in the Canelo Alvarez international media conference call.
September 15 couldn’t be close enough. We are exactly about one month away from one of the most anticipated high-class action rematches of the middleweight division between Lineal Middleweight Champion Saul Canelo Alvarez and GGG, who is a WBC, WBA, IBO Middleweight World Champion. This epic event will be produced and distributed live by HBO Pay-Per-View beginning at a special time, which will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern/5:00 p.m. Pacific time.
For those of you who want to be present in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena, you can still get your tickets. There’s only a few tickets left, and you can access those tickets at www.T-Mobilearena.com or by calling 888-929-7849. The closed-circuit tickets went on sale today. Fight fans can watch live from the MGM Grand, the Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, and the Luxor, and tickets may be purchased at the MGM Resort International box office.
We would like to highlight a couple of upcoming events. Next week on Wednesday, August 22nd, the media will get an opportunity to talk to Chepo and Eddie Reynoso, who are the trainers of Canelo, and you’ll be able to talk to Abel Sanchez, the trainer for Gennady Golovkin. Again, the date is Wednesday, August 22nd, and that will be at 1:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30 a.m. PT
Additionally, we have — we’re hosting an open to the public and to the media workout live from the brand new arena in Downtown L.A. It’s L.A.’s newest soccer club, the LAFC, which is called the Banc of California Stadium, and that’s Sunday, August 26. Both fighters will be hosting an open to the media and to the public workout. We expect thousands and thousands of people to attend.
Let me just take this opportunity to thank the sponsors. Obviously, the official beer of boxing, that’s Tecate, Hennessey, never stop, never settle, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Fred Loya Insurance, Interjet, Venom, and Fathom Events. Thank you very much for your continued support to the sport of boxing.
Now I would like to introduce to you. He is the world champion going against Gennady Golovkin for the second time. He has made an incredible career in such a short period of time, Saul Canelo Alvarez.
CANELO ALVAREZ: Greetings to everybody. We’re happy to be here with you again on this teleconference call. More than everything, we are ready. There’s only one month left. We’re very happy. We’re very focused in training. And we’re happy that we’re just days away from this fight.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Beautiful. Now we will open it up to the media for questions. Thank you.
Q. Hi there, my question for Canelo, this fight will represent what will be, if he wins, the 21st consecutive title defense for Gennady Golovkin, which would break the record that he currently shares with Bernard Hopkins, who, of course, is a partner in Golden Boy. I wonder, from Canelo’s perspective, how significant would it be for him — I know to win would be big, but how significant would it be to prevent his rival from breaking such a hallowed record?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Well, you know, Gennady Golovkin has his goals. He has his wishes, just like me. Mine is to win on September 15. I mean, whatever he wants, that’s his record, his desires. That’s why he’s training. That’s why he’s training to win.
All I know is that I’m prepared to win on the 15th of September, to give a great fight and make it absolutely clear that I’m the best middle weight in the world.
Q. Another question for Canelo. This will be Canelo’s first rematch of his career. Most top fighters at one point or another do have a rematch, but I’m just wondering if he has just any general thoughts on engaging in what will be his first rematch.
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’m very happy to have this tiebreaker. I’m very happy for this opportunity to make clear who is better. This is the opportunity to show who is better. So I’m happy, and I’m content, and I’m relaxed. I’m training 100% because, obviously, I know what I have in front of me. I know Golovkin is not an easy opponent, and I know what I have to add to my strategy. So, again, I’m happy to have the tiebreaker to make it clear who is the better fighter in the first fight.
Q. The first question is why do you think this rematch will be different? What will you do differently? What will be different to tip the balances in this fight in your favor?
CANELO ALVAREZ: The first fight gave me the guidelines to know what to do in the second fight, to know what to do differently. In the first fight, I realized a lot of things. I learned that I can knock him out. I learned that I can hurt him. There are a lot of things I learned in that fight, but also in that first fight, it was my first fight officially at 160 pounds, at the 160 pound limit, so I had to adapt. But now I’m more sure and more confident about what I can do in this rematch.
Q. How do you feel about the accusations from the other side, from Abel Sanchez, from team Golovkin, and how have you been able to deal personally with dealing with people like that?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, you know, I’m very bothered, and I’m angry at their accusations, but I will utilize it in my favor because I have experience in this. I know that, if I get angry and closed minded, that I might make some mistakes, and it will be wrong. So I’m going to use this in my favor to train harder to give that extra push, and I’m going to use that anger intelligently in my favor on September 15.
