Boxing Insider Notebook: Canelo, Golovkin, Reynoso, Connecticut Hall of Fame, and more….
Compiled By: William Holmes
The following is the Boxing Insider notebook for the week of August 8th to August 15th, covering the comings and goings in the sport of boxing that you might have missed.
Eddy Reynoso and Abel Sanchez Conference Call Quotes for Canelo vs. Golovkin
Eddy Reynoso, head trainer for Canelo Alvarez, and Abel Sanchez, head trainer for Gennady Golovkin, recently held a media conference call to discuss the upcoming bout between both of their fighters. Below is a few select quotes from that conference call.
Q. Obviously, the competition is between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, but I know that trainers are competitive, also, and certainly want to win for their own careers and obviously for their fighters’ careers. I want to know from your perspective, when you say it’s the two best fighters in boxing in a big, big fight that we have on September 16, how do you look at it in terms of the competition between yourself and your opposing trainer, Eddy Reynoso?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I think at this point if you consider those two fighters the best fighters in boxing, these are the two best trainers in boxing, also. Eddy and Chepo have done a great job with Canelo, and I think we have done a great job with Gennady.
The winner on the 16th is not necessarily the best fighter in boxing, but the best fighter that night. Same with the trainers. I think that the competition between us needs to be there so that we can prepare our guys to be the best they can be that night.
Q. Can you also tell me, we’ve seen Gennady knockout so many opponents, obviously didn’t get the knockout in the fight with Danny in March but he had a 23-knockout streak before that. But Canelo has had some spectacular knockouts himself in his recent fights; not necessarily Chavez fight but prior to that.
Both guys are looked at as punchers in this fight and they are both obviously very good boxers. When you look at the matchup, do you think this is more of a fight where Gennady is going to be the guy to be the biggest puncher or is he going to be the one to have to get the win to out-box Canelo? How do you view this matchup?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I see both guys being aggressive and I see Gennady being more physical. I see Gennady trying to dictate the pace. Canelo has proven that he’s a warrior. We’re looking for a tough fight.
I think that both guys are going to hurt each other, and they may go down. But I think we will be treated to a throwback fight like in the mid 80s when the four kings, the five kings, were around.
Q. You say you might see Gennady get knocked down. In his entire professional career and amateur career, there was no evidence of him being seriously hurt in a fight or even close to going down. Is that because you have that much respect for Canelo’s punching power, or are you just trying to hype this up a little bit?
ABEL SANCHEZ:No, no, I have respect not only for his punching power, but I have respect for Eddy and Chepo doing the things that are necessary to counteract some of the things that we’re going to be doing.
I think it’s a fight where it’s going to be a chess match at the beginning and then once you get past that point where they are trying to see what each other is doing, they are going to go at each other. And it’s going to be up to us in the corner to make sure we dictate what we want done and make sure that we come up with a different plan if the first one is not working.
Q. Similar to what I asked Abel as is related to the competition that exists between the trainer, Abel Sanchez was the 2015 Trainer of the Year, has got a lot of credit for the work he’s done, not only with Gennady but for some other fighters. Eddy has never been the Trainer of the Year. I think a lot of the people think the winner of this fight might be the Fighter of the Year. How big of a deal is it for Eddy to compete against another outstanding trainer like Abel Sanchez and maybe etch himself as a possible trainer of the year if his man gets the big victory?
EDDY REYNOSO: Good afternoon, everybody. Thank you. Look, at the end of the day, the most important thing for us is that our fighter wins. We’re doing everything necessary. We’re preparing so that happens come fight night.
Look, at the end of the day, with the results come all the recognitions and everything else will come with it. But the most important thing for us is to win September 16.
Q. To both Abel and Eddy, look, in the past, Freddie Roach, Mayweather Senior, they have all gotten the attention of the boxing world as some of the best trainer, but today, all eyes, all focus, is on Eddy Reynoso and Abel Sanchez. How important is it and how motivating is it that you guys are the top trainers right now and all eyes are on you?