Q. Hello, everybody. Oscar, I have a question, and then I have one for Canelo, if I may. Oscar, you had two guys, notable guys, Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas, test positive after they fought you, and I know some of us reporters — and I don’t know about the fans, but I’m assuming some of them too, kind of never looked at those guys the same way after that because we were wondering, right? So in your mind, how concerned are you that, even if Canelo didn’t do this on purpose, that his legacy has become tainted by the dirty test?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: I’m not concerned one bit because this is totally different. Sugar Shane Mosley and Fernando Vargas tested positive for steroids performance-enhancing drugs, and this is totally different. This was Clenbuterol that was in meat, in tainted meat. So, look, everybody in Mexico knows about the big problem they have with Clenbuterol in their meat, and in Mexico he’s a bigger star than ever.
So I don’t think his career will be tainted whatsoever. I think once he beats Golovkin in a spectacular fashion, then people will forget about it here in the states.
Q. Oscar, let me ask you one more thing, and I just have one for Canelo. The pay-per-view numbers were very good the first time. Is it safe to say, because of this controversy, that they could be even way better this time because everybody loves controversy?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Absolutely. This pay-per-view the second time around will be much bigger than the first time around.
Q. And Canelo, the same kind of question I asked Oscar, the first one. Is he concerned that people are going to look at him differently now with the test with the Clenbuterol?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, the people who have always supported me have been there and will always be there. They know what it is. I’ve made all the tests. So they will always be there, my supporters.
Q. This is for Canelo. GGG is known for his knockout power. He has an 87 percent KO rating. Having felt this power, how does it stack up against previous opponents, and is he the hardest hitter you’ve ever fought?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Obviously, he’s a very strong fighter. He has a very strong hit in his punches. That’s his biggest virtue as a fighter, that he has that power, but obviously, I’ve fought other strong fighters as well. And despite him being a 160-pounder with respectable power, it’s nothing out of this world. I showed him the first fight that I can take his punches, and simply that, he’s a respectable puncher with respectable power, but nothing out of this world.
Q. You and GGG haven’t fought for a year. How hard is it to shake off the rust after a year of inactivity?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I don’t think the year off will affect me at all. I like to train. I like to stay active. So I feel good. The most I’ve lasted usually from September to May, which is about nine months. So I think three additional months is nothing. I stay training, and I stay active, and it’s not going to affect me for this fight on September 15.
Q. Obviously, with the Clenbuterol, it may have hurt your image, but you deserve credit for being clean throughout your entire career and a very decorated career. But despite all of that, do you feel there’s added pressure to show because you’ll be under the microscope more for this fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, I don’t feel any pressure at all. I have nothing to show in that respect. All I have to show is I’m the best. In the first fight, it wasn’t demonstrated because, obviously, it ended in a draw. But that’s the only thing I need to show, that I’m the better fighter than him on September 15.
Q. What is the lesson that you have learned from these months and from being a year off? You’re 28 years old. Obviously, you’ve had good things, but this is obviously that moment. What have you learned from this experience?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I learned a lot. I learned who was really there for me. But I also learned — I got a lot of experience so that it doesn’t happen. The only error that I made is I didn’t educate myself properly on the situation with meat in Mexico, and I have to learn from that so it doesn’t happen again.
Q. I started out with my questioning of Canelo asking about the prospect of stopping GGG from breaking the record that he shares now with middle weight defenses with Bernard Hopkins. I wanted your perspective on that. I know he’s your partner. I know you guys have a long relationship with each other. But how satisfying would it be for you to see Canelo stop him from breaking his record?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Bernard Hopkins wouldn’t be any happier if Canelo — when Canelo stops him from breaking his record. Obviously, that’s a huge seat in his career. Even 21 defenses is huge. Bernard Hopkins, the fighters he’s faced, the opposition he’s faced, and then being able to defend his title 22 times is incredible.
So September 15, I’m pretty sure Bernard Hopkins is going to be rooting for Canelo even more so because his record’s on the line.
Q. I also wonder from you, Oscar, when you’ve talked to Canelo about the fight, is there anything that you saw in the first fight, as an experienced fighter yourself, that you saw that you gave him a tip about or something that maybe you saw in the way that Golovkin fought that you think that he can exploit or do better in the rematch with? And if so, what was that?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Yeah, there’s always — you can always do better. That’s the beauty about boxing, and he knows what he has to do. I believe he fought a great fight. He fought his own fight, and I had him up two points. So, obviously, the second time around — and that’s the beauty with a rematch is that you can change up your style. You can adjust to your opponent’s style, and that’s the beauty with Canelo is that he knows how to adjust, unlike GGG that only fights one way, and that’s coming forward.
Q. Obviously, after this first fight, how many times have you seen this first fight on tape? And the real question is what did you see that you liked? What did you see that you’ve been able to work on that you’ll be able to utilize for this rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve seen that fight about ten times, and what I think I needed or if there was an error, it was that I defended punches and I didn’t take advantage to counter that. I have to add that to this game plan. Every chance I get to hit him, I have to hit it. Every time I slip or dodge a punch, I have to come back. That’s what I needed in this fight, and that’s what I’m going to do on September 15.
Q. After this rematch against Golovkin, do you think that this will close the story or end the story between you two, or do you think there will be a third fight between Canelo and GGG?
CANELO ALVAREZ: As with the first fight, we have to see how this fight is going to take place and how it’s going to pass. After the first one, we needed the second one because it was a draw and because the fans wanted it. Personally for me, I want it to end here. I want it to define very clearly who’s the best in this rematch.
Q. First question is for Canelo. GGG had said that he had lost a lot of respect for you after what happened in February. Do you still have respect for him? And if you don’t, will you have respect for him regardless of what happens after September 15?
CANELO ALVAREZ: No, in the same way actually, it’s going to be worse. The respect that we had was lost. He crossed the line with his statements, with what he said, with the excuses, with all the crying from his team. So the respect, it was completely lost, and that’s how it will continue. In fact, this loss of respect and their statements and what they all said, this will help me to give 100 percent and give that extra push to leave it clear that I’m the better fighter.
Q. Based off of that, a lot of people have taken what he said, and they’ve taken it to heart. Do you feel you’re fighting for your reputation coming up on September 15, I’ll go in with a cold and calm mentality.
Q. Oscar, back when you fought Manny Pacquiao, Bob Arum started a Mexicans for Pacquiao campaign and was quoted as saying, you have to understand that Manny is more of a Mexican style fighter than Oscar De La Hoya will ever be. Does it bother you that ten years later we’re still using this Mexican style gimmick? And what advice did you give Canelo, having gone through this yourself?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, it’s obviously all a gimmick. It’s a gimmick to win fans over. I did it with fighting hard and beating the best out there and fighting the best out there. Canelo did it the same way. He’s a Mexican national, and the Mexican Nationals love him. So all this gimmick stuff about Mexicans for Golovkin and Mexicans for Pacquiao, that’s all it is. It’s a gimmick.
It’s sad to know there are a few fans that fall for it, but it’s really nice to know that Canelo has Mexican fans that love him and support him 1,000 percent.
Q. In the first fight with Golovkin, what was the thing that most surprised you and most disappointed you in that first fight?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I knew that he was strong, and I knew that he could take punches, and I knew that he could assimilate well. Nothing surprised me. I knew who he was. I knew he’s strong. And he’s going to be strong in this fight. I know he’s going to be strong in this fight, and that’s why I’m training.
But more than that, the first fight showed me what I can add to my game plan to beat him on September 15.
Q. A lot of people think this fight’s not going to end by knockout, that it’s going to go the distance. Do you agree with that assessment, or are you going to go out there and look for the knockout?
CANELO ALVAREZ: From the beginning, I will work him to look for that KO. That’s what I’ll be doing from the very first round, and that’s why I’m training and I’m mentally prepared to do that. Obviously, you know, that’s the way I want this fight to end by knockout, and for them to raise my hand after that knockout victory.
Q. Obviously, you talked some about some political concerns before. As the biggest star, what do you think about the new president in Mexico?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always reserved myself to speak about political issues. The thing with Trump, well, I had to speak out against what he said about Mexicans. My opinion is what I have, that we’re not all the same. So I never really get into political issues. Hopefully, this president is good and that he makes well on his promises and that he can represent us very well.
Q. You haven’t fought in about a year. What has been the hardest thing about that year off? Especially since you’ve said that you love training and that you love fighting. What’s been the hardest thing?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Yeah, it’s been a year off. That’s the hardest thing. I’m more anxious than ever to get in the ring and throw punches, especially with all that has taken place surrounding this fight. But I always stay training, and I always stay active. I like training even if I don’t fight, and I stay active.
Q. Has he taken more tests, anti-doping tests after what has happened?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I’ve always had tests. I’ve always participated in these tests since 2012. I’ve been in tests and voluntary tests for each training camp, and they keep doing it whether or not what took place — whether or not I tested positive. They can come every week, and they can come at any time, and they don’t let you know, and it’s all voluntary — not obligatory. I voluntarily do these tests. And they have done it 15 or 20 times since that day in February, and they keep doing it. And any time they come here, I’m ready to take those tests.