ABEL SANCHEZ: Well, first of all, I’m extremely proud that two Mexicans are guiding the two best fighters in the sport and we are going to be meeting each other for supremacy on the 16th. I will be extremely happy that the fans recognize the fact that it’s not only Canelo as a Mexican, but Gennady has a Mexican style, but Eddy and I are both very proud Mexicans.
EDDY REYNOSO: We’re very, very happy to what we have achieved and happy doing what we love. And we’ve got to keep advancing, keep doing what we do best, and that’s winning and advancing; so that one day, hopefully not too in the distant future, we can be considered as one of the best in the game.
Q. Eddy, when GGG was introduced to mainstream, the American public, he was introduced with the label of “Mexican-style.” And that could be with influence, obviously, of his trainer being Mexican, Abel Sanchez. But the question is: Do you see him as a Mexican-style fighter?
EDDY REYNOSO: Yeah, you know, it obviously has some things of the Mexican style, because his trainer, there’s influence there. He’s taught him some Mexican style of fights. But let’s not forget at the end of the day, he’s from Kazakhstan; that’s where his roots are, and although he may have a little bit of the Mexican style that he’s been taught, at the end of the day, he can’t have the full Mexican style.
Q. To Abel, do you think that after September 16, after the fight, the winner will be considered pound for pound No. 1 in boxing?
ABEL SANCHEZ: I don’t think that’s something for me to say. I think that the journalists and the media at large and the fans will have their opinion. But I think that fight on the 16th, we have the two best boxers in the sport going at each other, so they can determine that.
But going back to what you asked Eddy, I think the Mexican style — part of the Mexican style that Golovkin has adapted, that the fans really, really like is the fact of his aggressiveness. It reminds us of some of the fighters of the past, great Mexicans of the past, like Julio Cesar Chavez and some of Olivares’ fights, and some of the old-timers that they used to give us those great, entertaining fights.
CANADA AMATEUR STAR LAVIOLETTE
HOPES TO ENHANCE HIS REPUTATION
AGAINST SPARROW SEPT. 8 IN PHILLY
Junior lightweight boxer Joey Laviolette may have a big reputation in Canada, but he is a virtual unknown in the United States. The 29-year-old native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, hopes to change that when he takes on Avery Sparrow, of Philadelphia, PA, in the scheduled eight-round main event Friday evening, Sept. 8, at the 2300 Arena.
The Sparrow-Laviolette contest tops a 10-bout card which begins at 7.30 pm.
Laviolette may be only 6-0, 4 K0s, as a pro, but he had a prolific amateur career in which he won 85 out of 111 bouts and four Canadian National Championships. He also was a member of the Canadian National Team from 2009 to 2011.
“My father used to train, although he never competed as a boxer, so he took me and my brother Matt to the gym when I was 10 years old and I just never left and that’s how I got started,” Laviolette said.
“When I was in high school I played recreational basketball and ice hockey but I never competed on a school team or in an official league.”
As for going up against a talented fighter like Sparrow (7-1, 3 K0s), Laviolette does not appear to be intimidated or fearful.
“It’s a big opportunity to showcase my skills against a good fighter,” Laviolette said. “This will be my first professional fight outside of Canada, but going to somebody else’s hometown to fight never bothered me as an amateur and I don’t think it will bother me as a professional.
“I competed in the Francophone Games in Lebanon (for French-speaking countries) and the Panama Games in Mexico and in various tournaments in Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico and the United States a couple of times and I won the Ringside Tournament there in 2009.
“I feel I’m right where I need to be at 6-0 and this is a perfect point in my career to have a true test against Sparrow.”
A pro since 2012, Laviolette has boxed twice this year against a pair of Mexican featherweights. He out-pointed Juan Manuel Benitez over four rounds and stopped Emmanuel Villamar in six. Both fights were in New Brunswick, Canada.
Away from the ring, Laviolette works as a carpenter during the day and he also is a musician, occasionally taking part in small acoustic performances in local pubs in Nova Scotia. He plays the guitar and refers to himself as an intermediate piano player. His favorite Canadian fighter is Arturo Gatti, but his all-time favorite is Sugar Ray Leonard.
Laviolette has been married to his wife, Lisa, since 2012, and they have a 4-year-old daughter, Breah.
“I know there is a lot of buzz in Philadelphia and the boxing community about this fight with Avery Sparrow, a true test for me,” Sparrow said. “I feel truly blessed to have the family I have and the ability to compete in a sport that has captivated me since my dad first took me to the Citadel Boxing Gym when I was 10. This next fight with Sparrow is everything I have been training for up to this point.”
CES Boxing, FightNight Live to Partner for August 26th Pre MayMac Show Free on Facebook
Fight fans who want to whet their appetite prior to Mayweather-McGregor will be able to do so on Saturday, Aug. 26, thanks to a new partnership between veteran promoter Jimmy Burchfield Sr. and the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook series. CES Boxing and the tech-forward, fan-friendly Facebook broadcast platform are set to deliver once again – this time from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut – from 6-9 p.m. ET on that Saturday before action heats up in the desert later that night.
Highlighting the CES Boxing card at Foxwoods’ Premier Ballroom is New London, Conn., native Jimmy Williams (13-0-1, 5 KOs), as he defends his WBC-USNBC Welterweight Title against veteran Bronx N.Y. pugilist Issouf Kinda (18-4, 7 KOs). Also appearing on the card: New London’s Cristobal Marrero (4-0, 3 KOs), Hartford’s Richard Rivera (2-0, 2 KOs) and Jose Rivera (3-1, 3 KOs), Miguel Ortiz (2-0, 1 KO) of Springfield, Mass., and others.
“CES Boxing starts the fireworks with a live, action-packed card at Foxwoods Resort Casino leading up to the Mayweather-MacGregor PPV,” proudly states CES President Burchfield Sr. “We are extremely excited to be partnering with Linacre Media to broadcast this event worldwide on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE Facebook page.”
Tickets are priced at $55, $90, $155 and $325 and can be purchased online at cesboxing.com, foxwoods.com, or ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 401-724-2253 or 800-200-2882. As an added bonus, all CES ticket holders receive a free, reserved seat to the exclusive Pay Per View showing of Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor in Foxwoods’ Grand Theater.
“We’re happy to be involved in what will be a great night for fight fans all over the globe,” said Mark Fratto, Principal of Linacre Media. “In addition to the great crowd that Jimmy Burchfield Sr. and Team CES is sure to deliver with a packed, local card and the May-Mac PPV following on the big screen at Foxwoods, we’re thrilled to deliver all of the action from coast-to-coast and around the world through our Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE channel. We hope a lot of boxing and MMA fans having fight parties will enjoy our free New England Facebook show on any device before turning their attention toward the desert and Showtime.”
The numbers on the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series have showed promise and potential for the new platform. The July Roy Jones Jr. “Desert Showdown” from Phoenix, the May “Slugfest at the Sun” from Mohegan Sun and the June “Rosemont Rumble” from Chicago drew audiences of 65,000, 44,000 and 31,000, respectively, with more than 6,000 of hours of LIVE video consumed by Facebook users. In addition to the raw viewership numbers, the fully-interactive, fan-friendly productions have seen more than 27,000 collective live post engagements, including more than 15,500 “likes” or “loves,” more than 9,000 comments and 1,600-plus shares.
Facebook FIGHTNIGHT LIVE has been delivered to fans absolutely free since its May 2017 launch courtesy of corporate partners like Barbour One 9, Talent Management and Entertainment Production (www.barbourone9.com) and Northeastern Fine Jewelry (www.nefj.com).