Q. Hello, Canelo, from San Diego. We’re happy to have you here, as always. You are by far not only the most familiar, famous fighter in Mexico, but you’re also a role model for all the young fighters that Oscar has there at Golden Boy. How do you feel about the responsibility knowing they’re all looking up to you as a role model? How do you proceed with that, and how do you manage that knowing that they are all looking to you?
CANELO ALVAREZ: I feel well, and I manage it well. I do it by being calm, by being disciplined, and those two attributes maintain me as an example. I keep training hard, and I keep giving good fights, and I’ll keep doing that so that I continue being a role model for these young fighters.
Q. Oscar, I’d like you to weigh in on that question because you watch him interacting with your younger fighters. What do you see in their interaction together?
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Well, that’s exactly what it’s all about is looking up to fighters that you want to be like when you grow up yourself. That’s what every sport has. Every sport has a hero. Every sport has an athlete that they look up to. Saul is the one on top right now. He’s the one who is look upon. He’s the hero. And so everybody — every young fighter looks up to him and wants to be like him. So that’s the beauty about boxing is that, when you have fighters like Saul who can come up and be those role models, it only makes boxing better, and it gives these kids an opportunity for them to realize their own dreams.
Q. Out of all the statements and the craziness that occurred with the positive testing, obviously, the other team is using it to get you out of focus. Do you think that you will use it in your favor so that Golovkin’s side is the one who will be out of focus for this rematch?
CANELO ALVAREZ: Look, I don’t know what they intend. I don’t know what they’re intending to do or what their intentions are. All I know is that I want to get in the ring and defeat him, and any error that he makes, I’m going to take advantage of on this fight and in this rematch.
OSCAR DE LA HOYA: Okay. Thank you very much, Saul. Thank you very much, everyone. All the media, just want to let you know that August 26nd we want to make this the biggest workout event live from the Banc of California Stadium. LAFC plays there. We want to make sure that everyone goes, all the media, and spread the word to the public.
Obviously, September 15 can’t come any faster. Thank you very much. Gracias.
Alvarez Knocks Out Kovalev In Thrilling Fashion
by: Sean Crose
Major boxing returned to Atlantic City on Saturday night, as Sergey Kovalev, 32-2-1, defended his WBO Light Heavyweight Title against the undefeated 23-0 Eleider Alvarez. First, though WBA Light Heavyweight champ Dimitry Bivol, 13-0, defended his title against veteran contender Isaac Chilemba, 25-2-2. Bivol came out swinging – and landing. Chilemba was too crafty to be blown out right away, but Bivol ended up dominating the round, regardless. Bivol unloaded in the second. Chilemba once again held strong, but Bivol was also proving to be a patient fighter. By the third it was clear Bivol was simply the much stronger man. Chilemba was brave and game, but it wasn’t enough.
The fourth showed more of the same. It was perfectly clear at that point that Bivol was looking like a very formidable fighter indeed. It could be argued that Chilemba had a better go of it in the middle rounds, but it was clear that Bivol was still in charge of the fight overall. As the fight pushed into the later rounds, however, there seemed to be a contentedness in Bivol’s performance. Then again, the veteran Chilemba was able to go the distance with Kovalev, back when Kovalev was feared throughout the division. After a full twelve rounds, it seemed that Bivol didn’t dominate AS MUCH as it looked like he might have. Still, the man earned a well deserved unanimous decision win.
It was time for the main event. The first round was close, but Kovalev controlled the tempo. The second was also close, but Alvarez landed the sharper punches. Kovalev’s body shots seemed to give the Russian an edge, albeit a slight one, in round three. Kovalev had a good fourth, so good that it was a credit to Alvarez that he remained standing. Kovalev went on to take the fifth – barely. It was a close fight, albeit one Kovalev was edging. Things started getting ugly in the sixth, as Kovalev’s power started to really tell the tale, while Alvarez started to show some blood. Alvarez, however, was fighting very well. Again, it was the strength of Kovalev that was telling the tale.
And then, all of the sudden, a HUGE right dropped Kovalev in the seventh. Then Alvarez sent his man to the mat again. And then…Kovalev was knocked out. In explosive fashion, Alvarez became the big man of the light heavyweight division. It was a stunning and explosive end to an exciting, hitting match.
There’s a new big name in the fight game…one that, ironically, has been around for quite some time.