On Saturday night, August 26, live from Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn., fans can expect a high-impact, multi-camera streaming experience complete with graphics, animations, replays, interviews and an announce team anchored by blow-by-blow announcer Michael Woods of the TalkBox Podcast, NYFights.com and The Ring and analyst Xavier Porter of BrooklynFights.com, Notorious Boxing and the “Shoot the 5” radio show. To provide spectators with a fully-interactive ringside experience, commentators will ask and respond to questions from the Facebook audience throughout the broadcast.
Created and produced by Linacre Media out of New York City, the FIGHTNIGHT LIVE series features multiple camera angles, graphics, replays and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. The streamed shows are available globally wherever Facebook is available. The initiative not only enables fans from around the world to tune in, but also gives up-and-coming fighters a global platform to showcase their abilities, gives promoters an accessible “broadcast” solution and gives sponsors the ability to reach a mass audience via branded content.
More FIGHTNIGHT LIVE dates will be officially announced in the coming weeks.
FIGHTNIGHT LIVE is available online at: https://www.facebook.com/FaceFIGHTNIGHTLIVE/
Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Announced
The Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame (CBHOF) has announced its six-member Class of 2017 to be inducted during the 13TH annual CBHOF Gala Induction Dinner on Saturday night, October 28, in the Uncas Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
The new CBHOF inductees are pioneer boxer “Professor” Charles Hadley, ring physician Dr. Tony Alessi, international boxing judge Clark Sammartino, referee/judge Dick Flaherty, boxing writer Dan Parker and boxer/boxing contributor Hugh Devlin, Sr.
“We continue to break barriers at CBHOF as we induct ‘Professor’ Charles Hadley who may have been the best ‘pound-for-pound fighter of his era,” CBHOF president John Laudati said. Like many black athletes of this period, he never received the recognition he richly deserved. The CBHOF will rectify that this year. Other members of this year’s class are equally deserving and represent all aspects of this great sport. Dr. Alessi is not just an accomplished ring physician but also a world-renowned sports doctor. Clark Sammartino is one of the best judges in boxing. Dan Parker is an International Boxing Hall of Famer whose career as a reporter is unparalleled in any sport. Hughie Devlin Sr.’s contributions to this sport in Connecticut are immeasurable. We look forward to seeing boxing fans of all ages at this year’s dinner. It will be a wonderful evening for our inductees, our award winners, and especially for their family and friends.”
Fighting out of his adopted hometown of Bridgeport, Tennessee-native “Professor” Charles Hadley (25-13-6, 14 KOs) was the reigning World Colored Heavyweight Champion from 1881-1883. His professional career was from 1869 to 1891.
A familiar figure at ringside for major fights at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, Dr. Tony Alessi is a graduate of the University of Rome who moved to the Nutmeg State after completing his residency and neuro-muscular fellowship at the University fo Michigan. Alessi is a neurological consultant to the Connecticut State Boxing Commission, as well as the NFL Players Association and New York Yankees Player Development. He is based in Norwich, where he CEO for a medical management company.
At the height of career as a boxing judge, Clark Sammartino would average 100 bouts a year, including 10 world championships. A Providence native and Brown University graduate, he started judging boxing matches after he retired as an oral surgeon. The 80-year-old Sammartino has judge fights involving some of boxing biggest stars such as Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Oscar de la Hoya, Julio Cesar Chavez and many others.
An accomplished referee/judge from Braintree, Massachusetts, who now lives in Glastonbury, CT, Dick Flaherty has worked numerous notable fights featuring Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson, Vernon Forrest and Sal “Canelo” Alvarez, among the more notables. Flaherty is best known for judging the first of three Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward fights, held at Mohegan Sun, voted the 2002 Fight of the Year), in which Dick scored the Round of the Year (ninth), 10-7 for Ward, and the fight, 94-93, in Ward’s favor. His score proved to be the difference as Ward won a 10-round split decision.
Waterbury, CT-native Dan Parker was a Waterbury sportswriter back in the early part of the 20th Century, whose articles in the New York Daily Mirror later exposed corruption in boxing. He exposed International Boxing Club (IBC) corruption and, due to Parker’s crusade, it was disbanded. Parker is induced in the prestigious International Boxing Hall of Fame, as well as the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
Hugh Devlin, Sr. (22-13) made his professional boxing debut in 1927 at the age of 18, stopping Johnny Lorenzo in New Bedford, Mass. He developed into one of New England’s top featherweights, fighting across Connecticut in New Haven, West Haven, Waterbury and New London. Devlin’s contributions to the Norwich boxing community made him an icon in southeastern Connecticut. He opened a restaurant in New London where menus were shaped like boxing gloves.
Individual Connecticut award winners were also announced: Jimmy Williams, Conn. Professional Boxer of the Year; Kevin Bonilla, Conn. Amateur Boxer of the Year; Hector Rosario, Contribution to Boxing; Danny Schiavone, Professional Boxing Official of the Year; Sachs Medina, Amateur Boxing Official of the Year:
Tickets for the CBHOF 13th annual Gala Induction Dinner, reasonably priced at $90.00, will soon go on sale and be available to purchase by calling Kim Baker at Mohegan Sun (1.860.862.7377) or Sherman Cain at the Manchester Journal Inquirer (1.800.237.3606 X321). Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET, cocktails from 6:00- p.m. ET (cash bar), followed by a full sit-down dinner.
Go online to www.ctboxinghof.org for additional information about the Connecticut Boxing Hall of Fame, its 13th annual Gala Inductee Dinner, event sponsorship opportunities, or past CBHOF inductees.
The “Activity, Self-Discipline And Comradery” Of Golden Gloves Boxing In Naugatuck
The “Activity, Self-Discipline And Comradery” Of Golden Gloves Boxing In Naugatuck
By: Sean Crose
Those of us who write about boxing are told over and over again that the sport we pen articles on is dead. “Too bad you didn’t do this fifteen years ago,” someone once told me. I explain to such people that boxing is quite healthy in many places around the world. Indeed, it actually seems to perhaps be growing in some locations. What’s more, I explain that things are even looking up for the sport here in the states lately. My words, however, fall on deaf ears. Boxing is dead. The sport isn’t what it used to be. Mixed martial arts is king. And that’s all there is to it.
Never mind the fact that the famed Wembley Stadium gets completely sold out for boxing matches. Never mind that a recent televised boxing broadcast beat both the NHL and the NBA in the weekend ratings. Minds are slow things to change. Still, some of those who would write off boxing might want to check out places like the YMCA in Naugatuck, Connecticut, where it’s clear that the sport is alive and well. For this past Saturday, the 65th Annual Joe Triano/Joe Rossi Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament was held within its gym. “They’ve had a pretty strong history in the last couple of years,” Sports and Recreation Director Catherine Proto tells me.
This year, the Naugatuck YMCA saw forty-seven Golden Glove participants. According to Proto, about 200 hundred people were expected to show up to view the weekend’ proceedings. “The kids,” she says, “really enjoy the activity, self-discipline and comradery within the group.” Boxing has been an active part of this establishment for well over a half century now, going back to the time of the “Two Joes,” Joe Triano and Joe Rossi, two legendary local boxing figures who knew how to implement a good thing. The program is now run by David Cassetti, the mayor of nearby Ansonia, and a man with a ring history of his own.
Not surprisingly, this particular “Y” has its own boxing room, replete with heavy bag, speed bag, a mirror for shadowboxing and a variety of other boxing related amenities. One can frequently hear the speed bag being rattled as one head towards the locker room. At times, one can find the room filled with young athletes learning the basics of the Sweet Science. All of which, of course, leads to an obvious question:
Can the next Floyd Mayweather be found among the new crop of boxers in Naugatuck?
“They probably think it themselves,” says Proto with a laugh.